Gazing at Iran Through a Distorted Glass

A truism about U.S. politics and media is that once a foreign leader or a country has been demonized everything written or said about the subject will be skewed to the negative, a rule reflecting Washington’s groupthink and careerism, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes about Iran.

By Paul R. Pillar

With any country that, like Iran, has been the subject of acrimonious debate in Washington, pronouncements by American observers about events in that country have more to do with politics here than with what is going on over there.  So it has been with much of the spinning and interpreting of protests in Iranian streets during the past few days.  Some guidelines for intelligent, responsible, and useful commentary on those protests are in order, and applicable no matter what are the policy preferences of whoever is commenting.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani meeting a group of Iranian citizens. (Iranian government photo)

The first guideline is to apply a large dose of agnosticism to the question of where the protests are heading.  The future course of popular unrest in any country is inherently difficult to predict.  That future depends on the vicissitudes of emotion, the complex interplay of different issues and political forces, and the especially unpredictable ways in which minor incidents can spark much larger responses.  A current trajectory cannot be extrapolated into the future, partly because of the effects of decisions not yet made.  In the current Iranian case, security elements of the regime have refrained so far from using most of their capability to crack down on protesters, but have strongly hinted that the capability may yet be used.  Such use would change the game being played in Iranian streets, but again with much uncertainty about where things would go from there.

Some qualities of the current protests make their future path especially unpredictable, even in comparison with the larger protests in Iran in 2009.  There is no single movement with a recognizable leadership as there was with the Green Movement in the earlier disturbances.  There is no single happening or trigger equivalent to the disputed presidential election in 2009.  Diverse political elements have participated.  It appears that some of the first protests in Mashhad were the work of hardliners apparently seeking to embarrass President Hassan Rouhani, but they were joined by economically disgruntled citizens of other political persuasions.  The messages being chanted in the street also are diverse.

Domestic Economics

The diversity of the messages leads to another guideline, which is not to presume to know what is in the hearts and minds of protesters.  Nor should it be presumed that what is chanted or is written on a protester’s sign identifies the motivation behind the protests.  American commentators who have pushed for confrontation with Iran have taken pains to point out  how one theme voiced in the protests has been that resources ought to be spent back in Iran rather than for foreign adventurism.  But inclusion of that message does not overturn the recurrent pattern—in country after country in addition to Iran—that, per Bill Clinton’s famous observation, it is the state of a nation’s economy that most determines whether political support is won or lost.  Most residents of provincial Iranian cities in which protests have occurred probably care little about the Syrian civil war or the balance of forces in northern Iraq.  They care instead about unemployment and a stagnant standard of living.  If a slogan about foreign adventurism is consistent with the economic grievances and it sounds like a point where the regime might be vulnerable, then it gets used.

Americans ought to find this easy to understand because we have had in the United States similar dynamics between economic discontent and political themes.  Donald Trump molded a winning campaign with themes such as America having allowed foreigners to take advantage of it in ways that supposedly have had economic repercussions at home.  But the Rust Belt voters who were swayed by Trump’s message did not really care about whether bilateral trade deals were better than multilateral agreements or whether Europeans weren’t paying their fair share of NATO’s expenses, let alone about U.S. refueling of Saudi warplanes bombing Yemen.  They cared about unemployment and a stagnant standard of living.  And if Trump loses their support it will not be because, contrary to what he said in the campaign, he has not curbed foreign adventurism and has even expanded it.  It instead will be because he did not bring back jobs and improve standards of living for working class Americans.  Such dynamics are remarkably similar to what appears to be going on with much of the current popular unrest in Iran, which can be described as a working class protest in which many protesters have much in common with denizens of the Rust Belt.

Consistency is Key

Another guideline is that, however much knowledge one may or may not claim to have about what is going on in Iran, one at least should be logically (as well as morally) consistent.  The protests have presented consistency challenges especially to those who have argued most strongly for confrontation with, and punishment of, Iran.  The chief inconsistency is that those who have been most in favor of imposing more rather than fewer sanctions on Iran are also those who today are calling most loudly for supporting the economically disgruntled protesters in Iranian streets—who are among those most economically harmed by the sanctions.

Arguments that have long been used against the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the agreement that restricts Iran’s nuclear program, raise additional challenges to consistency.  If the current protests are a good thing—and the aforementioned anti-Iran American hardliners seem downright excited about them—one needs to note that this is happening with the JCPOA having been in effect for two years.  Wasn’t that agreement, according to the agreement’s opponents, supposed to have given Iran a windfall that unduly and prematurely relieved economic pressure on Tehran?  The opponents try to square this circle with the notion of the regime diverting the “windfall” to foreign adventurism while making citizens suffer.  This notion usually gets conveyed without any supporting data about economics and fiscal policies (and Rouhani’s policies have emphasized domestic economic improvement above all else).  It also raises another inconsistency.  If the current protests really are as much of a regime-shaking occurrence as some American hardliners contend, wouldn’t any Iranian leader with at least half a brain and a desire to stay in power use the “windfall” to buy domestic support rather than wasting it away on foreign adventurism, if that really were the choice?

By treating the protests as a vehicle for pressuring the regime to change non-nuclear policies, the American hardliners also run into inconsistency with all their prior opposition to doing any business with the Iranian regime, of which opposition to the JCPOA has been a part.  If this regime is as irredeemable and thoroughly dominated by hardline fanatics as the American hardliners have repeatedly portrayed it, who could possibly emerge from such a cauldron to respond positively to street protests?  Thus we get intellectual contortions such as trying to argue in the space of a single paragraph that it was a mistake in the past to “be in the business of currying favor with the regime’s ‘moderates’ ” but that today the protests provide an occasion to “strengthen the arguments of pragmatists arguing for a change in policy”.

Regardless of whether the eventual overall outcome of the current protests is good or bad from a U.S. point of view, it would be just as mistaken for supporters of the JCPOA to claim credit for whatever good comes out of them as for opponents to make such a claim.  The JCPOA needs to stand or fall based on its intended purpose, which was to close all pathways to a possible Iranian nuclear weapon.  The economic under-performance that has spawned discontent in Iran, as manifested in the current protests, has multiple sources.  Economic mismanagement by the regime is one.  Sanctions are another, including non-nuclear sanctions that the United States keeps in place today.  Moreover, even the lifting of nuclear sanctions has not brought much of the hoped-for economic benefit to Iran, given uncertainty in the private sector—uncertainty the Trump administration has vigorously stoked—about the future of the JCPOA, with the private sector knowing of the U.S. Treasury’s ability to punish even non-American businesses for any future sanctions transgressions.  The Rouhani government also probably raised Iranian economic expectations to an unreachable level as it worked to sell the agreement over hardline Iranian opposition.

Dangers of Foreign Interference

Street art outside the former US embassy in Tehran, Iran, where on the 4th of November 1979, Iranian students took American diplomats hostage and held 52 of them for 444 days. Sep. 29, 2007. (Flickr Örlygur Hnefill)

Another guideline for American commentators of any persuasion is to be mindful that such commentary is not only part of an American debate but also is heard by Iranian ears.  This includes ears in the regime, where, as with regimes everywhere, the perception that a foreign government is trying to overthrow you is a big disincentive to doing any business with that government or trusting its promises.  Also listening are the protesters and other citizens of Iran.  Regardless of the sympathy we have for them, American expressions of support will not be fuel for keeping the protests going.  No would-be protester will go out in the street and risk arrest or worse because some U.S. leader encouraged him to do so.

The much more likely hazard is to taint Iranian opposition with the stain of foreign involvement.  For any Iranian movement, a perception that the United States put it up to whatever it is doing is a political kiss of death.  Those in the United States urging a more active encouragement of the protests dismiss this hazard by saying, “No matter what we say and do, the regime will seek to blame the United States for the protests.”  Of course it will; that’s the sort of accusation almost any regime in such a situation will make.  But that’s beside the point.  What matters is whether the United States makes such accusations appear credible, in the eyes of Iranians in the street and Iranians in general, by what it does and what it says.

Certainly there is a role for declaring strong support for the right of Iranians or any other people to express their grievances peacefully, and for condemning any use of force against such expression.  The line between such declarations and a posture that gives credibility to the Iranian regime’s accusations about foreign interference is admittedly thin.  But the line exists, and Americans do no favors to the Iranian people by crossing it.

Finally, as the events in Iranian streets have gotten regime change juices flowing again back in the United States, those feeling the flow need to be careful what they wish for.  They should bear in mind how hardliners apparently were in the forefront of getting the current protests going.  They also should think about the likelihood that the Iranian politics and policies that would follow any harsh crackdown on protesters—which is still one of the possible next chapters in the current events—would likely be at least as unfavorable to U.S. interests as what Tehran exhibits now.  In other words, change can be a change for the worse rather than for the better.

Also worthy of reflection is the absence of Green Movement-style leadership of the current protests, and more broadly of a credible alternative leadership for the nation that would be better than what Rouhani represents.  The paucity of attractive alternatives for Americans to latch on to is demonstrated by how many otherwise sane U.S. political figures have latched on to the terrorist-group-cum-cult known as the Mujahedin-e Khalq, which has little support inside Iran.

Even if a more attractive leadership were in the wings, the history of revolutions worldwide shows how frequently a moderate figure becomes an Alexander Kerensky, who gives way to more extreme and ruthless elements who hold power much longer.  Iran itself has had its Kerenskys, in the persons of Mehdi Bazargan and Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, briefly-tenured leaders after the fall of the shah who lost out to the forces of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

If all this were not enough to give pause, there are more recent lessons in Iraq, where U.S.-fomented regime change boosted the influence of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Libya, which is still divided and chaotic.

Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is author most recently of Why America Misunderstands the World. (This article first appeared as a blog post at The National Interest’s Web site. Reprinted with author’s permission.)

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104 comments for “Gazing at Iran Through a Distorted Glass

  1. Gen Dao
    January 13, 2018 at 5:08 am

    Mr. Pillar, thank you for a good article! However, I think you are ignoring the fact that Rouhani’s standard IMF-style neoliberal economic policies are part of the problem, not the solution.
    1. His plan to cut stipends to the poor is cruel.
    2. His policies privilege white-collar workers in Tehran and hurt the proletariat in the smaller cities, where the demonstrations are centered.
    3. His policies help Iran’s job-killing financial sector at the expense of the industrial sector, which creates most of Iran’s jobs.
    4. His policies are just as deluded as those of the EU economic policy-makers, who mistakenly believe that austerity is the way to stimulate the economy and create jobs. Unless Rouhani hires some new, enlightened economic advisors, Iran will experience the same austerity-induced, self-inflicted suffering that is tearing the EU apart.

