Tuesday 28th of May 2024

re-inventing the square wheel.....

In a dramatic break from his party’s hardline conservative base, US House Speaker MIke Johnson this week praised the country’s deep state, named Russia, China, and Iran as an “axis of evil,” and vowed to put his job on the line to funnel more than $60 billion to Kiev.

For months, Johnson has resisted bringing a $95 billion foreign aid bill to a vote, arguing that neither he nor his fellow Republicans could support such a bill – which would give $14 billion in military aid to Israel and $60 billion to Ukraine – without it being tied to an overhaul of US border security.

However, after a series of recent meetings with US intelligence chiefs, Johnson has changed his tune.

“This is a critical time right now, a critical time on the world stage,” Johnson told reporters on Wednesday. “I think providing lethal aid to Ukraine right now is critically important. I really do. I really do believe the intel and the briefings that we’ve gotten.”

I believe [Chinese President] Xi [Jinping] and [Russian President] Vladimir Putin and Iran really are an axis of evil,”he continued. “I think they’re in coordination on this. I think that Vladimir Putin would continue to march through Europe if he were allowed.”

Johnson’s comments represented a break with the Republican Party’s pro-Trump wing. These supporters of the former president – most prominent among them Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz – view the country’s intelligence agencies as arms of the anti-Trump “deep state,” and have called for the flow of money to Kiev to be halted.

“Fighting a proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, which is a non-NATO member nation, is not protecting America’s national security interests, it doesn’t protect the United States of America, as a matter of fact, it pushes us closer and closer to world war three,” Greene told journalist Tucker Carlson earlier this month.

Johnson’s reference to an “axis of evil,” however, invokes the more interventionist GOP of the past. Coined by speechwriter David Frum, the phrase was first used by George W. Bush to refer to Iran, Iraq, and North Korea in the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq. Former National Security Adviser John Bolton later added Cuba, Libya and Syria to the list.

Despite resistance from some of its Republican members, the House Rules Committee agreed on Thursday to split the foreign aid bill into three separate bills – one each for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. The house voted in favor of this move on Friday, leaving Johnson free to schedule a vote on each bill for Saturday, even as Greene filed a motion to remove him from the speakership.

Johnson said on Wednesday that he anticipated such a move, telling reporters that he was willing to “take personal risk” to pass the bills. 

https://www.rt.com/news/596286-mike-johnson-axis-evil/

 

it's time for being earnest.....

waste of cash....

Ray McGovern once again joins host Robert Scheer for a “theatrical” episode of Scheer Intelligence. Scheer plays a stern and uncompromising president receiving an uncomfortable briefing from McGovern on the most pressing issues of the day, from Ukraine to Israel to China.

Despite Scheer’s best efforts to act like a true American president, deflecting and politicizing crucial facts, McGovern lays down the bare, inconvenient truth. With regard to the Russia-Ukraine war, McGovern doesn’t hold back:

“The situation right now is very dire and what you need to know is the facts on the ground say that no amount of additional money is going to change the trajectory indicating a Russian win, probably within the next couple of months.”

The former CIA analyst presses “President Scheer” on whether he will act to end the genocide in Gaza, if he will protect the flotilla of aid heading to Gaza from Netanyahu’s bloodlust unlike Obama during his presidency and if he will step up to ease the escalating tensions following Iran’s retaliatory attack on Israel over the weekend.

If there was one message McGovern aimed to drive home to “President Scheer,” it was this:

“It’s not the world that you grew up with, Mr. President. We were the most powerful country in the world after World War II, after the Soviet Union imploded. That ain’t the case anymore and we need to face up to that.”

CreditsHost:

Robert Scheer

Producer:

Joshua Scheer

Introduction:

Diego Ramos

Transcript

This transcript was produced by an automated transcription service. Please refer to the audio interview to ensure accuracy. 

Robert Scheer: Hi, this is Robert Scheer with another edition of Scheer Intelligence, and I’m bringing back a guest I’ve had a bunch of times before, Ray McGovern, a 27-year, do I have that right, 27-year veteran of the CIA. But today we want to do something different, at my suggestion. He rose to a very high rank in the CIA as an advisor, analyst. He received the intelligence commendation medallion at one point. But he was involved in the briefing of Nixon and Ford, President Ford. But in those cases, Henry Kissinger kind of stepped in between. So basically, he briefed Kissinger, who then would brief them. And then he briefed Ronald Reagan, from the time he was president elect and when he was staring at the headlines, oh my God, I’m now president. What do I do? And you went to California to brief him and he briefed him through the first term when Reagan was awake. I’ve been told by Ray McGovern, when he came to the meetings, otherwise it was his secretary of defense or White House aides or so forth.

But I want to replicate the presidential brief this morning and you suggested I’d play president, great You’re my briefer. And let me just say I happen to have some familiarity with the people that you briefed. I actually Interviewed Nixon really at length after he was president. I spent a lot of time with Ronald Reagan before interviewing him when he was running for governor when he was governor when he was running for president so actually I spent a lot of time with him just before you, when he became president. And actually I don’t want to burn myself with any listeners, but actually got along with both, briefly Nixon and over a decade or more with Ronald Reagan. But I want to get into the situation. We are one of the most fraught periods in world history, and so I want to imagine you’re briefing the president. I’ll be the extra who stands in for the photo shot. But, let’s take, I should say, by the way, I have a familiarity with Ray McGovern because we are basically stripping apart any titles or experience. We have basically two guys from the Bronx. He went to the Jesuit school. I think it’s Jesuit, isn’t it, Fordham? 

Ray McGovern: It is. 

Scheer: In the Bronx. And I went , actually situated in Harlem, City College, CCNY, a far superior school, I might add, in every respect, including basketball. But, nonetheless, we come from the Bronx and we took to a career break in the road. I became a contrarian journalist, one described the other. I ended up at the LA times for 29 years, but that was basically it. Yes, I’m the contrarian journalist. You went into the establishment, you went into the military first, then you went to the CIA for 27 years. We’ve actually ended up, over these last years, seeing events in a pretty similar way. That’s why I like having you come back. But let’s revert to our roles, although I’ll try to play president a little bit. But you come in this morning, what is today’s date? It’s the 18th of April. this will be airing the next day, and you’re going to brief me about where we are right now and you take it from there.

McGovern: Well, Robert, I should just preface this with a truth in advertising remark. And that is, at the time, I, a Soviet specialist, was briefing Vice President Bush, Secretary of State Schultz, Secretary of Defense Weinberger, and later the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I was myself already a contrarian because my bosses were telling Reagan, Gorbachev, that new leader in Russia, was just a fraud. Just a clever commie. Don’t believe he’s gonna make any reform. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union is never gonna give up power without a struggle, without great violence. And Schultz was asking me, “Hey, Ray, I’ve just been invited to go to Moscow to meet Gorbachev. Do you think I should go?” And I would say, uh… He would say, your superiors would say, I should not go. I said, that’s correct, Mr. Schultz. What do you say, Ray? I say that Gorbachev is the real deal, you would be making a big mistake not to go, that’s my personal opinion. So what am I saying here? I’m saying that I was able to tell the truth to these people, mostly because when Bobby Gates and Bill Casey learned what I was telling these guys, they tried to fire me.

