A Howl for Blood in Iran as Americans Cheer US Bombers on July 4

The aerial parade of military aircraft was a chilling display of rampant killing machinery, write Medea Benjamin and Ann Wright.

By Medea Benjamin and Ann Wright
Common Dreams

President Donald Trump’s order to the Pentagon to have an aerial parade of military aircraft over Washington, D.C., on July 4 provided a history lesson of America’s war mongering in the past two decades, and a terrifying view of what might appear in the skies of Iran if National Security Advisor John Bolton gets his way.

The combat aircraft that were cheered by Trump’s supporters as they flew low over the monuments in the nation’s capital have not been cheered by people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Palestine as the same type of planes fly over their homes — terrifying and killing their children and wreaking havoc on their lives.  


Military aircraft fly above the Lincoln Memorial in D.C. during Trump’s “Salute to America” on July 4, 2019. (White House/D. Myles Cullen)

Over those countries, Air Force B-2 Spirit, Air Force F-22 Raptor,  Navy F-35C Joint Strike Fighter and F/A-18 Hornet stealth fighters and bombers fly so high they are not seen or heard — until the massive explosions from their 500- to 2,000-pound bombs hit and obliterate everything and everyone in their radius. The blast radius of a 2,000-pound bomb is 82 feet, but the lethal fragmentation reaches 1,200 feet. In 2017, the Trump administration dropped the most massive non-nuclear bomb in its inventory, the 21,000 pound “mother of all bombs,” on a cave tunnel complex in Afghanistan. 

More Bombs Allowed

While most Americans have probably forgotten we are still at war in Afghanistan, the Trump administration “eased” the rules of engagement, allowing the military to drop more bombs in 2018 than in any other year since the war began in 2001.  The 7,632 bombs dropped by American aircraft in 2018 made U.S. weapons makers rich, but hit 1,015 Afghan civilians.

The Boeing-made combat attack Apache helicopters, a crowd pleaser on July 4, have been used by the US Army to blow up homes and cars filled with civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Israeli military uses them to kill Palestinian civilians in Gaza and the Saudi military has killed children in Yemen with these death machines.

Billions of dollars worth of U.S. planes and bombs sold to Saudi Arabia raked in record profits for weapons manufacturers such as Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. But they pummeled Yemeni civilians since the air war started in 2015, killing people in marketplaces, weddings, funerals, and 40 children on a summer outing in a school bus. Radhya al-Mutawakel, chairwoman of the Yemeni human rights organization Mwatana, says the U.S. has legal and moral responsibility for selling weapons to the Saudi-led coalition. “Yemeni civilians are dying every day because of this war and you (America) are fueling this war. It is a shame that financial interests are worth more than the blood of innocent people.”

One notorious vehicle of death that was not flown above Washington was America’s assassin drone.  Perhaps it was too dangerous for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to be flown close to the president of the United States and a crowd of American citizens with its history of numerous inexplicable crashes and intelligence failures that have caused the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Iraq.


B-2 Spirit bomber is prepared for a training mission at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Jan. 17, 2019. (Air Force/Thomas Barley)

John Bolton, who has the ear of the president every day, wrote in an op-ed in 2015 that in order to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, the U.S. should bomb Iran. Now that he has goaded Iran into stepping up its enrichment of uranium as a result of the U.S. reneging on the nuclear deal and European signatories bailing out on their responsibilities in the agreement, Bolton is itching to start the bombing. So are Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mohammad Bin Salman, crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Both Israel and Saudi Arabia have been trying for years to drag the U.S. into a war with Iran. Colleagues in the humanitarian and refugee arenas in the Middle East tell us a war is coming and are preparing for its nightmarish consequences throughout the region. 

With the U.S. political and media dogs of war howling again for blood in Iran, Trump’s decision to showcase America’s aerial firepower must have been cheered by the war hawks in the administration and Congress, and their friends in the weapons industry. But to those of us who want peaceful resolutions to international disputes, the Fourth of July display was a chilling reminder of the horrific deaths caused by successive Administrations’ propensity for war and the terror that might soon be raining down on the people of Iran if John Bolton gets his way.  

Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of CODEPINK: Women for Peace and the author of numerous books including “Inside Iran,”  “Kingdom of the Unjust: Saudia Arabia” and “Killing by Remote Control-Drones.”

Ann Wright is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and a former U.S. diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to Bush’s war on Iraq. She is the co-author of “Dissent: Voices of Conscience.”

This article is from Common Dreams.

54 comments for “A Howl for Blood in Iran as Americans Cheer US Bombers on July 4

  1. John Drake
    July 16, 2019 at 12:21

    Leave it to Trumpenfuhrer to inappropriately militarize the nation’s birthday in terms of technology and era. Now an appropriate show of force would be to have revolutionary war reenactors do their thing on the Capitol mall. That is what July 4 is all about, and that is living history, not modern weaponry that is used to destroy the independence of other countries today. July 4 celebrates independence from a colonial ruler. Trumpster’s show celebrates neo-colonialism.

