IRAQ | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

IRAQ

Sep 16 12:27

Iranian Drones Launched from Iraq Carried Out Attacks on Saudi Oil Plants

The strikes which paralysed the Saudi oil industry on Saturday morning, forcing it to halve its output of crude oil, were made by Iranian drones launched from Hashd al-Shaabi bases in southern Iraq, a senior Iraqi intelligence official has told Middle East Eye.

The attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais, two key Aramco facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia, were in retaliation for Israeli drone strikes on Hashd al-Shaabi bases and convoys in August, which were co-ordinated and funded by the Saudis, the official said.

“The latest attack comes for two reasons: another message from Iran to USA and its allies that as long as its siege on Iran continues no one will have stability in the region. However, the second more direct reason is a strong Iranian revenge for the recent Israeli attacks by drones launched from SDF-controlled areas in Syria against pro-Iranian Hashd bases,” he said.

Sep 16 12:14

What You’re Not Being Told About the Saudi Oil Attack

Iraq categorically denied any involvement after an anonymous Iraqi intelligence official told Middle East Eye that the strikes were launched from Iraqi territory and were in retaliation for Saudi-funded Israeli drone strikes in August on Iranian-trained forces in Syria.

Sep 15 08:39

Attack on Saudi oil field a game-changer in Gulf confrontation Analysis by Tim Lister, CNN Updated 9:29 AM ET, Sun September 15, 2019 Reporter: 'Startlingly dangerous moment' in Middle East condor diverted flight map Spilled coffee diverted transatlanti

It is a game changer all right. A couple more strikes like this and it will be the end of the House of Saud!

(CNN)The attack on the world's largest oil processing plant early Saturday morning is a dramatic escalation in the confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia -- even if the Iranians didn't fire the drones or missiles responsible.

Several projectiles struck the Abiqaiq plant, starting a series of fires that quickly took out nearly half Saudi's oil production -- 5% of the global daily output -- and sparking fears about the security of the world's oil supplies.
It's unclear when Abiqaiq, which is operated by Saudi giant Aramco, will be fully operational again.

Sep 13 08:05

The Madness of James Mattis

The wildly unpopular if not forbidden-to-be-uttered truth is that Mattis, while an admittedly decorated marine and military strategist, was an abject failure. Despite being hailed as a “warrior monk,” he was and remains a conventional interventionist figure – prisoner to the tired old militarist ideas of the necessity for US military forward deployment, counterinsurgency in Afghanistan, and the perpetual need to balance or “contain” Russia and China. His career-long defense of America’s post-9/11 engagements should be the first sentence of his obituary.

Sep 12 06:06

Lawrence Wilkerson Reflects on Similarities Between Push for War In Iraq and Iran

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who helped sell the ill-fated 2003 Iraq War as Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff, sees disturbing similarities between the build-up to the Iraq War and current efforts to get the U.S. entangled in a military confrontation with Iran. On June 28, Wilkerson joined journalist Mehdi Hasan’s “Deconstructed” podcast to reflect on the current warmongering efforts of the Trump administration.

As in 2003, Wilkerson said “raw and unfinished” intelligence is currently being used to push pro-war narratives. In the build-up to the Iraq War, he noted, Paul Wolfowitz of the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans fed Vice President Dick Cheney with unfinished intelligence to help sell the war. Today, Wilkerson observed that “think thanks” such as the Foundation for Defense of Democracies are being similarly used to provide the administration with intelligence and analysis that is unsound, but fits their hawkish policy desires.

Sep 12 05:28

More Americans Questioning Official 9/11 Story As New Evidence Contradicts Official Narrative

Authored by Whitney Webb via MintPressNews.com,

Today the event that defined the United States’ foreign policy in the 21st century, and heralded the destruction of whole countries, turns 18. The events of September 11, 2001 remains etched into the memories of Americans and many others, as a collective tragedy that brought Americans together and brought as well a general resolve among them that those responsible be brought to justice.

While the events of that day did unite Americans in these ways for a time, the different trajectories of the official relative to the independent investigations into the September 11 attacks have often led to division in the years since 2001, with vicious attacks or outright dismissal being levied against the latter.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We do not need new investigations; we know precisely what happened on 9/11, and who the real criminals and tyrants were, to bring about this horrific spectacle of death and destruction into being.

This event allowed the US to slide ever further into a dictatorship from which it may never recover, and was manipulated by unscrupulous US politicians and elements of overseas countries, who wanted to see this happen, as a premise for war against both Afghanistan and Iraq.

And unless and until those truly responsible for this heinous crime are charged, tried, and convicted for their crimes against both humanity, and the true democratic republic of the United States of America, there will never be closure here.

But do not hold your breath; the monied, particularly those career criminals ensconced in the higher echelons of the US Deep State and Military Industrial Complex, rarely eat their own.

Sep 09 11:27

Huge US Military Convoy Arrives at Western Iraq Base

Western Iraq hasn’t exactly been a hotbed of activity lately, but a convoy of over 100 US military trucks poured across the border on Friday from neighboring Jordan, carrying large amounts of arms and vehicles to Ayn al-Asad base.

What they’re going to do with all these weapons is anyone’s guess, and US officials have largely not commented on the matter at all. Clearly they are either preparing to do something, or preparing for something they expect to happen.

Sep 09 07:43

US Sends Massive Military Equipment to Key Military Base in Western Iraq from Jordan

The Arabic-language al-Ma’aloumeh news website quoted a military source in the command center of Hashd al-Sha’abi (Iraq’s Popular Mobilization) forces as saying that a US military convoy comprising 108 trucks carrying military vehicles and equipment entered Ein al-Assad Air Base of Western Iraq from the neighboring Jordan via Erbil border crossing.

The source underlined that the US military convoy was accompanied by a security company called ‘Peacock Kingdom’ and backed by the US Air Force.

It pointed to the dispatch of military equipment to Ein al-Assad Base by the security companies, and said that the US soldiers are also dispatched to Ein al-Assad military air base on US Army airplanes.

Sep 06 08:11

US State Dept Program Offers $15 Million for Info on Iran Revolutionary Guards

The US State Department has unveiled a new $15 million “reward program” for anyone who provides information on the financial inner workings of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, in an attempt to further disrupt them.

The program comes after the US declared the Revolutionary Guards “terrorists,” but remains very unusual, in as much as it targets an agency of a national government instead of just some random militant group.

Some analysts say they expect a backlash against the program, as further harming European and other international diplomatic efforts with Iran. US Special Envoy Brian Hook insisted, however, that the US wasn’t trying to harm diplomacy.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Heavenly Ned, with all the monies already allocated to it, is this the BEST the State Department can do?!?

State Department, please; this is a moment when you should be collectively hanging your heads in shame. Of course, people who work at the State Department have had shame, or any sense of conscience, surgically removed before they accepted their jobs.

Sep 02 08:50

One Last Ceasefire Before Oblivion for Jihadists in Syria

If the battle is won, in essence, and the jihadists on the run, why call a ceasefire now?

Simple. Turkey needs to be able to recall its troops from the area and disengage with the rebels it has been backing there for years. That was what Erdogan bargained for in Moscow, the lives of his troops.

That should tell you how serious Putin is about retaking Idlib and how little patience he has now for Erdogan’s nonsense.

Aug 28 08:34

Did Defense Secretary James Mattis Commit War Crimes in Iraq?

In the years since, Mattis – called a “warrior monk” by his supporters – repeatedly has protected American service members who killed civilians, using his status as a division commander to wipe away criminal charges against Marines accused of massacring 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha in 2005 and granting clemency to some of those convicted in connection with the 2006 murder of a 52-year-old disabled Iraqi, who was taken outside his home and shot in the face four times.

These actions show a different side of Mattis, now 66, than has been featured in most profiles published since his nomination as President-elect Donald Trump’s defense secretary, which have portrayed him as a strong proponent of the Geneva Conventions and an anti-torture advocate.

Although Mattis argued against the siege of Fallujah beforehand, both international and U.S. law are clear: As the commanding general, he should be held accountable for atrocities committed by Marines under his command.

Aug 28 08:31

Mattis swipes at Trump, warns of ‘storm clouds gathering’ amid fractured alliances

This War Criminal should talk! We need a non-intervensionist Foreign Policy and the US Military needs to be reduced to a true defensive force with only about $100 billion a year in spending. Most of the Officer Corps needs to be court martialed and imprisoned for life for their crimes against humanity,The American People and The Constitution of the United States. And they should be forbidden to write books for profit or to serve on the boards of defense contractors or to lobby for same. Disgusting war criminal. Remember Haditha and Falluja!

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis took several implicit swipes at President Trump’s leadership in an op-ed published Wednesday, warning about the fallout from fractured alliances and increasing divisiveness under the current administration.

Mattis’ comments were included in a lengthy essay adapted from a forthcoming book and published in The Wall Street Journal.

Aug 28 08:21

How Saudi Arabia And Israel Undermine The War On Terror

Who created ISIS and still supports them logistically speaking?
The Pentagram cries Crocodile tears!

https://www.newsweek.com/america-created-isis-top-iranian-official-cla...
https://www.globalresearch.ca/america-created-al-qaeda-and-the-isis-te...

A recent report from the Pentagon inspector general, warning of the “resurgence” of the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), highlights a fact that has become abundantly clear: Washington’s “war on terror” is a failure.

Despite the formation of a “Global Coalition” to fight ISIS back in September 2014, the Pentagon report estimates that there are still between 14,000 and 18,000 ISIS combatants in Iraq and Syria.

Aug 28 08:14

EXCLUSIVE: Israeli strikes in Iraq launched from SDF-held Syria, Baghdad believes

With the permission of Donald Trump and the stooges in the US Military who control those Kurdish groups and bases. Donald loves and supports the Saudis too!

Iraq’s intelligence services believe that five recent drone attacks on Iraqi paramilitaries were launched from bases under the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia’s control in north Syria, an official told Middle East Eye.

The Iraqi official, who has knowledge of the latest intelligence briefing from Baghdad’s security services, said the strikes were conducted by Israel, with the understanding of the SDF and backing of Saudi Arabia.

Aug 28 08:09

Pentagon Opposes Israeli Attacks on Iraq

More lies from the degenerate US Military Officer Corps!

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Defense released on Monday an official statement distancing the American administration from recent airstrikes in Iraq attributed to Israel, highlighting U.S. support for "Iraqi sovereignty" and opposition to "external actors."

U.S. officials have spoken out against the airstrikes over the past week, but so far mostly speaking anonymously to the media. Monday's statement, published by chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman, is the clearest sign yet that the American administration is troubled by the latest developments.

Aug 27 09:29

Commander: Iraqi Army Radars Turned Off by US during Israeli Attacks against Hashd al-Shaabi

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior commander at the Iraqi defense ministry revealed that the American forces disabled the radars which could trace the intruding Israeli drones during attacks on Hashd al-Shaabi (popular forces).
"The American radars that the Iraqi government imported to protect the country's airspace, are under the control of the US forces deployed in Iraq," the commander who called for anonymity told the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website on Tuesday.

Aug 26 08:17

Iraqi Parliament Group Calls Alleged Israeli Strikes 'Declaration of War', Demands US Troops Exit

The Fatah Coalition, an influential bloc in the Iraqi Parliament, has called recent airstrikes on the country, allegedly conducted by Israel, a “declaration of war” by the Jewish state and stated that it holds the US fully responsible for Tel Aviv's actions. In light of this, the coalition has called for the withdrawal of the about 5,000 remaining American soldiers from Iraq.

Aug 26 08:06

Lebanon's President Announces Israeli Attacks Are "Declaration Of War

After pro-Iran allies in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq were all hit in suspected Israeli strikes in the space of less than 24 hours, signalling a new aggression out of Tel Aviv and willingness to risk yet another major Middle East war, Arab capitals are now alerting their armed forces to be on a war footing.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Monday condemned the "Israeli assault on the southern suburbs of Beirut" and told the country's United Nations Special Coordinator, that the recent spate of drone strikes on Lebanon amount to a "declaration of war".

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One had to be living under a rock, not to have seen this coming.

And the timing, in terms of Israeli elections, couldn't possibly be more transparent. As we understand, the next Israeli elections will happen as follows:
Israeli Elections will happen on 17 September, 2019, and all 120 Knesset seats are "up for grabs".

That's a whole 24 days from today, folks.

I'm almost surprised that Netanyahu didn't order Israeli media to livestream these attacks, with a heavy rock beat in the background, so the Israeli people would just fall on their knees in admiration of how "butch" he and the Israeli military are, and then loop them, with nothing else allowed to be shown on Israeli media, prior to September's election.

And I also have to wonder; was President Trump advised of these attacks beforehand; or only when they were already a "fait accompli"?!?

It very clearly appears that this hubristic megalomaniac, is perfectly comfortable in starting a regional, or world war, just to save his backside as Prime Minister.

People are generally reluctant to change leadership, in the middle of a shooting war, and that is the general reality, upon which Netanyahu is betting right now.

And do not think, for one millisecond, as the 2020 US campaign lurches forward, and devolves from Russiagate to "Racistgate", that President Trump, and the US will not be called upon to defend the allegedly "only democracy in the Middle East".

This is, of course, an absolute crock of codswallop, for those who unthinkingly wish to swallow it whole.

Aug 25 08:15

SECRETIVE WARFARE TRAINING BEING STAGED IN 21 NORTH CAROLINA COUNTIES, ARMY SAYS

SOURCE: WBTV.COM
NORTH CAROLINA (Mark Price/Charlotte Observer) - A series of Special Forces military training exercises -- including gunfire with blanks -- is being staged across 21 North Carolina counties starting Aug. 30, and the Army is telling the public not to be alarmed at the suspicious-looking activity.

Known as Robin Sage training, the unconventional warfare exercises can be likened to live-action role playing in the extreme, with hostile engagement playing out between Special Forces students, volunteer civilians and soldiers out of Fort Bragg. It continues through Sept. 12, said a press release.

Heavily populated counties like Wake, Cumberland and Union counties are among training sites, according to the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg.

The students will match wits with more seasoned soldiers, who will “act as realistic opposing forces and guerrilla freedom fighters,” officials said in a release.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is pretty obvious, considering the urban nature of such training, that these exercises are leading up to some kind of decap strikes in the very near future; one has to wonder...against whom, and what hostile urban area, is the US's next "target"!?!?!?

