Ten Minutes to War

Donald Trump pulled back from igniting a potentially disastrous war in the Persian Gulf on Thursday night with just 10 minutes to spare, but the super-hawks he surrounded himself with will probably try again, writes Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

The commander-in-chief acted like one, if only briefly, on Thursday night when he said he called off air strikes on Iran—and potentially a devastating war in the Persian Gulf—with just ten minutes to spare, because he says a general told him to expect around 150 Iranian civilian deaths.

Donald Trump tweeted Friday morning:

 “On Monday (sic) they shot down an unmanned drone flying in International Waters. We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not……..proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone. I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!” 

It seems unlikely that a president would have to ask at the last minute about potential civilian casualties, unless the Pentagon has become so callous as to not have figured that into its war planning.  A more likely scenario is that Donald Trump was in an epic struggle with his most hawkish national security advisers—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton—and with himself, and that he could not decide what to do until literally the last ten minutes, using the excuse of civilian deaths to pull back.

Trump’s inner struggle on Iran has played out in public, mostly on Twitter. He has been sending seriously mixed signals to Iran: on the one hand he has told Iran he wants to negotiate with them to replace the nuclear deal he unwisely pulled out of last year and on the other hand he’s gone as far as threatening what amounts to genocide.

If Trump is engaged in a good-cop, bad-cop strategy with Iran, with Pompeo and Bolton playing very convincing bad cops, then Trump is a disaster as a good cop. He has been essentially playing good-cop, bad-cop with himself.  We’ve got three bad cops here, Pompeo, Bolton and half of Trump, and one good cop, the other half of Trump.

If he were really committed to the anti-interventionist rhetoric of his campaign, which many of his followers still believe in, he would not have appointed Pompeo and Bolton to begin with, unless under extreme pressure from someone like Sheldon Adelson, the fanatically pro-Israel casino magnet and major Republican donor who once suggested the U.S. drop a nuclear bomb in the Iranian desert as a warning.  Pompeo, and especially Bolton, have demonstrated that they are trying to run U.S. policy on Iran on their own, managing, manipulating or attempting an end run around Trump. 

At the top of Bolton’s agenda has been his stated aim for years: to bomb and topple the Iranian government.

Thus Bolton was the driving force to get a carrier strike force sent to the Persian Gulf and, according to The New York Times, on May 14it was he who “ordered” a Pentagon plan to prepare 120,000 U.S. troops for the Gulf. These were to be deployed “if Iran attacked American forces or accelerated its work on nuclear weapons.”

Two months after Bolton was appointed national security adviser, in June 2018, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the six-nation deal that has seen Teheran curtail its nuclear enrichment program in exchange for relaxation of U.S. and international sanctions.

At the time of Bolton’s appointment in April 2018, Tom Countryman, who had been undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, as had Bolton, predicted to The Intercept that if Iran increased enrichment after the U.S. left the deal, it “would be the kind of excuse that a person like Bolton would look to to create a military provocation or direct attack on Iran.”

In response to ever tightening sanctions, Iran said on May 5 (May 6 in Teheran) that it would indeed increase nuclear enrichment. On the same day, Bolton announced the carrier strike group was headed to the Gulf.  On June 10, the International Atomic Energy Agency said that Iran had made good on its threat to accelerate enrichment. 

This has been followed by several suspicious attacks on tankers in the Persian Gulf, the most serious occurring last week on Japanese tankers while the Japanese prime minister was sitting with Iranian officials in Teheran trying to defuse the situation.  The incident that ultimately led to Thursday’s close call with disaster was sparked by Iran shooting down a U.S. RQ-4A Global Hawk surveillance drone. Iran says it was in Iranian airspace. The U.S. says it was over international waters.  A U.S. air strike on Iran would almost surely invite retaliation by Teheran, risking the spread of a catastrophic war engulfing the Arab states on the opposite shores of the Gulf.

This would not be Saddam Hussein’s troops running away from advancing U.S. forces. The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards warned Friday that U.S. military bases and the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier were within range of Iranian missiles.

In the Delegate’s Lounge at United Nations headquarters in New York several years ago I had a one-on-one conversation with Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, who was then Teheran’s ambassador to the UN. I confided in him that I thought the U.S. was being the aggressor but I asked him, for the sake of his country and the region and to avoid a devastating conflict, whether Iran might make the very difficult decision to give in to Washington.

“We would rather fight and die than give in,” Zarif told me.

Instead of standing up to Bolton and Pompeo, who this week tried to peddle the ludicrous tale that Shi’ite Iran supports Sunni extremist al-Qaeda (while fighting it in Syria and just as the Bush administration tried to falsely tie al-Qaeda to Saddam), Trump instead runs to Fox News to whisper to the interviewer, as if they were alone, about the “military-industrial complex” being real and how much his advisers, presumably Pompeo and Bolton, “like war.” 

He needs to tell them that. Last minute excuses about civilian deaths probably won’t work next time Pompeo and Bolton set Trump up for disaster. 

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston GlobeSunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

161 comments for “Ten Minutes to War

  1. OlyaPola
    June 27, 2019 at 06:02

    “Ten Minutes to War”

    Although some tend not to believe in hope rather analysis, words are catalysts of connotations.

    A popular connotation of “intelligence community” is that it/they are/have intelligence and hence are intelligent.

    A popular connotation of “Ten minutes to War” is that war has yet to start.

    A popular connotation of “War with Iran” is that war is restricted to by/with Iran.

    A popular connotation of “sanctions” is that the entity or person “exists” to be sanctioned.

    So if an “intelligence community, (not the intelligence community since such has connotations of exceptionalism), is/have intelligence and hence are intelligent, why sanction someone who is dead?


    Is it perhaps that an “intelligence community” is/have intelligence and hence are intelligent but choose not to practice intelligence with ensuing connotations of not being intelligent?

    Does this explain why an “intelligence community” and others appear to believe that war is yet to start ?

    Does this explain why an “intelligence community” and others appear to believe that war is restricted to by/with Iran?

    Does this and other components explain why Gordian knots appear to be difficult to unravel by an “intelligence community?

  2. Broompilot
    June 25, 2019 at 04:54

    Funny that there is no mention of exactly where that drone was. It is now being treated as a he-said she-said (it was in our airspace, no it wasnt) nonsense when many countries, and air traffic control systems, know exactly where that drone was flying. No one is demanding any evidence of where it was, but just sitting back and accepting that Trump is justified in slapping new sanctions on Iran for what is mostly like the U.S. violating Iranian airspace during a period of constant threats against them.
    Again, why is no one demanding some evidence of where the drone was when shot down?

    • Gregory Herr
      June 25, 2019 at 16:37


      ““Assuming that for once Washington is telling the truth” about how far the U.S. drone was from Iran when it was downed, “it is still undeniable that Iran has the right to demand identification from any aircraft flying this near its territory,” H. Bruce Franklin, former Air Force navigator and intelligence officer, wrote on Facebook. U.S. Air Defense Identification Zones extend 200 miles from the U.S. border. “Any unidentified drone” which flew that close to the U.S. “would most likely be shot down,” Franklin added.

      Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, wrote to the Security Council that the drone did not respond to several radio warnings before it was shot down.”

    • Gregory Herr
      June 26, 2019 at 18:13

      The head of the Russian National Security Council said Russia had intelligence information that the U.S. drone had been inside Tehran’s airspace when it was shot down by Iranian defenses.
      During his speech, Patrushev added that evidence provided by the U.S. allegedly implicating Iran in attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman was “poor and unprofessional”.


      About 2 minutes in, Rouhani elicits chuckles.

    • Brian Bixby
      July 3, 2019 at 10:00

      Iran has now provided air traffic control data to the UN, and the thing is being brought up out of waters that are very clearly in Iranian territory.

  3. ram
    June 23, 2019 at 22:49

    We’ll all go together when we go!


  4. John Drake
    June 23, 2019 at 12:44

    Let me add that The Donald’s modus operandi has been to create a crisis and then “solve” the self created crisis. Korea is an example. This is sort of like reality TV, unfortunately with monstrous potential consequences. On a psychological level this is a tactic of a borderline personality disorder-creepy and dangerous.

    • OlyaPola
      June 24, 2019 at 04:21

      “The Donald’s modus operandi has been to create a crisis and then “solve” the self created crisis. ”

      Some do not rub a dog’s nose in the mess when the dog shits on the carpet, whilst others do.

      These responses are often culturally derived, facilitating those reliant on expected rubbing of noses in shit to “misinterpret events” thereby facilitating resorts to “creating a crisis and then “solve” the self-created crisis” – a popular practice in lands of make-believe.

      “On a psychological level this is a tactic of a borderline personality disorder-creepy and dangerous.”

      Some may share aspects of descriptions of “events” but interpret them in different ways, subsequent communication being affected through implementation of strategies derived from interpretations which will be interpreted in different ways.

      Mr. Trump like others in lands of make-believe is reliant on culturally derived expectations/projections which facilitate opportunities for others to transcend Mr. Trump and the “culture” of which he is a symptom.

      Mr. Trump, his associates and the “culture” of which they are symptoms are of the rubbing sticks school of thermo-dynamics with a propensity to burn themselves, and consequently pose dangers to themselves, but not necessarly to others.

    • Didi
      June 24, 2019 at 13:32

      Here is my interpretation of how President Trump operates although I must also admit that it is often very hard if not impossible for me to guess what is really going on between his two ears.
      According to entrepreneur Trump the US had become an increasingly failing enterprise especially when Obama was its CEO. Whether that was true or false did not matter. He gambled that it would be cheap for him to take-over that enterprise. For him becoming US CEO was therefore analogous to being asked to save a tottering enterprise which he inherited from the nation and which he was going to save hence MAGA.
      Of course that US enterprise was also competing with other national enterprises worldwide but he, Trump, knew how to deal with competition. He pretended to know how to negotiate with these other enterprises. You threaten to take them to court (in the real world threaten or start military or economic warfare). When that does not work you try honey but keep the Sambal Oelek on the table.
      That, in my view, was how he dealt with Iran. He bloviated that President Obama had made a bad deal with enterprise Iran. He, Trump, was going to get a better one. For openers slap Iran around a bit by declaring the Obama agreement null and void. Then threaten. Get scared by the looming consequences. Blow false kisses. He has done all of that before when he was in the real estate business. Nothing new here.

  5. Calm
    June 23, 2019 at 09:37

    The real scenario or agenda ….

    As China takes its place upon the world stage, all NATO members and Associates such as Israel are planning to leave the United Nations. All the recent gifts to Israel such as Jerusalem and the Golan Heights will stand as status quo in the aftermath.

    NATO members know that any attack against Iran will involve a tactical nuclear weapon in an attempt to wipe out Iran’s nuclear facilities and Command and Control headquarters. NATO members know all hell will break loose and will result in total chaos worldwide. Any attack against Iran will be totally condemned by the United Nations. The world will insist that America will be charged with war crimes and force NATO members to abandon the UN. A Sykes-Picot type of Agreement will then need to take place …… which will solidify the status quo of NATO control and that NATO members will suggest that they will police the status quo.

    The United Nations will be in shambles and China will pick up the pieces and build a new worldwide institution in Shangahi. (The UN building in New York is ancient and will be torn down.)

    • Didi
      June 24, 2019 at 12:58

      1. Do you really believe that NATO ill survive a US nuclear attack on Iran?
      2. A Sykes-Picot type of Agreement? Which losing empire will be divided?