But my immediate boss, a terrific guy named Chuck Peter said, no, if you want to fire McGovern, I want you to go tell George Bush, the vice president, Schultz and the rest of them, why you’re firing McGovern and he wouldn’t do it. So four full years of being able to tell the truth, no matter what my superiors were saying when I knew it was dead wrong. Turns out Gorbachev was the real deal. Reagan was brought along by Schultz and by Bush and maybe partly by me to realize this. And there was a great detente. There was a great bunch of arms control measures that were agreed upon, and since have been dismissed by subsequent administrations. So just to set the stage, I’m going to tell the truth like I would have told Schultz or Weinberger was not, I was not a favorite of Weinberger. Just a little vignette here. I was watching TV before I briefed the next morning and here’s Weinberger at Fordham University, right? And he is making a big speech in the auditorium and there are banners all over the place saying, “no more bombs, money for the Bronx. Don’t bomb money for the Bronx.”

And so I said, this is great. So after I finished with Weinberger the next morning, I said, Mr. Secretary, I understand you were at my alma mater yesterday. And he said, “Oh, yes, I was, Fordham. Great law school. Great law school.” Yes, sir but you were at the college, yeah. They had these crazy things like, don’t bomb the Bronx. And that was my big moment of truth. I said, okay, you’re dismissed, McGovern. That makes sense to me, Mr. Weinberger. Anyhow, I was not his favorite and we can take it from there. But rest assured, I’m going to not tell the party line that would be coming from Blinken and Sullivan and Nuland. I’m going to be telling what I felt capable of telling. If I got fired, that’s okay. As I say, I was protected by some divine providence and a really good first line supervisor for four years from ’81 to ’85. 

Scheer: And it should be, we’re actually discussing a major moment in American history. When I interviewed Reagan, I had already interviewed George, the first George W. Bush, first president, but when he was running against Reagan and Bush had embarrassed himself by talking about winnable nuclear war. And I was on a small plane. I remember bouncing quite a bit coming away from Iowa in the Iowa primary when I interviewed him. And I said what is all this nuclear war fighting and all of this about, what why do you need these extra weapons? And he gave an arrogant, I thought, spirited defense of the need for ever more sophisticated and effective nuclear weapons when we clearly, we and the Russians, had enough to destroy all life on the planet, except for a few cockroaches, over and over again. And that hurt Bush and it showed that despite having been head of the CIA and ambassador to China, he really hadn’t thought it through.

What do you mean by winnable nuclear war? And that helped Reagan, who was being derided as a person without experience, yet he seemed more thoughtful. And when I interviewed Reagan, it was interesting what you say about Gorbachev because Reagan said, obviously you can’t believe in a winnable nuclear war if you’re a normal human being. But, that’s not what the Soviets, the monsters, he called them the monsters, those monsters, they will do it. And that was what the tenor of the discussion was. What happened as president, Reagan went from thinking or regarding the Soviets as hopeless, unchanging monsters, to embracing Gorbachev at Reykjavík in Iceland and actually discussing the elimination of all nuclear weapons. And when he came out of the meeting, there were these hawks present, saying, no. And yet, Reagan was incredibly receptive to it. I don’t think Reagan gets enough credit for having, for whatever reasons, changed his mind. Is that an accurate view of what happened? 

McGovern: It is. And the sad thing, and I was in on this from the headquarters side, was what you call the hawks, the people already working Sotto Voce for the military industrial complex, told Reagan, look, Mr. Reagan, this sounds good to you, abolishing all nuclear weapons, but then you won’t get your Star Wars. You won’t get your Star Wars program, which we know can set up an umbrella where no missiles can possibly get into the United States. That would be a sacrifice to all this. Now, we knew that you could not possibly make that work, that Star Wars was an illusion, but it was lots of money for the military industrial complex. And Reagan was not all that smart at that point, he said, all right, I want my Star Wars. So he went back in the evening and told Gorbachev my team says, no, I can’t do this. Now, exactly the same thing happened when Putin talked to Bill Clinton and personally. And said at noontime, look, why don’t we join NATO? And Clinton said, gosh, that sounds. 

Scheer: No, Clinton said, Putin said why don’t we join NATO? 

McGovern: Clinton says that sounds… let me ask my team. He goes back in the evening and says, now my team says, no way can you join NATO. That was in, that was what, 1990, 1991, okay. The whole thing has to do with what Eisenhower called the military industrial complex, and what I call the MICIMATT, the military, industrial, congressional, intelligence, media, academia, think tank complex. It’s in the dictionary now. Why do I say media? Because media is the crucible. It’s the linchpin. You can’t make the MICIMATT or the MIC succeed without the media, and as you know Robert, you and I don’t get in the media and there’s a reason for that. And Biden, even today made clear why he wants 60 billion more for Ukraine. It’s for the MICIMATT and he doesn’t disguise that for one second. He says it in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today. It all comes back to who makes the money? Who gives Congress the money? Who gets re-elected? Who appropriates new money? Who gives that new money to the defense contractors? And contractors put some more money in the pockets of the… hello? Is this a great country or what? That’s the cycle that we all confront. 

Scheer: And let me say something about that. At least when we were considering these questions and you were briefing the president, there was a sense that nuclear weapons could not be used without disastrous outcomes. And the danger of Star Wars, I remember Edward Teller, since people have watched the Oppenheimer movie, Teller was the guy who had stuff on his face and dark glasses, watching the blast and even then believed in making a much more powerful weapon and so forth. And Teller had convinced Reagan that this was a good thing to do. But it quickly became obvious that they couldn’t get the kind of technological lazing effect and everything else, and so we all knew then that nuclear war was unthinkable. Now we’ve grown once again to accept, and we’ve had this incredible proliferation of nuclear weapons and for example, Israel has nuclear weapons, but so does Pakistan, and that maybe these weapons could start flying.

And, of course, Russia has a huge amount. And yet, there’s this illusion, and I read an article by you taking and discounting some of the so-called achievements, in thwarting the Iranian attack on Israel. And it’s once again, we have the Iron Dome, we have protection, you can shoot all these things down. And it seems even the Russians also feed this idea, we can now shoot in a missile that can’t be stopped, and so forth. Let’s just stop at that, oh, I’m sorry, you’re giving the president. Let’s go into our presidential briefing. I’m going to shut up now and you tell me, but you might begin with that. What’s going on? And, what is this freedom foreteller that I see your name associated with? 

McGovern: Mr. President, good morning.

First off, 

Scheer: It is Ray, right? I think you’ve been here before. Yes. 

McGovern: What’s that? 

Scheer: It is Ray, right? 

McGovern: Yeah, you can… Weinberger. Weinberger never took the trouble for four years to learn my name. He called me the courier. Is the courier here? Now, Schultz and I got along really well. And George H. W. Bush as well. They knew I was Ray. Anyhow, you can call me Ray. Let’s say you’re Schultz or you’re Bush, I don’t like to think about Weinberger. Mr. Secretary, today we have a real denouement in Ukraine. The Russian military cannot be stopped, the only question is how long they’re going to take to get farther beyond Ukrainian defenses. Mr. Putin is, at every opportunity, calling for the negotiations. We think that he’s serious about that. We think he’s got enough of what he needs now plus a cordon sanitaire, which would actually be between what Russia has now and as many miles as it takes to prevent long range missiles from hitting what Russia has now.

And he’s saying this consistently and he’s saying, look, we don’t want to rub anybody’s nose in this, we do object to appeals for negotiations because the other side is running out of ammunition, but let’s deal, okay? Now that’s what he’s saying, it’s up to you, of course, Mr. Secretary and the President as to how to react to that, but be aware that Ukraine cannot win, and if this new supplemental is approved, Ukraine can still not win. And as you know, there are no 155mm shells to give to Ukraine. Even if we had the armaments to give to Ukraine, it could not possibly get there on time. And Ukraine is likely to have a definitive loss before November of this year and you should be aware of that. 