    Mr. Pillar, I think you should put more emphasis on economic policy in your analyses of Iran and read a wide variety of economists, not just neoliberal IMF types, since economic policy seems to be at the root of the current unrest in Iran.

  2. January 11, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    Apply a large dose of agnosticism to the question of where the protests are heading

  3. mike k
    January 9, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    It is with considerable trepidation that I would like to offer this advice to Mr. Parry. Google “stroke alpha lipoic acid.” This natural substance has proven to be remarkably effective in recovering from stroke. There is solid research on this widely available supplement.

    • Drew Hunkins
      January 9, 2018 at 5:09 pm

      We need Mr. Parry badly. We need him in the fight for truth.

  4. mike k
    January 9, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    Underlying this whole discussion of the US and Asian countries is the assumption that the US must control what happens in this vast region. This is founded in the US pretension to world domination. What the hell is America doing in Asia in the first place? What right do they even have to be there at all? Why don’t they pick up all their toy battle ships and airplanes and dough boys and go home and tend to their own business – which very much needs their attention, and has a lot more to do with their well being than misguided adventures in world conquest? As long as this fundamental reality is not acknowledged and acted on, the world will only face ever worsening misery and violence. All kinds of temporary bandaids are never going to fix this basic source of our troubles. US leaders should read Thucydides, and learn what happened to the Athenian Empire from it’s hubris in launching an ill considered attack on the Sicilians.

    • godenich
      January 9, 2018 at 9:50 pm

      Yes, I agree with you that we do need to develop a better good-neighbor policy, perhaps “Mind our own business and if asked for help, do no harm”. Experience can be a good teacher or a reminder of what we have forgotten. Along with the long line of historians[1], like John Bagnell Bury and Will Durant , there exists entertaining multimedia on ancient history to name just a few[2-15]. In the West, I have a growing suspicion that our fixation on technology and specialization, in order to succeed in supporting ourselves and our families, are symptoms for neglect of our better judgment and appreciation of the past. There have been times when I have felt like a hamster, a lab rat or just plain cannon fodder!

      [1] List of Historians | Wikipedia
      [2] 1600-362 BC – Ancient Greece | Youtube History Den
      [3] 753 BC – 476 AD Ancient Rome| Youtube History Den
      [4] Alexander – Jacob Abbott | librivox & downpour
      [5] 323-30 BC – Wars of the Diadochi | Youtube Playlist
      [6]146 BC-1869 AD – A History of Greece – George Finlay | Internet Archives
      [7] 98-1590 AD Roman Empire – Edward Gibbon | librivox & downpour
      [8] 3000 BC – 1519 AD – Secrets of Archaeology | History Channel
      [9] 600 BC – 20th Century – World History | Khan Academy
      [10] General History of Africa Vol 1-8 | Unesco
      [11] China – New Frontiers | CCTV9Documentary | Youtube
      [12] From Yao to Mao | The Great Courses
      [13] BBC Story of India | Youtube
      [14] 500 BC – 1855 – Empire of Russia | John Abbott | librivox
      [15] 1613-1918 – The Romanovs | Montefieore | Downpour
      [16] The Persian Empire | The Great Courses

  5. Drew Hunkins
    January 8, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    I find it beyond tragic that Mr. Parry suffered his recent health ailments. Mr. Parry was always a godsend, illuminating areas that were otherwise concealed or filled with obfuscation.

    I can’t count the times over the last few years that I’d eagerly anticipate his well written and always insightful pieces on the most recent hot topic of the day. Mr. Parry would never disappoint, consistently doling out facts and analyses that were unequaled.

    I’ve noticed over the last few days that CN just isn’t the same since he fell ill. What’s awful is that it was basically the establishment Russophobia that got to him. Here we have a valiant professional journalist doing his due diligence only to succumb to a stroke likely because of all the stress in unearthing the skulduggery behind Russiagate and the most responsible people in the room totally ignoring or pathetically attempting to disparage his astonishingly valuable work.

    If this portends a vastly diminished role for Mr. Parry, it’s saddening beyond belief.

    Here’s a tip of the cap to Mr. Parry, a once in a generation journalist-intellectual-commentator who always fought the truthful fight regardless of where it led him.

    • Annie
      January 8, 2018 at 5:58 pm

      He had an ocular stroke, and all depends on where, eye, brain, and if they were able to intercede fast enough medically to stem the damage. Life really isn’t fair. Hope he is improving.

    • backwardsevolution
      January 9, 2018 at 2:47 am

      Drew Hunkins – well said. When I found this site and read some of Robert Parry’s articles, the first thing I said to myself was: who is this man who speaks the truth? He is a diamond in a sea of glass.

      I hope for his speedy recovery, that whatever happened to him turns out to be only a blip on the radar screen, and that he returns again to excellent health. The passion he holds for getting the truth out there is one of the things that will pull him through. He is a fighter.

      Out of the blue, things can happen. I experienced something like this in my early 20’s. One minute I was standing; the next minute I was not. After spending two weeks in bed, I slowly recovered and it never happened again.

      Another person I know didn’t think he would ever walk again. This was about ten years ago, and although it took about a year for him to recover, he’s never looked back.

      Let’s all picture Robert Parry in our minds and send him good healing thoughts. Get well soon, Mr. Parry.

  6. January 8, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Are we in the hands of war criminals?
    ———————————————————————–
    January 5, 2017
    When Gangsters Are In Control

    When gangsters are in control, endless wars slaughter millions of souls
    And countries are destroyed by the hit men of the gangster ghouls
    The unethical money changers finance their dirty depredations
    And corporate cannibals profit from the bloody confrontations

    Government by gangsters is now “the rule of law”
    And “justice” is in the hands of criminals and outlaws
    The language is twisted and debased
    To suit these evil demons of the “human race”

    Fancy titles and Houses of ill repute
    Is where these villains consort and debut
    Making “laws” to screw the masses
    Yet, people continue to vote for these asses

    If there really was “law and order”
    These gangsters would be charged with genocide and murder
    Instead these war criminals parade on the world stage
    When they should be in a big enormous prison cage

    They sell arms and weapons to bloody head choppers
    They don’t know the meaning of improper
    Grovelling and saluting financiers of terrorism
    They are in bed with the dictators of barbarism

    Such is the sick state of the world today
    And much, more could be said, of the gangsters’ way
    Evidence abounds of these criminals roles
    That’s why we know gangsters are in control…

    [Much more info at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/01/when-gangsters-are-in-control.html

  7. weilunion
    January 7, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    Many readers know of Robert Parry’s great work on Iran Contra. But many people do not know that Iran Contra was a far more complex story involving the US, CIA, George Bush, the Shah,etc. etc.

    “Farah Mansoor, is a member of the Iranian resistance whose historic research on the rise of the Khomeini regime documents the decisive role of the United States in developing Islamic fundamentalist forces in that country as the anti-communist successors to the Shah’s government. Farah has documented that U.S. Ambassador to Iran,

    Richard Helms, learned that the Shah had cancer in 1974. Former Director of Central Intelligence Helms promptly informed the CIA and Department of State with the result that, by 1976, George Bush’s CIA was actively supporting and grooming the Khomeini forces. The subsequent takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, the withholding of the U.S. hostages until after President Carter’s defeat was assured, the Khomeini government itself and the Iran-Contra scandal proper were all outgrowths of this profound and long-standing relationship.

    It should be noted that parts of this relationship have been misunderstood as what has become known as “the October Surprise.” Although there was, massive collusion between the Reagan-Bush campaign and the Khomeini forces during the 1980 election campaign, there was no “deal” cut during the campaign. Rather, the “deal” was part of a covert operation begun years before and the collusion during the campaign was an outgrowth of it”

    http://spitfirelist.com/anti-fascist-archives/rfa-29-34-the-iran-contragate-scandal/

    • backwardsevolution
      January 8, 2018 at 10:32 am

      weilunion – thanks for posting the link to that site. Very interesting what you have posted re Iran. This will take some time to digest. If true, then we have all been played. Wow, say it isn’t true!

    • godenich
      January 8, 2018 at 2:44 pm

      Yes, I second Backwardsevolution’s thanks. I downloaded it for after I finish “All the Shah’s Men”.

  8. January 7, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Article on Iran at link below.
    ————————————————-
    Iran in 2018
    PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS • JANUARY 5, 2018

    http://www.unz.com/proberts/iran-in-2018/

  9. Trowbridge H. Ford
    January 7, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    It would really help your claims, Pillar, if instead of going all over the place, thanks to the efforts of others, and mentioned the real grievances Iran has which have distorted the looking glass, like shooting down that Iranian airliner mlimium costs, keeping Tehran on the sidelines during the Gulf Wars by those Pentagon-produced quakes like it did in Turkey by getting rid of Ecevic with the Kzmit quake in 1999, and disposing of John P. Wheeler, III when he opposed attacking Iranian nuclear testing site by a gas attack to obtain a new START treaty with Russia, a murder which still remains unsolved.

    Then Washington’s efforts in regime change there by reinstalling the Shah, thanks to heir, who opposed it, Ali-Resa Pahlavi’s alleged suicide in January 2011.

    Washington has been obsessed with getting rid of the mullahs since their inception.

  10. January 7, 2018 at 11:09 am

    The Modus Operandi of the war criminals is still the same, Think Libya, Syria, Ukraine and others. The ‘Great Satan’ and his satanic gang of war criminal allies feed off blood, death and destruction. More at link below.
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/12/the-great-satan-and-his-satanic-gang-of.html

    • weilunion
      January 7, 2018 at 8:03 pm

      Yes, this appears to be nothing more than another color revolution. Look for Soros.

  11. backwardsevolution
    January 7, 2018 at 10:07 am

    “Iran and Myths of Revolution:

    In Iran today, the question isn’t whether “The People” will topple “the regime.” It’s whether, when, and where a split might occur in the ruling establishment to create a rival point of authority. If that doesn’t happen, a revolt it will remain, either being suppressed or dying out on its own.