  2. Larry Adams
    July 11, 2019 at 00:02

    These nations governments need to consider the cost on their people when they terrorize America and all innocent people these governments have killed they their terroristic labors.

    • Skip Scott
      July 11, 2019 at 01:40

      What governments are you talking about? Saudi Arabia’s? Qatar’s? The ones who fund the “terroristic labors” are not the ones we are attacking and threatening.

    • anon
      July 11, 2019 at 11:37

      You need to consider whether anyone will fall for such rot, when we know that Iran has done nothing against the US, despite our overthrowing democracy there in 1953 and giving them 26 years of dictatorship. It was the US that built up Islamic terrorism in the Mideast 1950-present to oppose secular, moderate, and socialist governments, and to build up Israel, under the guise of “anti-communism” although the USSR had no interest there. Your comment looks like paid troll work to me.

    • boxerwar
      July 11, 2019 at 16:55

      Larry Abrams lives in The (Dystopian) Fools Paradise of White Nation Colonialism, — M A G A Style.

      / This, as the Fate of the rest of humanity/human-kind face
      \ unprecedented World-Wide M A S S I V E Extinction Events

      \ Made-By- (White) – Man in his Never-Ending-Search-for-Wealth-
      / and the Subjugation of the Human Value of Human Life,

      in Favor of an Hierarchal, Hereditary, (genetic, inherited,
      “constitutional”, patrimonial, innate, inherent “White Privilege”.

      \ Earth’s ‘human population’ lives today w/recorded history of
      /War-like Dominant Cultures willing to Steal, Kill and Destroy

      \ Wonder why Neanderthal man follows Nazism in dictionaries?
      /Ultra-Right Wing Federal Judiciary under McConnell’s rules. …

      / “American Democracy” (the long existing Fable of) is, (as if…)
      \Rich Mc Connell’s Federal Justice allotments aren’t ‘race based’ …

      / The US economy is screwed LARGELY toward a White Nationalism
      \of which the current POTUS is self-imprisoned| – – Egoism-Egotism…

      \The Grand Applause at the Death/ Massacre of “Others” = “Exceptionalism”
      /Now Also Known Under “white primacy”, “white principle”, “white priority” ,

      \ etc…., MAGA – following the pattern of 3 Bush Eras of MASS MURDERS
      /while occupying the “White House” as “leaders of the free world” !!!!!!!

      \ when will the “american patriots” awake from their slumber !!!!!!! ? ???
      / George McGovern, are you listening … ?

    • boxerwar
      July 11, 2019 at 17:52

      HUMAN (COLORED) LIVES
      LOST AT OUR BORDERS
      ARE TESTAMENT TO
      THE WHITE HISTORY
      OF WHITE PRIORITY
      AND PRIVILEGE OVER
      AND SUBJUGATION OF

      and Nationalization of
      Murder-by Cop
      Public Executions
      W/O jury trial and
      30 day paid vacations
      for they, “protect & serve”
      “street patrol Assassins ”
      get exoneration and a
      months paid vacation. …

      MAGA !!

      {bring back public hangings / cross burnings / rich slave owners ( as in those wall street crooks and their exponential sucking up of equal opportunity/equal pay/ as faked in the decades ago “prophecy” – “myth” of the rising tide that’d ‘lift all boats’ — .

      The Massacre if the innocent and the stench of the dead and dying looms before us, the non-caring/ ugly American who run to stave the specter of ever-encroaching HOMELESSNESS.

      Some of us who’re within specific economic groups are not starry-eyed or influenced by politics.
      Many of us are very clear-eyed as-to-the-effect/affect of TRUMP administration ascetic aspirations.

      The rest of you need to wake the F..K up … .

    • boxerwar
      July 16, 2019 at 15:36

      HOWL : the Warmongers cry for Blood
      https://www.aipac.org

      >>>

      “Howl” , the Hebrew poets’ OUTCRY against “Chosen People” and Milliteristic “”EXCEPTIONALISM
      https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/49303/howl

  3. Vonu
    July 10, 2019 at 16:56

    Apparently, either Bolton doesn’t know or doesn’t care that Iran is in a mutual protection pact with China and Russia, and they would return fire for Iran, if it is attacked.

  4. Tekyo Pantzov
    July 10, 2019 at 01:23

    I see, so the US army only kills civilians. And we are being told this by people who often visit Gaza and shmooze with Hamas freedom fighters.
    Aren’t you being a bit too obvious?

  5. Sam F
    July 9, 2019 at 22:02

    Those who wish to see better progressives at the debates should donate $1 to Sen. Mike Gravel to that he will have enough signatures to debate. Here is the link: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/gravel65000

    • Skip Scott
      July 10, 2019 at 07:10

      Done. I think I will be donating a dollar to Mike and Tulsi every few days until debate time. It is the individual donations, not the dollar amount, that leads to them qualifying.

