Monday 13th of July 2020

time to impeach him for being a genius...


US President Donald Trump says he is not looking for war with Iran but has warned that if a conflict did occur, it would result in "obliteration".

Key points:
  • US President Donald Trump said he never gave the final approval for retaliatory strikes
  • Iran says it warned the unmanned drone several times before downing it with a missile
  • It also says its military avoided shooting down a nearby manned US aircraft


"I'm not looking for war, and if there is it'll be obliteration like you've never seen before. But I'm not looking to do that," Mr Trump told NBC News in an interview a day after he aborted a planned air strike against Iranian targets in retaliation for Tehran shooting down a US drone

Mr Trump said the US was within 10 minutes of conducting strikes against Iran on Thursday (local time) when he cancelled the operation.

He told NBC News that he never gave a final order — planes were not yet in the air but would have been "pretty soon".

He said military officials came to him about 30 minutes before the strikes were to be launched and asked him for his final approval.


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the US geniuses are getting more idiotic...

On Friday, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that there were new sanctions planned for Iran to be introduced on conditions unrelated to the unfolding international confrontation between the two nations. Trump nonetheless insisted that he has imposed new sanctions on Iran. What are you talking about, Mr. President?

This week’s US-Iran confrontation escalating the region to the brink of war has been averted. After Iran downed a US Global Hawk spy drone, it was a matter of conjecture whether Washington would retaliate with a military operation. Trump had claimed that he canceled a retaliatory strike with just 10 minutes’ notice, instead imposing new sanctions against Iran as his retaliatory measure. The only problem is that he has not done what he claims to have done, according to the Washington Post.

“Sanctions [against Iran] are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!” Trump tweeted Friday.

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin observed Friday that retaliatory measures against Iran are still on the drawing board, dependent on whether the Islamic republic will take measures against alleged money laundering and the financing of terrorism. These separate issues have nothing to do with the downing of the drone, the attacks on tankers or Tehran’s alleged nuclear weapons program - which Tehran got tired of denying.

Elizabeth Rosenberg, a former Obama-era Treasury Department official who worked on sanction policy, noted that she saw no indication that new sanctions against Tehran would be introduced by the Trump White House.

“He’s orchestrating sanctions policy from the hip and, as everyone looks around, it’s clear there were no sanctions rolled out last night,” she said, according to The Washington Post.

This is not Trump’s first time making misleading comments on sanctions.

The Washington Post report noted that earlier in March, Trump claimed he had “canceled” additional sanctions against North Korea that the US Treasury Department had allegedly prepared. In fact, the Department had no sanctions planned and struggled to explain what the president was referring to.

Earlier in 2018, Trump unilaterally withdrew from the so-called Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions lifted by the Obama administration. More recently, Trump refused to extend oil export waivers, cutting off Iran’s oil trade with China and several other buyers who had previously enjoyed sanction exemptions. These are the same sanctions that Trump appears to claim are “biting” the Middle Eastern nation.

The drone incident has culminated in a US military buildup in the region, as Washington sends troops, armored vehicles, bombers and a carrier strike group. Iran has repeatedly stated that it does not seek war with any nation, but warned that it will defend itself if attacked.

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and the fucking democrats are in the same boat...

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States must use a strong and smart approach to the current tensions with Iran following the US President Donald Trump's decision to approve and then cancel a military strike on the Islamic Republic, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a press release on Friday.

“This is a dangerous, high-tension situation that requires a strong, smart and strategic approach,” Pelosi said in the release.

She also noted that congressional leaders have stressed during Thursday's meeting with Trump that the United States should work with its allies and not strengthen the hand of Iran's hardliners by its actions.

Democrats have also emphasised that any military action against Iran must first receive congressional approval.

"We have no illusions about the dangerous conduct of the Iranian regime," Pelosi said.

Speaking about preparations of the strike targeting Iran, Pelosi stated that she wasn't provided with any advance notification on these plans. Prior to her statement, Donald Trump announced that he had "stopped" a military strike against three sites in Iran after learning that some 150 people would die in the attack. 

Earlier, Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi said in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres seen by Sputnik that Tehran urges the international community to call on the United States to end its unlawful and destabilising measures in the Persian Gulf.

The situation escalated after the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps said on Thursday that they shot down a US surveillance drone because it violated Iran’s airspace - an assertion denied by Washington.