I would politely suggest, that such a target is also in Israel's crosshairs, because at this moment in time, President Trump will not sneeze, unless he has permission to do so, from Tel Aviv.

Hell, President Trump has already been informed that Israel will be targeting alleged "Iranian forces" in Iraq; so color him impotent to prevent any Israeli military mischief in Syria; Lebanon; or Iran.

And since these countries have been on Israel's "to do" list for the longest time, please consider that it may be any one of these countries for which the US military is preparing to decap strike next.

However, there is one issue which I strongly urge the US government to consider, particularly in the case of Iran, which has had a close ongoing relationship with Russia for some time. The following statement was made by a senior Russian official, during a diplomatic session:

Iran will not be alone, if the US attacks

The article goes on to state: “Iran will withstand this type of fight and Iran is not alone,” Zamir Kabulov, the Foreign Ministry’s special envoy for Asian countries including Iran, said at a Russian-Iranian policy forum in Moscow."

War with Russia?!? Over...Iran?!? Folks, this is precisely the scenario at which we are looking, should the US government order a decap strike against Tehran.

Aug 24 12:11

US Officials Confirm Israel Behind Unprecedented Airstrikes On Iraq

In an unprecedented escalation which could reshape alliances in the Middle East, American officials have confirmed that Israel was behind an airstrike on an Iraqi ammunition depot operated by a pro-Iran militia last month, according to The Associated Press:

Two American officials said Israel carried out an attack on an Iranian weapons depot in July that killed two Iranian military commanders. The U.S. officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter with the media.

The admission comes after two more mystery explosions rocked paramilitary bases in and around Baghdad within the last two weeks, resulting in multiple paramilitary members killed, at least one civilian death, and dozens of injured, and which prompted Iraq's Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi to close the country's airspace to all “unauthorized flights"

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder if Prime Minister Netanyahu BOTHERED to let President Trump know this was happening, or only AFTER it was already a "fait accompli".

Aug 22 17:10

Iran-backed militias in Iraq threaten foreign aircraft amid speculation that Israel is bombing Iraq

Iranian-backed militias in Iraq warned Wednesday that foreign aircraft flying over the country may be treated as “hostile” amid growing suspicions that Israel is responsible for a series of mysterious explosions at militia bases.

The warning came in a statement issued by Abu Mahdi al-Mohandis, the deputy commander of the powerful coalition of Shiite Muslim militias known as Hashd al-Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), which includes paramilitary groups that owe allegiance to Iran.

The statement blamed Israeli drones for four big blasts at militia bases over the past month, all of them at warehouses storing ammunition and weapons, and accused the U.S. military of aiding the strikes by allowing Israel to use U.S. bases in Iraq.

Aug 20 12:12

Iraq Closes Airspace Even To US Coalition Flights After Suspected Israeli Raid

In what is a severely under reported but perhaps the most alarming development out of the Middle East this week, Iraq's government has said it's ready to down any aircraft violating its airspace amid a blanket ban on 'unauthorized' flights not specifically approved by the prime minister's office. Military Times reported the day after Iraq closed its airspace on Thursday:

U.S. military officials in Iraq will now seek out Iraqi approval before launching any air operations, a move made a day after that nation’s prime minister announced a ban of unauthorized flights, including those involving coalition forces fighting ISIS.

Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi called for an end to all “unauthorized flights” including US drones, spy planes, jets, or helicopters on Thursday. The directive demanded that all aerial vehicles comply with Iraqi law and operations must be under Iraqi government authorization.

Aug 13 10:57

1 KILLED, 29 INJURED AFTER EXPLOSIONS REPORTED AT IRAQI SHIA MILITA BASE

Shortly after the explosions at the base, shells fell in the Green Zone of Baghdad where the American Embassy in Iraq is located.

Aug 13 10:24

Iraq slams Israel participation in Gulf naval mission

Iraq has slammed Israel’s participation in the US-led Gulf maritime mission, stressing that its involvement will only increase tensions in the region.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Ali Al-Hakim wrote on Twitter yesterday that Iraq “rejects any participation of forces of the Zionist entity [Israel] in any military force to secure passage of ships in the Arabian Gulf.”

Aug 12 16:29

Huge blast at Baghdad ammo depot near Green Zone sends SHELLS FLYING into neighborhood (VIDEO)

A series of blasts shook Baghdad after a fire broke out at a militia arms depot, setting off a large stockpile of munitions – and reportedly sending some off into random directions to injure over a dozen people, mostly children.

Reported by Iraqi media on Monday evening, local time, the explosions sent shrapnel and debris into the areas surrounding the neighborhood of Dora, Baghdad, located only about 5 miles (8km) away from the heavily-fortified Green Zone, which houses the US Embassy and other diplomatic buildings.

Aug 07 09:48

MAJOR: U.S Rolls In MASSIVE 200 Truck Convoy To Arm Kurds In Iraq

In a new breach of the international laws and conventions, the US brought a convoy of hundreds of trucks and military vehicles affiliated to the so-called “International Coalition” to al-Qamishli City in support for Qasad separatist militias which besiege locals and attack them and steal oil in the eastern region.

These moves follow an ongoing strategy on the part of the US to partition Iraq and Syria in order to create a Kurdistan, with support from Israel. Despite a parallel armed conflict between Turkey and Syria, all warrings parties agree on the undesirability of a Kurdish entity, which would operate as a direct proxy for US interests – a staging ground and permanent base for US occupation in the area.

Aug 06 09:48

US And Allies To Establish New Terrorist Groups In Iraq, Syria

A senior Syrian parliamentarian warned against a new plan by Washington and Riyadh to set up new terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria after their defeats in the region.

“The US presently intends to pave the way for the emergence of terrorist groups under new names and appearances in Syria and Iraq by creating a chaotic situation in the region,” the Arabic-language al-Rased news website quoted Syrian lawmaker Mohammad Jookhdar as saying.

Aug 05 10:40

MYSTERY AIRSTRIKES ON IRAQI CAMP WERE ISRAELI STEALTH JETS IN "ANTI-IRAN" ESCALATION

But now Israeli and regional media, citing western diplomats, have confirmed it was a nearly unprecedented Israeli operation on Iraqi soil — representing a major escalation and expansion of Israel's anti-Iran operations.

Israel reportedly launched a total of two separate air strike operations on the camp using its US-supplied F-35 stealth fighter jets.

Aug 05 09:26

Iran seizes Iraqi oil tanker in the Gulf for smuggling fuel

Iran said Sunday it has seized an Iraqi oil tanker in the Persian Gulf for allegedly smuggling fuel, according to the official IRNA news agency.

In a statement, the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said the vessel was captured near the Farsi Island. The tanker was carrying 700,000 liters of “smuggled fuel” and was taken to the Bushehr port, the IRGC statement said.

It remains unclear the nationality of the seized vessel. Seven crewmen of different nationalities were detained.

“The seizure of the oil tanker was in coordination with Iran’s judiciary authorities and based on their order,” Fars quoted the Guards commander Ramezan Zirahi as he as saying.

Aug 03 10:23

How Biden’s Secret 2002 Meetings Led to War in Iraq

Even though former Vice President Joe Biden’s favorability has declined following the first Democratic debate, he remains largely considered the frontrunner by many mainstream media outlets and pundits for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Early in the first debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders mentioned how Biden had supported the Iraq War and that he had voted against it. Biden responded that he now wanted to see the U.S. out of Afghanistan. Yet Biden’s role was more sinister than that.

In 2002, Biden was the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Following 9/11, he conducted the “Hearings to Examine Threats, Responses and Regional Considerations Surrounding Iraq” on July 31 and August 1, 2002.

Jul 31 10:23

In Major Shift, Israel Twice Struck Iranian Targets in Iraq 'Using F-35'

Citing Western diplomats, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reports two strikes this month northeast of Baghdad mark an expansion of Israeli attacks against Iranian targets

Jul 24 10:03

MAJOR: Iran, Syria And Iraq Continue Cooperation, Tehran To Connect With Damascus After Reopening Of Eastern Syria CrossingBy Drago Bosnic

Albukamal, Syria/Husaybah, Iraq – Syria and Iraq are stepping up their cross-border cooperation. On Monday, an Iraqi official revealed to the Sputnik News Agency that Baghdad is preparing to reopen the Al-Qa’im border crossing with Syria.

This agreement between Baghdad and Damascus will reestablish the first official border crossing that links the Syrian Arab Republic and Iraq since the Islamic State’s (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh) defeat.

Jul 24 09:27

MAJOR: Iraq Defies The US Again, Reopens Border With Syria In Next 60 Days

Al-Anbar, Iraq – In an exclusive interview with the Arabic-language version of the Sputnik Agency, the Iraqi military commander in the Al-Qa’im District of Al-Anbar, Ahmad Jadayan, told the Russian news site that the border crossing connecting the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Iraq will be opened in the next the 60 days.

According to Jadayan, the agreement was put in place after Iraq’s National Security Adviser Kazhem Al-Fayadh and his Syrian counterpart made the decision to reopen this border crossing that links Syria’s Albukamal and Iraq’s Al-Qa’im.

Jadayan said there is not much that needs to be done to reopen the border crossing, as the majority of the region is desert terrain.

Jul 17 10:59

Joe Biden Was Much More Than a Cheerleader for the Iraq War

During the 2008 presidential primary debates, Barack Obama reminded Americans that unlike Hillary Clinton, he did not support the war in Iraq. As Politico wrote at the time, Obama implied that Clinton’s yes vote showed “bad judgement.” Eight years later, Donald Trump used Clinton’s Iraq War vote against her multiple times, including in the third presidential debate. Whether or not he lied about his own contradictory record on the war was beside the point. Twice, a yes vote for an unpopular war proved to be a liability for the candidate who cast it.

The Iraq war continues to be an issue in the lead-up to the 2020 election. Joe Biden may now be the Democratic frontrunner for the presidential nomination, but as Branko Marcetic writes in In These Times, Biden’s “2002 vote in favor of the Iraq War leaves him with a particularly glaring vulnerability.”

Jul 17 10:38

Three people, incl Turkish Deputy Consul-General, killed in Erbil shooting – local media

Three people, including the Turkish deputy consul, have been killed in a shooting at a restaurant in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, according to local media. Police confirmed the death of the Turkish diplomat.

The shooting was reported shortly after 2pm local time, and took place at a restaurant in an upmarket area of Iraqi Kurdistan’s capital city. While local media reported that all three victims were officials with the Consulate General, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry only confirmed the death of one diplomat.

Jul 17 06:36

HOW ISRAELI-DESIGNED DRONES BECAME RUSSIA’S EYES IN THE SKY FOR DEFENDING BASHAR AL-ASSAD

How Israeli-designed drones ended up supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is a case study in the complicated relationship between Israel and Russia. Though Russia has been instrumental in protecting the Assad government, which appeared to be on the brink of collapse four years ago, it has also carefully cultivated a military relationship with Israel over the past decade.

After more than seven years of war, the skies over Syria are saturated with aircraft from multiple militaries and armed groups, each pursuing their own goals, including using the country as a weapons-testing ground. American airpower and Kurdish ground forces helped grind the Islamic State’s caliphate down to a tiny pocket before it dramatically collapsed this past spring. Meanwhile, Turkish occupation forces and their proxies are conducting a brutal campaign of repression in the Syrian-Kurdish canton of Afrin.

Jul 15 10:49

Strained US-Iraq Relations: Pompeo Considers Baghdad Embassy Pullout “Permanent”: Officials

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is not willing to send back the diplomats to the country’s embassy in Baghdad after they were evacuated earlier this year in May, according to several State Department officials.

The evacuation came after tensions between Iran and US escalated in the Gulf, at the result of which Washington said its forces, diplomats, and citizens were under threat of being targeted by Iran or Iranian-backed militias in Iraq.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That would be that $750,000,000 embassy, right?

Jul 14 08:32

Majorities of Both US Veterans and Public Believe Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan “Not Worth Fighting”

By Jessica Corbett

The majority of American veterans and members of the general public agreed in two new surveys that the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the U.S. military campaign in Syria were all “not worth fighting.”

The Pew Research Center, for the pair of polls published Wednesday, asked all respondents to consider the costs versus the benefits to the United States in their analysis of whether each conflict was worthwhile.

Roughly two-thirds of both veterans and members of the public told Pew that the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq wasn’t worth it...

Jul 12 11:35

Survey: Majority of US Veterans, Public Believe Iraq, Afghanistan Wars Not Worth Fighting

Majorities of the American public generally and US veterans specifically agree that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were not worth fighting, according to survey results released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center think tank.

More than 60% of US veterans surveyed stated that the Iraq War was not worth fighting considering the costs to the US. On the other hand, 33% of veterans said that the Iraq war was worth fighting when considering the benefits to the US. In comparison, 62% of non-veteran respondents claimed the Iraq War was not worth fighting, while 32% claimed it was. Fifty-eight percent of US veterans and 59% of non-veterans also said that the war in Afghanistan is not worth fighting, while around 40% of both veterans and civilians claimed the opposite.

“Veterans who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan are no more supportive of those wars than those who did not serve in these wars,” the study states. “And views do not differ based on rank or combat experience.”

Jul 12 10:10

TRUMP, BRITS TIRELESS IN ATTEMPT TO GET WAR ON IRAN GOING

SOURCE: KURT NIMMO
On Thursday evening, social media posts claimed the UK flagged and Japanese owned crude oil tanker Atlantic Pioneer had crossed over into Iranian territorial waters. According to the Marine Traffic website, on Friday morning the tanker was in the Gulf of Oman.

BREAKING: #UK flagged ship, #AtlanticPioneer, has officially entered recognized #Iran|ian waters. Time to see what Iran does, if anything. pic.twitter.com/gn05YCtUAe

— Evan McLean (@TheEvanMcLean) July 12, 2019

I don’t know if these social media reports are accurate, but considering the recent behavior of the US and Britain, I cannot discount it. The US, with the help of the UK, is attempting to goad the Iranians into taking action and thus providing a pretext to get the next neocon war going.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have this image in my head, of President Trump, meeting with his cabinet, and saying,"Damn! We can't lie the American people into another war; so what the hell do we do to get this party started, with some kind of false flag that the Americans might actually believe, as a justification for this war against Iran?!?"

