Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 31, 2020

Open Thread 2020-60

News & views ...

Posted by b on July 31, 2020 at 13:44 UTC | Permalink

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He's in way deeper than Trump. I suspect that he is connected with the highest levels in the CIA which means the people who want Trump to go away along with the few remaining who think Trump is a useful idiot.
If you watch the mainstream media watch how they portray Barr. My prediction: he will not be harmed.
Bottom line... Trump's "friends" are squirming, moving and re-positioning.

Posted by: miguejose | Aug 1 2020 13:43 utc | 101

Kay Fabe @ 96

Sounds like you read Whitney Webb’s work. She has a blog at unlimitedhangout dot com.

You’ve yet to weave in several strands of her research.

Posted by: suzan | Aug 1 2020 14:22 utc | 102

when we talk about mena arkansas, don't forget that clinton was kissing reagan's butt on that drug smuggling/terrorist supply network, i don't think he was that addled at that point, so the buck stops with him, being president and making a career of supporting terrorists in central and south america.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 1 2020 14:35 utc | 103

@96 key fabe

Let me know when you actually get to any dirt. All I see is innuendo and tying together his acquaintances.

Seems like an awful lot of brain power spent on something unlikely to bear any good fruit. But maybe it just needs more time to ripen.

In the mean time, my comment stands. Trump was probably not engaged in any of that activity involving innocents. His dip into Stormy Daniels is proof enough to me that he has simple taste and worlds apart from the more refined and cultivated taste of whisking minors to secret islands to have your way. /sarc

IMO, he continually seats himself at a different table for elites. His breakup with Epstein probably also follows this logic: Epstein was trying harder and harder things, as elites do, and POTUS probably sought better ties or not to be acquainted with such scum.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Aug 1 2020 14:38 utc | 104

Mao @ 68

This is a golden opportunity, universal mail-in ballots, for the US to transition back to hand written ballots, counted by hand in public (masked, gloved and shielded, open air, social distancing) and accepting of all writeins for the top position, then safely held for any future recounts. This could be done precinct by precinct, or via appropriate other groupings, in a gradual manner, with no deadline as to when the final count would be tallied (It's the virus, you know; we the public shall be patient). It's doable! Observers could be chosen by lot (also out in the open). Twelve ought to do it, for each count. No Brooks Brothers are eligible.

I can't see where this would be anything but simple. A worthy matter to be decided publicly. You want to protest? This is worth protesting about! Organized by the people, for the people. And not any private firm picking up the ballots. Our long suffering public postal service is all we need, thank you!

Posted by: juliania | Aug 1 2020 14:44 utc | 105

Kay Fabe @Aug1 10:59 #96

Truly excellent rebuttal to NemesisCalling and everyone else that thinks that Trump is "looking clean" wrt Epstein.

Trump is not the "populist outsider" that his fans, sycophants, and apologists claim him to be. He's an insider that has been around a long, long time. I see him as more of an opportunist and social climber though. Qualities instilled in him by his over-bearing father. As such, he's an enabler.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 1 2020 14:48 utc | 106

Grieved @ 72 and psychohistorian above that, I hadn't read your two excellent posts when I gave my bit on mailin ballots, but the same 'weltgeist' seems to be in play. With the electoral vote being such a bone of contention ever since 2000 in the US, that top-down orchestration is even in play there, with core freedoms having been usurped as the power shifts were undertaken.

I would volunteer for this, and I would march for it also. I'm 80 this month - time to roll up my sleeves!

Posted by: juliania | Aug 1 2020 14:53 utc | 107

Just in case anyone needed any further proof that BLM is just a silly sidearm of the Democratic party, railing against any perceived injustice to their preferred identities, here is a story that shows BLM staged a protest at Nike headquarters in a Portland suburb to protest what? Slave labor? Globalist inequities of extraction? Nah...just unfair hiring where blacks aren't landing enough administration jobs.

Nike and other giant apparel companies are fine, they say, as is, we just want more of a taste.

I haven't bought a nike product in decades. And I have begged my wife to stop buying these illmade things by them, which is now little more than a marketting company.

"Just do(n't buy) it."

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Aug 1 2020 14:56 utc | 108


you must not be aware of the accusations from "Jane Doe":

Fifteen women have now gone on record to say that Donald Trump sexually assaulted them. Out of all of their stories, one is the most explosive and bizarre — a woman who says Trump violently raped her at an orgy when she was just 13 years old. But the horrific details of her accusation have gotten the least attention.

It seemed like that was all going to change Wednesday, when the woman, who has gone by the pseudonyms “Katie Johnson” and “Jane Doe,” was set to appear at a press conference at the law offices of Lisa Bloom, a high-profile civil rights attorney and TV commentator. But the woman didn’t come to the press conference. Bloom told a room full of waiting reporters that Johnson was afraid to show her face after receiving multiple death threats, and that they would have to reschedule.

my understanding of this incident, which went down BEFORE the 2016 election, is it wasn't just death threats but a massive DOS attack that brought down Bloom's website and live feed of the press conference.

Posted by: lizard | Aug 1 2020 15:00 utc | 109

I've got it --- "COV ; COUNT OUR VOTES!"

Posted by: juliania | Aug 1 2020 15:08 utc | 110

@114 lizard

What is there to say about this? I hope it isn't true.

But I also know that if you have been terrorized and if you have had years to think about it, then you will probably have to admit that you are not done being terrorized and that you would have to come forward, to relive it, to be terrorized again, on the witness stand to tell your story.

If you have had years to think about it, this is the only conclusion that I can surmise: you must face your trauma again to finally make peace with it.

I would imagine that anyone who had suffered a violent orgy at a young age would qualify as victim. But what makes me believe that their story could be embellished or might not have happened at all, is their failure to show when their heroic responsibility needs them most.

I doubt Trump was thanking his lucky stars. I bet he was just rolling his eyes.

But I could be wrong. But you must admit that a deranged woman whose life has not allowed her the things she had desired will thrash and grab and reach out to pull down the most powerful they happen to know. There has been many a cleared man who once suffered under the weight of a woman's false accusations.

So there's that.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Aug 1 2020 15:10 utc | 111

Posted by: BillB | Aug 1 2020 13:25 utc | 102
(Unmasking G Maxwell transcript 'redactions')

Thanks for the feedback.
Curiouser and curiouser? I gather from Xymphora's remarks that he was able to repeat the exercise. And you were able to do likewise many hours later. So, given the speed with which 'inappropriate content' can be disappeared from the www in the twinkling of an eye, the 'mistake' looks more intentional than accidental.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 1 2020 15:26 utc | 112

For whatever reason, the Deep State has been suppressing the proven trio, which has worked in China and selected other parts of the world.

Huawei 5G infrastructure,delivering the Tik Tok app via Huawei smart phones.

