PATRICK LAWRENCE: Accelerating Imperial Decline

Washington’s foreign policy towards Iran is driven by desperation rather than a reasoned understanding of a world in historically significant flux. That can lead only to a continuing succession of failures.

By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News

The kinetic events of the past week in Washington, Tehran, and the Persian Gulf were nothing if not revealing. President Donald Trump proved the keeper of the peace, warmongers all around him, when he aborted an airborne attack on Iran Thursday evening. The Iranians continue to act with admirable restraint in the face of incessant provocations.

More such provocations are sure to come. Trump announced over the weekend that he will impose yet another layer of “major new sanctions” against Iran on Monday. After a minor cyber-attack against an Iranian intelligence agency last week, the Pentagon has developed a list of Iranian entities it is considering for a more extensive cyber-war campaign.

Trump: New sanctions and more provocations to come.  (The White House/Shealah Craighead)

But there are more fundamental truths to derive from the swift escalation of Washington’s hostilities toward Tehran. They come to four. Taken together, they offer a snapshot of an imperial power in accelerating decline.

Paralyzed Elites

First, Trump’s determination to avoid pointless new wars of adventure has divided Washington to an extent that is unprecedented at least as far back as the Vietnam debacle. In addition to hawkish factions within the administration and the national security apparatus, an apparent majority on Capitol Hill — liberals as well as Republicans — favors war as the principal instrument of American foreign policy in the Middle East.

This strongly suggests that Washington’s foreign policy elites are effectively paralyzed — that is, incapable of meeting a new century’s realities with new thinking. Trump’s authorization of last week’s cyberattack and his subsequent promise of new sanctions appear to be attempts to appease the swelling ranks of warmongers pressuring him to approve a military confrontation with Iran. It is to Trump’s credit that he has so far held out against those many who stand against him. It is not clear how long he will be able to do so. There is informed speculation that Trump never approved of the attack he canceled at the last minute Thursday night.

Crumbling Credibility

Second, Washington’s ability to impose a self-serving narrative on global events is in the latter stages of collapse. Winning broad acceptance of officially approved accounts of U.S. actions and intentions has been essential to the effective execution of American foreign policy at least since the Cold War’s onset in the late 1940s. This is a dwindling asset, as the cases of Ukraine, Syria, and now Iran attest.

Washington’s account of events in the Persian Gulf since two cargo vessels were attacked two weeks ago met open resistance within 24 hours, notably from Germany, the European Union, and Japan — all among America’s longstanding allies. The significance here cannot be overstated. If the U.S. can no longer control accepted narratives, its global alliances will progressively weaken. This process is already evident, notably in the increasing tension between Washington and its trans-Atlantic allies.

Desperation Phase

Third, in the twilight years of its long preeminence, the U.S. has entered what is best described as its desperation phase. Having no need of imaginative thinking or policy innovation for more than seven decades, Washington finds itself incapable of either. Instead, it assumes a perennial posture of resistance as a new, multipolar, and historically inevitable world order emerges. In a word, America now acts as spoiler wherever this new order is emergent.

This is evident in a variety of contexts. High among these are Western Europe’s densely woven interdependence with Russia, which elaborates continuously despite America’s objections, and the universally shared desire to achieve a lasting peace in Northeast Asia. In the case of Iran, Washington resists the Islamic Republic’s undeniable place as a regional power, incessantly painting a nation dedicated to regional security as a sponsor of terror that is intent — for reasons never explained — on destabilizing its own neighborhood.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visiting Versailles with French President Emmanuel Macron,  2017. (Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

A foreign policy that rests on desperation rather than a reasoned understanding of a world in historically significant flux can lead only to a continuing succession of failures. Should Trump’s many adversaries in Washington prevail in instigating a military confrontation with Iran, the current crisis in the Persian Gulf will take its place among these. The outcome here may be evident in a matter of weeks, if not sooner.

Isolation

Finally, there is the question of Washington’s increasing isolation. During the postwar decades the U.S. was “alone in the world” — the phrase of the Italian journalist Luigi Barzini — by virtue of its unchallenged dominance. For better or worse, America led. This has turned upside down since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001: The U.S. is now ever more alone because it repeatedly flinches from the 21st century, effectively refusing to accept that the 20th has passed. 

There has yet to be an open breach between the U.S. and its postwar allies. But it is not difficult to imagine that one lies out in the middle distance — an eventuality that was unthinkable even a decade or so ago. The now-evident trans-Atlantic rift worsened steadily after the Obama administration force-marched the Continent to conform to the sanctions it imposed on Russia after the U.S.–cultivated coup in Ukraine five years ago. Trump widened it very dramatically when he withdrew last year from the 2015 accord governing Iran’s nuclear programs.

It is lost on no one in Europe that the current crisis in the Persian Gulf is the direct outcome —and maybe the intended outcome — of that reckless decision. Should Washington’s hawkish factions persist in their transparent efforts to provoke a military conflict with Iran, the risk of a break straight down the middle of the Western alliance will draw all the nearer.

The U.S. remains beyond question the world’s most powerful nation, as is frequently remarked. But hard power is losing its agency: This is among the principal features of our new century. It is important now to distinguish between strong nations and the merely powerful. Most of what the U.S. does abroad has come to demonstrate the opposite of its intent. America is emerging as a powerful but weak nation, its leadership divided and unable to rethink its global position.  And a loss of strength is the very essence of a nation in decline.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century” (Yale). Follow him on Twitter @thefloutistHis web site is Patrick Lawrence. Support his work via his Patreon site. 

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138 comments for “PATRICK LAWRENCE: Accelerating Imperial Decline

  1. robert e williamson jr
    July 5, 2019 at 15:26

    Spot on Ross.

    But the billionaires own the rock or what is left of it. Thanks in large part to the CIA, and the Deep State who play by their own rules.

    Ask Bill Browder!

  2. robert e williamson jr
    July 5, 2019 at 15:14

    Thank you Mr. Lawrence.

    Chalmers Johnson wrote “Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy and the End of the Empire”, released 12/23/04 I rushed out and got my copy.

    I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop ever since. I think I hear it coming!

    I wonder which candidate for president the two party system has crushed for not being with the “In Crowd” may have been able to address this topic of empire.

    Where are the editorial cartoons of yesteryear , maybe one showing the Statue of Liberty and Uncle Sam consoling each other while the Lady of Justice lies in state?

    Nuff Said!

    Thanks Pat !

  3. June 26, 2019 at 12:31

    ‘…In the twilight years of its long pre-eminence the US has entered what is best described as its desperation phase.’
    Great nations rise, gain power; once gained it has to be retained; once lost, there is the desperate attempt to regain it. That is the pattern of history. Nothing has changed today. The challenge in the nuclear age is how to prevent a world war over the issue all wars have been fought, power, descending into nuclear holocaust.
    https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

    • OlyaPola
      June 27, 2019 at 07:20

      “The challenge in the nuclear age is how to prevent a world war over the issue all wars have been fought, power, descending into nuclear holocaust.”

      Your sentence is saturated with assumptions, some perhaps subliminal, such as restricting “war” to things that go bang within a linear frame of varying intensity, and that world war does not presently exist and hence can be prevented.

      Despite some evangelising misrepresentations of the utility of “wonderful weapons”, from at least the 1980’s onwards most involved in strategic analysis, formulation, implementation and evaluation have agreed on the dangers and high probabilities of “nuclear winter” and “dead hand”, including but not restricted to meetings in Obnynsk and Seversk in 1993.

      Some “specialists”, with apparently constrained experience and views derived therefrom, appeared wedded to the view of the utility of Samson options, a linear option akin to Mr. Trump and his notions of building walls – in such cases being to some degree symptoms of social relations dependent on a high assay of coercion and fiat including but not restricted to Israel and “The United States of America”, although the views of the participants from these locations were not homogenous.

      Others found such beliefs amazing/enmazing coming from others versed to some degree in thermo-dynamics not of the rubbing-sticks persuasion/school.

      From the 1960’s onwards some have changed the assays of amalga of other modes of implementing/deflecting/undermining coercion and fiat in the knowledge that resort to nuclear weapons is not nor has ever been a “magic bullet” nor fit for purpose – two that have been dropped did not lead to expected outcomes in regard to the “Soviet Union”, hence requiring increased evangelising of the Japanese surrender myth -, the sum of some changing assays of amalga increasing in the 1970’s – (including but not restricted to those deemed by others to be terrorists)- and accelerating from the 1980’s onwards.

      Consequently some would suggest restructuring your sentence commencing: “”The challenge in the nuclear age ….”
      to read:

      The challenge in the nuclear age and throughout history has been/is to transcend opponents dependent on coercion and fiat through lateral processes.

      since your notions of “power” are immersed in notions of coercion and fiat, and hence would not transcend opponent,s but emulate opponents, and consequently reiterate opponents.

      The linear framing above is widely practiced in facilitating the belief that those who seek to transcend are seeking hegemony, and notions of:

      “That is the pattern of history. Nothing has changed today.”

      the present opponents being immersed in activities in attempts to turn back time
      all predicated on forgetting a useful reminder in strategic analytical practices:

      Do you think your opponent is as stupid as you are?

    • OlyaPola
      June 27, 2019 at 09:00

      “The challenge in the nuclear age is how to prevent a world war over the issue all wars have
      been fought, power, descending into nuclear holocaust.

      https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

      OlyaPola
      June 27, 2019 at 07:20

      “The challenge in the nuclear age is how to prevent a world war over the issue all
      wars have been fought, power, descending into nuclear holocaust.”

      Your sentence is saturated with assumptions, some perhaps subliminal, such as
      restricting “war” to things that go bang within a linear frame of varying intensity, and
      that world war does not presently exist and hence can be prevented.
      Despite some evangelising misrepresentations of the utility of “wonderful weapons”,….

      ….Consequently some would suggest restructuring your sentence commencing: “”The
      challenge in the nuclear age ….”

      to read:

      The challenge in the nuclear age and throughout history has been/is to transcend
      opponents dependent on coercion and fiat through lateral processes.

      since your notions of “power” are immersed in notions of coercion and fiat, and
      hence would not transcend opponent,s but emulate opponents, and consequently
      reiterate opponents.

      The linear framing above is widely practised (originally spelt with 2 c’s to indicate version) in facilitating the belief that those who are seeking to transcend are seeking hegemony, and notions of:

      “That is the pattern of history. Nothing has changed today.”

      the present opponents being immersed in activities in attempts to turn back time
      all predicated on forgetting a useful reminder in strategic analytical practices:

      Do you think your opponent is as stupid as you are?

      In amplification:

      https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/06/27/survey-americans-have-remarkably-ignorant-attitude-toward-nukes-and-north-korea/

      Understandably omniscience is never possible and “knowledge” is a lateral process, although apparently many appear to believe that this is not “reality”.

      Ms. Johnstone’s article linked above seeks to avoid the conflation of “believing” and “thinking”, even to some degree acknowledging that in lands of make-believe this conflation is encouraged, and its currency is extensive.

      However see apparently contends that such belief is “hegemonic” in some circles as outlined in her assertion :

      “So the people responsible for forming America’s nuclear strategies believe using nuclear weapons is not just acceptable, but potentially beneficial. “

      predicated on the conflation of some with all.

      In contrast to the tested hypotheses of some practitioners she obfuscates one of the purposes of “nuclear weapons” predicated upon the conflation of “believing” and “thinking” – the belief in the utilities of nuclear weapons as anything other than primarily tools of blackmail/bluff in those predisposed to conflating “believing” and “thinking”.

      Although apparently “counter-intuitive”, as most knowledge is being a lateral process, in matters of the utilities of nuclear weapons, some in Iran do not share the conflation of “believing” and “thinking” practised elsewhere – although some express this in a “religious register”.