      • Calm
        June 24, 2019 at 22:15

        NATO members know full well that the American Empire is over.
        Prior to WWII, there were 6 empires in the world. Immediately after WWII 100 new sovereign nations came into existence.
        If U.S. collapses as an empire prior 2030, it would of lasted 85 years.
        The Soviet Union was from 1917-1990, 53 years.
        Germany controlled the European Continent for 6 years.
        Japan, at its peak had the worlds biggest empire in terms of population because it controlled most of China. It only lasted 2 and a half years.
        The British empire from 1815 Waterloo through 1914 and the start of World war I lasted 99 years.
        America and NATO members want to set their own terms prior the collapse.
        The economy is just great …. there are 3 times as many suicides as murders.
        The Federal Reserve is talking about reducing interest rates by 50 points ….. while at the same time we are being told that the economy is in high gear.
        Even if there was a lineup of corporations begging to bring their manufacturing plants back to North America, there is no infrastructure (Electrical/Highway systems) to support such wish.
        China is producing 300 thousand engineers per year and America produces a mere 60 thousand.

        • OlyaPola
          June 25, 2019 at 03:10

          “China is producing 300 thousand engineers per year and America produces a mere 60 thousand.”

          The opponents often seek to conflate quality with quantity – bigger with better.

          There are significant difference in evaluation criteria and practices between the self-designated “The United States of America” and China, lateral process that have increased in scope, trajectories and velocities since the 1980’s.

          If analysed with rigour, the outcomes as consequences of these divergent criteria and practices may be illuminated by reference to various “organisations” including but not restricted to, Boeing and Microsoft – in neither case is it restricted to the patch.

          In a land of make-believe belief is also extended to “wonderful weapons”.

        • Christian888
          June 25, 2019 at 12:49

          1990-1917 = 53? You might want to check your math.

      • Calm
        June 24, 2019 at 22:22

        Japan is being totally contaminated with radiation for the past 7 years.
        Fuel rods are heating water and creating steam which is entering the atmosphere and condensing and falling back to earth as it rains.
        There is soon going to be 35 million Japanese jumping into boats and the West is not equipped to handle such an influx of refugees.
        They have not yet even invented a robot which can enter such a high radiated area and remove the hundreds of fuel rods melting down.

  6. Lucío
    June 23, 2019 at 07:33

    Para complementar el articulo, considero necesario agregar las posturas de Rusia y China mismas q debieron influir en el ánimo del “señor más poderoso del planeta”

  7. June 23, 2019 at 05:00

    ‘…Sending seriously mixed messages’ could make the already-dangerous situation even worse. Tehran will wonder how it should respond. But President Trump could find himself with a dilemma: continue to back down and lose face or launch war against Iran. If he can be convinced that he attack without the complication of drawing in Russia and China it could the blind strategy that leads to world war three.

  8. LJ
    June 22, 2019 at 16:24

    Ha Ha Ha. Truth is Stranger than fiction oft times. Consortium News needn’t be wary of stories of an occasional strange bed mate. It’s your stock and trade.

    • June 24, 2019 at 14:53

      @ “It’s your stock and trade.”

      Said by someone who obviously doesn’t comprehend what he writes.

      It’s “stock in trade.” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stock-in-trade

      • LJ
        June 25, 2019 at 17:03

        Their stock is what they publish, their trade is what they decide to publish for their readers , the writers of the various articles are strange bedfellows indeed since they do not control their own inclusion ( apparently) ,especially Pepe Escobar but he has an exciuse. …. of course you are correct in a literal sense . So sorry. I was waxing metaphoric regarding …. something you may or may not have been aware of.

  9. Vonu
    June 22, 2019 at 14:50

    Too bad that some people believe that the nuclear weapons that Iran had long given up building have anything to do with why the US wants to castrate Iran. The real reason is all about the failing petrodollar and why many of Iran’s oil customers are almost ready to stop buying anyone elses after we take our jackboots off their necks. We have been at war with Iran since they got off the petrodollar by way of sanctions and embargoes. If Bolton, Pompeo, and Trump think that Iran will ever return to the petrodollar, they should be investigated for consuming too much of the CIA’s opioids purchased from Afghanistan’s dirt farmers.

    • OlyaPola
      June 23, 2019 at 04:30

      “The real reason is all about the failing petrodollar ..”

      In the opponents’ culture the attempts to conflate an aspect of a whole with a whole and/or a symptom with a cause are widespread – in present context manifested as an attempted conflation of a reason with the reason; the conflation of indefinite article with definite article, thereby limiting further investigation and design, implementation and evaluations of strategies derived therefrom – facilitated by framing such as “We the people hold these truths to be self-evident” posing hypotheses derived through empiricism to be a “real” representation of “reality” – what you see is what you getism.

      Other components of the reasons (plural) include but are not limited to the reasons (plural) that the petro-dollar is undergoing a process of lateral decay/fertilisation, the component reasons including but not restricted to OBOR and other modes of co-operation undergoing a process of lateral flowering, including through fertilisation by the process of lateral decay of the petro-dollar.

      As a marked trend spectators tend to seek simplicity since their ideological immersion tends to limit their testing of hypotheses, akin to an electrified fence limiting the activities of animals even when the electric current is turned off.

      Another component of the reasons (plural) in respect of Iran is also a component of the reasons (plural) in respect of Afghanistan – their geographical position in Eurasia – geographical position also being a component of the reasons (plural) of associations with Israel and Saudi Arabia – the “book-ends” of a part of Western Asia misrepresented as “The Middle East”, an ideological concept since the rotating earth is approximately spherical and East/North/South/West are relative relationships to a reference point in a linear frame.

      If the purpose is to transcend the opponents, evaluated experience suggests that a wider perspective can be aided through investigations based on – What is “The United States of America” and how is it facilitated? to facilitate purpose.

      Absolutes can never exist in any interactive system and hence there are simultaneously advantages and disadvantages in “dumbing down” including but not restricted to evangelising reliance on “simplicity”.

      However that reliance on “simplicity” affords opportunities to others to facilitate transcendence of those seeking “simplicity” as some of the opponents perceive – this perception of some including opponents being another component of the reasons (plural) in respect of Iran and elsewhere, and some of the opponents’ attempts at “solving” apparent Gordian knots “illuminated” by notions that ends justify the means, rather than means condition the ends.

    • Calm
      June 23, 2019 at 14:51

      The real scenario or agenda ….
      As China takes its place upon the world stage, all NATO members and Associates such as Israel are planning to leave the United Nations. All the recent gifts to Israel such as Jerusalem and the Golan Heights will stand as status quo in the aftermath.
      NATO members know that any attack against Iran will involve a tactical nuclear weapon in an attempt to wipe out Iran’s nuclear facilities and Command and Control headquarters. NATO members know all hell will break loose and will result in total chaos worldwide. Any attack against Iran will be totally condemned by the United Nations. The world will insist that America will be charged with war crimes and force NATO members to abandon the UN. A Sykes-Picot type of Agreement will then need to take place …… which will solidify the status quo of NATO control and that NATO members will suggest that they will police the status quo.
      The United Nations will be in shambles and China will pick up the pieces and build a new worldwide institution in Shangahi. (The UN building in New York is ancient and will be torn down.)

      • Chris Cosmos
        June 23, 2019 at 20:35

        The US can incinerate half the world and the UN will not say anything. Sorry the organization is worse than worthless at this moment in history. The US knows it can violate any international law, ignore treaties, ignore the Constitution and US settled law to its heart’s content. There may be a beginning of push back by China and Russia but it is mild and tentative.

        • Realist
          June 23, 2019 at 22:49

          I think you are dead on correct. How we got to this point is shameful. Basically a case of Washington always pushing the envelope further and further with its warmongering policies and the rest of the world never being willing to take a stand to stop the escalation, never being willing to die on this hill to preserve their rights and honor. Now they risk dying in their beds at the hands of the blood-sucking Nesfaratu’s from DC.

    • didi
      June 24, 2019 at 13:05

      The so-called “petrodollar” was created in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference.

    • Brian Bixby
      July 3, 2019 at 10:08

      Another reason is that Iran’s second most-valuable natural resource is uranium. Currently the world market for fuel rods is monopolized by a very few very well-connected companies, and Iran wants in on what is going to be a growing market as the world’s thirst for energy accelerates in the coming decades.

  10. John Drake
    June 22, 2019 at 12:29

    Ten minutes to spare: Yes The Donald is impulsive either way, but I don’t quite buy it.
    This is typical school yard bully tactic. It goes like, “I was gonna kick your ass, but today I’m in a good mood so I won’t, so scram” No bruising but the fear is escalated. The Donald has just tried to one up the fear factor in the Mid-East; is he trying to emulate the Nixonian “madman” tactic?
    On the other hand the Generals may have informed him he could easily lose an aircraft carrier or two in the process, not to mention US military bases in range of Iranian missiles. How well do they trust their anti missile systems?

    • Didi
      June 24, 2019 at 13:47

      Did he really have a perfect watch available and did he consult it permanently during these last minutes? What would have happened if he had fainted? Was Pence authorized to stop and if not would someone have pretended to be the President? Scary.

  11. Calm
    June 22, 2019 at 12:04

    In the name of God, the Most Gracious, [Trump] the Most Merciful”.

    Trump is killing 150 people per day in Yemen.

    I think that both Russia and China warned Trump of consequences with any retaliatory attack.

    • June 24, 2019 at 15:03

      @ “I think that both Russia and China warned Trump of consequences with any retaliatory attack.”

      That could be. Russia and China’s top diplomats met in Sochi on May 13 and decided to issue a guarantee to Iran’s government that they would not permit the U.S. to change the regime in Iran. Iran was informed of that guarantee the same day. Mike Pompeo was officially informed the next day. (A small series of ultra-important events not reported in U.S. mainstream media.) Iran is now officially under the protection of Russia and China.

      • geeyp
        June 24, 2019 at 23:37

        Thank you for this, Paul.

  12. Vera Gottlieb
    June 22, 2019 at 11:22

    I smell a rat. If Trump really wants to avoid war, why doesn’t he get rid of the warmongers around him. Is this “pulling back” an act to show his supporters how great he is? It is very hard, if not totally impossible, to believe anything coming out of anyone’s mouth in Washington.

  13. Gregory Herr
    June 22, 2019 at 10:47

    If Lindsey Graham has his way, his “nudging” of Israel to “go first” will allow the U.S. to “lead from behind” in the shared quest to “inflict severe pain” in the country of Iran.

    Iran negotiates and respects an international deal regarding the non-development of nuclear weapons. The U.S. breaks the deal, inflicting heavier sanctions, and harshens rhetoric that includes military threats and deployments. But as Graham would have it, Iran refuses to surrender (ahem, negotiate) and is determined to get a bomb to destroy Israel with. So of course we must destroy Iran. Right Lindsey?! What could go wrong? How about the beginning, the middle, and the terrible, terrible end.


  14. Joe Tedesky
    June 22, 2019 at 10:07

    Could Trump’s calling off a retaliatory strike against Iran for the shooting down of the pilotless US drone be just part of a ever escalating strategy? By using the excuse of proportional damage this allows Trump to claim a moral victory as he is the benevolent thoughtful American president. Where this leaves me is to wonder if a false flag is coming where many Americans will die. Therefore the proportionally weights towards total destruction of Iran. That is unless Iran truly produces an outcome unsuspecting of its consequences by the US/ Israeli warmongers. I’m being cautious not to read to much into this delayed action to go to war with Iran. It isn’t as though we all haven’t been lied to before.

