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

next page »

thanks b... seems to me 'pompous the 2nd' is looking after israels issues as best he can... it is going to be harder moving forward.. i think a country like the usa is going to have a much harder time with so many fronts open and trying to impose financial sanctions endlessly... at some point the empire is going to collapse.... looking after israels needs will be the least of its concerns soon enough...

trying to equate PMF with iran ain't working.... good... only a matter of time before the usa collapses.. can't happen soon enough is how i see it...

Posted by: james | Jun 29 2021 18:14 utc | 1


the U.S. didn't waste its resources over more than two decades. It accomplished a lot of what it wanted: created chaos across the middle east, destroyed Iraq, destroyed Iran's economy, destroyed Syria, straightened Israel, forced Saudi Arabia and others to become Israel's "pals"
USA is still playing Game Theory: making its opponents what it wants them to do. It is pushing Iran to completely abandon the JCA deal, and then USA WILL have the reason to attack Iran. It's that simple. The final aim of USA IS to attack Iran eventually. They think Iran will not respond because then USA will respond again, totally obliterating them, maybe even using nuclear weapons. To claim US will NOT attack Iran is to the same source of nonsense The Faker fills his "articles" with.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Jun 29 2021 18:16 utc | 2

I read about the bombings in Iraq and thought WTF?

I continue to see all these moves by dying empire trying to position itself best as it can for the coming realignment of global power....and forestall the inevitable for as long as possible by continuing to stir the pot and causing ongoing chaos.

Empire continues to think that they can cause backlash against their aggression that they can then manufacture into justification for war to forestall even further an ending to the shit show of global private finance centered society.

The sick part is that empire is a bully and knows that its foes are not, so since it has MAD backing, it can push the killing envelope to genocidal levels and the responses continue to be sliced thinly...that said, empire is on the ropes and quadrupling down on all spinning plate reactions which is causing further undermining of its status in the world.

The shit show continues until it doesn't....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 29 2021 18:16 utc | 3

@ 2 hoyeru... before you hit and run again - do you work for neo con central?? you think this constant ''chaos and destroy'' philosophy has some legs to it?? lolol...

Posted by: james | Jun 29 2021 18:25 utc | 4

A reminder about why we invaded Iraq in 2003:

1. Millions of Iraqis Killed and Wounded
2. Millions More Iraqis Displaced
3. Thousands of American, British and Other Foreign Troops Killed and Wounded
4. Even More Veterans Have Committed Suicide
5. Trillions of Dollars Wasted
6. Dysfunctional and Corrupt Iraqi Government
7. Illegal War on Iraq Has Undermined the Rule of International Law
8. Iraq War Lies Corrupted U.S. Democracy
9. Impunity for Systematic War Crimes
10. Destruction of the Environment
11. The U.S.’s Sectarian “Divide and Rule” Policy in Iraq Spawned Havoc Across the Region
12. The New Cold War Between the U.S. and the Emerging Multilateral World

Posted by: librul | Jun 29 2021 18:25 utc | 5

Biden hopium finally petering out.

One can't be too cynical.

<> <> <> <> <>

After meeting the Queen; talking peace but bombing Syria; and soothing Israeli concerns about Iranian nukes (Biden: not "on my watch"); he has checked many of the boxes for a new President. Still to come: bowing to the Saudi King.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 29 2021 18:26 utc | 6

Great report. One doesn't see any road back to the JCPOA at this point, barring a massive surrender of the USA. The desperation of the USA to avoid peace at all costs, indeed working enthusiastically towards 'war is peace', and the utterly backwards, sophomoric elitism that drives it will be the death of us all.

One does wonder at which provocation the USA will find its ears boxed. The shot of resistance heard around the world. Maybe a one-two punch. The time is coming when the impunity of the past meets the justice of now.

Posted by: gottlieb | Jun 29 2021 18:56 utc | 7

Great report. One doesn't see any road back to the JCPOA at this point, barring a massive surrender of the USA. The desperation of the USA to avoid peace at all costs, indeed working enthusiastically towards 'war is peace', and the utterly backwards, sophomoric elitism that drives it will be the death of us all.

One does wonder at which provocation the USA will find its ears boxed. The shot of resistance heard around the world. Maybe a one-two punch. The time is coming when the impunity of the past meets the justice of now.

Posted by: gottlieb | Jun 29 2021 18:56 utc | 8

Thanks b.

Two very interesting opinions to complete
Magnier & Bhadrakumar

Magnier is impressive on consequences when Iran will leave Jpoac
Must read

Posted by: الجزائر | Jun 29 2021 19:19 utc | 9

There is also the US domestic politics angle, with some analysts noting the focus Biden admin officials have attached to next year's midterms. While this has as often as not served as an excuse by Democrats for ignoring their progressive wing and public opinion, it is true that the Israeli lobby has outsized influence in Congress and may be a large factor in the administration's posturing. Regardless, Biden should have returned to the JCPOA on his first day to alleviate the possibility of a crisis developing based on the inability to re-negotiate.

The Europeans are also, at least via lip service, staking the position that Iran must "come to the table", thus broadening the agreement-incapable front.

Posted by: jayc | Jun 29 2021 19:20 utc | 10

I posted sooner in MoA in Review

I think Bhadrakumar answers the question.
I agree too with Stonebird | Jun 29 2021 8:17 utc | 194.
Probably many "good" reason to throw some shit to the fan.
And probably too some "bulldog fight under a [DC] rug."

Unusual for a Sunday, John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, rushed to clarify...
Pelosi seems to be transmitting an important message to Tehran so that there is no ambiguity about the US intentions, and the US airstrikes will be seen in proper perspective as a defensive and pre-emptive step rather than an act of provocation.
The big picture in West Asia is that the US is withdrawing air-defence systems from the region and Pentagon is currently in the middle of a military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Interesting for me is Blinken (in Italy) trying to find a legal purpose. "whe are in Irak at the demand of Iraqi government". What a clown!

Posted by: الجزائر‎ | Jun 29 2021 19:22 utc | 11

If Biden and crew want to confront China so badly, they can pack up all the gear, pull the tent pegs and vacate all of Southwest Asia--there's no coercing entity forcing the Outlaw US Empire to remain in the region. And there's no reason to confront Iran either. Let Occupied Palestine do something to earn its parasitism. As Don Bacon, myself and many other barflies have noted, the Empire's troops are hostages/targets for the entire Arc of Resistance. The smart move would be to evac to Jordan or even further Westward.

In a recent EAEU meeting, the status of the International North-South Transportation Corridor was discussed. What follows is from the linked item that was published during the recent blockage of the Suez Canal:

"If we were to imagine that this project was implemented, it would significantly alter Iran’s relations with all its northern neighbors – with the Central Asian countries and with Russia. After all, the Caspian Sea would thus be linked to international waters – an alternative trade and transport artery would appear, which would create additional regional and global trade growth potential. Given the huge losses incurred due to the Suez Canal bottleneck, the US$7 billion price tag to build a back-up may now be back on the agenda."

The big game changer is the proposed canal across Iran, but the rest of the corridor is already operating. Since its Raisi's--and thus Khamenei's--policy to turn East and North, the entire NATO Bloc would be outflanked and essentially defeated in its attempt to thwart Iran's development. If you haven't read Escobar's article about what to expect from Raisi, then I suggest it be done soon.

The Outlaw US Empire's been squandering its resources and destabilizing the region since it gave Occupied Palestine Nukes in the early 1960s and has yet to gain anything permanent aside from the enmity of the region's people. There's nothing it can do about Iran except swap opposition to its development to support, which is really what it must do in its overall policy toward the world: Stop Fighting Everybody and Trying to be King of the Hill!!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 29 2021 19:26 utc | 12

After quoting Scott Ritter, even boldfacing the type, on how the PMF is essential to Iraqi security, the OP continues: "The strike has weakened the U.S. position in Iraq and has strengthened Iran's position." If the US has weakened Iraq's security, then how is the US position in Iraq weakened? If Iraq's central government is weakened then Iran's position in Iraq is weakened too. It seems to me Ritter and the OP are not fully conceptualizing the problem.

As to the whole notion that the economic warfare against Iran has anything at all to do with nuclear weapons? No, Trump re-started the economic war despite Iran's acceptance of inspections. Insofar as Iran ever had a committed nuclear weapons program, it's long over and Iran isn't re-starting one. Interfering with oil supplies to other countries alone is enough reason for US engagement in the Middle East. Denial of resources is a strategy, especially for a country with its own oil production leaving it less affected by instability in world oil markets.

Smart drone swarms as the latest magic technology? I think massive bombing campaigns will interfere with the command, communications and controls of these swarms enough to limit their awesomeness.

Hoyeru@2 strikes me as sensible. People who are actually what might be called "neocons" don't advocate chaos. The notorious Project for a New American Century expresses their dreams. The neocons want new world order, not new world disorder. Accusing Hoyeru of being a neocon plant is ridiculous, an inadvertent inadmission of the inability to counter the argument and an embarrassing vanity in thinking the MoA commentariat is being trolled by the Illuminati or the Elders of Zion or QAnon or whatever.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jun 29 2021 19:27 utc | 13

Amerikastanis are racist little wannabe Caesars who have infinite contempt for the rest of the world, including its slaves of the European Bunion. This hatred and contempt, of course, increases to an extreme when it comes to countries that not just refuse to obey Amerikastani orders but aren't even white, like Iran. Since not even the brain dead Bidet regime dares attack Iran directly, it takes out its anger and hatred by bombing Kataib Hezbollah and other PMUs. That's one part of the picture.