  4. Zhu
    June 26, 2019 at 06:06

    If the US has to dtop killinh prople, I won’t be sorry.

  5. DW Bartoo
    June 26, 2019 at 00:56

    Well now, old geezer, believe it or not, I appreciate that you have taken the time and made the effort to expand your comment and share your perspectives.

    We do not necessarily have to agree about much of anything except a mutual need of certain basic civility and a willingness to elaborate just enough that perspectives do not appear to be a bunch of rounds pumped into a space so that everyone dives for the floor and begins to shoot back.

    If you agree that “things”, and the nation are in decline, then what do you think those things are and what do you think can/should be done to make things better?

    I would suggest that one of the problems is that people are unwilling, or afraid, to talk to and to LISTEN to each other.

    I know people who have known each for years who will not talk to each other as a result of the 2016 election. It happens to mostly be liberals who will not talk to neighbors who voted for Trump.

    I think that borders on stupid, simply because an unwillingness to hear what others think about things leads to mean suspicion, followed by mistrust.

    In an emergency situation, a flood, a devastating fire, an earthquake, or one of the huge snowstorms we can get here, even an occasional ice storm, mistrust can be deadly.

    What do you think?

    • old geezer
      June 26, 2019 at 10:42

      you asked what i think, ok here goes the abbreviated version, but you’ll easily get the idea.

      what i think is civil wars are disastrous. i think the level of self awareness amoung the woke anti fa is so deluded i am disgustedly beyond words. i am pissed.

      whenever i see my next door neighbors i turn my back ( because i am the asshole ? )

      i remember when the voters of my state voted to allow homosexuals to teach grade schoolers. the “reasoning “ was we just don’t want to discriminate against them. now first graders are taught little boys can be girls and vice versa. did you read about the brazillian couple’s do it yourself method ?

      typhus is spreading in the streets of LA, the plague is next.

      and if it wasn’t for white men like me, everything would be nirvana.

      i guess the good news is the people of flint michigan can get drinkable water again.
      i’m so old i remember what the people who used to live there were capable of.

      what to do better … that’s a very long list. a very short synopsis, shift to reverse.

      the counter to my line of thinking is quite prevailing though. with the descendants of the frankfurt school in charge of the universities for 40 years the rot is now at the tipping point. just in time for us baby boomers to kick the bucket. enjoy what my older brothers, the offspring of the greatest generation, have bequeathed you.

      my favorite euphemism, be careful what you wish for.

      as a dead white guy from baltimore once pointed out, a little reworded here ; it looks like you are going to get it, good and hard.

    • old geezer
      June 26, 2019 at 11:28

      you asked what i think, ok here goes the abbreviated version, but you’ll easily get the idea.

      what i think is civil wars are disastrous. i think the level of self awareness amoung the woke anti fa is so deluded i am disgustedly beyond words. i am pi§§ed.

      whenever i see my next door neighbors i turn my back ( because i am the a§§ole’ ? )

      i remember when the voters of my state voted to allow homosexuals to teach grade schoolers. the “reasoning “ was we just don’t want to discriminate against them. now first graders are taught little boys can be girls and vice versa. did you read about the brazillian couple’s do it yourself method ?

      typhus is spreading in the streets of LA, the plague is next.

      and if it wasn’t for white men like me, everything would be nirvana.

      i guess the good news is the people of flint michigan can get drinkable water again.
      i’m so old i remember what the people who used to live there were capable of.

      what to do better … that’s a very long list. a very short synopsis, shift to reverse.

      the counter to the line of thinking of people like me is quite prevailing though. with the descendants of the frankfurt school in charge of the universities for 40 years the rot is now at the tipping point. just in time for us baby boomers to kick the bucket. enjoy what my older brothers, the offspring of the greatest generation, have bequeathed you.

      my favorite euphemism, be careful what you wish for.

      as a dead white guy from baltimore once pointed out, a little reworded here ; it looks like you are going to get it, good and hard.

    • ML
      June 27, 2019 at 19:23

      May I remind you, old geezer, that “grade schoolers” are most often sexually abused by heterosexual men. Pedophilia does NOT equal homosexuality. Pedophiles are generally for the most part, straight men, just to set the record straight, as it were. You really need to get out more! While you are at it, you might want to read up on transsexualism and its genetic, hormonal origins. Educate yourself and perhaps you will begin to feel like conversing with your neighbors, which are ALL of us who share this country with you. Sign me, straight, but not narrow.

    • Brian Bixby
      July 4, 2019 at 01:08

      I must be older than you, I’m old enough to remember a time when people learned how to use grammar and punctuation by the time they were ten.
      Ah, the good old days, when people of color had to use separate drinking fountains and beaches, polio killed and crippled thousands every year, children in the ghettos and the mountains died of starvation, and typhus and plague didn’t have easy cures.

    • Josep
      July 7, 2019 at 04:23

      I’m old enough to remember a time when people learned how to use grammar and punctuation by the time they were ten.

      And the capitalization, too!

    • old geezer
      June 26, 2019 at 11:36

      i tried to post twice, the second time i did some respelling . awaiting moderation was the message each time.

      bernie leadon’s last song for the eagles, i wish you peace

      sometimes some one gets it right.

  6. John Patrick Gallagher
    June 25, 2019 at 16:48

    Might have been brought up already in comments, but my guess is that Trump is following orders. The “Project for a New American Century”/“Clean Break” neocon cabal has got the goods on him (money laundering?) or threatening him and family, so our current chicken hawk in chief is reversing campaign promises about America First with little resistance. This is not going to end well.

    • Zhut
      June 26, 2019 at 06:09

      No one is in charge. “Time and Chance cimr to them all.”

  7. dfnslblty
    June 25, 2019 at 13:11

    ¿Does the term Instigator mean anything to the author?
    Do not normalize or exonerate potus for an aboutface on Iran; potus remains an infantile bully, clueless and frustrated.
    Keep reporting!

  8. Wael Ahmad
    June 25, 2019 at 04:27

    There is a common myth among the anti imperial writers and thinkers that European countries are against American policies of wars and hegemonic diktats,the truth is that all western powers are benefiting from the evil policies of the evil empire. Britain,Germany,France,Italy, Canada,and Aystralia,and are happy to sell arms to all those countries destroyed by wars,to send their contractors to build those destroyed infrastructures and cities,only to be destroyed again in future wars,and this vicious cycle will be repeated again.

    Western countries has no benefits in modern advanced China,India,Africa or Latin America,they want to keep those parts of the world eternally impoverished & totally dependent on the,and the truth is,that the whole western countries are partners and share the same responsibility for the crimes and genocides that the Zionists American empire is spreading all over the world.

    • OlyaPola
      June 25, 2019 at 11:54

      “all western powers are benefiting….”

      To varying degrees in various amalga that is correct.

      However it is always unwise to conflate temporary social relations – a “nation state” – with the components of it, and/or believe in homogeneity of a “nation state” or any lateral system, and/or to resort to belief to bridge doubt when expectations and outcomes diverge.

      Likely more significant components are obfuscated by immersion in what you see is what you getism enhanced by self-assignment of significance facilitating what you get is what you don’t see.

      “”all western powers are benefiting”

      What are the developing significances to assign and opportunities to be derived therefrom?

      How to drown a drowning man with the minimum of blowback ? given that men tied together often drown faster and some men are actively engaged in creating vessels in which to drown “spreading all over the world”.

  9. Abe
    June 25, 2019 at 01:41

    “the US’s full embrace of Saudi Arabia depends on the latter’s alliance with Israel. The US political and media establishment would turn on a dime against Saudi Arabia if Israel deemed that to be in its essential national interest. There is no possibility that that establishment would turn against Israel because Saudi Arabia wanted it. The US political and media establishment is thoroughly committed to Zionism; they will never be committed to Wahhabism. The interest and demands of Israel and Zionism are determinative of US policy in a way that Saudi interests and demands will never be.

    “So, ultimately, as Ray McGovern says: ‘The ‘WHY,’ quite simply, is Israel. It is impossible to understand U.S. Middle East policy without realizing the overwhelming influence of Israel on it and on opinion makers.’ That influence is the primary factor driving the enormous destruction that has already been wrought on the region by the US in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, and will be wrought from a war on Iran. Though there are always other considerations, we would not have undertaken any of those wars but for the US commitment to Israel and Zionism. And it’s disingenuous to pretend otherwise.

    “And Israel, and those in the US establishment for whom Israel’s interests are central, do not care if an aircraft carrier is sunk, or if the region burns. (Why the carriers may not leave the danger zone.) That’s what they want! They are trying to provoke a war in which they – either the US on their behalf or Israel directly with its nukes – can ‘obliterate’ Iran. They don’t care who else gets obliterated in the process, and they cannot imagine that could be them. Did I mention – Does anybody ever? – Israeli nukes? Ace in the hole, that they will play if necessary to steal the pot.

    “Dead Man’s Hand

    “Trump’s rescission of his attack order, as well as Iran’s refrain from shooting down a manned US aircraft, is nice and all, but this game ain’t over as long as the economic siege of Iran continues. And given the actually-existing US polity, I think an enormously destructive conflict with Iran is virtually inevitable.

    “What might stop the insanity is if key ‘allies’ have the backbone to tell the US president that (as Putin did) that any war with Iran will be a ‘catastrophe’ for everyone, and that they will not only not go along with it, but explicitly denounce it.

    “What would help the most to deter the calamity is if more Americans understand, along with Iran (and Israel) what the object of the game really is, and make clear they don’t want to play it. That requires that enough Americans, among the populace and the decision makers—especially the military decision makers—drop the ideology of invincibility and exceptionalism, see and warn of the real dangers, and just say ‘No!'”

    Eve of Destruction: Iran Strikes Back
    By Jim Kavanagh
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/24/eve-of-destruction-iran-strikes-back/

  10. David Otness
    June 25, 2019 at 01:32

    “There has yet to be an open breach between the U.S. and its postwar allies. But it is not difficult to imagine that one lies out in the middle distance….”

    I suggest modifying that notion as to its imminence. As in like any day now if they can read the tea leaves. And I do think they are capable of both that AND reading the writing on the wall.
    Rational statesmen having to follow the lead of a fumblementalist Christian like Militant Mike trying to bring on the fucking “Rapture” at their and the world’s expense shortens that “middle distance” to like ‘Right now!’ if they’ve yet got a grip on reality.
    We shall see. Shortly.

  11. Didi
    June 24, 2019 at 14:25

    I am totally baffled by this analysis. The current situation of war or no war with Iran was a predictable, inescapable, and possibly deliberate consequence of President Trump’s pulling the US out of the 5 plus 1 nuclear agreement with Iran. Our NATO allies and several highly placed advisers of the Trump administration strongly opposed his act because they believed that it would eventually lead to war. So, am I now to believe that the baddies who were against war then are pushing Trump into war with Iran today? That makes no sense and neither does the notion that Trump is a 100% dove. Statistically a 50% dove will go to war once given two opportunities. If Trump is 50% dove then there is not the slightest reason to rejoice. The odds are now against you.
    And even a 30% dove has a chance to pick the second opportunity. Such are the laws of chance.

    • rosemerry
      June 24, 2019 at 17:10

      I am surprised at the positive attitude to Trump, who after all has CHOSEN the worst possible advisers who are calling for more extreme measures in what is already a state of war against Iran, which has not committed any crime. Trump’s anti-Iran bias has been known, his cruel sanctions are widespread and illegal, his cosiness with Netanyahu is more obscene than that of his predecessors, and he has exacerbated every step of the wild rush into ruining as many countries as he can, no matter who supports him.

    • Davd Otness
      June 25, 2019 at 01:15

      I’m a reasonably perceptive individual on most days, but your comment for the most part has me going “What in the fuckety-fuck are you going on about?” I might be having a bad day, but matching your comment to what Patrick wrote is for me right now a bridge too far. Perhaps one of my fellow regular commenting pards can help me out with this one?

