Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 24, 2020

Pompeo's UN Move Against Iran Will Fail. Why Is He Still Pressing It?

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is pushing at the United Nations to prolong the arms embargo against Iran. Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which solved the issue of Iran's civil nuclear program, the current arms embargo will be lifted in October.

The U.S., which has left the JCPoA agreement, is using nonsensical arguments to force a renewed embargo. Other UN Security Council veto veto members will obviously reject the move. Pompeo's actions do not have the purpose to achieve something. They are campaign material targeted at a domestic audience.

Part of Pompeo's campaign is a push of 'scary Iran' propaganda.

Here is one example:

Secretary Pompeo @SecPompeo - 16:59 UTC · Jun 23, 2020

If the @UN Arms Embargo on Iran expires in October, Iran will be able to buy new fighter aircraft like Russia’s SU-30 and China’s J-10. With these highly lethal aircraft, Europe and Asia could be in Iran’s crosshairs. The U.S. will never let this happen.

The tweet came with an attached map that shows the maximum distance the planes Iran might buy can fly at cruise altitude until they run out of gas.


Pompeo is suggesting that Iran will spend tens of millions on planes, fly them unopposed through the radar coverage of several countries, to let Iranian Kamikaze pilots crash them into some temple in Nepal.

This does not make any sense. No foreign politician will be impressed by this 'argument'. Pompeo's tweet is for consumption at home.

At the UN the U.S. is trying to get a new arms embargo resolution against Iran:

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump introduced a long-awaited U.N. Security Council (UNSC) draft resolution extending an arms embargo on Iran that is due to expire in October, setting the stage for a great-power clash and likely veto in the U.N.’s principal security body, according to a copy of the draft obtained by Foreign Policy.
If passed, the resolution would fall under Chapter VII of the U.N. charter, making it legally binding and enforceable. But the U.S. measure, according to several U.N. Security Council diplomats, stands little chance of being adopted by the 15-nation council.
Some council diplomats and other nonproliferation experts see the U.S. move as a way to score political points at home, not to do anything about Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region.

“The skeptic in me says that the objective of this exercise is to go through the arms embargo resolution, and when it fails, to use that as an excuse to get a snapback of the embargo, and if and when that fails too, to use as a political talking point in the election campaign,” said Mark Fitzpatrick, a former State Department nonproliferation official now at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Since China and Russia are almost certain to ignore any U.N. arms embargo forced by U.S. maneuvers, the practical impact on Iran’s ability to cause mischief will be minimal, he said.

“It’s not actually about stopping any arms from China and Russia, it’s about winning a political argument,” he said.

We explained that the U.S. does not have a 'snapback' option. Russia and China have also clarified that:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the Chinese government’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, both wrote to the 15-member council and U.N. chief Antonio Guterres as the United States threatens to spark a so-called sanctions snapback under the Iran nuclear deal, even though Washington quit the accord in 2018.

Lavrov wrote in the May 27 letter, made public this week, that the United States was being “ridiculous and irresponsible.”

“This is absolutely unacceptable and serves only to recall the famous English proverb about having one’s cake and eating it,” Lavrov wrote.

Washington has threatened to trigger a return of U.N. sanctions on Iran if the Security Council does not extend an arms embargo due to expire in October under Tehran’s deal with world powers to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.
Lavrov cited a 1971 International Court of Justice opinion, which found that a fundamental principle governing international relationships was that “a party which disowns or does not fulfill its own obligations cannot be recognized as retaining the rights which it claims to derive from the relationship.”

Despite the evident failure to convince others the U.S. continues make stupid arguments:

Russia and China will be isolated at the United Nations if they continue down the “road to dystopia” by blocking a U.S. bid to extend a weapons ban on Iran, U.S. Iran envoy Brian Hook told Reuters ahead of his formal pitch of the embargo to the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday.
“We see a widening gap between Russia and China and the international community,” Hook said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday evening.

The U.S. has left the JCPoA deal and can not claim a right under that deal to snap back the sanctions that the deal has lifted. It is the U.S. that is isolated. Even its allies do not support the attempt:

“We firmly believe that any unilateral attempt to trigger UN sanctions snapback would have serious adverse consequences in the UNSC,” the foreign ministers of Britain, France, and Germany said in a statement on June 19. “We would not support such a decision which would be incompatible with our current efforts to preserve the JCPoA.”

The Trump policy against Iran has failed. He has tried a 'maximum pressure' campaign to blackmail Iran into more concessions. But despite sanctions and economic problems caused by them Iran is not willing to talk with him. Its conditions for talks are clear:

“We have no problem with talks with the U.S., but only if Washington fulfils its obligations under the nuclear deal, apologies and compensates Tehran for its withdrawal from the 2015 deal,” Rouhani said in a televised speech.

The U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, including the new sanctions against Syria under the 'Ceasar's Law', have been helping Iran to strengthen its position:

Iran is reaping huge benefits, including more robust allies and resistant strongholds as a result of the US’s flawed Middle Eastern policies. Motivated by the threat of the implementation of “Caesar’ Law”, Iran has prepared a series of steps to sell its oil and finance its allies, bypassing depletion of its foreign currency reserves.

Iranian companies found in Syria a paradise for strategic investment and offered the needed alternative to a Syrian economy crippled by sanctions and nine years of war. Iran considers Syria a fertile ground to expand its commerce and business like never before.

With Iran's influence growing and Russia making inroads even with once staunch U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia it seems that real U.S. influence in the Middle East is on a decisive downturn.

Whatever Pompous Pompeo says or tweets will not change that. But there's a sucker born every minute. Some of those may still fall for the stuff he says.

Posted by b on June 24, 2020 at 17:10 UTC | Permalink


Agents of KAOS
get more done with KAOS!
does the US have anything positive to offer? beside testing positive for corona?

Posted by: jason | Jun 24 2020 17:25 utc | 1

If the @UN Arms Embargo on Iran expires in October, Iran will be able to buy new fighter aircraft like Russia’s SU-30 and China’s J-10.

Well, as far as I'm concerned, Pompeo and Trump are full-fledged members of the CCP (Chinese Capitalist Party). This article sums it up nicely. Remember when Trump said it wasn't the Russians but instead the Chinese who were interfering in America's elections? Maybe he was right. For once in his life.

Trump Is Beijing’s Best Asset

But for China, Trump’s weaknesses are more important than his bluster. During numerous off the record discussions with Chinese government officials and scholars, we are finding that an increasing number are hoping for Trump’s reelection next year. At a time when China’s political influence and military capabilities are growing, they argue that in spite of his anti-China bluster, Trump has afforded Beijing the space to expand its influence across Asia and, more importantly, comprehensively weakened Washington’s global leadership. From a zero-sum standpoint, many Chinese have concluded that Trump’s policies are strategically very good for China in the long run.

These thinkers believe that Trump, by polarizing U.S. domestic politics, damaging Washington’s international credibility and traditional global stewardship, and undermining long-standing alliance arrangements, has presented Beijing with its “greatest strategic opportunity since the end of the Cold War,” as Yan Xuetong, one of China’s foremost strategic thinkers, put it.

These Chinese thinkers see Trump as a dog with a big bark but little bite. He tested Beijing’s patience by accepting a phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen, in what the Chinese viewed as a violation of the “One China” policy, shortly after his election in 2016. Trump publicly questioned whether he would stick with the policy before saying he would, but he also said he would have to check with Chinese President Xi Jinping before taking another call with Tsai. Though the administration has greenlighted some arms sales to Taiwan, whether Trump would back Taipei were Beijing to attack remains doubtful, especially given his mercenary attitude toward U.S. military power.

Posted by: | Jun 24 2020 17:29 utc | 2

Just the usual Uncle sam and Uncle sem rogue, psychopathic behaviour.

Posted by: bjd | Jun 24 2020 17:39 utc | 3

>>Why Is He Still Pressing It?

Because they are mad dogs. They want to rule the world no matter what. So they will start going crazy in their attempts to impose their will on the rest of the world.

