Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 04, 2021

'Maximum Pressure' Against Iran Has Failed. What Will Biden Do Next?

A week ago I wrote about Biden's failing foreign policy. With regards to the nuclear agreement (JCPOA) with Iran I remarked:

During his campaign Biden had promised to rejoin the nuclear deal with Iran. But no action has followed. Talks with Tehran started too late and were filled with new demands that Iran can not accept without diminishing is military defenses.

The arrogance of the Biden administration is at full display in its believe that it can dictate the terms to Tehran:
It is not Iran that left the UN endorsed JCPOA deal. It was the U.S. which went back on it and re-introduced a 'maximum pressure' sanctions campaign against Iran. Iran has said it is willing to again reduce its nuclear program to the limits of the JCPOA deal if the U.S. removes all sanctions. It is the Biden administration that is unwilling to do so while making new demands. That is obviously not going to work.
If the U.S. does not come back into the JCPOA deal, without any further conditions, Iran will eventually leave the deal and proceed with its nuclear program as it wants. That would be an utter failure of Biden's hardline tactics. One wonders what the Biden administration has planned to do when that happens.

The Biden administration thinks it can tighten sanctions on China's oil business with Iran:

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman was expected to discuss the prospect of tightening U.S. sanctions on Chinese entities importing Iranian oil when she met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and other officials in Tianjin, China on Monday (July 26), should agreement on a return to the nuclear pact not be able to be reached.

“We have been hoping, we could lift sanctions,” on Iran’s energy and banking sectors, including on Chinese entities purchasing Iranian oil, if the U.S. and Iran could agree on a mutual return to the nuclear deal, the US diplomat said. But “if there is no return to JCPOA…and if we are settling in for a long period of no return to JCPOA,” we will first look at our sanctions enforcement policy, he said.

But this is no longer 2012. Back then China and Russia agreed with the U.S. to put pressure on Iran. That pressure led to the nuclear deal. But today the situation is much different. It was the U.S. that left the deal. Iran, China and Russia are all in a stronger position than they were a decade ago. Why would the later two agree to support Biden's malign foreign policy and unilateral U.S. sanctions against Iran?

The former Indian ambassador M.K.Bhadrakumar draws a similar picture:

[T]he US negotiators drove a hard bargain in Vienna. They underestimated Iran’s grit to secure its core interests. They assumed that given Iran’s economic difficulties, it would bend over backward to get the sanctions lifted. And they began dictating terms and conditions.
Khamenei, who has the last word on Iran’s state matters, declared last Wednesday that Tehran would not accept Washington’s “stubborn” demands in nuclear talks and again flatly rejected the insertion of any other issues to the deal.
Having weathered the brunt of Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’, Tehran is in a better situation today. The international situation works in its favour too. Iran has gained strategic depth in the deepening partnership with Russia and China. It is neither possible now to ‘isolate’ Iran nor prudent to exercise the military option against it.

The former British diplomat Alastair Crooke agrees with that view:

The recent accounting of obstacles on the negotiation track listed by Iran’s envoy to the IAEA indeed seems a daunting catalogue of moveable U.S. and EU goalpost: From the original ‘no uranium enrichment’ doctrine; then to a ‘breakout’ horizon of less than one year; and now to that same threshold demand, plus the instance on assurances that Iran will immediately enter into regional and missile talks with the U.S., with any return to JCPOA.

A full post-mortem of the errors leading to this point must await the future. But, for now, U.S. officials insist that it is Iran that misreads its situation; but equally, it may be argued that the U.S. has misread how much the strategic situation in the region – and indeed the world – has changed; and the extent to which the mood of the Iranian people has shifted towards the Principal-ists’ viewpoint, over the period of the last four years.
Is then, the U.S. threat of an international consensus against Iran – similar to that of 2012 – more plausible? Consensus …?
Hasn’t Washington noticed that there isn’t one: not even for Washington’s aspiration to stop Russia from bringing its gas to Europe, via Nordstream 2? Haven’t they noticed the fracture in global politics? Yes, Europe is spineless, and will go with U.S., come what may, but that does not amount to a global consensus.

The U.S. attempt to press Iran into a stricter agreement than the nuclear deal Iran had agreed to and the U.S. abandoned has failed.

If the Biden administration does not pull back on its demands, the nuclear deal with Iran will be dead. Domestic pressure to 'do something' about Iran's growing nuclear technology will then increase.

But there is no global consensus to sanction Iran. Russia and China will resist any pressure to support them and Iran will have no reason to change its ways. Nor is there a military option. Iran has serious weapons that can reach any corner in the Middle East.

The Biden administration has driven its Iran policy into a blind alley. The wall in front of it is solid. But how will it reverse to get out?

Posted by b on August 4, 2021 at 18:13 UTC | Permalink

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Posted by: Russell Kirk | Aug 5 2021 0:01 utc | 54

Iran can be classified as a liberal theocracy or theocratic democracy, where theocratic branch of the government is simultaneously superior and self-limiting. That stabilizes the political split between those who have full confidence in the theocrats, those who are skeptical or outright loath them, and the middle, passive or pocketbook oriented. While the first group seems to be a minority, it is a large minority. Ruling parties in Turkey and Poland (and India?) seem to gravitate toward such a system, but with less subtlety and, in Polish (and Indian?) case, with an incomplete control over constitutional rules. I would classify Israel among liberal theocracies/theocratic democracies, that would require to recognize Israeli type of militarism as religious. Islamic republic of Pakistan can be viewed as theocratic democracy too.

As elsewhere, theocrats have a vision of society firmly rooted in a distant past, and it is helpful that the past of Iran/Persia included achievements in science, arts, technology etc., unlike in Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan, so Iranian theocrats are not stranger to modernity. Consequently, many highly educated people are in the group that has full confidence in the theocrats (not a monolith) and Principlists are not a bunch of yokels or mere smart Alecs like typical think tankers in USA-sphere. Characteristically, one of the constitutional bodies in Iran is The Expediency Discernment Council, to a Westerner, a very interesting concept.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 5 2021 16:45 utc | 101

Voice 1: The overseas crap is Blinken's job as far as he [Biden] cares.
Voice 2: Biden was Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for many years and then led (or one of those who led) Obama's foreign policy. We can safely assume that he understands USA foreign policy and wants to be involved.

During is (neurologically) better years, Biden was not a thinker, or capable of decent decisions. My impression was that he was a nimble surfer on the waves of the Washington Consensus, never a wave maker. What to do with JCPOA and other issues is way to hard for him now, and probably, too hard for the younger staff like Blinken, although the latter may have some carefully hidden abilities.

IMHO, the smartest thing for Biden would be to jump on restoration of JCPOA in the first/second week in office, latching on a wave of repudiation of all things Trumpian, and exploiting a wedge issue that can play well with the crucial unaligned voters. Instead, they have a fully avoidable conundrum.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 5 2021 16:56 utc | 102

My initial attempt at posting the following comment was stopped by the censoring of the link to Khamenei's website, which you can find within Pepe's article.

Pepe Escobar's new column, "Raisi era heralds hard pivot to the East", provides us with some insights, some new, some that reiterate. We have primary source publications about the JCPOA experience with Khamenei leading the way as he should given his position with his "The Experience of Trusting the US" published at his website, where you'll find other important, educational, writings. And then there's this opus just being published:

"With excellent timing, a new six-volume book, Sealed Secret [Link at original], co-written by outgoing Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and two top negotiators on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal, Ali Akbar Salehi and Seyed Abbas Araghchi (who’s still involved in the current, stalled Vienna debate), will be published this week – only in Farsi for the moment."

As hinted at in his title, Raisi will focus on Iran's internal development and not so much on foreign policy. After citing his friend professor Marandi, Pepe cites an important insider:

"Yet the main challenge for Raisi will not be foreign policy, but the domestic framework, with sanctions still biting hard: 'With regard to economic policy, it will be tilting more toward social justice and turning away from neoliberalism, expanding the safety net for the disenfranchised and the vulnerable.'

"It’s quite intriguing to compare Marandi’s views with those of a seasoned Iranian diplomat who prefers to remain anonymous, and who is very well positioned as an observer of the domestic conflict:

"During Rouhani’s eight years, contrary to the Supreme Leader’s advice, the government spent lots of time on negotiations, and they have not been investing in internal potential. The Leader said from the beginning that he was not optimistic toward the US and the Europeans. Anyhow the eight years are now finished and, contrary to Rouhani’s promises, we currently have Iran’s worst economic and financial record in 50 years.

"The diplomat is adamant regarding 'the importance of paying attention to our internal capacities and abilities, while having powerful economic relations with our neighbors as well as Russia, China, Latin America, South Africa – as well as maintaining mutual respectable ties with Europeans and the US government, if it changes its behavior and accepts Iran as it is, not always trying to overthrow the Iranian state and harm its people by any possible means.'"

Pepe then turns to reviewing for us Iran's place within greater Eurasia over the centuries and concludes thusly:

"All that is very much alive in the collective unconscious of Iranians and Chinese. That’s why the China-Iran strategic partnership deal is much more than a mere $400 billion economic arrangement. It’s a graphic manifestation of what the revival of the Silk Roads is aiming at."

