Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 18, 2021

Why Is Biden Creating Himself An Iran Quagmire?

Since he came to power President Joe Biden has done nothing to revive the nuclear agreement with Iran. The JCPOA was breached by the U.S. in 2018 when then President Trump left the deal and renewed a 'maximum pressure' sanction campaign against Iran. For over a year Iran stuck to its commitment under the deal. It then began to gradually exceed some of the technical limits of the deal. Those step were legal under the JCPOA because the U.S. had left the deal. All of them are reversible.

In response to the murder by Israel of Iran's top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh the conservative parliament passed a law that compels the moderate government under the Iranian President Rohani to further reduce its adherence to the JCPOA deal. As part of this the Iranian government will soon reduce the ability of the international inspectors from the IAEA to observe parts of its civilian nuclear program. As the Ambassador of Iran to the UN announced:

Gharibabadi @Gharibabadi - 16:11 UTC · Feb 15, 2021

Act of Parliament will be executed on time (23 Feb) and the IAEA has been informed today to ensure the smooth transition to a new course in due time. After all, goodwill brings about goodwill!

The Biden administration demands that Iran fully come back under the restrictions of the deal, to agree to an extension of some restriction under the deal and to agree to talks about its missile programs and its role in the Middle East. Only after that, says the Biden administration, would the U.S. remove some of its sanctions.

The demands are nonsense and have absolutely no chance of being fulfilled.

It is the U.S. that is in breach of the deal. Biden could simply reenter it by lifting the sanctions Trump imposed. Iran had promised that it would follow through by coming back into the technical limits of the deal. But instead of agreeing to that the Biden administration is trying to create a more complicated process by coordinating its negotiation positions with Saudi Arabia, Israel and other opponents of the deal:

Israel’s envoy to the United States suggested Tuesday that Israel may not consult with the new administration on its steps to reenter [JCPOA].

Biden has pledged to engage with allies and partners, including Israel, before making any moves to join the deal. But Reuters reports that some Israeli officials believe consulting with the Biden administration could backfire for Israel “by falsely signaling its consent for any new deal that it still opposes.”

During informal talks held by the Trump administration with Iran the U.S. had made similar demands as Biden is now making. Iran has rejected all of them.

Iran's missile force, built independently, is a deterrence against potential aggressors in its region. Since the Iranian revolution 43 years ago the country has been under various weapon embargoes. Its airforce has therefore no modern fighter jets. The Arab states in the Gulf Cooperation Council on the western side of the Persian Gulf have in total some 450 modern fighter jets in between them. Additionally the U.S. is keeping at times a hundred or more of its own fighter jets in the region.

Iran has little ability to defend itself from a concerted bombing campaign. The only thing it can do is to threaten a response by extensive missile strikes on regional targets. Its missile force is thus a sheer necessity. To suggest that Iran should limit its missile force is a demand that would leave the country defenseless.

A further prolonging of the time limits for restrictions under the JCPOA deal is likewise not agreeable. The JCPOA was negotiated in a long process during which both sides made concessions. That the U.S. is now coming back to unilaterally demand longer restrictions without offering anything new in return is unreasonable.

Iran will not agree to any negotiation with the Biden regime unless the U.S. returns to the deal first. Its Supreme Leader has spoken:

Khamenei.ir @khamenei_ir - 8:42 UTC · Feb 17, 2021

About the #JCPOA, promises were made by the other side. I am saying one thing: We’ve heard many promises which were broken & contradicted in practice. Mere words don't help. This time only action! Action! If the Islamic Republic sees action from the other side, it will act too.

In May 2021 Iran will elect a new president. The moderate Rouhani has failed to revive the Iranian economy. Rouhani negotiated and agreed to the JCPOA but was then betrayed by the U.S. with new devastating sanctions which brought more economic pressure. The conservatives in Iran have already won the 2020 parliament elections. (Note: The 'moderates' in Iran are neoliberals. The more hard line 'conservatives' are social-democrats.) The conservatives will likely win the presidency. Currently the former 'hardline' president of Iran Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, pictured below, has the highest voter approval of all potential candidates. Should the religious authorities allow him to run he is likely to win. U.S. diplomacy with Iran will then become even more difficult.


bigger

It is hard to understand what the Biden administration is expecting to win by slow walking a return to the JCPOA.