Apparently the infrastructure and phone together open a "backdoor" that allows the Tik Tok app to inoculate users against Covid. But, it has to be applied before the virus takes hold to be 100 % effective.

And masks. Clearly, as Louis Gohmert has shown, masks should not be worn, but instead used like fly strips to capture the virus. Hanging from the ceiling, attached to sensors to alert trained personnel to properly dispose of the mask once a predetermined weight of virus is captured.

Posted by: Randy | Aug 1 2020 15:26 utc | 113

@ Posted by: NemesisCalling | Aug 1 2020 14:56 utc | 113

Most of the relevant movements in the USA post-1970s are "astroturf". I don't know why the conservatives/Republicans keep pretending the BLM's example is unique or exclusive to their political enemies. In fact, the concept of astroturf movements were a conservative innovation: the first documented case in the USA is the global warming denial movement, sponsored by the conservatives.

Posted by: vk | Aug 1 2020 15:27 utc | 114

This is from Lambert's Water Cooler yesterday at

• Imagine the timeline if Democrats had supported hand-marked paper ballots, hand-counted in public after the 2000 debacle. Now we have a system that’s broken because both parties want the capacity to steal elections. They made their bed….

Also there is a podcast from Barack and Michelle Obama, both pictured. I would not have recognized her. (The picture of Dorian Grey does come to mind.)

Once again, weltgeist. I only just started reading the Watercooler. Lambert even sadly mentions the ailing Post Office, after paying appropriate attention to UPS. All other attention is on Red and Blue: up, up, up. TINA...

Posted by: juliania | Aug 1 2020 15:40 utc | 115

The term "astroturfing" was first coined in 1985 by Texas Democratic Party senator Lloyd Bentsen when he said, "a fellow from Texas can tell the difference between grass roots and AstroTurf... this is generated mail."[13][40] Bentsen was describing a "mountain of cards and letters" sent to his office to promote insurance industry interests.[41]

wiki,which isn't terribly reliable, but i remember the term being in use before the climate science denial campaign took off, which iirc was in the early 90's.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 1 2020 15:43 utc | 116

This is indeed a very cool thing (kudos to Lambert again):

"...we have two types of immunity: innate immunity, which jumps into action within hours, sometimes just minutes, of an infection; and adaptive immunity, which develops over days and weeks…. That antibodies decrease once an infection recedes isn’t a sign that they are failing: It’s a normal step in the usual course of an immune response. Nor does a waning antibody count mean waning immunity: The memory B cells that first produced those antibodies are still around, and standing ready to churn out new batches of antibodies on demand.” • So, even if the bloodstream isn’t full of antibodies, the body retains the recipes for them. That is extremely cool." [my bold]

And from the NYT this comes, so I guess Times readers profit from being mostly 'up'.

Posted by: juliania | Aug 1 2020 15:53 utc | 117

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 1 2020 10:52 utc | 95
(Link to Kremlin transcript)

Thanks for the link and relevant excerpts. That's the source of my recollection of Putin's threat re Nukes. I can't imagine how RSH managed to persuade himself that Putin didn't mean EXACTLY what he said.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 1 2020 16:09 utc | 118

A couple of relevant section from the NPR which I think Putin was replying to.
From page 21...
"The United States would only consider the employment of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances
to defend the vital interests of the United States, its allies, and partners. Extreme circumstances
could include significant non-nuclear strategic attacks. Significant non-nuclear strategic attacks
include, but are not limited to, attacks on the U.S., allied, or partner civilian population or
infrastructure, and attacks on U.S. or allied nuclear forces, their command and control, or warning
and attack assessment capabilities.
The United States will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons
states that are party to the NPT and in compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations.
Given the potential of significant non-nuclear strategic attacks, the United States reserves the right
to make any adjustment in the assurance that may be warranted by the evolution and proliferation
of non-nuclear strategic attack technologies and U.S. capabilities to counter that threat."

And page 34...
"Our deterrence strategy is designed to ensure that the Iranian leadership understands that
any non-nuclear strategic attack against the United States, allies, and partners would be
defeated, and that the cost would outweigh any benefits. There is no plausible scenario in
which Iran may anticipate benefit from launching a strategic attack. Consequently, U.S
deterrence strategy includes the capabilities necessary to defeat Iranian non-nuclear,
strategic capabilities, including the U.S. defensive and offensive systems capable of
precluding or degrading Tehran’s missile threats. The United States will continue to
strengthen these capabilities as necessary to stay ahead of Iranian threats as they grow.
Doing so will enhance U.S. security and that of our regional allies and partners."

The page 34 section states plainly that US is willing to use nuclear weapons against Iran's non nuclear capabilities.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 1 2020 16:34 utc | 119

rsh - thanks for the nassim taleb interview... i will watch it...

psychohistorian - top down, as opposed to left right - that is a very good way to awaken more from their slumber...

juliania - happy birthday to you this month!!!

Posted by: james | Aug 1 2020 16:41 utc | 120

I should have highlighted this in my previous post.

The United States will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons
states that are party to the NPT and in compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 1 2020 16:47 utc | 121

Body Bags and Enemy Lists: How Far-Right Police Officers and Ex-Soldiers Planned for ‘Day X’

When Breivik murdered hundreds of Marxists in Norway, he was treated nicely under the argument "he can't change Norway". I doubted the treatment would be the same if it was the reverse side of the political spectrum, but I let it pass because Norway is, at the end of the day, just a small and insignificant enclave in the Arctic.

Then that Australian guy murdered dozens of Muslims in an New Zealander mosque. He published a very elaborate manifesto (by far-right standards), mentioning, besides Breivik, almost then far-right underground organizations (fake or not, skeleton or not, he listed them). The Australian police force quickly dismissed all of them as "invented". The same was the argument about Breivik's list of organizations (in which case it was the Norwegian police).

But now an entire network of neonazis is coming to the forefront in Germany's Armed Forces. This isn't new, and comes from at least one decade ago.

If the far-right is deeply entrenched in the Western European police and armed forces (and even some Eastern European ones, as the dissolution of Ukraine revealed), then we could make a case that the far-right is at least covertly protected by the Norwegian armed forces and the Australian armed forces. But this may really be the case of all the Western armed forces, as this was actually part of the post-war pact of political pluralism: the left accepted the right to take over the violence institutions (police + armed forces) while the left dominated the non-violent ones (political parties, NGOs, grassroots movements etc. etc.). The goal was to create, at the same time, a plural landscape without the risk of a communist revolution (socialism). In the ideological field, the entire system was amalgamated in the theory of Totalitarianism - which was elaborated and written by center-left intellectuals (mostly, French and American/immigrant ones).

It is highly probable the Western governments are letting their domestic far-rights to develop in secret, so that, when they disintegrate and revolution starts, the weapons and institutions that matter (police and armed forces) will be secured in pro-capitalist hands (i.e. the far-right: neofascists and neonazis). Everything is going as planned in this regard.