IMO, the Outlaw Anglo Empire hasn't the strength or ideas to enable it to forestall the rising Eurasian Bloc as its Neoliberal doctrine continues to hollow it out. And the announced sale of mobile howitzers to Taiwan caused China to issue this warning--or is it a promise, "US arms sales sound death knell for Taiwan authorities".

The short time period when the Outlaw US Empire had "Primacy" has ended as it becomes just another Outlaw Nation differing little from previous bullies. Its ideology now acts like an anchor rope wrapped around Uncle Sam's legs as he falls overboard from the Ship-of-State, with the only way to safety being the severing of the anchor rope.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 5 2021 17:07 utc | 103

Anybody have an accurate number of how many dual citizens are in Bidens congress? It doesn't come up from a google search, the first few pages are mostly Times of Israel, or PolitiFact "debunking" someone's claim that its 89 members simply by stating that all Jewish members aren't necessarily dual citizens without stating how many are. JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) says the number of Jewish members in Congress is 37, but doesn't give a dual citizen count. Apparently the number was 112 under Obama. I'd guess that number will be a contributing factor in any insane decision to attack Iran.

Posted by: jamesC | Aug 5 2021 17:08 utc | 104

@Max | Aug 5 2021 15:55 utc | 100


"Time will reveal whose trap wins... It ain’t over till it’s over."

Casteration already is accomplished. The rest is history. 

"Define your “Empire” and “Imperialism”.

That is an excellent gollden question, because nowdays there is a common misunderstnding about Imperlialism. But my hands are tied somewher else. 

There is a Turkish proverbial saying: "Elim boş olaydı gönlüm hoş olaydı". Literally means: if my hands were free, if my heart feeling was happy, if ...if ... .  I have some backlog projects, some backlog health issues, some ..., and some ..., and almost near sunset of life,  so there is no free time to participate on MoA playground. 

I hope to come back to this question sometime in future

Posted by: arata | Aug 5 2021 17:52 utc | 105

Paul Damascene @67--

Russian-Iranian relations were rocky until very recently given the Russian Empire's southward expansion into areas of Iranian control. Iran lost two major portions of its territory to Russia and suffered other humiliations. I found this very educational online lecture dealing with several hundred years of those antagonistic relations, and it has a map at page bottom showing the extent of Iranian territory prior to the cessions. There were also issues during WW2. During the Cold War, Iran became an unwilling part of Containment when the Shah was installed by the Anglos. The USSR then cultivated the Baathists as a counterweight in Iraq and Syria. The USSR was confounded by the Iranian Revolution and was initially hostile, but when Iran came under the vicious Reaction by the Outlaw US Empire, the USSR's policy slowly began to evolve. IMO, it's been due to Russia's honesty and sincerity in its relations with Iran since Putin that has resulted in the comradeship we now see. I don't know how much influence Iran had on Putin's decision to support Assad and intervene, but they've seemingly cooperated very well.

Earlier this year on the 100th anniversary of their modern diplomatic relations, Iran's ambassador to Russia gave a glowing report on their relations to TASS:

"'Iran and Russia, being two civilization states, have overcome more than five centuries of diplomatic relations, relations, whose history outlasts that of many states and powers,' he pointed out. 'In the twentieth century, the two countries staged anticolonial revolutions, and this is a joint experience, accumulated by the two peoples last century.'

"'The 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Iran and Soviet Russia is a reminder that the Iranian government was one of the first to recognize the newly formed Soviet government as well as a reminder of friendship between the two countries and the two peoples. This also reminds one about the accent on principles that the relations of the two countries are based on: such principles as non-intervention in each other’s internal affairs, countering the Western powers’ actions in the region, and preservation of stability and security in the region,' Jalali said."

Today, Russia, Iran and China are three major members of the Eurasian Economic Integration Project which will further enhance the relations between all three and other major project partners. Iran's good relations with the Central Asian nations will hopefully help its relations with Gulf nations cowed by Outlaw US Empire propaganda and bribes to the point where a Collective Security Pact can be consummated--the Russian and Iranian plans are almost identical. Iran has a new President, but the same Supreme Leader; so, I only expect continuing improvement in Russian-Iranian relations.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 5 2021 17:56 utc | 106

Unfortunately too late to join the discussion is today's Philip Giraldi essay about the MEK:

"One might ask if Washington’s obsession with terrorism includes supporting radical armed groups as long as they are politically useful in attacking countries that the US regards as enemies? It is widely known that the American CIA worked with Saudi Arabia to create al-Qaeda to attack the Russians in Afghanistan and the same my-enemy’s-enemy thinking appears to drive the current relationships with radical groups in Syria.

"Given the fact that Iran continues to be the Biden Administration’s enemy du jour, it is perhaps not surprising to observe that the US also supports terror groups that are capable of attacking targets in the Islamic Republic. To that end, recently a number of former senior government officials and politicians were involved in cultivating their relationships with the Iranian terrorist group Mojahedin e Khalq (MEK), which held its most recent annual international summit in Paris for three days starting on July 10th. The event was online due to French COVID prevention guidelines and the featured speaker was Michele Flournoy, former US undersecretary of defense for policy under President Barack Obama. Flournoy was once considered a front runner to be President Joe Biden’s defense secretary and she currently heads a consulting firm WestExec Advisors that she co-founded with current Secretary of State Anthony Blinken which has had considerable influence over staffing and other issues in the White House. In her talk, she accused Iran of posing a danger to the security of the Middle East, the United States, and to its own people, elaborating how “Since 1979, every US administration has had to deal with the threat posed by Iran’s revolutionary regime and the Biden administration is no different. Iran is one of the most urgent foreign policy issues on the president’s desk.” She called for an 'internal regime change' in the Islamic Republic."

And that's just the opener. Curious that Flournoy isn't on Biden's team. Maybe she declined not being offered what she thought she merited. It's quite amazing how many went public with their support for a clear terrorist group; but then when you field a Terrorist Foreign Legion, I suppose that's not surprising. Hopefully, much of the world was watching the Outlaw US Empire further reveal its true nature.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 5 2021 19:25 utc | 107

Ever since Russia put its foot down in Syria the US has stopped bombing countries that can do more than throw rocks. I saw the other day that Biden had signed an order to start using bombs on Somalia. I assume Somalia is defenseless. Perfect bully meat.

Posted by: arby | Aug 5 2021 19:56 utc | 108

@jamesC #104
Congress has approved 0 of the conflicts the US has engaged in for the past 30+ years with the sole exception of the AUMF after 9/11 (indirectly).

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 5 2021 20:04 utc | 109

Xi and Putin should try phoning "Israeli" PM Nakbali Bennett, and the Head Jew, and suggest that they tell their NATO $lave$ to stop telling porkies about Iran.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 5 2021 20:07 utc | 110

I think the occidental bets are the following:
1) The war will come, little israeli provocation after another until the iranian makes a mistake or someone makes it for them: false flags are not new. Remember also that Israel will soon receive the tankers needed to refuel their F-35i on their way to Iran. Yes, they don't doubt this version of the F-35 is invincible.
2) The iranian "force" will be destroyed as easily as the "powerful" irakian was, and for the same reasons.
3) The iranian missiles won't make much damages: they don't have enough, not precise enough, not powerful enough.
4) Iran must be destroyed as Venezuela is and for the same reason: because they have the 3rd and the 4th reserves of gas & petrol. USA willpower will prevail.

Some of those bets will be won: the 4th naturally, the 2d surely, the 3rd probably. About the 1st... we'll see where the Russian want to go, and if they can: last war in Azerbaidjan was a severe correction. The Turkish drones were way better than the old russian missiles. Will the Russian risks their newer missiles in a test as big as opposing the Americano-Israeli weapeons for the eyes of Iran? I doubt it, they have too much to loose wich the USA don't. And the USA have way bigger reserve than the Russian.

Posted by: John V. Doe | Aug 5 2021 20:50 utc | 111

Iran's new President just said he'd stop trying to deal with the untrustworthy West.

Instead, he said he'd deal with Russia, China, India, and the Global South.

None of them accept the American sanctions against Iran, while Russia and China suffered American sanctions themselves. This is an effort to sidestep the Americans, and live in a world that just does not include the US.

If Iran can do that, it will be very damaging to the US diplomatic position all over the world. It is possible Iran can do this, with the help it is likely to get.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Aug 5 2021 21:02 utc | 112

I see this 'john V Doe' is back, spreading his horse manure generously into this comment thread.

This is perfect example of the delusional mindset of a lot of uneducated and technically illiterate Americans.

He thinks highly of the F35 flying brick and even showed up among the first comments to my article on Russia's hypersonic weapons---posting the same delusional nonsense, part of which I answered here.

He even thinks Turkish UAVs, which btw, use 100 hp ultralight aircraft engines made in Austria, and used in about 100,000 currently flying ultralight aircraft worldwide, are somehow a threat to Russian air defense. [Rotax 912 engine, also used in the US Predator UAV.]