Trump initially said Iran made "a very big mistake," but later told reporters he doubted the downing of the drone was intentional. Some US lawmakers, however, have called for taking action against Iran over the incident. 


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idiots, belligerents and democrat helpers...

The Nation's new National Correspondent Jeet Heer sees the mix of warhawks Bolton and Pompeo, complicit Republicans, meek Democrats, and an erratic president as volatile and dangerous.

Trump May Stumble Into War With Iran Over Belligerent, Incoherent Policies.

MARC STEINER Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Marc Steiner. It’s great to have you all with us. We’ve all been watching the increasing tension between the United States and Iran, taking us to the brink of another war. Iran downed an American drone on the heels of attacks against two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. The US said the drone was in international waters, and guess what? The Iranians said it happened in their airspace. The US said Iran attacked the tankers, and Iran said no, it didn’t. However, to some analysts, the gravest danger rests in the incoherent— the words of our guest— inconsistent, and Twitter-dominated foreign policy that might trip us into a war. So, we start a conversation there with our guest, Jeet Heer— the newly-appointed National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation, and author of In love and Art: Francoise Mouly’s Adventures in Comics and Sweet Lechery: Reviews, Essays, and Profiles. Welcome, Jeet, to The Real News. Good to have you with us.

JEET HEER Good to be here.

MARC STEINER It’s very clear to me that your career in comics has prepared you for this White House more than anything else you’ve ever done, or anybody else has ever done.

JEET HEER Absolutely. I know because Trump is a cartoon character who happens to occupy the White House. He’s just part of our problem.

MARC STEINER And it sounds like it from the essay you wrote in The Nation, but let me go through this tweet you had. You had put out a tweet just recently that said that “It would be good if the Democrats running for president eschew the easy Putin’s puppet rhetoric and talked about the dangers of incoherence,” as I outlined here in your article.” In the article, you say, you write, “In truth, the real key to Trump’s foreign policy is neither neo-isolationism, nor subservience to Vladimir Putin, but rather, belligerent incoherence.” Let’s start there. Talk about literally what you mean. I mean, we quipped a moment ago about this comic book character, but talk about how that fits into all this.

JEET HEER Sure, sure. Yeah, I mean, Trump is not someone who has any grand strategy. His whole life has been about creating a persona. First, as this, you know, great billionaire, a self-made rich man. And now that he’s president, he likes to act like the tough guy. Also, part of his persona is that he’s a deal maker. And what we’ve seen over and over again with Iran, with North Korea, and with Russia, is that there’s a real lack of coordination between Trump and his main people. Trump is trying to make, he’s trying to make deals. He’s trying to keep back channels and open up conversations because he thinks he can do that, but he’s surrounded by people who are ultra-hawks and who are pursuing very aggressive foreign policy. So with Russia, I mean, they’re ramping up the cyber war and they’re talking about taking out Russia’s power grid.

With North Korea, Trump keeps saying he’s in love with Kim Jong-un and meanwhile, his advisors are sending out, you know, military excursions. With Iran, this isn’t widely reported, but there is a lot of evidence that Trump is trying to set up a back channel with the Iranians. I mean, he basically doesn’t like the Obama deal, but he wants to create his own deal. The Japanese Prime Minister Abe went to Iran and there’s a lot of evidence that he was carrying a message from Trump, but Trump’s advisers are very against that, and they have been working to undermine that and ramping up the war rhetoric. And so, that’s a very dangerous situation where you have an administration sending out radically different messages. I think, if you imagine if you’re an Iranian, or North Korean, or a Russian, you’re going to think, what’s going on here? You’re going to get paranoid, you’re going to get skittish, and this has emboldened the hardliners in Iran. And so, I think that’s the real root of this crisis right now.

MARC STEINER So part of your analysis here, you said, you know, in the past, American foreign policy and American presidents have had this good cop, bad cop relationship with people inside the administration. You mentioned, Eisenhower-Dulles and Nixon-Kissinger as this good cop, bad cop routine they had in dealing with foreign policy. Some people would argue, and you argue against this, that that’s exactly what’s happening with Pompeo and Bolton with Trump, but you see this relationship as much more anarchic and much more dangerous.