    Ironically, in Iran’s 1979 revolution, the Islamic establishment itself may be regarded as having been a kind of second pivot. Keep in mind that in 1953, the Islamic clergy – most prominently Ayatollah Abol-Ghasem Kashani, friend and mentor to Ruhollah Khomeini, the future Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic – was allied with the Shah in the CIA-sponsored overthrow of the left-leaning Mohammad Mosaddegh. Without such support it’s unlikely the Shah would have succeeded.

    Most of the mullahs were content to stay in their well-paid government sinecures under royal authority, even after 1963, when the Shah launched his “White Revolution” modernization program of land reform, privatization, and most controversially women’s rights and legal equality of non-Muslims. But Khomeini, forced into exile, led the denunciation that the reforms were an “an attack on Islam.” From his place of exile in Paris, Khomeini inveighed against the threat to Islam and eventually became the second pivot that brought down the Shah.”

  12. godenich
    January 7, 2018 at 2:08 am

    Netanyahu and Trump are singing the same old song in two-part harmony, “Look over there[1,2], not here[3-8]”.

    [1] Israelis watch closely as Iran protests | Deutsche Welle | 2018
    [2] Trump jokes Dow 30K will be the next big milestone. Here’s how long it could take | CNBC | 2018
    [3] Twin Deficits May Doom Stock Market Boom | Peter Schiff | 2018 | Youtube
    [4] In Trump’s first year, stocks soar for rich, but wages stay flat | Chicago Tribune | 2018
    [5] Thousands rally against ‘crime minister’ Netanyahu in Tel Aviv | Times of Israel | 2018
    [6] Teva workers threaten to blow up Jerusalem factory in protest over layoffs | Times of Israel | 2017
    [7] Global debt is the danger: beware the butterfly moment | Financial Times | 2018

  13. Abe
    January 6, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    It is important to understand how economic factors have contributed to unrest among working-class and lower middle people in Iran.

    Iran’s domestic economy was affected both by sanctions and the drop in global oil prices.

    Journalist Vijay Prashad discussed the impact of these factors on the Iranian economy:

    “Oil prices began to drop sharply in the second half of 2014 as a result of high output from Saudi Arabia and their Gulf allies. Iraqi and Libyan oil production had fallen, so it appeared on the surface that the Saudis and their Gulf allies were merely covering that shortfall. But as supply far outpaced demand the volume of oil that the Gulf countries produced seemed to have a political motive. It hurt Iran, already wracked by the UN, European Union and US sanctions, but it also hit Russia and Venezuela. The West and the Saudis saw these three countries – Iran, Russia and Venezuela – as adversaries. It was quite clear that this was a political move. […]

    “Iran’s government – led by Hasan Rouhani – had raised the expectations of the population when it negotiated the nuclear deal with the West and the United Nations in 2015. The sanctions cost Iran more than $160 billion in oil revenues since 2012. This penalty was borne by ordinary Iranians, who saw their standard of living fall and their aspirations for the future narrow. Rouhani had said that the nuclear deal would attract investment into the country and free up Iran from the murderous sanctions regime.

    “But, since the nuclear deal, the handcuffs on Iran remain. The US – under Trump – tightened non-nuclear sanctions. Trump’s belligerence towards Iran has stayed the hand of many transnational firms that had earlier expressed interest in making investments inside Iran. Rouhani’s bet has not really paid off. The 2015 nuclear deal, an achievement in its own right, did not fully provide the kind of relief needed for the Iranian population. Expectations were raised, but little has been delivered. […]

    “There is something vulgar about the way Trump and Netanyahu and their ilk are fanning on the protests in Iran. After all, it is the US-Israeli policy to strangle Iran that has created the conditions for these protests. But the end of the sanctions has condensed frustration in the government of Rouhani and in the Islamic Republic itself – not on the West’s continued policies. Politically Trump and Netanyahu benefit from Obama’s nuclear deal; it has made it appear as if the West is no longer responsible for the crisis in Iran.”

    The Economics Driving Iran’s Protests
    By Vijay Prashad
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/04/the-economics-driving-irans-protests-why-trump-and-bibi-are-not-in-charge/

  14. KiwiAntz
    January 6, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    America’s well worn, regime change template is now being directed towards Iran & Nth Korea.The only way to stop this illegal behaviour by the US is to possess nuclear weapons to deter American interventions & regime change coups? The same dodgy narrative of taking advantage of a internal protest to fan the flames of dissent & justify the overthrow of another Country’s sovereignty is sickeningly familiar & now being played out in Iran? Not content with meddling, interfering & destroying the countries of Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria & orchestrating the coup in Ukraine & elsewhere from South America to Africa, America is the biggest obstacle to World peace & needs to be stopped! It’s Worldwide hegemony & imperialist ways are leading us to a new World War & are in violation of every U.N. non interference law that states that you can’t interfere with another country’s sovereignty. And this pathetic US Ambassador Nikki Haley who has the barefaced cheek to pontificate at the U.N. security Council about the purity of America’s human rights concern’s for others defies belief & is a sad joke played on the World? They couldn’t give a hoot about human rights, it’s all about looting & stealing other Countries resources & selling deathly weapons to justify endless wars & conflicts? The World is sick of America’s warmongering ways & I can see a time coming when every Nation on Earth will turn on America either militarily or economically to totally isolate this death cult Country from other Nations to stop this endless nonsense & abuseive behaviour from the Worlds biggest bully! All people have a right to determine their own course & only want to be left in peace! We have had enough of American imperialism!

  15. Abe
    January 6, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    “Both neocons and their liberal counterparts have posted publicly their support for the protests, claiming to support the Iranian people despite their past support for the sanctions that damaged Iran’s economy – the very factor that allegedly inspired the protests in the first place.

    “Though the plan to support a popular uprising depended on the organic emergence of some unrest, however minimal, within Iran, the plan to inspire an insurgency requires more careful preparation. Given the establishment of a new CIA ‘mission center’ focused on ‘turning up the heat’ in Iran last June – which has sought to make Iran ‘a higher priority target for American spies’ – along with the U.S. operation in Syria, the groundwork for such an insurgency has now been laid.

    “Of particular concern is the fact that the CIA officer in charge of the center is Michael D’Andrea, a Wahhabist who has overseen the agency’s drone bombing program and was a key player in the CIA’s torture program. According to Moon of Alabama, he is believed to be the mastermind behind U.S. cooperation with extreme Wahhabi groups in Libya, Iraq and Syria.

    “In addition, Israel has openly worked with terrorist groups active in Iran in the past, namely the Jundallah terrorist group that Israeli Mossad hired to kill nuclear experts in Iran and for other tasks in its covert war against the Islamic Republic.

    “Arming the uprising

    “As the protests in Iran have unfolded, the increase in violent incidents suggests that U.S.-Israeli support for both a popular uprising and their support for a budding insurgency have merged and are taking place simultaneously. For instance, there has been a precipitous rise in the number of ‘armed protesters’ since the ostensibly ‘peaceful’ protests began, including a group of armed individuals that attempted to overtake government buildings and military bases.

    “Others have killed police and participated in the wanton destruction of property. Others still have shot innocent bystanders, who were then threatened into saying that the police had been the shooters. Eyewitness reports have claimed that many of the more violent protesters are ‘non-native’ (i.e., foreign).

    “However, the most telling evidence has been the emergence of terrorist activity in eastern Iran. As the protests were beginning, a Sunni jihadist group known as Ansar al-Furqan exploded an Iranian oil pipeline in the Khuzestan province. The group – which, according to the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium, has ties to al-Nusra Front in Syria – claimed that it carried out the attack in order to ‘inflict losses on the economy of the criminal Iranian regime.’

    “Both the U.S. and Israel have close ties to al-Nusra Front in Syria. The U.S., for its part, funneled weapons to al-Nusra by continuing weapons shipments to Syrian opposition groups in Idlib even as they declared allegiance to al-Nusra en masse, and even took al-Nusra Front off the terror watch list after it changed its name. An al-Nusra Front commander also infamously claimed in 2016 that ‘the Americans are on our side.’ Meanwhile, Israel’s long-standing commitment to aiding and funding the terrorist group, while also treating their wounded, has been an open secret for years.

    “In addition, the terrorist group Mujahideen-e-Khalq, popularly known as MEK in the West, has been active in the current protests as well. Despite its record of killing innocent civilians, Western media has cited MEK spokespeople and members in its reporting on the protests as “proof” that the Iranian people are calling for regime change, while ignoring the massive pro-government rallies that have coincided with the protests. Little mention has been made of the fact the MEK fighters have been trained by the U.S. military in the past and share connections with Israeli Mossad.”

    Birth Of An Insurgency: The US-Israeli “Secret Deal” To Manipulate Protests In Iran
    By Whitney Webb
    http://www.mintpressnews.com/birth-insurgency-us-israeli-secret-deal-manipulate-protests-iran/236009/

    • Gregory Herr
      January 7, 2018 at 3:38 pm

      The “playbook” of using sanctions and terrorist provocateurs to destabilize Iran is bad enough. Equally disturbing–referenced in Webb’s article–is the call for the assassination of an Iranian general who has “warned the U.S. military command in Syria that it best remove all U.S. forces currently present in Syria “or the doors of hell will open up,” adding that “I advise you leave by your own will or you will be forced to.” “.

      Of course Russian patience with continued U.S. interference n Syria is wearing thin as well–but the U.S. apparently is dtermined to continue atrocious efforts towards wider conflagration.

  16. January 6, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    February 10, 2017
    Will the War Agenda of the War Criminals Result in Nuclear War?
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/02/will-war-agenda-of-war-criminals-result.html

  17. Mark Thomason
    January 6, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    The same thing happens domestically. Once an attitude is settled on, then only one interpretation of facts is seen now matter how many different ways they could be interpreted. Blinders are typical of US media and pundits on all subjects, not just foreign subjects.