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 24 2020 17:55 utc | 4

Escobar reports, which is behind a new paywall that I noted on the open thread, that Iran's coping well with COVID-19:

"Hashemi notes another facet: 'The Covid-19 crisis was so massive that people themselves have pitched in with effort, revealing new levels of solidarity. Individuals, civil society groups and others have set up a range of initiatives seeking to help the government and health workers on the front line of countering the pandemic'...

"'Moreover, harvests last year and this year have been positive. We are more self-reliant,' Marandi said....

"The entire Iranian economy is thus in transition. What’s particularly interesting is the boom in manufacturing, with companies focusing way beyond Iran’s large domestic market towards exports. They are turning the massive devaluation of the rial to their advantage.

"In 2019-20, Iran’s non-oil exports reached $41.3 billion. That exceeded oil exports for the first time in Iran’s post-revolutionary history. Roughly half of these non-oil exports were manufactured goods."

Pompeo's rants and raves are those of a desperate desperado. Look for Iran to send more tankers to Venezuela as the recent venture represented a test that went very well:

"The Oil Ministry in Tehran is already planning a round two of deliveries to Caracas, sending two or three cargos full of gasoline a month."

Ha! Who's putting pressure on whom?! Also in stark contrast with Iran, the Gulf Monarchies have sustained great damage from the COVID-19 torpedo:

"Workers from Pakistan and India are leaving the Persian Gulf in droves. Dubai is dead."

IMO, there's a much better chance for the HOPE initiative now than before. It's hard to tell whether Trump's blinding Pompeo or vice-versa, but neither's capable of doing something positive in that region.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 24 2020 18:16 utc | 5

But despite sanctions and economic problems caused by them Iran is not willing to talk with him.

Also consider the ambush and assassination of a top general via a drone strike.

Posted by: snow_watcher | Jun 24 2020 18:51 utc | 6

The yanks wants to keep constant pressure on Iran and now more than ever..Despite the fact that Iran acted always in defensive and righteous attitude,yanks think that someday Iranians will make a first move under this daily pressure(this will never happen in my opinion).At the same time there will be a new zionist season in Palestine and this will have a impact on Iran too.Continuing to strangle the country with sanctions is mostly part of this zionist strategy.

Posted by: LuBa | Jun 24 2020 19:00 utc | 7

The CIA, US State Department, and MIC Mafia run by "Fat Mike" don't like any competition and are attempting to gin up hate for Iran at the behest of their anglozionist masters. This country has no shame.

Posted by: Tonymike | Jun 24 2020 19:11 utc | 8

Why are they still going through with it, even if, they know it’s not going to pass?
It’s ideological. Simple as that. People in USG go to bed thinking: Have we sanctioned Iran enough today? That gives them a rise, so when they fall asleep and dream, it will have a cool moist feeling.
We have one of those commenting here. You know who he is. He always pines for Iranian babies’ blood, ready to send them their 72 virgins.
I was going to highlight a quote from another site, but I see b already beat me to it: “It’s not actually about stopping any arms from China and Russia, it’s about winning a political argument

That’s what winning looks like in DC nowadays.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jun 24 2020 19:22 utc | 9

thanks b...

@ 7 luba.. is it the yanks, or israel?? looks like both of them, oh and israel bombed syria again yesterday ( no confirmed sources yet) which you won't hear about in the western msm..

@ 8 tonymike.. totally agree..

and in the pr dept - "We see a widening gap between Russia and China and the international community,” Hook said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday evening." nope... the usa would like to see this, but only the usa is seeing this as they continue to be incapable of abiding or honouring a wide array of international agreements... why not just get your citizenry to bash the UN? try that tack... maybe it can work some...

Posted by: james | Jun 24 2020 19:23 utc | 10

Posted by: james | Jun 24 2020 19:23 utc

There is no difference for me and there never was in the last 100 years..You can choose the name but it's for sure they would like to remove the "Sciite threat" probably the last flag against zionism.

Posted by: LuBa | Jun 24 2020 20:17 utc | 11

"Why Is He Still Pressing It?"

Probably to secure more donations from Sheldon Adelson.

Posted by: Edward | Jun 24 2020 20:21 utc | 12

Why Is He Still Pressing It?

USA is pressing many countries. Pressure is being applied across the board against any country that is independent of the Empire or will not bend to the will of the Empire. We all know the main targets: Venezuela, North Korea, Syria, Russia, China, Yemen, Palestinians, Taliban.

One might well add Nicaragua, Cuba, and Bolivia to the list as well. After the Bolivia coup, the country:

... announced the formal departure from the country of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) and breaking all diplomatic relations with Venezuela's Maduro government, recognizing Juan Guaidó as acting president of Venezuela in the Venezuelan presidential crisis....

In January 2020, the interim government suspended relations with Cuba ...

Germany and EU are being pressured too. USA does not want Russian energy imports to Europe and wants Europe to pay more for NATO.

<> <> <> <>

We don't recognize this as WWIII (yet) because each is in a different stage/type of war: Cold War, trade war, hybrid war, undeclared war, propaganda war, etc. Only the wars in Yemen and afghanistan are considered to be an actual 'shooting war'. But we hardly ever hear about them.

Instead, we hear a lot about Trump's attempts at peace-making - despite how unserious they are; USA's concerns about the people of nations it opposes (Venezuela, Palestine, Hong Kong, etc.) - despite how contrived these concerns are; as well as scare-mongering about Russia and China at every opportunity.

This brings to mind the adage: the beatings will continue until morale improves. And for the Empire's power-elite, morale is never sufficient. Until they have full and absolute control over the entire planet and are worshiped by the masses as demi-gods, they will always have a nagging fear that their rule may be challenged.

Zionism, neoliberalism, and neoconservativism are the diseased ideologies ("secular religion") of the the AZ Empire that cause a insatiable hunger for POWER and fevered PARANOIA (fear of losing power) that are leading us to ruin.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 24 2020 20:22 utc | 13

Gotta remember that--freighteningly--Pomepeo is a wingnut christer, and they're bent on starting a world war so as to bring on their end times fantasy, so if the US won't start one with Iran, there's always the Persia v India play.

Posted by: Jay | Jun 24 2020 21:06 utc | 14


We ARE in the End Times. Pompeo's fantasy is that he will be taken up in the Rapture. There will be no Rapture and Pompeo will end up in the lake of fire along with most of humanity. The few left over will become part of God's Kingdom, that lovingly authoritarian Church where everyone follows the Commandments, and loves God all the time with all their strength.

Posted by: JasonT | Jun 24 2020 22:52 utc | 15

The only reason Obama undertook the JCPOA was because he saw the U.S. becoming ever more isolated in the anti-Iran cheer club (likewise with his re-establishing relations with Cuba).

Trump didn’t care, and threw unilateral U.S. power at the “problem” with unrestricted sanctions warfare and financial-system control, deployed even against allies and their corporations. But that arsenal is running up against its own limitations, and the underlying political reality is re-emerging.

“Diplomacy is for suckers” only gets you so far.

Posted by: David G | Jun 24 2020 22:55 utc | 16

The only reason Obama undertook the JCPOA was because he saw the U.S. becoming ever more isolated in the anti-Iran cheer club (likewise with re-establishing relations with Cuba).

Trump didn’t care, and went ahead with unrestricted sanctions warfare and financial-system control, even against allies and their corporations. But now that arsenal is running up against its limitations, and the underlying political reality is re-emerging.

“Diplomacy is for suckers” only gets you so far.

Posted by: David G | Jun 24 2020 23:00 utc | 17

Sorry for the repeat. Didn’t appear at first.

Posted by: David G | Jun 24 2020 23:01 utc | 18

Not going to bother to comment. My position - and not the one lampooned by that idiot above - should be well known here, given how often I've expressed it.

Get rid of the troll and I'll reconsider.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 24 2020 23:06 utc | 19

Now that US have decided to open up and simply let coronavirus run its course, its back to business as usual. The build up to war against Iran and Venezuela is back up to speed.