  6. Keith Sanders
    July 9, 2019 at 16:08

    It is a comfort to know your naive view of the world is paid for, in blood, by the men and women of the greatest fighting force the world has even known.

    • Skip Scott
      July 10, 2019 at 14:37

      I am a retired merchant seaman. I have traveled extensively, including areas of the so-called 3rd world. I read quite extensively. I would suggest to you that it is your own view of the world that is “naive”. Our brave men and women have been duped into thinking they are fighting for things like “freedom and democracy”; yet any fair examination of root causes and end results shows that to be far from the truth. They have been sheep-dipped in the same propaganda you are espousing.

      They don’t pay for my “view of the world”. They sacrifice their own blood (and sanity) for the maximization of corporate profits and control over natural resources. They serve an “evil empire”. It is a terrible shame that they are victims of propaganda. They have my pity, as do the innocents they senselessly murder far from home.

    • Skip Scott
      July 11, 2019 at 08:17

      Here is an interesting article by Caitlin Johnstone exploring the propaganda needs of the war machine. Perhaps you think Tulsi Gabbard’s experiences in Iraq have left her with the same “naive” view of the world that I have?

      https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/opposing-war-is-the-best-approach-to-revolution-2d381f8f6a97

    • anon
      July 11, 2019 at 11:39

      Who no doubt pay you to spread such nonsense.

  7. Bob Ramsdell
    July 9, 2019 at 15:41

    I hate the term “innocent civilians.” What of those among us that are hard-core war mongers…..are they innocent? What about those that applauded and danced in the streets with the Trade Towers fell to the ground……are they innocent civilians? What about the draft dodgers from Vietnam who, cowardly hypocrites that they are, still to this day advocate for that doomed war effort? Are they innocent civilians?” I wish journalists could find a better term…..just like “thoughts and prayers” is the dumbest thing they have to say. Besides, why kind of “god” would allow those tragedies? Thinking is better than such sloppy language.

    • Gregory Herr
      July 9, 2019 at 19:26

      And sloppy “thinking” is so much worse than widely accepted terminology that most certainly applies to countless examples of human beings (many many children included) who have had their lives destroyed (do you require graphic details?) in the blink of an eye by a heinous war machine.

      With your “better thinking” at hand, surely you have an alternate suggestion. Or does “correct” language in these cases (tragedies you do admit) evade your grasp?

    • anon
      July 10, 2019 at 12:15

      How do the courageous draft dodgers “advocate for that doomed war effort”? Perhaps you think it took great courage to murder over a million from 30,000 feet to avoid supporting an anti-colonial revolution just like our own? And heroism to hide behind a mass media narrative to avoid dissent? Or was it their naive communism that outraged you so much that you ignored the fact that they would eventually open up their economy as China has done? Can’t let those starving natives get uppity and demand food before talking economics, can we?

  8. July 9, 2019 at 15:26

    Some people hold to a distinct philosophy termed “Seventh Generation” where all actions are considered from the perspective of consequences for human beings coming seven generations in the future. In simple translation, this means any actions which will – upon serious consideration – be determined to result in negative results for those born on Earth more than (100) years from now are not chosen. Similarly, those actions which are determined to result in the greatest future benefits relative to humanity’s health and well-being are chosen, in total accord with the “Seventh Generation” philosophy.

    Perhaps (7) generations from now, after humanity will have long rid itself altogether of unnecessary, unwise, self-harming and destructive wars, the peaceful people of Earth will look back upon the 1st two decades of the 21st century, smile softly, and ask themselves: “What in the world were those people thinking?”

    Peace.

  9. July 9, 2019 at 01:54

    Wow I enjoyed this read by two woman of great morals.

  10. old geezer
    July 8, 2019 at 21:43

    thank you for the gorgeous picture of the B-2.
    the first time i saw the mock up i instantly remarked to my boss, so it doesn’t do mach.
    if they don’t know it’s there, it doesn’t have to, he replied.

    this was the weapon system when the ruskies knew they would never catch up.
    ted kennedy visited moscow 1 week after getting a briefing in Pico Rivera.

    • Skip Scott
      July 9, 2019 at 11:27

      The evil Ruskies’ current missile technology makes billions of dollars worth of our armaments obsolete. They have more than caught up, and for pennies on the dollar. MAD, and Putin’s measured sanity in dealing with our continued aggression, is the only thing keeping us alive. It takes little imagination to picture the shock that will be felt by the average latte-sipper when the chickens come home to roost. Then it will be too late to repent for our decades of savage behavior around the world. Ashes to ashes…

    • rosemerry
      July 9, 2019 at 16:52

      Great comment, Skip! My blood pressure was rising when I read the old geezer’s remarks!
      If only the “leaders” in the USA listened to Pres. Putin (eg March 1, 2018) instead of sneering and mocking him, and if people read Andrei Martyanov’s “Losing Military Supremacy” or listened to any of Putin’s speeches available online, they could see that Russia’s spending is on defense not aggression, which the USA prefers. The constant theme is to reduce the chances of conflict, but the USA keeps removing any treaties which are barriers to war.