The other part of the picture is the simple fact that Amerikastan needs ISIS. ISIS is a valuable tool of the Imperialist States of Amerikastan, both to destabilise target countries, and to find an excuse to occupy nations and territories in the name of fighting it. Since the PMUs are instrumental in the anti ISIS fight, Amerikastan needs to contain them as much as it can to revive and strengthen ISIS.

That's all.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jun 29 2021 19:38 utc | 14

A return to the JCPOA was never going to happen, it was clear from the outset that it was just a selling point for Biden in the run-up to the election. The Iranians were never expected to accept the original terms in the first place, when they did it left the US deep state in a quandary. The US never intended to remove the sanctions on Iran at any point, regardless of how scrupulously the Iranians complied with the terms.

The western oligarchs are still fixated on regime change for any country that they cannot dominate. When regime change is too obviously impractical then disconnection is the alternative, even if it puts their ultimate globalisation plans in reverse. Since they cannot compete with China and Russia they will try to fence them out. A new cold war, complete with iron curtain is what they are angling for.

Will they attack Iran? It is a very bad idea and it obviously won't work out well but when has that stopped them?

Posted by: MarkU | Jun 29 2021 19:42 utc | 15


There's something odd going on over there. Iran and Iraq seem to be waiting but for what. US strikes the militias and always kills a number but where there should be a few American boots going home in body bags, there's just a few projectiles lobbed towards US positions. That wont drive the US out. Has Russia got a plan that they are waiting on?

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 29 2021 19:45 utc | 16

Make that two neocons. Do fries come with that shake?

Posted by: Nguyen Aiqouc | Jun 29 2021 19:47 utc | 17

..and in unison the parrots squawk their "Iran-backed militia" baloney

The Wall Street Journal: Iran-Backed Militias Fire Rockets in New Attack Aimed at U.S. Forces
Reuters: Undeclared conflict? America's battles with Iran-backed militia escalate, again
Reuters: U.S. warplanes strike Iran-backed militia in Iraq, Syria
NBC News: US airstrikes target Iran-backed militia in Syria, Iraq
. . .memories of the "hardline president" echo chamber

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 29 2021 20:18 utc | 18

steven #13, you're wrong about neocons and chaos. Michael Ledeen, top neocon and writer at FDD is a huge fan of chaos and has written about it repeatedly.

If the US has weakened Iraq's security, then how is the US position in Iraq weakened?

Ritter didn't make the argument the US had weakened Iraq's security.

Posted by: annie | Jun 29 2021 20:25 utc | 19

The US Army has weaknesses currently, with problems that probably include recruitment shortages which require dipping lower into the gene pool and federalizing national guard troops because of a fake emergency.
from Defense One, Mar 21, 2021
NEAR DERIK, SYRIA — On a bright blue afternoon in February, troops from the Louisiana National Guard load into up-armored vehicles in America’s true forgotten war. The trucks rumble out of a bare-bones base in the seeming middle of nowhere, heading to a small village named Hemzebeg on what the military refers to as a “presence patrol.”
American special operations forces here are prosecuting the fight against what’s left of ISIS. They are supported by conventional troops like those in Louisiana’s 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, whose patrols are keeping the roads safe and clear.
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
These are the unlucky people Biden has set up to be targets of the "Iran-based militias."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 29 2021 20:27 utc | 20

(It is another example of how the good/evil paradigm freezes politics solid). Exactly! But only in one direction.
This stance by the U.S. only ensures that Iran will continue and expand its outreach to the east and to the north, to Russia, China and Eurasia.
Sanctions are self-defeating. The rest of the world is forging a way around them. The U.S. is self-defeating. The rest of the world is forging a way around it.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Jun 29 2021 20:29 utc | 21

I am not expert on Iraqi history, but last 50 yrs or so went like this:

- 70-80's - Iraq is best pal with US and mortal enemy to Iran, they make a really bloody war (and Iraq uses chemical weapons supplied by west)
- 90's - Iraq thinks (Saddam actually) that it has wests blessing to grab little on the side, takes Kuwait, turns over night from US ally to enemy, Iraq is still Irans mortal enemy
- 2000-2020's - Iraq occupied, slowly turned from US & Irans enemy into US mortal enemy and Irans ally

I am no genius here, but I see that US actions here in ME are strategically contra productive.

Not to go into separate story of its own how Syrian, Lebanons forces joined command with Palestinians (which is feat in itself) and how Israel is real loser here in the long run.

Posted by: Abe | Jun 29 2021 20:30 utc | 22

Peter AU1 | Jun 29 2021 19:45 utc | 16

I don't think that the key to the wait are the "government" responses of Iran and Iraq.

The US seems to want to turn the E.Syria + the Iraqi Anbar region into an unregulated US "occupation" on a more long term basis. It has Oil and food plus a cannon fodder (Kurds) to assume control of the natives (what is left of them).

Blinken has declared that the "refugee and prison camps" now under US influence should be reduced by the counties that supplied extremist fighters,"taking them back". ie, the EU. He mentioned 10'000 at one camp, of which 2'500 were foreigners. These figures include families but there is no clarification whether the 2'500 are just fighters or are inclusive of their families.

If these prison camps remain, there will be a problem with "children" (15-18) becoming radicalized, and posing a problem for the US troops in the future. The extremists might get uppity too.

However, this would incude the Russians "taking back" the Chechens and China "taking back" the Uighurs. The Russians have said that they will shoot them - maybe they could be asked to shoot them humanely, but ..... they would not be welcome. The Uighurs are mainly in the Idlib area.

So what the present situation is, is that old regional forces (tribes and allegiances + religious leanings) will lead to a guerilla resistance forming. Something that the US has experience of in Afghanistan. The two I's (Iraq and Iran) would be tempted to secretly sympathise and help, but by not taking a direct
part, could claim "plausible denial" to avoid repercussions.

Meanwhile - back at the ranch... or at least back in the rest of the middle east, the talks between neighbouring countries will be aimed at forging a new alliance. Excluding the US and Israel. The extent of the recent moral support by regional citizens shocked the Israeli Government. (nominal Governments and Sheiks were noticible by their silence).


Not OT; The Uighurs and Xinjiang. It must be a coincidence surely that it is in this region that the Chinese have found vast reserves of Oil and Gas. So it is also a coincidence that this is where US regime change efforts against China are being made and India has moved 50'000 troops up to their border. But I must be imagining things- It is less of a coincidence that the Chinese high speed rail system (70'000km) has a long branch into this area. The stated aim of which is to, quite reasonably, involve Xinjiang in the improvements of the rest of China.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 29 2021 20:32 utc | 23

As a note, I am aware Iraq (same as Lebanon) has very mixed population, so story is far from simple in who is ally to whom and who is control, but tendency is that strongest party dictates country's policy. Yet it is direct result of actions of US (and Israel) that gives power to factions that are enemy to them.

Posted by: Abe | Jun 29 2021 20:34 utc | 24

"Biden's Iran Policy Is Already At A Dead End". . .because Israel said so. A state smaller than New Jersey with less people continues to control US policy in the area.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 29 2021 20:34 utc | 25

One thing that I have noticed about Biden attacking Iraq/Syria is that it happens right before or right after a Trump rally....

Posted by: Afgun | Jun 29 2021 20:37 utc | 26

james @1:

It's clear over the past half century that isreal's needs take precedent over America's own needs. That's so at all levels of government, federal or local, and at most corporate entities. israel has absolutely nothing to worry about even when America crumbles to the ground, with minimum fuss as Grieved has hoped.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jun 29 2021 20:39 utc | 27

Talking about dead ends, cul-de-sacs and such, South Korea reconsidered participation in Black Sea naval exercise, so the number of participants dropped to 29. How to bring it back to 30? Of two new NATO members, Montenegro has a navy, although the new government is a bit pro-Russian. Palau? I think for a few million dollars they could do it, and it is highly possible that they have some vessels, an island nation after all. Of course, it may be a problem if they have only one. But Honduras surely has at least too vessels...

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 29 2021 20:40 utc | 28

Hoyeru @2:

Yup! America's goal is to attack Iran, one way or another. That's the marching order Israel has given American ruling class Loooooong time ago. It was said, and it shalt be done.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jun 29 2021 20:43 utc | 29

Abe | Jun 29 2021 20:30 utc | 22

You know who is paying for the two wars ? - Kuwait itself. (I think the US demanded cash) Which is why you never hear of one of the richest countries in the world anymore.

But..... where or who is all that cash going to? It doesn't seem to figure in any accounts.

(Pentagon budget and extra budget at the moment is around 1.2 trillion a year.)