Scheer: Why, November and what kind of loss?

McGovern: Of course, the election season ends in November with the election itself. The definitive loss is simply how far Putin wants to go. Will he go all the way to the Dnieper River, which kind of divides Ukraine in two? My notion and those of my colleagues in the analysis group. I think that he might be quite satisfied to negotiate now, okay? And not take on thousands of square miles of territory that he would have to act as a counterinsurgent force. Lots of people in Ukraine don’t like the Russians, okay? Now, does he want to go all the way to the Dnieper? He may have to, but we think this is the time that he wants to really negotiate a deal with Odesa, Odesa being the seaport at the bottom of the Dnieper River, without which Ukraine is just a landlocked farm for the rest of Europe.

Would he be able to deal on that? he’s given broad hints starting a year and a half ago that yes, he’s willing to deal on Odesa, on Kharkov in the north. So that’s what he wants to do. It’s up to the West as to how they respond, but be aware Mr. President or Mr. Secretary, that Obama was quite right, you may remember this when he said, the cardinal sin would be to give Ukraine the idea that it could win a war against a much more powerful Russia. As Obama also said, this goes back to 2015, 2016, the president ,of course was vice president at this time, Obama also said, look, we have to be really perspicacious to pick where we’re willing to risk war for. We have no core interests in Ukraine, Obama says. And so Russia does. So we ought to understand that. And maybe this is the time, Mr. President, to listen to what the Russians continue to say. It’s not all bombast. They are willing to deal. It’s just that they’re not willing to deal on what they call the Asinine formula that Zelensky has put forward, which calls for ridiculous things like Russian reparations and the return of Crimea and all those other things. They will deal but only on the facts on the ground. 

Scheer: But that’s why you’re an advisor to the president, and I’m the president. And the reality is that train has left the station. The Congress is on the verge of passing a huge bill. I believe it’s, we know it’s $60 billion. and there’s a lot of support for that in the Congress. People in the industry tell us these weapons are needed. Some of that money, $27 billion, is to replenish our own stocks. and, what I am told by other advisors is that if there is ever going to be a negotiation, we have to have some show of strength and victory and scare Putin here. And also we have to worry about our European allies who have gotten committed at our request, in a very serious way. It’s hurt, particularly, the economy of Germany. And now we just can’t wave a white flag and surrender. But thanks for your advice on that. Do you want a last word? What is your name again? Ray? Yes. 

McGovern: Yeah, thanks Mr. President. All I can say is that we stick to the facts and are not really overly sensitive to political realities. We want you to know that those who advised you in July of last year to stay in Poland of all places. That Putin has already lost in Ukraine. Those who, six days before in the person of the head of the CIA, who said, yes, Russia has already suffered a strategic defeat, their ineffectual military has been laid bare for the whole world to see. Those who told you like the national intelligence director, Avril Haines, that the Russians were running out of ammunition and they had no indigenous capability to replenish that ammunition, to be charitable, they were just plain wrong. Witness what’s happened since they said all those things.

So the situation right now is very dire. And what you need to know is the facts on the ground say that no amount of additional money is going to change the trajectory indicating a Russian win, probably within the next couple of months, okay? No amount of money. Where is that money going to go? Mr. President, we read your Wall Street Journal op-ed today. And we noticed that you were rather frank in admitting that the military industrial complex is the one that’s going to benefit from this. I read you back a couple of your words here. We’d send military equipment from our own stockpiles and then use the money authorized by Congress to replenish those stockpiles by buying from American suppliers. That includes Patriot missiles made in Arizona, Javelin missiles made in Alabama, artillery shells made in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas, would be investing in America’s industrial base, buying Americans products made by American works and supporting jobs in 40 states. So you’re talking about the military industrial complex.

Well there it is laid bare. It’s sort of so transparent, it’s in the president’s own words. Forgive me, Mr. President, I forgot that I was talking to you, but that op-ed in the Wall Street Journal lays bare, so to speak, exactly what this is all about. Now whether it will persuade enough Republican representatives to vote for this package for Ukraine, that’s not my purview. But I would just suggest that this is not completely a closed deal here. The Republicans are pretty angry about how this is all folded out. 

Scheer: Let me just say… 

McGovern: Of course they give money to Israel. Will they support Ukraine? We’ll have to see. It’ll be another couple of days. We’ll see how they vote on that.

Scheer: This is not your area of expertise, but I thank you for your amateur observation about the politics, we are, yes, in an election season, and there is certainly a reality that one has to consider. Let’s go to Israel and, just the news today, there’s some kind of, once again, peacenik, flotilla or something, and, it seems public opinion is going against Israel. As you are aware, I had to make some criticisms of Netanyahu and so forth. But what is the current assessment? 

McGovern: Robert, I’m glad you asked that because a lot of my friends are on that Gaza flotilla, the flotilla, the international flotilla to break the siege of Gaza. I was myself on one of those flotillas back in 2011. Now what’s happening in Turkey is a cargo ship loaded with 5,500 tons of medical supplies and food are just about ready to leave Turkish ports with a flotilla of some passenger ships to try to break the siege of Gaza. It’s a pretty dangerous undertaking. Coleen Rowley from the FBI, Anne Wright, former colonel in the U.S. Army and former diplomat, Medea Benjamin, activists, they’re all on there. The women seem to have a lot of the courage these days. And there are other friends of mine on that flotilla. I pray that Netanyahu will not do what he did in 2010, namely send Commandos to attack the flotilla to kill nine people, one more since died, including an American citizen, okay. And they stopped the Turkish Mavi Marmara was the name of that big ship from breaking the siege of Gaza. We tried the next year and Obama couldn’t persuade Netanyahu to let us pass. We had a boat we called the U.S. boat to Gaza. It was registered to the United States.

We called it the “Audacity of Hope,” and Obama didn’t have the audacity to tell Netanyahu, look, leave him alone. Instead, he prevailed upon the Greeks not to let us out of the port of Piraeus. We got nine nautical miles out and the Greek coast guard ships very apologetically turned us back saying, No, we’re going to have to board you if you don’t turn back. We turned back and they impounded our vessel. So that’s the kind of courage that Obama showed. Whether Biden would show any more courage, we doubt it. So those of you who are praying people, please remember the international flotilla to Gaza this year, they’re about to depart and they have something, they have hundreds of international observers, human rights observers that are also running the risk of what Netanyahu tends to do to people who are trying to bring medical supplies. 

Scheer: If you don’t stop this editorializing, I think this will be your last presidential briefing. But let’s stick to what you’re here to do. Are these people on the boat, they’re what? Soviet agents? They’re what? What’s going on? Why would a legal counsel from the FBI or a colonel from the U.S. military, why would they be doing this? And what is going on? Because we’re not understanding this shift in public opinion. And now summoning your expertise, that’s what you’re here to brief on, tell us, is this a sea change? What’s going on? Because the, up till now, the David-Goliath image of a beleaguered Israel has been accepted as reality, and now suddenly it’s being objected to all over the place, including even in, by Chuck Schumer in the U. S. Senate. What is happening? This is what your real expertise is supposed to be on. 