    • Gregory Herr
      July 9, 2019 at 19:45

      Couldn’t agree more—thanks Skip.

      Putin’s 2015 address to the United Nations General Assembly is exemplary.

    • elmerfudzie
      July 18, 2019 at 00:34

      Skip Scott, back in 1991 0r 92? I read a few articles on the web that clearly stated, small suit case nukes were removed from US soil following the collapse of the CCCP. Those articles vanished completely without a trace (DIA erasures?) but I clearly remember what was in black and white, in print at that time. The removal effort by a collapsed Soviet Union perhaps KGB officials? was corroborated several years later by author Stanislav Lunev a former top official in the GRU and to a lesser extent, by Graham Allison in his book,, Nuclear Terrorism published circa 2005. I’m unearthing these references to show what a big, terrible and obscene game weapons R & D and their subsequent deployment really are. The unending lies we are told about keeping up with the latest Russian advances, meanwhile the A-bombs are most likely already here on domestic soil and in the most strategically vulnerable locations. No doubt the west has done the same, with deployments deep inside Russian territory. My point is, both sides east and west are being gamed. Putin contributes to this misinformation, gives a hint at Russia’s latest, fastest rocketry with thunderous applause by his military industrial complex. He recently threw our defence industry a bone so that he could, at the same time, justify and perpetuate his own defence industry. Meanwhile, the pockets of common citizenry at large are picked again, under hypnosis by singing, anthems and slogans. Please! everyone reading this commentary wake up will you?!

    • Skip Scott
      July 19, 2019 at 08:22

      That has always been a huge hole in the logic of continuous advancement in nuclear missile and bomb technology. Presently I think we actually search about 2% of all cargo entering the USA; and without seriously impacting global trade and shipping efficiency, it would be extremely difficult to inspect even half. Who needs missiles?

      The fact that we aren’t already blown to pieces exposes the lie of the necessity of the Forever War to keep us safe from terrorists. Any small band of committed fanatics could destroy most of our major cities in a day.

  11. Sam F
    July 8, 2019 at 21:30

    It is difficult to tell parade or bluster from threat, but right wing degenerates always sense war opportunity and begin to demand it, for money, tribal dictates, or personal perversion. LBJ told the Gulf of Tonkin plotters in effect that “You can have your war if I can have the election,” and Trump will likely do the same.

    What we need are whistleblowers with the courage to expose false flags and provocations before retaliation.
    More Ann Wrights, Snowdens, Mannings, and Assanges.
    They are the patriots to celebrate on Independence Day.

  12. Jeff Harrison
    July 8, 2019 at 21:19

    Israel and Saudi have not been trying to drag the US into a war with Iran for decades. They have been trying to get the US to fight the war with Iran that they want to see Iran have to fight. They’re chicken hawks basically, like Bolton, Darth, Rummy, Shrub. Except for Shrub, never went in the military and none of them saw combat.

    The big problem is that Americans have no concept of war. Even the ones who went and murdered other people in other countries and blew up their homes, and shops, roads, and bridges, businesses and infrastructure. There’s a big difference between doing it to someone else and having it done to you.

    • Realist
      July 9, 2019 at 05:15

      No other country has ever attacked the United States except for Britain during the War of 1812 and Japan at Pearl Harbor, and the latter had to be goaded into doing so by the exaction of embargoes and onerous trade blockades, virtually choking off their energy requirements.

      Since we have gotten into so many wars in our history (37 since World War II leading to 20 million dead according to a recent article on this blog), our leaders must reflexively practice armed aggression rather than peaceful diplomacy, which one might call the American Way of doing business. Moreover, the point of contention is never threats directed at the U.S. by its hapless target, but rather their recalcitrance to take orders from us detrimental to their own interests. We practice the same intimidation against our so-called “allies” (case in point the EU, Turkey, and Japan), only they roll over like good dogs rather than make Uncle Sam cross by acting in their own best interests.

      The very worst actions directed by Iran against the United States, except for the student takeover of the American embassy during the Iranian Revolution (which, it must be admitted, was eagerly exploited by American pols in the presidential race of 1980), or against Israel, or against any other country, has been inflammatory rhetoric–calling us the “Great Satan,” which seems quite apropos considering the reign of terror we have imposed upon the Middle East, North Africa, the Balkans and, by proxy, upon the Russian oblasts in Ukraine. The rest of the world must realise that there can be no logical or moral justification for the United States to initiate an unrestrained kinetic war against Iran, which it relentlessly threatens to do without the least provocation.

      The almost comedic false flags orchestrated by American intel or special ops against oil tankers in the Persian Gulf only besmirch American honor and are no legitimate casi belli. Neither was the game of chicken Washington played with the Global Hawk drone it sent into Iranian air space. It seems inevitable that Washington will again direct an attack against some Iranian asset either in the Persian Gulf or over their own territory and when they attempt to defend themselves the American government will accuse them of aggression.

