Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 29, 2021

Biden's Iran Policy Is Already At A Dead End

On Sunday the U.S.bombed three positions of Iraqi Popular Mobilization Force at the Syrian-Iraqi border.

The U.S. had no right to do so. The legal reasoning the Biden administration provided for the attack is nonsense. As is the claimed rationale of establishing 'deterrence' against further attacks on U.S. troops by this or that Iraqi militia group. The last strike in that area in February was supposed to have fulfilled the same purpose but obviously did not deter anything. Sunday's strike was immediately responded to with missiles fired against a U.S. position in Syria. More such incidents will follow.

The attack has embarrassed Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi:

The most perplexing aspect of this airstrike, however, is its timing, coming only one day after Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi attended a celebration of the seventh anniversary of the creation of the PMF, held at Camp Ashraf, the former headquarters of the anti-Iranian Mujahedeen-e-Khalq terrorist group, located about 100 kilometers (62 miles) northeast of Baghdad. The PMF paraded thousands of its fighters, along with tanks, rocket launchers, and drones, before a reviewing stand that, in addition to Kadhimi, included Defense Minister Juma Inad, Interior Minister Othman Ghanmi, Iraqi Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, and PMF Chief of Staff Abdul Aziz al-Mohammadawi. 

More important than the list of attendees, however, is what Kadhimi said about the PMF. In a tweet released during the parade, the prime minister noted that “[w]e attended the parade of our heroic army on December 6 (2020), as well as the brave police parade, and today we attended the parade of our sons in the Popular Mobilization Forces. We affirm that our work is under the banner of Iraq, and protecting its land and people is our duty. Yes to Iraq! Yes to Iraq, the strong and capable country.” Kadhimi went on to highlight the fact that the PMF was a state service, and praised its role in the ongoing struggle against Islamic State.

To reiterate, one day after the prime minister of Iraq, in the company of his military and national security team, declared the PMF to be an essential part of his nation’s state security, the US undertook to bomb these same forces at locations in Syria and Iraq from where the PMF carry out the very anti-IS operations praised by the Iraqi PM – and did so without either informing the Iraqi government beforehand, or seeking its permission.

In response, Kadhimi convened an emergency meeting of his national security staff and issued a pointed condemnation of the US strikes as a clear violation of Iraqi sovereignty that would prompt his government to study all legal options in response. 

The strike has weakened the U.S. position in Iraq and has strengthened Iran's position.

Some analysts say that the attack was a message to Iran in the context of the ongoing talks about the nuclear deal. But what did that message say? That the U.S. can bomb some minor targets? What is new with that?

Let's go back to the big picture.

An overarching aim of the Biden administration is to concentrate all its forces on the competition with China. To that purpose it has planned to largely leave the Middle East behind - the place where the U.S. has wasted its resources over more than two decades.

To leave the Middle East the U.S. needs to find some form of peace with Iran. The Biden administration thus set out to reenter the nuclear deal. It must lift the sanctions Trump imposed against Iran to get there. But then mission creep set in. Instead of just lifting the sanctions in return for Iran's adherence to the limits of the nuclear deal the Biden administration has sought more concessions from Iran while offering less sanctions relief. 

Iran has made its position clear. If the U.S. lifts ALL sanctions imposed by Trump it will again subject its nuclear program to the limits of the nuclear deal. If the U.S. does not lift ALL sanctions then Iran will continue to exceed those limits by ever growing margins.

Secretary of State Anthony 'Pompous the second' Blinken has the illusion that he can get Iran back under the nuclear deal and keep significant sanctions in place. He wants to use those to press Iran into limiting its missile force and into ending support for its allies in the Middle East:

Senior Biden administration officials, from Mr. Blinken on down, have conceded that among the shortcomings of the old nuclear accord is that it needs to be “longer and stronger,” and address Iran’s missile development program and support of terrorism.

Now the aperture appears to be widening even further: It is increasingly clear that any comprehensive agreement that addresses America’s many complaints about Iranian behavior must also cover a broad range of new weaponry that Iran’s forces were only tinkering with six years ago.