  • It practically guarantees that the Iranian side will become more hardline.
  • Keeping up the sanctions also guarantees that Iran will make new moves to counter those. It has reliable proxies in the region and there are many U.S. aligned targets and interests that can be hit. If Iran can not export oil because of U.S. sanctions why should it tolerate that Saudi Arabia can continue to export?
  • Without the U.S. rejoining the JCPOA Iran has all incentives to further increase its stockpile of enriched Uranium and to further increase its enrichment level. U.S. nuclear submarines run on 60% enriched Uranium. Why should Iran not build similar boats and enrich its stockpile to the necessary level? While Iran does not want nuclear weapons it could, like Japan, create and stockpile all the necessary ingredients. The time frame needed to become a nuclear weapon state would then be down to a weekend's project.
  • There is no chance to further increase the pressure on Iran without co-operation from Moscow and Beijing. While the Biden administration has talked with both on Iran there is no sign that they would (again) agree to limit their trade with Iran. This especially as Washington has declared itself to be hostile to both of them.
  • There is no reasonable way the U.S. can attack Iran or its nuclear program without risking intense damage to its own forces and to its allies in the region. Any attack would likely escalate into a wider war. Israel, a nuclear weapon state which is currently expanding its stockpile, would get involved and Iran's ally in Lebanon, Hizbullah, would use its missile force to destroy the economy of the Zionist entity.

The above has all been well known for months. By not immediately reentering the deal the Biden administration is committing diplomatic suicide as has been laid out by many commentators.

The Biden administration could have had an easy early foreign policy win by simply ending the sanctions on Iran and by returning to the JCPOA. Instead it is now creating a quagmire for itself that will consume most of its foreign policy energy.

It is beyond me why it is doing so.

---
PS: After finishing the above I unfortunately found that I have neglected the advice given here: How to Write About Iran: A Guide for Journalists, Analysts, and Policymaker. I'll try to do better next time. Then again, MoA is not main stream media nor does it desire to become such.

Posted by b on February 18, 2021 at 18:44 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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By partners and allies he means Israel, doesn't he, because they doesn't listen what other "partners na allies" have to say!

Posted by: padre | Feb 19 2021 12:32 utc | 101

I really admire Khamenei--"Actions! Only Actions!"

I agree with ptb @6. There's no intention to rejoin the treaty. Perhaps if the Europeans finally do their duty and conform to the treaty that will force Biden's hand

Clearly, the "loss" of Iran in 1979 still cannot be abided by those commanding the Outlaw US Empire, which is the entire underlying reason for the ongoing crisis. Until that mindset changes, the crisis will continue. And if it leads to war, the Empire will lose regardless the damage inflicted on Iran. by: karlof1 @ 25 <= I don't think its mindset from 1979, but LNG, if sanctions are lifted LNG ozzzes out of the bag.. and EU switches to natural gas from Russia and to Iran for China and Venezeulea will be able to sell oil and gas everywhere. the price will fall below the variable cost of delivered LNG at about $36 a barrel.

and I don't agree Americans hate Iran ; Americans don't understand Iran; the USA and the 9th layer of the mind control stack continuously distributes hate Iran contents but generally speaking Americans don't understand enough about Iran to hate it or its people.

To answer B's question <=the LNG bandits refuse to lift sanctions.. JCPOA just reflects that refusal but similar stop LNG competition is everywhere to be seen. oil and gas in NE Syria and N.W. Iraq have been curtailed by forces unwanted in both countries, USA foreign policy is about LNG.. once prices fall below $30 a barrel, LNG fails, Biden pumped the price at pump in America from $1.25 to $2.50 a gallon.. LNG is driving the Biden foreign policy bandwagon,, and as was said here yesterday, the LNG gestapo arranged to deny 85% of the electric power Texans needed to fight the freezing cold with. Its all about creating chaos in America with weather, invasion of the white house and ever escalating inflation and war in foreign places.