      It’s how we roll since our government and armed forces have been taken over by the warmongering neocons. We don’t need any of these conflicts stoked by those maniacs. They protect us (or our “allies”) from nothing, shield us from no threats, cost us a bundle of money we must borrow or create de novo via QE, put our ships, aircraft and personnel at risk, and reduce the respect and credibility this country has in the international arena. We are taken for deceiving, untrustworthy, reckless bullies without a clue, a plan or a set of morals who assume the rest of the world must bow down at our feet. We even routinely insult our only two immediate neighbors on this isolated continent, protected by two huge oceanic moats. Both are made to put purported American interests ahead of their own. Their leaders are insulted and browbeaten in the media until they comply. Some friends we are, eh?

      A criticism of this modus operandi is not an attack on America, its form of government or its people whatsoever. It amounts to a profound disagreement over what is sane and effective foreign policy in a world that our own actions have already made into a shooting gallery. We are supposedly free to critique and disagree with, if we must, any policy. Our policies must never be conflated to the status of our state or our nation. The latter two entities, if we are a fair and decent people living up to our founding declarations and constitution, should be assumed inherently good and worthy. Policy is fallible but mutable and can always be changed to support our never-ending quest to create a “more perfect union.” Those who tell you to STFU and sit down if you don’t like the way things are done in Washington are frauds and usurpers of the people’s constitutional powers. They seem to have outnumbered the good guys by a wide margin throughout this 21st century, and it’s time for that bullshit to stop.

    • old geezer
      July 9, 2019 at 10:37

      if you think the worst done by the iranians to the us is to call the us the great satan,
      you simply are not the realist you claim to be.

      by the way, are you comfortable with iran becoming a nuclear bomb power ? you are familiar with emp?

      two little ladies had to change their diapers after the fly by of a couple of loud aircraft. imagine how the little ladies would fare if the shtf .

    • AnneR
      July 9, 2019 at 12:46

      And pray tell, old geezer, what Iran has done to us – apart from call us the “great satan”?

      Do you mean the Khamanei led overthrow of the CIA installed Shah, installed, that is, after the CIA got rid of the democratically elected Mosaddegh?

      Do you mean the US embassy business? Well, shouldn’t try to undermine other countries’ governments, poke our noses into other nations internal affairs. Don’t want to get burnt, stay out of the kitchen.

    • anon4d2
      July 9, 2019 at 16:24

      Iran has done nothing to the US that the US did not willfully and extremely provoke. Perhaps you forgot that the US overthrew democracy there in 1953 and gave them 26 years of dictatorship. Iran has not sought nuclear weapons, even though it clearly needs them for defense.

    • rosemerry
      July 9, 2019 at 16:55

      your title is good but offensive to wise old people.

      “in order to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” you did not notice the JCPOA, now abandoned by the present maladministration.

    • Realist
      July 9, 2019 at 17:40

      As AnneR asks, geezer, exactly WHAT has Iran done to the USA or its interests? Nada. The independence that Washington stripped from Iran when it overthrew the democratically-elected Mosaddegh government was not ours to steal and Iran was right to seize it back from the shah who was nothing but an American puppet, as well as a ruthless dictator.

      Iran tries to exist as a normal country that exports oil to balance its budget. It has no huge standing army like Turkey, Egypt or Washington, in spite of being surrounded by would-be American puppet states (at least until Washington poisoned those waters in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan). It has invaded no one, though it has defended itself against American-instigated invaders, like Saddam Hussein. And it has assisted its ally Syria against a massive invasion by an army of American-recruited, -armed, -trained, and -paid mercenaries that transparently re-names itself every couple of months to keep American TV-viewers from getting pissed at our basically supporting al Qaeda, the nominal fall-guys for the 9-11 Kamikaze attack. Like the Shah, the Likud Party, the al Saud family and the head-choppers of al Qaeda, Saddam was entirely our guy–he received the best of American intelligence and weaponry, including chemical weapons to fight Iran, at least until we betrayed him when it became expedient. Speaking of “ladies,” the USA has never refrained from using them to implement its worst skullduggery. April Glaspy, stand up and take a bow next to Victoria Nuland.

      Iran never had a nuclear arms program. This was a fallacious confection of the organized criminals that run the Jewish state. The history of its nuclear energy program and Iran’s pledge to eschew the development of any nuclear weapons was all spelled out in the JCPOA treaty signed by seven powerful state entities including the UN Security Council. My “being comfortable with Iran having a nuclear bomb” is not an issue whatsover, and, truth be told, the idea gives me no more discomfort than Israel having the bomb. The possession of such weaponry by any country bothers me, including the USA which, by signing the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, has promised to phase out its own nuclear stockpile, but has taken absolutely no action on that over the course of many decades. Which country should have greater credibility when it comes to talking straight on nuclear weaponry–Iran or the USA? Iran is nowhere near the hypocrite that is Washington. It opened up its entire nuclear program AND missile development programs to international observers who swarmed the place like ants at a picnic. Even now it is still reporting every action it takes with respect to the JCPOA to all the other signatories–except Washington which was the only party that reneged on the deal. The USA makes empty promises in treaties it never adheres to. It still possesses chemical and bacteriological weapons stockpiles that it agreed to dismantle decades ago.