    • David Otness
      June 25, 2019 at 01:35

      That was @ Didi

    • dfnslblty
      June 25, 2019 at 13:14

      Good interpretation, Didi.

  12. John Drake
    June 24, 2019 at 13:45

    Valuable article, I’d like to draw attention to the link provided by the phrase, “There is informed speculation that Trump never approved of the attack “. It( Moon of Alabama) provides a broad discussion of whether there ever was a go ahead. There is also an excellent clip of Tucker Carlson excoriating John “the tapeworm” Bolton.
    The question is why does the Donald keep the likes of Bolton and Pompous around?
    Well IMO they are like two vicious dogs on a leash, but they make Trump look good as long as he doesn’t let go of the leash. He can always act like the peacemaker(against new wars as he campaigned) by letting them bellow and holler, but
    then showing restraint. Of course he struts his own stuff to look tough(reminds me of Mussolini). This is a popular tactic of his: Create a crisis and then solve it, just like reality TV.
    As this article states Trump is accelerating the decline of Washington’s hegemony, which is the one positive thing about his catastrophic presidency.

    • b.grand
      June 24, 2019 at 15:29

      “……why does the Donald keep the likes of Bolton and Pompous around?”

      How about a pro-bono offer from Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois, to write Bills of Impeachment?

      “As a preventive measure, it would be my advice that a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives immediately introduce Bills of Impeachment against John Bolton and Mike Pompeo. I hereby offer my services free of charge to any Member of the U.S. House willing to do so.”
      https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/21/the-us-as-rogue-nation-number-1/

      Iran Attack? * Pretext for War * Impeaching Bolton
      “Professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Boyle’s books include Destroying World Order. He said today: “Iran has not committed an ‘armed attack’ upon the United States that would trigger the right of self-defense set forth in UN Charter Article 51. So under the current circumstances as they stand now, a U.S. military attack upon Iran would constitute a violation of international and domestic law. The 2001 AUMF most certainly does not authorize force in this case as some have claimed.

      “Given the manner in which National Security Advisor John Bolton is pressing for war, a member of the House should put in a Bill of Impeachment against him immediately. It may be the best way to avoid a catastrophic war.” Boyle was a lead author of the bill of impeachment put forward by Rep. Henry Gonzalez in 1991 against George H.W. Bush, who later wrote that fear of impeachment prevented him from a full invasion of Iraq.

      Regarding the Strait of Hormuz, Boyle said: “This is not an international strait or waterway as defined by the International Court of Justice in the Corfu Channel Case. So U.S. warships and planes and drones need the permission of the territorial sovereign (Oman or Iran) to pass through there including their respective airspaces.”
      http://accuracy.org/release/iran-attack-pretext-for-war-impeaching-bolton/

    • geeyp
      June 25, 2019 at 00:38

      Great info also mentioned elsewhere on these pages. The last congressman who had the guts to do this was Dennis Kucinich with 35 articles of impeachment against W on June 9, 2008. This and also Francis’ idea are fully justified. That was the same year that W. and his cohorts parked a tractor-trailer rig at the treasury and emptied/looted it. He took the people’s mind off of his own impeachment. That crime family sure knows how to change the issues. They have a lot of experience doing just that. This whole fucking country needs deprogramming.

    • geeyp
      June 25, 2019 at 00:44

      Also, that same year of 2008 saw a massive fire at the Universal theme park in CA. that destroyed a vault filled with Master Tapes that were priceless, and I am referring to audio tapes of historic proportions. The year of 2008 still effects our lives to this very day.

    • Litchfield
      June 25, 2019 at 08:10

      I suggest this weeks ago myself.
      Impeach Pompeo and Bolton.
      But without the gravitas of Boyle.
      Both of these slimeballs are already war criminals.
      They trumpet the evidence of this themselves.
      What is Congress waiting for? A message from a mushroom cloud?
      Impeach them now and send them to do community service somewhere for the rest of their lives.
      They are imperiling the USA, every other country on Earth, every living thing on Earth. Earth.
      Impeach.

    • hetro
      June 24, 2019 at 16:12

      Both Sputnik and RT are running stories today that there was no message from Trump via a third party (Oman), saying a strike was incoming and requesting alternate (harmless) sites. This was a story I recommended in another thread that now seems of dubious value.

      The story was first reported by Eli Magnier, based he said on reliable sources (which turn out to be Iranian), but the Iranian government has at this point denied they received such a message. Magnier had also reported that the Iranian government had turned down this supposed request, saying not even hitting a harmless bit of beach would be allowed.

      https://www.rt.com/news/462578-oman-denies-helping-trump-iran/

      As to b’s analysis on M of A for several days now he has been suggesting that the Iranian are up to some tricks, and may have been behind the tankers attack (or related, as with Houtis attacking Saudi Arabia), and will continue with these efforts as “maximum pressure” to get Trump to back off. Not all of his commenters at MofA agree with him on this.

    • Horrus
      June 24, 2019 at 16:30

      Because he’s a mentally unstable idiot. That’s why he keeps Bolton and other sociopaths around. As long as they tell Trump he’s their hero and the best ever he is okay with them.

    • hetro
      June 24, 2019 at 21:05

      Looks like my earlier response from about six hours ago was deleted. Will try again. John’s link to the MofA piece leads to the Elijah Magnier story, which is now being denied. Magnier claimed highly reliable sources (which turn out to be Iranian) indicated that Trump had, a few hours after the drone downing, informed Iran of the strike, and asked for essentially harmless strike areas instead of the military sites officially targeted.

      The story continues that the Iranians refused, stating not even an empty spot of beach would be allowed–there would be retaliation. This story is now said to be originally from Reuters and false. Eli Magnier I believe is a respected journalist so it’s a bit mysterious.

      If true, sentimentalism of Trump’s decision is even more difficult to swallow, as it would appear to have been a pose on last minute decency. If not true, it seems possible Trump was on board for a long time until Tucker Carlson talked him out of it. It’s difficult to believe he did NOT know 150 casualties were likely, well ahead of time.

    • Rochelle
      June 25, 2019 at 02:42

      “The question is why does the Donald keep the likes of Bolton and Pompous around?”

      While there sure are too many people intent on blaming Trump for anything and everything, some people sure read too much into his antics thinking 4D chess and such and such. The Art of Deal was a ghostwritten book, remember. Credit where credit is due to Trump, but it’s a folly to rely on him as the only leash holding hellhounds from unleashing a burning world.

      Both Bolton and Pompeo are proteges of Shelden Adelson, one of the most powerful Republican donors. Lest anyone forget, this is the man who went on record unabashedly saying “I’m a one-issue person. That issue is Israel.” Politics in the US simply don’t move without money, and “contributions” always get rewarded one way or the other.

      It’s not that Trump has Bolton and Pompeo by the leash; it’s Adelson who has Trump by the leash. And so far, Trump has been obediently following his master’s commands for the realization of Greater Israel. Iran is one of the final obstacles, and that’s why Adelson wants his warhounds by Trump’s side to “guide” Trump to the “right” way — one of blood, tears, fire and fury.

  13. hetro
    June 24, 2019 at 13:32

    Excellent analysis in these four points, as with the “powerful but weak” paradox, which has been manifest in all the disarray over Trump, as well as from Trump himself: “paralysis/credibility/desperation/isolation.” We could add “hubris” and “incoherence” to this list.

    The inevitable demise of “full spectrum dominance,” I submit, is part of the “desperation” category. It all can’t happen to “the one indispensable nation” and “the exceptional nation,” used to bossing the world on what to do and being applauded for it.

  14. A. B. Olaba
    June 24, 2019 at 13:13

    Excellent article and marvelous comments.

  15. vinnieoh
    June 24, 2019 at 12:24

    Should we categorize “…Washington’s foreign policy elites are effectively paralyzed…” and “Having no need of imaginative thinking or policy innovation for more than seven decades,…” under U. Sinclair’s truism – “It’s hard to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on not understanding it” ?

    A very good assessment of the immediate situation by Patrick Lawrence. The great bloated mass of entrenched power – what teevee talking heads really mean when they say “the US” – has chosen confrontation over adaptation. Those on top intend to stay on top, damn the consequences and everyone who is not of them.

    The author gets at the crux of why the US is NOT exceptional. US leaders outright rejected that there would be a “peace dividend” at the collapse of the Soviet Union (most notably GHW Bush) and instead adopted the policy of opportunistic global hegemonic power, through that oldest and most unexceptional tool – military might. In global terms this will not be The New American Century; that bully pipedream has led us down a dead-end path of bankruptcy and moral rot.

    A powerful but week nation won’t survive, especially when it tries to swim against the tide of reality. If the climate/environment doesn’t collapse (always have to add that qualification) Eurasia will integrate industrially and economically. Short of all-out war with China, the US won’t stop this. But I suspect any conflict that the US would get into with either China or Russia (or both) would quickly expose weaknesses of the US that should have been apparent, but were hidden by hubris.

    What I fear could happen is, as the US withdraws from the East, that it turns it’s full gaze on our western hemisphere neighbors, who may all in turn receive the wrath of a wounded and vengeful bully. The US capture of Brazil (away from the worker’s party and from BRICS) is a coup wholly unremarked anywhere, and it was done over the course of successive US administrations – of both parties! Colombia is also firmly again within the US grasp. The US will not be the global hegemon of this century, but will probably continue to inflict great harm on other nations. None of this has to be. everyone should – must – ask: Who is benefitting from this?

    • Sam F
      June 24, 2019 at 19:41

      Yes, the US will turn again to bullying S/C America, and when at last defeated there will turn to bullying its own population. Only then will resentment build to restore democracy. But it won’t work. The democracies of the future will have to start out with institutions protected very tightly against economic power and information power. And with no new continents to start nations like the US, and no large colonies to start nations like India, we will probably see no new democracies without extreme versions of the Russian revolution. That may not even be possible now; if so the former democracies of the West may end up descending further into totalitarianism forever.

    • Zhu
      June 25, 2019 at 00:18

      There’s hidden hand. Our problems are the consequences of centuries of arrigabce and violence.

    • Zhu
      June 26, 2019 at 06:17

      Correctoon: No hifden hand

    • June 26, 2019 at 00:02

      Obviously the military industrial congressional complex.

  16. Anarcissie
    June 24, 2019 at 12:21

    After you go to great trouble and expense to create your nuclear weapons, and start thinking about what you could do with them, you realize that nuclear weapons do not confer omnipotence. What they mostly do is encourage your possible rivals to construct their own. So you have made your surroundings significantly more dangerous, without achieving dominance or security. A good example of the futility is Israel’s nuclear program. Or indeed that of the U.S., which continues to be threatened by Russia and China (so far). Iranian rulers may have already thought this one through.

    If you just want to kill a lot of people indiscriminately, biological and chemical weapons are much cheaper and easier to use.

    • June 24, 2019 at 15:19

      I don’t think that’s exactly right. The root cause of nuclear proliferation is first strike or first use policy. There is only one nation on Earth, as I understand it, that has refused to sign a no first use agreement. That country’s refusal to disavow first use, first strike causes all other countries on Earth to want to have nukes to act as a deterrent against that one country’s potential first strike, first use. Daniel Ellsberg lays this all out in his most recent book.

      One guess as to who the first strike, first use country is.

    • June 24, 2019 at 16:39

      I think that you mix two worthy issues. American pursuit of the enemy’s knockout through first strike by increasing in accuracy, speed — and reducing yield in a vain hope of avoiding backlash in the form of radioactive sky over their homeland — is super dangerous, because after all is done and all money (in trillion range) are spent, the opponents are forced to put their retaliation force of “hair trigger”, increasing the danger of our civilization being obliterated by mistake.