McGovern: Mr. President, the bad news is that there’s genocide going on in Gaza. 34,000 Palestinians already killed in Gaza. The worst news is that Israel intends to finish them off. It’s clear from their public pronouncements themselves that the idea is to, what’s the word, liquidate or to banish the people that remain. 1,000,004 in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza. Now, you are aware, of course, that Israel could not do this without U.S. weapons and U.S. political support. So there’s the juncture, there’s the crucible here. The world is looking on. And if Israel retaliates for this very, very perspicacious attack that Iran laid over the weekend on Israel then, you will be faced with the decision, Mr. President, as to whether to let Prime Minister Netanyahu turn his nose at you again, or will you actually be able to stop the supply of weapons to Israel, which would stop the genocide? So in a way, these folks on this flotilla to Gaza, just cannot abide the notion of our country enabling the kind of genocide that I was alive for, and you were alive for, Robert, during World War II, happen in Gaza, and they’re trying to show that they have the guts to try to run this blockade, whether they succeed or not, whether the Israelis shoot them up or not, that’s immaterial. They have the courage to do this because they’re justice people, and they want to see justice done to the people in Gaza. 

Scheer: But what is the larger picture here, after you brought up the Ukraine, we’re dealing with that, and this has complicated it, because world opinion, was on the side of Ukraine as a smaller country fighting for its freedom, and, at least, if not on the military field, in terms of opinion, there was a lot of sympathy. Now, somehow that has shifted, taken all of the pressure off, shifted to Israel and that fight is not seen in the way that it had before. As little Israel fighting a big enemy, it’s Israel against civilians. This is a, if nothing else, a public relations disaster. But then to use the word genocide, is a profound change in how we think. And there do seem to be a lot of people subscribing to it. Is this basically being fed by Russia? Now, you are a Russian expert, Russian speaking and everything. Didn’t Russia basically support, have good relations with Israel and support Netanyahu? 

McGovern: It did up until the retaliation. It tries to keep open lines to Tel Aviv as Beijing does as well. But when we see what’s going on there, and when we see, for example, the U.S., the U.K. and France, vetoing a measure that condemns the extraterritorial attack on an Iranian consulate in Damascus, when those three powers say, no, that’s okay that you could attack what’s the equivalent of Iranian territory in Damascus, a consular, sacrosanct under diplomatic law. The people of the world are coming around and say, this is a little different. This is different and, whoa, we’re going to have to see how this plays out because it is the U.S. that is saying to Netanyahu, no more escalation. And if it seems likely, Netanyahu says, forget about it, we make our own decisions. Then, of course, the U.S. will be on the hot spot. Will it be embarrassed yet again by being defied by Netanyahu? Oh, will it finally make, make good on its promise not to give the wherewithal that Netanyahu uses to do genocide?

When I say genocide, of course, the International Court of Justice has said there was plausible genocide going on. They said that two months ago, for God’s sake. So it’s not McGovern making that up. And Robert, you know what genocide is, and we all know what genocide is, especially those of us long enough, old enough to have lived through World War II. Anyhow, the denouement is coming, and you can talk about a trifecta, if you will. You’ve got Gaza, you’ve got Ukraine, which we’ve talked about, and you’ve got the South China Sea. Where the U.S. is still running ships right up… they even have some marines nine miles off the Chinese coast, for God’s sake.

Provocation, it looks very much like if Russia gets in a dust up, a military dust up, with NATO, the Chinese will be making a lot of sable rattling and probably more in the South China Sea. Similarly, in Gaza, nobody knows what’s going to happen there. And the U.S. is committed. I’ll just tell you one more thing here, Mr. President. when you had your Scott Pelly interview with 60 Minutes, when Scott Pelly asked you at the very end of the interview, whether you thought that maybe the U.S. couldn’t, couldn’t contend with two crises, one in the Southwest Asia, the Middle East, and the other in Ukraine, I remember what you said, Mr. President. I remember it very well. If you don’t mind me imitating you, you said, we’re the United States of America, the most powerful country in the history of the world, in the history of the world, Scott! Pardon me, Mr. President, but that ain’t true anymore. It ain’t true anymore. And your advisors need to know that because Moscow and Beijing are joined at the hip, and not only that, they have Iran in this BRICS movement here. Moscow and Tehran are very close to concluding a cooperation agreement that is very close to a defense treaty. So it’s not the world that you grew up with, Mr. President. We were the most powerful country in the world after World War II, after the Soviet Union imploded. That ain’t the case anymore. And we need to face up to that. 

Scheer: You’ve tried my patience and this. You’ve brought in your own politics i’m not going to order a full FBI investigation of you, but I guess part of me respects that you’re being frank but let me tell you, as long as we’ve gone this far, in breaking the rules of these briefings, maybe we won’t have another one. I’m in a political campaign here, and my opponent; if you think that I’m doing anything reckless, my opponent defines reckless, and, this is an election, and anyone who entertains your ideas, even to the point of pacifism or whatever you’re advocating there with that flotilla, what are they going to do?

Vote for Donald Trump? Is Donald Trump going to negotiate with those other folks? Is he going to undermine Israel? Hardly. And what would you do if you were in my position? I know you think I’m evil in some respect, but I’m the lesser evil. What say you Ray? That is your name, right, Ray? 

McGovern: That’s correct. 

Scheer: Yes, you briefed a conservative president before, right? The Nixon administration, not, maybe personally. You briefed Ronald Reagan. Donald Trump, as you probably will conceive, is far more dangerous than those two chaps. Do you really think the voters want me to lighten up? They want me to be tough, a determined leader, courageous to use American force for justice.

McGovern: Well, Mr. President, as you know, we try to be apolitical and just serve up the facts. Now, I will say this, that back in 2016, I was in Germany and they were talking about the choice between Clinton and Trump. And they said it was “eine Wahl zwischen Pest und Cholera.” It was a choice between Plague and a cholera, okay? Now, I just offer that for you to reflect on. Now, I had a conversation with Robert Kennedy. He asked me if I would support him. I said, because of your stance, bizarre stance on the Middle East, I could not possibly support you. But, I see you as not the lesser of two evils. I see you as the least of three evils. I said that to Robert Kennedy on the phone, okay. He said, what do you mean? I said, your other policies make a lot of sense, and I will be able to give you good analysis on Ukraine, for example. But not on the Middle East. And we find you, at least I do, the least of three bad choices, evil options, I would say.

So it’s not a zwischen cholera und pest. It’s, a, educated in other respects, other than the Middle East. And, he’s all, thank you very much. And I never heard any, more from him, but, this time, I don’t know what’s going to happen, Mr. President. I do know that a lot of, of colleagues who have learned a lot about genocid don’t like, the fact that it is obvious that the United States is enabling and arming and making possible this genocide. It’s not my business to worry about, Mr. Trump, I will say this. I will say that when Putin was asked, President Putin of Russia was asked who he would prefer between Trump and Biden, he said Biden. My God, was he playing us? I don’t know, but then he said, I like the predictable. Okay. I liked a politician who’s been around for a while. I don’t like the unpredictable, says Putin. So as predictably, still talking to the president, as predictable as he sees you as the president, he doesn’t like Trump. And that’s been the case since before 2016, when we analysts told you that, there was no chance that Putin would prefer Trump.