Posted by: sanke | Feb 19 2021 12:34 utc | 102

Dear All :
rancoiur is the name of this game
and submission , yes also

Posted by: Charles Michael | Feb 19 2021 12:41 utc | 103

I meant rancour

Posted by: Charles Michael | Feb 19 2021 12:42 utc | 104

RE:Dimona is not only Israels nuclear weapons forge but the tanks attached to the reprocessing plant are also Israels only storage facility for nuclear waste. Dimona has been built in the 50's to the safety and environmental standards of that era. Already once in 2004 the Israeli authorities had to issue Iodine pills to it's residents in that area.

My guess is that the Israelis have serious environmental issues at Dimona and that the recent construction works are connected to this.

- m | Feb 19 2021 7:34 utc | 87

I had not thought of that, but you are undoubtedly right. They supposedly have built 250-300 thermonukes, requiring they make/acquire a lot of reactor-produced weapons grade Pu-239 and tritium, plus a lot of breeder reactor grade U-235/238 fuel to make the Pu from.

That process generates a whole bunch of both high-level as well as low level nuke processing waste, which means the Dimona environs has its own mini-versions of Hanford, Savannah River, Rocky Flats, etc Superfund sites, surrounded in close proximity by [not very effective] Bedouin and Palastinian 'human [radiation] shields'.

Radio-iodine is a short-lived fission product (I-125 longest; t1/2 = 60 days), so if Israeli health authorities were passing out KI pills in 2004, that suggests the Dimona nuke weapons reactors were still running then, at least to some extent.

But given the small geographic size of occupied Palestine, large scale Pu and Tritium production at Dimona in the 21st century is too much of a health risk even to Israelis, so probably nowadays, (and probably thanks in no small part to Epstein-style political blackmail operations paying off) they acquire most of their weapons grade Pu and H-3 already pre-processed, through the backdoor.

Maybe they are also quietly shipping their deteriorating high-level nuke waste containers out the same backdoors into other accommodating countries' high level waste storage streams?

Posted by: gm | Feb 19 2021 12:58 utc | 105

Badrakhumar on the MIT, Us and Indian

https://indianpunchline.com/indias-forever-wars-and-forever-warriors/

Posted by: Charles Michael | Feb 19 2021 13:02 utc | 106

Posted by: m | Feb 19 2021 10:11 utc | 96

The JCPOA was about allowing greater market access for the US in Iran too (for example the US allowed Boeing to sell planes to Iran in 2016), and second Iran is pretty good at disrupting US influence in the Middle East (for example by sabotaging US businesses in Iraq).

That is not to mention its influence in areas of interest for the US such as Afghanistan.

But the biggest point behind JCPOA was not to allow Iran to integrate itself in the Eurasian economy.

With Iran alienated, Russia and China, who the US sees as competitors, gain ground due to that, and integrate Iran within the Eurasian economy.


>>No negotiations about the missile program, no negotiations about the regional tensions.

Under international law Iran's missile program is fully legal, thus there is no basis for negotiations. Who is causing regional tensions is something subjective and it depends a lot on who you ask.

For example many see US & puddels as a destabilising force in the Middle East, causing wars and destruction in their quest to steal something.

Posted by: Passer by | Feb 19 2021 13:10 utc | 107

Posted by: chu teh | Feb 19 2021 4:22 utc | 79

More please.

I am developing a Memetic Infection Detection software and and doing research into infection vectors for malicious memes...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Feb 19 2021 13:23 utc | 108

@vetivLA
Biden has a chance to do the right and sensible thing, but, he won't. He'll follow the dictates of the deep state business cabal, and take the hard line route, because hey, the U$A needs enemies to justify it's commitment to the war machine industry.

Christ, this BS gets old!!

Posted by: vetivLA | Feb 18 2021 19:10 utc | 2

Ditto ditto ditto
when will this manufactured whirlpool of deception for self-enrichment ever end?