The US under Trump asked for a large percentage (50%?) of the yearly Iraqi Oil revenue for "protection" from Iran. Which was refused, which is why Khademi then became PM. They are surely still getting a kickback, so it might be interesting to find out how much.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 29 2021 20:45 utc | 30

Piotr Berman | Jun 29 2021 20:40 utc | 28

Palau? Don't all their boats have glass bottoms? I suppose they could be useful for mine watching.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 29 2021 20:47 utc | 31

13. Julian Assange is jailed forever!

Posted by: Wolle | Jun 29 2021 20:50 utc | 32

Stonebird 23

I was thinking about those Uighurs and Xinjiang soon as you mentioned them. They are assets to the US. I had thought they were more over to the Idlib side of Syria though? Erdogan I think considers them his Turkic peoples.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 29 2021 20:53 utc | 33

@ Jackrabbit | Jun 29 2021 18:26 utc | 6:

Still to come: bowing to the Saudi King.

Even worse, and more to the point: Bowing to the Saudi crown prince.

Posted by: corvo | Jun 29 2021 20:55 utc | 34

Peter AU1 | Jun 29 2021 20:53 utc | 33

"The Uighurs are mainly in the Idlib area".

You are absolutely correct, but the ethnic makup of the "prisons" and refugee camps is not clear. Nobody wants them, Least of all the US and EU.

But even this poses a question; at one time the Germans had a "Terrorist tourist trip" going. (ie, get a holiday from work, go down to Syria via Turkey, shoot a few and return back to work). This was followed by a large number of extremists "converting" into Syrian refugees and getting into the EU almost without control. Where they took selfies of themselves !

I presume they are still here.

(Actually it is pretty funny if they came to the EU expecting to benefit fom "freedom" and found themselves in a year long "lockdown".)

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 29 2021 21:10 utc | 35

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 29 2021 20:34 utc | 25

Yes, but its not number of the people, its where you have them placed.

I always play the "spot the jew" game whenever any picture of US high officials or government statements is made - there is adleast one to be found in 90% of cases.

Posted by: Abe | Jun 29 2021 21:11 utc | 36

Peter AU 1 @16--

Outlaw US Empire casualties are directly related to the amount of patrolling done outside their cantonments where they become far more vulnerable--think Vietnam toward the end. The Arc of Resistance doesn't want to needlessly take casualties, so they also wait and read about the internal decline of the Outlaw US Empire and the growing level of unrest. The only plan Putin and Xi have is to continue their internal and joint development with their partners as according to the "Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China on the Twentieth Anniversary of the Treaty of Good Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation between the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China." What I've noticed in this Treaty is the fact that it also serves as a model--an example. And we know that the Outlaw US Empire has always been very wary of "the threat of a good example" that differs from its contrived narrative. What I see is the basis for cooperation in all the different organizational spheres that China and Russia have created, particularly the SCO and BRICS, as this proposes:

"Russia is interested in a stable and prosperous China and China is interested in a strong and successful Russia. Considering each other as priority partners, the Parties, guided by the Treaty, will further strengthen coordination and cooperation in all fields, including political, security, military, trade and economic, humanitarian and international spheres. Having defined strategic support and mutual assistance, integration, a focus on innovation, common advantage and mutual benefit as benchmarks, they will continue developing their comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction in the new era.

"The Russian-Chinese relations are based on equality, deep mutual trust, commitment to international law, support in defending each other's core interests, the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity. While not being a military and political alliance, such as those formed during the Cold War, the Russian-Chinese relations exceed this form of interstate interaction. They are not opportunistic, are free of ideologisation, involve comprehensive consideration of the partner's interests and non-interference in each other's internal affairs, they are self-sufficient and not directed against third countries, they display international relations of a new type." [My Emphasis]

Yes, the new example which is being implemented daily within the various organizational structures and practiced daily in their relations with each other. And then there's the old maxim: Don't interrupt your enemy while its busy making mistakes. Every day that goes by without any internal reform within the Outlaw US Empire or attempts at freedom by its vassals, marks a further opening of the developmental gap that's growing between the Eurasian Bloc and the NATO Bloc. And as the suite of organizations affiliated with Russia and China become accustomed to building the sort of relations China and Russia already enjoy, those organizations become stronger and more capable of performing as planned. This is an organic knitting together of what might in the future become a supranational organization far larger and stronger than the USSR which was made from the top->down, not bottom->up. I could cite the entire Statement as a multifaceted example other developing nations cherishing their independence will be happy to join. And that's precisely what the Anglos fear--strong independent developed/ing nations acting collectively--for that's a force they are powerless to halt without risking complete devastation.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 29 2021 21:20 utc | 37

"Terrorist tourist trip"
Added to Stonebird #35

at one some time the Germans [and French, and more....] hadve a "Terroristsahal tourist trip" going. (ie, get a holiday from work, go down to SyriaPalestine via Turkeyelaviv, shoot a few [Where they took selfies of themselves !] and return back to work). This wais followed by a large number of extremists "converting" into Syrian"holocaust refugeessurvivors" and getting into the EU almost without control. [...]

Posted by: الجزائرa‎ | Jun 29 2021 21:27 utc | 38

There are some assumptions from standard economics and political science in the theory behind US sanctions:
1. International trade is mostly beneficial to all sides.
2. Economic isolationism is inefficient and dramatically lowers GDP.
3. This lowered GDP will cause political instability within targeted country and lead to internal regime change.

Now, almost all economists would agree with 1 and 2. Political scientists would agree devastated economies can easily lead to revolution.

So, if the assumptions seem to be correct, why have US sanctions failed to achieve regime change in places like North Korea, Cuba, Syria, Russia and Iran?

Well, there are some drawbacks to globalism and benefits to isolation.

US sanctions force economies to become more self sufficient and develop alliances that evade sanctions. Several consequences result:

1.This forced protectionism can be beneficial to the domestic economy.
2.The citizens feel attacked and "rally around the flag" to support besieged government.
3.The sanctioned country becomes much more willing to negotiate and work with allies or even rivals.

As evidence, Putin has declared the US sanctions were a gift for Russia. He had been trying for years to increase domestic production and gross private domestic investment. US sanctions achieved that goal for him overnight. Russia's economy is now stronger than before sanctions. Also, Putin became even more popular after the sanctions hit. Russia also embraced China as an ally and formed an alliance stronger than anyone thought possible a few short years ago.

Iran can produce an astonishing array of products and services domestically now and the people just elected a president much more anti-west than Rouhani. And Iran recently inked a deal with China worth over $400 billion.

So, Iran is experiencing something similar to Russia, except they did have a small internal regime change.

In the opposite direction the US hoped for.

Since the sanctions policy does not work and leads to outcomes undesired by the US, you can expect the US will continue them.

Posted by: Mar man | Jun 29 2021 21:28 utc | 39

Until the U$A & NATO withdraw their military forces from Eurasia the probability of a war in Iran is HIGH.

China and Russia need to prepare for this war eventuality. Let’s see when the U$A achieves full withdrawal from Eurasia. It is still in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq,... Deeds speaks louder than words. The issue of nuclear weapons is just a trickery. It is unfortunate that China and Russia let these abuses continue and then talk about the rule of international law. To defend the rule of law, one needs to work on its enforcement in a fair and just way, otherwise it loses credibility. One can only lead by examples. The Imperialists have become DESPERATE.

“Eurasia is the centre of the world and that therefore the ruler who dominates Eurasia dominates the world”.

Plausible Scenarios:
– Iran War. The Empire attacking Iran to challenge China and Russia.
– World War (Apocalyptic option). The Empire starting conflicts on multiple fronts in Black Sea, Iran and India- China border? Various vassals (NATO, Israel, India...) will initially initiate the conflicts to be later joined by the U$A’s forces?
– Resolution. China, Russia, Germany, Japan and India working towards resolving Iran’s situation. Multilateralism test.

U$A Imperial strategy for Eurasia
“The region around Iran is probably one of the most important trouble spots of the 21st century... Iran is of high geostrategic importance... The main focus in this region is on the raw materials oil and natural gas. The USA has been following developments in the natural resources sector in and around Iran, the Caucasus and Central Asia with great interest, in particular since the end of the Soviet Union... dominance on the entire Euro-Asian continent is still the prerequisite for global supremacy today...” A regime change isn’t an option.

CHINA-IRAN Strategic Partnership
Beijing and Tehran are deepening ties across sectors, but progress is slow. The Empire will do its best to thwart this relationship by increasing the geopolitical risks. Iran’s permanent membership in the SCO will be part of the group’s agenda in this year’s summit. “More than 900 industrial parks and zones are already established across Iran and account for 48% of Iran’s total industrial units. Highlighting the importance of SMEs and industrial parks in the promotion of ties between Tehran and Beijing, he noted that Iran’s market has suitable economic parameters that have turned it into an attractive and promising market for Chinese companies.” China will invest $280 Billion developing Iran's oil, gas and petrochemicals sectors. There will be another $120 Billion investment in upgrading Iran's transport and manufacturing infrastructure.

Posted by: Max | Jun 29 2021 21:30 utc | 40

The funny thing is Iran has nuclear weapons and has had them for a long time.

The Iranians are just stalling for time as they perfect the delivery mechanisms. Nuclear weapons don't do much good if you can't reliably use them.