From Rueters..
"The U.S. military’s Southern Command on Tuesday said the missile destroyer Nitze conducted a “freedom of navigation” operation off Venezuela’s coast. The Southern Command said the vessel sailed in an area outside Venezuela’s territorial waters - which extend some 12 nautical miles from its coasts - but within an area the Venezuelan government “falsely claims to have control over.”"

Iran and Venezuela have had close to four years of demonetization under the Trump regime. US has now pulled out of the open skies treaty. Trumps next term will be his last so he wont have to worry about re-election. The rest of the world though will have to worry about war.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 24 2020 23:18 utc | 20

David G @Jun24 22:55 #16

he only reason Obama undertook the JCPOA

Are you an Obama apologist?

Obama did the JCPOA because he was forced to. The Syrian War was taking longer than expected. The thinking in the early part of the war was that "the road to Tehran runs through Damascus".

In fact, JCPOA was so never ratified by US Congress. That's why Trump could so easily end US participation (as intended/expected). Iran has always been in the cross-hairs. The only question is one of timing.

Obama also tried to milk the "Iran peace agreement" for public relations benefits but this couldn't cover his warmongering and war crimes:

  • his failure to stop the wars in Iraq (Obama wanted to stay but Iraq demanded that US troops be subject to US laws) and Afghanistan;

  • his free pass to CIA for rendition and torture (he actually outsourced it to other countries) and his nonchalance regarding NSA spying;
  • his failure to close Guantanamo (yet another broken campaign promise);
  • his extra-legal bombing campaign in Libya (UN had only authorized a No-Fly Zone) - spearheaded by his SecState Hillary Clinton;
  • his covert war in Syria (with John McCain's blessing);
  • his "wilful decision" to allow the rise of ISIS (which many now believe is sponsored by CIA/Mossad/MIT/KSA).
  • his 'color revolution' in Ukraine;


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 24 2020 23:27 utc | 21

Jackrabbit | Jun 24 2020 23:27 utc | 21:

“Obama did the JCPOA because he was forced to.”

I think that’s what my comment said.

You went with “Obama did” rather than “Obama undertook”. Ok. I have no problem with synonyms.

More relevant than the examples you give is the fact that Obama and Kerry proceeded to try to narrow the sanctions relief and generally violate the spirit of the JCPOA even before the ink was dry. Are you an Obama apologist?

Posted by: David G | Jun 25 2020 0:05 utc | 22

Re: snow_watcher | Jun 24 2020 18:51 utc | 6
Also consider the ambush and assassination of a top general via a drone strike.

Good point. The US assassinates Iranian leaders in public while warning the world what a danger Iran is.

One of these days there will be some serious payback.

Posted by: Perimetr | Jun 25 2020 0:26 utc | 23

But the tough on Iran schtick does not play well at home, except to a narrow audience.

Posted by: jared | Jun 25 2020 0:30 utc | 24

Jackrabbit @ 13:

‘Zionism, neoliberalism, and neoconservativism are the diseased ideologies ("secular religion") of the the AZ Empire‘ ...

Couldn’t agree more. I would add ‘exceptionalism’ to the mix!

Posted by: Blues guy | Jun 25 2020 0:32 utc | 25

David G @Jun25 0:05 #22

I think that’s what my comment said.

You're basis for "Obama was forced" is much different than mine.

Your comment suggested to this reader that Obama's interest in the JCPOA - which he naturally oversold as the "Iran peace agreement" - was to fashion a genuine agreement based on a positive policy orientation (prompted by concerns of USA isolation wrt Iran).

But I see JCPOA as merely a delaying tactic. The apparent isolation was just a convenient excuse. I draw that conclusion based on 1) Obama's legendary duplicity and apparent willingness to agree to virtually any belligerent action that was presented to him (this Nobel Peace-Prize winner bragged about his drone targeting ability!) as well as 2) what we see today: European poodles have shown us that they are not willing to buck US policy against Iran - and I believe they never were. Thus, any concerns about isolation when JCPOA was negotiated were actually bogus - a pretense.

More relevant than the examples you give is the fact that Obama and Kerry proceeded to try to narrow the sanctions relief and generally violate the spirit of the JCPOA even before the ink was dry.

Good point.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 25 2020 1:51 utc | 26

Thanks for this report, b. It reinforces my belief that Trump did have a plan to drain The Swamp when he ran for POTUS. It's amazing that no-one told Pompeo that his fighter jet tweet was ridiculously ignorant and childish or, that he didn't listen to the people who did try to tell him.
But it's equally amazing that "Israel" and The Swamp thought that Trump's gambit of moving the political Capital of AmeriKKKa from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was a brilliant idea. He's making the ratbags dreams come true and exposing the underlying nightmares.
During the 2016 campaign he made a passing reference to "our stupid elites." The proof that he was correct is piling up...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 25 2020 3:15 utc | 27

The American Evil Empire is in full desperation mode.

This latest example of the USA's warped tactics at the UN concerning Iran is merely one more symptom of America's moral and political bankruptcy in general.

And deep down, all these pro-America shills know it too--though they will divert, deflect, and distort this reality--as is their national character.

Simply put, America has nothing to offer the world--but its usual lies, propaganda, threats, economic and political terrorism, and wars of aggression--which it pathetically tries to pimp as "Freedom and Democracy."

And contrary to what the fake "anti-Trump resistance" would have you believe, the problem is not just Donald Trump.

Trump is the merely the symptom of the disease: Americanism itself.

Removing Trump for Joseph Biden, Bernie Sanders, or any other species of American political vermin will change nothing.

And for those nations (including those nations INSIDE the disUnited States of America) that have been subject to America's serial crimes against humanity, its maximum pressure campaigns, its police state repression, or its 2 Minutes of Hate campaigns, the destruction of America cannot happen too soon.

America's Day of Judgement draws nigh.

America: An Empire Eating Itself

Posted by: ak74 | Jun 25 2020 3:24 utc | 28

Pompeo was honest sometimes: CIA :"We lie, we cheat, we steal".

Waiting for something similar from KSA, Pakistan, Iran or China is waiting for Godot.
Better to look at their actions on the ground instead of their words.

Posted by: Antonym | Jun 25 2020 3:41 utc | 29

ak74 @Jun25 3:24 #28

... the disease: Americanism itself.

But what is "Americanism"? Is it being born in America? Does simply living in America mean that one is infected?

I think "Americanism" doesn't come close to identifying the problem.

Some point to capitalism as the root of the problem. And here again, it is a too simple an explanation. A better explanation might be oligarchic capitalism. But even that is insufficient. What drives capitalism to be oligarchic and causes people to accept that?

Still others (often from former British colonies) say it is really the British that behind the AZ Empire. They claim that the British are the 'senior partners' or ring leaders. Whatever the truth of that may be, the fact is that Americans are not alone in pursuing Empire: 5 eyes, Israel, Saudis, EU, Japan ... there are many contributors and compatriots.

In my description of the root evils at @Jun24 20:22 #13 I try to pin down the ideologies that Empire elites share:

Zionism, neoliberalism, and neoconservativism are the diseased ideologies ("secular religion") of the the AZ Empire ...

When examined more closely, we see that Zionism is a form of colonialism, neoliberalism is a form of fascism, neoconservativism is a form of aristocracy:
To avoid the horrors of modernity, Strauss advocated establishing “an aristocracy within democratic mass society.” He admired Al-Farabi’s “secret kingship” as a practical modification of Plato’s open rule of the wise without any legal restraints. What is needed is a wily elite ruling behind the façade of democracy.

In combination, this ideology is anti-democratic, exploitative, and destructive in a way whose meanness increases with its power.


America's Day of Judgement draws nigh.