Posted by: vk | Aug 1 2020 16:53 utc | 122

After the drone shoot-down last week, Israel and USA sought to convince Russia to allow a strike against Iran. The Russians rebuffed this request as well as the depiction of Iran as a terrorist state

Newsweek: Russia Warns U.S. and Israel That Iran Is Its 'Ally' and Was Right About Drone Shoot Down

"In the context of the statements made by our partners with regard to a major regional power, namely Iran, I would like to say the following: Iran has always been and remains our ally and partner, with which we are consistently developing relations both on bilateral basis and within multilateral formats,"


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 1 2020 17:03 utc | 123

Nemisis calling @ 116
What a scum bag you are,aren’t you. The truth means nothing to you does it ? Have you got no shame ? No self-respect ? No insight as to how your comment utterly destroys eny shred of credabilty you may have had here.
Your to much of a coward to admit your wrong about trump. The world can go to the dogs as far as your concerned ! Pathetic psychopath.

Posted by: Mark2 | Aug 1 2020 17:04 utc | 124


I take it you have never been personally defamed by a woman spreading rumors about you before? I have so I can attest. And I bet you were team Blasey-Ford and MeToo, even though most of the accused landed firmly on the side of the Democratic Party and our entertainment-industry. Do you follow your wife's boyfriend's line of thinking on these thing? I would think so.

I advise everyone to take note of the debasement of decorum that this poster exhibits when his worldview is challenged by someone like myself who merely posited that the burden of proof falls upon them that accuse and that, while easy to slander someone from the shadows in calumny, it is an entirely different thing to show up to their testimony when they have to show face and to speak clearly.

My post was truthful. Yours was just intentionally hurtful. Too bad I take no stock in your opinion. And this ain't my first rodeo of posters trying to shame me. Take a number, buddy.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Aug 1 2020 17:46 utc | 125


I take it you have never been personally defamed by a woman spreading rumors about you before? I have so I can attest. And I bet you were team Blasey-Ford and MeToo, even though most of the accused landed firmly on the side of the Democratic Party and our entertainment-industry. Do you follow your wife's boyfriend's line of thinking on these thing? I would think so.

I advise everyone to take note of the debasement of decorum that this poster exhibits when his worldview is challenged by someone like myself who merely posited that the burden of proof falls upon them that accuse and that, while easy to slander someone from the shadows in calumny, it is an entirely different thing to show up to their testimony when they have to show face and to speak clearly.

My post was truthful. Yours was just intentionally hurtful. Too bad I take no stock in your opinion. And this ain't my first rodeo of posters trying to shame me. Take a number, buddy.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Aug 1 2020 17:46 utc | 126

Multiple posts about Bill Barr’s insider status. Don’t see one that mentions he was born CIA. His father Donald Barr was OSS and original 1947 CIA. His career move to be an “educator” only meant that he worked in recruitment.

The CIA has factions. We are not privileged to know much about them. Barr’s loyalty is more likely with the company than withTrump.

Posted by: oldhippie | Aug 1 2020 17:50 utc | 127

"Never use the word "whore" to refer to a sex worker; they earn an honest and respectable living and they shouldn't be demeaned for it. That word should only ever be used for members of the mainstream news media." - Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by: spudski | Aug 1 2020 18:03 utc | 128

The Dems. are absolute champions of hypocrisy and hysterical obfuscations. They are also rather primitive and short-sighted, which all added up means they perpetually accuse others of their own sins, in narcissistic manipulatory fashion. (Like the abusive husband - prove you wasn’t unfaithful - the teen vicious girl bully - you are a slut - etc.)

“Trump won’t accept the election results” is a meme that has been going around for ages. Now he hinted he might not accept, everyone is all agog. All it signals is that the Dems. are preparing the ground to contest the results and create serious mayhem. (See the prelude BLM.)

In 2016 they were taken up short, thru lack of attention, stupidity and hubris - typical of a small cadre or consigliere group imagining they control everything. They haven’t exited that bubble because they can’t - reform is impossible. Their choice of Biden as a possible placeholder (he might be ‘retired’ and replaced, or a VP slot might be the P pick, etc.) probably seems like a good strategy to them, canny and all. Well over 70, brain damaged, senile and with a reputation of sniffing up little girls, the very idea of 'a leader' is dead at the door.

All it evidences is that the whole ‘primary process’ and what one might generously dub ‘will of the ppl’ as the Dems institute it is a total sham (see Sanders), a transparent masquerade. Plus that the Dems have no viable, interesting candidate - the last stab was Obama, whom the Clintons loathed, and many in top spots opposed - but then the ‘vote’ still counted (even if manipulations were going on - imho only for under 5% of the vote and this was accepted by all parties) so Obama was a sure win. Then he was forced of course to nominate Killary…this was seen as a temp. aberration to be dealt with.

Ok, the repubs. So is Trump their candidate or what? :) The democratic ‘process’ in the US was always an affair of convos in smoke-filled back rooms, and mucho corruption, dirty dealing. What is happening now is that the system is cracking fast and nobody knows if they want dikes to shore it up, to pretend this or that, or to profit from a or b, or to ally with x or y, or to check out, etc. The masks are coming off (oh…wait) … one thing is for sure is the US population will not move or do anything.

jack at 56 I agree, Skripals being 3-way spies is nonsense. Skripal senior was a washed-out guy who did get some ‘kudos’ grudgingly from the ‘spy’ community - ex. he came here (Switz.) and gave some weak talks etc. I reckon he did want to go back to Russia and may have made some feelers or requests to do so, but he would have been ignored or at best shoved to the back of the queue. The Brits never informed him of anything much (imho), etc. Plus, all this going down when his daughter was there makes no sense for a savvy person, etc. No, the unravelling of that story will turn out to be quite humdrum, with a lot of ‘accidents’ and ‘mistakes’ etc. (if we ever find out..) with the usual Brit. *Russia Russia Russia* crowd cashing in opportunistically.

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 1 2020 18:21 utc | 129

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 1 2020 10:22 utc | 93

You miss simply the most important aspect of the problem. These warnings apply only to an incoming danger about which one has not yet learnt anything, an unknown thing. If the properties of the culprits are known rational measures should be applied instead of initial worst case behaviour. That is the case with CoV-2 now.
In Central Europe the daily positive PCR-test results are within the error margin of the tests. Government (RKI) and MSM report in a conspiracy-modus test results as „infections“. Which they are not. One would need to know how many of those tested positive today will be ill, but with measurable symptoms,10-12 days later. If one does not know this such a figure is nonsense.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Aug 1 2020 18:22 utc | 130

@15 jayc Trump would have to somehow get the armed forces on his side in order to initiate a coup d' etat (sp?), I would think. Is there any chance of that occuring?