Posted by: NeoPro | Jun 29 2021 21:39 utc | 41

@ karlof 37
Yes, Russia and China get on as other nations should, on equal terms, not as allies but as partners. But the US is burdened by American Exceptionalism which hinder its ability to get along with others, an ability which most of us learned in the schoolyard years ago.

The US favors "neighborhood gangs" which are allied in denying sovereignty of countries they don't like. These countries' behavior, not complying with US exceptionalism, must be changed, the story goes. All of this, the treatment of other countries, the formation of 'gangs' like NATO, is in violation of the UN Charter which (apparently) can't be enforced.

UN Charter
>to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small
>to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors
>The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 29 2021 21:43 utc | 42

US politicians are completely clueless.

Can they really not see that the reason for the reaction by China at the Alaska meeting was Iran?

Trump sought a peace meeting and routed the suggestion through the Saudis. When Solemeini was sent in response he was murdered. You can't do that sort of thing. You just cannot.

When China attended Alaska I'm sure they expected Blinken to repudiate Trumps actions as beyond the Pale (Irishman Biden should understand that expression). Instead Blinken went straight to lecturing mode about the behaviour of China!

Little wonder that Wang Yi went apoplectic.
The USA is truly disgusting, but the Solemeini crime will have to be confronted. It cannot be brushed beneath the carpet.

Don Bacon | Jun 29 2021 20:27 utc | 20

...America’s true forgotten war...

There was a very fine Australian cricketer by name of Mark Waugh, twin brother of Steve Waugh.
His nickname was "Afghanistan". Because he was the "forgotten Waugh"

The two brothers began playing for Australia in 1985.

Shows how long this crap has been going on.

Posted by: John Cleary | Jun 29 2021 21:45 utc | 43

The deep staters who run US war and foreign policy have no intention withdrawing from the ME, Russia, VZ,China, etc. fronts. That is, full spectrum dominance everywhere at the same time.

Posted by: Erelis | Jun 29 2021 22:01 utc | 44

The chaos theory in the region always appealed to me. Did the NEOCONS really know the endgame of who they were fronting for? Did they have dreams of a massive oil aquisition? Maybe. Did the engineering firms have dreams of rebuilding the smashed infrastructure? Maybe.

In reality the Zionists hands grew much stronger when all their neighbors are thrown in chaos. One by one their enemies were smashed. The region is left smashed, electrical grids smashed, treatment plants smashed, oil output lowered and so on. Was this the plan? Not sure but it certainly was the outcome.

Iraq was a first world country lead by a dictator. Libya the same. Syria was stable, The Turks worked fairly close with the Zionists in those days. The Saudis were their poodles and never were a threat. Who backed the chaos? The poodles and the Turks.

I digress but it all seems tto have worn down the core of the American public in its desire for more war. A similar sitution occured after 'nam. Massive amounts of body bags heading West will not add to our feerless leaders favor.

To top it off the Zionists do not have to worry about another Yom Kippur War.

Posted by: circumspect | Jun 29 2021 22:18 utc | 45

karlof1 37

That is very much what I thought the Russia and China vision is for the multi polar world.
A few things I am thinking about. Russia jointly stated they would prevent any attempted color revolution against another country. Earlier Putin stating a nuclear attack against an ally will be considered a nuclear attack against Russia. Not long after the Russian envoy at the Jerusalem conference felt the need to publicly state Iran was an ally of Russia.
Going back to 2002 and US pulling out of the ABM treaty. Russia immediately commencing work on strategic weapons systems that would render any US ABM systems obsolete. Having to face the US down in Syria several years before those systems were ready for deployment. Now that those systems are deployed, most definitely needing them to be able to draw red lines. Putin seems to have a good idea what the future will bring.
More ships subs and still more new systems appearing along with deployment of the strategic weapons systems.
Not only is Putin somewhat visionary in what will be needed in the long term, I believe Russia has a very good intelligence system that gives them a good idea of US/five-eyes more immediate plans.
Will have to wait and see what happens.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 29 2021 22:18 utc | 46

Isn’t Israel our greatest ally? They are a lone outpost of democracy surrounded by of despotic dictators who seek Israel’s destruction. The cradle of our Judeo-Christian heritage. A haven for god’s chosen people seeking refuge from a world gripped by anti-semitism. Foreign aid to Israel would still be a bargain even if increased by a factor of 10. Pay no heed to those that seek to spread canards of undue influence of Israeli influence in US policy. They probably deny the holocaust as well.

Posted by: Kevin | Jun 29 2021 22:21 utc | 47

Max | Jun 29 2021 21:30 utc | 40

"It is unfortunate that China and Russia let these abuses continue and then talk about the rule of international law. To defend the rule of law, one needs to work on its enforcement in a fair and just way, otherwise it loses credibility".

Wrong way round max. It is the US that wants the "rule of law" - theirs, and as for "enforcement", well isn't that an american "thing"?

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 29 2021 22:22 utc | 48

Don Bacon @42--

Thanks for your reply, Don. IMO, the best measure of the Russia/China partnership's success is the number of nations and organizations wanting to become BRI/EAEU--since they are to be combined--partners to enjoy the fruits of Win-Win enterprise and development. That's where the world's at as the 4th Industrial Revolution's onset is being announced while a large % of nations have yet to experience the 1st except when exploited as raw material and slave colonies. The Anglo hubris of always a Few Dollars More that took hold first in 1846, greatly escalated in 1898 and swiftly again in 1903 followed by the treatment meted out to Europe by its bankers and merchants of death during and after WW1 is clearly a disease of the worst sort, but few are able to provide the correct diagnosis. The luster on the Golden Eagle wore off long ago, but the world is only now beginning to understand why and what that means.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 29 2021 22:22 utc | 49

الجزائرa‎ | Jun 29 2021 21:27 utc | 38

Mark you, I think the idea of being a terrorist is going the same way as the tourists, can't go anywhere unless they have been "vaccinated" and certified, by the "authorities". Seems there are very few independent terrorists left anywhere.

Since the present situation around Silwan/Bustan/Sheik Jarrah is so nasty, and the mentioning of it in the MSM is forbidden, all we can now say is that it is "for-Biden" by Blinken & Bennett. BbBB. Babblers.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 29 2021 22:40 utc | 50

16 Peter
The US do not tell about their casualties. When US bases were hit after the Soleimani murder, they first asserted no casualties. That prove wrong. But they have news curfew about.

Posted by: aquadraht | Jun 29 2021 22:49 utc | 51

@ Stonebird (#48),

Wrong way round Stonebird. The West wants “rules-based order”, and China & Russia want “rule of law”, as stated by Lavrov in his article, “committing to abide by the universally recognized tenets of international law.”

The West wants “rules”, so when change threatens to rule, then the rules are changed. The hegemon wants to define these rules. It is my understanding that China and Russia want international LAWS, “rule of law.”

Russia is showing its tactics and having fun by “disruptions to the Evertsen’s electronic equipment.”
Dutch rebuke low flying Russian jets in Black Sea as 'mock attacks'

Posted by: Max | Jun 29 2021 22:56 utc | 52

Has anybody heard from the Crown Prince of Saudi?

I'm just trying to look at it from their side. If King Fahd hears of the Solemeini betrayal, and he will, how will he view such a stain on his honour? On his soul?

The question answers itself.

My guess is that the Solemeini betrayal has caused major ructions behind the scenes.

Posted by: John Cleary | Jun 29 2021 22:58 utc | 53

Thank you b. I see Biden as approving every strategy that his military request. The PMF and SAA are totally dedicated to killing every single ISIS fighter that the USA is training in Al Tanf and Idlib. Many of the recent ISIS maneuvers have been decimated by the PMF in Iraq or the Syrian SAA with some solid support from Russian forces.

Good to see that the USA and its scabrous allies have not learned one single thing since being thrown out of Vietnam. This bodes well for the middle east in the long term.

As for the USA imagined benefits of the squeeze on Iran, only the deluded duo fantasist Blinken and Biden could dream such idiocy. IMO the USA has utterly wasted its blood and treasure establishing the outpost in occupied arab lands in Jerusalem. The Romans learned the hard way (as they too had a shiny military with bright spears and fancy shields) and so I guess the USA Military clowns will follow along with their Biden mascot barking and pooping in the lead.

It reminds me of a quote from Einstein or Russel: "the man who is content to march in rank and file to the strains of music is beneath contempt - he received his magnificent brain by mistake, a mere spinal column would suffice." or something like that.

There is light in Babylon yet. 5 minute music vid.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 29 2021 23:02 utc | 54

James @4: Thanks for that!

The comment you are responding to is not worth addressing directly, so I will address my thoughts to you [since you saw through the charade].

The claim that the US is 'accomplishing' its goals is delusional on its face. The US has in no way 'destroyed' Iran's economy, which continues to industrialize, and continues growing its military-technical capabilities quite briskly. Note that Iran graduates as many engineers as the US, which has four times the population!

This is not a country that is going to be brought to its knees by US FINANCIAL shenanigans. Yes, Iran would FINANCIALLY be better off without the US sanctions, but an economy, any economy, is not just about finance. It is about agriculture and industry and military and technology, and health care and education.