      Proliferation stems from the policy of declaring some countries as “enemies forever” and attacking them at the moment of weakness. Libya abandoned their nuclear program, had a moment of weakness, and now, as a stable unified country, it is just a memory. Iran clearly took the lesson, although their course seems to be concentration of conventional forces, missiles, air defenses, fleet of small warcraft etc. on both sides of the Straight of Hormuz. North Korea, lacking such strategic location, sticks to nukes until we let them be — instead threatening them constantly.

    • KiwiAntz
      June 24, 2019 at 19:23

      Brian correct me if I’m wrong I’m guessing the Nation your implying is a seven letter word starting with A & ending with A?

    • June 25, 2019 at 09:02

      Those poor executives at Raytheon need to feed their families, too.

    • Litchfield
      June 25, 2019 at 09:48

      Actually, the name of the country is the United States of America.
      America is not the name of the United States.

    • June 24, 2019 at 16:27

      Biological and chemical weapons are “kind of awful”, mostly on aesthetic grounds (incinerating people alive or reducing them to fragments is apparently OK), but as effective weapons they do not compete against explosives that kill and maim quickly and (usually) where we want. That cannot be said about nuclear weapons.

  17. June 24, 2019 at 12:17

    Israel has the bomb, and there are reports that Saudi Arabia wants the bomb. Iran would be insane not to want to have it, as an existential matter.

    • Rob Roy
      June 24, 2019 at 21:50

      Brian Murphy, Iran decided in 2003 to NEVER have a nuclear weapon. They haven’t changed their minds. What on earth would they do with it except retaliate when Israel uses theirs? I have always thought if Israel has them, Iran should too. Iran doesn’t attack people, have you noticed? Israel attacks everyone in the area and has for years. It’s a rotten country (NOT a democracy) and causes too much trouble to be there. Iran is the sanest country in the middle east. Oh, Libya was the most stable successful country in Africa until Hillary destroyed it. Everywhere the US goes, lives are destroyed.
      Good article

    • June 25, 2019 at 09:07

      Do you know what is stopping Israel from first strike against Iran? I’ve been scratching my head on that.

      I don’t know a lot about Iran. I haven’t had time to seek out useful information about Iran. But I did study some ancient history. Persia is one of the great civilizations in antiquity, going back many thousands of years. I think a special respect is due civilizations that have stood the test of time. I have no doubt that it is a more enlightened culture than most other countries on Earth, and obviously more mature than the USA, who appears to be a hormone-raged adolescent, or perhaps even an unstable child, in the context of world history.

      ….

  18. bob
    June 24, 2019 at 12:15
  19. Brian James
    June 24, 2019 at 12:11

    Jun 19, 2019 Executive Over-Reach: Pompeo Dismisses Congress In Push for Iran War

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made it clear to Members of Congress that he does not believe any Congressional authorization is necessary for a US war against Iran. Pompeo claims the post-9/11 authorization to fight al-Qaeda is sufficient. Will Congress roll over?

    https://youtu.be/oxI-LhC1_VY

  20. Brian James
    June 24, 2019 at 12:09

    Jun 9, 2019 AXIS OF EVIL

    ‘Axis of Evil’, a resistance perspective by Becheanu Andrei – from Bush to Obama to Trump

    https://youtu.be/Iw2DK5ScSAE

  21. Tick Tock
    June 24, 2019 at 11:53

    I like Patrick Lawrence and this article is succinct and very accurate. I do not agree that the US is the most powerful nation on Earth.

    Really, the problem is that the US allowed Capitalist and Capitalism (Which Really Means Jews and Jewish run Business) to control and dominate the country. The US was a great nation and most of the citizens of the US were some of the finest people on Earth. I don’t think I can say that today. The US squandered it’s power as a leader of humanity when JFK was murdered by the Deep State. Nothing of the greatness of America of the 60’s remains. Science, Technology, possibly sensible attempts at social engineering. All of that is gone. Now we have garbage Science, Psuedo Technology and Social Justice Warrior Morons in the streets and in elected office. I am sorry I had to live through it as it is very depressing to watch you country self destruct.

    But in the long run, it is what is best for humanity.

    • Paora
      June 26, 2019 at 08:18

      Let me see if I have this right. If Capitalism = Jews, does Anti-Capitalism = Anti-Semitism? The British MSM has used exactly this ridiculous logic to smear Jeremy Corbyn. You’re either intentionally handing a big stick to the Capitalists to beat us with, or just a fool.

  22. DW Bartoo
    June 24, 2019 at 11:43

    Hmm,

    This article has reverted to “4” comments.

    A time-warp?

    Twilight zone?

    “Groundhog Day”?

    Back to the Fourture?

    Very strange.

    Hopefully, nothing is amiss.

    • Skip Scott
      June 24, 2019 at 14:12

      DW-

      This is SOP. To see the latest comments you have to post a test comment. You can then reload the page to get to the edit function, and then remove your test comment. If you don’t, you have to wait for the moderator to update the page that appears when you first access the website. I don’t know why this is, but it’s the only way I know to stay timely with the comments.

      On the plus side, I have finally been taken off continuous moderation. I don’t know if I’ve been pardoned or if my sentence was finally up, but as of this morning my comments are posting without moderation. I donated today to show my appreciation.

    • DW Bartoo
      June 24, 2019 at 14:28

      Thank you for the “solution”, Skip Scott.

      The moderator must be quite overworked.

      As well, there seem to be no new articles on the immediate horizon, also giving rise to some concern.

    • Litchfield
      June 25, 2019 at 09:50

      I don’t see how to get any edit function.

    • Skip Scott
      June 25, 2019 at 12:44

      You have to reload the page on your browser. On Chrome, there is a little circle with an arrow on it, next to the bar where you type in the website address. On Safari it is on the right hand side of the address bar. I don’t know other browsers, but I would guess the symbol is the same. After the page reloads it may take a few seconds, but the edit function should pop up on your comment. It says “click to edit”.

      You have 5 minutes from when you post to edit your comment.

    • Josep
      June 27, 2019 at 04:23

      Firefox user here, I’ll confirm that the ‘Reload’ icon on mine also has the same symbol.

      Other ways to reload/refresh the page:
      On Windows and Linux, use either F5 or Control-R. On Mac OS X, use Command-R.
      In either operating system, right-click or Control-click and select ‘Reload’, ‘Refresh’, or anything like that.

      Hope this helps.

  23. Drew Hunkins
    June 24, 2019 at 11:32

    One must never forget that a segment of our ruling class desires a war on Iran badly, very badly. They’re neither stupid, irrational or ignorant of world affairs — they know exactly what they’re doing and the interests they serve. Now, having acknowledged this, there’s also a segment of our power elite that rightly views a potential war on Iran as totally insane and threatening their investments and the derivatives market.

    At this point in time, our role as the masses is to make sure the latter group wins out.

    Make no mistake, the military empire builders and paranoid and hegemonic Zio sociopaths would have taken out Tehran years ago if they didn’t fully understand that much of American public support is wafer thin. Sure, roughly 80% of the U.S. population views Iran “unfavorably”, but that’s a far cry from them green-lighting a massive bombing campaign on the country that could spiral out of control, shutting down the Strait of Hormuz, etc. etc.

    The Zionists are the primary instigators for a Washington attack on the Persian state. And it’s quite difficult for many to understand but DESPITE how crazy and potentially catastrophic it could be, the Zionists will still push for it and carry through on it if they are able to. It goes back to Israel Shahak’s seminal book “Jewish History, Jewish Religion” (an absolute must-read!). In it he demonstrates that Israeli policy is often dictated by certain Jewish religious tenets that will correctly be perceived by the rest of the world as total lunacy (b/c they indeed are) but the IDF of course carries them out regardless. This is exactly what’s playing out when Sheldon Adelson, Bernie Marcus and Paul Singer goad Washington into a bombing campaign against Iran.

    • DW Bartoo
      June 24, 2019 at 11:56

      Interesting that you mention derivatives, Drew Hunkins, as Pepe Escobar had an article out on 20, June 2019, that addresses that very issue as it relates to a war on Iran.

      He wrote about oil derivatives totaling the phenomenal amount of $1.2 quadrillion, should the price of a barrel of oil go through the roof, which some Goldman sucks analysts worried that a real availability shut-down might drive the per barrel price to $1000.

      Effectively raising the price, per gallon in the U$, close to or upwards of $30.00.

      Times could become quite interesting as it is likely that the world economy, at that point, would be bust.

      Which would likely result in the political class, world-wide, leaving dodge in less of a huff and more in a speedy flurry without and “fringes”, on top.

    • Drew Hunkins
      June 24, 2019 at 15:01

      Exactly DW.

      I have to think the hedge fund wing of our ruling class will be the saner heads that prevail, but who knows?

  24. Vera Gottlieb
    June 24, 2019 at 11:30

    Enough!!! of this “elite” holding the entire world by it’s balls. It is time for the entire world to draw the line: this far and no further.

    • KiwiAntz
      June 24, 2019 at 19:40

      Vera, China, Russia, Venezuela & Iran are already saying enough is enough? All the chess pieces are being moved in place, as we speak, to bring about the coming collapse of the American Empire as a Superpower? The key factor is moving away from the US dollar’s exorbitant privilege as the Worlds reserve Currency backed by nothing & created out of thin air enabling currency printing or counterfeiting cash backed by nothing except attachment to the US Petrodollar, Oil for dollars system? Once the collapse of this fraudulent financial arrangement has fallen, then so does America’s Ponzi scheme Hegemon status with it as it’s headed for bankruptcy due to its massive debts & deficits? The Empire will then bite the dust & it means it won’t be able to fund its Military or anything else for that matter, anymore!

  25. Walter
    June 24, 2019 at 08:20

    Accurate. Though I would add that “desperation” may not be precisely valid. I would substitute “delusional” or “hallucinatory”. Not a matter of breathing, but of mental capacity and perception unable to grasp or understand…and thus Ideology tends to dictate silly, or stupid, acts.

    Revolution happens when the methods of the past stop working. The methods have stopped. Revolutions take time, and unfold piecemeal…we are watching one.

    The Commandante said several years ago that “the time for weapons has past”…somebody wanna try to clue Bolter in about that?

    Right…delusional. Not capable of seeing reality.

    Poor sods… How soon will Alaska vote to rejoin Russia? (bet on that)…Answer…

    When beer is priced in Rubles…

  26. Lily
    June 24, 2019 at 07:02

    Excellent analysis of American politics and it’s reaction in Europe.

    Nobody in Europe agrees with the sanctions against Russia apart from the government which is one of the most devoted US vassals. Unfortunately the Green Party which started thirty years ago as a peace party now belongs to the transatlantic fraction as well.

    Never the less there is a lot of business going on between Germany and Russia. Also demonstrations against American Military bases which are the turning points for drone murders in the east are growing. Like everywhere the people has much more sense than the elites.

    Thank you, Patrick, for a very good article.

  27. OlyaPola
    June 24, 2019 at 03:36

    “After a minor cyber-attack against an Iranian intelligence agency last week, the Pentagon has developed a list of Iranian entities it is considering for a more extensive cyber-war campaign.”

    Data-streams are like snails; they leave a trail behind them despite attempts at “deception”, attempts at “deception” also being data-streams.

  28. June 24, 2019 at 03:08

    Our policy isn’t driven by desperation or any emotion or logic, good or bad.

    It’s driven by Sheldon Adelson.

    That’s all.

    • Bethany
      June 24, 2019 at 19:02

      Indeed.

  29. Tom Kath
    June 24, 2019 at 00:17

    Excellent article and undeniably true. However, there is the underlying nagging concern that the “old world order”, the “deep state”, the “establishment”, or whatever vague names we give it, is NOT American at all ! It uses US military might, but cares no more for US personell, soldiers, or people, than it does about those of ISIS, Europe, China, or Iran.