      Yeah, I’m familiar with EMP. As long as no country is suicidal there will never be one induced by human actions. I am more concerned with the very real possibility of a coronal mass ejection from the Sun which could replicate the Carrington Event of the 19th century and send all our technology back to the stone age. This is something we could take precautions to mitigate (not prevent) by hardening our essential power grid and stockpiling the critical huge transformers we would never be able to replace in an imposed pre-industrial, pre-electronic society. Yet, like congenital morons we take no precautions against an event that is absolutely certain to happen though totally unpredictable–like building Silicon Valley, the epicenter of terrestrial digital technology (until China put their collectively higher IQ to the task) on the biggest earthquake fault known to exist in North America. Instead of questioning how Iran threatens the future of civilisation and the very existence of our species, perhaps your queries would better be directed, geezer, at the American government and the aristocracy that micromanages all that it does. Just maybe they don’t really care if the lot of us are culled in some natural or man-made catastrophe, except for them in their luxury bunkers and ocean-going arks (aka mega-yachts), of course.

    • Skip Scott
      July 10, 2019 at 06:19

      Wow. Great comment Realist. The old geezer must be apoplectic. His entire world view has been dismantled. His disclosure of working in the defense industry comes as no surprise. If he doesn’t prop up his jingoistic world-view his ego will crumble; thus thinking has been replaced with cliches like “where does your freedom come from?”

    • Realist
      July 11, 2019 at 01:51

      Skip,

      I simply apply the principles of logic and analysis that I learned over a lifetime of working in science. First I collect all the known dots (facts) I can possibly find and then connect them in the most parsimonious way possible. Occam’s Razor usually points directly to the truth. Working in academia, where it’s “publish or perish,” also helped sharpen my writing skills. It might be easy to publish in pop science, but passing muster in a peer-reviewed journal is no mean feat. Because of my writing skills, which first emerged as a student, I ended up having all the requisite PR assignments and bureaucratic bilge, for which there were usually budgetary consequences, dumped on my desk as well. Geezer might be more skilled with a sword than moi, but I will always be more facile with a pen (I should say a keyboard in today’s world).

      I truly admire the professional writers who submit their work to this venue, people like Pepe Escobar, Caitlin Johnstone, and John Lauria amongst others. Robert Parry was, of course, the best. They not only connect factual dots in powerful and lucid narratives to analyse the major issues of our times for their readers, they actually mine the data they present. They dig up the facts, which are not always easy to come by, especially in a high security state like this one.

      I suppose many of us who read and make commentary here could have been political speech writers or even media pundits, but that would have felt too much like being a propagandist.

    • AnneR
      July 9, 2019 at 12:41

      Most of your comment is unassailable and on point, Realist.

      But “American honor”? What exactly is that? And this assessment: “It’s how we roll since our government and armed forces have been taken over by the warmongering neocons.”

      From my understanding of American history (from its colonial period to now) it has always been a country based on killing, dispossession, one with an inflated, preening ego – derived from its British imperialist origins.

      As for the “government and armed forces” having been “taken over by warmongering neocons”? Huh? Only neocons? From this vantage I would aver that “warmongering” has been stock-in-trade for the USA under all political stripes, most particularly from the last year of WWII onward.

    • Realist
      July 9, 2019 at 19:19

      I said we besmirch our honor. I didn’t say that such honor was in good stead or well-respected around the world. In fact, it is not, as should be implicit from my lengthy accounting of our many sins.

      There was meant to be no implication by me that America has suddenly developed this rapacity towards so many other nations and, indeed, even many of its own inhabitants (as we know the histories of the native Americans and the African slaves). In fact, I opened with a reference to how we bullied Japan into committing a first strike against us to precipitate America’s entry into World War II. All the provocations and atrocities throughout our history that you mention, I’ve written about many times before and felt no need to rehash them here, which was a focus on more current offenses.

      “It’s how we roll” is a modern day expression and was used to underscore this transition to why it is we are so cussed in this particular day and age. The most bellicose faction that is responsible for most of the carnage met out by America’s modern meat grinder military has certainly been the Neocons. There was a time when things were done but not talked about, certainly not gloated about. The army could be mustered to come down on some Caribbean banana republic or a native American tribe like a ton of bricks if they strayed from Uncle Sam’s ideas of their limitations, but we didn’t revel in the process of bloodletting, at least not in the history books used in American schools. That starkly changed, did it not, when Madeline Albright loudly enquired of General Collin Powell, “what’s the point of having this wonderful military if we’re not going to use it?” President Donald Trump has now pointedly asked the same question with respect to nuclear weapons.