That he would do anything to help Trump win against Clinton because the primary characteristic of a president across the ocean is predictability. And Trump was the incarnation of unpredictability. So this whole Russian thing, this Russian hoax was specious from the beginning. Mr. President, he likes predictability. He’d like you to be a little more predictable in what you want to do on Ukraine. And as I say one more time, all his speeches and his interviews over the last four weeks. have emphasized in a kind of almost repetitive style that he wants to negotiate, he wants to negotiate, but he doesn’t want to negotiate on what Zelensky has put forward as the basis for negotiations. I think you could have a deal with him if you wanted to change your tune and instead of shoving more money to the military industrial complex and making believe that Ukraine can win that there would be the possibility of a deal then, and then you could turn your attention to Gaza and the Far East, and you’d only have two, can you say difector, no, two of the trifecta to deal with. 

Scheer: We’ve stretched the limits of these presidential briefings beyond what I will accept in the future. but I guess I could say it was nice knowing you in this capacity. But, let me just give you a piece of wisdom. You smart guys in the CIA. I have to get re-elected. And you just gave me the answer. If I can paint my opponent as even more reckless than myself, I will have a blank check to do what I am going to do. And you’re going to have to live with it. And the American people are going to have to live with it. But that’s, it. I’m ending this session and take care. Well, that’s it for this edition of Scheer Intelligence. This is a bit of the theater of the absurd. I think we try to keep to the script, but, reality is now the theater of the absurd. We’re talking about the end, the possible end. We thought we actually managed to one up the threat from global climate change to actually nuclear war.

Let me, thank you Ray McGovern for putting up with this. Thanks to Christopher Ho and Laura Kondourajian at KCRW, the excellent NPR station in Santa Monica, for hosting these podcasts. Joshua Scheer, our executive producer, Diego Ramos, who writes the introduction and Max Jones, who does the video.

I want to thank the JKW Foundation in memory of a fiercely independent writer and public intellectual Jean Stein, for helping fund these shows. And we’ll see you next week with another edition of Scheer Intelligence.

https://scheerpost.com/2024/04/19/ray-mcgovern-one-more-presidential-briefing-with-president-scheer/

 

 

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albania.....

FOR ALBANIA, THE THREE DEVILS WERE: AMERICA, THE USSR AND ISRAEL....

 

WATCH BLINKEN'S FACE....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwoFXLNX-pI

Someone Finally Told Blinken to His Face That…

 

 

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provoked....

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill authorizing the government to liquidate seized Russian assets and transfer the proceeds to Ukraine. It also includes measures forcing the sale of TikTok by its Chinese owners and authorizing stricter sanctions on Russia, China, and Iran.

The bill was passed by 360 votes to 58 on Saturday. Known as the ‘21st Century Peace through Strength Act’, it rolled together a number of previously disparate bills, most notably the so-called ‘Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity (REPO) for Ukrainians Act’, which allows the Biden administration to confiscate billions of dollars’ worth of Russian assets held by American banks and transfer them to Ukraine.

The US and EU have blocked an estimated $300 billion in assets belonging to the Russian central bank since the start of the Ukraine conflict in February 2022. The vast majority of these assets are held in Europe, but American banks are sitting on around $6 billion, according to multiple reports in US media outlets. 

At present, the US has no legal mechanism to seize these assets, and has moved relatively paltry sums of seized Russian money to Estonia for use in Ukraine. 

While the bill passed with bipartisan support, it was strongly condemned by fiscal conservatives and anti-war Republicans. US Senator Rand Paul warned earlier this year that “confiscating Russia’s sovereign assets is an act of economic war” that would undermine global confidence in the US.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued a similar warning on Friday, while the Kremlin has declared that any actions taken against its assets would amount to flagrant “theft.”

The ‘Peace Through Strength Act’ also included a measure that would ban TikTok if the app’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, does not sell off its US operations.

The FBI and Federal Communications Commission have long maintained that TikTok passes user data to the Chinese government, but TikTok has repeatedly denied the allegation. 

Beijing has argued that forcing a sale “runs contrary to the principles of fair competition and international economic and trade rules.”

The bill also authorizes additional economic sanctions on Russia, China, and Iran.

In a series of separate votes on Saturday, the House approved massive military aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, which along with the ‘Peace Through Strength Act’ will now be combined into a single bill and sent to the Senate for approval. Totaling $95 billion, the legislation will provide $61 billion in aid to Ukraine, $26 billion to Israel, and $8 billion to Taiwan and other countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

House Speaker Mike Johnson relied on support from Democrats to bring the bills to the House floor, but the decision may cost him his job. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia), an ardent opponent of funding for Ukraine, has filed a motion to remove Johnson from the speakership. Posting on X (formerly Twitter) after Saturday’s vote, Greene called the aid “despicable,” and said that the US “should be demanding peace, not funding the military industrial complex’s blood money wars fueled by dead bodies in Ukraine.”

https://www.rt.com/russia/596318-congress-assets-russia-ukraine/

 

Moscow will not leave the potential US decision to hand over its frozen assets to Ukraine unanswered, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Saturday. His words came after the US Congress greenlighted a potential transfer.

“America will have to pay for this, if it is indeed so,” the Russian official said, referring to the potential confiscation. Moscow set no time limits for responding to Washington’s actions, he stated, adding that Russia will tailor its response to “serve our interests in the best possible way.”

The US would hurt itself if it proceeds with such a plan, the Kremlin spokesman warned. Confiscating Russian assets undermine the principle of “inviolability of private… and state property,” he said. Such a move would prompt many investors to withdraw their money from the US and cause “irreparable damage to the US image,” Peskov believes.

Peskov did not elaborate on what specific measures Moscow could take in response to the seizure of its assets.

READ MORE: US House approves gifting seized Russian assets to Ukraine

Earlier on Saturday, the US House of Representatives passed the Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity (REPO) for Ukrainians Act, which essentially opened the way for the US government to liquidate frozen Russian assets and transfer the funds obtained to Ukraine.  

The bill was adopted as part of a legislative package that also included authorizing $61 billion in additional spending on aid to Kiev. The emergency spending bill had been stalled in Congress since last fall as lawmakers were concerned that Washington lacked a strategy for victory or a peace settlement in the Ukraine conflict.

The EU and other G7 nations have blocked an estimated $300 billion in assets belonging to the Russian central bank since the start of the Ukraine conflict in 2022. Of that amount, €196.6 billion ($211 billion) is being held by the Belgium-based clearinghouse Euroclear. Since last year, those funds accumulated nearly €4.4 billion in interest.

https://www.rt.com/russia/596320-peskov-russian-assets-us/

 

MEANWHILE MIKE PENCE STILL LIVES IN THE FOX NEWS DREAMLAND OF "UNPROVOKED" RUSSIAN AGGRESSION ON UKRAINE WHEN WE, AND THE WHOLE WORLD (INCLUDING MIKE PENCE), KNOW THIS IS A BLATANT LIE. RUSSIA WAS PROVOKED BY NATO AND THE NAZIS IN YUCKRAINE, NAMELY THE KIEV GOVERNMENT OF FASCISTS RUN BY THE FASCIST PENTAGON PUSHING FOR THE TRADITIONAL AMERICAN DESTRUCTION OF RUSSIA SINCE 1917.

 

MAKE A DEAL PRONTO BEFORE THE SHIT HITS THE FAN:

 

 

NO NATO IN "UKRAINE" (WHAT'S LEFT OF IT)

THE DONBASS REPUBLICS ARE NOW BACK IN THE RUSSIAN FOLD — AS THEY USED TO BE PRIOR 1922. THE RUSSIANS WON'T ABANDON THESE AGAIN.

THESE WILL ALSO INCLUDE ODESSA, KHERSON AND KHARKIV.....