Iran will not disarm itself. Those aims are impossible to achieve:

Blinken has already said that some U.S. sanctions will remain, and will be lifted when – and only when – Tehran ‘changes behaviour’. Note the quiet shift. Blinken here is not talking regulatory nuclear framework, he is going ‘Manichean’. Thus, on this metric (correcting malign behaviour), it is not a matter of how many individual sanctions remain in place, but the nature of those remaining. Evidently, the nature of those that remain must imply great pain, if they truly are to coerce a change of strategic course by an irredeemably ‘malign’ Iran. (It is another example of how the good/evil paradigm freezes politics solid).

Team Biden knows, and freely admits, that Trump’s maximum pressures did not shift Iranian behaviour. Yet Blinken is advocating the U.S. repeating what has just failed. Actually what Trump did was to persuade Iran to develop the smart missile-swarm drone deterrence that has made ‘maga-weapons’ irrelevant. It has given Iran a strategic edge.

Yet Blinken is now flirting with the idea to not return to the nuclear deal:

“If this continues, if they continue to spin more sophisticated centrifuges at higher and higher levels, we will get to a point where it will be very difficult as a practical matter” to return to the parameters of the original nuclear deal, he said.

“I can’t put a date on it,” Mr. Blinken said of the day when the Biden administration might walk away from the nuclear talks, but “it’s getting closer.”

And then what?

If the U.S. does not return to the nuclear deal anytime soon Iran will leave it completely. My guess is by the end of this year. That would free it to do whatever nuclear it wants to do. Iran will also increase its support for proxy forces which are able to hurt U.S. forces and U.S. allies in the Middle East. A number of ever escalating needle pricks - burning Saudi tankers, exploding refineries, drone attacks on U.S. bases - would necessitate for the U.S. to stay engaged.

The U.S. can not go to war with Iran. The country can not be occupied and any bombing of it would be responded to by missile and drone attacks against each and every U.S. base and ally in the region, including Israel..

A stand off or low level conflict could thus continue for a long time. It would consume more U.S. resources and management time. Time China can use, undisturbed, to further develop its capabilities. By adding more and more demands for the lifting of the sanctions against Iran the Biden administration is sabotaging its overarching strategic aim of competing with China.

This is a very shortsighted policy. Iran will not flinch. Attempts to put pressure on it by killing a few Iraqi militia are just laughable nonsense. That the Biden administration tries to do so shows that it has driven itself into a blind ally but is unwilling to go into reverse.

What then will be its next move?

Posted by b on June 29, 2021 at 17:23 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Peter AU1 | Jun 30 2021 11:35 utc | 100

Military aircraft sometimes fly with their transponders off.
In this case the USS Ross either must have shut it's AIS transponder off, so as not to confuse the Ship trackers with two signals, OR the signal from the AIS transponder was induced to give false position information itself.

Clearly a "hack" but by whom?
****

PS. Must wait for soggy top secret documents to be found in the wastebasket of the ferry across the Bosphorus, to know the troooth.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 30 2021 12:00 utc | 101

Stonebird

I think it was the Ukraine that said USS Ross would be doing the same as the British ship so my guess would be Ukraine - with or without US participation. It is purely a propaganda exercise as there are plenty of ship watchers that just have to bring up any of the tracking sites on the net. If the ship is in port then the transponder is likely turned off.
I am not sure exactly how they work but I would guess the transponder communicates with a satellite giving the ships ID plus position, course ect from the ships navigation system at regular intervals. All that would be needed is whatever the ship uses to identify itself then add in fictional navigation data.

This was in the Saker's last piece - "The Ukies have also declared that the Ross plans to follow the exact same course as the Defender did."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 30 2021 12:44 utc | 102

In January, 2021, I read that 10 top members of Mr. Biden's administration each had 2 passports, one of which is from a country whose name begins with "I". It is not Ireland.
Anthony Blinkin, Meritt Garland, Janet Yellen, Alejandro Mallorca, Avril Haynes, Ron Twain, Wendy Sherman, Victoria Nuland, Eric Louder, David F. Cohen.
Could this possisbly have any effect on the US policy toward Iran?