JEET HEER Yes, absolutely. Yeah. I don’t think it’s a good cop, bad cop routine. In part, because there’s considerable evidence that Bolton and Pompeo are keeping stuff from Trump, that Trump was not advised as to some of the actions that they’re doing against Russia, and with this Iranian business as well. I mean, just the whole timing of it—Just as Trump is trying to, you know, create a back channel, that’s exactly when the anti-Iranian rhetoric is ramped up, that’s when sanctions are increased. It doesn’t seem coordinated. It’s rather that Pompeo and Bolton know that Trump is not hands-on, know that he’s not following policy detail closely, know that he’s lazy, and are pushing their own agenda and that’s very dangerous.

MARC STEINER So I’m about to ask a question for the context here. You also write, “Does it even make sense to look for a devious design underwriting Trump’s foreign policy? Isn’t it more likely that the chaos we see on the surface is all there is? That in fact Trump is no mastermind, but a man of inchoate and barely articulate impulses?” And so, let’s talk about this for a moment. I mean, so on one level, many of us can look at him and feel that way. On the other, there is this world around him that put him into office, that backed him for the very reason because they wanted to have this, kind of, right-wing and nationalist and evangelical agenda to be put in place. So, talk a bit about how you see that contradiction.

JEET HEER Sure. Yeah. I mean, I think that Trump is in some ways a figurehead for policies that he doesn’t fully understand and he himself, you know, his worldview is just basically being a tough guy. Like, “America, I’m going to be a tough guy, America is going to be strong,” and that’s why he has empowered Bolton and Pompeo. He likes the way that Bolton talked on Fox News. The idea is to, you know, carry a big stick and threaten people, but Trump also has other impulses as well. He’s not as vested in these, all this sort of Washington foreign policy establishment views, and he’s very much aware of that some of his supporters are against war. I think that part of what’s been going on is that there’s been an effective lobbying of Trump from different factions, and that explains part of the incoherence. If you watch Fox News, people like Tucker Carlson are warning about the dangers of war and Trump’s mindset has the kind of incoherence of Fox News— like the desire for both America to be tough, but then maybe also somewhat isolationist or at least reluctant to carryout large-scale military endeavors.

MARC STEINER I mean, if your analysis is right and many people, some people, deeply agree with your analysis, that this could be, that we could be in serious danger. I mean, you know, you can do things tongue-in-cheek and you do write very well, but there’s a real danger here it seems when we’re talking being on the brink of war with Iran. That could inflame the entire region there, not just Iran. Israel could jump into the situation. Saudi Arabia could jump into it. It would completely unravel the already unraveled Iraq. I mean, it’s, you know what I’m saying? I mean, this is—

JEET HEER Yeah, no, no. Absolutely. It’s an incredibly dangerous situation. I mean, in some ways, it’s a long-tail risk. You could speculate that everybody will pull back from the brink, as Trump seems to have done at least last night, and that even the Iranians will exercise caution. They’ll poke at Trump to show that he’s a Twitter tiger, but they won’t go for full-scale war. But there’s also, because there’s all these mixed messages, there is a real possibility of real misunderstanding and a possibility of war erupting by accident. I think people need to understand that this is traditionally one of the ways in which war has erupted— the First World War, arguably the Korean War. Part of the origin of the Korean War was that Stalin was unsure about how far America would go, and he thought he got signals that America would be happy with a unified Korea, which was not what America was willing to accept. If you have mixed signals, that is an actual, legitimate path to war.

MARC STEINER So let’s talk about where we are now. We’ve seen Nancy Pelosi come out saying we’re in a dangerous situation. Warren has tweeted, and you can see that here, about the dangers of where his policies could take us. What you write in your piece, that the proper constitutional response would be for Democrats and Republicans to take hold of this, but you want to call the Republicans as too complicit and you call the Democrats as too feckless. Talk about what that dynamic is here, how you analyze that internally about what could stop our path to war, what the Congress might or might not do, and where you see this going if the Democrats are too feckless and the Republicans are too complicit?