The delirium among the fools of this world is truly astonishing! 🙀

Posted by: Gordog | Aug 5 2021 23:12 utc | 113

One of the reasons I enjoy reading China's Global Times is the in-your-face rhetoric, lol!

For instance this, from yesterday's editorial, which ties into the new hypersonic weapons:

US ‘large-scale’ military exercises cannot scare China, Russia

With current modern technologies, major powers have enough capability to destroy all targets within certain distances.

The US Navy has built a global capability that helps sustain the loyalty of its allies. But if the US engages in a real war with China and Russia, its naval strength will not be able to survive.

For big powers, navies are more of a showcase of strength and resolve. A gamble-like test is needed to see their real effect in modern wars.

Indeed! When has the US military power ever been tested in combat, against anything other than third-rate banana republics?

In 1999, the plucky little Serbs [population 7 million] fought the combined air forces of Nato [population 800 million] to a stalemate---resulting in UNSC Resolution 1244, which recognizes the territorial integrity of Serbia, including Kosovo!

That negotiated resolution would never have come about if the US 'air power' had been able to subdue Serbia and force its capitulation.

Iraq was invaded a couple of years later, after more than a decade of strangulating sanctions that weakened any chance it might have had to put up a fight. Not that a small country like Iraq was ever a real military power anyway!

The bombing of another small, backward country, Libya, likewise after years of sanctions strangulation, only proved once again that the west's military capabilities work fine against virtually defenseless small countries.

Now the US has left Afghanistan, similar to its helter-skelter departure from Vietnam---after being thoroughly defeated, and losing 10,000 aircraft.

In Korea, prior to that, a then-third-world China laid a righteous whooping on the US and its allied armies.

...the Chinese intervened and drastically changed the character of the war.

Eighth Army was decisively defeated at the Battle of the Chongchon River and forced to retreat all the way back to South Korea.

The defeat of the U.S. Eighth Army resulted in the longest retreat of any U.S. military unit in history.


The Chinese offensive continued pressing U.S. forces, which lost Seoul, the South Korean capital.

Eighth Army's morale and esprit de corps hit rock bottom, to where it was widely regarded as a broken, defeated rabble.

United States Eighth Army, Korean War

The US is the very definition of a Paper Tiger. Big talk. Little real strength. As its many bloodied noses over the years have proved.

Posted by: Gordog | Aug 6 2021 0:33 utc | 114

Iran is now in third place if the Evi Forces threatening the world peace after China and Russia.
Israel is been loosing points with it's pathetic local politics , it's production if lethal weapons and spy software.
The USA has lost points with its panic retreat from Afghanistan and it's failure to to prevent the completion of the north stream 2.
The USA is losing points in it's struggle to prevent China to become the winner in the commercial competition.
Overall the USA and it's intimate allies are losing ground as the USA leadership is quietly eroding.
Reentering the JCPOA without gaining anything will be perceived as another US defeat.. no wonder Biden is procrastinating ...ultimately the USA will cave in as it did with NS2.

Posted by: Virgile | Aug 6 2021 3:11 utc | 115

@90 uncle tungsten

There will be no war, anywhere. You're correct, the US has shot its bolt.

And that piece of writing by Reed was sublime. It's extraordinary analysis, every line is complete jive and also completely suffused with knowledge and judgment, even wisdom. Absolute wit.

It was perfect writing, a wonderful piece to read.

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 6 2021 4:01 utc | 116

@105 arata

Thank you for explaining the trap. It was a new thought for me, and I shall ponder it at length.

I hope you will be well, and your journey blessed wherever it leads. I shall be pleased to see your rich and compelling comments again.

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 6 2021 4:10 utc | 117

@ Posted by: Max | Aug 5 2021 15:55 utc | 100

“When is winning losing and losing winning? “

Always, since belief in “winning” and “losing” faciltates/illustrates enmazement in a linear paradigm where “winning” facilitates/motivates “losing” through over-reach, and “losing” facilitates/motivates “winning” by belief that “winning” is achievable/sustainable, where those so enmazed chase their tales/tails in hopes of sustainability, whilst some others facilitate/motivate transcendence of those so enmazed.

“Time will reveal whose trap wins... It ain’t over till it’s over. “

You are mistaken – It ain't over till it's transcended, facilitated/motivated by it ain't over and those to be transcended continue to be enmazed in the winning/losing paradigm.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 6 2021 4:47 utc | 118

Elijah Magnier suggests that Israel has bitten off more than it can chew with its provocations against Iran:

"Israel has opened Pandora’s box, and hiding under the US’s skirt will not protect Israeli-owned ships if the attacks in Syria continue. Iran is carrying out a campaign “between wars” on Israel which contains limited choices. Any escalation will endanger Israeli navigation, and a lack of response means Israel has decided to bite on its wounds, under the world’s watchful eyes. The Iranian deterrence has been imposed either way. The most worrying and crucial part for Israel to consider is whether Iran invokes a Rule Of Engagement every time Israel bombs targets in Syria or only when targeting an objective belonging to the “Axis of the Resistance”? The next moves will answer this question. Neither answer is good news for Israel, which has set in motion a new chain of events-which itself will suffer from."

Posted by: ak74 | Aug 6 2021 5:04 utc | 119

With all due respect to Elijah Magnier, I don't understand "The Iranian deterrence has been imposed either way": Israel has bombed iranian forces in Syria at least every week since a year or so, without any meaningful reaction or retorsion from Iran so far. Who has the deterrence force here ?

Please don't be delusional: remember how the irakian "4th army of the world" (sic) was defeated within days with very few occidental death after 6 month of daily and heavvy US bombardement. Who can sustain such rate of fire for such a long period but the USA and maybe China? Nobody was able to stop the NATO bombardement of Syria that lead to the fall of the country, neither. Ok, Iran is far bigger, but...

I think highly of the Russian (not Iranian!) S-400/S-500 but they are not designed to stop swarms of cheap drones currently in use on both side of the battlefield: it is not their purpose wich is strategic not tactic. Same for the Su-35s/Su-53, far superior to the "very expensive to fly F-35" we still await to be operationnal :D They think it's a wonder. We doubt it but they are not what will be mainly use againt Iran in case of full size conflict: "US-cheap" swarm of old cruise missile will saturate any Iranian defense and destroy all infrastructure. Period.

Occupation is optional, creating a "territory" torn by warlords where a "country" was is the purpose. Their long-term vision is balkanization of the target as in the prototyped Yougoslavia then Libya, Syria, Somalia, Irak and so on. Venezuela and Iran are on this awful shit-list. We hope they fail but I won't put money on this. China and Russia risking a full size conflit with US to prevent this is still to be seen. Calling me names won't change this harsh reality.

Posted by: John V. Doe | Aug 6 2021 6:31 utc | 120

Bones | Aug 4 2021 20:36 utc | 25

Talking of the US Topdogs' cocaine supply, it occurs to me that, perhaps, the outbreak of mental and physical diseases blamed on "acoustic" or "microwave" attacks on US diplomats, could be simply a bad batch of cocaine. It would account for the very selective nature of the attacks and the elusive nature of the weapon.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 6 2021 10:16 utc | 121

Max | Aug 4 2021 21:57 utc | 38

@ JessDTruth (#33), I never said Russia was a signatory to the Minsk agreement. Don’t assume.

You said, in Max | Aug 4 2021 20:00 utc | 19

China & Russia show their vulnerability and suzerainty status by bowing to extraterritorial sanctions. Russia has a poor record of delivering on agreements (Minsk, Astana, JCPOA...). Why does Russia enter into agreements?

Which looks very much like your saying that Russia was a defaulting party to the Minsk agreements. To me, it looks as though some self-criticism is in order. To say the least, it is not well written.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 6 2021 10:45 utc | 122

Bones | Aug 4 2021 20:36 utc | 25

Talking of the US Topdogs' cocaine supply, it occurs to me that, perhaps, the outbreak of mental and physical diseases blamed on "acoustic" or "microwave" attacks on US diplomats, could be simply a bad batch of cocaine. It would account for the very selective nature of the attacks and the elusive nature of the weapon.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 6 2021 10:16 utc | 121

That's a good point. Coke and/or any kind of speed being in wide use would do much to explain US foreign policy of late. Or you can go with Saker's "factional infighting" as an explanation. Having spent time with ambitious "enterpreneurs" before, I'd bet on the coke and speed.

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 6 2021 13:49 utc | 123

foolisholdman @121

Nah, cocaine addiction will amp up the paranoia, which will feed into the problem of the "Havana Syndrome", but being coke addicts isn't the problem in and of itself.

First of all, no actual diplomats have suffered from "Havana Syndrome". 100% of the cases are CIA tools who are just under diplomatic cover. This remarkable selectivity is part of what has idiots with inside knowledge convinced that it must be a weapon of some sort. Clearly the "enemy" must be targeting our covert agents and operators!

Before I go into an explanation I would like to ask for a show of hands: Who here is an American who has actually been to Cuba? Venezuela? North Korea? China?