Posted by: lizzie dw | Jun 30 2021 13:03 utc | 103

I found this perspective interesting, perhaps you will too.

The Iraqi Revolution — of 1958

https://adst.org/2014/07/the-iraqi-revolution-of-1958/

Posted by: librul | Jun 30 2021 14:17 utc | 104

Defender was a joint US-UK operation.
abc news
Putin says US and UK were behind Black Sea 'provocation'
. . .Russian President Vladimir Putin says that a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft was operating in concert with a British destroyer on June 23 when the ship sailed through the Black Sea. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 30 2021 14:28 utc | 105

@ 99 robin... thanks.. brush fire wasn't a very good analogy on my part.. i was flying off the handle when i typed that.. i just don't believe cultivating chaos is a recipe for success on the part of the usa- financial empire... i guess it remains to be seen how it works out..

Posted by: james | Jun 30 2021 15:34 utc | 106

@ Grieved (# 92),

You’re welcome. Thank you for watching & writing. I appreciate your perspective. We’re working on the version 2.0 of this video series and will appreciate any feedback. If you come across a better overview of the socioeconomic system, the Financial Empire and global driving forces, please share.

@ James, Agin & vk,

Many thanks for your comments.

Posted by: Max | Jun 30 2021 16:05 utc | 107

Max @Jun30 3:35 #89

I watched Vrabel's "Renaissance 2.0" video. I can see why you call him a patriot. He wanted to restore the power of money creation back to the government.

This thread from peakprosperity.com indicates to me that Vrabel (aka "strabes" and, later in the discussion, his handle changes to "Peak Prosperity Admin") didn't agree with bitcoin as a mechanism for "sovereign money". He couldn't understand the valid point that any money that is centrally-controlled could be compromised. His thinking didn't go beyond a dislike of the money as bank credits.

I still find it odd that he ended his blog with such negativity.

In 2010, lots of people were (still are) upset about being lied into the 2003 war in Iraq followed by the fleecing of the economy which produced the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. They have good reason for their anger. IMO Vrabel's last post paints too-bleak a picture and thus does a disservice. This is disservice is evident in the many important revelations that occurred in the years following Vrabel's exit: Snowden's disclosures; the White Helmets psyop and corruption of the OPCW; the lies surrounding MH-17 and Skripals; the jailing and trial of Assange (with witnesses that gave false testimony!); and the mainstream acceptance of bitcoin - a form of "sovereign money" that Vrabel sees as the answer to neo-feudal central control. All of these (and more) have offered hope for change and provided ammunition for reformers.

With that said, I think Vrabel makes many good points. I like what he says about narcissism as a fundamental quality of the system. And his 'financial vortex' is a brilliant simplification.

However, we can see weak points in Vrabel's thinking when compared with bitcoin and the thoughts of someone like Caitlin Johnstone and others that address the militaristic aspect of the Empire as much as the Financial aspect. She highlights population control via propaganda narratives. In today's world, people are not just controlled just by debt, they are controlled by mass psychology.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 30 2021 16:15 utc | 108

As usual while others talk the Russians decide to DO.
Just seen this. Lacks confirmation but I assume it could be true as the MSM don't mention it !

While the US was bombing Syria & Iraq; Russia sent a delegation to Lebanon with a full offer to rebuild Beirut port & two refineries that will allow the country to be fuel independent. Russia said they will do this work forcefully, even if that leads to confrontation with the USA

Maybe this is what Iraq and Iran were waiting for. A new perspective on the ME. I don't think Biden and Blinkens' handlers will be too pleased.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 30 2021 16:22 utc | 109

It isn't just Iran that the Outlaw US Empire can't control. Since Imran Khan became PM, Pakistan has also moved far away from being a NATO Bloc addition. Perhaps the most important indicator of that change is PM Khan's letter to the Chinese People in celebration of Pakistan's 70th anniversary of relations with the PRC and its upcoming 100th Anniversary of the CPC's formation. Here's a small portion of Khan's letter:

"Pakistan was the first Muslim country to recognize the People's Republic of China in 1950 followed by the establishment of formal diplomatic relations a year later. Over the past seven decades, our fraternal relations have withstood the vicissitudes of time, and grown from strength to strength, unaffected by changes in the regional and international environment. With unrelenting efforts of successive generations in the two countries, our relationship has transformed into an 'All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership.'