CRIMEA IS RUSSIAN — AS IT USED TO BE PRIOR 1954

TRANSNISTRIA WILL BE PART OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION.

A MEMORANDUM OF NON-AGGRESSION BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE USA.

 

EASY.

 

THE WEST KNOWS IT.

 

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your taxes at work....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynpvC-g27Cg

SHOCKING: Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan Get $95 Billion from the US House, Border Crisis Is Ignored

 

MAKE A DEAL PRONTO BEFORE THE SHIT HITS THE FAN:

 

 

NO NATO IN "UKRAINE" (WHAT'S LEFT OF IT)

THE DONBASS REPUBLICS ARE NOW BACK IN THE RUSSIAN FOLD — AS THEY USED TO BE PRIOR 1922. THE RUSSIANS WON'T ABANDON THESE AGAIN.

THESE WILL ALSO INCLUDE ODESSA, KHERSON AND KHARKIV.....

CRIMEA IS RUSSIAN — AS IT USED TO BE PRIOR 1954

TRANSNISTRIA WILL BE PART OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION.

A MEMORANDUM OF NON-AGGRESSION BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE USA.

 

EASY.

 

THE WEST KNOWS IT.

 

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FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW....

 

YOU DO NOT WANT THE AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL MILITARY COMPLEX GO BANKRUPT, DO YOU?

 

 

 

SEE ALSO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEU26-oOQrs

Douglas Macgregor Exposes: A Series Of Western LIES About Ukraine War! Empire Of Lies Is DISGUSTING

blackmail?.....

Earlier this month, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene aired speculative concerns regarding Speaker Mike Johnson’s recent political actions, suggesting a potential blackmail situation to explain Johnson’s radical departure from his known conservative stances.

Mike Johnson has made a complete departure of who he is and what he stands for, and to the point where people are literally asking, is he blackmailed? What is wrong with him because he’s completely disconnected with what we want?” Greene asked during an appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show.

Now, a scandal involving Speaker Johnson’s family has reemerged. CIA/NSA whistleblower Tony Seruga brought to light troubling details about the Speaker on X platform.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2024/04/controversies-involving-speaker-mike-johnson-his-sons-resurface/

 

ACCORDING TO "RUMORS" (RUMOURS) ON THE SOCIAL MEDIA, THIS BLACKMAIL SITUATION COULD BE DUE TO HIS ADOPTED SON... THE SITUATION IS COMPLICATED, BUT IN A NUTSHELL, THERE COULD BE SOME SHENANIGANS, SOME INVOLVING "PORN" BY BOTH OF THEM... WE ALSO KNOW THAT MIKE JOHNSON GOT A "BRIEFING" BY THE "INTELLIGENCE" AGENCIES THAT WOULD HAVE TWISTED HIS NIPPLES...

WHO KNOWS... WE KNOW THAT JEFFREY EPSTEIN KNEW TOO MUCH — EMPLOYED TO TAINT MANY MALE POLITICIANS (RECORDED) BY "SEX WITH BORDERLINE UNDERAGED GIRLS", PLACING THEM IN A BLACKMAIL POSSIBILITY TO TOW THE POLITICAL LINE AWAY FROM THEIR "CONSCIENCE" WHEN REQUIRED. THE TRICK IS NOT NEW AND WAS ALSO PERFORMED IN AUSTRALIA (GUS'S SOURCES VERIFIED)....

WHO KNOWS....

 

 

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bribed????

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElRVeHHUsVQ

Speaker Johnson Got BRIBED To Send Money To Isr@el!

 

 

 

 

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iranian series....

Arte, the French-German cultural television network, has recently secured the Iranian series “Actor” for broadcasting. 

Directed by Nima Javidi, the series will be made available in French and German dubbing on the Arte TV channel and platform.

The first season of Actor is set to premiere on May 9 during prime viewing hours, ensuring maximum visibility for the series.

Arte says this move aligns with its reputation for showcasing diverse, high-quality programming to the channel’s European audience.

Actor has already garnered international acclaim, having won the grand prize at the French Seriesmania festival and the best screenplay award at the Seoul World Drama Awards.

Starring Navid Mohammadzadeh, Ahmad Mehranfar, and Hanieh Tavassoli, the series follows the journey of talented theater actors as they navigate complex adventures after accepting a unique offer.

Fans of the series can look forward to its European debut on Arte TV starting May 9.

https://ifpnews.com/french-german-network-arte-iranian-series-actor/

 

 

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axis...

 

THE AXIS OF RESISTANCE

 

A common question posed by the war and peace commentariat is why Russia and China tolerate the United States (US) conducting so many instances of terrorist activities, hybrid warfare, or regime change in the countries of the world that do not submit to Western rules and rule.  With regard to Ukraine, critics accuse Russia of fighting with the proverbial ‘one hand behind its back’ instead of hitting back hard against the Western powers that are really behind the terrorist activities on Russian soil conducted by Ukrainian proxy agents.  In Lebanon and Syria, the Israeli military was allowed to conduct bombing and missile attacks and assassinations against Iranian aligned forces without much in the way of retribution—that is until April 13, 2024.  What are the differing approaches to regime change by China, Russia and the US? And what is the role of the multi-national “Axis of Resistance”?

Regime change (putting a new national government in office) can be accomplished in many ways: parliamentary maneuver, election, assassination, coup, color revolution, wartime defeat, etc.  The US is generally credited with the most expertise and experience in conducting regime change in countries that get crosswise with US interests.  The US has an advantage in elections due to its ‘soft power’ ability in movies, press, television, social media, smartphones, and internet technology.  This ability also manifests itself in the so-called ‘color revolutions’ where it can be combined with the influence of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).  Wikipedia has an interesting article about “colour revolutions” which lists  the Rose Revolution in Georgia (2003) and the Orange Revolution in Ukraine (2004) among others, all of which were promoted by the US.

Another well-known US color revolution, but unsuccessful, was the ‘umbrella’ effort in Hong Kong.  In other unsuccessful tactics, the US promoted Alexei Navalny in Russia and Juan Guaido in Venezuela as future leaders.  Both these episodes resembled amateur attempts at comic opera, rather than serious foreign policy.  The US succeeded in elections in The Philippines and Argentina, where the former has become more anti-China, and the latter has reversed itself on membership in the BRICS organization.    It would be a full-time job trying to keep track of what appear to be the many US regime change operations around the world.

Less has been said about the regime change efforts of China and Russia.  China is generally portrayed as willing to work with any government on a business and economic basis, and dangles increased trade and investment as methods to influence foreign governments.  The exceptions seem to be mostly in Southeast Asia, where China is alleged to use more direct methods to obtain friendly governments.   In South Asia, the Maldives recently became more friendly to China and has asked the Indian military to leave the country.  The Maldives had joined the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative earlier.   China has become the number one trading partner with Africa, and the number one investor in African infrastructure.   There has been little news about any Chinese attempts at color revolutions on the African continent.