Posted by: Carver | Feb 19 2021 13:42 utc | 109

Biden has a chance to do the right and sensible thing, but, he won't. He'll follow the dictates of the deep state business cabal, and take the hard line route, because hey, the U$A needs enemies to justify it's commitment to the war machine industry.

Christ, this BS gets old!!

Posted by: vetivLA | Feb 18 2021 19:10 utc | 2

As I said, previously deleted. Maybe there was a puctuation or country of origin block?
When will the deception for the benefit of self-interest ever end?

Posted by: Carver | Feb 19 2021 13:49 utc | 110

Not to imply any criticism, b may be correct. However wiki says: (93% U 235)

Current U.S. naval reactors are all pressurized water reactors, which are identical to PWR commercial reactors producing electricity, except that:

They have a high power density in a small volume and run either on low-enriched uranium (as do some French and Chinese submarines) or on highly enriched uranium (>20% U-235, current U.S. submarines use fuel enriched to at least 93%)[3]

Posted by: Walter | Feb 19 2021 13:51 utc | 111

Passer by @Feb19 8:40 #90

The issue with the US is israeli ifluence.

The issue is EMPIRE: hundreds of billions of dollars of excess military expenditures, hundreds of billions of dollars of trade advantages, hundreds of billions of dollars of value in dollar hegemony, and (if you believe the rumors) tens of billions of dollars of drug smuggling.

A trillion dollars skimmed from the world - including (especially?) US and EU citizens.

Conveniently blamed on "Israeli influence".

=
The issue with the EU is hatred and greed... causing it to behave like a headless chicken ...

It's not headless, they just want it to appear that way. NATO and Intel agencies are the head.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 19 2021 14:21 utc | 112

This is not about Biden, per se; this is just the uni-party manufacturing excuses why it will never have time to take care of the grave domestic issues which face the sheeple of the US.

In other words: "Heads, the oligarchy wins; tails the sheeple lose!"

Posted by: nudge | Feb 19 2021 14:59 utc | 113

Better ask Kamala.

Posted by: JaimeInTexas | Feb 19 2021 15:23 utc | 114

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 19 2021 14:21 utc | 112

>>The issue is EMPIRE

And the JCPOA was devised precisely by those within the Empire who thought that economically integrating Iran with the West will help them in the long run against Russia and China. In any entity, there are always different factions with different views.

The israeli lobby actually weakens the Empire as it boggs it down in the Middle East and prevents it from concentrating on Russia and China.

>>It's not headless, they just want it to appear that way. NATO and Intel agencies are the head.

NATO and intel agencies are not the only force that matters in the EU, economic interests and industrialist interests matter too. This is why they signed the BIT treaty with China over US objections. Because China is the EUs and Germany's biggest trading partner and we are talking about big money here. Money matters. Especially big money.

That is, the gravitational economic pull of Eurasia is causing the EU to behave like headless chicken over various issues, making one step ahead and then one step back, as it is torn apart internally by different forces, pulling it into different directions at the same time.

Posted by: Passer by | Feb 19 2021 15:25 utc | 115

Iran's Conservatives are far from Social-Democrats. Don't idealize them.

Posted by: SM | Feb 19 2021 15:43 utc | 116

There's a lot going on that isn't widely reported. Iran is making remarkable progress in industry, building cars, expanding petrochemicals, metal production, weapons systems - while increasing oil exports. Venezuela is doing a little better too.

The clock is ticking on sanctions as digital yuan gets closer. What will sanctioned nations need that they can't get from China/Russia or each other? In addition, inflation is rising up in the US amidst infrastructure decay (Texas). This will have a profound effect on military power.

Time is on the side of US adversaries.

Posted by: Eighthman | Feb 19 2021 15:55 utc | 117

Iran not in the mood for gimmicks:

Iran Snubs Biden Overture For Nuclear Talks: "LIFT Sanctions, We WILL Respond"

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 19 2021 16:01 utc | 118

Passer by @Feb19 15:25 #115

... economic interests and industrialist interests matter too.

Well, I did mention hundreds of billions of dollars of EMPIRE-dependent largess.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 19 2021 16:06 utc | 119

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 19 2021 16:06 utc | 119

Yes, and i mentioned the BIT treaty signed over Biden's objections. We are again talking about hundreds of billions of dollars.