  15. June 22, 2019 at 10:00

    “Oh Donny Boy: An Ode to The Donald ”

    Oh, Donny Boy, the missiles, the missiles are landing
    On Syria, Yemen and other countries too
    Nations are being destroyed and people are slaughtered
    Is this what you and other “leaders” want to do?

    Your credibility is gone, and many people are dying
    But you are praised and lauded by those who hated you
    Oh Donny Boy, Oh, Donny Boy the planet is in deep doo, doo
    Should we give “thanks” for your missile maniacs’ crew?

    Still, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and England
    The NATO countries and the corporate media too
    Are all in “Seventh Heaven” and now ecstatic over you
    Oh, Donny Boy, Oh, Donny Boy these are your “war friends”?
    Isn’t that so very true!

    The generals are all so happy for more “work” for them to do
    And you and other “leaders” in their bunkers can watch it all “play out” too
    Meanwhile the ordinary people everywhere will pay and pay and pay
    Millions of dollars for missiles: and you had a “wonderful day”

    And when you send more and more hellish missiles
    Exploding into cities and countries as well
    And when the nuclear bombs start falling
    You will have opened the gates of hell

    There will be nobody left after it’s all over
    In a world we once, all knew
    Oh Donny Boy, Oh Donny Boy, Did you make “America great again”?
    And incinerate the world too. RIP….
    [more info at link below]

  16. Eric32
    June 22, 2019 at 09:40

    >Trump has been an advocate of peace many times during his time as candidate and president. However he has by hook or crook surrounded himself with hawks. <

    Trump came into office without having the usual network of insider advisors and supporters, and many potential ones saying they wouldn't work for him, mostly because it might hurt their future careers and money prospects.

    Hillary is a weak person who wouldn't accept that her own incompetence, corruption and crappy record is what cost her the election.

    The Clinton machine created an environment where Trump has been under attack in ways and degrees never seen before in US politics.
    The garbage media repetitiously attacking him as a Russian tody / operative.
    Threats on his life, the garbage media repetitiously showing some loathsome "entertainer" with his decapitated head.

    Being under this kind of attack would make anyone find friends and support wherever they can and we're lucky things aren't a lot worse than they are – Presidents under far less pressure than Trump have often eagerly grabbed onto foreign threats/wars as a way to make the country get behind them.

    We're in the middle of the consequences of a deeply corrupt often murderous system.

  17. June 22, 2019 at 09:37
    • robjira
      June 22, 2019 at 19:16

      I was just about to post this too, Stephen; thanks for getting this excellent (and well-sourced apparently) analysis onto people’s radars.
      I think it should put to rest the various notions of DT’s capacity for independent action. An astute poster at MoA has made the compelling point that DT’s election was no accident, and I agree; accidents of that sort just don’t happen in contemporary US politics. Suffice to say, he’s “in on it;” he belongs to that same clique as the Clintons, the Bushes, the Obamas, the Kochs, etc. In other other words, even a boob like DT is in the big club that we ain’t in. Do not be fooled by the “populist” marketing coming out of the establishment; the Lords of Capital simply will not allow a genuine populist to become president. Anyone displaying any deviation from the agenda (or even the tendency to do so) is quickly brought to heel. Chuck Schumer may be an unprincipled monster, but he did a real public service with his “six ways to Sunday” quip; he verified once and for all that the rulers use the CIA to dominate the people. The various branches of federal government, the plebiscite, these are just props to help us feel good about our virtual servitude. And, just like the others with him, DT does not give a flying fluff about the population at large; he only cares about our opinion of him.
      Sorry to drone on there; thanks again for posting the link; everyone should read it, and check out Moon of Alabama’s coverage.

    • Masud Awan
      June 24, 2019 at 11:31

      While Iran acknowledged the downing of the drone, it refuted the claims of attacking the oil tankers etc. The article you referenced above incriminates Iran of attacking the tankers??

  18. historicus
    June 22, 2019 at 08:12

    I find it horrifying and disgusting that the so-called liberal media is using this incident too to attack Trump -for resisting neocon warmongers! – and in the most childish sour-grapes way. Those CIA media assets are busy this morning for sure. I see him also accused of murdering babies at the border and now of raping a woman in New York. And Russiagate never dies. But I also see the media handing him his re-election on a silver platter. To perhaps more sophisticated observers, a New York real estate developer is the very personification of sleaze, but to his loyal followers – and it is wrong to dismiss them as morons and racists – this treatment is blatantly unfair.

    The astonishing spectacle of rival factions of the ruling class so viciously slugging it out in public only makes me regret there is no genuine Left to take advantage of this historic opportunity to take them all down.

  19. Rodion Raskolnikov
    June 22, 2019 at 08:07

    I think we just have to understand that Trump is a thief, a con-artist, a grifter — but he is not a killer. He does not want to kill people. On the other hand, Obama and the Bushes as well as both Clintons are and were killers. They took pleasure in killing. This is made so manifest in Hillary laughing at her joke about the killing of Qaddafi — “We came, we saw, he died.”

    The pleasure or repulsion over killing is a really telling trait for US politicians. Trump seems to admire military killers like James Mattis, the butcher of Fallujah and who is called “Mad Dog” by friends and foes alike. But his admiration does not go very deep. It may be part of his con. In reality, he seems disgusted and repulsed by Mattis and the rest of the professional killers and assassins who fill up the ranks of government and especially the Pentagon.

    America is a death cult. It needs ritual killings in order to periodically sanctify itself. Lynchings were good small-scale demonstrations of this. Following the first Gulf War, many media organizations expressed the relief and purgation that a massive murder of innocent people gave them. “We needed that” was how one magazine cover story put it. Trump does not seem to need it. He seemed embarrassed by his rather conservative bombings of Syria. But there are very many people who do need it and Trump has surrounded himself with them, as this article makes clear.

    Tucker Carlson’s comment to Trump was probably right. He won’t be re-elected if he becomes a killer like his predecessors.

    I’m pretty sure that the democratic candidates will get the “what would you have done” question at the debates next week. It will be interesting to see how many of them are killers and how many are not. We know Tulsi Gabbard is not, even though she is in the military. But the rest are unknowns at this moment. We’ll find out.

    • OlgaPola
      June 22, 2019 at 11:09

      Rodion Raskolnikov
      June 22, 2019 at 08:07

      As you are probably aware some are both killers and old believers seeking to appear to be both the possessed and devils.

      Perhaps Filipp Filippovich Preobrazhensky would be a more appropriate in such dogged matters ?

    • zhenry
      June 23, 2019 at 07:07

      How do you know all these things about Trump and his relationship with war; not like Bush and the rest of them?
      That does not compute with what Tilertson (ex Enron) had to say; drop a nuclear bomb on them, said Trump.
      How many lies is he up to? Over 10000 according to WashPost, but never presented too disparagingly.
      How else is he to convince his base that he did not lie during his electioneering, and disgustingly assisted by the corporate media: They mention his lies and political posturing but are so tolerant with their presentation; thoroughly sickening.
      Support the MIC and cut taxes for the corporates and investors and have a sadistic good time.

  20. Peter Fjendbo
    June 22, 2019 at 07:24

    WAR is out of date.

    • Vonu
      June 22, 2019 at 14:53

      War profits are anything but out of date. Smedley Butler told the truth in “War is a Racket,” available wherever well-written truth is available for free, on the Internet.

  21. June 22, 2019 at 05:48

    Trump should stop playing neocon games and fire Bolton. He can, John Kiriakou just wrote about interviews for chickenhawk Bolton’s job. Pompeo, I suspect, has taken cues from Bolton in his years-long push for war on Iran. The two madmen–one wanting his “Rapture” when “Jesus will come again”, the other crazed for war power to show “US is Number One” probably push each other. They are both in dangerous bubbles of delusion.

  22. Realist
    June 22, 2019 at 04:56

    Yesterday I posted the following advice to Trump as a comment attached to Pepe Escobar’s article:

    “One piece of advice for Trump, however, if he really wants to be re-elected: new polls out of the American South indicate that the people don’t want war. If he starts a hot war with any of the countries on Bolton’s and Pompeo’s wish list he will probably not even be re-nominated. Most of the people in the South (not broken down by race), have also soured on his pet project of a giant wall at the Southern border. In Louisiana right now the breakdown is 49% against, 41% for. Perhaps such facts caused him to rapidly recalculate the planned strike against Iran in retribution for downing of the drone.”

    Turns out, Tucker Carlson saw the same reality staring back from the abyss and relayed it personally to Trump. Sputnik News claims this was the deciding factor in Trump’s retreat from the precipice.


    Donald, if you can’t reach Tucker, I’m always here to set you straight on a myriad of ill-considered foreign policies. Just read CN if the NSA claims to have lost my phone number.

    Just remember, drifting aimlessly beats crashing on the rocks, and treading water is preferable to sinking to the sea floor. The less interesting you make these days in history, the more favorable reviews you’ll get from those who write it. Whatever Bolton and Pompeo might press you to do, the people don’t want it and it won’t redound to your benefit or that of the country.

    • June 24, 2019 at 16:05

      @ “… new polls out of the American South indicate that the people don’t want war.”

      I think you need to look at the history of American polling on this topic. I’ve watched it for a very long time. Americans are anti-war mildly at best. Hit them with a good blast of pro-war propaganda, e.g., the blitz leading to the war in Iraq, and their support for war skyrockets. And their distaste for war never extends so far as refusing to elect a war criminal or war criminal wannabe. It’s just not an important issue to most Americans.

  23. exiled off mainstreet
    June 22, 2019 at 02:30

    He needs to fire Bolton and Pompeo to gain any control of his administration. He should suspect that war with Iran could lead to even nuclear consequences, particularly since Iran probably has the ability to sink elements of the yankee armada now steaming offshore, which would ratchet up pressure. He should also realize that Iran’s allies include Russia and China, and that yankee positions in Iraq become untenable if they attack Iran.

  24. CitizenOne
    June 22, 2019 at 01:31

    Trump has been an advocate of peace many times during his time as candidate and president. However he has by hook or crook surrounded himself with hawks. His advisors are the persons that have been at the extreme edge of supporting war with several nations chiefly Iraq, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela. Plus the fact that he is infatuated with right wing news outlets like Fox and seeks their council and advice. Never before has a US president been so influenced by the right wing propaganda but yet he claims he stayed the hands of Pompeo and Bolton and the mysterious MIC which he has come to realize as really real with his closest advisors Bolton and Pompeo really “liking war”.

    Trump is being indoctrinated by the war mongers and we all hope he succeeds in exercising restraint in the face of pressure.

    • OlyaPola
      June 22, 2019 at 09:57

      “we all hope he succeeds in exercising restraint in the face of pressure.”

      Likely the hope that we all hope is misguided and not necessarily an unalloyed disadvantage for those seeking the transcendence of “The United States of America” facilitated by “We the people hold these truths to be self-evident”.

  25. alley cat
    June 22, 2019 at 00:20

    At this moment, when humanity is breathing a sigh of relief and thankful that DJT has not yet triggered a shooting war with Iran, we need to remember that DJT has been waging economic warfare against Iranians ever since he trashed the JCPOA. The imperial strategy is the same as always: soften up the target before moving in for the kill.

    Time is working against Iran now and the Iranians know it. DJT offers them the option of unconditional surrender now or unconditional surrender later, when their economy is in shambles and they will be easier to destroy.