Russia has been in the news primarily in cases pertaining to bordering countries after the demise of the Soviet Union.  After the start of the Special Military Operation in Ukraine, Russia openly suggested to the Ukrainian generals that they conduct a coup if they wanted to preserve the Ukrainian army and prevent a wholesale destruction of their country.  The generals did not take the warning seriously enough.  In Kazakhstan, Russia used the Commonwealth States Treaty Organization (CSTO) to conduct a lightning military operation in January 2022, to support the incumbent regime from being overthrown in what appeared similar to a color revolution.  However, commentators noted that the CSTO forces were only in Kazakhstan for a week, and did not even fire a shot.  Russia has provided training and expertise to other governments in ways to defend themselves against color revolutions.   Russia has been denounced by the West for its efforts in Slovakia, claiming that Russia engaged in dirty tricks: “Russia Just Helped Swing a European Election; Slovakia’s new Russia friendly president won office with the help of a barrage of pro-Kremlin disinformation” (by Paul Hockenos, a Berlin based journalist, foreignpolicy.com, 2024/04/17).   Russia also seems to have had some success in Africa, when it invited all the African leaders to Moscow and nearly all of them showed up for a confab.  There have been numerous coups in Africa which often result in the French military going home, to be followed eventually by the US military.  The  story is very current in Niger, where headlines report that the US just agreed to get out and leave behind its $100 million military installation.  However, the fine print indicates that plans and procedures for leaving still have to be negotiated and that no timetable or deadline has been set.  In other words, the US will drag it out as long as possible.  The Russians appear to be moving into the country, building on previous experience with the Wagner Group and now some sort of  ‘Africa Corps’ in the making.

 

AXIS OF RESISTANCE

While China and Russia have been resisting US hegemonic influence throughout the world, a more particular grouping has acquired the name ‘Axis of Resistance’ for its organized attempt to counter US and Western imperialism and especially for its work to obstruct Zionist efforts in West Asia.  “The “axis of resistance” is an informal, loose-knit alliance that includes both Sunni and Shia Muslim groups and governments in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and Iraq, with differences and varying levels of proximity to one another and to Tehran.”  (“What is the ‘axis of resistance’ of Iran-backed groups in the Middle East,” by Fatima Al-Kassab, npr.org, 2023/10/26)  It might be helpful to review the situation vis-a-vis the Resistance in various countries in West Asia. 

 

IRAN

Over time, Iran, the prominent member of the Axis of Resistance (Axis) (Resistance) has acquired significant political and military power in the West Asia neighborhood.  This is due partly to clever use of its Shia Muslim religious heritage, its millennial Persian heritage, its promotion of Islam generally in an attempt to overcome the Sunni-Shia divide in foreign affairs, its enormous reserves of oil and gas, and its crucial geographical location.   Iran sits atop the routes of the New Silk roads between China and Turkey/Europe/Africa, as well as the transport routes between India and Russia.  Iran might be termed a rook piece on the Grand Chessboard, able to move in all directions.  No wonder that the US has been trying, unsuccessfully, to bring about a regime change ever since the Iranian revolution tossed out the Shah and installed a clerical government hostile to the West.

So, with its growing influence as a Middle Power in West Asia, how, so to speak, does Iran play the ‘regime change game’?  It does not seem that assassination is high on the list.  Despite numerous assassinations of Iranian generals and nuclear scientists by Israel and the US, Iran has done little to respond in kind.  This may be surprising, since the original ancient Assassins organization was based in Persia:

“The Assassins (aka Nizari Ismailis), were a heretical group of Shiite Muslims who were powerful in Persia and Syria from the 11th century CE until their defeat at the hands of the Mongols in the mid-13th century CE. Secure in their fortified hilltop castles, they became infamous for their strategy of singling out opposition figures and murdering them, usually in knife-wielding teams. The group was known as the Assassins by their enemies in reference to their use of hashish, ‘assassin’ being a corruption of the Arabic hasisi (‘hashish-eater’), and so the name has since come to be associated with their chief modus operandi, the act of murder for political or religious purposes. The Nizari Ismailis continue to exist as a branch of Islam today.”   (“The Assassins” by Mark Cartright, 20 October 2019, worldhisory.org).

In fact, Iran has done very little, comparatively, to use any of the methods for regime change.  Instead, Iran has followed what analysts have called ‘strategic patience’ for many years.  The strategy is compared to that of ‘boiling the frog’ by slowing raising the temperature.  Another way of looking at it could be termed ‘friendly persuasion’ with diplomacy and a ‘velvet glove’ as the public exposure.  Iran has continuously called on all Muslim nations to cease fighting among themselves and to cooperate for the greater good of all.  Iran also benefits from the Chinese and Russian efforts which are broadly supportive of similar goals. 

Iran has a number of things to ponder: 1) Continued attempts by the US to promote a color revolution in Iran, 2)  Continued sanctions by the West, 3) Popularity in Iran of continued clerical rule and regulations, 4) Arrangements and activities with SCO and BRICS, 5) Interaction with China, India, and Russia, 6) Interactions and complications with the Muslim countries and the Arab countries, 7) What to do next with the Axis of Resistance, 8) What to do next following the tit-for-tat with Israel, 9) How to reconcile the treatment of historical Persia with the modern revolutionary republic, 10) Etc.

Iran has a special problem in trying to overcome the divisions between the Shia and Sunni Muslims, as well as the historical divide between the Arabs and the Persians.  Then toss in the legacy of the Ottoman empire and Western Imperialism to complicate international relations.  This complex background requires Iran to likewise engage in complex diplomacy and tailoring of military actions.

 

IRAQ 

At least part of the Iraqi government had requested that the US leave the country after the assassination of Iran’s General Soleimani and a top Iraqi military official on Iraqi soil. The US has been dragging its feet on the issue.  The Resistance attacked the US bases in an attempt to encourage the US to move fast toward an exit.  In February, 2024, the Resistance announced that it was  pausing attacks in order to give the Iraqi and US officials time to negotiate a withdrawal.  The Iraqi PM visited Washington in April 2024 for further talks on the issue.  Evidently little progress was made, since the Resistance has resumed attacks on US bases in Iraq.  The US has more interest in staying since missiles and drones launched by Iran against Israel pass overhead and the US can help provide targeting or other air defense assistance to help prevent the weapons from reaching Israel.  By the same token, Iran has a serious wish for the Yankees to go home. Therefore, it can be expected that the Resistance will continue to increase pressure on the US bases and Iran will increase pressure on the Iraqi government.  What kind of pressure remains to be seen.  Recently, Iraq hosted an important visitor, the President of Turkey.  The talks reportedly focused on water and the Kurds.

An article from the News Desk of The Cradle illustrates the complicated oil situation involving Iraq, the Kurds, ISIS, Turkey, and Israel: There are two oil pipelines between Iraq and Turkey, one controlled by the Iraq government and one controlled by the Kurds.  The government pipeline was damaged and closed ten years ago when ISIS overran the area.  The Kurdish pipeline was built in 2013 along a different route.  Most of the oil was sold to Israel, a supporter of the Kurds.  The Kurdish pipeline was closed last year after a court battle.  Now the government is repairing its pipeline and planning to ship up to 350,000 barrels a day to Turkey.  (Baghdad to reopen oil pipeline to Turkiye, bypassing Kurds, thecradle.co, April 8, 2024)

 

SYRIA

Syria is part of the Resistance network.  Portions of Syrian territory continue to be occupied by the US, by Turkey, and by Israel.  Syria would also like the Yankees to go home and stop stealing Syrian wheat and oil.  Syria has admitted having diplomatic talks with the US, but there is little public information about any substantive results.  If the US leaves Iraq, then the US would likely have to leave Syria, and that would in turn make it difficult for the Kurds to keep up their independence operation.  This would  put the PKK in a more difficult position and make it easier for Syria and Turkey to work out a solution of their issues. 