Posted by: jonboinAR | Aug 1 2020 18:22 utc | 131

Posted by: migueljose | Aug 1 2020 13:31 utc | 103

You can buy the book online here for 9$ (US)

Posted by: vato | Aug 1 2020 18:23 utc | 132

Concerning militias: There are some armed left-wing militias in the U.S. such as the Seattle area John Brown Gun Club and the Oakland-based Huey P. Newton Gun Club. I believe one of these militias helped save some ministers at the Charlottesville event when they were surrounded by fascists.

Posted by: JPM | Aug 1 2020 19:59 utc | 133

Thanks james, and thanks to richard as well. I will be watching his video.

Posted by: juliania | Aug 1 2020 20:04 utc | 134

iirc the black panthers started carrying rifles around at some events, as they had a legal right to do, back in california in the 60's, and ronnie reagan got some california law passed that stopped them. i'm not sure why that didn't violate their 2d amendment rights, but you can bet the nra wasn't going to take up the cause. recently, a protestor who was carrying a gun was shot by a driver who claims he was acting in self defense--protestors at the scene said the driver was the aggressor. and now congress won't give ordinary unemployed americans money to support themselves during the pandemic, after corporations got trillions to play the stock market instead of hiring people. i don't know if the donor class and its paid politicians are trying to foment civil insurrection or just blundering into it.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 1 2020 20:08 utc | 135

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 1 2020 17:03 utc | 123
Thanks for the link for how many times it’s been stated that Russia and Iran are allies.

I however, think differently on the question of nuclear umbrella. I think the question of nuclear umbrella is brought up to denigrate and under-estimate Iran’s current non-nuclear capabilities (oh, poor Iran. It doesn’t have any friends when it counts, when they are about to get blown to smithereens, and shtuff like that).
It’s worth stating one more time — Iran does NOT need a nuclear weapon. To follow up on that, Iran does not need a nuclear umbrella.
When you can blow any shit up in the 1200 KM range, that’s plenty MAD on it’s own. I must be crazy to think that (ooh, MAD, crazy)

I asked this question a few threads ago, but didn’t get any reply: Can anyone here name the last country that attacked the empire, DIRECTLY, and got away with it?

“All is well”

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Aug 1 2020 21:22 utc | 136

@136 Sakineh Bagoom

That's right, no one ever did come up with another country that could initiate an attack on a US base with missiles, completely transparently as a state action, and receive no response.

And then that country went on to ship its oil to Venezuela, and promised to react as if to an act of war if its ships were interfered with by the US, and the ships were not interfered with.

I find it amazing, frankly, that anyone can fail to see the significance of these events, or witness these events without understanding the shift in the balance of power, but I will no longer attempt to persuade anyone that Iran cannot be attacked successfully.

It doesn't really matter, I suppose, whom we can persuade in this forum. It's enough that Israel knows it cannot attack Iran and wastes all its influence to persuade the Pentagon to attack, which is futile since the Pentagon knows also that it cannot attack Iran.


I'd like to repeat my earlier comparison with Israel's position. Israel is stymied by Hezbollah in the same way that the US is stymied by Iran. And in both countries, the politicians howl a terrifying bluster, but the military does nothing. The politicians and the zionist/neocon hustlers can shriek all they want, but in the end it's the military that goes to war - or not.

The IDF doesn't want to face Hezbollah, and the Pentagon doesn't want to face Iran. Both for the same reason, that they know absolutely that they will suffer a punishing and public defeat, one which will destroy all their remaining power of bluff.

The Saker has some interesting articles lately about the Israeli situation, if you're interested, notably about that mysterious border skirmish that possibly was fought by only one side:

What happened —and didn’t happen— at the Israel-Lebanon border?
Lebanon-Israel border fire: Scandal or victory for Tel Aviv?

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 1 2020 22:56 utc | 137

Sakineh Bagoom & Grieved

I think that what occurred was move and counter move, US/Israel trying position for a strike and Russia blocking that move.
Perhaps a long way down the track, some documents will be released giving a better idea of what was going on, but until then I have to go with my theory/analysis that US and Israel were positioning for nuclear strikes against Iran and quite likely Hezbollah.
As for what US may or may not do, Russia itself is not taking any chances re the major upgrade and modification of their strategic forces. I think they see a very real risk of US believing it can use nuclear weapons in one way or another to prevent its own collapse, or at least the collapse of their hegemonic empire.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 1 2020 23:21 utc | 138

What is happening in Belarus?

We thought the it would be only the Empire that would end giving violent jolting through which many of us could result seriously damaged... hence the attitude of restraint and patience by China and Russia on their bet for a soft landing and accomodation of the new situation/paradigm change...

What we did not think of ( at least not me...) was that all those countries dependant of the hegemon or playing the subjective stance ( like Belarus...Poland... the Baltics...see Colonel Cassad´s anlysis ) would suffer of equal if not more shaken environment in the middle of the uncertainty and the impossibility to continue milking two cows...This is why, even when we do not like the EU as it is constituted right now, as a liberal house, I do not see any point in leaving it now ( as some non-European continuously push for here, what leads me to think they work for the US stablishment...), just when the hegemon is falling and the world is reorganizing...We will fall in the same weak position as Belarus...akin to be dismembered.. or worst, become a failing state...

According ot the last analysis by Rostislav Ischenko at Stalker Zone, it seems that sectors of the security services, as it is happening in the US, are trying to "secure" their future in what they deem as a situation similar to that of the 90s in Moscow, and thus organized the luring of some hundred Russian PMC, some with double Ukrainian/Russian passport, to be blamed for a coming Belarusian Maidan and violent overthrow of Lukashenko. Under the menace of being extradited to the Ukraine, as some seem to have fought in Donbass, where they would face 15 years jail in the best of cases, or in the worst a death sentence by "suicide" into jail ( the Epstein treatment...), Ischenko asures some "will be persuaded by the KGB of Belarus to admit that they “on the instructions of Japanese intelligence dug a tunnel from Bangkok to London” save life...

Well, it seems that some others are being hard to peel and mantain they were going to Istanbul to visit Hagia Sophia....These PMC were found most suspicious by the "KGB of Belarus" because they found themselves stranded during a week in Misnk by the same Belarusian company who hired them to go to Lybia to fight along the opposite site supported by the Russians there, and moreover they do not smoke nor drink....You see...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 1 2020 23:56 utc | 139

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 1 2020 16:47 utc | 121 The United States will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons
states that are party to the NPT and in compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations.

Which is precisely my point: the US had to say this because if they did it the geopolitical heat would be to great.