Did the people in any of those places treat you as an "enemy"?

Of course not! The idea that they consider Americans to be "enemies" exists strictly in the minds of Americans. This belief that the world is filled with enemies is the product of massive ignorance and cradle-to-grave jingoistic brainwashing. Furthermore, this ignorance and brainwashing is not just a characteristic of working class white Americans, but rather is far more intensely exhibited by the upper middle class white Ivy League traditional student (ie: no work experience) types that the CIA likes to recruit from.

Of course, there are other factors driving CIA agents to imagine themselves to be in enemy territory wherever they go, chief among them being that CIA agents really are enemies of all those around them wherever they go! Always in the backs of their minds is the knowledge "If these people knew what I was really doing and what I am really here for..."

And then there is the self-selection bias among those who choose to work for the CIA. People that make such a career choice can in no way be considered to have a healthy mind. "We lie. We cheat. We steal..." And they torture, rape, and murder too. The entire agency is filled with Jeffrey Dahmer types. It is no exaggeration to say that the CIA is a distillation of all that is evil in any society. It is nastiness concentrated, and of course all decent humans will distance themselves from such toxins.

Is it any wonder they have "generalized anxiety disorder" and "impostor syndrome"? CIA scum are demented sick fuques trying to pretend to be normal, so they literally are impostors! Their efforts to convince themselves that they are actually normal, and that their (accurate) feelings of being impostors are imposed upon them by mysterious outside forces (the "Patriarchy"? the Soviets?) only serves to further twist their already warped minds.

Yet another note: Since the Obama Administration many government agencies, and the intelligence agencies in particular, have been "professionalizing" by strictly hiring traditional students from top universities. Traditional refers to students that have done the primary school --> secondary school --> college track with no breaks to get acquainted with reality outside the carefully structured school experience. In recent decades that entire track has been "safe-spaced" like a toddler's creche. All corners and sharp edges are padded, all scissors are dulled, and all words are carefully monitored to not only avoid distress, but any discomfort whatsoever. Any anxiety is quickly attenuated with pills, and the challenge of focusing to study is eased with even more pills. The Ivy League kids the CIA scarfs up at graduation have, intellectually and emotionally, never once been outside their cribs. The more advanced and precocious of them may have attained the emotional development of a five year old of the middle of last century. Their minds have all of the toughness and resilience of a puff of steam from a tea kettle on a cool autumn morning.

Now throw these extremely fragile emotional infants into what in their overactive imaginations is the most hostile enemy territory possible and watch their minds crumble! Culture shock is bad enough for a healthy and mature individual, so imagine its impact on these upper middle class snowflakes who have never experienced mild discomfort, much less anything like adversity. They never get anywhere near adversity before their minds cave in.

"Havana Syndrome" is purely psychogenic in nature. It is mass hysteria. It is overactive imaginations running wild in fragile and undisciplined minds. The paranoia from cocaine abuse will only amplify the effect.

Keep this whole issue in mind when pondering the empire's failings around the globe, and in Iran in particular. What country could the sheltered adult infants running America imagine to be more hostile than Iran?

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 6 2021 14:42 utc | 124

@ foolisholdman (#122), please comprehend my comments, instead of resorting to personal accusations. You just show your ulterior motives, and come across as an individual without conscience.

In my #38 comment, it was clearly stated:

“I never said Russia was a signatory to the Minsk agreement. Don’t assume. However, Vladimir Putin and Lavrov personally led the development of the Minsk agreement and defined the signatories of the agreement. Weren’t they present at Minsk?”

Russia chalked up Minsk-2 as a diplomatic victory. How can it then not ensure its follow through to success. Even during Putin’s summit with Biden, Putin asked for his help in implementing the agreement. Haven’t blamed anyone for defaulting. So don’t use “defaulting” as an excuse to accuse for your ulterior motives. Take a hike.

Posted by: Max | Aug 6 2021 15:23 utc | 125

John V Doe @ 120, about 'swarms of drones.'

Look, what exactly do you actually know of either the science of aeronautics, or combat aviation tactics?

As noted already, I'm going to write about these subjects very thoroughly in future articles. There is an incredible amount of utter silliness about 'drones' on the internet.

And, lamentably, the lay population is so poorly educated in science that they cannot discern utter bullshit from basic facts.

Drones are useful for surveillance work, and, in some cases, for a light combat role against unsophisticated adversaries lacking air defense.

The US General Atomics Predator UAV has been in operational use for more than 25 years.

Against opponents with air defense, they were easily destroyed, just as one would easily destroy an ultralight aircraft, or a radio-controlled model aircraft. Here's one in the Belgrade Aviation Museum that was reconstructed from broken pieces [since these don't fly very fast, the pieces from a crash are not usually destroyed.]

All the Predators that were deployed to the Balkans in the 1990s were DESTROYED!

Here is a much more impressive remotely controlled aircraft, built by a HOBBYIST, that uses a real jet engine and is about four times as fast as a Predator or Turkish Bayraktar with their ultralight aircraft engines.

Here's a pair of them, flying an impressive formation routine.

Yes, ordinary hobbyists build these in their home workshops [the hobby is especially popular in Germany].

These aircraft, flying at up to 300 mph plus, would be far more difficult to shoot down than an 80 mph Predator or Bayraktar, a copy of the Predator [and not nearly as capable a copy].

As for Iraq being the 4'th most powerful military prior to the First Gulf War, that is silly American propaganda. When was this country more powerful than nuclear powers like UK and France, or even India and Pakistan?

Even Israel was able to bomb the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981, without retaliation. See Operation Opera.

The Iraqi air defense system was designed by the French, in the wake of the Israeli bombing. The French gave all the vital information to the US before the attack in 1991:

Planning for this mission was helped when the CIA contacted the French engineer responsible for designing the Kari IADS and passed along information about its vulnerabilities and limitations.

The US had nearly 3,000 combat aircraft tasked with destroying Iraqi air defenses---and back in those days, US aircraft and and SEAD [suppression of enemy air defense] technology and tactics actually worked and were very good.

Despite the mismatch of a world superpower going up against a small Arab country with outdated equipment, poor training and tactics, and having the secrets of the opponent's air defense system in its pocket. The Iraqis still shot down many US and allied fighter jets.

Among the hardest hit were RAF Tornado fighter-bombers, which were tasked with destroying Iraqi airfields. Six were lost to Iraqi air defenses.

Only a few years later, the little Serbs did not buckle like Iraq---a big shock to US military planners.

In marked contrast to the highly satisfying SEAD experience of Desert Storm, the initial effort to suppress Serbian air defenses in Al­lied Force did not go nearly as well as expected.

---Dr Benjamin Lambeth, writing in the USAF's premier professional journal, Aerospace Power, 2002.

Like I said, I will be writing about air defense soon, stay tuned.

Posted by: Gordog | Aug 6 2021 15:46 utc | 126

RE: Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 5 2021 17:07 utc | 103

“The short time period when the Outlaw US Empire had "Primacy" has ended as it becomes just another Outlaw Nation differing little from previous bullies.”

Some myths have extended half-lives rendered more extended by spectators and others who hold these truths to be self-evident. Mythical examples include “the Outlaw US Empire had “Primacy” in Russia and elsewhere during the 1990's facilitated by Mr. Yeltsin and other “enemies of the people/traitors/assorted bad guys in black hats who didn't polish their shoes so even their mothers were ashamed of them” facilitating myths that the outcomes of the attempted colour revolutions during the 1990's and invasions in the 2000's were as expected (the "strategies" were to create chaos gambits), facilitating the requirement and velocity of the attempted slights of hand including ensuing hagiography/endevilment that outcomes and expectations diverged from 2000 onwards when Mr. Putin became President attaining a simultaneous but sole, good guy/bad guyness, instead of testing the hypothesis that the outcomes throughout were indicators and illustration that the “Outlaw US Empire never had primacy” which was facilitated by the “Outlaw US Empire believing that they had primacy “

Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 6 2021 17:06 utc | 127

MagdaTam @127--

Thanks for your curious reply. "Primacy" is in quotes because it's not my term, nor is it related to our times by its user. Indeed, establishing "Primacy" was the goal of those who created the Outlaw US Empire during WW2 as Stephen Wertheim details in his Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of US Global Supremacy. Here's the discourse that begins on page 6:

"Armed primacy (or supremacy, dominance, or leadership), as adopted by the United States, is not merely the material condition of possessing more tanks, ships and planes than any other country. Nor does it aim to contain or defeat a particular rival and then declare its mission accomplished. Primacy is an axiom about America's role in the world, closer to the status of an identity than to that of policy or strategy. Primacy was thus expressly intended to outlive the circumstances of its origination and shape the distant, perhaps perpetual, future. While forged in the face of Europe coming under Axis rule, it addressed, from the very start, a post-Axis world as well.

"Primacy holds that the superior coercive power of the United States is required to underwrite a decent world order. It assumes that in order to prevent the international realm from descending into chaos or despotism, a benign hegemon must act as the world's ordering agent. It further deems the United States to be the sole entity fit for the part. On emerging in 1940 and 1941, primacy displaced two main alternatives: that another power, namely Great Britain, should exercise predominant influence, and that no power should do so, order being supplied instead by the development of public opinion, peaceful exchange, or world organization."