  18. January 6, 2018 at 1:01 pm


    Is it now Iran’s turn to be subjected to the planned and hellish wars that have already engulfed Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan and other countries? Will, the gates of hell be further opened to include an attack on Iran? …
    [read more at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/02/will-there-be-war-with-iran.html

  19. January 6, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    “According to four-star General Wesley Clark, shortly after the attacks of 9/11, the Pentagon adopted a plan to topple the governments of seven countries; Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.” Darius Shahtahmasebi, January 27, 2017.
    http://www.mintpressnews.com/the-u-s-plan-to-topple-all-7-countries-on-trumps-refugee-ban-list/224475/

  20. January 6, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    And still more info at link below.
    ——————————————————————
    Iran Claims It Has “Hard Evidence” Of Foreign Meddling In Protests
    by Tyler Durden
    Sat, 01/06/2018 – 10:58
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-06/iran-claims-it-has-hard-evidence-foreign-meddling-protests

  21. January 6, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Another article of interest at link below.
    —————————————————————-
    U.S., ISRAEL AND SAUDI ARABIA LEADING WORLD TO WAR WITH IRAN, FRANCE SAYS
    BY TOM O’CONNOR ON 1/4/18 AT 12:05 PM
    http://www.newsweek.com/us-israel-saudi-arabia-leading-world-war-iran-france-says-770728

  22. Liam
    January 6, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Inverting Reality: Photos of Anti-Government ‘Protests’ in Iran (Used By Western Media) Turn Out To Be Images from “Pro-Government Marches”

    https://steemit.com/news/@clarityofsignal/inverting-reality-photos-of-anti-government-protests-in-iran-used-by-western-media-turn-out-to-be-images-from-pro-government

    Western Media Ignores Story of Massive Pro-Government Rallies Held in Iran

    https://steemit.com/dtube/@clarityofsignal/aufpzvq4

  23. January 6, 2018 at 7:07 am

    Even if Trump and Netanyahu, try to take credit for whatever they are causing, they are not in charge. The well of Iranian patriotism is deep.
    The Iranians will not take their orders from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington.
    But neither will they sit quietly as their lives fall apart before their eyes. *

    • * How well I know, I lived and worked 4-years with them in Iran cities with IAA / BHI in Tehran, Isfahan, and 2-years with NIOEPC (Now NIOC) countryside – restricted areas Khuzistan- and Bachtiari-province for which I was issued certificate L’interieur.

  24. H Beazley
    January 6, 2018 at 5:11 am

    Doesn’t this just look like the typical regime change operation perpetrated by the CIA in countless other countries? Remember the unrest in Ukraine before the US led coup in 2014. We would be naive not to recognize the similarities.

    • backwardsevolution
      January 6, 2018 at 6:36 am

      H Beazley – yes, it’s the same old movie played over and over again. They’re all so similar, it ends up being a game of “spot the differences”.

  25. January 6, 2018 at 12:04 am

    Article of interest at link below.
    ————————————————————————
    EDITORIAL | 05.01.2018 | EDITORIAL
    Western Arrogant Doublethink on Iran
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/01/05/western-arrogant-doublethink-on-iran.html

  26. Al Pinto
    January 5, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    @Zachary Smith….

    “Rouhani is presiding over an economic system which has growing poverty and inequality, and he is pushing policies which will make those trends even worse? No wonder Iranian Joe Sixpack is aggravated.”

    It’s not like life is better in the US, let’s see, paraphrasing:

    “Deep State is presiding over an economic system which has growing poverty and inequality, and it is pushing policies which will make those trends even worse? No wonder American Joe Sixpack is aggravated.”

    Well, at least the Iranian Joe Sixpack has the guts to protest….

    • Zachary Smith
      January 5, 2018 at 9:19 pm

      Your point is a good one, and I wonder why the US is so tame. During an actual stolen Presidential election in 2000, there was no protesting worth noticing.

      There must be a lot of factors, and I’m too fuzzy-brained to even think of them all. The US has a 24/7 news system which overwhelms us and makes us numb to events – we can’t even keep track of them all. The non-stop sports broadcasting does pretty much the same thing, I suspect. We drink a lot – over 9 liters of pure alcohol per capita per year vs 1 liter for Iran.

      Illegal drugs. I believe we are the world leader in these.

      An estimated 208 million people internationally consume illegal drugs. In the United States, results from the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that 19.9 million Americans (or 8% of the population aged 12 or older) used illegal drugs in the month prior to the survey.

      I’d wager those numbers are on the low side, but that’s what the link said. We use a hell of a lot of LEGAL drugs besides alcohol too.

      Total Number of People Taking Psychiatric Drugs in the United States – a Grand Total of 36,472,663, or another 12% of the population is prescribed “docility” drugs.

      The people working two or three jobs probably don’t even know there is anything worthy of protest. In any case, we’re constantly bombarded with reassurances we’re The Greatest Nation On Earth. Exceptional!

      I fear this is an unstable situation, and that Obama spoke more truth than he realized when he said he was saving the Big Bankers from the pitchforks. Or the guillotine. People can only be pushed so far, and then they’ll snap.

      • Al Pinto
        January 6, 2018 at 2:47 pm

        “The people working two or three jobs probably don’t even know there is anything worthy of protest. In any case, we’re constantly bombarded with reassurances we’re The Greatest Nation On Earth. Exceptional!”

        And when people know, that there’s something worth for protesting, then the government shuts it down. Cases such as Occupy Wall Street and Ferguson comes to mind. Just like in any other country, where the ruling class is threatened….

        And you are correct, the MSM does glamour about the the greatest nation, military, law enforcement, etc. Most people believe that, without even thinking about it. Respecting military and law enforcement personnel is fine, and I do. But it’s going way overboard, seeing it at sport events on the daily basis is tiring to see. Maybe the government, deep or shallow, don’t want to see another Vietnam type of judgment for the military by the people. $30-60K of tax payers’ money for military aircraft flyover is to much. In my view, it’s totally unnecessary since the MSM would never report like they did during the the Vietnam war….

    • backwardsevolution
      January 5, 2018 at 9:21 pm

      Al Pinto – good points. Considering Iran has been under severe economic sanctions “almost” non-stop since 1979, they have done very well for themselves. That’s almost 40 years!

      The under-30 young people (consisting of half of Iran’s population) should be out with signs reading, “Stop the sanctions, America. We are hungry.”

      And the amount of Americans on food stamps, disability, unemployed, addicted, homeless, living in poverty doesn’t exactly make Iran look bad. Just imagine if the rest of the world had sanctioned the U.S. for the past 40 years.

      Terribly unfair.

      • Dave P.
        January 7, 2018 at 3:42 pm

        backwardsevolution –

        Besides the homeless people, people on food stamps . . . for people who are over 55 or 60 and are not in a settled professional or other employment, it is very difficult to find a job and they are in hard times. Just fifty years ago, their parents, with no professional education could raise a family of five with mother staying home.

        Some us us from a different background understood half a century ago, to keep the prosperity here in U.S., the rational political/economic policy to follow was:

        1. Investment at home instead of technology and capital export to S. Korea, Japan, and other countries later on.

        2. Some tariffs to help to keep the industry here in U.S. America developed industry during nineteenth century by imposing tariffs against Western Europe.

        3. Limited immigration , mostly merit based.

        4. Helping the Third World countries to check their population growth. Genuinely helping those countries develop their economies to meet their needs, instead of exploiting and plundering their resources.

        5. Working for a peaceful World – peaceful coexistence.

        And so on . . .

        Our policies has been exactly the opposite.

        And now with this globalization, it is apparent that Social Security, Medicare in U.S., and across the Atlantic, the universal health care and support system will be no more in the near future.

        Macron, with his picture put on the front page of Time magazine, has been built up to be the new leader of the so called Free World. He is Soros boy. I read some where that during his presidential campaign earlier last year, he said that there is no such thing as French Culture now. Macron is the perfect poster boy of this Neoliberal Global Economic order under West’s hegemony – all the rest of the Nations as Vassal States. And there will be wars to subdue the Nations who resist.

        I

        • backwardsevolution
          January 8, 2018 at 10:26 am

          Dave P. – excellent post. Yes, if you stand back far enough, you can actually see the noose tightening. We are being pushed and pulled, all while being led to believe that we are in control of our lives.

          No such thing as French culture now? What? This is what people need to open their eyes to: the destruction of culture, tradition, values, community, country. They think it doesn’t matter if you lose these things, just as they think it’s okay to limit free speech. They won’t even notice these things are gone until it is too late.

          Macron was groomed specifically for that job. He does not govern with a love of France in mind. I do not trust him, nor do I trust that George Soros. Soros is one of the most destructive people ever to walk the Earth, IMO. I have a hard time believing he’s acting on his own, though. As he’s actually causing a lot of damage everywhere he goes, I think if he wasn’t doing what some higher-ups wanted (probably the U.S. and Israel), he’d be dead by now – bumped off by them. Evil man.

          I like all of your numbered points, Dave, and I think you’re right about Social Security, etc. As another poster said, “Get it through your heads, people. They do not care about you, at all.”

          • Dave P.
            January 9, 2018 at 2:16 pm

            baclwardsevolution –

            In his interview with Der Spiegel, Martin Schulz, head of SPD Party of Germany said that there is no such thing as Nation State in Europe now. It seems like United States of Europe will lead to a system similar to the one in U.S.A. , Plutocracy as President Jimmy Carter last Year said about the U.S. democracy now. That kind of United Europe under Germany will paricipate in make even more Wars on the planet. It was brave of Carter to say that about U.S. democracy.

            Watch the interviews of Milos Zeman, the current elected President of the Czech Republic, and Vaclav Havel the former President, with Sophie Shavardnze on You tube – RT. Both said that E.U. in its current form is a bad idea. Vaclav Havel was the famous dissident in that country during the Soviet times.

          • backwardsevolution
            January 9, 2018 at 6:57 pm

            Dave P. – yes, having a common currency was a good idea, but they should have left it at that. The elite just ram in whatever they want. They have referendums (only when forced to have them), and if they don’t turn out favorable for the elite, they just have another one and another one until they get the answer they want, or they don’t even ask the people at all. Disgusting. They tell the people, “Oh, don’t worry, you’re going to love it.” Yeah, right. Now there’s huge bureaucracies that sit above their individual governments and they’re never going to get back their sovereignty.

            The elite always have a plan, and we never get to see the disaster until we’re knee-deep in it. Then it’s too late to undo it.

            Dave, we might as well be plastic blow-up dolls.

          • Dave P.
            January 9, 2018 at 11:11 pm

            Backwardsevolution –

            M.K. Bhadrakumar’s blog dated Jan 9, 2018 is worth reading – about this latest development in Syria.