    From a legal and practical perspective, the Empire is already at war with Iran, so an Iranian military response is self-defense and a mere acknowledgment of reality. Nor do Iranians continue to harbor illusions that the Empire’s European vassals will behave honorably. From a purely moral standpoint, Iran has done everything right: they have no nuclear weapons program, they helped destroy ISIS in Syria, and they have formed the backbone of the opposition to Zionist apartheid.

    But behaving morally and honorably is an unforgiveable sin for the Empire, which thrives on evil. Doing the right thing constitutes an existential threat to imperial order.

    Iran has one small hope. If they put up a strong fight now, maybe other enemies of imperialism will take heart and rally to the cause. It’s a desperate gamble, but these are desperate times for truth tellers and all others who resist the imperial yoke.

    During the Cuban missile crisis, with a leader as magnificent as JFK in charge, humanity came within an inch of exterminating itself. Now the fate of humanity depends on the likes of DJT, Bolton, Pompeo, and Haspel.

    If the human race was a security on Wall Street, I would be borrowing money to short it.

    • OlyaPola
      June 22, 2019 at 10:03

      “At this moment, when humanity is breathing a sigh of relief… ”

      Postulating purpose and hence evaluation and reactions there-to by projection is always misguided.

      “Now the fate of humanity depends on the likes of DJT, Bolton, Pompeo, and Haspel.”

      Framing in sole agency as a function of what you see is what you get facilitates what you get is what you don’t see.

    • CitizenOne
      June 22, 2019 at 11:23

      What is the point of the “maximum pressure”policy adopted by Trump via Bolton and Pompeo? It seems like they have already complied with all the demands, signed a treaty only to find themselves at this place through no wrong on their part as the cause of it.

      This is a classic move for the US. It is exactly the same methodology we used to exterminate native Americans. Bolton and Pompeo are merely implementing the age old two faced, he who speak with forked tongue strategy.

      The problem is we are not asking them to do anything specific. Trump says he wants to meet with them but who is he kidding. His administration alone has in a one sided way cornered Iran and is slapping its face everyday in the high hopes it punches back.

      Our MIC microphone, the MSM cannot even guess if perhaps Iran is right and the drone was inside Iranian airspace. Even Trump admits it might have been a mistake so why, once again is our propaganda machine not even exploring that possibility.

      Tonkin Gulf 2.0 The only thing that makes sense. The US is poised just like it was pre Vietnam war, to go to war with Iran for the slightest of provocations.

    • June 24, 2019 at 16:39

      @ Alley Cat:

      Your tether to reality would be dramatically strengthened if you actually studied Iran’s situation. In truth, far from having only “one small hope,” they now hold the upper hand in a war against the U.S. that they launched in May.

      To understand this, I strongly recommend that you read at least these three articles:

      * https://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/Middle-East/On-The-Cusp-Of-War-Why-Iran-Wont-Fold.html (May 19, 2019).
      * https://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/Middle-East/Declassified-The-Sino-Russian-Masterplan-To-End-US-Dominance-In-The-Middle-Ea.html (June 17, 2019).
      * http://www.unz.com/article/iran-goes-for-maximum-counter-pressure/ (June 20, 2019).

      Iran’s shooting down of the U.S. surveillance drone and Trump’s lack of a military response looks to have been the turning point. I look for Trump to capitulate within the next few weeks.

      • geeyp
        June 24, 2019 at 23:43

        Not to mention what Pepe spelled out in his article either here or at g. research .ca

  26. Maxine Chiu
    June 21, 2019 at 21:55

    Why should we believe anything that Trump says?….I think he made up the “10 minute” thing to look like a good guy….Did anybody ask him why he was willing to attack Iran “10 minutes ago”?….He knew people would be killed….Could he possibly be so dumb as to not know that the purpose of war is to kill people?….Maybe.

    • June 22, 2019 at 00:47

      ‘Why should we believe anything that Trump says?’ Why not? It doesn’t make any difference or any sense either way. My guess is that Trump _is_ playing the good cop – bad cop game intuitively, but Iran is a very tough nut to crack and he may have to try something different If he actually turned back from warmaking because of a distaste for killing, though, he’s almost unique among American presidents. Give the Devil his due.

      • geeyp
        June 23, 2019 at 23:51

        Current president is just not as good at killing people as the last two presidents.

      • June 24, 2019 at 17:03

        @ Anarcissie: “‘Why should we believe anything that Trump says?’ Why not? It doesn’t make any difference or any sense either way.”

        Au contraire. Trump says he didn’t respond militarily because he didn’t want to kill 150 people. Trump kills more than that every day in Yemen, so we can discard his humanitarian appeal. Now consider what Elijah J. Magnier just wrote at https://ejmagnier.com/2019/06/21/iran-and-trump-on-the-edge-of-the-abyss/

        “According to well-informed sources, Iran rejected a proposal by US intelligence – made via a third party – that Trump be allowed to bomb one, two or three clear objectives, to be chosen by Iran, so that both countries could appear to come out as winners and Trump could save face. Iran categorically rejected the offer and sent its reply: even an attack against an empty sandy beach in Iran would trigger a missile launch against US objectives in the Gulf.”

        So we can infer that rather than suddenly discovering a humanitarian side of his own personality, that was the lie Trump told to conceal his real reason for canceling the missile strikes, because he did not want to trigger Iran launching missiles at U.S. bases and that nice fat U.S. Navy aircraft carrier cruising in the Arabian Sea and its support ships. (And of course, Hassan Nasrallah, secretary-general of Hezbollah, has publicly promised that if the U.S. goes to war against Iran, Hezbollah will invade Israel.)

        I’d say it always matters whether the President of the U.S. is telling the truth, most especially when he’s speaking to issues of war and peace. And in this instance, the Iranians made him blink first because they are not kidding about going to war if Trump attacks Iran. The American people deserve to know how close Trump came to launching another Mideast war, which would have cost him any chance at reelection.

    • Alfred Olaba
      June 22, 2019 at 00:48

      A Muslim friend of mine from Lamu, Kenya told me this;” If Trump ignites a war with Iran at the end of that war three countries will be completely obliterated. Those countries are Iran, KSA and Israel. “

  27. mauisurfer
    June 21, 2019 at 21:34

    comparing iraq and iran

    of course iran is far larger and has many more people

    83 million people in iran, 39 million in iraq

    and iran is 4 times larger than iraq

    but what i want to point out is that iran has the key strategic

    control point at Hormuz

    virtually all gulf oil (and gas) must pass thru hormuz

    from Saudi, kuwait, iraq, bahrain, qatar, UAE and Dubai

    iraq had/has no such strategic control point

    iraq at basra is on the northwestern end of the gulf neighboring kuwait

    no oil goes PAST iraq

    so iran does have the power to seriously damage usa/world economy

    it is not an idle threat, and it does not require nukes

  28. Adri
    June 21, 2019 at 20:45

    The U.S. should mind their own bussiness. They are killing people all over the world. Why?
    They are worse than Hitler and Stalin combined. Why and why again. Go home and stay there. The world is not yours!!!!

    • Pedro
      June 22, 2019 at 02:03

      I couldn’t agree more. We who live in the states want them to leave too.

    • AnneR
      June 22, 2019 at 09:26

      Yes, indeed, Adri, the USA should stay at home, take care of its own peoples and country and mind its own business. However, the US ruling elites – all corporate-capitalist- imperialist (globalist) to the core, whether their chosen facade is Demrat or Republirat – believe that the world, and the nation states within it, are “their” business. Literally. “Their” oil, gas, rare earths, their consumers… Therefore they believe that it is their right to destroy any country, slaughter as many people, cause long-lasting chaos wherever they so choose. And usually they choose those countries which do not want to kow-tow to the US-NATO world order and, at the same time, most often have those resources the western ruling elites want, believe are theirs by “divine” right (well, they’re pale-skinned, westerners aren’t they?).

      And while I would agree with you about Hitler – Stalin, for all that he was a brutal and paranoid dictator and was not in any real sense a communist, did not send the USSR’s military around the world invading, bombing, slaughtering peoples far from Soviet shores.

      • hetro
        June 22, 2019 at 17:56

        Much appreciation of your comments, Anne R–here and below.

      • AH
        June 23, 2019 at 01:15

        Very well put AnneR.

    • CitizenOne
      June 23, 2019 at 01:42

      Let me explain the current ideology and perhaps you could come up with some creative strategy to make the US not do what it does.
      It goes like this:

      The reason for attacking Iran is oil. Energy. It is what makes the western world hum. In fact the whole world. It is the lifeblood of the economy. Without it every economy would collapse. We have to make sure that countries with vast oil reserves that are hostile to western interests are not allowed to threaten the oil supply. Saddam tried to blow up the oil fields and invaded Kuwait but we stopped him and capped all the wells and then we killed him and installed a new government. Now the Iranians are a threat as are the Venezuelans because they hate the USA and we need to destroy them and also by the way they both have nationalized oil fields which is completely wrong in our eyes since we should be getting all of the money and not the people of Venezuela and Iran.

      There you have it. The government has been brainwashed by conservative lackeys working for big oil companies and also the military has chimed in that if we cannot secure foreign oil supplies we may all starve to death sucking glue of the soles of our shoes.

      It is a joke since the USA is now the biggest exporter of oil. But never mind, our government is busy listening to the old strategy made by old men in another era.

      It is sad to see that the World must end because some geezers have no vision of a future that is not completely dominated by oil that we vow to defend with war.

      • June 24, 2019 at 17:16

        @ Citizen One: “The reason for attacking Iran is oil.”

        That is only one of the major reasons. The other is that Israel wants us to bomb Iran back into the Stone Age because Iran, as a regional power, threatens Israel’s desired hegemony over the entire Mideast. That is why Israel developed and broadcast the Iranian Nukes Myth, the myth that Iran wants nuclear weapons. That myth was spread so pervasively that a poll was reported in 2012 demonstrating that four out of five Americans believed that Iran already had nuclear weapons. https://www.timesofisrael.com/80-of-americans-think-irans-nuclear-program-threatens-the-us/

        Israel’s cure for that situation: the U.S. bombs Iran.

  29. June 21, 2019 at 19:33

    Yes, from Adelson to Kuschner to Bolton… so I have always suspected.
    Thanks for the link to Trump Fox (Hilton) interview; it actually makes the sick s.o.b.
    look human. He expresses in the the most candid terms his disgust for war (“it kills people!”)
    and his struggle with the warmongers. Go figure.
    I do believe, deep in my time-bent soul, that Trump is an invention of Shakespeare.

    • June 21, 2019 at 21:53

      well i do figure it is all political. if trump launched an attack on iran and the consequences wre quite grim for the u.s. his opportunity for reelection would be much slimmer. i don’t believe for one moment that this man has a conscience.

      • June 22, 2019 at 00:49

        Never underestimate your opponent.

    • hetro
      June 22, 2019 at 11:46

      Re invention of Shakespeare–resemblance in John Cade, Henry VI, part 2: “And the parliament will be my mouth.”

  30. SteveK9123
    June 21, 2019 at 18:51

    Need to be a little careful about the meaning of this: ‘In response to ever tightening sanctions, Iran said on May 5 (May 6 in Tehran) that it would indeed increase nuclear enrichment. ‘

    What they are doing is retaining more of the enriched uranium (~5% U235), which is reactor fuel, than allowed under the agreement. They are not saying that they are going to increase enrichment levels. No matter how much 5% U235 you have, you cannot make a bomb from it. Also, we cut off the Iranians ability to send the enriched uranium out of the country, with the latest batch of sanctions, and so guaranteed that they would be increasing the stocks. To make a uranium fission bomb you need material with U235 at ~ 90% or higher. Iran can do this of course, you just cycle the material longer through the centrifuges.