There are 4 key footnotes associated with the above that must also be consulted. IMO, the "Primacy" erected at the time did flourish for awhile but has now eroded via the profuse number of illegal and immoral acts by the Outlaw US Empire, beginning with the bombing of Hiroshima 76 years-ago today. Now that the concept of "Primacy" is defined, we can observe that neither Russia nor China seek it as they both want to resurrect the Multipolar, Multilateral--democratic--World idea that also existed at WW2's end. China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi just recently remarked that no nation in history has ever merited "Primacy", although his phrase was somewhat different with the same meaning.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 6 2021 18:17 utc | 128

Gordog, from where I'm standing, it doesn't look like you read what John V actually wrote at 111. At the risk of getting you all fired up, I would suggest you go back and address those four points he PROJECTS onto the US / allies side.

Just to be clear, I thoroughly enjoy the technical points you bring, but this exchange isn't about how Flash could never in his life outrun Superman at sea level. This is simply about the cold reality of how, in recent history, the US and allies have pummelled more countries than you have fingers, and toes, to count. The main point being that the pummelling continues as we speak.

I'm under the impression that the discussion is on different planes here. On your plane, the US was on the receiving end of an ass-whooping in Korea as you write at 114. I see things differently.

Those US servicemen would come home to a prosperous, golden aged utopia with wonderful job prospects, individual housing, automobiles, TV and a turkey roasting in the oven. Koreans unfortunate to live north of the divide, if they were still alive, would be sifting through rubble and looking at the prospect of 70 more years of nothing.

Posted by: robin | Aug 6 2021 18:23 utc | 129

robin @129--

Yes, your observation's quite valid that Koreans--not just in the North--continued to suffer long after the fighting ceased and most Outlaw US Empire troops went home where it was then swept under the rug lest the crimes committed be revealed and "Primacy" be lost. What should have been a famous film about those times that included the Korean War, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, deals with the values of truth, honesty and the credibility they're foundations for--values that still must be learned by the Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 6 2021 19:16 utc | 130

Well, things are heating up in the Middle East.

Now G7 is blaming Iran (not just US and Israel)

Israel and Hezbollah exchange fire for the third day.

Yet discussion at moa has ended. Nothing to see here?

Pat Bucanan: A Tonkin Gulf Incident in the Gulf of Oman?

A week ago, the MT Mercer Street, a Japanese-owned tanker managed by a U.K.-based company owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer, sailing in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Oman, was struck by drones.

A British security guard and Romanian crew member were killed.

Britain and the U.S. immediately blamed Iran, and the Israelis began to beat the war drums.

Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said action against Iran should be taken “right now.”

Tuesday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned Israel could “act alone.” “They can’t sit calmly in Tehran while igniting the entire Middle East — that’s over,” said Bennett. “We are working to enlist the whole world, but when the time comes, we know how to act alone.”

Wednesday, Gantz ratcheted it up, “Now is the time for deeds — words are not enough. … It is time for diplomatic, economic and even military deeds. Otherwise the attacks will continue.”

Thursday, Gantz went further: “Israel is ready to attack Iran, yes. … We are at a point where we need to take military action against Iran. The world needs to take action against Iran now.”

. . .

What makes the attack puzzling is its timing, as it occurred just days before the inauguration of the newly elected president of Iran, the ultraconservative hardliner Ebrahim Raisi.

Query: Would Raisi have ordered a provocative attack on an Israeli-owned vessel, just days before taking office, when his highest priority is a lifting of the “maximum pressure” sanctions imposed on his country by former President Donald Trump? Why?

Would Raisi put at risk his principal diplomatic goal, just to get even with Israel for some earlier pinprick strike in the tit-for-tat war in which Iran and Israel have been engaged for years? Again, why?

If not Raisi, would the outgoing president, the moderate Hassan Rouhani, have ordered such an attack on his last hours in office and risk igniting a war with Israel and the U.S. that his country could not win?

. . .

Lest we forget. It was in an August, 57 years ago, that the Tonkin Gulf incident occurred, which led America to plunge into an eight-year war in Vietnam.

. . .

Whoever launched the drone strike sought to ensure that no new U.S.-Iran deal is consummated, that U.S. sanctions remain in place, and that a U.S. war with Iran remain a possibility.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 6 2021 23:25 utc | 131

Of course Buchanan would lie about the already deep commitment the Outlaw US Empire had invested in Southeast Asia--it wasn't just about Vietnam, but the entire region.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 6 2021 23:55 utc | 132

RE: Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 6 2021 18:17 utc | 128

“Thanks for your curious reply.  “

That it appears curious is neither without design nor unexpected, and therein lies some of its utility encouraging the belief of some in their own projected holograms/assumptions/beliefs/hopes/opinions/practices. and opportunities of re-enforcing these beliefs sufficient to encourage opponents to chase their own tails/tales as illustrated by your contribution excepting the first sentence of “Thanks for your curious "reply"”, and the phrase “ can observe that neither Russia nor China seek it “

Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 7 2021 10:23 utc | 133

RE: Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 6 2021 18:17 utc | 128

In professional matters more detailed examples tend to be incorporated in cross referenced appendices, or if for designed for a wider audience, in chosen referenced footnotes of “authorities” who tend to share the authors' assumptions – an illustration of “representative democracy”.

“It assumes that in order to prevent the international realm from descending into chaos or despotism, a benign hegemon must act as the world's ordering agent. “

Mr. Wertheim is partly incorrect by ommission and register, and partly as a function of his apparent beliefs and those of others that “The United States of America” always acts with the best of intentions, and that at least some of his audience will accept that as plausible belief. To paraphrase Mr. Shakespeare not all come to praise or criticise or “reform” Caesar – particularly given he is dead -, but to transcend his social relations/practices which will have a half-life after his death, and so some remain silent. To extend Mr. Schroedinger's observation that phenomena do not need to be percieved in order to exist, the belief of some in the need to observe it to achieve we-the-people-hold-these-truths-to-be-self-evidentness, facilitates its “non-existence” for some and consequent dismay that they are being “misunderstood” by others and so others who don't polish their shoes sufficient to gain the approbation of their mothers by conforming with “rules based systems” are mostly to blame.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 7 2021 11:31 utc | 134


How do you explain that Mr. Mikhail Mishustin was co-adressing the "assistants" to the past July 9th CyberPolygon "exercise" at WEF´s, along with Klaus Schwab?

Btw, that German Greff, that guy always with such a face of disgust every time Mr. Putin adresses the country, was also present at such "event"...

Wondering whether this is the final unveiling of what you had referred always as the "hologram" of "representative democracy", as historical representative seats of people´s rights and sovereignty, like France, craddle of the French Revolution and the foloowinf institution pf the Charter of Citizens´Rights and Human Rights is being used as example of what an overthrowing of people´s will and democracy means, and when banking cabal representative, Dragui, slides these days nobody without a "Covid Pass" will be able to "vote" anymore...

Wondering whether last Twit by Mr- Surkov, "mission acconplished" was menaing what we witness todaym the leap from "managed democracy" to full fascist dictatorship...

Just this past day I was viewing a video, impossible to share, on a concentration camp placed in the middle of nowhere in British Columbia, with its vigilance towers, barracks, and all that, surrounded by great warning advices in blue about Covid-19 infection....

What is your opinion on Emerson Corporation diversifying business on vaccines, 5G, means of transport of mRNA vaccines, and so on...? Does it not seem a monopoly, by Marxist standards?

In my last holyday travel through my really beautiful country, I found increasing wind miles and solar placks occupying the horizon...Since I was trvelling alone, driving, I was leaving my thought free, and wondering whether they will get one day to terminate agriculture, as they ended industry in my country, on behalf on these new "monocultives", leaving exclusivity of agrobusiness to all those lands Bill Gates has been hoarding during these past years....

What about the willing retaining of ships and containers at US ports to fight China, which is already causing supply shortages and prices raise, and thus inflation?

Posted by: Asha K. | Aug 7 2021 12:26 utc | 135

RE : Posted by: Asha K. | Aug 7 2021 12:26 utc | 135

“How do you explain that Mr. Mikhail Mishustin was co-adressing the "assistants" to the past July 9th CyberPolygon "exercise" at WEF´s, along with Klaus Schwab? “

Only in private with some practitioners in strategic matters, since the speculations of others have utility.
Not all are immersed in “If only the Papa Czar knewness”, but those who are so immersed also have utility, as do those who pose derivatives of: Is-he/she-really-going-out-with-himness ?

Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 7 2021 13:39 utc | 136

@ 135 Asha K.

Hi Asha K., to end agriculture in Canada, Gates would have to get past another significant landholder, The Queen. I’m not saying Her Majesty has possession of specific land parcels in Canada, but as Head of State, she may have an interest in defending what could arguably be Britain’s Bread-and-other-foodstuffs-Basket (with access to the Pacific Ocean).