            Under the title – U.S., Israel step up hybrid war in Syria.

            The link is:

            http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/author/bhadrakumaranrediffmailcom/

  27. Onyx
    January 5, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Iran has a population about equal to all the counties we have destroyed in past few decades. They are far more advanced too. They will fuck us up. What we will have to do in response will turn the whole world against us.

  28. backwardsevolution
    January 5, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    The above (under moderation) article I posted by Mike Whitney also said:

    “The Obama administration did not sign the Iranian nukes agreement because it wanted to, it signed it because it had to. Iranian negotiators made a number of crucial concessions that not only intensified the ongoing inspections regime, but also agreed that Iran would be treated more harshly (and unfairly) then any other nation that had ever signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. ‘The agreement subjects Iran to greater restrictions and more intrusive monitoring than any state with nuclear programs.’ Simply put, the US insisted that Iran accept a number of special protocols which in effect treat Iran like a second-class citizen. Iran accepted these terms so the US would stop its relentless economic strangulation which has persisted almost-continuously since 1979.

    It is worth noting, that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program nor is there any evidence that they were trying to develop one. Like Saddam’s fictitious Weapons of Mass Destruction, ‘Iran’s nukes’ are largely a myth created to justify nonstop US-Israeli aggression. Check it out:

    ‘It is essential to recognize that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapons program, nor does it possess a nuclear weapon. On February 26, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Ayatollah Khomenei, the supreme leader of Iran, ended his country’s nuclear weapons program in 2003 and ‘as far as we know, he’s not made the decision to go for a nuclear weapon.’

    This repeats the ‘high-confidence’ judgement of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) that was first made in November 2007.”

    Even though Iran agreed to be put under a steam-roller (heavy inspections) in order to stop the sanctions against them, they can’t win because the West just won’t leave them alone!

  29. backwardsevolution
    January 5, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    An article by Mike Whitney describes his view of the Iran situation. Iran has been heavily sanctioned by the West for almost 40 years now.

    “…relentless economic strangulation which has persisted almost-continuously since 1979.”

    He goes on:

    “Iran has no nukes, no nuclear weapons program, and no sinister nuclear project aimed at blowing up Israel or the United States.”

    He describes lots of troops around Iran:

    “It’s also worth noting that ‘Forty-five US military bases encircle Iran, with over 125,000 troops in close proximity’ and that both Republican and Democratic presidents have repeatedly expressed their support for regime change in Tehran. Moreover, the vast majority of Senators and Congressmen have frequently expressed their contempt for Iran while supporting covert activities to destabilize the government or punish the people.”

    He also describes the threat that a more Western-type government would have on the religious leaders in Iran, i.e. they would lose their power and they don’t like that idea. Half of Iran’s population is below the age of 30! Wow, can you believe that? These young people want a more open government, not so religious.

    Kind of like capitalism fighting religion.

    Of course, once you lose your religion, your culture, you’re left with nothing, aren’t you? There has to be a happy medium. Hard to get that with capitalism OR religion; it seems to be “either/or”. Food-for-thought article.

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/05/will-trump-use-human-rights-to-kill-the-iran-nukes-deal/

    And of course if they open up to the West too much, they’ll probably lose their oil, their lifeline. Iran has a lot of oil.

  30. Delia Ruhe
    January 5, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    Since Washington’s distortion jobs always remind me more of the American state than the state being demonized, I’ve always thought of those propaganda narratives – those “Evil Empires” – as psychological projections that allow Official Washington to continue believing in the eternal innocence of America. After all, how else are Americans gonna continue embracing America as the exceptional nation, the indispensable nation, the nation with the manifest destiny to rule the world through interference in the economics and politics of any other nation, especially the ones that require regime change and/or invasion and/or occupation and/or nation building? In short, this means that sovereignty is a right which the US possesses, while nations who also insist upon their own sovereignty need to be disabused by the US of that notion.

  31. Virginia
    January 5, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    The best thing about Pillar’s article is the research it inspired from commentators. Backwards evolution perfectly described the “backwards evolution” of Iran! That was noted and, sadly, it is true. Bully nations seek to bring other nations to their knees through vile means.

    BTW, there are two good articles re. two major US newspapers (WSJ & NYT) on rt.com today. Also, Judicial Watch has a video on net neutrality. Censorship and controll of media content demand more than a heart’s protest.

  32. cmp
    January 5, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Have you heard about the new 1040-EZ tax form? .. Yeah, just sign your whole paycheck. Fold as directed, and it doubles as a prepaid envelope that is addressed to Israel.. (..smile..)

    ~~~~~
    Now, according to Hillary’s emails, Iran is going down. … It’s not an if. It’s a matter of when.

    https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/18328
    “.. Iran’s nuclear program and Syria’s civil war may seem unconnected, but they are. For Israeli
    leaders, the real threat from a nuclear-armed Iran is not the prospect of an insane Iranian leader
    launching an unprovoked Iranian nuclear attack on Israel that would lead to the annihilation of
    both countries. What Israeli military leaders really worry about — but cannot talk about — is
    losing their nuclear monopoly. An Iranian nuclear weapons capability would not only end that
    nuclear monopoly but could also prompt other adversaries, like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, to go
    nuclear as well. The result would be a precarious nuclear balance in which Israel could not
    respond to provocations with conventional military strikes on Syria and Lebanon, as it can today.
    If Iran were to reach the threshold of a nuclear weapons state, Tehran would find it much easier
    to call on its allies in Syria and Hezbollah to strike Israel, knowing that its nuclear weapons
    would serve as a deterrent to Israel responding against Iran itself.

    Back to Syria. It is the strategic relationship between Iran and the regime of Bashar Assad in
    Syria that makes it possible for Iran to undermine Israel’s security — not through a direct attack,
    which in the thirty years of hostility between Iran and Israel has never occurred, but through its
    proxies in Lebanon, like Hezbollah, that are sustained, armed and trained by Iran via Syria. The
    end of the Assad regime would end this dangerous alliance. Israel’s leadership understands well

    why defeating Assad is now in its interests. Speaking on CNN’s Amanpour show last week,
    Defense Minister Ehud Barak argued that “the toppling down of Assad will be a major blow to
    the radical axis, major blow to Iran…. It’s the only kind of outpost of the Iranian influence in the
    Arab world…and it will weaken dramatically both Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas and Islamic
    Jihad in Gaza.”

    Bringing down Assad would not only be a massive boon to Israel’s security, it would also ease
    Israel’s understandable fear of losing its nuclear monopoly. Then, Israel and the United States

    might be able to develop a common view of when the Iranian program is so dangerous that
    military action could be warranted. Right now, it is the combination of Iran’s strategic alliance
    with Syria and the steady progress in Iran’s nuclear enrichment program that has led Israeli
    leaders to contemplate a surprise attack — if necessary over the objections of Washington. With
    Assad gone, and Iran no longer able to threaten Israel through its, proxies, it is possible that the

    United States and Israel can agree on red lines for when Iran’s program has crossed an
    unacceptable threshold. In short, the White House can ease the tension that has developed with
    Israel over Iran by doing the right thing in Syria.

    The rebellion in Syria has now lasted more than a year. The opposition is not going away, nor is
    the regime going to accept a diplomatic solution from the outside. With his life and his family at
    risk, only the threat or use of force will change the Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s mind.”

    Thank You WikiLeaks!!!

  33. January 5, 2018 at 11:43 am

    The audacity of Iran to want to control their own oil. Britain and the US stole it fair and square. LOL

    • backwardsevolution
      January 6, 2018 at 4:30 am

      That’s funny, Hank!

    • Larco Marco
      January 8, 2018 at 3:33 am

      “We should keep the Panama Canal. After all, we stole it fair and square.”

      — Former US Senator, S. I. Hayakawa (R-CA)

  34. godenich
    January 5, 2018 at 7:24 am

    I’ve heard it said that wealth is a form of potential power and, if so, can be used to fuel empires and control peoples through subsidies and the levying of taxes and tariffs. It begs the age-old question, “Who benefits?!”, then by the revealed fact or act, “How is that possible?!”.

    The primary concern for most people, besides health, is economics. There are great economic thinkers[1,2] throughout history[3,4] from the ancients to those of our contemporary cultural-political BS international monetary systems. We see Trump’s new tax reform that lowers taxes, but delays the day of reckoning for our national debt and inherently-flawed tax & monetary authorities. Unlike the US, oil-rich non-diversified countries like Iran, Libya and Venezuela do not possess the exorbitant privilege of the world currency and are more vulnerable to inflation and economic sanctions. Greece has not even a currency of it’s own and is the sick man of Europe that suffers austerity from the fixed rate of the Euro with interdependent EU member nations, i.e. a financial time bomb.

    What it may mean is the rising cost of government excesses and economically unproductive militarism around the world is stunting improvement for most people’s standard of living. Depending on where one lives and their economic health, it may literally mean life or death. There is no magical quick fix, but until people educate themselves, I don’t see things starting to gradually change for the better anytime soon. A healthy dose of skepticism for public schools to properly educate on these matters and Congress to wisely legislate policy is worthy of consideration when regarding one’s own best interests.

    [1] Great Economic Thinkers | Various authors | 2007
    [2] The Worldly Philosophers | Heilbroner | 1999
    [3] History of Economic Thought | Rothbard | 1990’s
    [4] An Economic History of the world since 1400 | The Great Courses

    • January 5, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      Absurdity that US of Israel tells the world how it should and should not develop or just be.

      The ‘barefoot economist’ is helpful here. Manfred Max Neef. His book has a chapter titled, “The United States, an Underdeveloping Nation,”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjcbBnM2OUo

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32TqIBzVFSA

      This globe and the USA is basically poor, economically. Eighty percent of USA citizens have about 8 percent of the wealth. Compared to the One Percent and 19 Percent (many little Eichmann’s one and all) having 92 percent of that wealth, which means 100 percent of the Mass Murdering Media and the Politicians and Captains of Disruptive Technologies like Bezos and Zuckerberg, et al.

      Structural violence and levies, taxes, triple taxation, fines, legal financial obligations, school to prison pipeline, FIRE (finance insurance real estate) and its control of communities, usury, debt, fees, mortgages. You bet the American masses are flayed, and do not expect Americans to stand up like they do in Honduras or anywhere, even France or Argentina, Mexico. Americans are the disease and the cause.