    • I'd rather be bikin
      June 22, 2019 at 01:58

      Excellent informative comments Steve!

    • AnneR
      June 22, 2019 at 09:30

      Quite – and the reason they are retaining more of the enriched uranium (and the heavy water) is because of the Strumpet’s sanctions surrounding the pull-out from the JCPOA. Iran was exporting these two by-products and thereby fully complying with the JCPOA. But alongside the sanctions against Iran’s oil and oil products were sanctions against any country importing these two by-products.

      All part and parcel of creating a (false) scenario of Iran being the one breaking the JCPOA when, of course, it is the USA (and its lapdog vassals in Europe).

    • vinnieoh
      June 22, 2019 at 09:52

      Thank you Steve – that is what I believed was the truth of these developments. Wondering why none of our illustrious pundits didn’t find it important enough to point this out. Not talking about the MSM – they merely repeat whatever BS the government spouts.

    • zhenry
      June 23, 2019 at 07:22

      Iran wants the Middle East to be a ‘Nuclear Free Zone’, so why try to implicate otherwise. So why not a NFZ? The US won’t agree: Then they are entitled to defend themselves.

    • June 24, 2019 at 13:37


    • LJ
      June 25, 2019 at 20:49

      The original agreement was abrogated ‘in spirit’ by the Obama Administration as soon as it was signed. Basically (one of you smarty pants could correct me), Iran gave up it’s enriched uranium for a promise that their freezed assets would be released ? Is that not correct? They got a few DOLLARS back eventually but now they are further in the hole vis-a-vis an increased sanctions regime. Obama did not honor Kerry’s negotiated agreement. That is the American Way.. This always was BS.. A precursor to war. Business as usual . Do not sign a treaty with the USA. The proof is in the historical record.We are a nation without honor but we do protect our own> Now question? Who are ‘are own ?. Not me, that is for certain.

  31. June 21, 2019 at 18:47

    “War” could come at any hour:

    The House of “Warriors”

    There is another “warrior” in the House
    The House has had many “warriors,” that wars gave a bounce in the polls
    It appears that bombing, and killing is acceptable of innocent souls
    Many countries are destroyed, and people are dead in many lands
    This deadly action brings cheers, and sometimes marching bands

    The masses applaud at sports games as aircraft fly past in honour
    For those that obey their “warrior” masters, it’s great to be a destroyer
    Many of those that invaded and obeyed are no longer here on earth
    They died in illegal wars, while the “warriors” are fit to burst

    The “warriors” boast of victory when really it is a bloody waste
    Of soldiers and peoples lives, and killings of the human race
    But hey, these “warriors” in business suits and dresses
    Never have to pay the piper for their dirty evil excesses

    The “warriors’ in this big house that is painted white
    Have an addiction to bloody wars, but they do not fight
    They send their brainwashed forces, marching to obey
    “An order is an order,” these slaves of war and killing say

    Will those that do the fighting ever refuse to take part?
    And tell these “warrior” maniacs, “It’s your turn to march”
    “We have had enough, of your B.S. and your freaking lies
    Go fight yourself sir, let’s see you fight and die”

    Now the latest enemy is the country of Iran
    The “warriors” for some time, have had a evil plan
    They feed off the carnage of death, destruction and killing
    Will they organize another illegal, “coalition of the willing”?

    All these “political warriors” need enemies and a country to prey on
    They never do any of the fighting, should they be objects of our scorn?
    War criminals and their allies, that like to parade their colours
    They plan all the atrocities and: They operate from the House of “Warriors”…

    [more info at link below]

  32. OlyaPola
    June 21, 2019 at 18:08

    “Donald Trump pulled back from igniting a potentially disastrous war in the Persian Gulf on Thursday night with just 10 minutes to spare, but the super-hawks he surrounded himself with will probably try again, writes Joe Lauria.”

    In lands of make-believe the beliefs that “war” is restricted to things that go bang and that defeat/victory can exist/be pursued are actively evangelised.

    In lands of make-believe some believe that others believe as they do and hence that others are always susceptable to bluff and salesmanship including attempts at “fear closes”, and that through “game theory” and other forms of projection including “history” the response of others can be “forecast” and “guarded against/nullified”.

    Some in lands of make-believe have tested hypotheses and have inklings that not all others are susceptable to bluff and that “game theory” and other forms of projection have facilitated divergences between wishes and outcomes, whilst some whom have not tested hypotheses continue to rely on bluff and salesmanship to support their notions of relevance and its acceptance by others.

    However in lands of make-believe many assign themselves significance that others do not assign to them, thereby obfuscating the significance of others and hence it is likely that agency will not be restricted to “super hawks/super believers and other rendered useful fools” or things that go bang since not all are immersed in linear framing popular in lands of make-believe and can develop and implement many lateral strategies in respect of apparent Gordian knots.

    • OlyaPola
      June 22, 2019 at 12:10

      Rodion Raskolnikov

      June 22, 2019 at 08:07

      “I think we just have to understand that Trump is a thief, a con-artist, a grifter — but he is
      not a killer. He does not want to kill people. On the other hand, Obama and the Bushes as
      well as both Clintons are and were killers………”

      June 22, 2019 at 11:09

      Rodion Raskolnikov
      June 22, 2019 at 08: 07

      As you are probably aware some are both killers and old believers seeking to appear
      to be both the possessed and devils.

      Perhaps Filipp Filippovich Preobrazhensky would be a more appropriate designation in such
      dogged matters ?

      “a more appropriate designation in such dogged matters ?”

      since manuscripts don’t burn apparently, unless they are on combustible material; but then broadcast is made on transmission not “publication”.



    • zhenry
      June 23, 2019 at 07:33

      If Trump was serious about being the angel who doesn’t like war, he would not have chosen his ‘far right’ ‘off the planet’ cabinet. How people can write sympathy and attribute such life enhancing qualities to this person and his political contrivances, is beyond me, all the evidence of his actions points to the exact opposite.

      • OlyaPola
        June 25, 2019 at 15:59

        “How people can write sympathy and attribute such life enhancing qualities..”

        Omniscience can never exists nor can uni-causality, although some yearn that this was/ is not the case – as in the tag line “We the people hold these truths to be self-evident”.

        Consequently there are hows (plural) and whys (plural) not all of which are known (Mr. Rumsfeld was not a complete fool but useful never the less), but all in lateral process.

        In the comments section of a previous thread reference was made to practices and studies derived therefrom of the restructuring of Treblinka death camp in mid 1942 under the guidance of Mr. Stangl and others including various “think tanks” associated with the SD, including some that were subsequently incorporated into the BND, and in close association with the CIA from the inceptions of both the CIA and BND.

        These studies are sometimes referred to in aggregate as the Trawniki papers.

        They were in part informed by previous practices in the Kaiser Empire including in but not restricted to South-West Africa (Namibia), the Ottoman Empire and the Imperial Russian “internal colonialist Empire”, and pre-existing practices in the Belgian, British, Dutch, French and U.S. Empires including the “internal colonialist empire known as the United States of America” and its external outreach including the Philipines – Mr. Hitler and his associates apparently having a wider purview than Mr. Trump and his associates – the SD being recognised as “professional”; this designation sometimes being obfuscated by the back-stop of “evil”, akin to Spanish naval maps in the 16th Century attempting to desuade inquiry through the designation of – here be devils.

        Although not the genesis of such practices, these studies have a general focus on deceit, hope, process and usage of varying velocities to facilitate “strategies of tension”.

        These studies informed practice in “counter-insurgency” including in the Belgian, British, Dutch, French and US Empires (often refered to as sphere of influence or our back-yard) and Israel.

        Consequently your formulation would more realistically refer to some people rather than people since the opponents continue to “benefit” from conflations of we-ness including “We the people hold these truths to be self-evident.”

  33. KiwiAntz
    June 21, 2019 at 17:48

    Does anyone in the World, know what Trump & the American Govt is trying to achieve with Iran? Trump has painted himself & the US into a corner of his own stupid making by screwing over the Iranians by withdrawing from the JCPOA Nuclear deal then using punishing sanctions to cripple Iran for its crime of adherence to the Internationally garnered UN deal! If Trumps aim was to try & appease his Cultist, deplorable voting base, he’s failed miserably because Iran has called his bluff over the Sea of Homuz, by shooting down his $100 million dollar Spy drone, a humiliation to Trump & the US & a warning to them that Iran will defend itself if provoked? Imagine the humiliation if Trump had ordered a Military strike & Iran had shot down their much vsulted, Trillion dollar flying turkey called the F35? Trump may claim that he authorised his Military to attack then pulled back at the last minute from attacking Iran, but its now coming to light that Iran could have also shot down a manned US Spy plane using the drone as camouflage, but was spared by the Iranians who shotdown the Drone as well! Recovered Drone wreakage confirms the US Spy Drone violated Iranian waters! Trumps maximum pressure strategy to break Irans resolve is in tatters & his dangerous game of “Chicken” with the Iranians is a disaster? Trump has blinked first in a showdown with the Iranian car & veered the American car from collision with Iran & driven the US into a ditch that it can’t reverse out off?

  34. Jeff Harrison
    June 21, 2019 at 17:36

    The US is becoming more pathetic by the day.
    The attacks on the tankers? Yeah, well the damage is well above the water line. “Limpet” mines are always attached below the waterline by a diver so that when they are detonated they will poke a hole in the ship and let water in. Water doesn’t come into holes above the waterline. The only country that bought into that crap is that most obsequious of vassal states, Britain.

    The attack on the drone? It’s interesting. The US (naturally) claims that it was in international airspace. That’s all they’re offering. Iran has given the precise coordinates of the drone and they are in Iran’s sovereign territory and they even have a little video showing the flight path of the drone. Interestingly, a manned aircraft was flying alongside the drone and the Iranians didn’t shoot at it. I don’t know if they didn’t shoot at it because it was far enough from the drone that it was in international airspace or if the Iranians didn’t want to kill anybody or if they wanted to demonstrate that they could penetrate the drone’s ECM and very precisely take out the drone but that’s what they did.

    When are Thump, Revoltin’ Bolton, and Pompous going to get the message that they are becoming less credible by the day?

    • TemplarOz
      June 22, 2019 at 02:40

      Well said Jeff. The co-ordinates indicate that the drone was within 12 kilometres of the Iranian coast. Well within its territorial waters.

  35. Anton Vodvarka
    June 21, 2019 at 17:03

    We as a nation are long past due for the Dien Bien Phu award for overweening hubris and arrogant self-confidence. Two aircraft carriers sitting in the Persian Gulf well in range of a multitude of Iranian missiles? Lots of luck with that.

    • June 21, 2019 at 19:45

      Aircraft carriers have been described as the sacrificial lambs of modern war. They were built to be sunk. I suspect that Bolton/Pompeo bring them in to be sunk….and so to initiate and guarantee a major military conflict. But major.
      Why else bring them in when we have enough warplanes stationed (and protected) in Qatar to wreak atomic havoc?

    • Taras77
      June 21, 2019 at 22:33

      Dmitri Orlov on his blog has come up with another “sport,” the Olympic (sic) world eye roll whereby the world goes into group eye rolls at the extent and audacity of the lies coming out of the admin officials, all with a straight face.