I've had further thoughts:

1) The only reason the US hasn't attacked Syria is because Putin out-maneuvered the US six times: 3 times in the UNSC and 3 times on the ground during Obama. The third time Russia explicitly said that anyone attacking Syrian military would be shot down. The reason that held was because Russia troops were *already* on the ground in Syria with the capability to do just that. Obama recognized that was a non-starter for him and he backed down from his contemplated "no-fly zone".

And when Trump launched his cruise missiles, that's exactly what Russia did - they used their ECM to degrade or down most of those missiles.

2) Now, if Putin were to figure out some way to *actually* threaten the US with nuclear retaliation - whether directly or *implied* (more so than anything you've quoted so far), that might actually work as a deterrent. The best way to do that would be what Putin did in Syria - put Russian boots on the ground. If Putin could work a deal with Iran that put a significant number of Russian forces on the ground inside Iran, thus making any US or Israeli attack on important Iranian assets an attack on Russian forces, that would likely be a deterrent.

The problem is that Iran didn't even want Russian planes based in Iran for use in Syria (except one time IIRC). No country wants someone else's military inside their borders, especially in large numbers, so Iran is unlikely to agree to basing large numbers of Russian troops inside Iran. A few nuclear technicians wouldn't be enough of a deterrent - it would require significant Russian assets. I don't see it happening, but it is possible.

3) Putin's responses to the US Nuclear Posture Review relate to Russia and the former Soviet states. Apparently no one can figure out that the word "ally" has more significant meanings depending on context, and as I've said before, nothing Putin has said has put that context in military alliance terms with regard to Iran.

4) Apparently, as US and Israeli provocations against Iran continue to grow, signaling a continuing intent to get a war started, everyone's cognitive dissonance has apparently grown with it, so now everyone is hiding behind the notion that Putin will launch WWIII over Iran as an excuse to believe that an Iran war is "impossible".

Dream on. We'll see. As I've said elsewhere many times, once the Iran war starts, I expect to see abject apologies from everyone who doubted the possibility.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 2 2020 0:13 utc | 140

From twitter...with video...

Benjamin Alvarez
As Germany is experiencing a strong increase of new #COVID19 cases, this is happening right now in Berlin. #b0108
A “Day of Freedom” with conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxxers & right-wing extremists. No one is wearing a mask.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 2 2020 1:14 utc | 141

Many thanks, Richard Steven Hack, for your posted link at 88 and the summary information you posted there as well. I enjoyed the video, even as more understanding about the risk factor seemed to heighten for me the dangers involved in facing this particular pandemic compared to others which as the guest pointed out lasted for centuries.

His point about the importance of quarantine was particularly impressive, as you pointed out. And the difficulties of doing that effectively seem to me one of the reasons the dangers are still very much with us. Also, his insistence that we don't know yet about effects on children or 'healthy' people who seem not to have become very ill. So much that isn't known. But we are learning. That's the positive side of things.

Posted by: juliania | Aug 2 2020 1:17 utc | 142

Ah, Christ, screwed up the HREF again...

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 2 2020 1:19 utc | 144

@138 Peter AU1

You've been studying this tactical nuke impulse of the US for a long time so I defer to you on it. I think you may have a scenario that's real. As you suggest, we may know one day many years from now, or we may never know.

Certainly Russia has been preparing for real war in deadly earnest for some time, and continues to try to get this message across to the west, which appears continually not to hear it, to Russia's great despair and further preparation for war. There is also no doubt that Russia has expanded its doctrine to include retaliation for tactical nukes, and as you have shown, this applies to allies as well as to Russian territory.

Logic says Russia has to make this expansion to embrace allies as well as home territory, in order to match parity to keep MAD alive. If Russia would only retaliate for nuclear attacks on its own soil, then MAD would no longer obtain - because obviously any nuclear power will work on retaliation for such strikes, if only dead-hand revenge.

What's missing from the equation with Iran is a demonstration by Iran of lethal retaliation against the US that can survive US tactical nukes. It's obvious that Iran must have long planned and provisioned for this, but we have not seen the demonstration of it - and absent that demonstration the Pentagon might, I suppose, cave in to political forces urging a few "limited" strikes.

Perhaps, perhaps not, but this kind of suicidal madness from the US would be enough to force the Kremlin to adjust its doctrine in order keep MAD at parity with such stupidity.

It does all kind of fit with your thinking of the past couple of years.

The Pentagon knows that it has no means of conventional warfare to attack Iran and escape unscathed. It must also surely know the same for tactical nukes, and for the same reasons. Iran is big, with a vastly distributed warfaring infrastructure, and an unknown portion of it hidden from reconnaissance. The problem with nuking Iran is the same as hitting it with conventional munitions - you just can't take out enough of its military infrastructure in time to prevent a massive counter that sinks your fleet, brings down a lot of your planes, and raises the political damage in Washington to screaming levels.

And still, Iran will have distributed responses remaining, as well as its submarines - perhaps off the east coast of the US, who can say? - that you can't stop from causing serious damage to the US.

I'm no expert, but tactical nukes are just big bombs, and they suffer from the same limitations as regular bombs - you have to use an almost unimaginably large amount of them to cripple Iran. And one thing you don't get with Iran is a long, sustained campaign of destruction. The counterattack would happen instantaneously and it would be full-on.

[That's even assuming of course that the US would be allowed to build up its forces in preparation for such a strike without triggering a painful response from Iran. Iran would not allow the necessary buildup. This is where I see the impasse, and why I can't see any logistical way for the US to mount an attack.]

There's a lot of madness in this kind of thinking. I could even suspect that the Kremlin looks at Iran's response as the larger threat. The screaming pain that Iran would inflict on the US if seriously attacked could unite the generals into Strangelove territory - and then it's goodbye world.

All in all, it's better MAD than madness. And this is why the Russian doctrine has to expand to allies and apply even to tactical nukes. You can't bluff with MAD. The Kremlin is serious.

So I buy your thesis as a very real possibility - many thanks. I always read all your comments by the way. Glad to take this opportunity to respond at length. Just my two cents.