 

LEBANON

Lebanon as a country is not a member of the Resistance.  However, an important fraction of the country, the Shia Hezbollah, is aligned with the Resistance.   Lebanon is divided among Christians, Sunni Muslims, and Shia Muslims, with each group having approximately one-third of the population.  The political and economic situation is very unstable, with foreign governments constantly interfering in Lebanon.  The Resistance achieved a significant success three years ago when it arranged shipments of fuel from Iran to Lebanon during an extreme energy crisis.  The Lebanese populace celebrated the arrival of the fuel.  The Resistance has begun having some success in attracting Sunni Muslims as a result of the Gaza War.  Fighters from a Lebanese Sunni party, Jama’a al-Islamiyya, attacked the Israeli forces in coordination with Hamas and Hezbollah.  (Brothers in arms: the renewal of Shia-Sunni resistance against Israel, Bilal Nour Al-Deen, thecradle.co, April 4, 2024)

 

YEMEN

According to Wikipedia, the religious breakdown in Yemen is Shia Zaydis at about 45 percent and Sunni at about 53 percent.  The same source reports that there are three different governments in Yemen: Presidential Leadership Council in the Eastern portion, supported by Saudi Arabia; the Southern Transitional Council in the Southwest, supported by the United Arab Emirates (UAE); and the Supreme Political Council (Houthi) in the Northwest, supported by Iran.  The Eastern government is a successor to the previous unitary government in Yemen and was/is the officially international recognized government. That regime lost out in the civil war and became a de facto government-in-exile in Saudi Arabia for a time.  The historic capital of Yemen, Sanaa, is under the control of the Houthi.

A long civil war in Yemen eventually quieted down following the successful Houthi military strikes against facilities in both Saudi Arabia and the UAE, leading to mediation by China between Saudi Arabia and Iran.  The latter two countries are trying to get along peacefully, at least in public.  More trouble has broken out between Saudi Arabia and UAE based on political and business rivalry and disputes over territory.  This lack of unity has hampered efforts against the Houthi.

The Houthi surprised analysts by coming to the aid of the Palestinians in Gaza with attacks on Israeli-affiliated shipping in the Red Sea.  These attacks have expanded into the Arabian Gulf, and more initiatives are expected if Israel does not implement a ceasefire in Gaza:

“DOHA (Sputnik) – The United States and the United Kingdom have scaled down their naval presence in the Red Sea despite lack of abatement in the intensity of attacks carried out by Yemen’s Houthis rebels on Israeli-linked ships, the rebel movement’s leader, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, said on Thursday.

“Our operations have not decreased, as the Americans claim, presenting this as their achievement, but rather the movement of their warships has decreased. There has been an 80% reduction in the movement of US Navy ships, not our operations,” al-Houthi was quoted by Iranian broadcaster Almasirah as saying on the occasion of 200 days of hostilities in the Gaza Strip…

Moreover, the leader of the movement also known as Ansar Allah said that there was an ongoing effort to expand and strengthen operations in the Indian Ocean in ways that “the Americans, the British, the Israelis, and perhaps the rest of the world cannot envision.”

…His statements came a day after the movement announced attacks on a US ship and a destroyer in the Gulf of Aden and an Israeli ship MSC Veracruz in the Indian Ocean after a week-long standoff.

Houthis have been launching attacks on commercial and military vessels in the region for months, in response to Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip. The attacks prompted the US to form a multinational coalition to protect shipping in the area, as well as to strike Houthi targets on the ground.”  (“US & UK Reduced Naval Presence in Red Sea—Houthi Leader,” sputnikglobe.com/2024/04/06)

 

BEYOND THE AXIS

On May 2, 2024, Turkey announced that it would cease most trading with Israel in an historic change of policy.  Turkey had continued to do business with Israel despite the Gaza War, and this economic support of Israel counteracted efforts by the Resistance to place economic sanctions on Israel.  One reason advanced for the change is the election losses by Turkey’s ruling party, blamed on public unhappiness with Turkey’s continued trade with Israel and lack of support for the Palestinian resistance.

There are also popular demonstrations against the Jordanian, Egyptian, and Saudi Arabian government policies concerning the Gaza War and the Palestinian cause.  While these governments have had a definite distaste for the Muslim Brotherhood, and offered minimum support for the Palestinians, the notorious actions by Israel have inflamed public opinion in these countries.  This divergence thus increases the possibility of regime change.  In addition, a group claiming to be from Bahrain has announced rocket attacks on the Israeli seaport of Eilat.  Also, it was widely reported that a number of countries in West Asia hosting US military bases had advised the US to not use their countries as locations to launch attacks against Iran if Iran retaliated for the Israeli bombing of the Iranian diplomatic building in Damascus. 

The West Asian pot has been heating up for more than seven months.  The political temperature is going up due to actions at the UN, ICJ, and ICC, as well as demonstrations, elections, and recalls of ambassadors.  The economic temperature is going up due to the push for boycotts, divestiture, and sanctions.  The Resistance has been contributing to the local warming by missile attacks on Israeli affiliated shipping in the Red Sea, then the Arabian Gulf, and now threats to the Mediterranean.  Yemen, then Iraq, then Bahrain Resistance groups have attacked the Port of Eilat, basically closing it down.  Now the Resistance has stepped it up with attacks on the Port of Haifa.  Next may be Ashdod, one of the three most important seaports in Israel.  Alternative shipping routes to Israel have been put in doubt due to the recent Iranian arrest of ship in the Strait of Hormuz.   Cruise ships have canceled visits to Israel.  Commercial aircraft service to Tel Aviv has been interrupted off and on by missiles flying about Israel.  Israel’s GDP went down 20% in the fourth quarter of 2023, when things were relatively cooler.  Unless the US and Israel find successful measures to reverse the trend, the two countries are facing difficult times. 

Contrary to Zionist planning, the Gaza War has led to increased public pressure from all over the world in support of the Palestinians and is beginning to create greater internal disagreements inside Israel.  Voting in the UN continues to isolate the US and to tar the US with the same brush as Israel.  The US government has, so far, been unable to find a way to escape being ‘between a rock and a hard place.’  Likewise, the Israel Lobby campaign against critics of Israel is bringing into stark relief the question of who controls the US regime. On the contrary, the Axis of Resistance has been more successful in staying united and slowly moving forward with its efforts.

 

AXIS ISSUES

It is likely that the Axis must address a number of issues if it is to continue to strive for  alternatives to the status quo.  1) the Axis members are generally not fully integrated with the official government structure in several of the countries.  This network setup is rather unique in the current world situation and makes it difficult for international bodies to interact with them, or to apply normal diplomatic functions. 2) For greater success, the Axis would need to move beyond being viewed as a Shia grouping with an ax to grind.  It would need to include many more Sunni members and supporters and increase relations with the centers of Islamic learning. 3) In addition, the Axis might have to emphasize the campaign against imperialism so that the Resistance is not associated only with the Palestine issue. 4) The Axis also might expand its effort by working with the groups in other countries which are opposing imperialism, neocolonialism, apartheid, and genocide.  This would widen the Resistance movement coordination beyond the Muslim countries.  For example, there is the Freedom Flotilla attempting to sail from Turkey to Gaza, student demonstrations for peace in the US and Europe, attempts in various countries to limit the influence of Western NGOs, and African countries asking Western military contingents to pack up and go home.  There is a general ferment in the world which is melting the ice of 500 years of Western hegemony.  The Western powers will not give up a half-millennium of control easily, so the Resistance will need maximum cooperation if it is to prevail.

https://sonar21.com/the-axis-of-resistance/

 

 

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