Those are far more important than some pain in the pocketbook. The US has been using the same vicious blockading against Cuba and North Korea for many DECADES, and lately Venezuela. Yet all those countries still struggle on, and in fact grow stronger.

Cuba has developed a world-class medical system---it has more than twice as many hospital beds per capita than the US. North Korea has developed its own nuclear deterrent, and is now off-limits to US force of any kind.

[I mentioned previously how Kim sailed missile after missile over the heads of the mighty US 'missile defense' fleet in the Sea of Japan. Which saw the US 'missile defense' perform a heck of a job SPECTATING, as those DPRK missiles whizzed overhead, and even over US protectorate Japan, lol!]

This is hardly the US 'winning.'

Just now China embarrassed the US, Canada and its goofy 'team' of hangers-on at the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where over 90 countries sided with China to shoot down the ridiculous attempt to smear China with the Xinjiang nonsense.

Perhaps some will see that as a 'win' too, lol?

They even got puppet Ukraine to REVERSE its vote and side with China! Talk about an embarrassing sinking into irrelevance.

This latest example of US misbehavior only makes people realize that the US is flailing and failing.

The dogs bark and the caravan keeps going!

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 29 2021 23:09 utc | 55

Max @40--

There're a few points you need to know about the founding of the UN and its Charter, all of which I've written on several previous occasions. First, the concept grew out of the Atlantic Charter FDR and Churchill signed and FDR's Four Freedoms, which became the template for the WW2 Allied cause. The UN was the joint brainchild of FDR and his SoS Cordell Hull and unlike the League of Nations was negotiated for many months. It was codified on 26 June 1945 and became operational as the basis for International Law on 24 Oct 1945. Also incorporated into the Charter are the Nuremburg Principles that judged the waging of Aggressive War the #1 war Crime as it contains all other war crimes. As you note, there's the problem of the Charter's enforcement when a UNSC member breaks it as it can veto any consequence arrived at by the UNSC. One of the major points signatories to the Charter are to refrain from is interference in another nation's internal affairs. When the Charter was Codified and again on its coming into force, the Outlaw US Empire and the UK were already in serious violation, interfering in the affairs of Greece, Southeast Asia, and the nations of Eastern Europe, including the USSR through the sending of former Nazis into the region to conduct terrorist activities aimed at destabilizing the region's governments. The big problem for the USSR was the nuclear monopoly held by the Outlaw US Empire and the clear indication that it would use them despite such use being the waging of Aggressive War and an obvious crime against humanity. Perhaps Stalin's greatest feat of patience was not withdrawing from the UN in 1945.

Max, you should also know that the UN Charter is part of the US Constitution thanks to what's known as the Supremacy Clause. So all violations of the Charter are also violations of the Constitution and thus Unconstitutional--but not one person has ever challenged all those crimes in a US court of law, going on for almost 76 years now! You might want to think about what that fact and the others above do to the legitimacy of the Outlaw US Empire both domestically and internationally, at least for those of us who are aware of them. You also now know why I call my nation the Outlaw US Empire for that's precisely what it is.

The Neoliberal Financial Tempest slowly made its inroads, initially through private and quasi-state institutions--universities especially. It then exploded onto the scene when Nixon took the dollar off gold in 1971. Dr. Michael Hudson followed almost immediately with the first edition of Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire, which he's updated and republished as the outlines of Neoliberalism became clearer. As John Cleary has provided along with other bar flies and others outside this blog, the core nation of Neoliberalism is the UK where it was developed as a defense against what are known as the Classical Political-Economists who wanted to free their economies from the "Free Lunch" attained by those known as Rentiers and their unearned incomes known collectively as Rents. They represented what Marx saw as the dark side of Capitalism--Finance Capitalism: the non-productive, parasitic aspect that did nothing to add to overall wealth and hindered the progress made by Industrial Capitalism. How it infiltrated the USA prior to it becoming an outlaw nation is one of my main areas of historical inquiry, which Hudson's greatly aided; but there were contemporaries as the 1800s became the 1900s who saw what was happening and tried to raise the alarm, most of which is now buried and very difficult to find. But we do know what it is, how it operates, and how to kill it. Yes, the solution requires that the public regain control of its money, which it can only do by regaining control of the Federal Government AND Congress. A tall task as I'm sure you're aware of. The above and much more constitutes the ongoing, overall narrative of this blog, which you've just entered.

I hope the above helps you find your place at the bar--this blog began as the Whiskey Bar, thus the drinking references.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 29 2021 23:14 utc | 56

Missed in B's analysis is this:

1. The Militia were brought into the Government Security Services in 2016. They are involved in fighting ISIS, yes, but also have their own agenda, & not entirely aligned with the Iraqi Govt.

2. You cannot be an arm of the Iraqi government policing force and just do as you please. You may not insubordinate the Government.

3. The Government has laws preventing Security Forces from 'free wheeling' in projects of their own - but the Militia seem to evade them. Even when arrested, they mysteriously serve no time.

4. There is an agreement with both Iraqi and US Govts. to work together on Iraqi security, predicated on the Iraqi Govt. guaranteeing US security.

5. The Iraqi Govt apparently can't/won't.

6. What to do? The US should remove itself from a hopeless situation, of course.

7. It is NOT entitled to 'try' people from its spook HQ in Florida, assign the punishment (death), and carry out the sentence.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Jun 29 2021 23:17 utc | 57

The frivolous "lawfare" lawsuit against the Grayzone was dismissed.

Sulome Anderson was using "intel" from a Lebanese huckster in order to gin up (fake) pro-intervention Hezbollah stories that also targeted Iran. Her father Terry Anderson was a journalist held captive in Lebanon for 7 years. She, however is an entitled heiress to a fortune granted to her family on the basis of seized Iranian funds from a previous lawsuit in which "Iran" was not allowed or able to represent itself.

Very interesting read.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 29 2021 23:19 utc | 58

Max | Jun 29 2021 22:56 utc | 52

OOps, Now I see what you meant. My bad reading of your post as I needed the reference to "International".

"Russia is showing its tactics and having fun by “disruptions to the Evertsen’s electronic equipment."

Actually they seem to be having fun trying out attack manoeuvres on real moving targets as well. (I also noticed the bit about the Everton and their electronics.)

The US ship Ross is just off the coast of Crimea, near Sevastopol.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 29 2021 23:21 utc | 59

@2 "and then USA WILL have the reason to attack Iran."

To what end?

You have set out the machinations that produce an "excuse" to attack Iran, but you haven't set out the "reason" why the USA would think that it is a good idea to attack Iran.

What, exactly, does the USA expect to gain from attacking Iran?

You seem to be setting out the evidence that certain Swamp Creatures in Washington are too clever by half, without presenting any evidence that they possess any wisdom.

They concoct such schemes for the sake of scheming, apparently.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 29 2021 23:27 utc | 60

Gordog @55--

That critter you mentioned--Hoyeru--is what we call a Drive-by Troll, and there are others like it. As you might imagine, some Trolls are very sophisticated, and we've discussed them at length on occasion. But that isn't why I'm writing. I'm motivated by the fact that the USA/Outlaw US Empire's Space Program would never have reached the moon before the Soviets if it hadn't been for those captured from Peenemünde and "Paper Clipped" to the USA, and was curious as to your views on that.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 29 2021 23:30 utc | 61

Regarding the US trying to append 'other matters' such as missiles to the JPOC:

That line has been abandoned, if the June 21 State Dept Briefing is an indication.

"But if we are able to achieve a mutual compliance, a mutual return to the JCPOA, and Iran’s nuclear program is once again constrained and subject to the most stringent verification and monitoring regime ever negotiated, that will allow us – working, again, with our regional partners, with our P5+1 partners and allies in this case – to take on in a concerted and unified way the other areas of concern that we’ve spoken to.

If we are able to achieve that mutual return to compliance, we will have done so in lockstep, in partnership, with the P5+1, with those important allies and partners who will be so important to working with us to address through follow-on diplomacy these other areas of concern, as will our regional – as will our regional partners.

...So the Iranians have no doubt about how – where we stand on the issue of this follow-on diplomacy and the need to address these other – these other areas.

...So we do see a return to compliance as necessary but insufficient, but we also do see a return to compliance as enabling us to take on those other issues diplomatically,

The tense used, and the careful language places non-JPOC matters squarely in the framework of diplomacy AFTER USA returns to compliance (and therefore Iran as well).

Posted by: powerandpeople | Jun 29 2021 23:32 utc | 62

@ steven t johnson | Jun 29 2021 19:27 utc | 13.. regarding hoyeru - some of us watch posters and draw long observations based over an extended period of time - not short ones as you appear to be doing.. and i agree with annie in your comments to you @ 19 as well.. regards..

Posted by: james | Jun 29 2021 23:32 utc | 63

@45 circumspect "To top it off the Zionists do not have to worry about another Yom Kippur War."

No, probably not.

But I suspect that the catastrophe awaiting the Israelis will be the reverse i.e. the crazies in the Knesset will the IDF to lunge into Lebanon and Drive On To Beirut!!!! Which they do, and then never come back. Hezbollah bags the lot of them.