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 2 2020 1:53 utc | 145

Richard Steven Hack @ 143:

I'm happy to show you my 'typical Christian preacher' - but you'd need to read the extract from Dostoievski's "The Brothers Karamazov" entitled 'The Russian Monk'. (It's Book Six.) And lest you object that monks are not preachers, the one in this section is indeed preaching, if only to the choir. And I will paraphrase Dostoievski thusly:

It would indeed be strange to demand clarity from people in a time like ours. One thing perhaps, is quite certain. My typical Christian preacher, Father Zossima, is not like many who claim that title and even use it for monetary gain or otherwise behave foolishly in the midst of a pandemic; but that doesn't disqualify him but rather even more qualifies him than do they to be called 'Christian'. Because it is precisely he who bears within himself (as Dostoievski describes) the heart of the whole, while other preachers of his and our epochs have many of them for some reason been torn away from Christianity for a time by some kind of flooding wind..." [Apologies to translators Pevear and Volokhonsky]

Posted by: juliania | Aug 2 2020 1:54 utc | 146


Thanks for the long reply. My thought at the time was Trump would not do things the way they have always been done so to speak.
No large build up near Iran was necessary. Tridents in first to cut through and destroy air defenses, with long range bombers following right behind to hit known missile sites (B52s I think could strike from the US) then joined by any smaller aircraft that could be fielded to clean up remaining air defenses and so forth same happening to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.
Perhaps the Trump admin was thinking something along those lines perhaps not, but my thought on Trump and his dislike of endless wars was that he was looking for a 'final solution' for the Iran problem. And that was not just related to Israel but also the Tehran embassy hostage drama which Trump felt was a great humiliation for the US.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 2 2020 2:29 utc | 147

I've come across an estimate, who knows where, that 3% or so of reported sexual assault accusations by women against men are groundless. Bearing in mind that the vast majority of such assaults are never reported, compare this figure to the 98% of men convicted of sexual assault who said they didn't do it.

Posted by: TdeL | Aug 2 2020 2:52 utc | 148

@Laguerre | 92
But the fact that the Oruc Reis explorarion was stopped dead in its tracks and Erdogan's threats have been silenced overnight implies that pressure was applied by those who understood that such an exercise would leave Greece little choice but to engage and those who thankfully were not so lazily dismissive as to categorise it as more than just the "standard" Turkish bitching and biting about throwing the Greeks into the sea rhetoric that we hear every month or so.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 2 2020 3:30 utc | 149

@148 Tdel

I was waiting for someone to respond to my comments, thx!

Well, I must be on the extremely lucky side of life because I happen to be in the 3% who were victim to false accusations from an unwell woman.

What do you think of your per centage rate as it pertains to celebrities or people in power who are accused of crimes like these?

Do you think it goes up because of what I posited that deranged women hate being left behind like trash? Yeah, I do too.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Aug 2 2020 3:34 utc | 150

@147 Peter AU1

I get that, and it sounds feasible. But would it work? In your review of the scene, are you actually getting the sense that the Pentagon thinks that at long last it actually has a way to strike Iran with relative safety?

Does the Pentagon really believe that it can strike Iran sufficiently to destroy all of its power to retaliate? I haven't studied this, but I have not heard even a whisper that this could be the case.

Because Iran has also announced its doctrine here, and it is that all of the resistance forces in several countries will go all-in simultaneously against the local US forces in the ME. But even with Iran alone, all those bases are targeted and provided for regardless of what the US destroys in Iran. I've seen counts of how many troops are at risk from resistance missiles in the numerous bases in the region - is it something like 45,000 personnel?

There seems to me no doubt that if the US strikes Iran first, then the entire world will sit back and forgive the retaliation from Iran. There is also no doubt that every one of those bases - including the nice big one in Qatar - will be more or less destroyed, and with whatever loss of life comes out of that. And the US will not have a leg to stand on - are they going to complain about a disproportionate response after a massive first strike on Iran?

And where does it go from there? As Sagineh Bagoom keeps saying, it's not the starting of a war with Iran that's the difficult thing, it's the ending of it.

80 million Iranians will fight the US to the death until the US sues for peace or those Iranians are dead. Not to speak of the other peoples in the region. Oh, and Israel by the way will have effectively disappeared off the map in the time period we're talking about here.

Does the Pentagon believe it can target Hezbollah - or crucially, its missiles - when the Israelis don't even know where they are? Do they really think they can bomb guerrillas? How much scorched earth in Lebanon will the world accept as the fair price for the loss of Tel Aviv?

Anyone can sit in on a game of poker, but when you raise the bet you either win accordingly or you lose more. The US doesn't have the cards. Neither does Israel. They both go down, and if the world survives, it will not miss either of them.

I get that Trump likes his massacres quick and finished. I get that the neocons and the Zionists are beyond reality. But as I said, it's the military that goes to war. Everyone talks about how the US can war on Iran but no one says how the US can shield itself from the retaliation - and it is the retaliation that is key on this war, because Iran can take pain but the US cannot. I can't find any way that the Pentagon can prevent the inevitable retaliation. And the retaliation will cost the US far more than it can afford.

The US does not have the price of the ticket to this war, in my opinion. It's not the strike that's the problem, it's the cost of that strike.

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 2 2020 3:55 utc | 151

NemesisCalling | Aug 1 2020 17:46 utc | 125

"I take it you have never been personally defamed by a woman spreading rumors about you before? " Or in the case of Julian Assange and Alex Salmon the State using false charges of rape or assault to silence these "troublesome priests". There is also the collateral damage of Craig Murray. He has been charged with contempt of court. The extent to which the State will go to silence it's critics is endless as are their lies.

Posted by: Tom | Aug 2 2020 5:02 utc | 152

Japan: Okinawa declares COVID-19 emergency after US base outbreaks

So, where's the HK-esque zealotry from the Western freedum brigade with regards to the rights of Okinawan locals who has always been bitterly opposed to US bases on their soil?

The birds are still chirpin'.

Posted by: J W | Aug 2 2020 5:43 utc | 153

J W | Aug 2 2020 5:43 utc | 153

It's right up there with concern for the Chagossians and their right to return to their ancestral lands, the Chagos Islands (Diego Garcia).

Posted by: Tom | Aug 2 2020 6:03 utc | 154

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 2 2020 1:53 utc | 145

That's even assuming of course that the US would be allowed to build up its forces in preparation for such a strike without triggering a painful response from Iran. Iran would not allow the necessary buildup. This is where I see the impasse, and why I can't see any logistical way for the US to mount an attack.

Even at their peak, the US military still took SIX months to build up in Saudi Arabia before they were confident to commence Gulf War I. To complete such a build up with impunity against Iran will be impossible today, especially not with the dreadful state of maintenance as evidenced by the strings of crashes and fires since May.

Posted by: J W | Aug 2 2020 6:44 utc | 155

When this kind of lunatics are among the richest ppl on earth, you know you have a problem...

Posted by: Mina | Aug 2 2020 9:21 utc | 156

such an exercise would leave Greece little choice but to engage

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 2 2020 3:30 utc | 149

Ah yes, the Greeks are always in the right. The fact is the Greeks have been extremely aggressive for decades, with the full approval of Europe and the West behind them. Landgrabbing, rights-grabbing - that's why there's a mess in Cyprus. But "Greece had no choice" apparently, according to you. With a Greece fully supported from the West, yes they can afford to threaten war, at the smallest disagreement, as they have done since 1920.

I thought you were someone who was supposed to know something about Turkey, as I took from your handle, but you don't seem to have much of a notion about Turkish motivations, apart from the Istanbul bubble, that is. I hold absolutely no candle for Erdogan, and he's a megalomaniac, but a bit of a balanced approach would be useful. Erdogan is like he is, because that's what his electorate wants. And he's done pretty well winning elections, even if the Istanbul bubble is always predicting he won't win the next.