    This “Way of Thinking” could in theory (or in practice) be served just as well by any other world power that supports the underlying fundamental belief in the power of money.

    Who, in this day and age, does NOT believe that such is an undeniable fact? – Money has thereby completely replaced all other possible VALUES and morality.

    • Skip Scott
      June 24, 2019 at 09:13

      I have said repeatedly that it is a mistake to think of the USA and the rest of the Five Eyes as separate entities. It is a single empire, and the separate “nations” and their governments are only for show. None of these nations’ governments serve their citizens. They provide theater while the empire goes about its business.

    • DW Bartoo
      June 24, 2019 at 11:15

      Tom Kath, this is the tail-end of the era of the Divine Right of Money.

      When money is ALL that MATTERS, then how ill it is gotten matters not, the more despicable the method the more cachet attends “brand” of the brigand.

      I quite agree with Skip Scott that there are not really separate philosophies, among the aligned malign “intelligence” states, which are really but a corporate conglomeration of shared “interests”.

      This “entity” is about extraction, limitless power, total coercion, and brutal suppression of critical thinking and human, humane perspective.

      The “Trump Card”, if you will forgive the expression, is the willingness of this entity to destroy most life on Earth if it feels sufficiently thwarted in its “ambitions”.

      In its Excessive Exuberance, or Exuberant Excess, however, it steadily, and steadfastly, is doing its own “self ” in, its mask has slipped off, revealing the death-face long hidden, but now quite evident to all who dare look past the kabuki and the curtains of myth, to remove the blinders of cultural and racial superiority.

      Is there yet World enough and time?

      A future?

      Perhaps, we have need of a present?

      Yet it shall have to be one which we give and share amongst ourselves.

    • Bruce Hitchcock
      June 24, 2019 at 13:23

      FIAT CURRENCY IS NOT MONEY.WE have the tech and resources to create sustainable, efficient abundance (not luxury).we do not need money and 90% of our problems are caused by it.NLRBE is the solution.

  30. old geezer
    June 23, 2019 at 23:31

    hmmmm …. orange man bad, America bad.

    so what exactly is the author proposing to keep the mullahs from getting the bomb ?

    zip, nada

    orange man bad, America bad

    ( but the eurabians are so enlightened, their socialists are the best )

    • Rob
      June 24, 2019 at 00:51

      I know you will find this hard to believe, but the JPCOA was working quite nicely to achieve the end you claim to seek, but is that your real end? I have my doubts.

    • June 24, 2019 at 01:13

      old geezer,

      You asked: “so what exactly is the author proposing to keep the mullahs from getting the bomb ?” An estimated 1,000,000 innocent Iraqi men, women and children perished after war criminals Bush, Cheney, Blair etc. lied about keeping Saddam Hussein from getting “weapons of mass destruction”. An estimated 2,000,000 to 4,000,000 innocent Vietnamese perished after war criminal U.S. President Lyndon Johnson lied to the American people and world about the non-existent Gulf of Tonkin false flag incident.

      For an elder, – assuming you are aware of these (and many other) terribly sad historical facts, and not suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease – such snarky, overly-minimal and shallow commentary seems non-aligned with the concept “enlightened”, but, instead, illustrates the opposite of what most elders have come to perceive through long experience as enlightenment thinking.

      Peace.

    • Skip Scott
      June 24, 2019 at 09:07

      Old Geezer has proven to us that wisdom does not necessarily come with age.

    • June 24, 2019 at 16:48

      Wise old people exist, but the newest studies show that this is a pre-existing condition.

    • John A
      June 24, 2019 at 02:33

      Firstly Iran has always said they have no intention of acquiring nuclear capability and the US intelligence analysis confirms this.
      Secondly, there is already a nuclear power in the middle east, that is a mad dog viciously biting in all directions. Why does the US not disarm this mad dog, or better still, neuter it and make it one state with no apartheid with equal rights ofr all its citizens and the refugees it dispossesed?

    • Rob Roy
      June 24, 2019 at 22:02

      John A, great idea. Not going to happen, but we can dream.

    • Peter Kropotkin
      June 24, 2019 at 04:07

      The Ayatolla has said that nuclear bombs are the tools of Satan. They never wanted a bomb and were never going to make one. US “intelligence” even said they never had a nuclear program. That is until they were told to reverse their analysis. This was all garbage made up by Israel and neocons that the corporate owned media and corporate owned politicians repeat.

      You want to keep Iran from getting “the bomb?” Stop threatening them, stop sanctioning them, stop sailing ships and drones into their territory, and grow up and talk to them. Or keep doing what you’re doing and keep giving them no choice but to do what they never wanted to do

      The Iranians would be smart to get a few hundred nukes. That is the quickest way to get the declining US empire off your ass.

    • Zhu
      June 24, 2019 at 05:58

      Just leave people alone, Geezer. All our leaders since Truman have only made enemies.

    • Walter
      June 24, 2019 at 08:24

      The bomb ruined America… I have watched the process, which is continuing, and which may be seen as the topic of the article.

      Why would Iranians want one?

      Revisit your assumptions, Friend. If you knew more you would not say silly things.

    • Anonymous
      June 24, 2019 at 08:37

      Kinda seems like you didn’t read the article and are only here to troll.

    • MIchaelWme
      June 24, 2019 at 09:10

      I fear you need to study this new, clear fizzics. (Not so new, not so clear, and when I dropped it into a bucket of water, nary a fizz–Walt Kelly)
      It takes 60 tonnes of uranium oxide and metallic uranium to build a bomb from scratch. Places (like Australia) that have lots of uranium but no bomb don’t want one. Places like Iran that want one but don’t have one don’t have the requisite quantity of uranium (Iran has about 10 tonnes). Places like the DPRK with about 1,000 tonnes have the bomb and ain’t giving it up unless the entire peninsula is denuclearised, meaning, the US, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, the UK and France all give up theirs.
      So Iran won’t be getting a bomb, but they can shoot back. The Russians and Chinese will respond very badly if the US uses nukes, and without nukes, the US can’t win in Iran.
      Sadly, the US has said that MAD no longer exists.
      In ’45, Truman ordered the US military to drop its entire nuclear arsenal on Japan, because Japan was already defeated and could not respond.
      In ’49, the USSR set off a nuke, and the world had MAD.
      In ’51, MacArthur said to Truman, ‘The only way we can win against the DPRK and the PRC is to nuke ’em,’ figuring Truman would agree as he had in ’45. Instead, Truman said, ‘The USSR has MAD. You’re fired.’
      So the US and the USSR engaged in proxy wars (that the US always lost) until the USSR collapsed. But it was feared that the remnant of the USSR and China still had MAD. So the US didn’t try to break up Russia into tiny little impotent pieces, and China was developing a military that can match the US.
      But the US doesn’t believe any of that, they figure the US military, that costs about as much as the rest of the world’s militaries combined, must be able to take on the entire world and win, that the US defences mean no other nation has MAD any more, there’s just AD of all America’s rivals. Not true, but the fact the that US generals believe it mean we have to hope Trump is more Truman than Hillary, who promised she’d fight and win WWIII on Day 1.

    • DW Bartoo
      June 24, 2019 at 09:46

      Now that, MIchaelWme, is a truly fizz-ionable comment.

      Reminds me, in its effect of that old Alka Seltzer Tee Vee ditty, reworked a wee bit, for old geezers everywhere in this exceptional, indispensable, greates nation ever.

      Bombs away!

      Drop!

      Drop!

      Fizzzzzzzzzz!

      Fizzzzzzzzex!

      Oh!

      Wudda relief …

      Id izzzzzz!

      However, if Iran does come to “want” a bomb, very likely it would not be for hegemonic expansion, but rather simply to deter exactly the threat Iran is now facing,

      Comply or die.

      Pretty stark, and absolutely bereft of moral or humane virtue.

      The behavior of a power- and wealth crazed bully that insisted on controlling everything and everybody.

      Sick, pathological shit on a certain nation’s part as well as that of its running dawgs and lap puppies.

      Seriously, MIchaelWme, the educational value of your comment is very, very much appreciated,

    • OlyaPola
      June 25, 2019 at 20:29

      “But it was feared that the remnant of the USSR and China still had MAD. So the US didn’t try to break up Russia into tiny little impotent pieces, and China was developing a military that can match the US.”

      Assigning sole/primary and/or uni-causality is a process of self-blinding which the opponents encourage.
      Conflating a contributory component of reasons with the (singular) reason which cannot exist in any lateral system is also a process of self-blinding.

      Hence what follows below is merely a thumbnail sketch.

      Some in the “Soviet Union” and some outside the “Soviet Union” including “The United States of America”, from the late 1960’s onwards in increasing depth, scope and numbers understood that the “Soviet Union” was unsustainable and that when it did implode some others would attempt to “benefit” from this, and so pondered potential how-to’s to transcend the “Soviet Union” by a sovereign state on a significant part of the geographical area of Russia including Siberia.

      Consequently the divestment of the “near abroad” (Poland, GDR, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary) and “pre-Baltika”(Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) excepting Kaliningradsky oblast, and the return of troops from these areas, were viewed by an increasing sum of some, (initially excepting Mr. Gorbachev and his associates), as having a high assay of benefit (so notions that the Russian Federation now seeks their incorporation is ludicrous although based on insecurities within these states through conflating the Russian Federation with the Soviet Union), whilst a high assay of benefit was affected by a mutated relationship with Belarus and Ukraine in the CIS contingent in part on questions of nationalities in Ukraine, and more fluid relations with the Caucuses and Central Asia.

      Given some others would attempt to benefit from this and that even a strong state cannot usually fight all potential battles simultaneous, part of the transcendent strategies were based on opportunities derived from the divergence of interests between some others who would seek to benefit, that opponents were/are most vulnerable when they “believe” that they have won, that opponents tend towards projection for various reasons and these projections of expectations/prejudgements/prejudices should be encouraged, and by rigorous choices of priorities and phasing.

      Another useful factor was the predisposition of many foreigners to conflate Russia and/or the Soviet Union with Leningrad (St. Petersburg) and Moscow.

      Some opponents including external opponents continued to seek benefit throughout the period (and before; Mr. Suslov being of the the view that The United States of America’s war with the Soviet Union started in 1922 (famine relief after the Russian civil war) and never stopped merely mutated through several modes), but some correctly deemed it prejudicial to overall strategic purpose to draw undue attention to this in the knowledge that those affected would reach their own understanding on the basis of the “cultural practices” (absence makes the heart grow fonder and familiarity breeds contempt) of those seeking benefit, and in addition through “parallel information networks” created and developed through the period, since most of those reaching their own understanding had experience of a land of make-believe – the “Soviet Union”, whilst those seeking benefit were engaged in reacting to holograms of their own projection thereby facilitating the growth of their future interlocutors including but not restricted to The People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation – although many continue to believe that such does not constitute plausible belief.

    • OlyaPola
      June 26, 2019 at 03:02

      “Assigning sole/primary and/or uni-causality is a process of self-blinding which the opponents encourage.

      Conflating a contributory component of reasons with the (singular) reason which cannot exist in any lateral system is also a process of self-blinding.”

      https://journal-neo.org/2019/06/25/vladimir-putin-wants-you-to-do-your-own-thinking-that-s-all/

      “….in the knowledge that those affected would reach their own understanding on the basis of the “cultural practices” (absence makes the heart grow fonder and familiarity breeds contempt) of those seeking benefit, and in addition through “parallel information networks” created and developed through the period, since most of those reaching their own understanding had experience of a land of make-believe “.

      Ideology is immersive, akin to a swimming pool when emerging you still carry water droplets.

      The link is in significant assay an example of all of these components quoted above and simultaneously an example of framing on the basis of projections of expectations including but not restricted to the notion of “leadership”.