Google reminds us with the following statement regarding Israel's next elections, as to just how critical they are in developing, and shaping, both national, and international Israeli policies:

"Snap legislative elections are due to be held in Israel on 17 September 2019 to elect the 120 members of the 22nd Knesset. Following the prior elections in April, incumbent and Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition, the first such failure in Israeli history."f

So am quite certain, looking at today's date (12 July), that Israel's Netanyahu, is burning up the phone lines from Tel Aviv to DC, impressing on Trump how damned short the time frame is, for getting such a war going, as to make Netanyahu look "butch" in anticipation of September's snap election in Israel.

I am equally as certain, that Russia's President Putin, and Iran's President Rouhani, are talking to each other about how to calm the situation down, and for Iran not to lash out, if there is an attempt at a false flag.

I'm looking at timing here. The last major summer holiday in the US, at the end of August, is Labor Day weekend, which this year, starts on Friday, 31 August, and lasts through Monday, 2 September. IF the US, the UK, and Israel cannot get a war on or before that point in time, so that the US media can fully indoctrinate the public with it; have it soak into the consciousness of both the American (and British) people before the first full week in September, it may well be too late for such an attack to begin to influence Netanyahu's re-election bid.

Jul 12 09:25

Where Is Joe Biden's Apology for the Iraq War?

Uncle Joe has never been much for apologies. Whether it was his backing of the ’90s crime bill that helped fuel mass incarceration, or his mistreatment of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearings, Biden has been loathe to admit wrong and make amends. Thus it was a bit of a surprise this weekend when the former vice president apologized for his insensitive remarks about segregationists; the very comments that prompted a fierce debate exchange with fellow candidate Kamala Harris. That’s all well and good, but since it’s in foreign policy that American emperors (read: presidents) wield near unilateral power, it’s time for Biden to plea for the electorate’s forgiveness on perhaps the worst mistake of his career: his support and vote for the Iraq War back in 2002.

Jul 11 15:38

Ceasefire Over? Trump Demands New Sanctions On Beijing Over Iranian Oil Imports

Once again, it appears Robert Lighthizer and the Trump Administration's trade hawk faction have won over the more moderate advisors. Only a week ago, reports surfaced claiming the US might exempt China from Iran sanctions, for fear that the US would have no choice but to crack down otherwise (since Beijing has made clear exactly how it feels about Washington dictating which countries it can trade with).

Now, that idea, which was being pushed by senior State Department officials, has been abandoned, according to a Politico report. Instead, senior administration officials believe there's no avoiding the fact that Beijing has repeatedly violated the ban on importing Iranian crude.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No, Beijing isn't "defying" the US; it needs Iranian oil to prop up its industrial sector.

So what is President Trump going to do about it now, start boarding Chinese vessels, and interdict Iranian oil?!? Let's see now... isn't that tantamount to declaring war against China?!?

What is frustrating here, is that with the situations concerning both China and Iran, President Trump has managed to give himself no "wiggle room" for something positive to happen, and that, friends, is a "fantastic failure of imagination".

Jul 11 13:42

Britain Raises Ship Security Level to ‘Critical’ as Tanker Row With Iran Escalates - Report

Over the past two days, British oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf have reportedly been spotted under escort by Royal Navy vessels. Although the reason for this has not been officially explained, the situation comes amid threats by Tehran to seize British ships in response to the arrest of its tanker in Gibraltar.

The UK Department for Transport has issued a recommendation to British commercial ships near the Strait of Hormuz to exercise caution and put their security in a heightened state in case they are approached by "aggressive" Iranian patrol boats, Sky News reported, citing anonymous sources.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Let's throw in a little logic, shall we; why would Iran be so desperately attempting to "create an incident", when they understood that such an act would be the US/Israeli/Saudi Arabia "justification" for a shooting war against Iran?!?

The short answer is, they wouldn't.

Iranian leadership is many things; but stupid, it is not.

Jul 11 08:11

Lies About Iran Killing US Troops in Iraq Are a Ploy to Justify War

One of the many myths that have been used to justify the push for war with Iran led by National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is that Tehran is responsible for the killing of more than 600 U.S. troops during the Iraq War.

Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook, whose job is to round up international support for the Trump administration’s campaign of “maximum pressure” on Iran, presented the charge at a State Department press briefing on April 2. “I can announce today, based on declassified US military reports,” Hook said, “that Iran is responsible for the deaths of 608 American service members. This accounts for 17 percent of all deaths of US personnel in Iraq from 2003 to 2011.”

Jul 10 05:22

NETANYAHU THREATENS IRAN WITH ISRAELI PLANES THAT CAN ‘REACH EVERYWHERE’ IN THE MIDDLE EAST

SOURCE: RT

As tension mounts over Iran’s nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Tehran that Israeli warplanes can strike anywhere in the Middle East, “including Iran and Syria.”

“Iran has threatened recently to destroy Israel,” Netanyahu said in a video clip posted on Tuesday. “It is worthwhile for them to remember that these planes can reach everywhere in the Middle East, including Iran and Syria.”

Netanyahu delivered his stern lecture while standing in front of an F-35 fighter jet at Nevatim Airbase in central Israel. The Israeli Air Force has used its warplanes to strike supposed Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria numerous times, most recently pounding the cities of Damascus and Homs at the beginning of July – attacks that left multiple civilians dead. Last year, Israel became the world’s first military power to use the next-generation F-35 in a combat operation, reportedly against Iranian targets in Syria.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These threats, and counter-threats, are absolutely the last thing this region needs.

Netanyahu is pushing, and hyping, the Iranian threat, as though war was something Iran wants, or needs, militarily, which is absolutely not the case here.

Netanyahu understands this, but has been using the "fear card" against his own people for so long, that his behaviour has simply become pathological, at this point.

But faced with a snap election mid-September, his hope is that he can persuade/trick the US and possibly Saudi Arabia, to attack Iran, without personally, or nationally, having to pay either a political, or financial "price", and that he will appear to have "done something" to get him re-elected, no matter the costs to American and Saudi troops in blood and money spent.

We ran a story yesterday, from zerohedge.com, titled UAE's Yemen Exit is a Preparation for Confronting Iran Closer To Home

The fact that this repositioning is happening at all, telegraphs that the the Ziohawkonoids are attempting to move heaven and earth to start this war with Iran just as soon as possible.

There is, however, one 6,000 lb gorilla, napping, draped across the Bosendorfer Grand in this scenario, and that is the presence of Russia.

On 26 June, Foreign Ministry Diplomat, Zamir Kabulov, made the following statement: Iran won't be alone, if the US attacks

Were I any member of President Trump's Cabinet, or Advisory staff, I would definitely take this man at his word.

Jul 09 13:40

Egypt Seizes Tanker Carrying Iranian Crude

Tehran's threats of retaliation against the UK for seizing a tanker carrying Iranian crude oil for export have prompted a British vessel to shelter in the Gulf, but the rest of the world doesn't seem to be taking them too seriously.

Citing local press reports, Middle East Monitor said Tuesday that a Ukrainian tanker carrying Iranian oil as it passed through the Suez Canal ten days ago was seized by the Egyptian government, just as Egypt's State Security Criminal Court was sentencing six people to lengthy jail terms allegedly for spying for Iran.

Egypt is a staunch ally of the US, and as a Sunni-majority country, would naturally align with the UAE and Saudi Arabia in their efforts to contain Iran. Egypt also supports the Saudi-backed coalition in Yemen that is fighting to retain control in that country's brutal civil war. Cairo has condemned the Houthis for the recent spate of attacks on Saudi infrastructure that have inflamed tensions in the region.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With tensions escalating between Iran and Iran, and the US government reeling, regarding numerous problems on the horizon which have nothing to do with the current US government, (but involve some INCREDIBLY salacious actions by former members of this government, "Epstein-gate"), I have a sense that the Ziohawkonoids are going to push forward on a US attack against Iran, in terms of getting it going at the earliest possible opportunity.

Because if ever Washington's elite needed a war as a distraction from these nasty situations, it is right the heck now.

There is only one minor problem here; we may well be looking at Russia jumping into the fray on Iran's side, and, in fact, here's the following statement from a Russian official who essentially said just that:
Russia Says Iran ‘Won’t Be Alone’ If US AttacksThe story goes on to state:

"“Iran will withstand this type of fight and Iran is not alone,” Zamir Kabulov, the Foreign Ministry’s special envoy for Asian countries including Iran, said at a Russian-Iranian policy forum in Moscow, reported The Moscow Times.

Now, I don't know about you, but if I were any members of President Trump's cabinet, or advisors, I would absolutely take this guy at his word.

Jul 07 09:51

Netanyahu Compares Iran's Uranium Enrichment 'Small Step' With Nazis' March Into Rhineland in 1936

Tehran announced Sunday that its uranium enrichment levels would soon surpass limits set in the 2015 nuclear deal, and said that Iran would continue to reduce its commitments to the nuclear deal every 60 days until the deal's other signatories meet their commitments.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has blasted Iran's decision to raise uranium enrichment levels beyond the 3.67 per cent limit outlined in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying the only possible reason for such an action is the creation of a nuclear bomb, The Jerusalem Post has reported.

Commenting on a report in US media about Iran's uranium enrichment decision on Sunday, Netanyahu said the report seemed to suggest that the move was "not terrible, because it is just a 'small step'."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. Prime Minister Netanyahu, a word, please; this idiotic analogy was absolutely DOA upon delivery.

I would like to politely remind you that when looking at the movement of the Nazis, this was to gain physical territory; not to create a bomb.

And I would like to also politely remind you, that so far, Iran has been within the levels acceptable covered by the P5 +1 agreement.

It appears, to some political analysts in Israel and abroad, you have become a geopolitically "wounded animal", with all the corruption charges placed against you, and you have had to call a snap election, to happen 17 September, because your party was unable to create a quorum.

And nothing is more dangerous than is a wounded animal, or human being.

There are a number of of political pundits professing that you desperately need something major, to plunge into the minds of the Israeli voting public like a knife, before that 60 days is finished, to "seal the deal" of your return to power.
A
And what would be more major than a "false flag", perhaps to be perpetrated against some sort of US military asset, just like Israel tried to do with the USS Liberty, where good men died, because Israel wanted the US government, and the world to believe that it was Egypt which attacked this ship, in order to get the US to declare war against Egypt?!?

What I have just stated, is an historical fact, and not some fanciful work of fiction. 52nd ANNIVERSARY OF ISRAEL'S ATTACK ON THE USS LIBERTY

If it has happened before, there is a precedent; I would like to hope that your "Bromance" with President Trump, is not that of a "Frenemy" in this instance, getting ready to make his move at the expense of both President Trump, and the USA.

Only time.... will answer that question.

Jul 07 08:43

The Only Strategic Rationale For America's Involvement In Syria Finally Revealed

Authored by Elias Samo via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

“Washington lacks a clear strategy in Syria “; those were the recent words of Robert Ford, the last American ambassador to Syria who served prior to and during the first few years of the Syrian uprising from 2010 to 2014. A man of Ford’s intricate knowledge of the Syrian/American political dynamic is surly knowledgeable enough to assess America’s policy towards Syria. He goes on to say, “It is hard to explain the fundamental American mission in Syria… Is it to fight Daesh? Or is it to help promote a Kurdish autonomous district in Northeastern Syria… Or is it to resist Iranian encouragement?” It is partially all three; however, oddly enough, Mr. Ford avoids the obvious top priority and strategic rationale for America’s involvement in Syria: The Protection of Israel.

Jul 07 08:08

The Trump administration is trying to make war with Iran inevitable - Ben Armbruster

Last night, in response to Iran shooting down an American drone earlier this week, the United States came within one whim of an erratic and unstable president from launching a military strike on Iran.

Like the recent oil tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman, the Trump administration has framed the drone incident as if it occurred in a vacuum – implying that the Iranians are launching these (alleged) attacks without provocation, and providing an aura of legitimacy to a possible American military response.

And that’s exactly what the Trump administration’s Iran hawks – led by the national security adviser, John Bolton, and the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo — have seemingly planned all along: to cultivate conditions that make military conflict with Iran the only option.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Again, should such a war happen, it will absolutely NOT be for the benefit of We the People, but only for the benefit of our corporate oligarchs, who will profit from such a war immeasurably.

When Karl Marx made the observation that "All Wars are Economic in Origin, the guy wasn't mistaken at all; it takes large governments borrowing money from the banks, at insanely high interest rates, to keep these wars going.

Mr. President, I am sure that you are getting daily, if not hourly, calls from the politically wounded Israeli Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu, urging you, explicitly, to "get the party started" by issuing an "Executive Order" for a"kinetic Motion" attack against Iran, bypassing Congress completely.

But the major bone of contention, and your cabinet understands this, is that you will not have the support of ordinary US citizens, should you order a strike before the 2020 elections.

And Mr. President, considering what a mess into which the US government and military were led, by both American and foreign oligarchs the last several times the US government invaded and occupied a number of countries, including Iraq; Afghanistan; Libya; and DRC, you need to look at a couple potential aspects of changing the way the US does business with the Middle East.

What China does, to get what it wants, is its own version of "Let's make a deal"; certain things are promised and delivered; certain things come from the other side, which creates a "win-win" progression of that project, so all people involved, feel lifted up, and that cooperation moves to even greater depths with future projects.

I think you have to call China's "Silk and Belt Road" a major expression of this philosophy, which is going to propel China to absolute leadership and respect, if handled carefully.

Unfortunately, the US government's approach to creating "win/win" since the end of World War II, has generally been "My Way...or the Highway"

And that surprised, collective gasp in Foggy Bottom you hear, when people don't want to be killed or maimed for life by US bullets, to "neutralize" the native population; when the US installs a western-centric puppet government, to insure that their resources are only sold in US dollars, is "Why don't they love our invading their countries; murdering their kids and families, and expropriating their resources"?!?

Mr. President, I am politely requesting that you rethink your Iran strategy; I understand that you are getting what I would call "the ultimate pressure" from Netanyahu, to get this war started, but in light of the fact that the US, economically, isn't doing so well, except for the 1%, I would strongly caution you against it. I frankly think, that the situation needs more time to be resolved, and that starting to "do something" as of the end of today against Iran, could lead to unmitigated disaster for this country.