"During this momentous journey, Pakistan became the most vocal supporter of the lawful rights of China in the United Nations. It also facilitated the famous 'secret' visit of Mr. Henry Kissinger, the then US National Security Advisor, to Beijing in 1971, which became the harbinger of Sino-US rapprochement. This July marks the 50th anniversary of that seminal development, which had a decisive impact on East-West relations.

"The Pakistan-China relationship is characterized by deep mutual trust, understanding and commonality of interests. This unique, time-tested, and ironclad brotherhood has scaled many peaks. We support each other in our respective core interests. Pakistan has always upheld the 'One-China Policy' and supported China on Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and South China Sea issues. China has stood by Pakistan in supporting our key strategic, economic, and developmental priorities. The people and government of Pakistan deeply value China's just and principled position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute."

It appears SCO member nations are all forming Strategic Partnerships with each other, and that's certainly the status the evolution of relations between Iran and China/Russia is headed for if not actually already achieved. So, we can understand why the Empire is trying so hard to capture India; but it's easily as clear that India's interests lie with its SCO partners and incorporation into the Eurasian Bloc as a key member.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 30 2021 16:29 utc | 110

Stonebird @109--

I see the annual Direct Line with Vladimir Putin occurred today, which is where that news might have emerged. The English transcript isn't at all complete yet, so I'll look for other confirmation.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 30 2021 16:45 utc | 111

circumspect @75

I gather from the quote in your post that NATO is melting down like snowflakes in Seattle over perceived Russian "microaggressions". It would be nice if they could relax and stop squealing like little Girl Scouts on their first camping trip after Ghost Story Hour.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 30 2021 16:57 utc | 112

@ Jackrabbit (#108),

Thanks for watching and sharing your perspective. “The rise of the Financial Empire,” was version 1.0, like the first version it wasn’t perfect. However, the version 2.0 will be 10x better!

The single biggest problem is the Money As Debt system, aka money creation by private banking at interest using their central banking system. Under the present insane system, RULERS are allowed to create ALL money out of thin air, and they're allowed to LEND that money to governments, businesses & individuals, forcing us into debt, forcing us to pay interest, when the government could simply create the exact same money debt free and interest free. This is THE issue... everything else pales in comparison. Why use public’s credit for private gains? There needs to be complete transparency about money creation, allocation and including credit money. No more monetary imperialism and enslavement!

Damon ended the blog because he was harassed by the powers. He published this video and was transparent about his decision. It doesn’t mean he ended his pursuit! There are many videos about him on YouTube and he was interviewed by RT a few times too. “Wall Street rules the American people.” No further discussion about Damon Vrabel.

Agree, narratives play a big role to keep people in darkness and create Orcs (dark minds & souls). Orcs were once elves. Narratives were discussed in that blog too. Many well known people would comment and it was a period of great awakening and enlightenment. The blog was like being in Rivendell, magic. There are many new learnings. The 21st Century media is a modern-day version of Plato’s cave, in which media represents the cave and the information presented to society represents the shadows on the cave wall. A revolutionary new media platform will be launched and incorporate many things, and it will be the “iPhone” of the News Media World! Light trumps might!

“If you shut up truth and bury it under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way.” 

Posted by: Max | Jun 30 2021 17:34 utc | 113

I just watched an interesting lecture by Avi Shlaim, professor emeritus of Oxford University, himself of Iraqi Jewish origin, about the departure of the Jews from Iraq in 1950.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yf93SOJomIA (about 25 mins)

His father didn't want to leave, his mother did. But he provides pretty clear evidence that it was the Israelis who planted most of the bombs (4/5) that panicked the Jewish community into leaving.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 30 2021 17:57 utc | 114

…it's easily as clear that India's interests lie with its SCO partners and incorporation into the Eurasian Bloc as a key member.