      It has certainly been the Neocons who have excelled at the kinds of dirty tricks, the lies, the deceptions, the false narratives, the false flags, which I briefly touched upon. The general ruse may have been employed before, but nowadays we seem not to care that our lies, deceptions, misleading rhetoric, false flags, and the like are as transparent as hell. We know we are dispensing pure bullshit. The target country, of course, knows this. So does the other major powers and probably every diplomat in the U.N., the EU and whatever organization of states might be temporarily or permanently assigned the portfolio at hand. The American corporate media damned well knows the actual truths but dutifully dispenses the lies in service of their aristocrat owners, members of the oligarchy that pulls all the strings behind the scenes. Probably even most of the American people know they are being duped, but say nothing because they feel they can do nothing to change matters, and might also get in hot water if they try to “fight city hall.”

      One might argue whether the transition to this mess was gradual or abrupt. Surely they lied us into Vietnam–though the ruse at Tonkin wasn’t immediately apparent to the public. Probably even Korea and the “Good War” against Germany and Japan were ginned up before they were embraced by the people. Personally, I don’t think the people back then would have accepted that they were simply duped into making such heart-rending but futile sacrifices for the benefit of just a bunch of warmongering racketeering buck capitalists rather than giving their all in support of America the Myth, as taught in school and propagandized by the media of the day. Once they finally gained clarity on what was really going on with respect to Vietnam, all hell broke loose in the streets. I was there. I remember it vividly. It’s what got Nixon canned, the draft ended and the troops out of Nam. The Korean vets would have been equally nonplussed if the charade had been exposed. The greatest generation were acclaimed heroes so they had no motive to reassess reality. Now, with the Neocons holding sway and intransigently insisting that “peace is not the answer,” and entreating us to just “give war a chance,” most Americans seem either to conform as expected to the never-ending propaganda or they simply block out the issues as part of their reality. They either express a desire to put Russia, China, Iran, Syria (fill in the blank) in its place using American military might, or they profess total ignorance about all the conflicts our leaders keep at high boil on the stove-top. I think most know the truth is out there and quite different from the narrative, but they can’t or won’t buck it.

    • Realist
      July 9, 2019 at 19:20

      I answered you at length. My effort is being “moderated.” You’ll have to wait.

    • Gregory Herr
      July 9, 2019 at 20:07

      You indeed provide an example of what it means to live up to our founding declarations and constitution in a most fair and decent fashion. When citizens deem the policies of our government to be wrong, dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

  13. elmerfudzie
    July 8, 2019 at 20:31

    It would be instructive to return to the Nixon era, examine his strategy that removed Gold as a redeemable security (Gold Standard) for the paper USD, replacing it with a “petrol-dollar”. The thought to ponder is, what commodity or equivalent can in a manner of speaking (ounce-for-ounce) substitute the value of gold? There is but one replacement for that incorruptible yellow glow…it is not solid, liquid or gaseous but does have a quality like no other. Sheer military might, the guarantee s to project such forces, use violence, to unhesitatingly unleash human and material destruction, use intimidation, all these with a touch of nihilistic ardor.

    President Nixon foresaw the evolution of western Occident economies from manufacture of lower tech finished products (cars, dishwashers, non-nuclear commercial energy facilities, basic pharmaceutical production and corporate farming, mining and extraction) into ever higher numbers of technical break through s with shorter and shorter lag times from research into production. The second and third world countries now possess sufficient technical know how to cheaply (heavy word here) manufacture common household items and too, sustained agriculture for domestic consumption and export. There are few avenues left for the USA’s economic prowess except for finance, advanced medicine, weaponry and outer space exploration, including satellites.

    To sum up this thesis, The United States is unfairly portrayed as a sadistic, malevolent force bent on predation. When in fact we are by default , as I’ve already explained here, the gutter cleaners of the world, hired hand for deeds so unsavory that others will pay us to do what they cannot bring themselves to do. In short, we’re the only sheriff that all the other sheriffs must answer to. Our boss is God himself! This is said with much, much trepidation lest our nation provoke a fiery and irreversible vengeance from above! ASIDE: This vengeance may be the subconscious wish of NeoCons and banksters who see no profit in a fat and happy Western World. A world of zillions of middle class Asians and Westerners all in happy stasis. Yuck, what profit in that! they grumble! War and all it’s Booms and Busts! Humanity should throw a big net over this lot and send them to Mars, it’s the war planet isn’t it?