If there is a concentration camp in a remote area of British Columbia, the First Nations will find it. And... it’s possible that the military may use it for people who citizens would want to see put in a concentration camp??

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Aug 7 2021 13:42 utc | 137

@Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 7 2021 13:39 utc | 136

On holograms....

Posted by: Asha K. | Aug 7 2021 15:24 utc | 138

@Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Aug 7 2021 13:42 utc | 137

Posted by: Asha K. | Aug 7 2021 15:33 utc | 139

@Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 7 2021 13:39 utc | 136

Mr.Naryshkin: "US Demonizes Russia Regardless Of Administration"

US...not the NWO elites way over those in the US...the old know..

On the other hand...

Mr.Naryshkin: "Interaction between intelligence services on a specific track, the struggle against terrorism, confirms the objective need of good relations between Russian and the West"...

Considering the current, and past, efforts by the West in curving international terrorism, as seen in most flagrant recent case in Afghanistan after US "withdrawal", and considering Biden and his MSM an internet bots ops are labeling vaccine refusenik taxpayers as terrorists, one wonders what Mr.Naryshkin means about cooperation and good relations...

BTW, that Mr. Naryshkin in this video, after some past years resembling almost a walking dead in appearance, has somehow rejuvenated one would say, gained weight and looks pletoric ( has he divorced by any casuality and found his Naily? ), almost like Macron in his last TikTok adressings to the French taxpayers prtesting his dictatorial imperial measures, but this last one, himself unbelievable already in a live dream as Petit Napoleon, leads by far...

Posted by: Asha K. | Aug 7 2021 16:01 utc | 140

@ 139 Asha K.

Thanks for the post, that is very informative!! (When I think remote part of BC, I don’t picture something alongside a highway.) Personally, I was glad to see one of the region’s anarchist/libertarians chiming in in the comments.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Aug 7 2021 16:52 utc | 141

How many times must we learn that people can be both smart and stupid at the same time? I have no doubt that Biden's foreign policy advisors performed well at the secondary school and university levels. Some may have graduated with honors and acquired advanced degrees. But as was shown convincingly in David Halberstam's classic tale of Vietnam malfeasance, "The Best and the Brightest," if one begins with false assumptions and then proceeds with faulty intelligence and distorted "factual" information, one is bound to make wrong decisions. This same pattern has been present in the U.S. foreign policy circles ever since, and even preceding, the Vietnam era, and it is playing out before our eyes once again in the Biden administration. Of course, we knew this would be the case, when the incoming President filled his foreign policy team with neocons and liberal hawks, whose assumed rightness of American hegemony over the entire world will bring about their own "Best and Brightest" ignominy.

Posted by: Rob | Aug 7 2021 18:04 utc | 142

For those interested in Iran, there's a very interesting article at the Saker by Mansoureh Tajik, an excellent commentator:

WWW . IslamicRepublicOfIran . COV

It's a whimsical title, and perhaps not really worthy of the gravity of this article, which clearly illustrates the internal thinking of Iranian leadership and the security state. Iran regards itself as under biological attack from the US, and at war with same.

Apparently, Iran has always considered its outbreaks in two different cities with two different strains (and both different from the Wuhan strain) as a bio attack by the United States.

Iran has an entire department devoted to defense from biowarfare attack on itself, and this agency ramped up alert status and precaution across all regional administrations some weeks before the coronavirus was discovered in Wuhan. This would seem to speak volumes - that are nonetheless not spoken.

The Leader, Khamenei, spoke to the nation in a way that Tajik says is typical of his addresses when he needs to warn the nation of things that are important but whose details cannot be revealed:

Those who closely follow Ayatullah Khamenei’s speeches know he never speaks based on hunches, random guesses, and empty rhetoric. On issues the general public must be made aware and warned without creating public panic and chaos but evidence and details cannot be publicized, that is exactly how he, the Leader, speaks. Those inside and outside of Iran who are in tune with his guidance know his style and would know what to do.

The article is fascinating purely for its display of internal Iran - I realize now that we know nothing of that nation, but Tajik reveals some things of importance.

And beyond this, if you're into the biowar possibility of the novel coronavirus, join with the Iranians, for whom it is just another reality that follows several other biological sabotages launched by the US and its allies.

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 8 2021 2:29 utc | 143

@143 more...

I should add that there is an entire additional dimension to this article, which is to illustrate the mountainous weight of propaganda working on Iranian society that the state must counteract within a finely calculated matrix of what can be done, and what cannot be done, in a free society governed by laws, and with geopolitical strategies that are crucial to the survival of the nation and the region.

It's a completely sobering view of the sheer power that the propaganda of the western corporate monolith actually wields, and the crushing effect of that weapon upon a target society, combined with the strategic choices Iran must make as it picks its battles - opting of course for the ones it can win, against the ones it may only flounder in.

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 8 2021 2:48 utc | 144

RE: Posted by: Grieved | Aug 8 2021 2:48 utc | 144

“It's a completely sobering view of the sheer power that the propaganda of the western corporate monolith actually wields, and the crushing effect of that weapon upon a target society, combined with the strategic choices Iran must make as it picks its battles - opting of course for the ones it can win, against the ones it may only flounder in. “

We-the-people-hold-these-truths-to-be-self-evidentness is prevalent within the social relations self-designated as “The United States of America” and/or the “West”, a relational concept without benefit of deliniation of point from which West is to be derived, not restricted to a political geographical construct with Canada to the North and Mexico to the South. Such magical thinking facilitates beliefs/notions of power, “crushing effects” and “target society” thereby mutating practices into derivatives of We-the-people-hold-these-assumptions-to-be-truths sustained by “propaganda” of increasing dosage when expectations and outcomes diverge, leading to increased resistance to propaganda by some, greater addiction to propaganda by some others increasing their propensity towards irrational practices, and death in some which is useful in supporting beliefs of "sacrifice" and consequent monument constructions, diisipating the “power” of “the propaganda of the western corporate “monolith” whilst facilitating the complicity of “ “The United States of America” and/or the “West” in their own transcendence.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 8 2021 6:13 utc | 145

So many comments and so little information....Thank you Gordog for reminding us that, as Boris Vian, la seule chose qui compte, c'est l'endroit où ce qu'elle tombe
Regarding bombs, “the only thing that matters is where it falls.”
And let’s add: the moment.
So: What? Where? When? And why?

There is always "somebody in command" to determine the nature of the weapons to be used, the choice of targets, the timing of the attack, depending on the desired result.
Is the choice of the B52 technical or political? Or journalistic?

I can’t find any multilateral information on the results of the announced bombings.

The strikes inflicted heavy losses on the militants, the official claimed, with over 200 fighters killed, and more than 100 vehicles destroyed. A large cache of weaponry of ammunition was destroyed as well. No footage to corroborate the Afghan government claims about Taliban's heavy losses, however, has emerged so far.

WTF? Such a success and no pic?

We don’t even know if there were any real bombings... All this is just the fog of war.Of course, 5 B52s and some C130s are far from invisible or even stealthy. So the Russians know... and don’t communicate on it.

If the information is correct, is USAF simply obliged to go there and destroy the stockpiles of weapons, combat vehicles and information that the USArmy left behind a few weeks ago?

But the Talibans are successful... And smart.
They built an "homemade anti aircraft weaponry "

The Taliban confirmed a campaign of “targeting and liquidating” the US-trained war pilots. US and Afghan officials believe that this operation aims to eliminate Afghan war pilots trained by the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

How long before Afghanistan Air Force to be grounded?

Posted by: Rêver | Aug 8 2021 9:58 utc | 146

We doubt it but they are not what will be mainly use againt Iran in case of full size conflict: "US-cheap" swarm of old cruise missile will saturate any Iranian defense and destroy all infrastructure. Period.

Occupation is optional, creating a "territory" torn by warlords ...
Posted by: John V. Doe | Aug 6 2021 6:31 utc | 120

Such projections should be tested on the available evidence from similar situations. The most similar situation was the war between IDF and Hezbollah with Israel and Lebanon on the receiving end. Available conclusions:

1. Low tech missiles can be deployed by Iran. Difference: Hezbollah had much lower tech than Iran has now.

2. There will be attempts to stop missile launching at the launching sites with bombardments.

3. The attempts will fail. There are thousands of plausible launching sites that can be used once.

4. There will be attempts to terrorize the other side by massive bombardments of civilian housing, infrastructure, even chicken farms.

5. The destruction will happen, the stopping of missile launching will not.

6. In the process, no potential "warlords" will appear, simply put, the best armed and organized groups after the conflict will be the same. In Lebanon this is Hezbollah, in Iran, military and Revolutionary Guard.

7. The impact on international economy and trade will be enormous in the case of conflict with Iran as attested by
a. disabling of an IDF vessel by a single shot of Hezbollah missile,
b. recent disabling of a ship by destroying a single room in living quarters, while the bridge could be targeted too, the ship was allegedly ESCORTED BY US NAVY!!! Potentially, you can fortify bridges and living quarters of commercial ships with sandbags, but insurance companies would frown, and sailors could reconsider their carrier options.
c. a damaging attack on Saudi petroleum facility from an UNKNOWN DIRECTION!!!