      In Lilliput Mr. Gulliver was constrained by many threads, as is the case in other lands of make-believe.

    • DW Bartoo
      June 24, 2019 at 09:21

      What, old geezer, are you proposing?

      You hankering for a bit o’ war?

      How much do you want?

      A little bit?

      Or a lot?

      Are you disgusted with Trump?

      You know, of course you do, that he just got all tender-hearted wimpy and decided that killing 150 people, even “Iranians”, as he pointed out, was not proportionate?

      Just out of curiosity, how many people,
      Iranians, initially, do you think ought to be killed, because that IS what war does,
      you know, just a rough, tough, estimate?

      Really.

      How many?

      Don’t be shy.

      This is no time for pusillanimous dithering.

      Sanctions, already in place, constitute economic warfare, and not just as Iranians might perceive it, but as evidenced in food and medical supply shortages.

      Just image how you, yes you, old geezer, would feel if your family was being deprived of food and medicine.

      I realize that is hard.

      It even smacks of empathy, the ability to imagine how others might feel. Kind of yucky, right?

      However, it is easy to talk tough.

      Especially when you, personally, have no skin in the game.

      It ain’t yer old ass that is going to be shot at, right?

      Well, old fellow, just how would ya feel if kicking Iranian butt kicked off WWIII?

      Let me anticipate your very likely assumption that all the “shit” would stay “over there”, because “We”, would get off a “First Strike” on everybody, let me rephrase that, on EVERYBODY else, right?

      Is that your perspective?

      “We”, the biggest and the bestest, are going to just go on, “business as usual”, going to work, driving our cars, watching sports on the tube on Sunday, drinking our beer, making ourselves great, again, is that about the gist of your palaver?

      The rest of the world, the Mullahs, the Ruskies, the Chinks, smoldering away, all incinerated “back to the Stone Age”, their nations “turned into glass”, and we, all Wild West, Rugged, Hard- Assed Individualists, full of the “Pioneer Spirit, just sitting back, having a blast?

      Because, “In Gawd We Trust”?

      Remember the Golden Rule?

      Not the hackneyed “Them what have the gold rules”, but the other one, the one about not doing to others what you wouldn’t want done to yourself or your loved ones, THAT one, do you remember?

      The updated version is:

      Don’t be a Dick!

      (Because one’s own shit just might turn around and bite one in one’s own sweet ass.)

      I’m glad we’ve had this little chat.

      How much ass do you want to kick, again?

      A little or a lot.

      Give it some thought.

      (Hope a wee bit of tough straight talk hasn’t stressed your patience overmuch, or injured your sense of armchair humor. And, while on the subject of Strait talk, what think you would happen to the price of gas at the pump, were the Strait to be shut down for a protracted period of time? I bet you that U$ oil barons would raise the price, why even Goldman sucks analysts worry that oil might reach a $1000/barrel which would increase the per-gallon cost ten-fold, and tank the world economy. But hey! That is a small price to pay. I’m guessing you are “good” with that possibility.)

      Have a good day and thank you for your service, old geezer.

    • AnneR
      June 24, 2019 at 09:25

      And, why, pray do tell, shouldn’t Iran (denigrated by you) have “the bomb”? (Not that it has evinced any interest in it *since* the 1979 revolution.)

      Why can Israel – a terrorist rogue apartheid state created by genocidal ethnic-cleansing – have “the bomb” if Iran cannot?

      Why can Pakistan and India have “the bomb” if Iran cannot?

      As for those self-preening nations of exceptional goodness:

      Why can the UK and France have “the bomb” if Iran cannot?

      Why can the USA have “the bomb” – and be immune to any call for it to give them up – and Iran not?

      After all – which nation has actually used “the bomb” and against civilian populations and totally unnecessarily? Twice? Surely it is this criminal nation which should give up its arsenal?

      I haven’t included Russia, China or North Korea – because *they* aren’t hypocritically calling on Iran to stop doing something it has not done.

    • Maxime
      June 24, 2019 at 10:17

      Sure, because menacing them and bullying them is completely gonna discourage them to arm themselves.

      The 2015’s treaty was working. Iran already got most of his uranium out (don’t got the link but I think I remember it was Russia who got 98% of their stock or something like that), and was working with international experts to meet the treaty’s words. And you know why? because, as you call them, “mullahs” don’t want the bomb. They want regime security. They want to be safe from, you got it, US (and allies Saoudis and Israel). Because they feel like US could like their abundant oil. And dislike their Shiite government.

      They can get it by the bomb, but they can also get it by an international agreement making them contracted with EU, China, Russia, and US. If they get that, US can’t in good faith attack them. Proof is US ripped the deal before hostilities.

      The solution of the author and, for what it’s worth, the whole WORLD outside of US, Israel and saoudis? Go back to the diplomatic table, you orange moron.

    • Ikallicrates
      June 24, 2019 at 12:02

      The author is not proposing anything to keep the mullahs from getting the bomb, because he knows that’s not the problem. Nor does anyone else who understands the situation in the Middle East. Nor would you, if you had read this article instead of watching Fox News.

    • June 24, 2019 at 21:34

      Actually, Fox News Network is occasionally on the side of the angels on this issue. They interview critics of the current policy etc.

    • anon4d2
      June 24, 2019 at 12:42

      So far Iran has been purely defensive of regional powers.
      Recall that the US overthrew democracy in Iran in 1953 and imposed military dictatorship 1953-1979.
      Why wouldn’t they be concerned about Israeli/US aggression?
      They assisted Shiahs in plurality-Shiah Iraq, and even Sunnis in largely-Sunni Syria.
      They have not operated revolutionary groups against secular governments.
      Like N Korea they would need nuclear weapons for defense against the US but have relinquished those.
      So what is your concern “to keep the mullahs from getting the bomb”?

    • Bruce Hitchcock
      June 24, 2019 at 13:04

      2015 treaty was not good enough?why?No war profits in a deal?or Obama did it so let us undo it.Only good thing he did .

    • Gregory Herr
      June 24, 2019 at 19:44

      Obama said “even as we implement the nuclear deal…we recognize that there remain profound differences between the United States and Iran. We remain steadfast in opposing Iran’s destabilizing behavior elsewhere, including its threats against Israel and our Gulf partners, and its support for violent proxies in places like Syria and Yemen. We still have sanctions on Iran for its violations of human rights, for its support of terrorism, and for its ballistic missile program. And we will continue to enforce these sanctions, vigorously.”

      Nothing like doing “a good thing”. While lying your ass off, making enemies, and bragging about sanctions which violate human rights.

      The terrorism visited upon the people of Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Eastern Ukraine is on Obama’s head.
      His Cold War mentality regarding Russia was almost puerile in its lack of any sign of sensibility.

      I suspect you know and agree with this Bruce. But the damage that Obama did in picking up the Cheney/Bush mantle and running with it—creeping fascism and all—is incalculable.

    • Groucho
      June 24, 2019 at 14:33

      Iran is not pursuing “the bomb” as attested by all partners to the JCPOA, the UN agencies responsible for inspecting Iran’s nuclear facilities and the US’s own intelligence services. Iran has the right, as all signatories to the NNPT do, to enrich uranium for power generation.

      Don’t know how the socialist reference fits in to this discussion.

    • Michael McNulty
      June 24, 2019 at 16:15

      Seeing as how the US is the only country to have used nukes on another, at a time when no-one else had them, letting the US decide who can and who can’t have nukes is like letting Nazis decide who can and who can’t have gas chambers.

    • ML
      June 24, 2019 at 17:55

      It’s never too late to learn something, old geezer. Or is it?

  31. KiwiAntz
    June 23, 2019 at 23:31

    If you want more understanding of America’s decline as a Empire, in addition to what this article highlights, please check out Mike Maloney’s Fall of Empires: Rome vs USA on Youtube along with his other excellent articles. Mike goes into great details about the late stage demise of a Hegemon on the way to collapse & the comparisons to Rome’s demise correlate’s exactly with America’s demise as a Empire & it all relates to a Hegemon’s debasement of money? One particular aspect of late stage decline is a inability too strong arm & bend other Nations to your will? We have seen this with the abject failure in Venezuela, on America’s doorstep even, with the failed Coup d’état to overthrow Maduro & we are seeing the desperate attempts to bully, threaten & intimidate Iran, who have recently called America’s bluff & bluster & stood up to it’s bullying. America’s maximum pressure strategy is in tatters in Venezuela & Iran & everywhere else & it’s waning influence has become extremely apparent for all to see because no one believes or is falling for America’s false flags & BS anymore? That’s a sure sign that the US Empire is falling apart, right before our eyes. With the Dollar system on the verge of Collapse & a America that is rolling the dice to attack Iran, Trump must know that if he attacks Iran, the entire US Petrodollar System will be destroyed? Trump is accelerating the Empires demise, its on steroids & the writing is on the Wall for America’s collapse! How that collapse takes place is the pressing dilemma i.e will it be a the Thucydides Trap option where America refuses to recognise the Multipolar World & burns everything to the ground in a spiteful ‘if we can’t win, nobody will either moment “, as this article hints at with America’s spoiler role or will they choose to join the rest of the World as just another member? I envisage that they would rather burn everything to the ground rather than give up its flailing & finished Unipolar status!

  32. Don Bacon
    June 23, 2019 at 23:11

    “The U.S. remains beyond question the world’s most powerful nation”
    Baloney. That’s fake news. Beyond question? Let’s question it.
    The US hasn’t won any of its many wars any time recently, in MENA (Middle East, North Africa) especially, and of course Afghanistan, and as a result of mistaken invasions and regime change attempts Iran has become predominate in the area.
    In Iran’s immediate vicinity, including the Persian Gulf area, Iran out-guns the US which is probably why Trump wisely backed off.
    Iran has:
    > thousands of ballistic and cruise missiles zeroed in on US installations housing 50,000 US troops — easy targets
    >hundreds of small boats mounting missile launchers that can attack ship formations and shore installations in swarms
    >over thirty submarines armed with torpedoes that could put a serious hurt in the Lincoln carrier group in the Arabian Sea with a salvo of sixty torpedoes
    >thousands of troops that can meet any attempts to conduct shore excursions by special forces
    >ally Hezbollah in Lebanon with thousands of missiles which could destroy Israel if that country gets rowdy
    So if the US starts anything there will plenty of destruction and hundreds of aluminum caskets arriving at Dover Air Force Base in the world’s most powerful nation. That would put a damper on Trump’s re-election for sure; not a way to Make America Great Again.

    • old geezer
      June 23, 2019 at 23:32

      and after they go nuclear,

      then what pal ?

    • June 24, 2019 at 01:16

      You’ve fallen quite a bit behind unfolding events in the twenty-first century, Old Geyser. As Mark Twain once said: “History may not repeat, but it surely rhymes.” Here, allow me to illustrate what he meant (from thirteen years ago, when this self-inflicted middle-eastern catastrophe began devouring America’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner like a similar fit of stupidity hadn’t done since Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia forty years previously).

      Who Lost Iraq
      (after the Bob Dylan song, “Who killed Davey Moore?”)

      Who Lost Iraq?
      Where did it go, and how to get it back?

      “It wasn’t me,” said the President,
      With his hard head stuck in its hard cement.
      “I just start fires in the minds of men;
      Pour gas on the flames every now and then.
      I accomplished my mission when I robbed the store,
      Then to cover up the crime I went and started a war.
      In a few more years someone else will want the fun;
      I’ll give the mess to them; then I’ll say that I won!
      They’ll lose Iraq
      Who couldn’t see me handing them the sack.”

      Who lost Iraq?
      Where did it go and how to get it back?