Patience, honorably conceived notions of win/win in setting up any deal, are desperately needed here; the yelling, foot-stomping, and foul-mouthed insults from both you, and the Iranian leadership, need to stop immediately.

I would also remind you that Russia has been a great partner for Syria, in terms of getting rid of US-backed, trained, and funded jihadi fighters; they are light years ahead in their weapons development.

Jul 07 07:30

IAEA Board to Meet Wednesday on Iran at Demand of US

US Envoy demands IAEA 'hold Iran responsible'

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has announced that they will hold a special meeting on Iran’s civilian nuclear program on Wednesday, centered around US allegations that Iran is in violation of the P5+1 nuclear deal.

The US accused Iran of being in violation once their uranium stockpile exceeded 300 kg. Iran has denied that this is a violation, and says the stockpile cap was voluntary since the US withdrew from the deal.

The IAEA agreed to the meeting at the demands of the US, even though the US is no longer party to the P5+1 deal. US officials have been trying to undermine the nuclear deal for months now, and this seems to be a continuation of that.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am working like crazy to get my hands around this, logically, but I am sorry: I cannot.

President Trump, a word, please: since the US withdrew from the P5+1 deal in May of this year, how in the world does the US have any right to criticize the planned enrichment coming up?!?

And BTW, sir, the level to which Iranian scientists are enriching their uranium stockpile is only to serve as a clear fuel power base; it is NOT going to be enriched at the level necessary to create an atomic weapon.

Please ask your "science people" and you will get a confirmation.

You are welcome, President Trump!! :-)

Jul 07 06:52

SAUDI-UAE COALITION SAYS IT INTERCEPTED HOUTHI DRONES

SOURCE: ALJAZEERA.COM

A Saudi-led military coalition said it has intercepted and destroyed drones launched by Yemen's Houthi group at targets in the kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

"The drones were destroyed in air space," a coalition statement said on Saturday.

The Houthis' al-Masirah satellite news channel said the rebels targeted Saudi airports in Abha and Jizan with Qasef-2K drones.

Yahia Sarie, spokesperson for the Houthi forces, said the attacks resulted in the suspension of air traffic in both airports.

The Houthis have increasingly used drones to target southern Saudi Arabia, including two recent strikes on the Abha airport, which killed one person and wounded more than 30.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The questions I would have here, are:

1. From whom are the Houthi rebels getting these drones?!?

2. Where are the rebels getting whatever training is needed, to make sure that their targeting is as true as possible, without damaging civilian centers?!?

3. What is this going to do to oil prices in the near term, and what will that do to an already teetering US economy (except for the already monied)?

4. When will the Saudi leadership get it through their heads, that the only way to begin to get a negotiated settlement done, is by diplomacy, rather than using brute force?!?

5. When will the US citizenry begin to have an open, intelligent, and civilized national dialogue regarding the US's role in being complicit to war crimes, and genocide in Yemen?

These are very difficult questions, which urgently deserve some intelligent answers, and actions that can prevent this horrible burden on Yemeni kids and their families from continuing.

But let's consider a more global discussion of US foreign policy.

I am watching Faux & Friends, and their big, banner headline is, at 7 AM, Eastern time, is "Which television shows, should be encouraged to come back"?.

Absoflippinglutely unbelievable!!!

These are very dangerous times; major cities like LA, San Francisco, and Seattle have horrible homeless, and garbage problems, which need to be met with both compassion and intelligence, coupled with with exploding crime.

I don't know whether to laugh, or weep this morning.

And our current incarnation of Emperor Nero, President Trump, Our First American Merchant of Death in Chief, simply plays his violin to the only two tunes he knows; first, that American economy is doing magnificently well (and, for the monied like President Trump, that is true; but not for most of the rest of us); and secondly, that American wars are wrapping up, and doing magnificently well.

(This is not at all correct. What we do not see here, is any revocation, or stand down, of US Military troops in the Middle East.)

Pentagon Sending 1,000 more US troops to Middle East

No wonder that most Americans have not a clue as to what is happening in the world at large, as personnel freedoms get chipped away by ever-more-invasive, 24 hour surveillance, while the US is government pouring more troops into the Middle East, and there is a concerted, willful ignorance about this genocide in Yemen that the Corporate Powers that Be, refuse to ALLOW to be seen seen, unless you know where to look for it.

Hint: you will not find it most of the Corporate Presstitute sites; You can only find it at indy media sites, like WRH.

And here, with a warning for graphic content that may cause you to upchuck, if you've already eaten today, are the real images of what is played out in Yemen, day after day, after day, in terms of US/
Saudi war crimes in Yemen:

Images: Yemeni Children getting blown apart, killed, and/or maimed for life, courtesy of US-enabled Saudi bombing runs.

Images: Yemeni children starving to death, courtesy of US/Saudi port blockade

Yemeni children, sick with, and dying, from cholera

In times when Congress actually listened to the American people (like the huge march on the Capital by peaceful, anti-Vietnam war protestors, which demonstrated to then-President Johnson, that he could not pursue the war, because the American people would not go along anymore), and that those politicians who continued to support the war, wouldn't win the next election.

But now is a madly different time and place, originally ushered into being by President Bush's lusting after a war so badly in the Middle East, so as to be able to control both the oil, and insuring that the oil would only be sold in US dollars.

And in this devolution from its initial, Constitutional charge that only Congress has the capability to created a Declaration of War, Congress no longer makes these decisions about war, peace, and national US policies; they are now simply brokered with private,large, multi-national corporations always having a first right of refusal for if and when these wars will be fought, and that these decrees emanate from both DC and Israel.

I mean, those corporations, including our military/industrial complex, are owned by people who contribute, both overtly, and covertly, to Presidential campaigns, to insure that their will, and for heaven's sake, not the will of We the People, is always supported by the US government.

We have a very Kabuki-like ritual in the Unhinged, Surveilled State of Amerika every 4 years, and that this "ritual" is giving Americans the illusion that they actually control who gets "hired" for the Presidency, rather than have them understand, in this first part of the 21st century, that they really have no choice, whatsoever, because they always get stuck with voting for that proverbial "lesser of two evils".

Folks, I am very deeply concerned that Israel is pushing US leadership to a war against Iran, which may well have Russia step in on the Iranian side.

This is not a war which thinking Americans can possibly support, and may well sound the death-knell for this country in its current configuration.

Tackling Iran would provoke a war, and create a "Coalition of the Willing, Against Us

We have seen how well Russian military hardware and leadership have nearly gotten Syria rejoined, under the leadership of President Bashar Al Assad.

Why a War Against Iran Will be the “Nail in a Coffin” for U.S. Hegemony in the Middle East
The Un-submersible US/Iran Stalemate

Why a War Against Iran is bad for President Trump and America

stalemate/5682745">The Unsubmersible US/Iran Stalemate

Iran to Reach the Mediterranean through the Proposed Iran/Iraq/Syria railway corridor

And one of the most crazy-making facets of President Trump's policies in the Middle East, is that neither he, nor the people around him, want to understand that the more the US hits countries like Iran, China and Russia with sanctions, the more these countries are quickly growing closer to each other both military, and economically.

Was this...ultimately the outcome that President Trump wanted?!?

I am having a hard time believing this; but it is a catastrophic, pathological outcome, and state of being for this country, when its leaders listen to those attached to the US government cannot see a scenario through to its logical conclusion.

Jul 06 10:47

SENIOR IRAN COMMANDER THREATENS US WITH ‘SECRET WEAPON’

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

Commander of the Iranian Army’s Khatam Al-Anbiya Air Defence Base, Brigadier General Alireza Sabahi Fard, has warned the United States that Iran owns a “unique secret weapon” which it would use against US forces if they make any “wrong moves”.

Addressing a forum in Iranian capital Tehran yesterday, Fard claimed that Iran’s “deterrence and unique secret weapons have stopped the filthy enemy 200 miles away [from the Iranian border] in the Strait of Hormuz,” Iran’s Tasnim news agency reported.

“The enemy knows very well that it should not test Iran’s combat readiness, as its first mistake will be its last,” Fard added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Brigadier General Fard, please, a word, sir; this kind of hyper-jingoistic palaver only encourages Israel to push the US government harder toward some kind of military confrontation with your country, and soon.

Please remember; Israel's Prime Minister is both dealing with corruption charges, and with an inability to form a coalition, which has meant another snap election coming up in the next couple of months, give or take.

Netanyahu is a geopolitically wounded animal, both at home, and abroad; and any living being, is at its most dangerous, when wounded.

He may feel that he must create some kind of diversion against any country which will not bend to his will, before this snap election happens, which will be 17 September of this year. I'm looking at my calendar, sir, and I am seeing that Premier Netanyahu has precisely 73 days, to make something like this happen.

And as you are well aware, sir, the competition/threat between Israel and Iran, is primarily economic, rather than existential.

I can assure you, Brigadier General, that no thinking American wants a war with your country; and I say that, because Russia has made it crystal-clear, through the following announcement made toward the end of last month in the blog moscowtimes.com: Iran ‘Won’t Be Alone’ If U.S. Attacks, Russian Official Says

We have seen just how well Russian weaponry, and military, have performed in terms of getting rid of Syria's US trained/funded jihadis, and it appears that President Bashar Al-Assad is just on the keening edge of getting his country back.

Zamir Kabulov, went on to state: “Iran will withstand this type of fight and Iran is not alone,” Zamir Kabulov, the Foreign Ministry’s special envoy for Asian countries including Iran, said at a Russian-Iranian policy forum in Moscow.

When asked if Russia was ready to provide material support to Iran if the U.S. attacks it, Kabulov said that “specific actions are a question for the Russian president.”

“But it’s not just Russia, many other countries sympathize and empathize with Iran,” the Kommersant business daily quoted him as saying. “Tehran won’t be alone if the U.S., God forbid, takes wild and irresponsible actions against it.”

So Brigadier General Fard, please: don't give Israel more "ammo" ( I am speaking metaphorically, not literally, here) with which Netanyahu will attempt to push the US government toward something that would be so ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid, that I cannot even begin to go there.

Jul 06 10:06

AFTER 37 YEARS, IRAN URGES ICRC PROBE INTO DISAPPEARANCE OF ITS DIPLOMATS

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

Iran’s Foreign Ministry yesterday urged the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to form a fact-finding committee to probe the issue of four diplomats kidnapped in Lebanon in 1982, Iranian news agencies reported.

“As has been announced several times over the past years, evidence shows that the kidnapped diplomats in Lebanon were delivered to the Israeli Zionist forces and then they were transferred to the occupied lands and they are now held in prison by this illegitimate regime,” a statement said.

It added: “Given the fact that Lebanon was under the US-backed Israeli occupation at that time, the Islamic Republic of Iran holds the Zionist regime and its supporters legally and politically responsible for the abduction and the terrorist action.”

Friday marked the 37th anniversary of the disappearance of diplomats identified as Seyyed Mohsen Mousavi, Ahmad Motevasselian, Kazem Akhavan and Taqi Rastegar Moqaddam.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

You are seeing a marvelous PR campaign, timed brilliantly to ultimately be levelled at Israel, and what will ultimately be the most apt to happen here, will be for Israel to publicly deny the presence of these people in its prisons, and to deny the team any access to either critical records, or people who would actually know what really happened here.

Jun 27 15:00

Protesters Storm Bahrain Embassy in Baghdad, Burn US-Israeli Flags

According to Iraqi security officials, the Bahraini embassy in Baghdad was stormed Thursday by protesters who disapprove of Bahrain's hosting of a US-led peace conference aimed at securing an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Images on Facebook show protesters in and around the Gulf island nation's diplomatic compound in Baghdad Thursday evening, carrying Palestinian flags and burning US and Israeli flags. They were reportedly particularly angry at the Bahraini foreign minister's interview with an Israeli television station about the conference.

Jun 24 15:20

Iraq Seeks Air Defense Cooperation With Iran After Downing of US Drone

Iraq’s government have asked for enhanced cooperation with neighboring Iran regarding air defense after the Persian nation showed its “defensive capabilities” when downing a United States (U.S.) military drone, Iran’s state news agency reported Sunday.

Jun 24 10:28

Mainstream Media Faults Trump for Not Following Through on Iran Attack - Not blundering into a war with Iran seen as a sign of weakness

To be sure, Thursday was meant to be the start of the US-Iran War which hawks have been trying to piece together for generations. Trump ordered the attack, but ultimately, called it off a mere 10 minutes from a strike.

What had been a subject of debate was now USA Today accusing Trump of “not following through.” As concerning as blundering into a huge war in the Middle East had been, the new talking point was Trump showing weakness, and per Kori Schake of the Atlantic, damaging “America’s credibility.”

America can, after all, usually be counted on to react hastily, and stumble into what are in retrospect unfortunate wars. That Trump managed to just barely avoid the siren’s song of war was outside the expectation of American allies, and now they don’t know what to think. NBC News was quick to accuse Trump of “indecision” and declared it would “embolden Iran.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So let me get this straight; the US military, and the Presidency are now being taken to task, for not starting this potentially protracted war of attrition, for which our military is utterly unprepared, because it doesn't have the troop strength; the weaponry; the money; or the manufacturing?!?

And we know, at least with Samantha Vinograd, where her foreign policy views come from; she was a featured presenter at last year's AIPAC Conference:

2018: AIPAC Conference Featured speakers included CNN'S Samantha Vinograd

With Kori Shake, we know a little bit about her background Kori Shake, Hoover institution bio

I would like to politely state, that whatever credibility President Trump started with, in 2017, he absolutely and thoroughly blew to smithereens, by very publicly backing the notion, that everything Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu and his biggest US contributor, Sheldon Adelson, wanted in the Middle East, they would get from his administration.

So, what has he done so far, in that support?!? He has declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel; he has withdrawn the US from the P5+1 treaty with Iran, and thrown crippling sanctions on the Iranian government; he has also, for good measure, created a definition, by executive order, of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, as "terrorists".

And in an absolutely potentially insane win/win for Tel Aviv, he has conjured up a "Pax Americana in the Middle East", being hawked by his son-in-law, Jarod ("The Magnificent") Kushner, which is DOA, because all sovereignty of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem ,as well as the Golan Heights, would now be recognised as official Israeli territory, period, end of discussion.