      From the Soros-supported Show, Democracy Now:

      What “barefoot economics” is.

      MANFRED MAX-NEEF: Well, it’s a metaphor, but a metaphor that originated in a concrete experience. I worked for about ten years of my life in areas of extreme poverty in the Sierras, in the jungle, in urban areas in different parts of Latin America. And at the beginning of that period, I was one day in an Indian village in the Sierra in Peru. It was an ugly day. It had been raining all the time. And I was standing in the slum. And across me, another guy also standing in the mud — not in the slum, in the mud. And, well, we looked at each other, and this was a short guy, thin, hungry, jobless, five kids, a wife and a grandmother. And I was the fine economist from Berkeley, teaching in Berkeley, having taught in Berkeley and so on. And we were looking at each other, and then suddenly I realized that I had nothing coherent to say to that man in those circumstances, that my whole language as an economist, you know, was absolutely useless. Should I tell him that he should be happy because the GDP had grown five percent or something? Everything was absurd.

      So I discovered that I had no language in that environment and that we had to invent a new language. And that’s the origin of the metaphor of barefoot economics, which concretely means that is the economics that an economist who dares to step into the mud must practice. The point is, you know, that economists study and analyze poverty in their nice offices, have all the statistics, make all the models, and are convinced that they know everything that you can know about poverty. But they don’t understand poverty. And that’s the big problem. And that’s why poverty is still there. And that changed my life as an economist completely. I invented a language that is coherent with those situations and conditions.
      ….

      And I am working, several decades. Many studies have been done. I’m the author of a famous hypothesis, the threshold hypothesis, which says that in every society there is a period in which economic growth, conventionally understood or no, brings about an improvement of the quality of life. But only up to a point, the threshold point, beyond which, if there is more growth, quality of life begins to decline. And that is the situation in which we are now.

      I mean, your country is the most dramatic example that you can find. I have gone as far as saying — and this is a chapter of a book of mine that is published next month in England, the title of which is Economics Unmasked. There is a chapter called “The United States, an Underdeveloping Nation,” which is a new category. We have developed, underdeveloped and developing. Now you have underdeveloping. And your country is an example, in which the one percent of the Americans, you know, are doing better and better and better, and the 99 percent is going down, in all sorts of manifestations. People living in their cars now and sleeping in their cars, you know, parked in front of the house that used to be their house — thousands of people. Millions of people, you know, have lost everything. But the speculators that brought about the whole mess, oh, they are fantastically well off. No problem. No problem.

      • godenich
        January 9, 2018 at 7:33 am

        That show was enjoyable. Sustainable economics or GPI-based environmental economics is a complex study, Consider also upgrading our gas pipeline infrastructure to support hydrogen. Extending power generation systems to local communities and individual homes may be more economical in the long-term and help secure communities from system-wide failure, as well as generating productive work and business opportunities. My power goes out a couple times per year and you’re totally dependent on the government to fix it; It’s disconcerting. Since the regional power grids are considered a ‘national security’ issue, some of those budget dollars may be conceivably used to offset the difference of cost with oil, … and save our offshore oil reserves for a rainy day in the national interest.

    • Dave P.
      January 7, 2018 at 1:39 am

      Good post.

      Below is link related to this topic of Economics and Wars. It is blog by M.K. Bhadrakumar dated Jan 6, 2018 under the heading “Why Businessman Trump is upset with Pakistan”. It is interesting to read ; tells what is happening behind the scenes. Pakistan is switching to Yuan in its import /export transactions.

      http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/author/bhadrakumaranrediffmailcom/

      • godenich
        January 9, 2018 at 9:41 am

        Yes, it is enlightening. I was aware of the overall trend, but not specifically of Pakistan. I’m partial to the idea of each country having the benefit of it’s own currency for bilateral transactions and doing away with the idea of a world currency. It sounds easier than done.

  35. nmb
    January 5, 2018 at 5:40 am

    Donald Trump prepares ground for the next targets of the US imperialism: Iran, Pakistan
    http://bit.ly/2CDrNiC

    • Zachary Smith
      January 6, 2018 at 2:02 pm

      I was going to remark about Pakistan myself before seeing your post. Today the sites I visit were suddenly full of slams against that nation. Sample headlines:

      First Djibouti … Now Pakistan for Chinese Naval Base

      Pakistan’s Dangerous Slide to Extremism

      Opinion Pakistan, the Endlessly Troublesome AllyThe New York Times

      When the Neocon York Times starts banging the war drum about some particular nation, you’ve got to figure it’s a serious target. All those were from today’s links at the warmongering RealClearDefense site.

      h**ps://www.realcleardefense.com/

      So I checked some others. Google News I no longer have bookmarked, but I went there for the first time since they made the site unbearable:

      Trump Suggests Freezing $1.9B in Aid to Pakistan Just the Start

      Trump endorses proposal to spend Pakistan aid money on US infrastructure

      Fox:

      Trump freezes security aid to Pakistan

      Reuters:

      U.S. weighs Pakistani blowback as it piles pressure on Islamabad

      Has our Very Stable Genius© had some new directives whispered in his ear?

      “Whacking” Pakistan would not displease India. It would serve to poke China in the eye with a sharp stick. Holy Israel would want it on general principles – a Muslim nation with nukes? But another reason The Shithole might be pushing a Pakistan adventure is that it sits right next to Target #1 – Iran. Will the Zionist Trolls start pushing on this one? We’ll see.

  36. chris fales
    January 5, 2018 at 4:08 am

    I suggest that anyone interested in this subject, who is able to read Spanish, read a recent column by Nazanín Armanian. The column was published in the digital publication Diario Publico on 2 January. The author is an Iraniann living in Spain and is intimately familiar with the region

  37. robjira
    January 4, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    Another contribution to the great links everyone’s been providing is an excellently nuanced article by Robert Fisk:
    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/iran-protests-donald-trump-michael-dandrea-us-opposition-hassan-rouhani-reform-violence-riots-a8141271.html
    Fisk’s parting shot is about as clear a reminder as they come that if people en masse don’t drop the petty, philosophical bickering and pay attention to (and protest en masse)an obvious pattern of violent imperialism (both at home, and equally perilous abroad), we might wake up one day to find that we can’t engage in such bickering…because our Rulers have declared gatherings of 3 or more people to be illegal.

  38. Zachary Smith
    January 4, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    Iran Protesters Want Sanctions, No Support For Syria, Lebanon, Palestine – Call Themselves “Freedom Fighters”

    Isn’t it interesting the Iran Protesters demand the same things as Holy Israel wants?

    https://www.activistpost.com/2018/01/iran-protests-want-sanctions-no-support-for-syria-lebanon-palestine-call-themselves-freedom-fighters.html

    • January 15, 2018 at 7:05 am

      Zachary–

      It is vital that that connection be made.

      What you call “Holy Israel” —a religious association created to
      firmly establish Israel’s supremacy—-manipulated the use of
      the UK (a second choice to the Ottoman Empire which was
      dissolving). Afterwards, Israel fought for “independence”
      (“freedom”???) from the UK who wanted limitations on “Jewish”
      immigrants. (This is indeed a brief summary. For a more
      profound analysis see Thomas Suarez, STATE OF TERROR.)

      —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  39. mike k
    January 4, 2018 at 7:33 pm
  40. backwardsevolution
    January 4, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    Man, take a look at the “Sanctions Against Iran” page from Wiki:

    “The value of the Iranian rial has plunged since autumn 2011, it is reported to have devalued up to 80%, falling 10% immediately after the imposition of the EU oil embargo since early October 2012, causing widespread panic among the Iranian public. In January 2012, the country raised the interest rate on bank deposits by up to 6 percentage points in order to curtail the rial’s depreciation. The rate increase was a setback for Ahmadinejad, who had been using below-inflation rates to provide cheap loans to the poor… […]

    Sanctions tightened further when major supertanker companies said they would stop loading Iranian cargo. Prior attempts to reduce Iran’s oil income failed because many vessels are often managed by companies outside the United States and the EU; however, EU actions in January extended the ban to ship insurance. This insurance ban will affect 95 percent of the tanker fleet because their insurance falls under rules governed by European law. “It’s the insurance that’s completed the ban on trading with Iran,” commented one veteran ship broker. This completion of the trading ban left Iran struggling to find a buyer for nearly a quarter of its annual oil exports.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanctions_against_Iran

    If we crush them into submission, they’ll still like us, won’t they? I mean, this is all in the name of “bringing democracy”, isn’t it?

    Considering everything but the kitchen sink has been thrown at Iran, I’m surprised that their leaders have done so well.

    • mike k
      January 4, 2018 at 7:20 pm

      Interesting. Thanks for that info. Capitalism fights and kills with money. Capitalism is basically a form of war of each against all. That’s why it is so against socialism, because socialism leads to peace.

    • Annie
      January 4, 2018 at 8:03 pm

      Five hundred Iraqi children die during the Clinton administration due to his sanctions and sweet Madeleine says it was worth it, and it’s all done in the name of spreading democracy, and removing a dictator perceived as dangerous. Bill of course blamed Saddam Hussein, who had the money but just didn’t want to tend to the children. Sanctions are all about regime change, or destabilizing a country, and often don’t work and simply impose hardships on ordinary people.

      • mike k
        January 4, 2018 at 10:11 pm

        That was five hundred thousand children estimated to have died due to sanctions on Iraq – which was really a siege, an act of war. an attempt to starve people to death, as is happening in Yemen now with US cooperation. How many children are dying every day now due to cholera and malnutrition. Starving your “enemies” to death is one more ugly face of war. America worships a war god, they call it patriotism.

        • Annie
          January 4, 2018 at 11:37 pm

          I meant 500 thousand. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I think they use these sanctions to soften up a regime and make it easier for another onslaught. I always thought Clinton made it a lot easier for Bush’s 2003 assault on Iraq. His father also helped in that regard. I don’t know how these people sleep at night, and it’s something I actually think about, and I just don’t get it. Mostly I just think they are psychopaths, not criminals who wind up in jail, but people who have certain intellectual gifts, or talents, that allow them to enter the political arena.