      “It wasn’t us,” cried the military brass.
      “We just saluted Rumsfeld and kissed his senile ass.
      We long ago swore not to think too hard or much;
      Just do as we’re told and to use that as a crutch;
      So when the hopes go wrong and the shit hits the fan,
      We can always just say: ‘We took our orders from the man.’
      With our medals and our pensions and our private jumbo jets
      ’It’s the only war we’ve got’ and that’s as good as it gets.
      They lost Iraq:
      The suits who tied our hands behind our back.”

      Who lost Iraq?
      Where did it go and how to get it back?

      “It wasn’t me,” said the rapping Secretary
      Talking too dense and sounding real scary.
      “We know we don’t know what we don’t know we know
      But we do know how to stage a little dog-and-pony show.
      The Senators and Congressmen whose districts get the pork
      Think the meat’s well done, so they stick in a fork.
      The army’s not the one we want, but let me tell you what:
      We have to go to war with it or see our funding cut.
      They lost Iraq
      Who wouldn’t cut me some semantic slack.”

      Who lost Iraq?
      Where did it go and how to get it back?

      “Who the hell cares,” shrugs the televangelist
      Preaching at his pulpit and pounding with his fist
      “I tell folks: ‘vote Republican if you don’t want to die’
      (Watching cable television; lapping up the lie).
      I feed the rubes on fantasies of Armageddon Day,
      When Jesus in his spaceship comes to take them all away.
      I scare ‘em and they love it and they come back for more
      To vote for someone else’s kid to fight in their war.
      They lost Iraq
      Who wouldn’t stop me selling Crusade crack.”

      Who lost Iraq?
      Where did it go and how to get it back?

      “We had to hit someone,” said the jaded journalist
      Thumbing through his Rolodex and making up a list
      Of contacts in the government who leak the names of spies
      Whose husbands tell the truth sometimes, instead of packaged lies.
      “My name is Tom Friedman and ‘the world is flat;’
      That shit about a globe you heard just isn’t where it’s at.
      I cheered for Dubya’s war just like the chicken hawk I am
      And then when things went south I blamed a Lebanese imam.
      They lost Iraq:
      Who wouldn’t buy my books from off the rack.”

      Who lost Iraq?
      Where did it go and how to get it back?

      “I’ve explained it all,” said the White House mouthpiece man
      Mumbling in mantras with shameless élan.
      “Our zigzag course takes us straight through the plots
      If you just fit the curve to the scatter of dots.
      In the sovereign state of the occupied town
      We could “stand ’em all up” if they’d quit falling down.
      But no matter what the carnage or the number who grieve
      Just remember “Stay the Course” means we’ll never leave.”
      They lost Iraq
      Who hired as spokesman some tired FOX NEWS flack.

      Who Lost Iraq?
      Where did it go, and how to get it back?

      “It wasn’t us,” cried the frightened Democrats,
      As much an opposition as a dozen gnats.
      “We voted for King George’s war and never blushed.
      With just a hint of nastiness, he left us hushed.
      We bought into the syndrome of the sycophant
      Who’d gladly ditch the donkey for the elephant.
      But now that all our compromise has come to nought,
      We’re too ashamed to do the things we truly ought.
      We love Iraq
      And only wished to help Chalabi’s claque.”

      Who Lost Iraq?
      Where did it go, and how to get it back?

      “Don’t look at us,” moaned the undecided block.
      Reliable consumers of a total crock.
      We love it when the government makes up those lies
      And sells them to us like McDonald’s greasy fries.
      Just show us a commercial made by Thomas Hobbes
      About our nasty, brutish lives with few good jobs.
      Then scare us half to death with tales of married queers.
      We’ll swallow anything just like our lousy beers.
      What is Iraq?
      Is it a toothpaste that gets rid of plaque?”

      Who Lost Iraq?
      Where did it go, and how to get it back?

      “It wasn’t me,” said Saddam Hussein,
      Sitting in his court cage, shouting his refrain:
      “I ran things better and we had a state;
      Now we only have Maliki, an invertebrate
      Who does the step-and-fetch-it as his daily toil
      For Dubya and his crony friends who steal our oil.
      But Mad Dog and his Englishman have come undone,
      Parading ’round in circles in the noonday sun.
      Bush lost Iraq
      When he and Blair launched their unwise attack.”

      Who Lost Iraq?
      Where did it go, and how to get it back?

      “Who the hell do you think?” said Ehud Olmert.
      “You mean you didn’t know Israelis just don’t care?
      A busted, broken Arab land fits in quite nice
      With Zionist delusions of a Paradise
      Where Arab refugees profess to love the Jews
      And swear to every statement made by Karen Hughes.
      The goyim in America will foot the bill
      Providing all the weaponry we need to kill.
      Forget Iraq;
      And take your marching orders from AIPAC.”

      Who Lost Iraq?
      Where did it go, and how to get it back?

      “Who talks of loss at all?” ask the Mullahs in Iran.
      As far as we’re concerned George Bush is just The Man.
      He stumbles and he bumbles then he gives away
      For nothing everything for which we’d gladly pay.
      Dick Cheney writes the crap for him to catapult
      Who never met a thought that he could not insult
      The Shiites in Iraq will get our help, indeed,
      To end the occupation that they do not need.
      We won Iraq
      Who let Bush do the work while we sat back.”

      Who lost Iraq?
      Where did it go and how to get it back?

      “Who said you ever owned us?” cried the people of Iraq.
      “Who asked you for your bloody war and unprovoked attack?
      You seemed to think that killing us and wrecking all we had
      Could win elections for George Bush and make him look less bad.
      Our oil we’ll sell to whom we please. Why don’t you find your own?
      And get yourselves a president at least a little grown.
      In case you haven’t noticed, he’s the one that you should fear
      Whose words smell like the noisome gas escaping from his rear.
      Please leave Iraq
      Then see if you can win your own souls back.”

      Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2006

    • DW Bartoo
      June 24, 2019 at 10:40

      Michael Murry,

      This is a most magnificent, truly great flurry!

      You well-spotted the rats who away all scurry.

      Putting distance from consequence of the wealth and power whose favor they curry.

      Excepting them what return, again and again, the world to more worry …

      More rhymes please, that their war-words be seen as filthy-dirty slur- ee.

      DW

    • old geezer
      June 25, 2019 at 19:04

      to DW, your reply june 25 @ 11:20. i would reply directly after that post but the reply box doesn’t show.

      i make my point quick, damn few times do i need to hear my own voice.

      my original comment spoke volumes in just a few words, the article blames America, blames DJT.
      sorry, i stopped buying that line years ago.

      the world is a dangerous place. there are enemies foreign and domestic. the best idea skinny tony gramsci had was to embed communists into government. be patient he said, the pay check is steady, you can’t get fired and the pension is fabulous.

      the original point, how do you keep the ayatollah from going nuclear ? the half brother tried a sizable bribe. please don’t tell me it worked. unless you enjoy the sound of my belly laughs.

      the author simply ignores the issue in front of his nose. but he does notice the eurabians. bat guano crazy herr merkel and szhes crew decides to turn off their nuclear power plants and depend on russians for natural gas. how do you say suicidal ? the “intellectual” western left is nothing if not consistent. it would seem plenty are with them.

    • Josep
      July 3, 2019 at 04:10

      @old geezer
      I doubt you should accept this, but Russia, culturally speaking has more in common with continental Europe than the USA ever will. Russia uses 220-volt power, is on the metric system, speaks a language with grammatical gender, and uses Civil Law. Setting those minor details aside, Russia isn’t separated by a whole ocean, so it becomes easier and cheaper to transport oil from Russia to Europe.
      There is nothing “suicidal” about forging an alliance with a country that has not launched wars of choice in the Middle East under false pretenses (e.g. WMDs). It’s glaringly obvious that, with America having bases in over 80 countries overseas, English being the international language, Hollywood dominating the film industry, and the US dollar* being the world reserve currency, the USA is the real threat to world peace. Why else does America have a $22T debt?

      *Fact: the USA forces other countries at gunpoint to use US dollars, a fiat currency printed out of thin air and backed by nothing. Any entity that has tried to move away from US dollars in favor of another currency faces “regime change” in an attempt to force that entity to continue using US dollars. Saddam Hussein, for instance, was actually executed for selling oil in euros instead of dollars. Thanks to this, Moscow and Beijing have been buying copious amounts of gold to stave off their reliance on the petrodollar.

    • old geezer
      June 24, 2019 at 21:19

      hi michael,

      i wonder, did you see my next to last comment, for you, at William Astore’s site ? if not the gist of it was, i was one of the little punks who grew up safe in sili con valley because there were people like you and my step dad who served in the navy. as well as my dad, my brother in law, and little half brother currently, who joined the army after high school. he is now a Lt Colonel. he’s been to sandistan more than a few times.

      looks like i really hit a raw nerve on this one. full disclosure to all, i am not a troll. michael you are 5 times smarter than me. from reading the comments here most of the rest are multiples smarter as well. i have admitted before, my knuckles drag.

      But I Do Not Hate My Country

      from the vitriol shown it would seem at least a few have had it with the US.

      i write a few comments with the full expectation of not changing anyone’s mind. as well not a single point made in an intellectual sense will change my mind. the vitriolic ad hominem ( i learned a new word last week ) attacks simply confirm my contempt. i did not write that incorrectly, it confirms my contempt.

      to make just one reply to the people who note the decline of the US, i concur. where my view immediately diverges is to start at the frankfurt school, gramsci and the rest of the post modernists. they’re a very smart bunch.

      but where does all that high iq lead ? to utopia ? as i asked william astore, is the goal still the marxian concept where the state fades away ? lmfao

      for the replies that are fine with iran getting the bomb …

      lmfao again. be careful what you wish for.

    • old geezer
      June 24, 2019 at 21:28

      ps michael,

      today i finished Danny Sjursen’s book. one of the kids i grew up with was from new bedford. but for the grace of God.

    • DW Bartoo
      June 25, 2019 at 11:20

      Now, right off, old geezer, I do not consider you to be less intelligent than any of the rest of us.

      I do, however, wonder if you come to this site with the intention of actually engaging serious discussion.

      You write; “I write a few comments with the full expectation of not changing anyone’s mind, as well not a single point made in an intellectual sense will change my mind.”

      You go on, “the vitriolic ad hominem (I learned a new word last week) attacks simply confirm my contempt. I did not write that incorrectly, it confirms my contempt.”

      You say that you agree that the U$ is in decline.

      Then you mention, “… the Frankfurt school, Gramsci and the rest of the post modernists.”

      Of whom you say, “… they’re a very smart bunch.”

      None of what you write and how you write suggests dragging knuckles.

      However, why not share your reasons for your disdain of, “… the Frankfurt school, Gamsci and the rest …”?

      Tell us why you find what you term the “intellectual sense” to be, apparently, contemptible.

      You write about “the state”

      What do you consider “the state” to be?

      The government?

      The military, the bureaucracy?

      The people?

      Is the “state” in decline?

      If so, how do?

      What might be done to improve things?

      You mention William J. Astore and Danny Sjursen.

      Clearly, they both, having been U$ military officers, who do not buy into “Full Spectrum Dominance” as policy, have some thoughts and concerns about the U$ military empire.

      Both are or have been professors of history, both employ intellectual capacity and would appear to value its efficacy in rational, fact-based understanding and its worth and value to informed debate.

      Astore is known for having serious questions about air power and bombs, as well as the role of profit tied to the use of both.

      Sjursen takes a very serious, non-patriotic-mythical view of U$ history and does not sugar-coat the genocide and slavery of its beginning nor the lies and deceits used to take the nation to war.

      It is good that you have learned about ad hominem attacks which attack a person rather than the ideas, revelations, or facts the person presents.

      The Romans and the Greeks were not dummies, they recognized and defined rhetorical deceits long, long ago.

      Another one is (argumentum) ad baculum, argument with a threat.