What the whole of the White House seems pathologically incapable of understanding (or, more correctly, do not want to understand), is, that for Palestinians, money is not the objective in any peace deal with Israel, although the money offered here may seem attractive; it is sovereignty over a bit of land to call their own, which drives the Palestinian movement.

And to add insult to historical injury, Israeli engineers, in creating new settler developments, have placed them in such a manner, that there is no way for a contiguous State of Palestine to exist, at this point.

So to Kori and Samantha, please, don't despair; as I type this, I am very sure that if President Trump does NOT want to start a war, your hero in Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Netanyahu, is talking to his military ops right now, and has had lengthy discussions about how to "get this party started", and goad the American government into a war in Iran, from which they cannot walk away.

Jun 24 09:51

US Troops in Iraq See Surge in ‘Indirect Fire,’ Some Look to Blame Iran

The escalation of US tensions with Iran has centered greatly, at least within the narrative, on Iraq. The idea is that US troops are endangered in Iraq, and that Iranian proxies, who are actually part of the Iraqi government, are plotting against them.

And just because nothing ever happens doesn’t mean that isn’t going to continue to be a talking point, as US officials talk about “indirect fire” attacks in Iraq, with indirect in this case meaning they don’t appear to be firing directly at the US forces.

Officials say they are perceiving an increase in the amount of mortar and rocket fire in Iraq. Which would be dangerous to US troops, except US targets aren’t actually being hit. It’s just that the US has so many targets in Iraq that something they have “come close.” The military confirmed there were no casualties, but declined to report on the number of these not-really-attacks that took place.

Jun 23 14:02

Provoking Iran Could Start A War And Crash The Entire World Economy

Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Tensions in the Persian Gulf are reaching a point of no return. In recent weeks, six oil tankers have been subjected to Israeli sabotage disguised to look like Iranian attacks to induce the United States to take military action against the Islamic Republic. Some days ago Iran rightfully shot out of the sky a US Drone. In Yemen, the Houthis have finally started responding with cruise and ballistic missiles to the Saudis’ indiscriminate attacks, causing damage to the Saudi international airport of Abha, as well as blocking, through explosive drones, Saudi oil transportation from east to west through one of the largest pipelines in the world.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Just because something is the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing that the US government and Military could do, unfortunately, is utterly no guarantee that the US and its military, will not do it.

I am relieved that Trump did call off the airstrike, but the question remains, as to what both the US and Israel plan to do now, since the airstrikes were called off.

But the biggest "clout" President Trump had, when he took office, was the US's support for the P5+1 deal, from which he has withdrawn American support.

I would imagine that Iranian leadership must be thinking that President Trump might be slightly bi-polar, to make such a "switcheroo" on the the actual attack, just 10 minutes before declaring he had done it. I think, reasonably, the Iranians can find no comfortable "middle Ground" with this President, consider his withdrawing the US from the P5+1 agreement.

So what does President Trump have with which he can negotiate now ?!?

He's got an industrial-strength "Frenemy" with Israel's Netanyahu, who will use every opportunity to trap President Trump into a no-win, horrific war, which will most certainly be a war of attrition; in fact, I would rather count on Israel to attempt to pull another "USS Liberty event" (That was when Israel attempted to destroy an American Naval ship, and desperately tried to blame Egypt for it) if they think they can get away with it.

And let's not forget Trump's other BFF in the Middle East, regional neighbor and huge oil producer in Saudi Arabia, currently being run by the Butcher of Yemen, Prince Bin Salman.

How much actual military support against Iran can President Trump expect from both Bin Salman, and the Saudi military?!?

President Trump needs every good opportunity to hand, with regard to Iran; unfortunately, he has very little to offer right now, except for a (potentially deferred) invasion, which will never resolve either the political, and/or economic issues in the region.

Jun 20 11:13

Katyusha rocket lands at oil hub in Iraq's Basra, injuring 3

Unknown assailants fired a Katyusha rocket at an area housing representative offices of several international oil companies in the southern Iraqi port city of Basra, wounding three Iraqis.

Citing the Iraqi police, Reuters said the projectile came down 100 meters away from the section of the site used as a residence and operations center by the US company ExxonMobil on Wednesday morning.

The police identified the casualties as workers.

The site, known as Burjesia, also houses the headquarters of Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Italy’s Eni SpA.

The agency also quoted a security source as saying that Exxon was preparing to evacuate some 20 foreign staff in the aftermath of the attack.

Jun 19 17:36

US Navy says mines used to carry out Gulf tanker attack 'bear a striking resemblance' to those used by Iran – and reveal investigators have removed fingerprints from the ship

By ROSS IBBETSON FOR MAILONLINE

The US Navy says mines used to carry out a Gulf tanker attack 'bear a striking resemblance' to those used by Iran, as investigators retrieve fingerprints from the ship.

The Navy today displayed limpet mine fragments and a magnet removed from a Japanese vessel, one of two oil tankers attacked in the Gulf of Oman last Thursday.

'The limpet mine that was used in the attack is distinguishable and also strikingly bearing a resemblance to Iranian mines that have already been publicly displayed in Iranian military parades,' said Commander Sean Kido at the Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), near the Fujairah port in the UAE.

He added that fingerprints retrieved from the stricken Japanese vessel would be used to mount a criminal case.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

To the author of this piece of codswallop; Mr. Ibbitson, did you actually take what Commander Kido told you as pure gospel?!?

Number one, against what data bases could the US intelligence agencies possibly compare these prints?!?

Did Commander Kido believe that Iran's President Rouhani would just open their own databases to American investigators on the case?!?

I think we have a resounding, thuddling NO coming forth as Iran's answer here.

And secondly, this issue of "bearing a striking resemblance to Iranian missiles which have already been publicly displayed in Iranian Military Parades.." Just because something "looks similar"to something people think they have seen in Iranian military parades, does not mean that the missile is the genuine article.

And 3rd, why, in the name of heaven, would Iran do something so ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid, as to try to do something menacing in the Persian Gulf, when they are desperately striving to stay away a US and/or Israeli attack against it?!?

Gentlemen, the short answer is, they would not; not in a zillion years, period, end of discussion.

And to our readers and listeners, this flim-flammery surrounding these incidents, are beginning to sound like desperation on the cusp of madness; people both inside the beltway, and many of our closes allies are having one heck of a hard time with this; and for good reason.

Jun 17 10:11

"THE COUNTDOWN HAS BEGUN:" IRAN WARNS IT WILL BREACH URANIUM STOCKPILE LIMITS IN 10 DAYS

SOURCE: ZEROHEDGE
Iran certainly isn't planning on backing down in the face of Washington's accusations about the country's role in last week's tanker bombings, and as a result, the possibility of a boots-on-the-ground military conflict in the Islamic Republic cannot yet be ruled out. Making an already tense situation infinitely more precarious, Iran on Monday reminded the world that it's preparing to violate the terms of the Iran deal during the next ten days.

By increasing its stockpiles of enriched uranium, Iran is bound to elicit accusations that it's once again working on a nuclear bomb.Tehran has always maintained that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but American neocons like John Bolton have warned that this was merely a ruse, and that Iran could target American allies like Israel with a missile.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

(Sigh) For a second, I had hoped that this was the polar opposite from what the Iranian government had said; unfortunately, bopping over to www.presstv.com, the pr outlet the Iranian government, this was precisely what they had stated.

Iran's enriched uranium stockpile to surpass 300 kg from June 27: AEOI spokesman

It goes on to state: "Tehran has said it may go even further by July 8 unless remaining partners to the deal -- Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia -- help it circumvent US sanctions and especially enable it to sell its oil.

Kamalvandi said there is still time for European countries to save the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the nuclear deal is officially known.

Folks, this is an attempted "power squeeze play" to attempt to insure that Iran's oil gets paid for and distributed, in spite of US sanctions. Europe can either fold to the Americans, and not buy Iranian oil, which will kick this upgrade to uranium enrichment into high gear, or figure out how to buy Iranian oil, with full US sanctions in place.

And remember: the enrichment upgrade about which they are talking, is symbolic only, to demonstrate that they have been playing by the rules all along, as the IAEA has attested, in their reports; because it takes 90% + enrichment to create a nuclear weapon.
Source: Popular Science (Mar, 1950) via Modern Mechanix.

This article goes on to state: "In order to build a nuclear bomb, you need “enriched” uranium. That’s a simple way of saying that you need to use uranium that is 90% or greater made up of the U-235 isotope, whereas natural uranium is 99.2% U-238, which is useless for making things go boom.

Will someone, preferably, someone with a science background, please gently mention this to President Trump, and quickly?!? Because right now, I am reasonably certain the the phone line for his direct-connect to Netanyahu, has Trump spinning, like a turbo-charged, industrial strength top, to advocate in favor of an invasion of Iran.

But Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a word, please: you have just handed the US, and Israel, the "smoking gun" through which they are going to justify an attack against your country; and trust me, they are most probably not even going to begin to wait until either 27 June or 8 July.

And unfortunately, sir, most Americans have no clue as to what is happening here, because their background in hard sciences has been deliberately dumbed down by an educational system which doesn't want, or encourage, critical thinking, or questioning of the official government narrative. And, unfortunately, this makes the likelihood of positive US support for such an action, increase.

I understand that your economy is really hurting, because of the US sanctions on the sale of your oil; but sir, even though this is largely symbolic, this was absolutely the worst, officially horrible decision you could possibly have made under these circumstances; therefore, I am asking you to please reconsider.

Jun 17 08:41

GULF OF OMAN: UNCONVINCED EU FOREIGN MINISTERS CALL FOR INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION AFTER US CLAIM IRAN IS BEHIND TANKER ATTACK

SOURCE: INDEPENDENT UK
EU foreign ministers remained unconvinced by US allegations that Iran was behind last week’s attack on two Gulf tankers as they arrived at a meeting on Monday.

There was strong support among EU countries for an independent UN investigation and calls for more evidence – with the UK relatively isolating in its support the Trump administration’s line.

One foreign minister invoked the spectre of US misuse of intelligence over Iraq as a reason for scepticism, as representatives of the 28 countries arrived at the council meeting.

The ministers will discuss the incident in the Gulf of Oman over lunch, with Sudan, trade policy with Cuba, and the situation in Venezuela also on the main agenda.

Heiko Maas, the German foreign minister, said the EU states “continue to gather information” while Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok said the Netherlands was “interested in any clarifications that can be made available”.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This "IRAN DID IT!" scenario is collapsing like a rogue souffle' most probably cooked by a combination of US and Israeli "False Flagmeisters", who were so convinced of their own codswallop, that they believed there was utterly no need for subtlety here, and never thought that there would be one moment of push back from any quarter, and particularly not the US's allies in Europe.

So I would like to politely remind all Foggy Bottomites currently in the bowels of power in DC, of a statement made by President George Bush, right before Iraq was invaded: he lied, on national TV, stating that "Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction".

After that, I was never able to believe anything any representative of the US government ever said, again, and probably never will in the future.

Our European friends are very right, to ask for hard evidence here.

And President Trump, a word, please; lying to the American people, or creating a false flag, because Israel wants the US to invade Iran, is no good reason, either to lie, create a false flag with which to justify that lie, or to do Bibi Netanyahu's bidding here.

An invasion of Iran, which has not done any bit of harm to this country, other than not selling all of its oil in US dollars, is going to create the optics that it is actually the United States which is a "rogue country", both incapable of keeping its promises, demonstrated very clearly, by the US's withdrawing from the P5+1 Agreement, and with an itchy "trigger finger" concerning invading sovereign countries for their resources, to make sure that those resources are only sold in US dollars.

And Mr. President, I am having an extraordinary difficult time, believing that this.... would be what you want your legacy, as President of this country, to be about.

Jun 16 10:40

Saudi crown prince calls for a 'decisive stand' against Iran as he blames regime for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says his kingdom does not want war
But he 'will not hesitate to deal with threats to its people, its sovereignty or its vital interests', according to comments published by Saudi-owned newspaper.

The US have also claimed Iranians fired a missile at a US drone in the area hours before the attack but missed, an official told CNN.

The tankers were attacked in strikes south of the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping route and major transit route for oil.

'The kingdom does not want a war in the region but it will not hesitate to deal with any threats to its people, its sovereignty, or its vital interests,' he added.

Tehran and Washington have both said they have no interest in war - but this has done little to assuage concerns the arch foes could stumble in to conflict.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Well, coming from the Butcher of Yemen, (Prince Mohammed bin Salman), I hope this statement has calmed down those in the independent media, that they are in "no harm" from possibly having published an opinion about the incident which "did not carry water for either Washington's or Saudi Arabia's accusations".

And that pathetic little black and white, grainy image, allegedly showing an Iranian military personnel, pulling off the limpet mine from the ship?!?

HIGH SCHOOL folks; HIGH SCHOOL!!!!!!!

A clever middle-school kid with the right suite of software on their computer, could have pulled this off with ease.

But to both President Trump and Prince bin Salman, there is a question which, logically, must be both asked, and answered; why would the Iranian leadership attempt to do something so ham-fistedly, pig-headedly idiotic, when they understand that there are elements in both the American and Israeli governments are SALIVATING to find a "justification" for attacking it?!?

The short answer is, HELL, no!!

And gentlemen, another comment: the Iranian leadership may be many things; but one thing it is not, is stupid; and I also believe that they love their kids, just as much as Americans and Israelis love their children also.

War, here, is completely unjustifiable, and morally wrong.

Jun 16 06:50

POMPEO UNVEILS NEW US STRATEGY OF ATTRIBUTING BLAME FOR ATTACKS BEFORE THEY HAVE HAPPENED

SOURCE: THE BLOG MIRE

Allergy Warning: May contain traces of Nuts & Boltons

The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has blamed Iran for the deaths of 23 Swedish sailors in an attack on an oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. However, in what is said to be an unusual move, the incident referred to by Mr Pompeo hasn’t yet happened and no-one has died. Nonetheless, Mr Pompeo was adamant that Iran must bear responsibility for the future incident, and has vowed a strong response:

“It is the assessment of the US Government that Iran will be responsible for this terrible incident, which could well happen in the next few days or weeks. This possible future attack is a threat to international peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation, and an unacceptable escalation of tension by Iran. We cannot let this possible attack go unanswered.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

For whoever, or whatever collaboration created this, I have only 3 words: BRAVO, WELL DONE!!:-)

One does have to wonder, however, of perhaps our Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has read the book "Minority Report" one too many times, and doesn't quite understand why the actual ending ... is not quite to his liking :-)

Jun 15 17:38

'Not Enough': US Version Blaming Iran for Tanker Attacks Questioned by European Allies

The Pentagon earlier released a video, claiming to show an Iranian patrol boat removing a mine from the side one of the tankers targeted in the Gulf of Oman as "proof" of the US accusations that Tehran is behind the attacks. The Islamic Republic has strongly denied its involvement and urged Washington to stop false flag ops in the region.