Posted by: Passer by | Feb 19 2021 16:08 utc | 120


"Face" and "Guanxi" are cultural games the Yankees (and pretty much everyone else) play in the workplace and in their social circles, but yet they also want to convince the rest of us only the "morally corrupt" Chinese are doing these "reprehensible" activities
Posted by: J W | Feb 19 2021 9:25 utc | 94

On the contrary, Guanxi is about building long-term relationships of trust. The reason the Chinese don't practice it in the West much is because here everything is completely transactional. The concept of Guanxi is completely incomprehensible to us as a culture. It goes right over our heads in practice. Not only in business but also in politics & social relationships.

Posted by: groucho | Feb 19 2021 16:14 utc | 121

NEWSWEEK

Biden's Saudi Policy Betrays a Loyal Ally | Opinion
JORDAN COPE , QATARI FINANCE FELLOW, MIDDLE EAST FORUM
ON 2/19/21 AT 5:30 AM EST

Repulsive, but also bewildering. Why QATARI fellow is shilling for KSA? Is he graciously rented to the Kingdom because of some thaw between two Wahhabi monarchies (al-Thanis quarreled with Saudis back when both of them were collecting tribute from camel herders)? Of course, no surprise in Newsweek lending space to a well-funded shill.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 19 2021 16:46 utc | 122

Just as I enjoy listening to the press conferences of Putin and Lavrov, to practice my Russian, I watched Joe Biden speaking to the Munich Conference, to practice my English. Well, what can I say, it is like comparing a philarmonic orchestra with a panhandler in a bus station repeating worn out slogans with a frail voice, and what is worse, whith a frail and worn out theme.

Posted by: Paco | Feb 19 2021 18:27 utc | 124

@ paco - is harris any better? better get used to her being front and center...

Posted by: james | Feb 19 2021 19:28 utc | 125

Passer by | Feb 19 2021 8:40 utc | 90

I agree with your major points and made the same argument here some time ago. If we are to be generous and assume there was a coherent (not the same as "just" or "humane") geopolitical strategy elucidated during the Obama administration it was the "pivot to Asia." Is it pertinent to ask then wrt US attitude toward Iran: "Is it a threat, or a prize?"?

It is a prize, hence the '53 coup, and it is a threat because of the resultant reactionary Revolution of '79. Perhaps another question to ask is: Is it even conceivable that the US could maintain workable - non-aggressive - relations with both Iran and Israel simultaneously? "Absolutely not" would be the expected Israeli response, and I speculate the Iranians would counter with "Why would you even want to?"

You did not need to throw in the condescension toward the other poster though.

But, all of this, b's editorial and the chatter, is moot. If you all haven't noticed the Washington establishment is at war with itself. Both sides are too busy condemning each other for every minor or perceived transgression to do anything outside of their furious food fight. If Biden even moves one inch closer to Iran the Republicans will launch their own ballistic missiles (figuratively speaking.)

Yes, thanks for the link to that guide for editorialists. Just insert any US villain de jour and substitute some picayune cultural divergences and you can make those dictates work universally for the US audience.

Many here are probably familiar with the political cartoon Lucky Ducky (Tom the Dancing Bug.) Iran is Lucky Ducky to the US' Hollingsworth Hound. Not to make light of the real effects of the illegal abuse of Iran by the US. To think of Iran as a prize is to live in the world of the grasping imperialist. Better to think of Iran as a place and a people you would rather have as a friend than an enemy. It is unwilling to again be any pirate's "prize." On that note, I'll que up Glazinov's tone poem Stenka Rozin.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Feb 19 2021 22:07 utc | 126

Should have written "Glazunov" but it doesn't matter since both are anglicizations of a proper Russian name.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Feb 19 2021 22:15 utc | 127

What are your sources that Ahmadinejad has the most popular support?