      Recall when George W. Bush said, “You are either with us or against us!”?

      The purpose was to end debate, to imply that those who questioned were not “good” U$ians, were siding with the bad guys (and deserved whatever might happen to such “foreign puppets”).

      There are other forms of fallacious argument that may be used on a public not clued into the clever (or not so clever) use of language to confuse, bamboozle, and mislead.

      We really ought to teach yong people about them in school. Actually, that was once, long ago, the case, both in high school and at college.

      However, being aware of how people might be manipulated to believe absolute rubbish, especially those lies about people or nations, which leaders want to “attack”, not with words, alone, but with imprisonment or bombs, letting “them have it!”, created too many who said, “Wait a minute. What proof have we that Spain blew up the Maine, or that Vietnamese little boats attacked a U$ battleship, or that Iraq has ‘weapons of mass destruction?”

      Questions create “problems” for power.

      Questions arise from people who think.

      Thinking is THE problem.

      Even worse, what if people start to share these questions?

      If loose lips sink ships,
      then functioning brains can derail Money trains.

      Hell, just imagine what would happen if people looked behind the curtains of myth and doctrines of “destiny”?

      That might make the adventures in Sandistan look like slam-dunk, sexed-up, skateboard touchdowns in the Toilet Bowl.

      In which case, we all be flushed with excess.

      Talk about touching a nerve …

      Are you old enough to recall the lyrics to Tom Lehrer’s uplifting song, “We’ll All Go Together When We Go”?

      Are we approaching the midnight hour?

      Armageddon concerned.

      What about you?

      Figure we’ve just hit a bit of turbulence?

      Or are things spinning out of “control”?

      If thinking is bad, then is not bothering to think a good thing?

      Remember, if you DO think, then you are using your mind, and that is an “intellectual” activity.

      Is it more important to make sense or cents?

      Blowing the world to kingdom come would be making history,

      But then, who would be around to appreciate it and exclaim how exceptionally wonderful it all is/was?

      All because some knuckle dragger asked a question.

      Wonder what the first question, ever, was?

      What are those?

      (They are your toes.)

      Hmmm.

      What would happen is I push this stick into that hornet nest?

      (I ain’t sticking around to find out! But, l’ve got a pretty good idea. You’re on yer own, kid.)

    • OlyaPola
      June 25, 2019 at 14:58

      “Hate My Country”

      You are apparently under the misapprehension that you have a country to call your own.
      “Your elites” tend to be of a different opinion but tend to keep that to themselves, like most “benefits”.

      As to hate that is generally counter-productive as are various forms of emotionalism, although “taught/expanded upon” through “training programs” by various organisations including but not restricted to “the military”.

      Even some of the opponents realise that, but for “cultural reasons” often fail to practice their realisations – for example through schadenfreude,torture and vindictiveness.

      Please retain your illusions since useful fools are useful to those who can render them so.

    • Dr. Ip
      June 24, 2019 at 03:53

      Pakistan is nuclear, pal.
      Israel is nuclear, pal.
      India is nuclear, pal.
      North Korea is nuclear, pal.
      Nobody attacks their territory these days, pal.
      But Iran chose a long time ago not to go nuclear, pal.
      The American Mullahs want their oil money back and so have issued yet another fatwah through their Supreme Leader.

    • KiwiAntz
      June 24, 2019 at 04:08

      Old Geezer are you familiar with the term“Mutual Assured Destruction”? Any Nuclear attack will be met with a Nuclear response by the Country attacked! This isn’t 1945 where America could nuke Japan & get away with it? It’s 2019 & alot of Nations have the Nukes to deter US Nuclear attacks? That’s MAD in a nutshell!

    • Zhu
      June 24, 2019 at 06:03

      Who says Iran is going nuclear, Gezzer? If he usual liars.

    • AnneR
      June 24, 2019 at 09:31

      So *what* if the Iranians developed nuclear weapons? (Not that they are going to – as they have stated over and over again. But then they are not as bloodthirsty as Anglo-Americans always seem to be.)

      Frankly, if they had done so, the US-IS-UK would be a lot less eager to bomb their country into smithereens – all for the benefit of their more westerly neighbor (the middle country above). NK understands this. Unfortunately, Qaddafi didn’t.

      And again – I repeat: which nation state is it that *has* used such weapons: twice? Only one. (Not to mention that same country’s eager use of depleted uranium – far from its shores, of course – in bullets and shells.) Charming.

    • heathroi
      June 24, 2019 at 09:45

      is that you, John?

    • Steve in DC
      June 24, 2019 at 09:47

      Iran should go nuclear. The US doesn’t f#%* with countries that have the bomb. The sooner Iran can thwart Washington the better off the world will be. Washington will have to get another hobbyhorse.

    • Tick Tock
      June 24, 2019 at 11:45

      How many generations has your family been inbreeding? Was it part of the US Guvment plan to create the race of morons? Without a doubt it has been a success in making you, make Forrest Gump look like an Einstein. Keep posting at least it might keep you off the streets.

    • Ol' Hippy
      June 24, 2019 at 11:58

      They won’t need to. All they have to do is barricade the Strait of Hormuz and collapse the world economy that relies on oil from the Gulf States. Never mentioned in the corporate(MSM) media circles that want war. The ensuing depression would be like no other, ever.

    • June 24, 2019 at 12:36

      @ Old Geezer:

      My friend, you’ve been getting too much of your news from Israel-influenced mainstream media. Iran has not had a nuclear weapons program since 2003 (if it had one even then, which is doubtful). That is the consensus position of all U.S. intelligence agencies, Mossad, and several european intelligence agencies. See the reference links in my article at https://relativelyfreepress.blogspot.com/2015/09/a-question-about-ron-wydens-intelligence.html

      Moreover, as Don Bacon summarizes, Iran doesn’t need nukes to hold the U.S. at bay.

      Finally, Iran’s unquestionable ability to close all shipping of oil through the Hormuz Strait (30 percent of the world’s supply) means that Iran has the ability to bring the western economic system to its knees. Who needs nukes?

    • DH Fabian
      June 24, 2019 at 13:08

      Are China and Russia nuclear-armed countries, in a world that has largely come to see the US as an unpredictable and dictatorial threat? Possibly too great of a threat to allow it to continue?

    • Linda Furr
      June 24, 2019 at 13:12

      Who’s the ‘they’? US officials have already talked of nuclear attacks on areas of Iran. The great ‘democracy’ of USA just ain’t so. Its criminal psychopathy comes straight from Israel – against most Americans’ desires. Washington DC is sick.

    • Begemot
      June 24, 2019 at 13:18

      Then what yourself, Geez? What do you anticipate the Iranians doing with a nuclear weapon and why would they do it? Of all the nations of the world with nuclear weapons only one has used them and that was USA in 1945. Formless anxieties are not very informative. So inform us Geez.

    • Lownslow
      June 24, 2019 at 14:22

      Then we treat Iran as equals.,,as human beings, ,, mutually assured destruction as deterrant. The plan is to provoke Iran into attacking the saudis and jews so that israel can nuke the persians. Israel wants to be the sole power in the middle east. We have been provoking iran for decades at israels urging. Iran has not attacked anyone in 1500 years. We are already in 7 wars. You might read up on smedley butler.

    • Litchfield
      June 24, 2019 at 14:55

      That is the $64,000 question.
      (Wonder why they chose that number . . .)

    • bevin
      June 24, 2019 at 19:22

      It was the Grand Prize in a quiz show. It seemed like a fortune at the trime.
      64 as you will recognise is a number divisible six times down to the first round prize of $1000

    • Litchfield
      June 25, 2019 at 09:30

      I suggest this weeks ago myself.
      Impeach Pompeo and Bolton.
      But without the gravitas of Boyle.
      Both of these slimeballs are already war criminals.
      They trumpet the evidence of this themselves.
      What is Congress waiting for? A message from a mushroom cloud?
      Impeach them now and send them to do community service somewhere for the rest of their lives.
      They are imperiling the USA, every other country on Earth, every living thing on Earth. Earth.
      Impeach.

    • Litchfield
      June 25, 2019 at 09:31

      I *know* it was the grand prize in a quiz show.

      The question is still the same: Wonder why they (the quiz show developers) chose that number.

    • OlyaPola
      June 27, 2019 at 18:33

      “Litchfield
      June 25, 2019 at 09:31
      I *know* it was the grand prize in a quiz show.

      The question is still the same: Wonder why they (the quiz show developers) chose that number.”

      1 + 1 = 2
      2 +2 = 4
      4 + 4 = 8
      8 + 8 = 16
      16 + 16 = 32
      32 + 32 = 64

      The television program was phased 3 questions before advertising the compere facilitating the phasing including time marks, 3 questions after advertising the compere facilitating the phasing including time marks, in its various manifestations in various “markets”.

      An early example of “commercial” airing through television of a “strategy of tension” in part informed by the Trawniki papers to encourage an assay of subliminal focus on the advertising by residual focus on the previous question/answer, although tempo (timing) in spectacle/theatre has been of significance from inception, but tempo (timing) has varied in and through specific social relations, a phasing and “format” that has been used extensively for a period of circa 70 years not restricted to “television” with decreasing potency.

      The register including “production values” and edits (timing) have also varied in and through specific social relations partly as a function of exposure to vocabularies of previous tempos increasing resistance to subliminal purpose and focus on the message, although many including those with self-interest are quick to disagree with a velocity that suggests reflex and or conditioned response – those who seek to make-believe becoming believers.

    • OlyaPola
      June 28, 2019 at 03:31

      OlyaPola
      June 27, 2019 at 18:33

      “ although tempo (timing) in spectacle/theatre has been of significance from inception, but tempo (timing) has varied in and through specific social relations..”

      In illustration of tempo variation :

      From “angst”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSNsc0_SS6A

      to “positive thinking/lets move onism”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GDzPyHspSs

    • Jeff Harrison
      June 24, 2019 at 15:21

      After who goes nuclear, bozo? Iran lacks that capacity just at the moment. It does not have adequate quantities of sufficiently fissile materials. The IAEA attests to that. Furthermore, making an atomic bomb involves a whole lot more than sticking a bunch of plutonium 239 or U235 in a can and attaching a fuse. You need a critical mass which can only be created at the moment of explosion. It is, in fact, done by slapping together two or more subcritical masses using sufficient explosive force to create the critical mass which will then cause a violent and uncontrollable chain reaction. You only know you’ve got it right after testing which Iran, unlike Israel, has not conducted.

      If you weren’t such a fool, you’d realize that the greater danger is the US. Under first Obama and continued under Thump, the US, in direct violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (yes the same one that the US has been hammering Iran about), has been developing new nuclear weapons of relatively low yield that the US thinks can be used to win a war. The US has started to accuse Russia of nuke weapons testing which is a dead giveaway that we are, in fact, doing just that to test these new nukes.

    • June 24, 2019 at 21:40

      then what pals?

      a. run for the hills
      b. use a bicycle as an alternative for the car

      Having completed a. and b. (I live in a hilly region), I have quiet sleep assured.

      Of course, one can improvise other measures.

    • Skip Scott
      June 24, 2019 at 09:04

      I am reminded of the late Carl Sagan’s analysis of MAD and the cold war. He said (I’m paraphrasing) it is like two people standing up to their waist in gasoline. One guy has a whole pack of matches, and the other guy only has a few. What difference does it make?

      We must learn to wage peace in a multi-polar world. We have no choice if we are to survive as a species. Global hegemony is not an option. The rest of the world is beginning to treat the USA like someone heavily armed who has dementia.

    • Lownslow
      June 24, 2019 at 14:24

      Preach it, brotha?

    • Ross
      June 24, 2019 at 11:55

      it seems to me we have less time than we realize that we are all travelling on the same piece of rock.

Comments are closed.