It has happened before: Athens thought itself invincible. Which it was, until some Bright Sparks came up with the brilliant idea of gathering their mighty army and invading Sicily.

Which they did, and then lost that entire army, to the very last man.

Came as quite the shock, that did, one that the Athens never recovered from.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 29 2021 23:37 utc | 64

@ 55 gordog... thanks.... i was just reading the comments and posted before reading them all.. i agree with your commentary... thanks for articulating all that..

it is a joke to think iran is going to be sidelined here, along with russia, china, syria, venezuala and etc. etc... usa has so many brush fires going, they are not going to be able to oversee and keep a lid on them all! they are going to get there ass burned at some point... they can try to look after israel all they want... the set up is falling apart and it can't happen soon enough is how i see it.. and i don't want to see ww3, but these jackasses and the sycophants to vouch for them here is what i take exception to.. oh well... i guess i lose the theme from time to time! cheers.. apologies if i have missed other comments directed to me..

Posted by: james | Jun 29 2021 23:39 utc | 65

Outlaw US Empire gets blasted for its lame Artic policy and lack of means to confront Russia on that icy sea.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 29 2021 23:45 utc | 66

A short OT, and a hint to b and the rest:
80 years ago, June 30, 1941, in the entourage of the Nazi aggression against the USSR, Ukrainian fascist OUN militia under the command of their Provydnik (Fuhrer) Stepan Bandera, started what they called "the Ukrainian Revolution". On a single day in Lemberg (Lwow, Lviv), 4000 Jews were bestially murdered, over 100,000 until end of July.

The atrocities were no outbreak of public wrath, though mass executions of nationalists, terrorists, and many innocent had been perpetrated by the NKVD following the Nazi invasion. It was, together with other "actions", carefully planned, and laid down in the "Struggle and Activities” paper by Bandera and his staff in Krakov. Bandera did not directly command the atrocities, that did his commander in charge Stetsko, but he was in close contact in the Kholm region at the time of the acts of "Ukrainian National Revolution". Only when he started to proclaim a state of Ukraine, the Nazis stopped him, and took him in "honorary detention" in the VIP section of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where he lived in his own house close to the camp commander, and freely roamed the city. The murders of the OUN continued, of course, and became part of the Nazi holocaust in Ukraine.

So much about the "defenders of the fatherland" of current Nazi Ukraine.

Literature: Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe Stepan Bandera. The Life and Afterlife of a Ukrainian Nationalist. Fascism, Genocide, and Cult ISBN-13: 978-3-8382-6684-8 Stuttgart 2015

Rossolinski-Liebe concludes that Bandera is as guilty for the massacres as e.g. Eichmann.

Posted by: aquadraht | Jun 29 2021 23:47 utc | 67

@Max 52

What a load of carefully editaganda that article is. I especially liked this part:

"A day prior, Russia reportedly fired warning shots at the HMS Defender and dropped four bombs on its proposed route. The UK′s Ministry of Defense (sic), however, denied these reports."

That though the Russians released video showing the warning shots being fired.

"Dutch Defense (sic) Minister Ank Bijleveld-Schouten said...'The fighters were armed with bombs and so-called air-to-surface missiles' "

What kind of defence minister calls an air to surface missile "so called"? Can she identify which end of a gun the bullets come out of?

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jun 29 2021 23:50 utc | 68

Karlof @61,

Interesting inquiry about the Apollo program and how the German scientists fit into that.

As it happens, there are some interesting details of a somewhat technical nature, which would require something of a deep dive to do the story justice.

Will try to set the wheels in motion and deliver a worthwhile contribution to the excellent group here!

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 29 2021 23:52 utc | 69

Posted by: Kevin | Jun 29 2021 22:21 utc | 47

Israel is a democracy if you belong to a protected class (religion) of people, I guess. It's also an apartheid state that expands illegally on the regular.

Or was that satire? If so, nice one.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 29 2021 23:55 utc | 70

@ karlof1 (# 56),

I appreciate your detailed explanation. Thank you. I come from Damon Vrabel’s blog. It was very impactful. It revealed reality and the power structure. Here is the best video series that I have come across that provides a good overview of the history, internal structure and external driving forces of the Anglo-American Empire. It was referred to as the “Financial Empire” in that blog.

U$A’s Ruling Clans openly state that the U$A is "A HYPOCRITICAL HEGEMON", and has published an article defining its position. A rules based order as long as the HEGEMON defines the rules. No legitimacy & credibility to such an order. It needs to be referred accordingly.

Here are some of the key points from this article in the U$A establishment magazine:
- The world today lives within an order that the United States built, one that is underwritten by U$A’s power.
- Few U$A officials think of their ability to act hypocritically as a key strategic resource.
- Most U$A'ens people do not recognize just how two-faced their country is.
- Hypocrisy is central to Washington’s soft power.
- Washington is unable to consistently abide by the values that it trumpets. This disconnect creates the risk that other states might decide that the U$A-led GLOBAL ORDER is fundamentally illegitimate.
- The United States would not prosper in a world where everyone thought about international cooperation in the way that Putin does.
- If the United States is to reduce its dangerous dependence on DOUBLESPEAK, it will have to submit to real oversight and an open democratic debate about its policies. The era of easy hypocrisy is over.

Very well familiar with the core of the Neoliberal backers and bankers. It comes out of the London School of Economics. Popper, Hayek, Friedman and Mises (founders of Mont Pèlerin Society & Neoliberalism) were all Statists, only their perfect state does not serve the collective, it only keeps the collective in check. The purpose of the neoliberal State is to control the collective from which it draws its power so as to benefit the true Rulers. The collective serves the neoliberal State, not the other way around.

Any understanding without the POWER STRUCTURE (backers & bankers) doesn’t get to the crux of the subject matter. These insights help in comprehending the driving FORCES! Interesting times...

Posted by: Max | Jun 30 2021 0:00 utc | 71

Gordog @69--

Thanks for your reply! Yes, I know it's off topic for this thread, but we always seem to have at least one open thread active at any one time. I remember Goddard's efforts and know the deep back story of how the German's got to the USA and became citizens. The key point for me has always been--would US engineering have been capable of getting JFK's initiative off the ground solo? Given all the rocket mishaps in the early days, I'm skeptical. I know it'll be a time consuming answer, so many thanks in advance for your answer!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 30 2021 0:08 utc | 72

No attacks on Iran mainland by US forces.
Because in 15 minutes SA would no longer have an oil structure.
Even the Fat Boy had this explained to him.

I could be wrong, but it hasn't happened.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Jun 30 2021 0:36 utc | 73

Thanks again, Karlof.

Yes, plenty of intetesting ground to cover for sure. Will aim for the next open thread! 👍

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 30 2021 0:58 utc | 74

karlof1 @ 66
Outlaw US Empire gets blasted for its lame Artic policy and lack of means to confront Russia on that icy sea.

What I find interesting about Russia's buildup in the Artic is that it ties in my view that MAD is no longer a policy of the US or Russia. Our land based missiles are poised to fly over the North Pole in a nuclear strike and Russia has the ability and the technology to set up ICBM counter batteries with its new technology. It can also park part of its "second strike" SSBN force there fairly safe and protected.

In my opinion their presence on the Pole is less about economics and more about force protection, projection, and "cutting off the head of the snake" as Putin once said when the time comes.

My guess is NATO minus the US has no stomach for spending time and money on a large counter force and the US and Brittan already have their hands full everywhere.

Based on the current pace and scope of this force modernization program, Russia does not appear to be on a trajectory to establish naval superiority in the region or a true blue-water navy. Most of its capabilities are not designed for offensive power projection but rather for close-in perimeter defense and protection of borders. Much of the growth in infrastructure is intended to conduct nonmilitary missions such as search and rescue operations or to protect maritime shipping and energy and economic investments.

However, many of Russia’s military capabilities and operations in the Arctic have inherent offensive potential and have been used in threatening ways. Its air and naval forces have intimidated NATO countries on the northern and eastern flanks of the alliance with provocative maneuvers; have increased naval, submarine, and air patrols near Danish and Norwegian territories; have conducted snap military drills in the region; and have used more aggressive tactics to harass U.S. naval and air operations off the coast of Alaska. Moreover, many Russian facilities being developed along the NSR are dual-use, and Russian measures to improve maritime security and safety, such as improved radar surveillance and communications or new drone bases, have inherent offensive potential.
Russia in the Artic

I know its off topic but it was mentioned in the thread.

Posted by: circumspect | Jun 30 2021 1:11 utc | 75

الجزائر‎ #11

Interesting for me is Blinken (in Italy) trying to find a legal purpose. "whe are in Irak at the demand of Iraqi government". What a clown!

Thank you for that link, and yes, a clown indeed.

I note that the US claims it was defending its US Embassy in Irbil. Iraq land occupied by 'poor oppressed' Kurds. Pelosi can wring her hands and bleat all she likes but she might consider that these very same Kurds are no friends of Iran and never will be.

What's next? Syrian land with a US embassy in Al Tanf or Deir ez-Zor occupied by 'poor misunderstood' ISIS Uighur?