I wish I knew who the India is you have in mind. One candidate with a considerable plurality is the Hindutva crowd under Modi. It’s doubtful that that India has any interest in being incorporated into the Eurasian Bloc. It’s most fervently imagined friend and model is Israel. There are other realities behind what you would call India, but nothing unitary. That way lies only Hindutvu fascism.

Posted by: sarz | Jun 30 2021 18:03 utc | 115

sarz 115

There was a couple of English language Hindutva sites on the net. It was some years ago around when it become obvious Modi was cosying up with the US.
There was a lot of hairy fairy help everyone and goodness crap on the main pages, but digging through the sites I got to the fine print. They believe they are the true aryans and are destined to rule the world. They hate communists and thought the US fights for freedom.
Last time I looked up those sites which was a few years ago, they had cleaned up their image a bit and that stuff could no longer be found.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 30 2021 18:13 utc | 116

Just a little detail about the situation in Iraq, seen in the local news but didn't make it into the world media, but expressive of the situation.

About two weeks ago PM Kadhimi inaugurated a new power plant south of Samarra, called the Samarra Steam Plant. Why steam I'm not quite sure, other than a gas- or oil-fired station used steam to drive the turbines.

Only a week after the inauguration, the plant was hit by Katyusha rockets, and heavily damaged, including deaths.

Who did it? My guess is ISIS, who have a strong implantation in the countryside outside Samarra.

Evidently Kadhimi has not succeeded, to that great an extent, in calming feelings in Iraq, as he is supposed to have done. We heard that northern Iraq is now peaceful. That's what comes from the US embassy insisting on the choice of one or another candidate for the PM of Iraq.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 30 2021 18:36 utc | 117

@gordog & karlof1

Whilst the Americans captured/freed WVB and built their rocketry around him, I remember reading about the Soviets capturing the better man (sadly, his name escapes me as it was decades ago that I read about this).

Was the chap in question the reason why Soviet space achievements (and their incredible rocket engines) were so dominating during the space race and moving forward.

Apologies for off topic

Posted by: Some random passerby | Jun 30 2021 18:53 utc | 118

@ sarz (#115) & Peter AU1 (#116),

When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion. Please avoid racial tones and focus on the monetary and economics angle.

India is a SUZERAINTY. It is caught between a rock and a hard place. How will you define its monetary system? It was defined by British and is still stuck in those chains. India’s RBI was private when founded in 1935 on April fool’s day. Who were its owners in 1935? They defined and have since controlled India through its kleptocracy. RBI was nationalized in 1949. However, this fraudulent monetary system ones installed is difficult to change without a revolution. Indira Gandhi tried and it cost her life. Religion is used to mask reality of events.

India’s rupee’s value is completely controlled by the Financial Empire. If India does anything that the Financial Empire doesn’t approve its currency will be attacked and DEVALUED. This is the reason India isn’t buying oil from Iran in rupees. The Financial Empire is forcing it to buy oil in petrodollars. Russia has helped India in multiple ways. However, one third of India’s dollar earnings come from its migrant in the Arab nations and another one third from the services to the Financial Empire. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have manufacturing capabilities like China. What a waste of India’s talent.

The Bilderberg group made an investment of over $20 billion in India’s conglomerate Reliance through its lackeys, Google, Facebook, KKR... Yes, India was bribed. Israel provides cheap smartphones to Reliance and helps in other ways.

What deal are China and Russia (SCO) offering to win India? One need to understand reality and compete to win partners. The Financial Empire has good stronghold on many of its suzerainties. Reality trumps delusions

Posted by: Max | Jun 30 2021 18:55 utc | 119

sarz @115--

The India I have in mind is the unrepresented, which is the vast majority; the ones that even a modicum of economic development would benefit the most. In other words, all the lower castes, and those who have no illusions of Aryan roots.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 30 2021 18:59 utc | 120

Modi is a Hindu nationalist, therefore anti-Muslim. Isn't that enough to explain his tendencies?