If there is to be any such comeuppance, it will only be because people identify the true enemy. IMO "Americanism" is not it.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 25 2020 4:24 utc | 30


For Trump, the swamp is those that offshored US manufacturing to China and did a deal with Iran rather than destroying it. His swamp is those that squandered US power after the fall of the Soviet Union. Trump's swamp is very different to what most of us see as the US swamp. The people he appoints are not however many dimensional chess - the only qualification required is a blind rabid hatred of Iran. Trumps hatred of Iran goes back to the Tehran embassy siege. He is more up front than back door Obama and the likes, but no different.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2020 4:26 utc | 31

@27 Horsewhisperer: "It's amazing that no-one told Pompeo that his fighter jet tweet was ridiculously ignorant and childish or, that he didn't listen to the people who did try to tell him."

So true. Put it alongside that childish stunt with the Chinese flags a few days ago. Appalling amateurism writ large, and these are meant to be the elite of the US diplomatic corp.

Or think back to Bolton's obsession with getting the USA out of the JCPOA with a definitive, table-thumping finality.

All very good for the fragile ego of a bunch of chicken-hawks, but stupid, stupid, stupid.

Apparently it never occured to Bolton that only a "participant" of the JCPOA can trigger the snapback of UNSC sanctions and - du'oh!!! - Bolton, Pompeo and Trump threw away that card without a passing thought.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 25 2020 4:51 utc | 32

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2020 4:26 utc | 31
(Trump's Swamp or Peter AU's Swamp?)

Imo, Trump's Swamp is the one Jackrabbit's #30 refers to "...a wily elite ruling behind the façade of democracy."

His first interview after being sworn was on 60 Minutes. In that interview he said (words to the effect) "We've spent Six Trillion dollars on Middle East wars...6 Trillion! We could have rebuilt this country twice! It's unfair what's happened to the AmeriKKKan people, and we're gonna put a stop to it, simple as that."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 25 2020 4:55 utc | 33

Most of the US money has been spent on its corrpt so called nation building - trying to keep the figleaf in place. Trump is more old style. You go to war for rape and plunder. Trump is very much a Zionist. Venezuela and Iran are both enemies of Israel and both have oil. All that oil would be great for the US economy and energy dominance. Killing two birds with one stone. Though with Iran it would be three because they humiliated the great US. Trump is very much a business man and war must be a profitable exercise. Trump is also very much an american exceptionalism in that America must dominate. US cannot be one of three equal powers.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2020 5:11 utc | 34

Peter AU1

For Trump, the swamp is those that offshored US manufacturing to China

It was Nixon, Kissinger and Bush who offshored US manufacturing to China from 1971 onwards, to split it from Russia and get lower wages for US companies and thus their stockholders. Than Bush and Clinton sealed the deal at the WTO in 2001.
Till today Apple, Amazon, Walmart etc. love that, and Trump too as he is hypnotized by the NYSE height. Trump's swamp is in Washington DC, not NYC. Non-manufacturing stock darlings like Alphabet, Microsoft or Facebook are neutral to negative about China due to them being regulated out of that market by the CCP. That party's State capitalism wiped out manufacturing in most of the non China world giving them a near monopoly, with active participation of big global stockholders through funding. No biggie for the 0.01% as they offshored themselves far from the 99.99%. The decease is still endless greed for more power, much worse than Covid19.

Trump fails to see that part his DC swamp is financially connected to his NY Lower Manhattan "lawn".

The last US swamp is in Fairfax county and DC: the CIA-FBI rogues going after elected US leadership: JFK, RFK and Trump got a taste of that publicly, while earlier Edgar J Hoover gave the soft touch.

Posted by: Antonym | Jun 25 2020 5:26 utc | 35

I would like Pompeo to tell me, when was the last time Iran attacked a country?

Posted by: padre | Jun 25 2020 8:21 utc | 36

Thanks b, very interesting report and view on on the two countries. Pompeo's tweet is bizarre in its stupidity and ignorance, yet so many people will believe it.

With every month and year passing, the sorry state of the USA seems to move closer towards the stark dystopia in the film "Idiocracy". In its prophetic quality, this film should be compared to "1984" and similar works. It's placed in an America some 500 in the future, though reality is catching up much faster. Hopefully the many good people in the USA can shake off the awful terror regime soon.

Compare that to Iran which, at least from the perspective of an onlooker who's never been there (but informed by b's reports), seems to have a better future with young, healthier and educated people.

Posted by: Leser | Jun 25 2020 9:25 utc | 37

I wonder why this site is permeated by the same 5-6 contributors, expressing their same views!
This is no the MOA I knew way back,
This has just become a heiling forum of mainstream media. Good ridance!

Posted by: Den lille abe | Jun 25 2020 9:41 utc | 38

"Does simply living in America mean that one is infected?"

If you watch American television and every minute of it doesn't cause you to rage and grit your teeth in frustration at the crap that is being dumped into people's empty heads, then you are absolutely and 100% guaranteed infected.

It doesn't matter if you don't watch the shockingly obvious "fake news", whether it is the variety of disinformation tailored for the so-called right or the disinformation crafted to appeal to the faux left. It literally doesn't matter if you avoid the infotainment "news", skip the commercials, and only watch your favorite shows about fishing. If you consume American mass media in any form without visceral reactions, as if you had just eaten poison, then your mind is thoroughly contaminated with that poison and what poster ak74 @28 says applies.

But the corporate mass media, with its Edward Bernays descended writers all trying to please their bosses in order to keep their jobs; bosses whose paramount concern is always the preservation of the system in which they can make capitalist profits; consuming what that toxic system of mass media produces is not the only vector for contamination of your mind. Mass media consumption is just the most obvious indication that your mind is corrupted and poisoned.

"But everybody watches TV!" the reader protests.

Not everyone, but nearly so. The few who don't must bite their tongues while interacting with the far more numerous masses who are contaminated.

"But I'm not stupid! My mind is my own! I'm an independent thinker!" the reader protests.

Yes, independent just like everyone else. But everyone else is obviously mind-controlled, so...

But just to stay in the larger context beyond your own little personal view of things, those Edward Bernays descended writers for the mass media and their profit-driven bosses are all also consumers of the very mass media that they themselves produce. In fact, most are so completely invested in and immersed in the narratives they generate that they can see nothing else. This results in a tight feedback loop spinning perception off into delusion. They eat their own deceptions and in so doing further concentrate and refine that toxin. A good example of this process is that while totally fabricating the entire "Russian collusion/election meddling" narrative from whole cloth over the last few years, the Edward Bernays descended writers and their profit-driven bosses themselves completely believed that narrative. Within their fact-free narrative echo chambers it was absolutely true. And these are all people with degrees in business and journalism. Even though those are the university equivalents of special education, these people still represent what passes for intelligentsia in America.

ak74 @28: "...they will divert, deflect, and distort this reality..."

And we can see that in the responses. Americans do this to protect their exceptionalist view of themselves from cognitive dissonance.

The poster ak74 @28 argues that "...the destruction of America cannot happen too soon." I had hoped that the American population would react to the toxins in their minds and springboarding off the Sanders campaign would help them purge those toxins, but the numbers of those who have done so are still too small to contain the damage American delusion is doing to the world. While it has become undeniable that the American empire is heading for self destruction, as this shockingly childish nonsense from America's highest officials like Pompeo makes clear, I'll continue to do what little I can to try and turn things around inside the empire before that destruction is final. It is probably to little to make a difference, but it is too late for me to re-embrace the denial and delusion that motivates so many other Americans and shields them from this terrible knowledge.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 25 2020 11:10 utc | 39

There is a widening gap between usa-lawmakers mindset and common sense.The same counts for NYT comments on various subjects,like BLM,Trump,Flynn,Russia,China,Iran,Syria.Least all commentators are trolling hasbaras,or the average american who is able to write a comment within the nyt policy rules ,is so stupid it's beyond belief.

Posted by: willie | Jun 25 2020 11:23 utc | 40

Posted by: willie | Jun 25 2020 11:23 utc | 39 "he average american who is able to write a comment within the nyt policy rules,is so stupid it's beyond belief.