Escalation of the conflict has cost in blood and destruction, so the question is of capacities to inflict and absorb the pain. USA does have capacity to inflict the pain, but it CANNOT protect allies, be them commercial traffic to/from Persian Gulf, industrial facilities and even military bases. Domestically nothing much would happen except for a doubling of gasoline prices, to which Americans are historically impervious, as attested by a pandemonium that starts any time someone tries to increase gasoline tax by 10c/gallon. But internationally, there will be acute pain in KSA, UAE, and perhaps other countries, and sever pain EVERYWHERE.

The paramount issue when you inflict global economic pain is who will be blamed. That makes parties involved rather cautious. Were USA engaged in massive attacks on cities and infrastructure with resulting global economic crisis, the level of blame will not be contained by Atlanticist media control, and it could demolish NATO and other Atlanticist structures. USA would surely survive, but not necessarily the Empire.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 8 2021 11:00 utc | 147

Sorry for posting here:
Rêver | Aug 8 2021 9:58 utc | 146

It's for Afghanistan thread

Posted by: Rêver | Aug 8 2021 12:18 utc | 148

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 8 2021 11:00 utc | 147

I believe your example of Israeli / Lebanese relation is interesting because it is in line with the mindset behind the wider conflicts we are discussing here.

For whomever is listening, Israel is quite forward with its strategic objectives as far as its immediate neighbours are concerned. This is best illustrated by the concept coined by political commenters a few years ago: "mowing the grass". In my opinion, Israeli belligerence is a scaled down form of the Great Game. As direct benefactors of theft, dispossession and ethnic cleansing, Israelis can truly measure the importance of keeping the aggrieved parties down. Preserving dominance in all fields is fundamental to prevent any form of justice which could threaten their privileged lives founded on ill-gotten gains.

Coming back to your comparison, in all fairness, one should also measure the destruction and lasting impact of the recurring conflicts on either societies.

Can you think of an Israeli equivalent of the flattened city blocs of Beirut from a few decades ago? How many km2 are contaminated by cluster munitions in Israel today? How do the economies compare?

But internationally, there will be acute pain in KSA, UAE, and perhaps other countries, and sever pain EVERYWHERE.

Right, and Europe too, certainly. Now, from the perspective of the imperial advisor, why should this be undesirable?

Were USA engaged in massive attacks on cities and infrastructure with resulting global economic crisis, the level of blame will not be contained by Atlanticist media control, and it could demolish NATO and other Atlanticist structures.

I wouldn't be so sure. Recent examples have shown the narrative dominance to be absolutely unchallenged. The Skripal circus alone is indicative of the way the marketers can run laps around the target audience and the latter's complete lack of defence. As a whole, we simply aren't curious of world affairs beyond the front page title and happily accept outrageous nonsense without question.

Posted by: robin | Aug 8 2021 12:54 utc | 149

RE: Posted by: robin | Aug 8 2021 12:54 utc | 149

“Recent examples have shown the narrative dominance to be absolutely unchallenged. The Skripal circus alone is indicative of the way the marketers can run laps around the target audience and the latter's complete lack of defence. As a whole, we simply aren't curious of world affairs beyond the front page title and happily accept outrageous nonsense without question. “

What cautions and methods applied to which datastreams were used in “establishing” your definition by accumulation of "qualities" of “we” and their interactions with various members of “not we”, including but not restricted to matters of “narrative dominance – not necessarily restricted to marketers who are apparently engaged in running around circular tracks, each iteration being measured by laps as in matters athletic - which apparently was/is absolutely unchallenged, in order that some including yourself, may be precluded from being defined/delineated as part of “we” who are apparently completely lacking in defence and “happily accept outrageous nonsense without question”, or others engaged in the metamorphoses of we-the-people-hold-these-truths-to-be-self-evident into we-the-people-hold-these-assumptions-to-be-truths ?

Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 8 2021 17:19 utc | 150

@ robin - last paragraph... that seems to be true on the surface, but there are many people like you and i would do question and challenge the narratives being given.. so, while there is some truth to what you say, i think there are many more silent people who see how the narrative is not in fact what is..

Posted by: james | Aug 8 2021 17:20 utc | 151

@ Magda Tam

Will I need a lawyer to answer that?

Posted by: robin | Aug 8 2021 17:38 utc | 152

I don't agree with you on that one. I don't know anyone who sees through the bullshit.

Posted by: arby | Aug 8 2021 17:59 utc | 153

@ 153 arby.... we travel in different circles then! all i can offer is my own subjective viewpoint...

Posted by: james | Aug 8 2021 19:23 utc | 154

RE: Posted by: robin | Aug 8 2021 17:38 utc | 152

“Will I need a lawyer to answer that?”

Lawyers tend to operate within bands of self-censored “plausible/acceptable” bands of oscillation of conformance within linear systems, and hence tend not to be wise in matters of lateral logic even the deceased Mr. Roy Cohen and his students, so lawyers likely could not “answer that” or perhaps not even perceive the content and register of the questions posed, and in frustration suggest Alexandrine solutions to Gordian knots, or be able to secure the co-operation of others for guidance in these matters. Some scientists in co-operation would be able to answer some of that since they tend to formulate and test hypotheses. There are some who regularly test hypotheses through implementation not at arms length or as “thought experiments” – they are often designated/recognised by their peers as analysts/strategists and co-operate with their peers privately since they do not seek attribution as a requirement to facilitate their purposes - rendering those from social relations where the seeking of attribution and approbation derived therefrom to resort to hope that they can attain the designation of hopes as strategies and effort free ruminations as analyses - but given your datastreams posted above it would be highly unlikely that they would co-operate with you on a collegial basis. So it is highly likely you will not find anyone to answer that – even yourself – and therein lies at least part of your utility, a utility shared my many self-described “analysts/strategists” on “the internet” sometimes known as “virtual reality” since interaction is often faux/virtual. However to dampen disappointment you could resort to the mantra of the opponents - “Everybody has their price” - despite increasing experience to the contrary, or continue waiting for Godot.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 8 2021 19:34 utc | 155

154 James-- same here.

Most say they have no opinion but if you scratch a little bit deeper I find that they do have an opinion and it usually coincides with the constant fire hose of the propaganda machine.
In most cases I believe they have spent little time thinking about geopolitics in general but enough stuff gets in.

Posted by: arby | Aug 8 2021 21:09 utc | 156

@Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 8 2021 19:34 utc | 155

There is also nobody to answer this question, are we being extortioned?

Why the contracts remain secret when it is taxpayers money ( including that of those who are being excluded from society, even from entering hospitals and health facilities by the usurpers of people´s will....)which is being spent and wasted in useless vaccines, as the current wave of infected vaccinated who are overwhelming hospitals and health facilities so clearly shows...

Why Wikileask leaks who financed some platform in Spain but then it does not leak the secret contracts with Pizer and Moderna?

According to one article at Dr. Mercola´s site, now deleted as he has warned he would delete the content published in his blog site after 48h of its publication, one guy over there gto to get the contract with Albania, and through it we learn that national assests have been put in the table as guarantee for these alleged vaccines, and that eventhough any treatment will see the light, our governments will not be able to use it since they keep gripped to the contract fro go to know how many years..( must be an issue like US bases..llikley that they do not go ever not even with hot the case of Germany illustrates..)

Since both, the Chinese and Iranians, treat this virus as a bioweapon, are we being said they are sending us the antidote, but it does not arrive ever, since that way the business will be over and meanwhile our country is on sale?

Of course, we do not expect our goverments taking the trouble to research and read such ammount we have passed doing through the last year and a half, simply,m they do not have their way of life at play as eventhough they are sent out of government still they can claim a life long wage a former officials, why to worry?

This is why we hold these truths, not because they are precisely self-evident, but because we research and connect the dots, this is why we must be neutralized...

Btw, it was not Macron a former employeee of the Rothschild Bank business?...Some French emperors and kings have always wished to conquest and own Spain ( the same than perfidious Albion...) Could it be why he shows so pletoric with his t-shirt with an owl in the right side of his chest...

Meanwhile, while the people are so greateful for the saving "vaccines" who not only do not save them but get them to the hospital, every monday they announce a new historical rise in electricity price....This when there are voices in Europs claiming for the destroying of all Spanish dams...on ecological grounds, of course...

If this is so with Mrs.Merkel, how it will be with The Greens?

Is Mrs. Merkel giving willingly the sorpaso to The Greens, as she retires, by making life impossible to half the German population who do not accept being inoculated with the crippling vaccines and that way making sure her party will lost the coming elections?

But, well, that may fit well with you in Russia as you so much support the "Climate Change" theory and UN 2030 agenda...which are not but projects to crush the working people through getting their wages in full as they enter their accounts due the astonishing prices of everytbning in your ecological world...

Why everybody defending these theories is so old, except for Greta, of course, and all the paniaguados of the new euroleft who never gave a hit to the water, passing from university to government without solution of continuity to defend the goals of those who gave them scholarships and the way to a life long government official wage?