Posted by: Laguerre | Aug 2 2020 10:27 utc | 157

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 2 2020 3:55 utc | 151
Posted by: J W | Aug 2 2020 6:44 utc | 155

RE War with Iran situation:

I think you guys have the situation well-analyzed, it's been like that at least 20 some years now, you can compare it to the situation between the Norks and our S. Korean colony, and the Hezbollah-Izzies standoff has many of the same characteristics too. The (obvious) point being that you can have more than adequate "deterrence" without nukes (e.g. Iran, Norks for many decades) and less-than-adequate "deterrence" even with nukes (Izzies today). It all depends.

Iran, whomever really decides these things there, seemed to figure it out right away too: "No Nukes", that they were better off without WMD, even when we were helping Saddam gas them. I give them a lot of credit for that.

USA, on the other hand, has come to rely almost totally on making threats, "ALL OPTIONS ARE ON THE TABLE", like that, and now is somewhat non plussed, I think Pompeo is just going to go poof one of these days, he looks so frustrated.

Obligatory: "There is of course no accounting for what people who are crazy or upset might do."

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 2 2020 11:24 utc | 158

Posted by: Mina | Aug 2 2020 9:21 utc | 156

"When this kind of lunatics are among the richest ppl on earth, you know you have a problem.."

Lots of people seem to lose their minds when they get a lot of money.

Elon is clearly a media creation, and we know who owns the media here, so maybe he will be our next President. He'd be the perfect followup for Trump.

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 2 2020 11:34 utc | 159

"The burden of proof is on the person making the claim"

Where's your proof then ? Just claiming you have proof is not proof.

Ignoring the fact your "proof" is subject to the same market forces that are destroying civilization as we know it only proves how gullible you are.

You completely ignore how the numbers are gathered which is as unscientific as one can get and then on top of that have to resort to ad hominen attacks to make up for your lack of reasoning.

Thanks again for proving what a clique of egotistical trolls live on this site.

"I also appreciate the straw man argument that anyone that disagrees with your take thinks that COVID is a total hoax. That once again proves you have no actual argument and only want to lash out at people to feel better about your own insecurities.

1 - Go find five people who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 and ask them to sneeze in your face while you inhale deeply.

2 - Pull a Herman Cain and freely bathe in the spittle of ranting anti-maskers at a big rally where nobody is wearing a mask.

3 - Film the whole thing in HD video and upload to YouTube or a video sharing platform of your choosing.

(For a really fun time, crowd source at least 100 of your “skeptic” pals to do the same. Be sure to recruit a team that includes a full range of ages and risk factors.)"

Perfect example of the complete idiocy being posted by fear addled reactionaries who just want to lash out due to their own cowardice and total lack of reason.

Statistics are bullshit by their very nature and pretending that you are getting straight facts in these times is the folly of fools.

Posted by: dave | Aug 2 2020 13:48 utc | 160

I am fuming after reading this essay by a former Montana legislative rep. who is trying to get the reopening of schools cancelled before it even starts. she claims it's us parents who are engaging in "magical thinking", but get a load of some of these excerpts, like this one:

Imagine recess, for instance: Kids playing the game du jour with gloves on their hands and masks on their faces, the ball being washed after the accidents that will happen. Kids being shushed singing jump rope songs – “the droplets!” Kid standing in a socially distanced line waiting for the monkey bars to be cleaned between each child’s romp. Kids being monitored by a masked adult with an electronic whistle or perhaps a pool noodle to corral the errant children erupting in a game of tag into the tiresome, deadening, ever-present, socially distanced, droplet-free zone. My generation blamed decades of substance abuse on the trauma of hiding under our desks for 15 minutes waiting for the atom bomb to hit. This pales in comparison.

and this one:

May I mention the teachers and staff – what we now call “essential workers,” which, loosely defined, means “people we pay squat and treat worse so that they can take care of our kids while we go off to be big shots and make a ton of money”? What kind of magical thinking does it take to believe that a workforce 33% of whom are over 50 years old and a goodly number of whom suffer from debilitating conditions, are going to be just fine in that petri dish of humanity we call a public school?

and this one:

Anne Frank probably didn’t learn in quite the same way the 761 days she spent in hiding. But anyone who has read her diary cannot doubt that she learned … or that her forced isolation in turn forced a level of study and reflection deeper than what any kids experiences in any school.

as a magical thinking BIG SHOT parent exploiting poor teachers so I can make a TON OF MONEY, I am very happy to hear from this reasonable former Democrat legislative representative how Anne Frank's remote learning went /snark

seriously, if you don't think Democrats are willing to politicize school reopening, demonize desperate parents, and weaponize children's education against Trump, so their sexual abuser can obtain power over the other side's sexual abuser, then you are as delusional as Mary Fucking Moe

Posted by: lizard | Aug 2 2020 14:01 utc | 161
The Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of Northeast Syria signed a deal to market oil to US-based Delta Crescent Energy LLC “with the knowledge and encouragement of the White House.”

Trump a few months back "We've kept the oil". Well, he hasn't had a problem hanging onto it and getting an American company involved.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 2 2020 14:18 utc | 162

Delta Crescent Energy. Formed beginning of 2019 and nothing else on it. I guess Trump and a few mates divvying up the spoils.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 2 2020 14:26 utc | 163

And where does it go from there? As Sagineh Bagoom keeps saying, it's not the starting of a war with Iran that's the difficult thing, it's the ending of it.
Posted by: Grieved | Aug 2 2020 3:55 utc | 151

Thank you Grieved. It’s taken me nearly a decade to find the right wording, and to create a credo of sorts, which I posted in an earlier thread, to make this, NOT about ‘the war.’
That is what I was complaining about, when the mendacious one, quoted me out of context and left out the lines where I argue this, and started from where I wrote Iranians would fight to death. Of course anyone with slightest bit of grey matter would know that they [Iranians] would.

There is no scenario played here, or elsewhere that the empire can strike first and not get hit back. It’s simple as that.
Khrushchev knew where the West’s balls were. Every time he wanted the West to scream, he squeezed Berlin. For the Zionists, it’s name is Dimona. Blow that up and, and it’s Jews to the sea.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Aug 2 2020 15:45 utc | 164

@ Grieved, PeterAU, Sakineh Bagoom

Back in his real estate development days, my understanding is that Trump's MO was to make a deal on some big project, get all the subcontractors neck-deep into the job, and then tell them he's changing the deal, demanding they take much less than he'd agreed to pay but trusting that they would be so in fear of completely going under and getting nothing, they would agree to a pittance. And if they tried to fight Trump had no qualms about walking away and letting the whole thing go down, because he was generally personally insulated. Incredibly immoral, but of course by the Rules of Capitalism one could say he was simply using relatively legal methods to find the lowest market price for what he wanted to accomplish.