Posted by: A | Feb 19 2021 23:18 utc | 128

Steven (Stenka) Razin lived in 17-th century. A leader a pirate band of Kossacks and later of an insurrection in 17-th century, and a hero of a famous folk song
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIIvFgNAwO4 (listen, read the text and the translation)
As a pirate, he looted some Persian cities.
The text of the song was actually written by an educated member of Russian gentry who was a folklorist an a poet, but the tune is a Russian folk tune with no known composer.

Glazunov adapted the folk tune into a suite.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 20 2021 2:02 utc | 129

"But, all of this, b's editorial and the chatter, is moot. If you all haven't noticed the Washington establishment is at war with itself. Both sides are too busy condemning each other for every minor or perceived transgression to do anything outside of their furious food fight. If Biden even moves one inch closer to Iran the Republicans will launch their own ballistic missiles (figuratively speaking.)

Posted by: vinnieoh | Feb 19 2021 22:07 utc | 126

Yes, thank you for that. I am relying on the political class' preoccupations with their interpersonal disputes preventing them from getting into more mischief overseas. Beats TV too. However much noise will accompany the process. The many pressing issues we are neglecting will continue to be dealt with rhetorically too. Sad.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 20 2021 2:20 utc | 130

Bloomberg earlier spun Iran’s consistent position that the sanctions must be removed as a “snub”. Now Reuters spins Iran’s consistent position as “pressure”.

“U.S. says it won't bow to pressure from Iran on more sanctions relief before potential talks”

https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-iran-biden-int-idUSKBN2AJ2BH

The Americans are intent on reopening and renegotiating the terms of the original deal. The sanctions, as understood by the Biden people, are fully part of their leverage and the focus will be on initiating “talks” and “diplomatic conversation” which will then morph into a renegotiation. The EU members of the accord seem to agree with this approach. It seems a game of chicken. NATO boosting its presence in Iraq may be part of this game.

Posted by: jayc | Feb 20 2021 3:30 utc | 131

Biden isn't creating anything. Biden isn't in charge of anything. Biden is senile and the criminals who got him elected are in charge. Blaming Biden -- like blaming Trump before him -- for the policy decisions arrived at by the permanent bureaucracy, is false argument and false assignment of actual responsibility.

The Zionists -- AIPAC et al -- who have subverted the US to reduce America to Israel's bitch, are the real criminals.

The good news: the 5-thousand year history of Jewish tribal subversion of their host countries has in every case ended badly for the Jews, as it must, since no people will endlessly submit to predatory victimization. And so it will end in the US and for Israel.

This pattern will continue until the Jews finally learn not to treat non-Jews as less than human and unworthy of basic respect.

Posted by: Jeff Davis | Feb 20 2021 21:30 utc | 132

So, at the end of the post b mentioned about an article: How to Write About Iran: A Guide for Journalists, Analysts, and Policymaker -- and how he was going to try to do better about adhering to it in the future. :)

And someone in the comments mentioned that there could be other guides for journalists on other countries.

So, this is my contribution:

How to Write About Russia: A Guide for Journalists, Analysts, and Policymakers


1. Everything that happens in Russia is Putin's fault.

2. Any Western politician who has anything good to say about Russia or advocates for better relations is Putin's puppet. They A.)obviously are naive and incapable of standing up to his greater sophistication and wiles. "Useful idiots" is a preferred way of describing them. Or B.) have been somehow corrupted by him. Always make sure to mention his background as a KGB agent Or C:) are just plain corrupt themselves -- you know, because corrupt people like to work with other corrupt people -- they just naturally gravitate to one another -- it's a birds of a feather flock together type of thing. Or D.) they're just plain fuckin evil -- no need to elaborate further.

3. KGB. KGB. KGB. Just hammer home on the KGB thing. Use terms like,"cunning," "wiley," "calculating," or anything that indicates sophistication or intelligence -- especially where it pertains to the underworld. or the seamy side of political life in general And this is a must -- you can't use the term "ruthless" often enough. Always associate the term "ruthless," hopefully to the point where it becomes an automatic word association.