Some European governments have refused to back the US allegations that Iran was responsible for the attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on 13 June.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has, for instance, insisted that the footage made public by the US Central Command allegedly showing Iranian sailors removing an unexploded mine from one of the vessels' hull was insufficient to corroborate Washington's claims.

"The video is not enough. We can understand what is being shown, sure, but to make a final assessment, this is not enough for me", Maas told reporters on Friday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am at least somewhat hopeful, that our European allies would not believe the codswallop the US government was trying to sell them, on this painfully obvious "false flag."

Jun 15 06:58

Beyond Blaming Iran, Trump and Aides Divided on Next Step: Trump continues to say he wants diplomacy, not war

Given nothing more than a grainy video that doesn’t show much of anything, and a couple of tankers burning at sea, the Trump Administration has proven themselves united in a way rarely seen, declaring Iran wholly and directly to blame.

That’s where the unity appears to end, however. Officials are always keen to blame Iran for anything that might stick, and as for what to do after that, they all seem deeply divided, and their talking points vary wildly.

President Trump was quick to blame Iran, citing the dubious Centcom video as proof, and declaring that they are “in deep, deep trouble.” Beyond that, however, he reiterated that he wants to negotiate with Iran, and that he’s “in no rush” to actually have the talks. He also continues to say he’s not interested in a war.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There are two companion pieces, also appearing at antiwar.com today, and they are:

US SecDef wants to focus on building global consensus against Iran after tanker attacks

and MIKE POMPEO SAID CONGRESS DOESN’T NEED TO APPROVE WAR WITH IRAN. 2020

It would seem, to an impartial observer, that both men are working just as hard as they can for Israel, to insure that the Israeli-desired US/Iranian war happens right on cue, to give Netanyahu the best possible "lift", in advance of the snap Israeli elections in September.

So, I have a question: why have both men not registered as "foreign agents", in service to Israel?!?

Because right now, I would politely suggest that their goals and objectives, have absolutely nothing to do with the welfare of the American people, but everything to do with the sustaining of the current geopolitical power structure in Tel Aviv. That is just the reality.

And please remember, unlike the image of "Poor Little Israel" in which many American and Israeli politicians, like to frame Israel's current military capabilities,as though this country was completely and utterly incapable of taking care of themselves, this country is bristling with nuclear arms, and other weapons, courtesy of, you guessed it, the American Taxpayer!!!

And because Israel refuses to sign the NNPT (which Iran has, BTW), and allow their nuclear weapons to be inspected, they are, theoretically forbidden to get any weapons or money from the US under the Symington Amendment; but, of course, with Israel, is always that "special arrangement", which allows our politicians to break the law with impunity, and give it an embarrassment of riches, in terms of money, and new weapons.

So to sum up, Secretary of State Pompeo, and Presidential Advisor Bolton, if Israel believes Iran to be an "existential threat", let Israel take care of it militarily, because they can.

This is absolutely not our fight.

And should the US decide to fight Iran, what is to prevent Russia from stepping into the fray on Iran's side, seeing how well they have done in Syria, getting rid of the US trained/funded jihadis?!?

Gentlemen, right now, the US military doesn't have the weaponry; the funding; the troop strength; or the manufacturing to insure a positive outcome to any war against either Russia or Iran.

Oh, and BTW: when have you decided to bring back the draft?!? Just checking, gentlemen, just checking.

Jun 15 05:55

US GOV NARRATIVE BLAMING IRAN FOR OIL TANKER ATTACKS FALLS APART IN HOURS

OURCE: THE GRAYZONE
The Trump administration’s claims Iran attacked oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman were quickly debunked, with the ship’s crew saying it “was hit by a flying object.” But the US disrupted important Iranian diplomatic efforts at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
BY BEN NORTON
The Donald Trump administration’s evidence-less accusations against Iran have fallen apart within a matter hours.

But these US allegations did manage to disrupt an important meeting of Asian leaders at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, where Tehran was hoping to make diplomatic breakthroughs to ease a crippling American economic blockade.

On Thursday, June 13, two oil tankers traveling through the Gulf of Oman on their way to Japan suffered from mysterious explosions. The cause of the incident was not clear.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Violent acts like this, do not happen for only one reason, like stunting Iran's chances for anything to come out the the conference at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; the US and Israel thought such charges would be a slam-dunk, and off the American people could be lied into yet another war, with absolute stupidity, as to how the US got there.

But the Vampire-like "Kill Iran" monster, created courtesy of the US and Israel, is not dead, but only sleeping for awhile.

As hard as FAUX News was pushing this yesterday, when you would get segments about this both at the top and bottom of the hour, it was painfully obvious, that the US government was going to see if this "trial balloon", would actually work with those polled, or was going to die an untimely death. It looks as though the overnights, may have put the issue of a potential war with Iran, on a back burner, at least for this second.

But we all have to stay awake, and alert; Netanyahu is in deep kim chee at home, for not being able to form a coalition, which led to the dissolution of the Knesset, to followed by a snap election in September.

We're half-way through June right now, and give or take, 90 days from that election.

If Netanyahu really wants to look "butch" for his constituents, he is going to have to find a way to create a false flag the US government doesn't see coming, to get the US to respond militarily before the elections, to give him "gravitas", at being able to lie the leader of the free world into yet another senseless, thoroughly avoidable, stupid war.

Jun 15 05:32

US OFFICIALS SAY TANKER CREW "DETAINED" - WHILE RUSSIA THANKS IRAN FOR "RESCUING" ITS NATIONALS

SOURCE: ZEROHEDGE

Just after his trip to Tehran where he met with Iran's president Rouhani as well as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, during which a Japanese owned tanker was attacked in the nearby Gulf of Oman on Thursday along with another international vessel, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the suspected attack in official statements.

Speaking to reporters Friday he said: “Japan adamantly condemns the act that threatened a Japanese ship, no matter who attacked,” and further urged “all related countries” to avoid any "accidental confrontation" or an escalation of tensions.

The Trump ally also spoke to the US president by phone on Friday, reportedly briefing him on his visit to Iran, Abe confirmed in his remarks, though without detailing what he conveyed to the White House. Trump had previously said during a Fox & Friends telephone interview that "it’s probably got essentially Iran written all over it."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. President, a word for the day, please; and today, that word... is logic.

What in the name of heaven, would Iran want to do something which would give the US and Israeli, the motive, and "justification" for any kind of carnage in the Gulf?!?

The short answer, sir,is that they would not.

Jun 14 07:50

Dire Straits Of Hormuz

Iran is suffocating under US sanctions, a known instigator of such actions via proxies, and threatening the EU with walking away from the nuclear deal if they won’t help it out. An attack like this would be incredibly reckless…unless they are desperate enough to up the ante to see if a war-averse White House will press ahead with another ruinous Middle East conflict ahead of the 2020 elections and in the face of a Cold War with China. If that is the case then expect more provocations and more Risk Off even as Iran calls this all “beyond suspicious”, “economic terrorism”, and “sabotage diplomacy”.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Israel's Netanyahu had to disband the Knesset after the last election, because he couldn't create a coalition of parties which worked, and next snap elections will come in September of this year.

With the corruption trials looming ahead of him, coupled with his failure to hold the Knesset together, Netanyahu is now a geopolitically wounded candidate; and and political candidates are at their most reckless when they are wounded by a series of events, as he has been.

My hunch, is that Israel is looking at creating some huge false flag, to be blamed on Iran, and will absolutely dwarf the harm caused by the other bombings we have seen so far in the Gulf of Hormuz.

Netanyahu is feeling the pressure of time, so in working backward from the next Israeli election, he is going to attempt to time this false flag when it will do the most good for his candidacy; but that is still very hard to determine.

With the US showing a grainy video of an alleged Iranian attempting to get non-working mine off the bottom of a ship, regurgitated by the talking heads at very close to the top of the hour, I am thinking that Netanyahu will want to do this sooner rather than later; he may well believe that with the pressure of the snap election in September, he doesn't have time to wait.

I would suspect that the Foggy Bottomites will be doing some poling, during this weekend, to see what the optics may look like, with a huge, allegedly Iranian false flag, followed by an American war against the country. I hope and pray, that the optics will be horrific.

And as I have seen in recent years, just becomes something is so ham-fistedly, pig headedly stupid for the US government to do, is no guarantee that they won't do it.

Jun 14 07:21

Lira Slides After Turkey Vows It Will Retaliate To US Sanctions Over S-400

Two weeks ago, when Trump started rolling out tariffs left and right as a political punishment weapon for any sovereigns who presented hurdles to
Next on Trump’s train of terrifying tariffs: Turkey.

The reason is simple: Turkey's now official stance that it would proceed with concluding the Russian S-400 missile deal despite vocal opposition from both the US president and Congress. And now, Turkey, too, is bracing for what now appears inevitable as it refuses to budge on its commitment to the Kremlin.

Overnight, Turkey said it would hold firm in its commitment to honor its purchase of Russian air defense systems, warning the US that it is prepared to take "reciprocal steps" in reply to any sanctions imposed by Washington, effectively admitting that sanctions by the White House are only a matter of time.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. President, a word, please; the more you inflame a country, in terms of attempting to punish it for its choices of weapons defenses, the more that country will turn toward other countries whose policies it feels are more in line with its own.

What you have done here, is make Turkey ripe for acquisition by a Iranian/Russian sphere of influence. So sir, I must ask: was this your design objective?!?

Or is this yet another of the "unintended consequences" of your foreign policy failures with the tariffs so far?!?

Jun 14 07:10

Japanese Tanker Owner Denies Ship Hit By Mine, Says Crew Saw "Flying Objects" Before Attack

For a moment on Thursday, it appeared that the US Navy had produced the 'smoking gun' to which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had alluded during his statement from earlier in the day: CENTCOM footage which the Navy said purported to show Iran's IRGC 'caught in the act' of trying to remove an unexploded mine from the Kokuka Courageous, one of the two tankers damaged in Thursday's attacks.

CENTCOM said the video it released showed the IRGC removing an unexploded limpet mine from the side of one of the tankers, suggesting Tehran had sought to remove evidence from the scene.

After the video's release, Iran continued to deny any involvement in the attacks. And perhaps now we know why.

Because in comments that cast the entire narrative promulgated by the US in doubt, Yutaka Katada, the president of Kokuka Sangyo, the owner and operator of the Kokuka Courageous, said Friday that he doesn't completely believe Washington's version of events.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US narrative on this, has more holes than does a pasta colander; the US should walk away, with as much grace as humanly possible; however, they are doubling down on their claims this morning,continually having looped the very grainy video that a clever 10 year old could have crash-edited together, as evidence that Iran moved a mine from one tanker.

I would far more believe President Katada, president of and owner of the vessel of the ship, in terms of what he believed he saw, and his naval background tells me that he is a credible witness; this means, of course, you will never hear another word out of him, except in the Independent media, like WRH.

Jun 14 05:51

Convenient “Tanker Attacks” as US Seeks War with Iran

“…it would be far more preferable if the United States could cite an Iranian provocation as justification for the airstrikes before launching them. Clearly, the more outrageous, the more deadly, and the more unprovoked the Iranian action, the better off the United States would be. Of course, it would be very difficult for the United States to goad Iran into such a provocation without the rest of the world recognizing this game, which would then undermine it.” (emphasis added)

– Brookings Institution, “Which Path to Persia?” 2009

All Too Convenient

This news of “attacked” oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz blamed by the US on Iran – comes all too conveniently on the heels of additional steps taken by Washington to pressure Iran’s economy and further undermine the Iranian government.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder why the US and Israel continue to trot out the same old "game plans" which had worked so well as the justifications for former wars, like the war in Viet Nam, Iraq, or Afghanistan, but cannot possibly work now?!?

Well, let's say that President Bush's regime changed all of that.

And the reality is that, ever since President Bush went on his savage media campaign against Saddam Hussein and Iraq, lying to Americans and the world, that Hussein had "weapons of mass destruction", which Bush absolutely knew were not there, thinking Americans could no longer believe or trust anything this government says.

Thinking Americans understand that what drives the trajectory of US foreign policy, is its ability to expropriate foreign resources, to which it has absolutely no moral right; insure that the government of that country is "US/Western centric", and that those resources are only sold in US dollars.

So, there you have it, very neatly and simply packaged.

And until, and unless, the US loses another major war, this will simply keep continuing,no matter the utterly ruinous costs to our country.

The American people have absolutely zero choice, because no matter how many times we vote in national elections, our two Presidential candidates have been thoroughly vetted by the military industrial complex, the large corporations which have "specific expectations" about what they will get, by going along along with one of the two candidates.

So we vote, yet absolutely nothing changes, except the locales of the wars; the catastrophic slip in most of our standards of living; the infrastructure is left to crumble; our Vets wind up sleeping rough in our sleep; our "education system" is complete rubbish, and families living in their cars, have become the "new normal".

Welcome to the 21st Century's Unhinged, Surveilled, State of Amerika.

Jun 14 05:29

Saudi Arabia says it has stepped up readiness level, committed to supply oil markets

Khalid al-Falih condemned the strikes against the tankers — one of which carried methanol from Saudi Arabia — in the Gulf of Oman, which followed an attack last month on four vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, off the United Arab Emirates.

He said the energy ministry of the world’s top oil exporter and state oil giant Aramco had raised the level of readiness to deal with “such aggressive terrorist acts” and reaffirmed the kingdom’s commitment to the reliable supply of oil to international markets, the state news agency SPA said.