I think this is instructive on how he approaches "diplomacy" and international affairs. Trump loves the bluster and bluff, which is why he got along so famously with Kim Jung Un. Trump could send carrier groups and threaten all sorts of completely over-the-top military action, and Kim would simply respond in kind. It was like two professional wrestlers "proving" how tough they were by saying they're tough, but somehow both innately understanding that both were playing the game, and there would be no kinetic action of any kind. So as soon as they had each sufficiently puffed up their chest, it was forgotten and the kindred spirits got down to talking like school chums.

Iran was different, partly because I think Trump, like so many Americans who were young adults during the hostage crisis, deemed Iran to be an enemy for life. But also, just like his old real estate days, he took it as given that all he had to do was repudiate the "contract" with Iran and increase the financial pressure, and they would give in just like all his old business adversaries. But of course a nation with that heritage simply can't give in, so I think that left Trump a bit confused and increasingly frustrated. He tried the N. Korea style bluster, but Iran don't play that, so frustrated again. That left him with the sucker-punch tactic, like he got away with in Syria a few times, but after the Solomoni assassination even the partial response was shocking.

My fear was that there were (probably Israeli) voices whispering in Trump's ear that all he needed was a sufficiently large sucker-punch, and threat of more to come, and Iran would surely capitulate. I seem to recall Trump making some troubling comments about turning part of Iran to glass, and in that same time-frame the dial-a-nukes were placed aboard subs headed almost certainly for the ME. I was frightened that some idiot had convinced Trump that all he had to do was make a sufficiently ruthlessly powerful display, such as nuking a militarized island of Iran's, perhaps near the Strait, and then tell Iran that Teheran was next unless they surrendered, and that it would all be over just like that. I have a feeling that may have come close to happening, before likely some Pentagon voices chimed up and made it clear to Trump that this is not how it would go down, so unless he was genuinely ready to nuke all of Iran, and likely still take substantial counter-strikes, he needed to re-think that plan.

Posted by: J Swift | Aug 3 2020 2:01 utc | 165

@ J Swift | Aug 3 2020 2:01 utc | 164 with the Trump scenario

Sounds as good as I have read elsewhere....thanks

I suspect you have read me speculating about the use of Trump's bullying tactics being purposeful. He also has a history with bankruptcy which I also say will come into play before the November (s)election.

The global finance elite are putting all effort into self preservation in the face of the public finance core China and the example of governance they are showing to the world in such stark contrast to the West.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 3 2020 2:24 utc | 166

Is Turkeys economic health interesting?
Given Erodgan's current unpopulatiry and given the nature of Covid to sway influence over a country, i think it is.

Here's a very honest and insightful article, in my view. To an extent it is testament to an honest attempt to protect Turkey's economy and businesses - Erdogan is battling to pull through to 2023, let's not forget. However the point repeated throughout is that the banking strategy is based on there being no second wave of Covid. Yet, watching what I can of the news from Turkey at the moment, Kurban Bayram has seen masses of domestic tourists flood beaches with no care for masks or distancing - just like the old dudes praying outside Haiga Sofia - and already there are reports infection rates having returned to June's levels. Add to that the recently opened borders with Russia tourists arriving and the situation is predicted to get worse. Working on the assumption that there will be no second wave may well be the flaw in the plan. (Just to remind you that the EU has heavily criticised the veracity of Turkey's 'well performing' COVID figures!)

What the article omits to mention, however, is that many raw materials used to produce exportable goods and goods for domestic use are themselves imported. So, when the TL falls, those businesses will see their raw material costs rise massively. Precisely the reason why so many businesses failed or were on the brink of failure in 2018.

Regarding the TL, it's been interesting watching the 'support' of the Lira at just under the 7tl:1$ mark. But when I read in this article that this year alone it had cost the reserves $65bn to achieve this I was shocked. That's 455bn TL!! unbelievable = 3x the minimum monthly salary per member of the Turkish population including toddlers!).

Unsurprisingly, Turkish financial advisors are telling people that the TL will sharply lose value in the coming months. When that happens businesses will start closing. When that happens, the political situation in Turkey will heat up. The opposition is already finding its voice thanks to the Babacan's new Dev Party which could take a lot of support directly from AKP. Interestingly Dev could mean giant, or it could mean ostrich. )))

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 3 2020 10:09 utc | 167

It's not looking pretty. Hit by a triple storm of a raging pandemic, a weak bubble economy that was and continues to be propped up by trillions of dollars created out of thin air, and a dangerous buffoon for president, the U.S.A. is rapidly heading towards social and economic collapse. The question is will the end be relatively bloodless like the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991 and possibly resulting in major reforms and restructuring that will enable it to continue as a functioning state, or will the end come in a vast uncontrollable uprising with gnashing of teeth and bloody reprisals aimed at anyone believed to be the enemy?

Posted by: krypton | Aug 3 2020 11:05 utc | 168

"Ah yes, the Greeks are always in the right"
That is of course a precisely what I said.

"I thought you were someone who was supposed to know something about Turkey"
Then challenge it. Because at the moment all you are doing is and bitching and biting like someone arrogant enough to presume they know it all when in fact the content of your comments displays precisely the opposite.

" "Greece had no choice" apparently, according to you."
From your first dismissive response to my post I suspected you had not bothered to read the article, or at least not to the end. Now, you have proven me right: The comment was reference to the article, not my own. But it is nonetheless interesting to see any Erdogan action stopped dead in its tracks - with the stage immigration wave earlier this year, exactly the same happened, strangely within hours of a EU delegation conference call with Erdo. No anouncement. Just Erdogan's belicose rhetoric and staged footage of refugees at the border dissappeared immediately from every news programme. Here with the Oruc Reis threats, exactly the same has happened. So, I tend to believe that pressure was applied by the EU and Erdogan was stopped in his tracks. That intervention alone implies that the situation had reached a serious level. If you have a different theory please share it, because .. well, so far all you've done is try to invalidate my comments.

But thanks for your insightful and informative responses.(I wish!) )))

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 3 2020 11:59 utc | 169

Sorry - Should have clarified, the above is a response to the delightful Laguerre. ))

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 3 2020 12:01 utc | 170

"A coalition of over two dozen parties, all backing opposition figurehead Juan Guaido, have announced they will not take part in the upcoming parliamentary vote in December, claiming any outcome is “electoral fraud” by default. "

how to avoid losing

Posted by: arby | Aug 3 2020 13:00 utc | 171

Posted by: arby | Aug 3 2020 13:00 utc | 171

Ah yes, proudly carrying the grand Yankee tradition of "Everything is unfair unless I win", I see.

Posted by: J W | Aug 3 2020 16:06 utc | 172

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