      This “sport” fit in with your dien Bien Phu award.

  36. June 21, 2019 at 17:02

    I wouldn’t refer to the endless geopolitical games Bolton, Pompeo and Trump are playing as a version of “good cop vs bad cop” so much as a never ending “Groundhog Day like” episode of the “Three Stooges with nukes.” No one in their right mind would trust any one of these three amoral narcissists to feed their pet goldfish if they were away for the weekend, and yet these three intellectually limited morality-free clowns appear to be directing the foreign policy of the most heavily armed madhouse in the history of planet earth.

    One needn’t be genetically predisposed to “pessimism” to imagine that nothing good can come of this trio being anywhere near the levers of military actions and decision making. If this is simply the latest version of Nixon’s “madman” act, well, I think we can all agree, “mission accomplished.” We are all suitably convinced of the absolute insanity of this trios actions, whether real or feigned.

  37. Sharon Crawford
    June 21, 2019 at 16:42

    Thank you Joe Lauria. That’s probably the best advice he’ll get today.

  38. eric32
    June 21, 2019 at 16:32

    All this middle east stuff is about petroleum resources and pipeline routes.

    The bankers / industrialists who control the Boltons / Pompeos roll the dice – if it works, they make big money, if it fails, they lose little or nothing.

    They don’t risk their own money, and nobody they know or care about will be getting killed or maimed.

    They don’t care about US troops and foreigners getting killed, they don’t care about waste of money and economically damaging debt eventually bringing down the US, just like they didn’t care about the effects of transferring US industrial production to China and other places.

    Corrupt incompetent Hillary would have serviced these looters much better than Trump.

    • anonfd
      June 21, 2019 at 21:38

      The usual zionist BS that “It’s all about the oil!” You know that is absurd. Do you bomb the local gas station to ensure the stability of supply? Do you claim that the US cannot buy oil from any source like everyone else without starting aggressive wars for Israel? No one else has that problem. Maybe you will offer some evidence for that.

      • Eric32
        June 21, 2019 at 22:54

        The US was involved in Iran and Saudi Arabia before there even was an Israel.

        • AnneR
          June 22, 2019 at 10:59

          Eric32 – It was the Brits who were involved in the ME before the Yanks who became “involved” (very polite way to consider their and the Brits actions) in Iran in 1953, which to my historical understanding was 5 years post Israel’s self declaration as Israel. And in 1953 – it *was* all about the oil, ta very much.

          At this particular juncture I would aver that, yes, oil plays a role, so too do the desires of Israel and Saudia/UAE to wipe out Iran and its support for Hizbullah, the Shia in Iraq and Yemen and Syria. *And* the third iron in the fire is the US determination to destroy all chances of the Eurasian cooperative construct built around the Chinese-Russian BRI, of which Iran is a significant pivotal node. Eradicate Iran, or at least Iran as it now exists, and the Chinese-Russian SCO/BRI/BRICs cooperation disintegrates and the US and its vassal western states remain the world’s capitalist hegemonic force.

          • Eric32
            June 23, 2019 at 10:33

            US interests and involvements in ME oil regions goes back further than that. From Wiki:

            “American missionaries had brought modern medicine and set up educational institutions all over the Middle East. Moreover, the United States had provided the Middle East with highly skilled petroleum engineers.[6]

            Thus, there were some connections made between the United States and the Middle East before the Second World War.

            Other examples of cooperations between the U.S. and the Middle East are the Red Line Agreement signed in 1928 and the Anglo-American Petroleum Agreement signed in 1944. Both of these agreements were legally binding and reflected an American interest in control of Middle Eastern energy resources, namely oil, and moreover reflected an American “security imperative to prevent the (re)emergence of a powerful regional rival”.[7]

            The Red Line Agreement had been “part of a network of agreements made in the 1920s to restrict supply of petroleum and ensure that the major [mostly American] companies … could control oil prices on world markets”.[8] The Red Line agreement governed the development of Middle East oil for the next two decades. The Anglo-American Petroleum Agreement of 1944 was based on negotiations between the United States and Britain over the control of Middle Eastern oil. Below is shown what the American President Franklin D. Roosevelt had in mind for to a British Ambassador in 1944:
            Persian oil … is yours. We share the oil of Iraq and Kuwait. As for Saudi Arabian oil, it’s ours.[9]

            King Ibn Saud converses with President Franklin D. Roosevelt on board the USS Quincy, after the Yalta Conference in 1945

            On August 8, 1944, the Anglo-American Petroleum Agreement was signed, dividing Middle Eastern oil between the United States and Britain. Consequently, political scholar Fred H. Lawson remarks, that by the mid-1944, U.S. officials had buttressed their country’s position on the peninsula by concluding an Anglo-American Petroleum Agreement that protected “all valid concession contracts and lawfully acquired rights” belonging to the signatories and established a principle of “equal opportunity” in those areas where no concession had yet been assigned.[10] Furthermore, political scholar Irvine Anderson summarises American interests in the Middle East in the late 19th century and the early 20th century noting that, “the most significant event of the period was the transition of the United States from the position of net exporter to one of net importer of petroleum.”[11]

            By the end of the Second World War, the United States had come to consider the Middle East region as “the most strategically important area of the world.”[12] and “one of the greatest material prizes in world history,” argues Noam Chomsky.[12 “

        • anonfd
          June 22, 2019 at 11:02

          Sorry to seem contentious. Eric32, but the early involvement was very small before Israel (1947).

          Excluding WWII operations with UK, the US Mideast involvement really began by twisting arms at the UN to create Israel, in exchange for a campaign bribe to Truman. By 1953 we had overthrown the democratic government of Mossadegh in Iran to get a share of the UK oil concession he had threatened to nationalize. During the 1950s to present the US supported any Islamic militant faction against secular, socialist, or democratic governments (see Dreyfuss’ Devil’s Game). The claim was that this was “anti-communism” but there was no evidence of USSR interest there, as it had its own Islamic militant factions in central Asia. We never got any special oil deals after 1953 despite expanding aggressive wars that destabilized the oil supply and could benefit only Israel.

          • Eric32
            June 23, 2019 at 10:46

            See my reply to AnneR.

            Also, while Israel benefits from and actively subverts US actions into destroying ME nations’ governments into internal conflicts, so that they cannot pose military threats to Israel, it’s strategic geopolitical questions of oil, pipelines, trade routes that have been the main thing to the US.

            The looting of post Soviet Russia and the current US subversion of Venezuela are examples of US projects in regions with little interest to Israel.

      • mark
        June 22, 2019 at 00:09

        Oil is one of the standard Hasbara diversions.
        Blame the oil companies. Blame the pixies and the leprechauns. Just don’t blame Israel.
        When this war starts, the first thing to go will be the oil infrastructure of the whole region.
        No more oil and gas exports for years, maybe never.
        $200 a barrel and upwards. Wall Street has even suggested $1,000.
        Trillions in derivatives unwinding. But the Chosen Folk don’t mind. They want their war.

        • Eric32
          June 24, 2019 at 11:22

          Venezuelan oil, Russian oil and other resources, Afghan pipeline routes and mineral deposits – US actions are only about Israel, of course.

      • June 23, 2019 at 18:35

        The USA states its goal is “Global Full Spectrum Dominance”. That is the why and wherefore of all USA foreign policy. Israel is the USA’s ally and wishes for “Greater Israel” i.e. all of the middle east as Israel nation.

  39. mike k
    June 21, 2019 at 16:20

    Any idea that Trump is a peace advocate is utterly belied by his choice of advisors, harsh sanctions, belligerent threats, and warlike maneuvers. Trump speaks with “forked tongue”. His “peace talk” is simply lies and deception.

  40. ThomasHawk
    June 21, 2019 at 16:13

    America has nothing to fear from Iran. Nuclear weapons are the best defense any nation can have against invasion. Iran, and NK, have no intention of using nuclear weapons in an offensive platform. Pakistan is about as fundamentalist as a any country and they haven’t thrown any nuclear weapons at anyone. Why? Because if they did it would be a death sentence. It would be completely irrational for Iran, or any country for that matter, including the US, to use nuclear weapons in an offensive manner. If any country does decide to use nuclear weapons they will not have to fear invasion from a foreign army. These nations will simply be inundated with nuclear weapons, they will cease to exist.

    The ONLY way America loses a war with Iran, NK, Russia, or whoever is if they invade these countries.

    Don’t let politicians fool you. A nuclear Iran is nothing. They are a militarly weak nation that has only participated in one big war (Iraq) and that one was fought about as ineptly as any nation has ever fought. They used child suicide walkers who would march through mine fields, suffering ridiculously high casualties, in advance of their regular military units for *^*+ sake.

    I don’t want to get pushed into anymore bs wars and I’ve noticed that the foul wars America has gotten involved in were launched due to mistaken paranoia. Vietnam had the domino theory, Post9/11 had Global Muslim fundamentalism and weapons of mass destruction. A war with Iran would be fought for the same reasons as the war with Iraq was fought. Fear of Muslim fanatics, weapons of mass destruction, and oil.
    Fool me once shame on me…..

    • June 21, 2019 at 16:50

      “Pakistan is about as fundamentalist as a any country and they haven’t thrown any nuclear weapons at anyone. Why? Because if they did it would be a death sentence. ”

      An alternative explanation is that they are not homicidal maniacs aiming for maximum mayhem for the fun of it. Additionally, states, especially weaker ones (the state elite to be more precise), have to give much thought to various consequences of conflict and war.

      It is easy to observe, if you pay attention, that impunity is strongly correlated with recklessness. As Pakistan is weaker than India, nukes remove a degree of impunity in case of Indian recklessness, and on a smaller scale, give some room for recklessness to Pakistan. It is a bit puzzling why India made an official introduction of nuclear weapons to the subcontinent, it may well be an impunity driven recklessness.

      The connection of recklessness with ideological rigidity — fundamentalism, Juche etc. — is much weaker than with impunity. “Civilized West” enjoys the largest degree if impunity, followed by the “pet states” like Israel and KSA, and that is very negatively related to the wisdom of their actions.

    • tom
      June 21, 2019 at 17:00

      Those wars were not based on paranoia or mistakes….they were fundamentally pushed to fill the coffers of the MIC Eisenhower created and then warned about.They create enemies to keep stealing taxpayer money.

      • David Otness
        June 21, 2019 at 23:12

        Technically it was Truman who to his later chagrin “invented” the MIC with the 1947 National Security Act and with it unleashed Satan (Allen Dulles) to begin to fulfill Dulles’ long-range Plan which included immediate infiltration of all branches of the armed forces to form the military arm of the Wall Street-directed CIA, making for a dual allegiance of military officers’ careers and CIA access to official military equipment readily available for covert and black operations, including military bases all over the world. An end run on protocols and laws and treaties the military itself under the U.S. Constitution and the Uniform Code of Military Justice was bound by.

        A dual covert foreign policy establishment was thus therein created too. Dulles had already articulated and manifested his princely Ivy League blueblood psychopathy by ignoring orders from Washington, D.C. as OSS station chief in Switzerland during WW II, and further went rogue in contacting and staying in close and intimate communications with certain High Command Nazis and German industrialists. Of course his work at the Sullivan and Cromwell (Wall Street) law firm pre-war included much liaison work between those US banks (the Bush family included prominently) and the German war machine, already his clients throughout the war as such.
        And of course that relationship facilitated so many of those Nazi get out of jail free cards for those same fascists so they could resume doing what fascists/Nazis do and did on both sides of the Atlantic, before, during, and after the war, irrespective of country of origin. And as they, our own domestic fascists/Nazis, continue quite merrily to do, down to today. Think George Carlin and “It’s a Big Club, and You Ain’t in It!”