4. In light of (the first part of) section 3, above, this one will be a hard sell. You might want to put space between these themes if writing about them in the same article. Or else, write about them on separate occasions. But Putin is also a complete idiot. He acts irrationally,impulsively, and vindictively when it comes to certain of his opponents. He uses means and methods that are sloppy and reckless... amateurish even... and at times seemingly designed for easy detection. This can be somewhat offset in the reader's mind if you emphasize how evil he is. Because evilness seems to somehow overrule people's higher cognitive functions -- it's like a reversion to the lizard-brain type of thing.

5. Putin kills journalists. (this is probably a subset of 4) Don't bother with evidence. Evidence shmevidence you don't need no stinkin evidence. And if somebody pushes you on it just quote somebody who said something like, "well, he created the atmosphere that enabled this to happen," or some other type of weaselly comment that smears him by vague association. There are plenty of them (these quotes) lying around for you to pick from... so it should be easy.
.
6. Putin poisons his opponents... (also a subset of 4)... and he uses Novichok. He just loves Novichok for some reason. Emphasize how deadly Novichok is. But be careful to gloss over the fact that none of the intended victims he has ever used it on has actually died from it. Also, distract people from focusing on the fact that Novichok leaves traces which therefore makes it possible to detect, whereas there are many other ways to eliminate someone that would be much more efficient and less detectable. (Here again, refer to #4.) Also, try to draw people's attention away from the fact that invariably, whenever he tries to poison someone, his timing couldn't be any more atrocious. It's almost as if he designs these events to cause maximum damage to his own interests... (Again, refer to #4.)

7. Putin is corrupt. He has big mansions all over the place and has amassed massive personal wealth. Here again, no evidence required. Just repeat it ad nauseam... people will believe you. Make sure to gloss over the fact that in his entire career in public service dating from his days as an administrator in St. Petersburg, he had developed a reputation for honesty and clean government. Also, distract from the inconvenient fact that by any metric, Russia is now much less corrupt than it was in the Yeltsin days, and that he is the one who has reined in the oligarchs.

8. Putin is a revanchist/imperialist and is committing aggression that threatens the West. Of course, you must ignore the fact that NATO, despite its previously expressed commitment not to, has expanded right up to Russia's borders, and is carrying out military maneuvers right on its doorstep. You must also ignore the coup in Ukraine orchestrated by Washington and the threats uttered by people associated with the US government to use Ukraine as a stepping stone with the ultimate aim of carrying out regime change in Russia.

9. Navalny is a popular figure in Russian politics, is one of the best exponents of liberal democratic values in Russia today, and poses a big enough threat to Putin where he has him running scared to the point that he saw the need to attempt to have him eliminated by poisoning. (please see #4 above again) Of course, ignore the fact that his (Navalny’s) personal ratings have never exceeded the 2% range, that outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg he's not even that well known, that he has been convicted of fraud, and that he is a racist/nationalist that is also a chameleon-like, opportunist who changes his tune according to whatever he deems to be to his greatest advantage.

10. And finally, just Putin, Putin, Putin, Putin, non-stop Putin, Putin, Putin, Putin, 24/7 Putin, Putin, Putin, Putin, Putin… Got it?

Posted by: Steverino | Feb 20 2021 21:52 utc | 133

Passer by @Feb19 16:08 #120

... and i mentioned the BIT treaty signed over Biden's objections.

The Europeans walked away from Trade with Iran at USA insistence.

Germany is now under pressure to abandon NordStream II - including by European findings and actions related to Navalny.

So I'd say that the future of EU-China BIT is uncertain at best.

NATO Chief Says 'Rise Of China A Defining Issue' For The Alliance

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 21 2021 12:38 utc | 134

Passer by @Feb19 16:08 #120

... and i mentioned the BIT treaty signed over Biden's objections.

The Europeans walked away from Trade with Iran at USA insistence.

Germany is now under pressure to abandon NordStream II - including by European findings and actions related to Navalny.

So I'd say that the future of EU-China BIT is uncertain at best.

NATO Chief Says 'Rise Of China A Defining Issue' For The Alliance

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 21 2021 12:38 utc | 135

Because there is no deal that Biden can make with Iran that will make Saudi Arabia or Israel happy.