Well, it's beyond *your* belief. It ain't beyond mine.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 25 2020 11:59 utc | 41

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 25 2020 11:10 utc | 38 If you consume American mass media in any form without visceral reactions, as if you had just eaten poison, then your mind is thoroughly contaminated with that poison and what poster ak74 @28 says applies. I just watched Marvel's Agents of SHIELD - mostly for Chloe Bennet and Elizabeth Henstridge and Ming Na-Wen - and I think I'm still the biggest critic of this country there is.

"I had hoped that the American population would react to the toxins in their minds..."

See, that shows that *you* are still "infected". I have no such problems comprehending how bad things are and are going to get. I'm mostly concerned that *even I* may not comprehend how bad things are going to get.

You ain't seen nothing yet, homey. Just as an immediate example, the US reported Wednesday it's largest number of new coronavirus cases since the last record high - 36,880. Yet, I look around the Tenderloin in San Francisco and the tiny number of people who were wearing masks before have shrunk to almost zero now. I still see people wearing them elsewhere - but the numbers seem down. And Target today went back to limiting the number of people in the store, resulting in a long line.

And then more relevant to the thread:
US slaps new sanctions on Iranians for Venezuela trade

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 25 2020 12:14 utc | 42

@38 is guilty of that which he decries. A myopic self-serving narrative. There is no such thing as "Americans" except legally on paper in the abstract. America is not by any means a fully assimilated melting pot of formerly disparate peoples. It's a bevy of quasi assimilated ethnicities and cultures slapped/slammed together with a ruling extractive parasitic kleptocratic plutocratic oligarchy resting atop the miasma of the hustling hordes, directing the looting and the pillaging of the planet and siphoning the skim and some. China is America 2.0 without the quasi assimilated multiculturalism. China's consumers are either assimilated, or they're dead. Ask the Uyghurs. China is the perfected America — a consumerist super organism where 1.2 billion people act as one and that action is to consume the planet until there is no planet left to consume.

Posted by: | Jun 25 2020 12:25 utc | 43

Let's not forget, the ruling elite of the targeted countries love the sanctions. They learn quickly to take advantage of them and profit from them. It was always thus.

Rage Against The Elite: How Iran’s Nouveau Riche Profits From Sanctions

During Ahmadinejad’s two terms, the elite bubble grew with many families benefiting from black market dealings. As one Iranian businessman noted in 2012, “smuggling has expanded by leaps and bounds. Products whose imports into the country have become officially prohibited are nonetheless brought using the most favorable rate of exchange. They enter the country without paying the slightest fees and customs duties and are subsequently easily distributed throughout the city.” Now with the re-imposition of unilateral and secondary sanctions by the Trump administration, it seems history is repeating itself.

Already corrupt businessmen have used the crumbling Iranian rial and return of sanctions as a business opportunity. This included over 10,000 cell phones imported using foreign currency that was traded at a favorable rate, and 38,000 gold coins being bought at rates below the market. Though the individuals involved in the cases are now going on trial, it’s just one of many examples of the corruption prevalent inside Iran, and how those at the top are profiting since the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in May.

Most of these corrupt businessmen aren’t known by name, which makes public condemnation a hard task for the average Iranian. The aghazadehs are part of that prolific corruption that permeates Iran, and with some of their lives very public, they are now the target of growing Iranian anger and frustration about the state of the country. As more punitive sanctions are re-imposed in November aimed at cutting off Iran’s oil exports and wealth continues to be accumulated by a select few, the average Iranian won’t just be blaming Trump, but their own leaders.

Posted by: | Jun 25 2020 12:35 utc | 44

It could be liver-washingly laughable were it not dangerous to leave a monster in your room.
The United states of former Chimerica acts exactly as the owner who signs a contract to cede on rental his apartment to someone for two years in exchange for a monthly amount.
In the midst of the contract the owner denounces the act and tears it down to pieces but demands to receive every cent up to end of the term.

Posted by: augusto | Jun 25 2020 12:46 utc | 45

Considering that, sanctions are perfect for an blustering blowhard imposter like Trump who speaks loudly and carries a wet noodle instead of a big stick. The Chinese are right, Trump is all bark and no bite. That's why they love him and will do everything in their power to get him reelected. Same for Russia and same for Iran. The Iranian elite love Trump. He's been great for business, sanctions be damned and in fact, sanctions be blessed.

Trump will not invade and occupy Iran even if he is reelected. He has proven that. He doesn't want a protracted military campaign to his ignominious name. Instead, he'll sanction or the equivalent thereof. All of you itching for Trump to pull the trigger, get some Calamine, otherwise, the itching will drive you mad because Trump will never scratch that itch. Not even Pompeo can force his hand come hook or crook. Nor the Mega Group and Mossad. This is Trump's one line in the sand. He is compromisable in every other way except this. You know I'm right and I'm not even a Colonel (Colonel with lots of money who likes to dance.

Posted by: | Jun 25 2020 12:48 utc | 46

@ Posted by: Antonym | Jun 25 2020 5:26 utc | 35

That's ex post facto rationalization. Until the 2008 meltdown, nobody in the USA was complaining about manufacturing being relocated to China. You would have to go to the sphere of micro disputes between individual businessmen at the WTO to find an American unsatisfied with China (and even then, the complaint was not being able to do what he wanted while in China, not the fact that he didn't think he should relocate to China).

I remember this epoch very well. There was an euphoria after the dotcom bubble was easily stifled in both sides of the Isle. In 2006, an Anglo-Saxon economist won the "Nobel" of Economics with a thesis that literally stated capitalism had reached a perfect form, where it was immune from crises.

At the level of the masses, both Republicans and Democrats celebrated the fact the USA was deindustrializing. The only difference was the terminology: while the Democrats used the usual postmodern vocabulary ("immaterial wealth", "cultural capital", "immaterial labor" etc.) the Republicans used the more rough narrative that stated that "the dirty [menial] jobs were going to China while we're keeping the smart jobs".

At the "centrist" side there was the argument that every American workers would become a capitalist thanks to their pension funds being privatized. Every American would have then a share at Wall Street. Every one would receive dividends. That the line between worker and capitalist had all but vanished. That was the big propaganda, the material base upon which the USA was building up its new consensus.

Of course, with 2008, all those 401k evaporated, and big business was bailed out, and the working class lost everything. In times like this it becomes clear who's the capitalist and who's the worker; who's the dominant class and who's the exploited class. As Marx once said: nothing is sacred.

Posted by: vk | Jun 25 2020 12:55 utc | 47

@36, I would say Iran, de facto of course but de facto counts in my opinion, helped America attack Latin America when it entered into the arms for hostages agreement with the Reagan Administration. All that tough talk from the Ayatollah about America The Great Satan and the hypocrite and his fellow Mullahs dance the Tango with the devil himself. As far as I'm concerned, Iran is complicit in the atrocities perpetrated against the people of Latin America. Iran knew better and did it any way. They enabled that dirty little war.

Posted by: | Jun 25 2020 12:57 utc | 48

> What drives capitalism to be oligarchic and causes people to accept that?
>Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 25 2020 4:24 utc | 30

It is the hierarchical design of our societies that promotes the psychopaths to the top. People accept this because they can't conceive that there might be an alternative to this design. Hierarchy always breeds contempt for lesser status people while those at the bottom being stepped on will eventually build enough resentment to finally strike back. This is an unstable design.

I don't claim to have any particular answers, but I confidently predict more centuries of empire rise, rot, and collapse until humans examine the basic organization of social institutions.

Uncle Sam claims to be some kinda World Leader but promoting UN resolutions that are guaranteed to fail is proof positive that he is not leading at all. This is a major loss of face that Pompous Ass doesn't seem to notice.

One can see this dynamic in action when the Speaker of the House of Representatives does not bring resolutions to a floor vote because their own party will not support it. It makes them look weak and not really a leader. Next thing they know, some upstart Congresscritter is challenging the leadership. No leader wants that.