          • irina
            January 7, 2018 at 6:58 pm

            We bombed Iraq’s water treatment plants and then ‘sanctioned’ the parts needed for repair
            and the chemicals needed to treat the water. Absolutely nefarious, but very few seem to care.

    • Larco Marco
      January 4, 2018 at 8:21 pm

      Time to switch to Yuan based revenue, plus Chinese tankers and insurance. Maybe a pipeline or two.

      • backwardsevolution
        January 4, 2018 at 8:52 pm

        Larco – I agree. Leaders who try to work around sanctions, though, somehow seem to get Gaddafi’d pretty quickly.

        I read an article last night that said China had invested billions in Iran (it didn’t say what they invested in) and was now worried about what would happen if war developed.

        I feel for the people and leaders of Iran. It’s like watching the little guy get crushed by bullies.

      • Virginia
        January 5, 2018 at 1:36 pm

        Yes, I’ve been thinking the same thing, and wrote Mr. Parry a while back asking for more articles on money — what to do with it for safe guarding. The yuan is backed by gold, but how does one buy/get yuan? Here’s a good idea, too: merchants should pass savings onto customers who pay with cash rather than with credit cards (give back to customers what they save in credit card fees). Everytime we charge, we’re enriching the banks (the Deep State). Can we have a protest movement? I have been a fan of earning miles, but I’m rethinking that. Not worth it!

        • January 5, 2018 at 4:23 pm

          I like your idea of using cash over credit, and debit too.
          Learning to garden, investing in a greenhouse, seeds, and other self-sustaining skills and tools would be better than Yuan. As the Yuan gains popularity, the cost of energy in America is going to rise. Food will become more expensive because of the cost of transport. The climactic changes are also having a negative effect on agriculture, and grocery bills.
          I am not ‘fear-mongering,’ or at least that is not my intention. I live in a dense urban sprawl and am now concerned with at least reading on the subject of vegetable gardens, and what natural berries are edible … lol.

      • Dave P.
        January 7, 2018 at 1:48 am

        The blog by M.K. Bhadrakumar today (Jan 6, 2018) is about Pakistan switching to Yuan for import/export transactions. I could not figure out why they are suddenly bashing Pakistan in such strong language. This blog by Bhadrakumar explains it.

  41. mike k
    January 4, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    For a more in depth look at the Iran situation:

    http://thesaker.is/iran-at-dangerous-crossroads/

    • alley cat
      January 4, 2018 at 7:43 pm

      Thanks for the link to the great article by Peter Koenig. I especially agree with the following two paragraphs:

      “Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on 1 January, according to Reuters, blamed Iran’s foes for fomenting the unrest. Though he didn’t specify who they were, the secretary of Iran’s National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, said the United States, Britain and Saudi Arabia were behind the riots. He could have added Israel. There is no doubt, he is right on the dot. The insurrections appear like well-orchestrated western Color Revolutions, or Arab Spring type upheavals, aiming at Regime Change – what else? Similar cases abound throughout the Middle East and the rest of the world.”

      and:

      “Finally, be always aware that Washington, masterminded by “the Deep Zion-State” – will never let go. This doctrine is engraved in the PNAC (Plan for a New American Century), largely conceived by Washington’s Zionist think-tanks. Once they decided on a target, like the Ayatollah so eloquently says, i.e. Iran, Syria, Lebanon —and in Asia, North Korea and China, they will not let go. No matter whether there is a peace agreement, or whether they have made a promise, –nothing, but nothing that Washington says, signs and promises can be trusted. –The war in Syria, for example is not ”over’’ as Mr. Putin has made believe, when he said Russia will pull out their troops. Just look at the US military base at Al-Tanf in Syria – a US base established fully illegally in Syria. The US was never invited to set foot in Syria. Yet, they not only are enhancing their base, they are also training new Daesh / ISIS terror groups to fight Damascus.”

      These “subvert and intervene” tactics are as old as human history. Thucydides documented how both Sparta and Athens routinely used them against other Greek city-states, under the guise of restoring “order” and “democracy.” The ancient Greeks, not U.S. neocons, invented so-called “humanitarian interventions,” which of course were anything but humanitarian. Iranians got their own taste of U.S. imperialism first-hand in 1952, when the CIA sponsored a coup d’etat that overthrew the democratically-elected Mosaddegh and initiated a reign of state terror that ended with the revolution of 1979.

      • robjira
        January 4, 2018 at 7:57 pm

        I swear, the first time I read the History of the Pelopenesean War I thought I was reading an account of the US war against Vietnam.
        Costumes and sets may change, but the play’s still the same.

  42. mrtmbrnmn
    January 4, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    Once again it looks like our gullible journalistic malpracticers have been too easily fooled. Hoist by their own delusions. I am waiting for the White Helmet stooges to release some old vids of Aleppo disguised as Tehran.

    http://observers.france24.com/en/20180103-iran-karate-woman-boy-who-still-alive-fake-images-iran-protests

    And the unrepentant know-nothing Regime Changers cheering the demonstrators on from the safety of their DC thinktanks, are the same mugs who cheered on Bloomberg and Obama in their skull-cracking bltzkrieg on Occupy Wall Street.

    • Virginia
      January 5, 2018 at 1:14 pm

      Mrtmbrnmn — Regrettably, I agree. The US fomented unrest in Syria, Ukraine, and…! What about Wesley Clark’s find that the Pentagon listed Iran as the seventh country the US would take over in the ME. No mention of how this Pentagon agenda is playing out!

  43. mike k
    January 4, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    This brief article puts the current protests in Iran in a proper perspective:

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/

  44. mike k
    January 4, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    Of course the elephant in the living room of things Iranian is Israel. Aside from the US grudge over our puppet the Shah being kicked out, and our embassy being kidnapped, there is little reason for our enmity towards Iran other than our long term plan to dominate the world. Oh. I forgot our failed attempt to help Iraq destroy Iran. I guess you could say in general that our involvement in the middle east has had very little to do with peaceful coexistence, and a lot to do with bullying, destruction, and murder, and of course oil.

  45. Annie
    January 4, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    I heard someone being interviewed say that life economically hasn’t been good for the Iranian people, and Obama’s Iran deal raised expectations of a better life, but Trump’s rhetoric has put a damper on that, and is the main reason for the recent protests in Iran. I saw old bill kristol pushing the same garbage the neocons love to push which is we really care about the people of Iran, and no doubt he’s thinking he hopes the protests escalate, turn more deadly, so the US can come in and help those poor Iranians and bring about regime change even if it means war and killing hundreds of thousands of Iranians. Their hypocrisy is sickening.

    It is also interesting that they can talk about the recent deaths during these protests and express horror. Do I remember correctly that some 60 people were killed during the Rodney King riots?

    • john wilson
      January 5, 2018 at 5:53 am

      Yes Annie, but how about the thousands dying right now in Yemen?

      • Annie
        January 5, 2018 at 2:25 pm

        John, what I said doesn’t in anyway negate, or minimize what is going on in Yemen. We are horrible on multiple fronts, and while we express our sympathy for the Iranian people we supply Saudi Arabia with weapons to slaughter the people of Yemen, and have nothing to say about the Saudi regime and it’s human rights abuses, and for that matter our own. What else is new?

        • tina
          January 7, 2018 at 12:57 am

          Nothing new. Let us do something about it, action, Annie action. It is easy to write a comment, not so easy to do something. Should the United Nations Blue Helmets go into Yemen? Should a private military force go into Yemen? Would you go to Yemen? Should the Europeans take care of Yemen, and deal the USA out? What is your solution, Annie, besides being critical? You offer valid points, but you offer nothing towards a solution

  46. Zachary Smith
    January 4, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    Also worthy of reflection is the absence of Green Movement-style leadership of the current protests, and more broadly of a credible alternative leadership for the nation that would be better than what Rouhani represents.

    I made a search to see ‘what Rouhani represents’, and found this:

    Rouhani’s Neoliberal Doctrine has Failed Iran

    Looking at other indicators, a more sober picture of the Rouhani administration’s economic legacy comes to the fore. On the one hand, as a World Bank study from September 2016 showed that poverty and income inequality have risen under Rouhani. On the other hand, the revitalization of trade and investment with the outside world has almost exclusively benefitted the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the Supreme Leader’s economic empires. As a Reuters analysis from January revealed, “[o]f nearly 110 agreements worth at least $80 billion that have been struck since the deal was reached in July 2015, 90 have been with companies owned or controlled by Iranian state entities.”
    .
    .
    .
    He argues that the minimum wage must be abolished, and restrictions on the laying off of workers eliminated if Iran’s “owners of capital” are to have the “freedom” to create prosperity. “One of the main challenges that employers and our factories face,” Rouhani states, “is the existence of labor unions.

    Rouhani is presiding over an economic system which has growing poverty and inequality, and he is pushing policies which will make those trends even worse? No wonder Iranian Joe Sixpack is aggravated.

    http://www.mei.edu/content/article/rouhani-s-neoliberal-doctrine-has-failed-iran

    Note: I’m unfamiliar with both the author and the link site.

  47. Joe Tedesky
    January 4, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    The attitude of the U.S. is akin to the loud mouth neighbor who finds the time to critique his next door neighbor, because he overheard his next door neighbor having a stiff with his wife or kids. Meanwhile this loud mouth’s family is in their own disarray, with his son shooting up in the 2nd floor bathroom, his daughter has just fleeced her mother by using her moms credit card without permission, the wife is ready to jump from the roof all because her loudmouth husband beats her, and the loud mouth isn’t answering his phone out of fear of bill collectors calling for their money. This in my mind is a classic metaphor that is suitable to describe the U.S. and it’s media when it comes to their propaganda being used against Iran’s current domestic unrest.

    Let’s not forget the Women’s March pussyhats and all, and not to overlook the Charlottesville racist. Add to that how cop killings are ignored to give way to a more better police state, while gangster teenage drug runners kill each other daily just for the sliver of more drug territory to be claimed. If I had more time I would include the terrible waste America is doing to the earth’s finite natural resources, but you get my point.

    For me I’m holding off on being to opinionated, as I feel the concerns of the Iranian people will be made known over time. I can only wish that the Iranian people will finally find some comfort and relief, as their struggle has certainly been an epic one, if I were to say no more.

    I also want to commend Paul Pillar for his staying on this subject of great importance, and urge him to continue to keep us all informed.