Regardless what they say, Saudi Arabia's real beef with Iran is that Iran is Shia. There is no deal that will change that.

Regardless what they say, Israel's real beef with Iran is that Iran exists. There is no deal that will change that.

Posted by: Feral Finster | Feb 22 2021 15:24 utc | 136

seems that eventually, Biden will be inclined to return to the JCPOA, regardless as
to what the Deep Staters, Israel and Saudi lobbies may have in mind.

his #1 concern for the foreseeable future is likely to relate to matters with China
and Russia.
Iran question is a bit of a hot potato, and Biden wont want to be holding it for too much longer, so wheres the problem in returning to the JCPOA in the next 6 months or so?

in fact in recent weeks and months the Chinese have decided to play the Taiwan card.
so expect issue of Taiwanese sovereignty to be a big issue in weeks ahead

Posted by: chris m | Feb 22 2021 17:06 utc | 137

yet another "article" written that feigns surprise where there should be none.
Should I even bother explaining the obvious to the "clueless"? Sure, why nots.

USA always plays the Game Theory. Biden doesn't want to revive it because the end game for USA is to attack Iran. USA knows by ruining Iran economically with an attack, that will also mortally hurt BRI. Iran is the weakest link in the chain of Iran, Russia and China. Hurt Iran, you also hurt CHina and Russia who also get involved. The so called "West" unites against them and wins.
USA wants a world war because its so called "Capitalism" is failing.
Come on, stop wasting my time.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Feb 23 2021 0:39 utc | 138

@Steverino #133

That was awesome, thanks! b should publish your comment as a separate post.

Posted by: S | Feb 23 2021 2:01 utc | 139

Biden is creating an Iran quaqmire because Obama did; most of his advisors were prominent in the Obama Administration. More of the same with only a 4 year Trump hiatus. Neocons all....

Posted by: Michele Baillie | Feb 24 2021 8:53 utc | 140

@62 farmecologist: Good one!

Posted by: Gene Poole | Feb 24 2021 12:21 utc | 141

The planned for war with Iran was laid out in the Brookings Institution's 2009 "Which Path to Persia" document. The main component for justifying a war with Iran is the rejection of a "deal" by Iran. Between the lines, a murderous false-flag to be laid at Iran's feet is to be the trigger.

Highlights:

"...The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer-one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down....and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians 'brought it on themselves' by refusing a very good deal." --"Which Path to Persia," The Brookings Institution, p.39

"The truth is that these all would be challenging cases to make. For that reason, it would be far more preferable if the United States could cite an Iranian provocation as justification for the airstrikes before launching them. Clearly, the more outrageous, the more deadly, and the more unprovoked the Iranian action, the better off the United States would be..." --"Which Path to Persia," The Brookings Institution, p.84

"...With provocation, the international diplomatic and domestic political requirements of an invasion would be mitigated, and the more outrageous the Iranian provocation (and the less that the United States is seen to be goading Iran), the more these challenges would be diminished. In the absence of a sufficiently horrific provocation, meeting these requirements would be daunting." --"Which Path to Persia," The Brookings Institution, p.66

"Given all this, there does not seem to be much utility in examining an American invasion of Iran in the context of an overt Iranian attack that produced mass American civilian casualties. It does not seem to be a scenario that the United States is likely to face, *nor is it an “option” for American foreign policy* because the outcry from the American people for an overwhelming military response would drown out all other possible approaches..." --"Which Path to Persia," The Brookings Institution, p.67

Posted by: Brad Tifman | Feb 26 2021 5:03 utc | 142

@ brad.. thanks for sharing the war propaganda from brookings insitution.... its not like there is enough bullshit to go around.. we apparently need more fertilizer here at moa, lol... anyone who believes any of these neo con think tanks must be quite happy at the results from the war on iraq in 2003, or even the coup in ukraine, or the ongoing bullshit in syria and libya... neo cons just don't know how to fold and go home.. and of course there is no money in that.. wall st - military industrial complex need to keep the sheeple in a state of constant ignorance.. brookings institution is helpful in this regard!!

Posted by: james | Feb 26 2021 5:40 utc | 143

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