Uncle Sam claims to be leading a Coalition of the Willing but it is really the Coalition of the Coerced. Just like any other group of low-status peons at the bottom of the hierarchy, US vassels are resenting their position and are tired of being pissed on by Uncle Sugar, who is now a senile old fool.

Looks like Joe Biden will be perfect as the next face of Uncle Sam.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jun 25 2020 12:57 utc | 49

Mr, so China is a perfected America. and so ' chinese consumers (are they defined by being full time consumers?) act as one. "or they are dead".
There are foreign cultures widely different from that of anglomericanish one. These cultures are milenarian, or millenial.
Budhist, confucionist, used to live up and many times happily with LITTLE. Happy and trusting their leaders: this means that they do not have to SUBMIT to those periodical popularity contests you call "elections". None of these election-contests ever exist without being irrigated by tons of corruption of all kinds.
Btw, mr... say, 450, in the 30 years following their Communist, socialist revolution they have DEVELOPED their country ten times as much as AMERICA did develop itself in america 's heydays - from 1850 to 1929. which is 80 years... and is chaned in verse and prose as a capitalistic miracle.

Posted by: augusto | Jun 25 2020 13:00 utc | 50


Until the 2008 meltdown, nobody in the USA was complaining about manufacturing being relocated to China.

This is simply not true. I was complaining about it. Michael Moore was. Hell, Ross Perot complained about it before it became a reality. It's why I voted for him.

Of course, if you mean anyone who is someone, then yes, I agree. Meaning, someone who is/was in a position to do something or anything about it.

Fyi, this is why your lumping everyone in America together into a homogenous unit and calling them "Americans" falls flat on its face. There is not one America and in fact, there are not even two Americas. There are many Americas, how many I can't be certain but certainly more than two.

Giant Sucking Sound

Posted by: | Jun 25 2020 13:07 utc | 51

@ Den lille abe | Jun 25 2020 9:41 utc | 37

It appears Covid was the bridge too far. To find out who (or what agenda) rules you, find out what you're not allowed to criticise. Judging by the small and shrinking numbers of well reasoned counter views while crude, expletive-laden supportive views abound, I suspect censoring. Certainly in my case, which is why this comment probably won't appear.

Perhaps greater and dangerous powers force the hand or our host. Sad but not entirely surprising in the times we live in. I'll remain a reader and supporter of the site - muzzled or not.

Posted by: Leser | Jun 25 2020 13:24 utc | 52

Craig Murray highlights the Empire's cruelty:

Truely Shameful BBC Israeli Propaganda

In a genuinely outrageous piece of victim blaming, BBC News just blamed Palestinian intransigence in refusing to accept Israeli annexation of the West Bank for the deaths of Palestinian children caused by the Israeli blockade of medical supplies to Gaza.

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

This is an example of what I wrote @Jun25 2020 4:24 #30:

In combination, this ideology is anti-democratic, exploitative, and destructive in a way whose meanness increases with its power.

PS This is not USA but British media supporting an Empire outpost. The Empire is more than USA.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 25 2020 13:52 utc | 53

Richard Steven Hack @41

Unfortunately, there are no exceptions. If one consumes corporate mass media then one is infected with its mind viruses just as surely as if one consumes active coronaviruses out of a spay bottle ones respiratory system will be infected. It is automatic. Being critical of some aspects of America, or even the transnational capitalist empire itself, will grant you no more immunity than criticizing the coronavirus will grant you immunity for that infection. It doesn't work on people at a level where conscious criticism has much impact.

This isn't to say that the infected are stupid. Plenty of very bright people are contaminated and have no idea. They were born into that contamination and it has been there all of their lives, so how could they know otherwise?

As for my hope that smart people could have their intellectual immune systems activated by seeing some of the lies they are fed, realize that there is a difference between "hope" and "expect". But you are correct that I too am infected. The difference being that I know it and thus I fight it.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 25 2020 13:57 utc | 54

Pompeo's remarks not befitting of a Christian

I disagree with the Chinese in this one. The history of Christianism is the history of hypocrisy.

Christian History is a history of factionalism, persecution, extermination and hypocrisy.

When Christianism fist became dominant in Rome, there was the schism (which included in armed conflicts and many deaths) between Arianism and Nicaenism; then against Nestorianism; then against the Donatists; then the Chacheldonians vs anti-Chacheldonians; then Iconoclasm vs Iconodules; Catholics vs Orthodox; Catholics vs Protestants etc. etc.

Then we have the extermination of the pagans - that was only viable, by the way, thanks to an active role of the Byzantine State (forced conversion to Christianism if you wanted to have a career; destruction and sacking of pagan temples etc).

Then we have the hypocrisy. Here I will only mention the most famous one - City of God - by St. Augustine. The pinnacle of hypocrisy, this book stated that the material world didn't matter, because, after death, every Roman would be in a heavenly city, the true impregnable Rome. The problem with the book is that it was published right after the Sack of Rome of 410, when the city already was fully Christian and which the Christian God should've protected according to the universal religious conventions of the time. The true name of the City of God is "De civitate Dei contra paganos", that is, it was a Christian propaganda piece. The hypocrisy was even more glaring if we face the fact that the Christians weren't complaining when former Roman Emperors post-Constantine were declaring war against Persia in the name of defending the Christians, nor when they were receiving generous funds from the Imperial office. Now, after the city is sacked, it all doesn't matter because God made a spiritual backup of the city? This is probably the first documented example of the famous Western hypocrisy, also known as "moving the goalposts".

Posted by: vk | Jun 25 2020 13:58 utc | 55

Trailer Trash @Jun25 12:57 #48

It is the hierarchical design of our societies that promotes the psychopaths to the top.

There's more to it than hierarchy.

There's planning and class solidarity. And supporting ideologies that glue it all together.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 25 2020 14:00 utc | 56

William Gruff @Jun25 13:57 #53

The difference being that I know it and thus I fight it.

Yup. Once you see the bullshit for what it is, it can not be unseen.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 25 2020 14:02 utc | 57

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 25 2020 13:57 utc | 53 The difference being that I know it and thus I fight it.

There are exceptions to everything. I can watch anything in movies or TV and not be infected with anything. I can even watch the news and not be infected. Because I have been "inoculated", as it were, by my philosophy which is diametrically opposed to anything resembling this society.

"Fighting it" isn't effective unless the fight is taken to the physical level. Bitching about it isn't "fighting it". It's like being on a ventilator with COVID-19 - you're just dying slightly more slowly.

Really fighting the forces ruining the world entails doing (at least) three things:

1) Assassinating the people doing the ruining.
2) Taking their money, primarily by taking their information (intellectual property and secrets) and distributing it (and skimming some off for yourself, of course.)
3) Developing the technology to erode *their* technology.

If you're not doing one or more of those three things, you're not helping at all. You're just a member of the "loyal opposition." Because nothing you're doing is going to amount to, as someone said, "the faintest whisper of the smallest echo in the thunder of time." Especially since there's no guarantee that *even* doing those three things will necessarily resolve the issue in one's favor before one ends up blown to bits in a nuclear war or some other disaster.

I'm planning on doing at least two of those recommended approaches (assuming I live long enough to develop the skills and acquire the resources.)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 25 2020 14:37 utc | 58

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 25 2020 13:52 utc | 52

That outpost has been created by them ..after Balfour they did all they could to put up the zionist state..they are the first guilty for the zionist settlement in Palestine so what comes from UK is never good.But as you know these white angry settlers had always "good" arguments to be supported all around the world.Supporting Palestine is very dangerous unless you a are zionist dressed like an arab.

Posted by: LuBa | Jun 25 2020 14:39 utc | 59

Like I said, Russia is the reason for stopping wars, not Trump

Posted by: arby | Jun 25 2020 14:58 utc | 60

Why allegedly anti-Empire activist, allegedly anti-Pat Lang, advances all the Trump administration, and concretely Pompeo´s, points on Iran and China, to the extent of slidding to us Atlantic Council bulletin and then nobody´s calling him out?