        Boiled down, the MIC, in all of its excesses, was a fundamental part of a pre-planned solution to future (and predictable by capitalism’s already proven business cycles) disastrous, Great Depression-scale economic catastrophes, and so it paved the way to permanent war as the solution to the USA’s already then-established technical and industrial bases’ needs and sustenance, R&D among them.
        This, combined with an imperialistic drive to dominate civilization and the planet in the post-WW II environment as a unipolar enfant terrible, set us on this course we now know as “exceptionalism.”
        “Oceania has always been at war.” ~ George Orwell — 1984
        Any questions?

      • Nick
        June 21, 2019 at 23:47

        MIC was really a creation of FDR, codified by Truman, and used by Eisenhower to overthrow the elected governments of quite a few countries, Iran being one of them. His Farewell Address, where he warned of the Military-Industrial Complex, reminds me of Rummy Rumsfeld leaving office and saying ‘By the way, there’s no way the US will ever win in Iraq. See ya later.’ It’s a warning way too late in the game from someone who built up what they are now warning about. Either way, though, war has always been a bipartisan undertaking. From McKinley and the US war on the Philippines, a war in which the US used the water torture in much more brutal fashion than today (stomping people’s stomachs to get the water to come back up and such) to LBJ propping up a bloodthirsty South Vietnamese government, to Bush and Obama both bombing a combined 7 countries in the Middle East. It’s clear that this empire is bloody, and it lends credence to the Marquis de Sade when he says a republic founded on crime can only survive if it continues to be based on other crime. This empire was founded on land stolen from the people who lived here, and continues to steal anything and everything and use extreme violence to do so. I don’t foresee this ending well. After Rome fell, there was a period known as The Dark Ages. I think after the US falls, the Dark Ages will seem to be brimming with effervescent light.

        • historicus
          June 22, 2019 at 07:43

          The thing to remember about the “fall” of Rome is that the Christian ruler Constantine had moved the administrative center of the empire east to Constantinople almost 150 years earlier, where it endured until 1453. Rome itself was a dusty museum of lost pagan glory when the Gothic warlord Odovacer quietly deposed the last sitting emperor – a seven year old child named Romulus Augustulus – and sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople with a polite note informing the government there that “an emperor is no longer needed in the west.” The plunder and destruction of the Roman world was carried out by the Christian armies of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 550s, in his bloody fifteen year campaign to reconquer Italy for the east. It was this wholesale obliteration of a millennium of Graeco-Roman culture that brought on the so-called Dark Ages, which didn’t seem all that inconvenient to the people who lived through them, judging by the accounts they left.

          Personally I think a convincing argument can be made that the best ideals of the Founders, as imperfect as they may have been, did not survive the passing of their generation. It may also be instructive to remember that our national motto “Novus Ordo Seclorum” (found on the reverse of the great seal adopted by Congress in 1782) quotes a line from the Roman poet Virgil’s Eclogues, in which it is the prophecy by the Cumaean Sybil that Rome is destined to rule the world.

          • Nick
            June 23, 2019 at 10:03

            Great comment. My Roman history is not what it could be. It seems I got at least the American History part right!

    • KiwiAntz
      June 21, 2019 at 18:16

      Iran is a Militarily weak Country? I think your delusional Thomashawk & been watching to many Hollywood films where Rambo wins the Wars that America has lost? Hezbollah, Israel’s feared enemy & Iranian proxies would beg to differ regarding your assessment of Iran’s fighting ability & forces? The IRG won’t scrurry off & die like the Iraqis did when the US illegally invaded that Country? They will fight any US aggression, to the death! And if your talking about mental fragility of a Military, why do so many US personnel come back from American Wars with PTSD & massive opioid addictions & suicide rates? Who’s the weaker Military here, a battle hardened Iranian, dealing with hostile enemies surrounding it for decades or a soft bellied American whose geographic isolation has shielded him from conflicts & invasion! Its a no brainer who’s mentality & will is stronger & it ain’t American!

    • TS
      June 22, 2019 at 08:46

      Thomas Hawk,

      > Fool me once shame on me…..

      Errh — it’s the other way around:
      “Fool me once, shame on you,
      Fool me twice, shame on me”

      • LJ
        July 2, 2019 at 14:41

        Fool me three times I must like it,
        Fool me 4 times, that’s a lifestyle choice.

        Says Me

    • June 23, 2019 at 18:41

      In 2003 General Wesley Clark named the seven nations the USA was going to attack, these wars are all preplanned and are offensive, economic and have absolutely nothing to do with defense.

  41. Ben
    June 21, 2019 at 16:12

    Peace is the only hope. he who digs a hole falls in it. the power to be are making a big mistake, they are confusing IRAN with IRAQ. If you read about the Iranian history, they are no push over. they will die with their slippers on, than cry uncle.

  42. Rande Christoferson
    June 21, 2019 at 16:09

    I agree with you whole-heartedly, Joe. The USA, Inc. has been the bully of the World for a long time now. I do not consent to be governed by this endless chain of fools. The “sheeple” must be woken up and soon.

  43. GeorgeV
    June 21, 2019 at 15:45

    If it is true that Generalissimo Bone Spur and President Chief Kaiser of the USA, His Imperial Majesty Donald Trump, ordered the military to stand down from attacking Iran for shooting down a US surveillance drone with only ten minutes to spare, is indeed frightening. In plain English, it means that Trump has turned US foreign policy into a game of Russian roulette with the hammer set to hit the bullet. Whether Trump did so because he got cold feet, didn’t want kill any Iranians, or had a divine epiphany, one can only speculate at this point in time. What is clear however is that if Trump is serious about avoiding a senseless war with Iran, he will need to remove Bolton, Pompeo and Haspel from their respective positions. Now! The next time he may be too late. Like Russian roulette, the hammer may not hit the bullet for any number of tries, but the laws of probability cannot be infinitely denied.

    • LJ
      June 21, 2019 at 15:55

      Hillary wouldn’t have called it off. Bolton wouldn’t have been in play at all.

      • Rob
        June 21, 2019 at 16:41

        Even more likely is that with Hillary as president, we would be elbow deep in Syria fighting the forces of Syria, Iran, Russia and various militias. By this time, an all out war with Iran might be in full swing. That said, Trump is responsible for the foreign policy and national security advisors he has chosen, all of whom are psychopaths.

        • tom
          June 21, 2019 at 17:02

          I would tend to think that the key aim of this Trump-approved leak is,
          more than anything else, to put the spotlight on Pompeo and Bolton as
          dangerous warmongers. This way, he will have the support of a majority
          of the country if he ever has the guts to fire them – and he, amazingly,
          appears as the adult in the room, as opposed to the insane fools he’s
          surrounded himself with.

          Of course, my reasoning assumes that whole thing is for national public consumption and there isn’t much thought about the international impact and interpretation of such a leak.

          Trump might be the only thing standing between us and WW3…….ironically.

          Hillary would have already stared WW3

      • Nick
        June 21, 2019 at 23:54

        I think to say ‘Hillary wouldn’t have called it off’ is a bit too much. For one thing, she wouldn’t have appointed Bolton and Pompeo to their respective positions. She may have appointed other psychos, but not these 2 particular ones. She also wouldn’t have pulled out of her old boss’s nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions. She doesn’t live to destroy her old boss’s work, she just lives to destroy other entire nations. That being said, had she won we’d be so deep in fighting Russia from Eastern Europe down to Syria that we might not even be alive to be commenting right now.

  44. Brian James
    June 21, 2019 at 15:42

    Jun 21, 2019 Cutting Through Washington’s Warmongering

    The US is committed to conflict not only most obviously against Iran, but also with Russia.


    • historicus
      June 22, 2019 at 07:56

      Zbignew Brzezinski outlined Washington’s ultimate plan for Russia more than twenty years ago. Couched in the usual politicized neoliberal jargon, it reads, “Given (Russia’s) size and diversity, a decentralized political system and free-market economics would be most likely to unleash the creative potential of the Russian people and Russia’s vast natural resources. A loosely confederated Russia — composed of a European Russia, a Siberian Republic, and a Far Eastern Republic — would also find it easier to cultivate closer economic relations with its neighbors. Each of the confederated entitles would be able to tap its local creative potential, stifled for centuries by Moscow’s heavy bureaucratic hand. In turn, a decentralized Russia would be less susceptible to imperial mobilization.” (Zbigniew Brzezinski, A Geostrategy for Eurasia, Foreign Affairs, 76:5, September/October 1997)

      This is the American game plan for Russia. In order to eliminate an economic rival, the Russian Federation must cease to exist as a national entity, instead becoming three weaker “loosely confederated … decentralized political system[s]” more susceptible to imperialist exploitation. This is regime change to create a pretend-democracy faux free market entities not unlike the one that exists at home, where the American republic once was.

  45. Mike
    June 21, 2019 at 15:39

    And now he has to ‘splain hisself to Netanyahu. Poor boy.

  46. John V. Walsh
    June 21, 2019 at 15:34

    Superb article.

  47. Pablo Diablo
    June 21, 2019 at 15:26

    Bolton knows his days are numbered so he is pushing hard to destroy Iran (after he pushed hard to destroy Iraq). What a fucking numbskull. He needs to cool off in prison. I read that Iran had shot down a US drone a few days back between the two oil tankers being hit. Japanese ship said it was hit by a flying missile. No one would retrieve a “mine” in daylight with a Navy plane overhead. Why the Navy plane had such a shitty camera aboard that edited the footage and redded out the faces is really amateurish. Time for Bolton, Pompeo, and Trump to go.

    • Dunderhead
      June 21, 2019 at 16:28

      First off Joe you’re the Salt of the earth but you know that Bolton does not have the power to order Carrier stray groups about he simply speeded up their deployment. That being said the neocon/ zionists absolutely must Press on or destroy themselves hopefully they do not take the rest of us with them. Trump is a worm, he may know better but he is a hoar for approval and thanks to the liberal intelligentsia and media pushing the needle to the right we are stuck with this. Thank Artem militaries overstretched and incompetent!

    • Dunderhead
      June 21, 2019 at 16:29

      Hey I take exception to that, Bolton should be buried under the fucking prison!

      • Rob
        June 21, 2019 at 17:09

        There are a whole lot of American war criminals enjoying life outside of prison. To list them all would take the rest of the afternoon.

    • mark
      June 22, 2019 at 00:12

      Maybe they need to get some Huawei cameras.

  48. Max
    June 21, 2019 at 15:23

    Very good article, Joe.

  49. hetro
    June 21, 2019 at 15:18

    “On Monday (sic) they shot down an unmanned drone flying in International Waters. We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not……..proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone. I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!”

    The puerile nature of this statement surely calls for a “So there!” at the end of it.

    Here for history is the rhetoric of a man composed, sober, deliberate, compassionate–above all, the peacemaker.
    (The new message on his re-election campaign baseball hat.)

    The world rejoices at this moment.

    • Cratylus
      June 21, 2019 at 15:41

      hetro gives an unadulterated expression of Trump Derangement Syndrome.
      Whacky in its emotional, adolescent, dare I say, puerile hatred.
      Hetro should read the article again – and try to absorb the comment of Drew Hunkins below.