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 30 2021 19:15 utc | 121

The PMUs were bombed repeatedly near the border by US forces last year, they responded with missile attacks on US bases, than the US murdered Soulemani as well as their leader. Iraqi parliament and the PMUs told all US forces to leave. Biden responded with two more massacres against PMUs. This has little to do with Iran, other than that Iran provides training and support for PMUs. I believe the US is trying to use Iraqis attacks on US forces to get them to leave to find a way to start a war with Iran. Iran doesn’t not command the PMUs. I think we’re pullling out of Afghanistan to focus on a long planned war on Iran and Syria.

Posted by: Jason | Jun 30 2021 20:08 utc | 122

Posted by: Jason | Jun 30 2021 20:08 utc | 122

The US will leave Iraq, because the popular support is so low for them, but it won't be immediately. Difficulties will accrue. Is it worth occupying a country whose population is almost entirely hostile?

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 30 2021 20:46 utc | 123

Laguerre 121

Modi isn't a Hindu nationalist, that's just a public image for his dupes. Hindus have suffered as brutally from his misrule as anyone else. Modi has only one allegiance, that is, to the enrichment of his corporate owners and fellow Gujaratis Mukeshbhai Dhirubhai Ambani and Gautambhai Shantilalbhai Adani.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jun 30 2021 23:33 utc | 124

May the Persian hold true.

That is all.

Posted by: Smith | Jul 1 2021 13:55 utc | 125

Col. Scott Desormeaux, who leads the 256th, said he has seen “a small uptick in the amount of IEDs” — evidence of ISIS — but for the most part, this part of Syria is as sleepy as it comes in the middle of a civil war and a low-level terrorist insurgency. . .here

This quote (accessed through the link at ". . .here") reads as though the USA, Israel, Saudi Arabia and friends, had not been organizing, financing, supporting with airpower and arming ISIS (while pretending to fight it!) up until the Russians entered the war and exposed the lie!

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jul 1 2021 20:59 utc | 126

Gordog | Jun 30 2021 0:58 utc | 74 et al

Any mention of Goddard/rocketry needs the data on his critical support by "1927 nonstop NY to Paris" Charles Lindbergh first and then, jointly with Lindbergh, by Harry Guggenheim and his father Daniel G. Lindbergh...such was instrumental to enable Goddard to leave his teaching position and set-up in New Mexico.

Earlier, Lindbergh had tried thru several meetings with Dupont to get backing for Goddard and future of rocketry. Curiously, Dupont refused any assistance ...and even argued that combustion thru a nozzle [e.g. deLaval type] would not be able to provide useful lift! That's when CL turned to his friend HG to get thru to DG to support Goddard. [How could principals at Dupont not be interested? ...perhaps they had a conflict of interest with their German associates?]

HG originally meet CL just before his 1927 flight and they became close friends. CL stayed [hid-out] as guest at HG's Long Island residence after his return from Paris to write-up his 1st story of the flight. [There was a slimy contract fraud involved and CL felt obligated to write something; kind of a mess, but that was his 1st book,"We"...he was not yet a "writer" to put it gently.]

CL was sent on-mission for the US gov in the 1930s to gather intelligence on Germany's military aircraft capabilities. Because his real mission was secret, he was smeared as "anti-semitic".

He understood WHY and HOW rocketry would probably develop to dominate military warfare.

Source for Lindbergh-Goddard-Guggenheim relationship is CL's own account in his 1951 "Spirit Of St. Louis" and later, posthumously, his 1976 published notes "Autobiography of Values".

By the way, only in 1951 did CL 1st mention his communications with "phantoms" and "ghost forms" during the 22nd hour of his flight. Such was and is still censored in MSM. Although he acknowledges phenomena of hallucinations being possibly involved, he made clear that the communicated data was helpful in his navigation and other pressing issues, while adding that the "phantoms" data was of a quality that was beyond mere human experience and ability.

Perhaps this is helpful.

Posted by: chu teh | Jul 4 2021 21:02 utc | 127

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