I will say anyone now attacking China and Iran, currently helping anybody in the Empire´s gun sight is a shill of said Empire...The wrongs and corruptions of the iranian and Chinese revolutions are for their people to correct, without foreign intervention. So far both are far from being agressive countries, limiting their influence to likeminded regional allied people.

I will have to conclude, along some others pointing out, that the blog has been invaded by imperialist Atlanticist think tank´s operatives disguised as whatever...

Attention to the one promoting any kind of illegality here to catch whomever could agree fro to being targetted by the current Trump administration. Notice one commenter at SST, again, advocating for the physical elimination of activists. Just read one activist accused of allegedly of burning down two police cars to be charged 80 prison years....
IMO, fed up people out there in the US have been fooled to fall in the new slavery system of US private prsion corporations...

It seesm this is the outcome the elites have thought for the coming rage, for that they Need Trump reelected.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Jun 25 2020 15:55 utc | 61

Just as I was writting this, occurred to me that it is strange that the BLM and US "Antifa" movements have nothing amongst their points doing against the US prsion system of modern slavery...


Could this be a clear sign they are supported by US corporations/elites?

Read that as soon as Wall Street bailout has finished, major of Seattle has announced "negotiated"dismanttling of CHAZ....

Was CHAZ and the "riotts" performed to keep the people entertained and shocked while they were being robbed?
Will it serve, as well, as an excuse for the free season hunting for slaughtering left leaning people starting4th of July, serving this way multipurpose tasks of the elites really in charge of the US?

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Jun 25 2020 16:06 utc | 62

So in fact, even a Su30-SM could not make the return trip from Dezful to the Israeli border, let alone with an attack flight profile.
Of course, neither could even a ranged-up F-35 or a F-22, not that Pompeo was going to point that out.

Posted by: fx | Jun 25 2020 16:16 utc | 63

H.Schmatz #60, 61

Our conception of anarchy has been colored by its most visible proponents — the black-clad protester breaking shop windows with a baseball bat and spray-painting a circled "A" in red. But, like most philosophies, anarchism and anarchists come in a variety of flavors. Mohandas Gandhi, for instance, has been described as an anarcho-pacifist. Noam Chomsky is an anarcho-syndicalist.

WOMAN: Professor Chomsky, on a slightly different topic, there’s a separate meaning of the word “anarchy” different from the one you often talk about—namely, “chaos.”

Yeah, it’s a bum rap, basically—it’s like referring to Soviet-style bureaucracy as “socialism,” or any other term of discourse that’s been given a second meaning for the purpose of ideological warfare. I mean, “chaos” is a meaning of the word, but it’s not a meaning that has any relevance to social thought. Anarchy as a social philosophy has never meant “chaos”—in fact, anarchists have typically believed in a highly organized society, just one that’s organized democratically from below.

WOMAN: It seems to me that as a social system, anarchism makes such bottom-line sense that it was necessary to discredit the word, and take it out of people’s whole vocabulary and thinking—so you just have a reflex of fear when you hear it.

NC: Yeah, anarchism has always been regarded as the ultimate evil by people with power. So in Woodrow Wilson’s Red Scare [a 1919 campaign against “subversives” in the U.S.], they were harsh on socialists, but they murdered anarchists—they were really bad news.

See, the idea that people could be free is extremely frightening to anybody with power. That’s why the 1960s have such a bad reputation. I mean, there’s a big literature about the Sixties, and it’s mostly written by intellectuals, because they’re the people who write books, so naturally it has a very bad name—because they hated it. You could see it in the faculty clubs at the time: people were just traumatized by the idea that students were suddenly asking questions and not just copying things down. In fact, when people like Allan Bloom [author of The Closing of the American Mind] write as if the foundations of civilization were collapsing in the Sixties, from their point of view that’s exactly right: they were. Because the foundations of civilization are, “I’m a big professor, and I tell you what to say, and what to think, and you write it down in your notebooks, and you repeat it.” If you get up and say, “I don’t understand why I should read Plato, I think it’s nonsense,” that’s destroying the foundations of civilization. But maybe it’s a perfectly sensible question—plenty of philosophers have said it, so why isn’t it a sensible question?

MAN: You often seem reluctant to get very specific in spelling out your vision of an anarchist society and how we could get there. Don’t you think it’s important for activists to do that, though—to try to communicate to people a workable plan for the future, which then can help give them the hope and energy to continue struggling? I’m curious why you don’t do that more often.

NC: Well, I suppose I don’t feel that in order to work hard for social change you need to be able to spell out a plan for a future society in any kind of detail. What I feel should drive a person to work for change are certain principles you’d like to see achieved. Now, you may not know in detail—and I don’t think that any of us do know in detail—how those principles can best be realized at this point in complex systems like human societies. But I don’t really see why that should make any difference: what you try to do is advance the principles. Now, that may be what some people call “reformism”—but that’s kind of like a put-down: reforms can be quite revolutionary if they lead in a certain direction. And to push in that direction, I don’t think you have to know precisely how a future society would work: I think what you have to be able to do is spell out the principles you want to see such a society realize—and I think we can imagine many different ways in which a future society could realize them. Well, work to help people start trying them.

So for example, in the case of workers taking control of the workplace, there are a lot of different ways in which you can think of workplaces being controlled—and since nobody knows enough about what all the effects are going to be of large-scale social changes, I think what we should do is try them piecemeal. In fact, I have a rather conservative attitude towards social change: since we’re dealing with complex systems which nobody understands very much, the sensible move I think is to make changes and then see what happens—and if they work, make further changes. That’s true across the board, actually.

WOMAN: Noam, since you’re an anarchist and often say that you oppose the existence of the nation-state itself and think it’s incompatible with true socialism, does that make you at all reluctant to defend welfare programs and other social services which are now under attack from the right wing, and which the right wing wants to dismantle?

NC: Well, it’s true that the anarchist vision in just about all its varieties has looked forward to dismantling state power—and personally I share that vision. But right now it runs directly counter to my goals: my immediate goals have been, and now very much are, to defend and even strengthen certain elements of state authority that are now under severe attack. And I don’t think there’s any contradiction there—none at all, really.

So despite the anarchist “vision,” I think aspects of the state system, like the one that makes sure children eat, have to be defended—in fact, defended very vigorously. And given the accelerating effort that’s being made these days to roll back the victories for justice and human rights which have been won through long and often extremely bitter struggles in the West, in my opinion the immediate goal of even committed anarchists should be to defend some state institutions, while helping to pry them open to more meaningful public participation, and ultimately to dismantle them in a much more free society.

Posted by: krypton | Jun 25 2020 16:30 utc | 64

@60, do you really believe, are you really contending, that Pompeo would speak critically and admonishingly of America's dirty little Latin American wars? When I pointed out Iran's complicity in it, via their dirty dancing with the Great Satan in the arms for hostages deal with the Reagan administration, I was and still am criticizing those dirty little wars and ALL involved in supporting it and enabling it.

As far as I'm concerned, every crumb bum dictator and every extractive exploitative kleptocratic plutocratic oligarchy is on the table for dissection and evisceration. No passes.

And no, I am not an activist. Also, I'm not so much anti any specific thing or person as I am an equal opportunity critic. It's called objectivity and independence. Try it some time.

Posted by: | Jun 25 2020 17:02 utc | 65

@60, let me get this straight, you're arguing for sanctions? Seriously? My comment about sanctions is an argument against sanctions. Sanctions enrich the extractive expropriating elite of the target country and immiserate further the already impoverished and downtrodden. They strengthen the authoritarian's hand, not weaken it. There is plenty of evidence to support my assertion. The Atlantic Council is merely parroting that widely accepted evidence. Next time I'll be sure to link to Russia Today or China Daily.

Posted by: | Jun 25 2020 17:21 utc | 66

Trump will not invade and occupy Iran even if he is reelected.