JEET HEER Sure. I mean, what the Trump administration is claiming is that they don’t need authorization for war, that already with the, sort of, authorization that was given for the war on terror in the Bush era, they can launch an attack. I think that doesn’t seem right, but traditionally, Congress has given presidents a lot of leeway— we’ve had the imperial presidency since the 1940s— and it has been reluctant to challenge presidents, but I mean, there is one avenue open. Congress could say, let’s have an up and down vote on war. One could imagine that if Trump really wants to get himself out of this mess, he might go for that as Obama did with Syria where he found himself in a situation where was being pushed farther down than he wanted to go, and he said, well let’s have a vote. That is, to me, that seems like the one, sort of, path that’s open and may be a face-saving path as well for Trump. But also, more importantly, it would help redress the constitutional issue because I think one of the things with the Trump era is that Congress, even with the Democrats winning the House last year, they have not shown the proper checks and balances. We really need Congress to assert itself in this position, but I feel like they’ve been irresponsible.

MARC STEINER And, I guess, we’ll be following that. You’ll be following that in DC and on Capitol Hill as this, kind of, unfolds for all of us positioned as a nation. Just finally, I guess, your history of writing about the comics prepared you, as we said earlier, for this, for covering the White House as it is, but it’s almost like a horror comic [laughs] that we’re watching unfold.

JEET HEER Yes. [laughs] It is. It is a very scary, kind of, scenario. I mean, with luck, you know, if we see it through, it’ll be only because of what? It won’t be that the people in power acted in a responsible way because it has been irresponsibility all the way along. It’s not just Trump; it’s the people in this administration. And it’s not just Republicans; it’s Democrats who do not hold him accountable.

MARC STEINER Jeet Heer, first, congratulations to your new appointment as National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation. Good to have you and we look forward to talking to you a great deal more. Have a good rest of the day and thank you for your contribution today. We appreciate it.

JEET HEER Oh, good. Thank you. I really enjoyed it. It was a good conversation.

MARC STEINER We have been talking to Jeet Heer, the newly-appointed National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation. And I’m Marc Steiner here for The Real News Network. Thank you for joining us. You know we’ll be staying on top of this. Take care.


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may teutates hear you, my son...

Washington’s wager concerning Iran

by Thierry Meyssan

Even more than Syria, Iran is now at the heart of the confrontation between East and West. The astounded public is witnessing Washington’s daily about-turns in what seems – mistakenly - to be an escalation towards war between the two countries. But this is not what it is about. Fortunately, the two Great Powers have demonstrated for the last 75 years that they are reasonable, and have always managed to stand down before they arrive at the point of mutual destruction.

Tension is apparently rising between Washington and Teheran. As usual, President Trump is blowing hot and cold. Thus, on 21 June, he went as far as ordering the bombing of Iran, then changed his mind a few minutes before attacking his targets. And yet this behaviour, which has often allowed Donald Trump to win successes in the West, does not carry much weight with the Persian psychology [1]. But is he trying to impress Iran ?

The attitude of the North Americans must be understood from the point of view not only of their Middle Eastern policy, but also their global policy [2]. More than a conflict with Iran, it’s the balance of power between East and West that is at stake.

- Since the Second World War, the central preoccupation of the United States has been their rivalry with the USSR, then Russia. Since the first Geneva Conference (June 2012), on the margins of the Syrian conflict, Moscow has proposed to be the guarantor of regional peace alongside and in equality with Washington. This recalibration of international relations was imagined under the auspices of the ex-Secretary General of UNO, Kofi Annan. The agreement signed in Geneva - in the presence of the other permanent members of the Security Council, plus Turkey for NATO and Iraq, Kuwaït and Qatar for the Arab League, but in the absence of all the Syrian protagonists - lasted no longer than a week. This failure pushed Kofi Annan to withdraw from centre-stage, and led to the beginning of the war waged by the members of NATO against Syria.

It was this project that was re-examined on 24 June by the three national Security advisors of the USA, Israël, and Russia, and which might put an end to the destructive Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy [3]. Without a doubt, John Bolton dug in his heels, Meir Ben-Shabbat kept an eye on which way the wind was blowing, and Nikolaï Patrouchev waxed ironic about the comparative advantages of US defeats and Russian military successes.

It was in this context – and not at all in terms of their pro-Israëli affinities – that the United States imagined the « Deal of the Century » in Palestine, of which the first elements have just been released and will be discussed in Manama.