Oh how the US so desperately desires an embassy in Ürümchi.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 30 2021 1:20 utc | 76

"@ 2 hoyeru... [snip] you think this constant ''chaos and destroy'' philosophy has some legs to it?? lolol...
By: james | Jun 29 2021 18:25 utc | 4
Hi james. I very much see it as a layered strategy. On that basis definitely.

I am not saying geofascism can't be both a philosophy and ideology. It is itself much more complicated and of a biological source, even a physical one. It's beyond any single person in my view. I leave that to the poets.

I'd like to talk strategy. This explains all my contradictions, is a plan-B to that "7 countries in 5 years" plan. It is also consistent with the psychopathy of these people.

I didn't dream this up on my own but I can't tell you where it came from. I was wondering what you and barflies think about it.

Posted by: David G Horsman | Jun 30 2021 1:23 utc | 77

*** Reading the comment section , hilarious ***

Hasbara defending hasbara , classic SOP from Hasbara farm trolls..

Hoyeru is obvious troll , then this 'steven johnson' tried to defend 'hoyeru' by pooh pooh-ing ppl who criticize hoyeru..

i know this place have good people like james, karlof , vk and many others.. but i know also many pretender and hidden trolls here like biswapriya purkayat..

*** Keep it up hasbaras and neocon trolls ***

Posted by: milomilo | Jun 30 2021 1:26 utc | 78

Biden's Iran Policy Is Already At A Dead End,
No shit,
Maybe we should have an actual election (which actually exists), so that we might present an actual human being to convey our will to the outside world juuussstttt a litlle bit more honestly, or something.

Posted by: Josh | Jun 30 2021 1:46 utc | 79

Pay no heed to those that seek to spread canards of undue influence of Israeli influence in US policy. They probably deny the holocaust as well.

Posted by: Kevin

I don't deny the Amerindian holocaust. I do go along with the story in Haaretz stating they lied on the numbers. Even Israelis admit that. That even at 6 million their deaths are more significant than the deaths of 400 million NDNs, my people, then I don't give a F. Many more millions of people died in WW2, people that actually fought back, people that didn't sell out their own mothers to delay their own trip to the showers. When half of congress and senate are AIPAC prostitutes they have undue influence. When you have to take an Israel First oath to get a job in Texas..........balls. I will never do it. They can kiss my tukus.

Posted by: Bruce Lee Marvin Gay | Jun 30 2021 1:52 utc | 80


Posted by: Josh | Jun 30 2021 1:55 utc | 81

circumspect 75 "Based on the current pace and scope of this force modernization program, Russia does not appear to be on a trajectory to establish naval superiority in the region or a true blue-water navy."

Some of the US military types may have a different opinion. Zircons being fitted to a number of ships and subs.
Russia conducted a naval exercise 2500km southeast of of Kamchatka peninsula. The exercise was to destroy some sort of battle group. Being that close to Hawaii though, the water may have suddenly turned brown so poor Russians still didn't get to see any blue water.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 30 2021 1:59 utc | 82

@ David G Horsman | Jun 30 2021 1:23 utc | 77

thanks david.. i just don't believe chaos is a great system to build anything on... but i suppose it destroying stuff is all one has, it implies in the end that a system that relies on this ideology will also be very much subject to it as well... it is a bit like the idea of casting your lot out and reaping what you sow...

that is wesley clark that came up with that one a number of years ago... 7 countries in 5 years

Posted by: james | Jun 30 2021 2:15 utc | 83

The only regular trolls in the MoA commentariat are the ones who keep hurling crazy charges about being paid agents.
And the people obsessed with hasbara are playing with antisemitism.

Re Ledeen, it is obvious that either Ledeen is misusing the mathematical notion of chaos (and complexity theory) or I am speaking too loosely or some combination of both. To me it seems natural to indulge permanent wars, partitions of states either de facto or de jure and so on, is to rely on terrorizing enemy people with the destruction of all stability. That's not what Ledeen is advocating, which strikes me as a gigantic load of BS cloaked in jargon. Regardless of Ledeen, no neoconservative believes that the US should conduct its foreign policy by doing things like actually placing enough troops to enforce order, by restoring essential service, by reestablishing financial stability, etc. Ledeen's "creative destruction" is an empty promise trashing a country allows a natural order to emerge, like magic, because [jargon.]

"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." The link previous to this quote in the OP was to a Scott Ritter article. The quote is bold-faced and the OP clearly accepts the formulation.

Perhaps it would be easier to see this if words irrelevant to this point were omitted. "...the prime minister of Iraq...declared the PMF to be an essential part of his nation’s state security..." Sorry, no, Scott Ritter did say the US did attack an essential element of Iraq's security. If Ritter thought the Iraqi PM was lying, then Ritter agrees with Biden that it is pointless to ask the Iraqi government's permission. None of this explains why an attack on Iraq is deemed to weaken the US instead of, first, the people attacked, namely the Iraqis. In fact, it is not even clear why Ritter and the OP are believe that it is an attack on Iran at all. They seem to say so, but lamenting an attack on Iran that hits the wrong target would be a peculiar criticism.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jun 30 2021 2:19 utc | 84

*** Keep it up hasbaras and neocon trolls ***

I don't quite understand that one. Did you know the Palestinians have been trying to build a sewage treatment plant in Bethlehem for over 30 years and the Israel will not let them? When I go drink at my favorite bar the Palestinian owners tell me of the misery heaped upon them over the years with the intent of making misery to drive them off the land.

Making misery on a population is a tried and true tactic over the ages to obtain a goal. Somehow pointing that out you are a hasbara neocon troll? Maybe my English skills have degraded in my old age.

We cannot prove it with documents we can only theorize it by events and outcomes.

Peter AU1 @ 82

"Based on the current pace and scope of this force modernization program, Russia does not appear to be on a trajectory to establish naval superiority in the region or a true blue-water navy."

I did not quite agree with that statement either. There are a few good pieces of information in that article. The conclusions are mostly wrong. I think the Empires planners got it wrong with the build up in the Artic. I think as many here do they have lost their minds. I question if they ever had one.

Posted by: circumspect | Jun 30 2021 2:49 utc | 85

We are back to hoping for regime changing via starving people with sanctions while sabotage operations buy time. Food inflation allegedly is near 70% and while China keeps buying a bit oil in violation of sanctions, I am not sure how much runway Iran has economically as I do not believe Iran has sufficient food production to feed itself.

Posted by: schmoe | Jun 30 2021 2:50 utc | 86

Max @Jun30 0:00 #71

I come from Damon Vrabel’s blog.

What do you mean by that? Vrabel's blog is off-line. How do you "come from" that blog? Are you Vrabel or a collaborator of Vrabel's?

Vrabel's last post was January 2011. It's creepy that you say that you come from a blog that has been dormant for over 10 years. What have you been doing since 2011?

<> <> <> <>

I think moa readers might also be interested to know that Vrabel all but disappeared after January 2011 despite the rise of populism and bitcoin. One might expect that Vrabel's interests would have led him into the crypto universe or possibly into Trump's movement.

Vrabel's last post, "In conclusion" (copied into this comment at, explained why he was ending his blog/activism. He engages in a sort of victim-blaming and defeatism:

Putting all blame on the top of the system is biased and psychologically immature.... Given human nature and the inherent requirement for empires to grow (or die in defeat to another empire), we will have one type of imperial system or another as long as humans are in charge.

Amazingly, Vrabel also claims to have run his blog as a 'test':
One reason I did jump into the ring was to run my own direct test to determine (a) whether change is possible, and (b) what people really want. I planned a 1-year test from the point I initially started publishing, but it took less than 9 months to conclude[that]... Change is not possible through journalism, the media, or online debates.

Strangely, Vrabel never mentions Occupy Wall Street which was disbanded by force just days before.

Vrabel claimed to be a disenchanted establishment guy (a graduate of West Point and Harvard) that was revealing how the monetary system really worked. Was he really? Given his short 'test' and complete disappearance, I think there's reason to question what he was up to.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 30 2021 2:54 utc | 87

Re: Evertsen

Russian Jets Armed With Anti-Ship Missiles “Harassed” Dutch Frigate In The Black Sea

The Royal Netherlands Navy has now confirmed that its De Zeven Provincien class frigate HNLMS Evertsen, which has been sailing in the Black Sea together with the U.K. Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender, was harassed by Russian fighter jets last week. The announcement comes after Russia and the United Kingdom entered something of a war of words last week when the Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender conducted maneuvers in an area close to Russian-controlled Crimea. Both of these ships are currently part of the British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth’s multinational strike group, also known as Carrier Strike Group 21, or CSG21.

Posted by: Mao | Jun 30 2021 3:01 utc | 88

@ Jackrabbit (#87),

What I meant is that I got to learn a lot about the socioeconomic system, neoliberalism and global power structure from that blog. I haven’t come across a blog were one understands the mechanism and dynamics of the monetary and power system so well. Even Ellen Brown used to comment there. Yes, the last post was January 2011. However, you need to stop your speculative accusations.

Please don’t spread rumors and accusations about Damon Vrabel. He is a good patriot. He can be reached via email and he has commented on the peakprosperity blog.