      • hetro
        June 22, 2019 at 10:44

        Not TDS or hatred. Matter of fact I have some sympathy for the man as utterly misplaced and gulled by his own ego. What the comment attempted to show and obviously didn’t is that Trump is here spinning his failure to deal with the situation in the first place (and getting congratulated for it)–that is, in allowing this stupid policy with Iran to develop to the point where he could only get himself out of it by coming on as “heroic.” This is somewhat like being congratulated for driving down a two lane highway on a dark night at 80 mph and slamming on the brakes.

  50. RnM
    June 21, 2019 at 14:55

    Put a serious investigator on those two warmongers, and expose their bad intentions for all to see, once and for all.
    Those who support them in their criminally agressive ways will also be exposed for what they are -murderers of innocent humans. Time for them to clean up their act in DC, going forward. Please give POTUS credit due on this one, for Pete’s (or Peace) sake!

    • hetro
      June 21, 2019 at 15:27

      I’d say it’s bloody miraculous that 10 minutes to go he came to his senses. This given so far we have no indication of where the drone was shot down. So I’ll give him credit when there is some indication that here is a step toward the man’s acting like a competent leader.

      • June 21, 2019 at 17:15

        “a step toward the man’s acting like a competent leader”, what do you mean by that, “insane but with moments of lucidity”?

    • geeyp
      June 22, 2019 at 01:32

      Yes, I agree RnM.

  51. Drew Hunkins
    June 21, 2019 at 14:53

    Trump’s in a little bit of a bind in regard to Iran. I tend to believe that despite all his heightened rhetoric against the Persian state (which is now being dialed down to a certain extent) he ultimately does not desire an actual hot war with Iran. However, b/c he was forced to cotton to the rabid Zionist right due to the Russiagate nonsense — the corporate Dem-intel-militarist wing of the ruling class was breathing down his neck — he’s now essentially required to come up with some kind of show of force against Tehran since that’s exactly what Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer and Bernie Marcus demand. You don’t think these Zionist gangsters lend support with no strings attached, do you? If it was up to these three, Trump would have obliterated Tehran months ago.

    Here’s the bind Trump finds himself in: he knows he’s somewhat dependent on Adelson’s gambling cash for his ’20 re-election campaign and that Adelson demands at least ever more violent saber rattling toward Iran. But obviously war on Iran is overwhelmingly opposed by the vast majority of the hard pressed American electorate. Ergo, Trump’s left with having to prove his bona fides to one degree or another to the paranoid, hegemonic and sadistic Zio psychopaths, yet he fully knows he cannot deliver to them everything they desire — an outright war of aggression on Iran. It’s a dangerous quandary b/c depending on poll numbers come spring and summer of ’20, Adelson, Marcus and Singer’s minions in Bolton and Pompeo could possibly win the day. It’s an interesting balancing act in which no one is quite sure where public sentiment will ultimately be if the mass media are able to convince them that Iran poses a credible threat or if a provocative false flag is newsworthy enough to strike fear into the American public.

    Comparing the timelines of the Obama and Trump presidencies thus far — at this exact point in time Obama was a few months into completely destroying and annihilating Libya, killing thousands of innocent civilians and sending tens of thousands into Europe thereby fueling political tensions in a West that was already suffering under un and under-employment.

    It was an Obama (and Killary) crime against humanity like no other that we’ve witnessed in the last 16 years or so.

    Say what you will about the Trump regime, but despite all its faults it has yet to commit such a blatantly deplorable and reprehensible act. Thus far.

    • Max
      June 21, 2019 at 15:29

      Totally agree with your comment, Drew.

      • Drew Hunkins
        June 21, 2019 at 17:17

        Nice to hear some other folks see things more accurately than what our corporate-imperialist mass media dictate for us.

    • Cratylus
      June 21, 2019 at 15:32

      Good comment – analytical, based on fact, free of dementing Trump Derangement Syndrome.

      • Drew Hunkins
        June 21, 2019 at 15:54

        Thanks for the kind words Crat.

      • hetro
        June 22, 2019 at 12:02

        Cratylus, criticism of Trump is not automatically TDS, especially in context with brief comments made here in this forum. Along with CN generally I have avoided the stupidity of TDS and its role in the Russia collusion hoax. I also approve Trump’s critiques of regime change and dialogue for international conflicts. But I am annoyed with him at this time, yes. And sentimentalizing him with congratulations at this moment, as you seem to be doing, is I think inappropriate as he tries to spin his way with this latest into re-election points. He is ultimately responsible for the fiasco he almost approved of, before waking up (and apparently due to the influence of Tucker Carlson). Will he learn from this? Or how long will it be before the next false flag provocation and his unavoidable military response, with a sorry folks, not my fault, attached to it?

    • RnM
      June 21, 2019 at 18:45

      Adelson and his bunch must realize that Trump will be very vulnerable if he gets into a war as the election year approaches. They need him in the WH if they are to realize their war with Iran, which everyone know is unwinnable, except through the mass destruction of Iranian population centers. Still, I doubt if Trump could pull the trigger, because, with Russia and China in the mix, it dooms Israel. I think he would rather keep his businesses going, rather than forever be known as the guy who started WWIII. They may engineer some more committed Zionist to take over after Trump has some catastrophic fatal medical issue, thus being the first 25th Amendment exercise.

      • geeyp
        June 22, 2019 at 01:30

        The first 25th amendment exercise? ….not so sure the first…

    • LJ
      June 21, 2019 at 18:46

      Trump’s Son -in-Law, Adviser , Middle East Envoy, Father of Trump’s Grandchildren Jared Kushner is a rabid Zionist with a pedigree . When Bibi Netanyahu would visit New York City he would stay at the Kushners’ home during Jared High School Years. Young Jared he would give up his downstairs bedroom for Netanyahu . Bibi would sleep in Jared’s bed. That is a true story. Check out who his father was, Trump’s Daughter Ivana went through Conversion to Judaism so she and Kushner could live happily ever after being married . . Look who Donald Trump appointed to be Ambassador to Israel. Russia gate did not force him into anything. . Trump and Netanyahu were already friends, Perhaps not as close as Mitt Romney and Bibi but certainly on very good terms with each other.

    • Marko
      June 21, 2019 at 19:04

      “Thus far.”

      That’s an important qualifier. We’re one good false-flag – involving multiple casualties among US and/or allied personnel – from a Trump-initiated conflagration in the Middle East , centered around Iran. Adelson , Netanyahu , and the others who are drooling in anticipation of same are well aware that that’s all it will take , and they can make it happen. Trump would let the false-flag slide just like LBJ let the Liberty slide. It could happen at any time , and events would unroll quickly and war would likely be unstoppable.

    • mark
      June 22, 2019 at 00:21

      Tell you what.
      I’ll destroy your economy and you can watch your kids starve to death in front of you or die for lack of basic medicine.
      Then I’ll tell you how non reprehensible I am, like the good Christians Pence and Pompeo..

      Like the 500,000 children under 5 who died from 1991-2003 in Iraq.

      Nothing will change till the Exceptional And Indispensable Folks are made to experience what they have inflicted on so many tens of millions for so long. Couldn’t happen to nicer people. Yew Ess Ayy =Nazi Germany on steroids. Americans have NO IDEA just how much they are hated, loathed and despised by all decent people on the rest of the planet.

    • Dave P.
      June 22, 2019 at 02:42

      Drew, your analysis is spot on. Yes, I agree with you. So far Trump has been lesser of the evils. Hillary would have started couple of wars by this time, and caused lot more destruction. And the most of the brainwashed population in the West would have gone along with her without a murmur.

    • Sam F
      June 22, 2019 at 06:48

      But it would not be complete to say that Libya was “an Obama (and Killary) crime against humanity like no other that we’ve witnessed in the last 16 years or so” as that would leave out the zionist/Repub wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both parties are corrupt warmonger operations run by zionists/corps/MIC. The problem is capture of the tools of democracy (elections, mass media, and judiciary) by money power: to blame one of the duopoly diverts attention and prevents solution.

    • hetro
      June 22, 2019 at 17:13


      I would say it’s not so much an “if,” with your “thus far,” but a “when?” It seems likely the drone intrusion was itself a false flag op, if the Iranian mapping evidence is reliable. Also likely the strikes Trump stopped were arranged prior to the event. The Iranian defense position was/is clear; why would they shoot down a drone over international waters? Again the cui bono.

      The problem with Trump’s performance playing it both ways–tough military leader threatening “all options are on the table” and sanguine diplomat peace maker–is it won’t work both ways. Now he is being mocked and derided for “weakness,” whereas attention is needed on how he got into the bind in the first place. So I’m thinking we got lucky this time, whatever caused him to stop the strike. I would also hope he would do some deep considering on the contradictions in his policies toward less aggression and confrontation, but this does not seem likely.

    • June 23, 2019 at 23:09

      Trump is a symptom distracting from a system.
      Trump did not do a :

      Korean War 5 million dead

      Vietnam War 5-10 million dead

      Afghan War 2 million (since 1976)

      Iraq War 1 million

      Syria 500,000


  52. June 21, 2019 at 14:47

    Trump’s explantion for reversing the attack sounds credible. Another explanation might be that he was “suckered” into signing on to the attack, only to find that it was already on the way with or without his signature. Thus he felt he was being used and stopped the operation, to his credit. As for who is behind the anti-Iran project, it could be several parties other than the ubiquitous “Israel Lobby”. For instance, it could be the fracking industry lobby that needs to push the price of oil up by cutting Iranian supply. Or it could be the arms contractors who need to unload excess inventoriy of missiles and drones to keep their industries in business. Whoever is behind the US policy, it sure looks unprofessional to the rest of the world. Apparantly this fecklessness is good for the financial markets which seem to be at all time highs.

    • Bob
      June 21, 2019 at 15:50

      RE: “Trump’s explanation for reversing the attack sounds credible.” Actually, it sounds incredible, just as are most statements that are uttered by The Drumph. Before any such operation as this (prelude to WW III?) the inhabitants of the plush Pentagon offices would have had produced a voluminous analysis of the proposed operation, including estimates of military and civilian causalities on both sides of the dispute. So, rather than some general whispering in The Drumph’s ear just before D-hour that there would be some casualties, that estimate would have been quite an important element in the operational documentation and briefings. I grant you that The Drumph has made it known that he doesn’t read and he doesn’t listen to those people who might actually know something about the grave matters on which he is expected to make decisions. So, perhaps it was a case of, just before D-hour, some frustrated general yelling at the top of his lungs: “Hey, you numskull, don’t you know that some actual human beings will be killed and maimed as a result of this operation!” More likely, it is just a case of our demented and deranged Dear Leader bouncing from one incoherent and idiotic thought to another.

    • mark
      June 22, 2019 at 00:27

      It sounds credible if you’re in the market for self serving, self aggrandising BS.
      And if you’re in the market for Hasbara BS, you can throw up smokescreens about the oil industry, or the arms industry, or the leprechauns, or the pixies.
      Just don’t mention our Zionist buddies.

  53. Ann Garrison
    June 21, 2019 at 14:44

    On last night’s KPFA Flashpoints, Francis Boyle explained the possibility of impeaching Bolton to slow things down. Just over 25 minutes in: https://kpfa.org/episode/flashpoints-june-20-2019/

    • David Otness
      June 21, 2019 at 23:47

      I caught that live. I thought K.J. Noh’s analysis (in the same show) something all should hear too & posted it on my FB page as soon as it came up on podcast. Then to hear of this drone business last night…
      Well, we’ve made it through another day. So far…

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