American and Saudi officials have blamed Iran for the May 12 sabotage of tankers off the UAE’s Fujairah bunkering hub that lies outside the Strait of Hormuz, a charge Tehran denies.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States has assessed, based on intelligence, type of weapons used and level of expertise needed, that Iran is responsible for Thursday’s attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Khalid al-Falih,and Secretary of State Pompeo,until you have some tangible proof, other than a grainy video a 10 year old child could have shot, you have utterly nothing with which to accuse Iran on this.

Jun 14 05:06

Why would Iran attack two tankers near the Strait of Hormuz?

In a brief press conference Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed no doubt about who attacked two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, saying Iran was “responsible for the attacks.”

He did not, however, immediately offer any proof of the intelligence behind that assessment.

The attack certainly bears the hallmark and capabilities of previous aggressive actions undertaken by Iran and its paramilitary cohorts in the Persian Gulf.

But questions abound over who actually stands to benefit most from an attack in a region beset by violence and convoluted proxy conflicts raged between and Iran and Saudi Arabia and its allies.

Was the attack carried out by Iran, or other Gulf States seeking to sow conflict ? or did the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps operate outside of Tehran’s directives to further its own agenda?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

the short answer is, they wouldn't

Jun 14 05:02

Iran's Air Defence Chief: 'We Are Warning the Enemy…Move as Far Away As You Can From Our Border

Strained relations between Washington and Tehran got worse last month after the US parked a carrier strike group in the Arabian Sea and built up its presence in the Middle East while accusing Iran of involvement in the sabotage of four tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

Iranian Air Defence Force commander Brig. Gen. Alireza Sabahifard has urged Tehran's adversaries to keep their distance from the country's frontiers.

"We are warning the enemy: there is no safe zone for extraterritorial military aircraft in Iranian skies... Even approaching Iran's borders would be met with a strong response. Thus, I advise you to move as much away [from Iran's borders] as you can," the commander said, as quoted by PressTV.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unfortunately for General Sabahifard, the reason the US and aligned forces have kept a respectful distance, is that optics demand a far greater "false flag" to be blamed on Iran, than what has happened recently.

Jun 14 04:58

Iranian Mission to UN 'Categorically Rejects' US Claims Regarding Gulf of Oman Attacks

In a Thursday statement, Iran's mission to the United Nations announced the country rejects the US claim that Tehran was responsible for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman earlier in the day.

"Iran categorically rejects the US unfounded claim with regard to 13 June oil tanker incidents and condemns it in the strongest possible terms," reads the mission statement.

Tehran's remarks follow US Central Command's deployment of the US Navy destroyer USS Mason to the Gulf of Oman after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo labeled Iran responsible for torpedo attacks on the oil tankers Kokuka Courageous and Front Altair.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So now, we have the USS Bainbridge, and the USS Mason heading over to the Gulf of Oman?!?

Jun 14 04:53

Oil Prices Spike After Gulf of Oman Tanker Incident

Oil prices spiked on Thursday after two vessels were seemingly attacked in the Gulf of Oman, one of the world’s most important shipping lanes.

Fears of military conflict between Washington and Tehran in the aftermath of the incident involving The Front Altair and the Kokuka Courageous tankers sent the oil price up over 4.5%, with Brent crude hitting $62.64 per barrel and US crude touching $53.45, dragging oil away from the five-month lows struck last night.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This was perfectly predictable, given the tensions in the region.

Jun 14 04:50

US sends destroyer to Gulf of Oman tanker incident site as Pentagon says ‘no interest’ in new war

The US has dispatched another warship to the Gulf of Oman, but says it has “no interest” in engaging in a new Middle East conflict. The State Department accused Iran of attacking two tankers there, which Tehran denies.
Guided missile destroyer USS Mason will join the destroyer USS Bainbridge on station near the Kokuka Courageous, a damaged tanker just outside the Persian Gulf, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said on Thursday, adding that “Iranian small boats” were spotted in the area.

No interference with USS Bainbridge, or its mission, will be tolerated.

The Florida-based combat command called the attacks on tankers “a clear threat to international freedom of navigation and freedom of commerce.”

"We have no interest in engaging in a new conflict in the Middle East,” CENTCOM added. “We will defend our interests, but a war with Iran is not in our strategic interest, nor in the best interest of the international community.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And we have a sister article, also from rt.com on the incident, and the dispatching of the USS Bainbridge. And notice regarding the Bainbridge, the following statement is made: " No interference with USS Bainbridge, or its mission, will be tolerated."

Folks, I don't know about you, but to me, this telegraphs that something wicked this way comes, courtesy of those whose responsibility it is for creating false flags in both the US and Israel. I don't know how long it will take the USS Bainbridge to reach its destination,but I would expect that shortly before this happens, we will be looking at another incident, to blame again on Iran.

And the title of this companion article is Backing Pompeo's ‘Gulf of Tonkin’ incident is a massive anti-Iran online propaganda campaign

And it goes on to state: "Twitter has announced that it is removing 4,779 accounts associated or backed by Tehran, the latest strike in the ongoing anti-Iran campaign perfectly timed to coincide with the attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was already blaming Iran hours after the incident, offering not a shred of proof aside from a few other dubious incidents in the Middle East that the US has previously pinned on Iran, without evidence.

Even the mainstream media has initially been reluctant to take his word for it, mostly because the narrative is so improbable. Japan's PM Shinzo Abe was in Tehran, promising to use his "utmost effort" to de-escalate tensions, when as if on cue, a Japanese ship was hit along with a Norwegian vessel."

I am almost certain, that something horrific is going to happen on, or right before, the USS Bainbridge reaches the Persian Gulf; the next couple of days should tell the tale.

Jun 14 04:34

SAUDIS RELEASE DRAMATIC VIDEO OF "IRAN-ORDERED" HOUTHI MISSILE ATTACK ON AIRPORT TERMINAL

SOURCE: ZEROHEDGE
Amid fast escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf surrounding Thursday morning's mysterious "attacks" on two tankers which US officials are already blaming on Iran, Saudi Arabia has released CCTV footage of this week's previously reported Yemeni Houthi missile attack on a civilian airport terminal in the southern part of the kingdom.

"The Iran-backed Houthi terrorist militia, through its media, claimed full responsibility for this terrorist act using a cruise missile – as they claim- which constitutes a clear recognition and full responsibility for the targeting of civilians and civilian places that are subject to special protection under international humanitarian law, this may amount to a war crime,” a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, Col. Turki al-Malki, said in an official statement.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Let's do something amazing, and actually think, for a moment, can we please?!?

What is the logic of an Iranian move like this, when its leadership is desperately attempting to stave off potential attacks from Israel; Saudi Arabia; and the US?!?

The short answer is, there is zero logic in this move; and although Iranian leadership may be many things, stupid... is not one of them.

Jun 13 13:43

Netanyahu Vows More Preemptive Attacks Against SyriaSays Israel will attack in a 'systematic and consistent manner'

Following Syrian reports that they’d foiled an Israeli attack near the Golan Heights, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to launch even more preemptive attacks against Syria into the future.

Netanyahu said Israel was facing “unending” tests, and that they would continue to attack in a “systematic and consistent manner” to ensure that Syria never establishes any capability to threaten Israel.

In practice Israel has been attacking targets in Syria on a regular basis for months now, and indeed has spent much of the Syrian War feigning neutrality while backing rebel groups, and attacking pro-government forces on every pretext, and often with no pretext at all.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder just how long Russia is going to put up with this nonsense, before it hits back, or threatens Israel in such a way, that it cannot refuse Russia's desire for Israel to stop these attacks?

Jun 13 12:45

2 TANKERS DAMAGED AFTER SUSPECTED TORPEDO ATTACK NEAR STRAIT OF HORMUZ; OIL SOARS

UPDATE: It appears earlier reports that the Front Altair had sunk were, in fact, incorrect. The ship’s captain has said that it is still afloat. VHF radio traffic confirmed that it is damaged but still afloat.

Hours have passed since the suspected attacks, and still, nobody has claimed responsibility. Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has noted how suspicious it is that a Japanese owned vessel would be attacked while Iranian leaders were meeting with the Japanese prime minister in Tehran.

And as one BBG analyst pointed out: “Fingers will certainly be pointed at Iran as the mastermind behind these events. But the potential benefits to the Persian Gulf nation are outweighed by the risks. And even if Tehran isn’t responsible, it will still suffer the consequences.”

Update: The Front Altair, the Marshall Islands flag tanker damaged in Thursday’s attacks, has now sunk, according to Iranian television. Later, others denied these reports.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The logical question which must be asked, and quickly, is, why in the name of Heaven, would Iran do something so pig-headedly, ham-fistedly stupid, when they are absolutely desperately trying to hold the US and Israel at bay, in terms of not starting a shooting war?!?

We the American people have to have the courage, to ask our alleged representatives, this question, and ask they if they are for a US-led shooting war against Iran?!?

The short answer is, they wouldn't.

So however this was done, I have a very nasty feeling in the pit of my gut, that this could well have happened, courtesy of an American, or Israeli, "false flag team", to make it appear that the Iranians would actually do something so idiotic, as to try to force a shooting war in the region.

The Iranian government members, may be many things; stupid, however, is not one of them.

Jun 12 10:51

US TREASURY DEPT IMPOSES NEW IRAN-RELATED SANCTIONS ON 2 INDIVIDUALS AND A COMPANY IN IRAQ

SOURCE: RT

The US Treasury Department announced sanctions on Wednesday against two Iraq-based persons and one company, for their alleged links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
Makki Kazim and Mohammed Hussein, along with the South Wealth Resources Company have all been hit with secondary sanctions, according to the Treasury Department website.

Secondary sanctions form a major part of US international statecraft, cutting off businesses and individuals from the US financial system and tarnishing their reputations with international businesses and banks. A number of measures can be enforced against targeted individuals, ranging from limiting their ability to do business in the US to prohibiting all US parties from conducting business with them.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sanctions, with which the Trump administration is replacing, and substituting for any kind of rational negotiations, will not bring about the desired result with Iran.

The only thing which will make that happen, is for the US to return to the P5+1 agreement; but President Trump; Pompeo; and Bolton adamantly allow any reasonable discussions here regarding this happening.

Meanwhile in Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, is sweating bullets, because his failure to put together a coalition, so there will be another election this September.
Israeli Snap Elections to be held in September, 2019

If he is unable to prod Trump, and the US government, into a seething war footing, and do something to get a war going against Iran, it may well cost him the next election.

So if we see any kind of a false flag happening between now and September, to be blamed on Iran, this will most likely be an Israeli intervention, just as was the attack on the USS Liberty all those years ago, which Israel tried to blame on Egypt.

Jun 10 12:04

Iran at High Level of Readiness as US General Continues to Claim Imminent Threat

US Admiral says all interactions with Iranians remain 'safe and professional'

Growing US military buildups throughout April and May in the Middle East were a reaction, according to officials, to Iran’s military being at a high level of readiness. Now, with all those extra US forces in the area, Iran remains at a high level of readiness.

This is something of a challenge for the US to parse, now, as it makes sense for Iran to be at a high level of readiness after months of escalation and US threats, and officials are trying to figure out if this is just the new normal.

Gen. Frank McKenzie, the top US commander in the region, is continuing to hype up Iran as an “imminent threat.” Gen. McKenzie played up this threat on Thursday, and used virtually identical comments on Saturday, claiming Iran’s threat has “evolved in certain ways.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

OK, US military, , you cannot have it both ways; in one breath, an admiral observes that activites with the Iranian military have been "safe and professional", but Gen. Frank McKenzie, still insists that there is an "imminent threat."

Jun 10 09:04

SYRIA - WESTERN MEDIA GLORIFICATION OF SYRIAN JIHADIST IS A SIGN THAT THE WAR IS FAR FROM ITS END

SOURCE: MOONOFALABAMA.ORG
Western media currently publish glorifying obituaries for a Syrian 'rebel' who is know for extreme sectarianism and for being a member of a Jihadi group that is aligned with al-Qaeda.

The Associated Press, the BBC, the Guardian and analysts all write of Abdul Baset al-Sarout who yesterday died of wounds he received two days earlier when his group attacked Syrian government forces.

AP:

Abdul Baset al-Sarout, 27, rose to fame as a goalkeeper for his home city of Homs and won international titles representing his country. When peaceful protests broke out against Mr. al-Assad in 2011, Mr. al-Sarout led rallies and became known as the “singer of the revolution” for his ballads.
When Syria slid into civil war, Mr. al-Sarout took up arms. He led a unit of fighters against government forces and survived the government siege of Homs.

The Guardian:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These stories, concerning "celebrated jihadists" in Syria, make me come to the conclusion of the war in Syria, may well not be over, courtesy of the US and Israel.

I believe that both countries will poke and prod until they find a perceived "weakness", then blast against it with all those remaining US funded equipped, and trained jihadis as they possibly can.

The big question, at that point, is what will Russia, and the Syrian government, do to combat this?!?

Jun 10 08:44

THE MOST CRUCIAL PIPELINE OF THE MIDDLE EAST?

SOURCE: OIL PRICE

Contemporary Middle Eastern history is strongly influenced by energy politics. Besides providing revenue for the state’s coffers, oil is also a potent geopolitical tool in the hands of resource-rich countries. Recently, officials from Lebanon, Syria and Iraq have engaged in talks to restart the dysfunctional pipeline that once connected oilfields near Kirkuk in Iraq with the coastal city of Tripoli in Lebanon. Restarting the pipeline could have long-term political, economic, and strategic consequences for the involved states and the wider region.

THE ART OF THE DEAL

Jun 09 13:17

WE ARE ALL ASSANGE: A PHOTOMOSAIC OF INTERNET PRESENCES

So I made a photo mosaic of faces of people on the Internet, the censored, the demonized, the curious: podcasters and YouTube niche celebs and profiles from everywhere, from Twitter and Instagram and Myspace and Reddit and Pinterest and Snapchat and Tumblr and LiveJournal and even Facebook; faces of activists from BDS and BLM and OWS; faces of journalists of all kinds, anonymous and pseudonymous and eponymous, citizens all; whistleblowers and more whistleblowers and more whistleblowers; magazine publishers and rock stars and politicians and webmasters and authors and artists and poets and revolutionaries.

All of you who think for ourselves. Thousands and thousands of faces.

I made a mosaic. You should see it. I made it for you.