- The second preoccupation of the United States vis-à-vis Iran is that of the Pentagon : to prevent Iran from rebooting the nuclear programme that they had offered Shah Reza Pahlevi. However, contrary to the ignorant commentaries regurgitated by the Western Press, Iran no longer has any intention of possessing atomic bombs, since Imam Khomeini condemned weapons of mass destruction as being incompatible with his conception of Islam. On the contrary, as the secret archives of Benjamin Netanyahu attest (despite himself) all Iranian research concerns the fabrication of a shock-wave generator and nothing else [4]. Certainly, this type of generator could be used in the composition of an atomic bomb, but as the inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency have shown, this is not Iran’s objective.

We do not know what Teheran’s ambitions are, nor why the Pentagon is blocking them.

- The third preoccupation of the United States is that of the Trump administration : to boost employment at home, which implies rebalancing their commercial exchanges, particularly with China, and maintaining the price of oil at the level of profitability of their shale oil (about $70 per barrel). This is why they oppose Iranian, Venezuelan and Syrian sales on the international market until 2025, and are attempting to block the access of Russian hydrocarbons to the European Union [5].

It so happens that Russia – whose hydrocarbons furnish most of its financial resources – is attempting to decelerate the fall of prices. It has signed an agreement with OPEC in this sense, and has voluntarily reduced it own production, which indicates that it will slow the inevitable confrontation with Washington on this question while waiting for the constitution of the new European Commission. If Brussels were to give in once again to Washington and forbid the import of Russian gas, Moscow would accept a drop in prices in order to sell off its production and, de facto, would probably ruin the US shale oil industry. The distribution of parts would therefore be shaken up, and the United States would have no further interest in opposing the sales of Iranian, Venezuelan and Syrian oil.

It could also happen that China may decide to reduce its exports to the United States and sell them instead on its own interior market, which is now flourishing. However, that would suppose that it could sustainably furnish its energy economy at a lower price than that of the current market. While Brussels falls into line, complaining about the US interdiction on the buying of Iranian oil, Beijing ignores Washington and is trying to pursue its imports, although at a much lower level. In order to avoid having to react, Washington pretends that it is authorising China to buy small quantities of Iranian oil. A true agreement, even tacit, could enable the USA, Iran, and China to develop.

Thierry Meyssan

Pete Kimberley


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Teutates is a Celtic god who was worshipped in ancient Gaul and Britain. Gus is a fierce atheist... 

unfortunately, the dems do not have a leg to stand on...

The theatre of the "Trump Impeachment" inquiry is pitiful. Newpapers like the New York Post are making minced meat of the "witnesses" and of the "charges", for good reasons. The Dems are shooting themselves with bullets of righteousness, in the butt... 



Democrats must have learned from the disastrous public hearings they’ve held in their attempt to impeach President Trump: Now, apparently, their witnesses must audition first behind closed doors before they go live before the TV cameras.

That was the case with the Dems’ “star” witnesses, US Chargé d’Affaires for Ukraine Bill Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, who testified behind closed doors before appearing for Wednesday’s televised impeachment show. And for former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who debuts on the small screen Friday.

It’s also the case for David Holmes, the diplomatic staffer said to have overheard a phone call in which Trump said something supposedly incriminating. He’s scheduled to testify publicly next week.

Clever: By having witnesses go through closed-door hearings first, Dems can get a sense of what witnesses have to say privately and then tailor their questions for maximum impact during the public spectacle. The whole show can be stage-managed in advance.

And if a witness “fails” the private audition, heck, maybe they don’t even have him or her appear publicly at all.

In the case of Hunter Biden, Dems don’t even need him to testify privately: They already know he won’t help their cause. That’s thanks to his blatant conflict of interest involving his $50,000-a-month position with Ukrainian energy company Burisma while his dad Joe Biden was vice president — the very issue at the heart of Trump’s supposedly problematic phone calls. So they just won’t have him testify at all, privately or publicly.

The tryout process follows spectacular backfires during earlier Dem hearings that were supposed to sway public opinion toward impeaching the president but only made Democrats look foolish. Trouble is, even rehearsals don’t seem to help: The Taylor-Kent show turned out to be a huge bore-a-thon, failing to produce any firsthand evidence to warrant impeaching the president.

What a farce. Democrats are desperate to get the public behind them. Yet no matter how many auditions they hold, it’s no substitute for hard evidence.


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