Btw, there has been no summer in the north of Spain, three months of cold and rainy weather in a place situated in the north hemisphere, with temperatures more proper of March, too much for a heating planet...

Posted by: Asha K. | Aug 8 2021 22:16 utc | 157

@Posted by: Asha K. | Aug 8 2021 22:16 utc | 157

Related one point, I forgot to make another retorical question...

Since both, the Chinese and Iranians, treat this virus as a bioweapon, why do you not in Russia, and insist in the natural origin?

Has this fact something to do with the sudden ameliorating of Mr.Naryshkin?

Posted by: Asha K. | Aug 8 2021 23:31 utc | 158

@ 156 arby... most of what you say rings true, especially your last line...... thanks for sharing your perspective..

Posted by: james | Aug 9 2021 5:27 utc | 159

Posted by: Asha K. | Aug 8 2021 22:16 utc | 157

“There is also nobody to answer this question, are we being extortioned? “

Omniscience is not an option in lateral interactions, and hence a more informed formulation of your assertion would likely read “There is also nobody who could fully answer this question, but there are some who could partly answer this question through co-operation, although options of co-operation are limited by various factors, and hence some partly answer this question through co-operation with those analysed to be agreement capable, including through implementation in non-emulatory (asymetrical) ways, since emulation would in some measure immerse them in the question(s) they are engaged in answering/transcending. Your conditioned response of “..are we being extortioned” illustrates your immersion in three illusions derived from some present coercive social relations namely, “Everyone has their price”, that co-operation is financed by “we”, and that “not we “ have a tendency towards dishonesty by not following “rules based” systems – each of which limit your potential of finding co-operators – in Russian this is known as being agreement incapable.
Some present coercive relations rely on notions of equal but different, where “but” precludes equal, facilitates differential benefits to those deemed different dependent on definitions of those who deem themselves to be both different and “deserving” by conflating “we” with I - one derivative being "entrepreneurs "make" jobs", instead of those doing jobs make entrepreneurs as Mr. Bezos recently acknowledged emerging from his voyage of discovery -, thereby enhancing differentiation and resentment, inhibiting co-operation whilst hoping to present coercion/entitlement as co-operation, whilst some emerging non-coercive relations are based increasingly on equal and different which facilitates co-operation on the bases of “From each according to her/his abilities, to each according to her/his needs.” with purposes of transcending coercive social relations and illusions derived therefrom including “game changers”, “magic bullets”, “winning”, “losing” and sums of zero.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 9 2021 9:18 utc | 160

RE: Posted by: Asha K. | Aug 8 2021 22:16 utc | 157

“This is why we hold these truths, not because they are precisely self-evident, but because we research and connect the dots, this is why we must be neutralized... “

Thank you for your further illustration of your agreement incapability which is shared by many others – the resort to “truths” predicated upon an absence of doubt and implicit belief in omniscience which precludes valid “research”, facilitating your utilities in other interactions of which you can speculate upon but as a function of your methods likely not perceived, contingent on attempts and shared beliefs in “must be neutralised” perceived by your opponents and yourself - perception not being particularly aided by living in foggy bottoms.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 9 2021 11:21 utc | 161

James, you suggest that a global economic crisis resulting from massive American attacks on infrastructure would turn public opinion against NATO.

On a purely empathic level, I really don't see the Western citizenry showing concern for the destruction it would wreak overseas anymore than it has in the past. When folks are comfortable with industrial scale firebombing, deployment of nuclear weapons on civilians or wide scale use of chemical warfare with multigenerational effects, I don't think they would object to just another routine attack on a well defined villain.

As for the potential chaos created by skyrocketing prices at the gas pump, I tend to believe the marketers could easily channel the hate in a favourable direction. Obviously, the 5€/l diesel would be perceived as the natural consequence of Iranian attacks on Saudi or UAE platforms. The details and timeline of an escalation would be presented as objectively as anything pertaining to Israeli belligerence against Gaza, Lebanon or Syria.

Hate is great way to rally a bunch of people to one's cause.

Posted by: robin | Aug 9 2021 11:27 utc | 162

@ 162 robin... i had to look for that post for the other JamesC @ 104 to see if they said something that you were replying to! in fact, i think you are replying to me, but i didn't pick up on it right away as i don't recall mentioning these kinds of specifics - NATO, massive american attacks on infrastructure and etc... but regardless - i will reply!

i agree with you that hate sells, up to a point... proud boys, kkk, and etc. etc... but i do believe that it isn't adopted and as wide spread as we are led to believe.. but again as i mention to arby - these are just my subjective thoughts on this... ultimately we are left to make a subjective decision about how we want to view our world.. in this case i would prefer to think positively of people in general and of our future in particular.... i know i am walking out on a limb saying all this... thanks for your comments!

Posted by: james | Aug 9 2021 16:37 utc | 163

James, my apologies.

Just checked and I was in fact referring to Piotr's closing paragraph in post 147.

Posted by: robin | Aug 9 2021 16:49 utc | 164

Posted by: james | Aug 9 2021 16:37 utc | 163

I think there is a tendency (nice use of passive voice, right?) to assume because nobody much bothers to object, that everybody must believe. I am not one to underestimate the gullibility of the US consumer, but I do think the notion that the millenials, for example, are buying the propaganda narrative here is overstating the case. A good deal. When you have to live in a nuthouse, you try to adapt. Kind of like the USSR back in the day.

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 9 2021 16:50 utc | 165

@ 164 robin... no problem! thanks.

@ 165 bemildred.. so true.. it really feels like we are living in a nuthouse at the moment... and we all make due and adapt as needed... i am reminded of the emperor with no cloths analogy, or the wizard of oz behind the big machine who is eventually called out... change can happen quickly and the facade that appears impenetrable can come down quickly as witnessed by the berlin wall and etc. etc... but until it happens, it appears a structure is in place no open to change... i do believe the turbulence we are experiencing at present is an indicator for what is coming.. i believe change with a capital C is coming.. just what exactly it entails is hard to know, but i think the financial system will be at the epicenter of it..

Posted by: james | Aug 9 2021 18:13 utc | 166

Citizens generally don't take positions because (1) they are fed US government propaganda with no counter-facts and (2) there isn't anything citizens could do if that wanted to, no way they can contribute, in a non-democratic society where only establishment decisions constitute governing.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 9 2021 18:14 utc | 167

The US is a democracy because its citizens can vote, right?. . .Not according to Howard Zinn: "The ballot box, a tawdry token of democracy, enables shrewd, effective control in the mass society, by those on top."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 9 2021 19:46 utc | 168

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 9 2021 16:50 utc | 165

“I think there is a tendency (nice use of passive voice, right?) to assume because nobody much bothers to object, that everybody must believe “

The encouragement of this is one of the prime bases that present coercive social relations are facilitated, and how simultaneously transcendence of these coercive social relations are facilitated by some not objecting thereby engaging in the charades of "representative democracy" unless doing so offers opportunities of preparation of future strategies, but pursuing “asymetrical strategies”.

“When you have to live in a nuthouse, you try to adapt. “

Those inhabiting halls of mirrors tend only to see reflections of themselves facilitating statements such as “Kind of like the USSR back in the day.” From at least 1970 it was apparent to an increasing sum of some that “The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics” was not sustainable and would implode through various internal vectors, which with notable exceptions were not perceived by external opponents, partly through their lack of success in creating/sustaining professional human intelligence resources in the “USSR” rendering necessary their conflation of the “USSR” for "intelligence purposes" with Moscow, Leningrad, and occasionally Kiev, the opponents' invention of “experts” designated as “Kremlinologists” often trained/mentored by emigres from Eastern Europe and “assets” of BND/CIA joint ventures since their attempts at colour revolutions in the Baltic States, Belarus, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Ukraine during the period from 1944 until 1954 were frustrated. Within the “USSR” many sought to develop parallel relations to transcend the coercive social relations designated as the “USSR”, including parallel economic relations based on blat, cooperatives and dacha growth, which many including Gosplan pretended not to see whilst making use of/enjoying their benefits. These factors were encapsulated in the popular local observation during the period from 1970 onwards that “100 people make the law whilst a 100 million people find a way round it”, the 3 or 4 day “week-end” of the 1980's, and the practice of “They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work”. These factors plus, the restructuring of the KGB from 1971 onwards, some analysing and advising before implementation that the “international socialist solidarity war” in Afghanistan from 1979 until 1989 was an accelerator of the implosion of the “USSR” best avoided, the promotion of a schmoozer of little ability and brain - particularly after his wife died - named Mr. Gorbachov by Mr. Andropov and associates, and the Mr. Yeltsin/Mr. Zhirinovsky double act throughout the 1990's, frustrated attempted colour revolutions by opponents in the “USSR”, the CIS, and the Russian Federation during the period from 1980 until today, Thank you for your contribution in illustration of “ there is a tendency (nice use of passive voice, right?) to assume” but not necessarily for the reasons you assume.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 10 2021 0:33 utc | 169

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