It is seven and three quarter feet tall, but fully zoomable on your device’s screen. Check it out. I call it “We Are All Assange.”

Jun 09 07:32

IRAN UNVEILS HOMEBUILT AIR DEFENSE MISSILE SYSTEM TO DESTROY ‘STEALTH TARGETS’ (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

SOURCE: RT
Tehran’s military displayed a brand-new indigenous air defense missile system, capable of tracking and shooting down six targets at the same time. The weapon was rolled out amid growing tensions around the Persian Gulf.
Iran unveiled its new domestically-designed air defense missile system Khordad 15 on Sunday. Equipped with long-range Sayyad 3 missiles, it can shoot down enemy jets and combat drones at a range of 120 kilometers, Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said.

Full video of 15 khordad air defence system ( ?? ?????)pic.twitter.com/izgZKfBIBl

— ???s??? ????? (@persianintel) June 9, 2019
The complex can also track “stealth targets,” intercepting them 45 km away. Overall, the weapon can destroy six targets simultaneously, according to military officials.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Iranian civilian government and its military leadership, may be many things; that being said, foolish, and unprepared are not among those categories whatsoever.

They full well know, what may be in their future (a war with the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel), and want to guard against this, by creating the best military equipment which can be created by their weaponry engineers.

So I would like to, politely and strongly caution the White House, Pentagon, and State Department, that should the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, mount some kind of attack against Iran, that Russia and China may well decide to join Iran in the fight.

And President Trump, no matter what verbal poison against Iran with which Bolton, Netanyahu, and Pompeo are filling your ears, there as to be another way, other than war, to achieve your geopolitical and financial goals here.

But your unilaterally pulling the US out of the P5+1, was an horrendous mistake, sir; and right now, to your utter embarrassment, the IAEA team, on the ground in Iran, are still saying, that the Iranians are complying with their side of the bargain.

Jun 08 09:24

TRUMP OKS ADVANCED BOMB PARTS TO BE BUILT IN SAUDI: NYT

SOURCE: ALJAZEERA

When US President Donald Trump bypassed Congress last month to approve a multibillion-dollar arms deal to Saudi Arabia, he also allowed the kingdom to develop complex precision-bomb parts, according to the New York Times.

Trump's emergency declaration allows American arms firm Raytheon to share technology with Riyadh that could allow Saudi Arabia to develop its own laser-guided bombs, the newspaper reported on Friday.

Among the components which the Saudis are now allowed to work on with the firm are the control systems and vital electronics for Raytheon's Paveway series of smart bombs. That technology was previously closely guarded by Washington.

The technology sharing is just one part of a sweeping arms package Trump bypassed Congress to push through by declaring a national emergency, citing tensions with Iran.

Outrage on Capitol Hill

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. President, please tell me that this is a belated April Fool's joke; because if it isn't, you may just have created the elements which can potentially turn into World War III; the current detente between Saudi Arabia and Israel could turn nasty at any second, and any attack against Iran by Saudi Arabia, could well be met with China and Russia taking sides with Iran.

Giving dictatorial kingdoms, which are self-proclaimed theocracies, is probably not ever a great idea; and I am referring, sir, to both Israel and Saudi Arabia.

This move does not augur well for peace, either in the region, or in the world.

Jun 06 11:34

Iraq Daily Roundup: Turks Fire on Civilians in North; Eight Killed Across Iraq

At least eight were killed, and five were wounded in recent violence:

Relatives of a young man shot to death at his farm in Rabango, abutting the Turkish border, say that the shots were fired across the border by Turkish security forces. The man traveled with two friends to the farmland that the three of them own, when they came under fire. They may have been mistaken for smugglers or Kurdish guerrillas.

In Mergarash, three people were injured when Turkish jets bombed their farm. The victims are two brothers and their cousin. The trio also belong to the Peshmerga security forces, but that does not appear to be a factor in this attack.

Militants wounded two soldiers during an attack in Buhriz.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am looking at this, and shaking my head, at this insanity.

What the hell does Erdogan think he is going to get out of these battles against primarily innocent, non-combatant, more land to claim belonging to Turkey?!?

Someone needs to get to this guy, and in short order, explain the word "Optics"; and right now, the optics of this Turkish war against Iraq, are looking officially horrible.

Jun 06 11:12

Amassing War Powers, Bolton Rips a Page Out of Cheney’s Playbook

Shanahan is expected to be nominated for the top Pentagon slot, subject to Senate confirmation. And according to Stephen Wertheim, assistant professor of history at Columbia University, during the confirmation hearings, “when senators think Shanahan, they should think Bolton. Because a vacuum at the top of DoD means that the department becomes a rubber stamp for Bolton.”

Bolton is an unapologetic Bush-era war hawk with four decades of experience inside the Beltway. Throughout his long career, he’s advocated for regime change in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, and Iran. As national security adviser, he appears determined to consolidate his power in the Cabinet, usurping powers that traditionally reside with the military.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Looking at the trajectory of US Foreign policies,I am deeply concerned that John Bolton will attempt, when he has Trump's ear, getting wars going on in Syria; Venezuela; Cuba; and Iran.

One has to wonder; what kind of stock investments in the military/industrial complex industries, and related industries, does the guy actually hold?!? Is that what makes him so war-centric, for more personal wealth?!?

Because remember; people who do what he does, as Advisor to the President, do not have to sign over their personal revenues, and put them in a blind trust.

Or is it some kind of dark, demented blood lust, pushing him to create environments, where people are going to wind up dead?!?

Either way, that a person who can be simultaneously so consistently wrong, and yet so consistently have the ear of a sitting President so frequently, is utterly terrifying.

Jun 06 10:53

Former IAEA Deputy Falsely Claims Iran Could Make Nukes in 6-8 Months: Accuses IAEA of letting Iran 'weaponize' uranium

Former IAEA deputy director Olli Heinonen, long a critic of his former employer, accused the IAEA in an interview of letting Iran “weaponize” uranium. He further claimed that Iran, with “maximum effort,” could produce a nuclear weapon in “six to eight months.”

Neither of these allegations were accurate by any stretch of the imagination. Heinonen was focusing on Iran improving its centrifuges. Despite this, Iran is still only enriching uranium to 3.6%, the level needed for its power plant, and far below the 90%+ needed for weapons-grade uranium.

Though the centrifuges conceivably could further enrich uranium beyond the levels presently being done, Iran has never attempted to enrich to anywhere near the 90% level, and has never suggested that they would even try.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Why would he lie like this, when he absolutely knows better?!?

One has to wonder; what kind of compensation, and from whom is he getting it to say something he knows, scientifically, not to be true?!?

Oh, I can think of a couple of countries here; perhaps the US, or Israeli?!?

Jun 06 10:35

Trump: Iran ‘Probably’ Remains a Terrorist Nation: Says there is still 'always a chance' of war with Iran

In an interview Wednesday on Britain’s ITV, President Trump reiterated that he does not want a war with Iran, and would much rather talk, saying that there is “always a chance” of a war.

He gave the impression that’s getting less likely, however, calling them “extremely hostile when I first came into office,” adding “they were a terrorist nation, number one in the world at that time and probably maybe are today.”

That is a highly unusual thing for any US politician to say, as the broad official position is that no matter what Iran is doing at any given time, they are always the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. Trump suggested that there some question to that.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mister President, from whom did you get the designation "terrorist", when it comes to Iran?!?

Were I a betting person, I would bet that it must have come from one of your two BFFs in the Middle East: Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu, the Butcher of Gaza.

Remember that tiny little enclave called Gaza?!? Did you know what goes on their with their kids?!? They are routinely arrested and tortured by the IDF, and forced to sign "confessions" in Hebrew, a language they do not speak, and barely can comprehend?!?

History, Past to Present: Palestinian Children in Israeli jails.

Israel Military DetentionThis article goes on to state: "Israel is the only country in the world that automatically prosecutes children in military courts that lack basic and fundamental fair trial guarantees. Since 2000, at least 8,000 Palestinian children have been arrested and prosecuted in an Israeli military detention system notorious for the systematic ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children."

Around 500-700 Palestinian children are arrested, detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system each year."

Israeli torture of Palestinian children 'institutional'

Israel jails hundreds of Palestinian boys every year.

Did you also know that Israel has "indefinite confinement in prison, no trial, no law; no nothing, where they can keep people in jail permanently?!?

Israeli jails: facts and resources

Israel is holding a Palestinian lawmaker as political prisoner...indefinitely

Israel order solitary confinement for jailed Palestinian Leader

So, Mr. President, before you use that "T" word again, to describe Iran as a "terrorist country", you need to look again, and ask some unbiased NGO members, who have heard these testimonies of Palestinians routinely locked up, and kids tortured; I sincerely believe that you... would have an ear for the truth, when you hear it.

And sir, finally, something you really need to see (preferably, with the whole family), and it is the documentary, done by a very charming Jewish videographer, and it's name is: "Don't tell Mother I'm In Iran." The link can be found here: Don't tell my Mother I'm in Iran

This is a very different image of the country from that which Netanyahu wants you to believe, and it focuses on Iran's young people, and the fact that in it's 1979 Constitution (and sir, why to the Iranians HAVE a constitution, but Israel does not?), religious minorities are protected, and these groups are Christians, Bahais, and Jews.

Not only are they a protected minority, but each faith has a Representative in their Parliament, and the videographer goes into one of the very lovely synagogues, and his visit there is nothing short of amazing.

Here is a list of Christian churches in Iran:

Christian churches in Tehran

You are welcome, Mr. President!!

Jun 06 07:25

WHY TRUMP NOW WANTS TALKS WITH IRAN

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Saker blog.

The great Bilderberg secret of 2019 had to do with why, suddenly, the Trump administration has decided that it wants to talk to Iran “with no preconditions”.

It all has to do with the Strait of Hormuz. Blocking the Strait could cut off oil and gas from Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Iran – 20% of the world’s oil. There has been some debate on whether this could occur – whether the US Fifth Fleet, which is stationed nearby, could stop Tehran doing this and if Iran, which has anti-ship missiles on its territory along the northern border of the Persian Gulf, would go that far.

An American source said a series of studies hit President Trump’s desk and caused panic in Washington. These showed that in the case of the Strait of Hormuz being shut down, whatever the reason, Iran has the power to hammer the world financial system, by causing global trade in derivatives to be blown apart.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. President, a word, please; pulling the US from the P5+1 deal, telegraphed, painfully clearly, to the Iranian government, that the US government is pathologically incapable of keeping its promise, when an election cycle moves the person in power, as the President, to someone else.

The possibilities that you could negotiate a new agreement with Iran, have pretty much been torn asunder, by this ham-fistedly, bone-headedly , incredibly stupid decision on your part, made under immense pressure, of course, from two of your two BFFs, one in the Middle East, Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the other, Sheldon Adelson, the American Zionist who has poured out contributions upon you, with just as much support as he was able, legally, to do.

So, President Trump, what you have, in terms of perception by the Iranian government, is an "optics problem".

And BTW, sir: the IAEA continues to report that Iran is abiding by this deal, and has not done anything to disturb Iranian cooperation with the P5+1.

Now, i don't know anything about the CVs of the people working with this organization; but I do understand that they have to be phenomenally smart people, and if something was amiss, they would honestly report it.

So, President Trump, is it humanly possible that you, and your brother and sister Foggy Bottomites who condemn Iran, can do something that might, please, possibly appear, as a sane and logical move here?!?

Sir, it is way past time, for the US government, with regard to Iran, to "cage the rage, and engage" ; please show the Iranian government that we can actually do this, with some "trust-building mechanisms".

You have a both war-weary, and war-skeptical nation to take care of; and if the advisors around you even MENTION the possibility of restarting the draft, with which to beef up US troop strength, before another endless war starts, with which to engulf the world, there are two words for which you are famous on television, and those two words are: "YOU'RE FIRED"!!!''

You need to use those words immediately, sir, to anyone in your inner circle, who is still pushing the agenda, that the attack against/invasion of Iran, is a "great idea."

Jun 05 11:24

A Nuclear War Has No Victor! U.S. Military Preparation is Underway

On the international level, the U.S. government plays an even more dreadful role. According to the current U.S. foreign policy; China, Russia, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran and the major European countries are considered as adversary regimes that needs to be dealt with in one way or another. Both Democrats and Republicans believe that a major war gives them a chance to rally their national and international forces. Both parties see a major military conflict as a catalyzing factor to tilt the power for a fundamental change in their benefit. President Trump plays a unique role in flaming the trade and military wars. Since 2016, Mr. Trump’s contradictory positions on many issues have discredited his Administration and the role of the U.S. in the world.

Jun 05 11:12

US-Iran: Inverted Reality, Real War. America’s Al Qaeda Mercenaries. Iran is Fighting the Largest State Sponsor of Terror

For one, the Middle East already has a regional hegemon – the United States. Even the wildest accusations against Iran regarding state sponsored terrorism pale in comparison to Al Qaeda and the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) whose terrorism spans the globe, including standing armies operating in Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Afghanistan – several of which Iran itself is specifically fighting.

The US also supports terrorist organizations within Iran including the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK). MEK enjoys the support of National Security Adviser John Bolton – who lobbied for them for years while they were listed as a foreign terrorist organization by the US State Department itself.

Thus, Iran finds itself involved in Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon precisely to stave off openly declared intentions by the US to include Iran next under its already expansive hegemony over the Middle East.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unfortunately, just because something is the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly idiotic thing the US government might do, is no guarantee that it will not do it.

The war against Iran, being advocated by by Israel, and their "Foreign Minister" in the US, John Bolton, (yes, you read that correctly) whose sympathies and interest, lie much closer with those of the Israel government, than they with those of the American people.

Should the US embark on such a war, which will most probably include proxy military presence by Saudi Arabia, and intel from Israel, what would be stopping China and Russia from stepping in on Iran's side, and exploding this conflict from a festooning regional war to a world war?!?

The short answer is, Russia and China would have much to gain, by showing the world that their weaponry, troop strength, and tactics, could possibly knock out the US military in such a conflict.

But the question is, once US civilian and military leadership are convinced that we cannot overpower Russia and China, when will such a war go nuclear?!?

I hope that someone in the Bowels of Power in DC, is losing sleep, over this scenario; because the potential for it happening, has never been more real.

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