Posted by: Max | Jun 30 2021 3:35 utc | 89

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.


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.

The simplest explanation is that the USA has many different factions among its capitalist class. A powerful faction with interests in the oil and gas sector is possibly pressuring the Biden government to stay engaged in the ME (if we can extrapolate from George W. Bush's government).

The USA is the Mecca of capitalism. There are a lot of powerful capitalists, from all the sectors of the Free Market, in the halls of Washington, D.C., constantly petitioning to the POTUS and in the Two Houses. Each faction must, we can infer through simple statistical probability, be interested in one different part of the globe. The USA only manifests itself as a World Empire (Lonely Superpower; Sole Superpower) when we see the resultant vector of all these inner forces acting there. The American Empire looks like a homogeneous capitalist empire only because we're observing it from the outside, from the "rest of the world"; people living inside the USA must have a completely different perception - hence why I think many Americans still think their country, albeit being an empire, is a democratic one, as the anarchy of capitalism operates in full force there.

Posted by: vk | Jun 30 2021 3:51 utc | 90

The domain
has been seized by the US government.

I kept a list of what I found useful today. So thanks to the host and:

Posted by: librul | Jun 29 2021 18:25 utc | 5
Posted by: الجزائر | Jun 29 2021 19:19 utc | 9
Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 29 2021 19:26 utc | 12 - paywall $1

I think massive bombing campaigns will interfere with the command, communications and controls of these swarms enough to limit their awesomeness.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jun 29 2021 19:27 utc | 13

Michael Ledeen, top neocon and writer at FDD is a huge fan of chaos and has written about it repeatedly.
Posted by: annie | Jun 29 2021 20:25 utc | 19

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 29 2021 20:27 utc | 20

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 29 2021 21:20 utc | 37

Posted by: الجزائرa‎ | Jun 29 2021 21:27 utc | 38
"Terrorist tourist trip"
Added to Stonebird #35
Nicely done.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 29 2021 21:43 utc | 42 - re gangs.

Posted by: Kevin | Jun 29 2021 22:21 utc | 47
It was nice of AIPAC to drop by. How's New York?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 29 2021 23:14 utc | 56
Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 29 2021 23:19 utc | 58
Posted by: aquadraht | Jun 29 2021 23:47 utc | 67

Posted by: David G Horsman | Jun 30 2021 4:16 utc | 91

@89 Max

I came back to thank you for the link to the Vrabel video. I thought I'd have to scout around to find where you linked it, and here you are being attacked by one who doesn't know - so it was quite relevant to drop right in here and say thank you for Damon Vrabel.

I downloaded the video and I'm about 25 minutes in - this will take a little while to digest. I don't mean to sound sophisticated when I say we pretty much know everything he's saying - but I never heard it quite so condensed, quite so cogent. And his perspective is actually different, as it must be when you consider all of the elements together in one view, as he does. There is a force here and it's very compelling.

His last post was 2011? Well, I guess he saw it all 10 years ago, for sure.

Okay - so I'm still watching the video and it will take a few days to finish - and then we'll see what I think and what I know. So far I have the bondholders, and I never quite saw the top of the pyramid so clearly before. So that's good.


In the meantime, thank you again. You are an unknown quantity here, and I suspect we have culture shock operating from both ends as you fit yourself into the modes of discussion here, and as we wrap ourselves around you. It's not a clique here. But it has a way of operating - what drew me to it in the first place, and probably you too.

It operates on reason, and evidence, and it aims for knowing more when we leave than we knew when we came, and sharing everything we have with others, so we can get to that improved consensus. So it's best to try to stay out of fights or arguments - and there are some here who enjoy a fight, and I suspect you may have come from a mean street or two yourself. Well, we all have. But reason, and evidence, is what will carry us all through these discussions.

And I can hear myself talking as if I am an old timer here, and I'm relatively new myself. Funny how we are.

Anyway, I guess we'll all keep talking, and see where it goes.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 30 2021 4:17 utc | 92

@annie 19

you're wrong about neocons and chaos. Michael Ledeen, top neocon and writer at FDD is a huge fan of chaos and has written about it repeatedly.

Quite so. Since at least 1953, and particularly 1990 when the US secretly gave Saddam the green light to invade Kuwait (and simultaneously informed Kuwait that if Saddam even thought about invading, the US would protect them) chaos has been a prime modus operandi of Western Middle East policy. Keep them in a mess and keep them divided. Oldest imperial rule in the book.

Posted by: masonobu | Jun 30 2021 4:51 utc | 93

Biden and 'policy' are mutually exclusive concepts however Biden and 'dead ends' are truly synonymous.

The ridiculous contradictions and mindless stupidity of Biden is writ large in Afghanistan:

Since 2002 the U.S. government (read taxpayer) has spent eight billion dollars in attempting to control Afghanistan’s drug production industry. Very few people can imagine what eight billion dollars looks like, but it is clear that it is a vast sum of money that has been utterly wasted because, as reported by Voice of America on 3 May, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime found that “opium cultivation in conflict-ridden Afghanistan increased by 37% in 2020 compared to the previous year, potentially producing an estimated 6,300 tons of opium.” The reasons for the drug surge are many, and include “corruption, instability, and insecurity caused by insurgency groups” but the basic causes are down at the field-production level, because employment opportunities are small in rural areas, there is no decent education (no matter what is claimed by Washington), and farmers have limited access to markets for their legal produce. This is all compounded by a “drastic reduction in rainfall that has caused levels of food and water scarcity across 25 provinces.”

Afghanistan’s Drug Production Is a Global Crisis according to Strategic Culture report by Brian Cloughly.

So Biden is pretending to withdraw and leave 20+ years of USA opium cultivation under their quisling government to be sorted by the Taliban.

You have to read this entire report to get the picture that the USA is not just a failed military, a failed state or empire, a failed political class, but more like a failed juvenile detention centre.

It is no surprise that the USA needs the stupidity of the englander and dutch navies to be any type of threat to the Russians. If you left it to the USA navy they would likely be growing pot below decks and using aircraft carriers to transport coke from South America.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 30 2021 5:12 utc | 94

It's like trying to swat a mosquito while at the negotiation table. Bad manners.

Posted by: Robert Macaire | Jun 30 2021 5:20 utc | 95

"...i know also many pretender and hidden trolls here like biswapriya purkayat.."

(milomilo @78)

"Anyone who does share my opinion is a troll."

That's a very effective debating technique. For kindergarten.

Grow the hell up.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jun 30 2021 7:12 utc | 96

That should be "anyone who does not", of course.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jun 30 2021 7:57 utc | 97

About the last line in my 59 and a comment from Mao.

After "known knowns" (Etc). We now have to worry about "real reals".

So there was "spoofing" of the USS Ross being about 5 miles off Crimea accompanied by an Ukranian military hydrofoil, while the Ross was in Odessa all the time (as webcams show). Do all the "positions" given for any one incident, now have to be checked by satellite photos? (Fact checkers need not apply)

Clearly an attempt to confuse Russian radars, which is said to have originated from near Odessa, aimed at fooling ship tracking stations. Or are they trying out a technique to pre-run blaming Russia for a new "aggression"? Providing independent "proof" before anything happens?

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 30 2021 7:59 utc | 98

Posted by: james | Jun 29 2021 23:39 utc | 65

it is a joke to think iran is going to be sidelined here, along with russia, china, syria, venezuala and etc. etc... usa has so many brush fires going, they are not going to be able to oversee and keep a lid on them all! they are going to get there ass burned at some point...

By definition, brush fires don't require much maintenance. When the conditions are right, they burn by themselves. On the receiving end, however, they are very destructive and controlling them requires valuable resources.

The US has perfected this art and has effectively outsourced the task to a low wage labour force. This has many benefits for the belligerent:

1. it can deliver more bang for the buck
2. its own ass is not on the line
3. it can plausibly deny the authorship of the operation.

Posted by: james | Jun 30 2021 2:15 utc | 83

thanks david.. i just don't believe chaos is a great system to build anything on... but i suppose it destroying stuff is all one has, it implies in the end that a system that relies on this ideology will also be very much subject to it as well... it is a bit like the idea of casting your lot out and reaping what you sow...

It makes sense to those who play a zero sum Great Game.

The main point of this game is that it is played abroad. To suggest, as B does in the ending paragraphs, that a stand off or low level conflict would be costly to the US is beside the point. The damage done is almost exclusively on the receiving end. At any time the perpetrator has the option to call of the operation. The victim does not have this luxury.

I believe it is important to recognize and expose the various forms of violence for what they are. Rejoicing at an abusive husband's obstinacy because of the prospect that he will wear down his knuckles is the wrong approach.

Posted by: robin | Jun 30 2021 8:09 utc | 99

Stonebird 98

Ship tracking is satnav type stuff. I take it a satellite positioning unit like a transponder in aircraft, sends info up to a satellite from the ship at set intervals.
"The system is based on AIS (Automatic Identification System). The International Maritime Organization (IMO) requires all vessels over 299GT to carry an AIS transponder class A on board, which transmits data on position, speed and courseover ground, among some other static information, such as the vessel name, dimensions and voyage details."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 30 2021 11:35 utc | 100

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