Trump will attack Iran. One of the reasons for quitting the JCPOA arrangement was the US can't wage war against a country it has a treaty with. Remember the tanker wars ? That fiasco was to test the readiness of IRGC in case of an invasion. Killing the generals was a another step forward in the strategy to weaken the IRGC before the official declaration. The only thing that stands in between is the re-election. Once that is done, Iran is history.

Posted by: Frozen | Jun 25 2020 18:43 utc | 67

Posted by: | Jun 25 2020 17:02 utc | 65
450, re Iran's complicity in American wars. Could you please provide a link as to Iran knowing where their money was going to end up when they bought the arms, thus, making them complicit?

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jun 25 2020 18:44 utc | 68

My post at 67 is aimed at I apologies for the lapse.

Posted by: Frozen | Jun 25 2020 18:46 utc | 69

@68, no link is needed. The point is, any deal with the devil, logically on the face of it, has terrible foreseeable consequences. If Iran truly believed, or believes, America is the great Satan, it should not be making any deals with such a clever and evil beast. Especially at that point in history.

Posted by: | Jun 25 2020 18:48 utc | 70

@67, an attack is another matter altogether. An attack could be any number of things. Assassinating Soleimani is an attack in my opinion. Invasion and occupation is something else, and I assure you, Trump will not invade and occupy Iran.

Posted by: | Jun 25 2020 18:52 utc | 71

On that I agree with

I think it is obvious that the days of the US overtly attacking another country are over.

When Russia stepped into Syria it was over.

Posted by: arby | Jun 25 2020 19:08 utc | 72

Okay, in an effort to be fair & balanced in regard to sources, here's an article about sanctions from Hunter Catwood, a graduate of Saint Petersburg State University in Russia. I agree with his assessment and Lavrov's assessment, which he quotes in the linked article below. So, when it's announced America is leveling sanctions, there is no need to overreact let alone react. It's all bark and no bite. It's for publicity's sake only. It's toothless.

Sanctions Don’t Work, So Why Does The United States Continue To Use Them?

So again, why does the United States continue to do what doesn’t work?

The answer is quite simple. As the Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov, put it, “Sanctions are a sign of irritation; they are not the instrument of serious policies.” There is a powerful contingent in the Washington establishment that is genuinely irritated by Russia’s rise and reemergence onto the world stage. That contingent has been particularly infuriated on a number of occasions in which Russia has thwarted plans for the expansion of American influence. Regime change in Syria and Ukraine are among such examples.

The problem is they have no other tools at their disposal. Sanctions have become what you do, when you can’t do anything else. When you can’t invade, organize a coup, or simply coerce a country to do what you want it to do — sanctions become the last resort in this line of zero-sum logic.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Many Americans want to see the United States as striving to be a force for good in the world; but to do that, American leaders have to build bridges and be ready to make reasonable concessions. The tandem of diplomacy and compromise has far more success stories than sanctions ever will. That’s because compromise inspires trust, which is the foundation for partnership. And as we all know, the world needs less enemies, less hostilities, and more partnership.

Posted by: | Jun 25 2020 19:08 utc | 73

Sanctions are not toothless for Iranians , Venezuelans, Cubans, North Koreans. Maybe most of the latest sanctions are window dressing but many of the older ones cause major suffering for millions.

Posted by: arby | Jun 25 2020 19:18 utc | 74

H.Schmatz @Jun25 16:06 #62

Was CHAZ and the "riotts" performed to keep the people entertained and shocked while they were being robbed?


It's well known that a number of groups infiltrate peaceful protests to generate bad publicity for the protesters - including police.

Knocking down a few statues has generated a lot of reactionary pearl-clutching in Western media.

There are still questions about who the Antifa people are. Does anyone believe that the government couldn't find out who they are and who funds them if the wanted to?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 25 2020 19:34 utc | 75

@61 H.Schmatz - "Why...nobody´s calling him out?"

It truly could be because nobody's reading him.

Regular readers of the comments, I believe, have become very good at leap-frogging over commenters they've been burned by before. Time is far too precious to waste.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 25 2020 20:11 utc | 76

@74, correct, sanctions can and do have deleterious effects for the little people. I mentioned that and not in passing. But apparently their suffering doesn't matter. Neither to the strategists doing the sanctioning nor to the leaders and the extractive parasitic elite of the targeted country. The suffering of the little people is collateral damage or worse, their suffering is never even considered or acknowledged which is as immoral as it gets. Just ask Madeleine Albright.

The sanctions are toothless considering what they officially aim to achieve and that is, presumably, to coerce the targeted country to capitulate to a set of demands. Sanctions are reflective of a failed foreign policy and more specifically a failure of diplomacy.

Posted by: | Jun 25 2020 22:40 utc | 77

Lavrov cited a 1971 International Court of Justice opinion, which found that a fundamental principle governing international relationships was that “a party which disowns or does not fulfill its own obligations cannot be recognized as retaining the rights which it claims to derive from the relationship.”

A very good point Mr Lavrov. I am reminded that one of the stipulated conditions for the bandit state of Israel to be admitted as a member of the United Nations was the obligation to recognise the legitimate right of return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes and property. Obviously the bandit state has not fulfilled its obligation and should therefore be expelled from the UN.

Posted by: Paul | Jun 25 2020 23:36 utc | 78

That innuendo that the Iranians are behind 9/11... no lie too big for Pompeo

Posted by: fx | Jun 26 2020 0:37 utc | 79

I don't understand why china and russia stayed in the JCOaP deal. if the @UN Arms Embargo on Iran expires in October. The only reason Obama did the deal so China and Russia wouldn't sell advanced weapon systems to iran. Get out of the dead deal and sell Iran some nukes with hypersonic rockets and Pompeo would explode.
The barking of the US in the UN is just to deflect attention of the israeli annexation of palestine.
The battleground is Iraq, with the arrest of PMU leaders today the premier has taken the dark side.
China Iran and Russia must define the borders of this zionist american empire.

Posted by: gary | Jun 26 2020 11:30 utc | 80


Get out of the dead deal and sell Iran some nukes with hypersonic rockets and Pompeo would explode.

What a sight that would be. What a mess it would be. Watching that tub-o-lard explode.

Seriously though, isn't it what he wants being an Armageddonist and all? Doesn't he believe Israel must be destroyed before Jesus comes again? The why defend it unless he and they really don't want Jesus to come again becuase Jesus is already here in the form of Donald Trump, the King of the Jews.

Please, Please, Please Let This Happen For Real

Posted by: | Jun 26 2020 12:02 utc | 81

It appears Covid was the bridge too far. To find out who (or what agenda) rules you, find out what you're not allowed to criticise.
Posted by: Leser | Jun 25 2020 13:24 utc | 52

We live in a Post-Reality World. Virtual Reality. The real world is prohibited, only The Narrative is allowed.

Here is the perfect example: The Miracle of Salisbury - Craig Murray

Both Covid and the Skripal fantasy have this Post-Reality World in common, whereby reality and truth are freely moulded to fit with the current Narrative (which, of course, itself is in perpetual flux).

Mind you, I am not saying that Covid is not real - but The Narrative most certainly is not. Skripal is a good tool for understanding the phenomenon better.

Posted by: BM | Jun 26 2020 13:42 utc | 82

Same bullshite plays as back in 2003.
The deficit was around 5 or 6 trillion dollars back then.
What's it now?

Posted by: Jpc | Jun 26 2020 15:11 utc | 83

Thank you, for your reply 450.
Evil aside, the reason I was asking for a link is because I was wondering if your view is widely held, or, well, just yours.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jun 26 2020 19:01 utc | 84

@84, I would imagine this view is mostly mine and not widely held.

Posted by: | Jun 27 2020 13:08 utc | 85

What Pompeo is doing is a well known negotiation trick. You demand the sky and then you suggest you are generous when you settle for something less.

My guess is that the US is at the moment pressuring its allies to go along with it on the US vote. Once the vote is lost - according to US claims due to the evil China and Russia - it will ask its allies for some extra Iran sanctions.

Posted by: Pompeous | Jun 30 2020 13:17 utc | 86

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