    • rosemerry
      January 7, 2018 at 2:13 pm

      Joe, I completely agree. The pretence that US leaders know or care about the needs and wishes of the Iranian people is another spurious “reason” to interfere. Iran has had so many decades of US domination and enmity, while so far managing to stay afloat.

      • Joe Tedesky
        January 8, 2018 at 2:44 am

        People are people, rosemerry no matter where you go the world over, so why not leave them live in peace. Our U.S. leaders should stay the hell out of these affairs of foreign nations. Thanks rosemerry. Joe

      • Joe Tedesky
        January 8, 2018 at 5:13 pm

        rosemary if in case you have been wondering to why the economic downtrodden Iranians slowed down on their protesting, well wonder no more. Last Monday Netanyahu put out a video to the Iranian people, and after all of Netanyahu’s embellishing about the struggles of the average Iranian, the Iranian people said, ‘no, we are not buying it, shut up Netanyahu, no Iranian likes you’.

        Funny isn’t it that if Netanyahu, and President Trump, were only to have kept their instigating mouths shut then possibly the Iranian people would still be out protesting in the streets. Besides that, the U.S. and Israel are trying to capitalize on Iran’s unrest the same way certain dark forces took over the Ukraine Maiden Protest. You may recall rosemary how in Ukraine the protest started out peaceful that was, until the Nazi inspired thugs took over the protest with it evolving into a full fledged revolutionary uprising.

        So, Iranian’s slept peacefully last night, as they ignored the ‘Great Satan’, and put off their economic grievances until another day. This is a result of the Iranian people being at least smart enough to know who is thinking of their best interest, and apparently the Iranian people don’t believe their best interest will be served to it’s fullest by listening to the likes of Bibi Netanyahu.

        Just an update rosemary. Hope you got something of value from it. Joe

    • January 15, 2018 at 6:54 am

      To Joe Tedesky…

      Doesn’t occur to you that the methods used to murder and
      oppress persons of color (as described by BLM, “Black
      Lives Matter:, See also John Whitehead’s excellent
      contributions (usually in Counterpunch). Anonymous(?)
      firms are training our friendly police departments with
      the assistance of the military (evidentally).

      No one seems to care these days. Just as no one cares
      about the hell experienced by Palestinians at the hands of “Israelis.”

      Iran has had its share of atrocities. Its attempts to
      join the community of nations has not been encouraged by
      the US. Rather the opposite.

      —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  48. Tom Welsh
    January 4, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    “The chief inconsistency is that those who have been most in favor of imposing more rather than fewer sanctions on Iran are also those who today are calling most loudly for supporting the economically disgruntled protesters in Iranian streets—who are among those most economically harmed by the sanctions”.

    Au contraire. The calls for sanctions, and the calls for further intervention when the sanctions bite, are two parts of an overall strategy. The overall aim is to overthrow the Iranian government and essentially reduce the country to anarchy. If you doubt that, just take a look at Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen and especially Libya. It beggars credulity to suppose that the same outcome has been brought about on so many different occasions and in such different countries – unless that was the desired outcome.

    • Steve X
      January 4, 2018 at 4:06 pm

      Well said Tom. The chaotic outcomes in these countries is clearly the planned outcome. We want them in complete disarray and strife. Allows us to let our attack dogs like ISIS into them and then claim the need for our military presence.

      On second thought, I am all for military invention for freedom and democracy! Let’s go to Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Honduras and the UAE!!! Bombs away!!!

      • john wilson
        January 5, 2018 at 5:51 am

        Steve X, its quite obvious that the attack dogs you refer to are already at work in the streets of Iran. Clearly, America and her associated gangster countries have transferred the ISIS head choppers to Iran now that they have been routed in Syria. I hope and suspect that the Iranian government will have been expecting something like this and their police, military and undercover people will be dealing with the perpetrators at this very moment.

  49. Mark Thomason
    January 4, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Any excuse is taken to predict that what we want is what will happen.

    Regime change? That is an American idea. End the nuclear issue? Another American idea that we know the Iranian people actually do not support. Abandon all resistance to Israel’s Greater Israel project? An Israeli fantasy that gets wide American pandering.

    None of that has the slightest to do with what the Iranians are doing for themselves. It might have something to do with foreign meddling, as in Ukraine (twice) but we won’t know that until more comes out.

  50. Sally Snyder
    January 4, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    Here is a fascinating look at a scenario for a U.S. invasion of Iran from the perspective of a highly influential think tank:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2018/01/an-invasion-plan-for-iran.html

    This solution to the Iran problem must have the military-industrial-intelligence community rubbing its collective “hands” with glee.

    • Mark Thomason
      January 4, 2018 at 3:19 pm

      An attack on Iran has been very thoroughly war-gamed many times by the US. All reports are that the idea ends in disaster every time. It is a matter of numbers and geography. It is not going to change.

      • Hank
        January 12, 2018 at 11:23 am

        Wars are no longer a means to attain a certain result. Wars have become the ENDS because of the profits and geopolitical leverage it brings certain elite powerful groups! let’s face it- the USA has ALWAYS lied to get its way, even when that way goes against the very grain of the US Constitution and international laws and treaties. The USA targets other “unfriendly” nations while displayi9ng the type of behavior that it is allegedly complaining about in other nations!

    • Abe
      January 8, 2018 at 8:20 pm

      The US gazes at Iran through a distorted glass supplied by the pro-Israel Lobby think tanks like the Brookings Institution.

      The June 2009 Brookings Institution document on Iran was authored by a team of pro-Israel war hawks headed by Martin Indyk, a former staffer at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

      Which Path to Persia?: Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran
      https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/06_iran_strategy.pdf

      On 3 December 2017, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser on Middle East/Israel issues, gave his first on-the-record appearance at the Saban Forum at the Brookings Institution.

      Addressing the audience at Brookings, Kushner said, “It’s really an honor to be able to talk about this topic with so many people who I respect so much, who have given so much to this issue.” He acknowledged that “We’ve solicited a lot of ideas from a lot of places.”

      Kushner used pro-Israel Lobby bellicose rhetoric about “Iran’s aggression” and claims about “their nuclear ambitions and their expansive regional mischief”.

      Trump’s Administration, as Kushner’s remarks clearly indicate, obviously bases its understanding of “regional dynamics” on “a lot of ideas” from the pro-Israel war hawks at the Brookings Institution.

      Indyk, the “director” of the Saban Center at Brookings, cofounded the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in 1985 with the wife of AIPAC Chairman Lawrence Weinberg and former president of the Jewish Federation, Barbi Weinberg. Despite his well known affiliation with the Israel Lobby and his Australian nationality, Bill Clinton appointed Indyk as the first foreign-born US Ambassador to Israel in 1995. The issuance of his US nationality had been expedited for his previous appointment by Clinton in 1993 as Middle East adviser on the National Security Council.

      Kenneth M. Pollack, the “director of research” at the Saban Center, is a former CIA analyst and National Security Council staffer under Bill Clinton. A prominent “liberal hawk” cheerleader for the Iraq War, Pollack is credited with persuading liberals to endorse the invasion of Iraq. His 2002 book, The Threatening Storm, was influential in selling the “WMD” case. His 2005 book, The Persian Puzzle, recycled many of the same arguments, this time directed at Iran.

      Michael E. O’Hanlon, the “director of foreign policy research” at Brookings, is a war hawk and frequent op-ed writer for major news outlets like the Washington Post. In recent years, O’Hanlon has pushed for U.S. intervention in Syria. In April 2007, O’Hanlon and Fred Kagan urged the United States to invade and occupy Iran.

      In March 2003, shortly after the United States invaded Iraq, O’Hanlon contributed his name to an open letter published by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neoconservative advocacy outfit closely associated with American Enterprise Institute that played a major role generating public support for the invasion of Iraq and pushing an expansive “war on terror.” Among those contributing their names to the document were hardline neocons like Max Boot, Eliot Cohen, Joshua Muravchik, and William Kristol, as well as liberal interventionists like O’Hanlon and Ivo Daalder, also a scholar based at Brookings.

      In their landmark book, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy (2007), American political scientists John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt note that the Saban Center at Brookings is “part of the pro-Israel chorus” (pg 156).

      Mearsheimer and Walt observed that “Saban Center publications never question US support for Israel and rarely, if ever, offer significant criticism of key Israeli policies.”

      In 2002, Saban pledged $13 million to start a “research” organization at Brookings.

      The annual Saban Forum hosted by Brookings since 2004 includes Israeli government officials.

      Saban and Sheldon Adelson, two right-wing billionaires with pro-Israel agendas, both openly declared their efforts to influence the U.S. presidential election, and fantasized about bombing Iran, at the Israeli American Council’s inaugural conference in Washington, D.C. in 2014.

      At the IAC conference, Saban quipped. “There’s no right or left when it comes to Israel.” Both the Democratic and Republican parties backing Israeli military actions and vote to give the country $3.1 billion in U.S. military aid annually.

      Saban backed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, and has given millions of dollars to the Clintons in the form of donations to Bill Clinton’s presidential library and the Clinton Global Initiative.

      Adelson, who suggested in 2013 that President Obama should launch a nuclear weapon at Iran, backed Donald Trump in 2016.

      • January 15, 2018 at 6:42 am

        Why bother with Iran??

        If attacks are in order —I hope not—an “:attack” on Israel
        is more in line.” Israel” should be totally “deligitamized” (to use
        Israel ‘s own term).

        Israel does not deserve to exist. (See Thomas Suarez, STATE
        OF TERROR).

        A Nation built on murder, terror, assassination, dispossession,
        discrimination etc. has no respect from me. Its refusal to adhere
        to any international laws or conventions but its own is unacceptable.

        But the love affair between US and Western publics with
        Israel is a fact (often greased by bribery,weapons deals and the like)
        It is an illusion (created by “Israel”, previously known as Palestine).

        (“At the IAC conference, Saban quipped. “There’s no right or left when it comes to Israel.” Both the Democratic and Republican parties backing Israeli military actions and vote to give the country $3.1 billion in U.S. military aid annually…” —Abe. above)

        Abe’s response is, as usual, informative. though it does not reflect
        the horror of the reality in Palestine.. These horrors have become
        nearly established entitlements of Israel…fact! Very little can depict
        such atrocities.

        —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

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