    As I’ve previously commented in CONSORTIUMNEWS, Iranian scientists are proving to be the real deal when it comes to high tech weaponry and advancing “tweaking” nuclear technologies dating back to the 1950’s. In my opinion, the Shahab-3/ Zelzal-3 missile warheads will be armed with flux compression generator bombs (FCGs). They constitute a class of e-bomb or EMP bomb, developed several years after WW II ended. A barrage of Shahabs would detonate FCG’s, or similar non-nuclear EMP devises, over critical infrastructure targets such as Dimona, centers of government (Tel Aviv) and military installations (Air Force). Therefor neither Israel or the US can logistically circumvent those devastating consequences by provoking Iran into a “first strike” I say this in quotation because the West has collectively fired the first shot against Iran, with sanctions in both trade in financial exchanges (SWIFT, gold thefts, commodity trade restrictions, cyber attacks)

    Let’s leave those geriatric, billionaire mullahs alone for a while. It’s time to go back to big drills and fabulous showcases…Trump has the right idea here, more or less, stick to great fashion shows. The problem is, who’ll buy weapons if mini wars don’t break out? Quite a conundrum eh? How about this folks, a grand naval effort to clean up the mounds of ocean plastics floating around? or an Air Force program that cleans up all the space junk? Ugh, any takers willing to finance the ‘ol U.S. of A? keeping us busy will keep us, out of your hair?

    • Sam F
      July 8, 2019 at 21:39

      At least 80 percent of our military can be re-purposed to build infrastructure in developing nations, without denying them jobs. The cost is less, the security effect is greater, and those afraid of imaginary foreign monsters can rest assured that the development services can be absorbed back into the military fairly quickly. Even the MIC can produce the materials and equipment needed. No one loses but the zionists and anti-socialists, the nemeses of our former democracy.

    • elmerfudzie
      July 10, 2019 at 10:10

      Sam F. I’d like to believe that 80 per cent figure. Where ever did you find the quote for that re purposed number? As I recall, most of our naval and air power ends up either sold for scrap, donated to our allies for their merchant marine or forever preserved at the Davis-Monthan AFB.

    • Sam F
      July 10, 2019 at 19:44

      That’s my rough estimate based upon our actual defensive and deterrent needs, presuming that we pull back from all foreign engagements except humanitarian operations under UN control, greatly reduce weapons development under arms treaties, mothball most heavy weapons, and move most personnel to foreign infrastructure building to avoid denying them jobs. Most other developed nations appear to have roughly 10-30% of our military expenditures. Of course, part of the deterrent is having trained men able to move back to a military role if needed. Figures of 10-30% are plausible. Detailed planning would of course be necessary before implementation.

    • Sam F2
      July 10, 2019 at 21:56

      That’s my rough estimate based upon our actual defensive and deterrent needs, presuming that we pull back from all foreign engagements except humanitarian operations under UN control, greatly reduce weapons development under arms treaties, mothball most ships, aircraft, and heavy weapons, and move most personnel to foreign infrastructure building to avoid denying them jobs. Most other developed nations appear to have roughly 10-30% of our military expenditures. Of course, part of the deterrent is having trained men able to move back to a military role if needed. Figures of 10-30% are plausible. Detailed planning would of course be necessary before implementation.

  14. KiwiAntz
    July 8, 2019 at 20:16

    Trump’s salute to America, brought to you by Boeing! Did anyone catch that little kernel of info before this sad, aerial display took place? The whole, Fourth of July celebration is a phoney one, celebrating a Nation that is not a Republic or for that matter, even a Democracy? Its a Corporate, Military Cronyistic Oligarchy, so much for Independence from tyranny? Also with regards to Iran, if Trump’s America is stupid enough to attack Iran then roll the dice? In 2002, the Pentagon ran numerous, conventional Battlefield, War Game simulations of a War with Iran & none of the scenarios ended well for America? Then they tried a scenario by cheating on the War game & yet they still lost? The Pentagon knows full well that a War with Iran cannot be won & the only Victory would be a pyrrhic one at huge cost to America & it’s Middle Eastern Allies? Apart from the trillions lost & the humiliation of any defeat, greater than Vietnam, America’s got more to lose, out of any conflict than Iran has, who has nothing to lose & will fight, all out to protect their Land & Sovereignty? Iran & its proxies would destroy all Saudi Arabian Oil infrastructure & end America’s Petrodollar system for good? That would end America’s US Dollars World Reserve currency status leading to a massive financial collapse in the US! Already, Nations in Eurasia such as Russia, China, Iraq, Syria & China are co-ordinating their efforts to thwart the chaotic, divide & rule tactics of the West & particularly the US & is slowly bringing a return to International Laws based on the UN Charter & transitioning away from the lawless US “rules based order” that America seeks to impose based on nothing but War Crimes & Criminal behaviour against Sovereign Nations seeking their own Independence? Ironic isn’t it that other Nations, on America’s Independence Day Holiday are seeking Independence from the American Empire, this dying, waning Hegemon!

  15. July 8, 2019 at 18:30

    The US Department of Offense (um, anyone really believe this is about de-fense?) is the world’s biggest polluter, contributing who knows how many tons of hazardous waste and fossil fuels burning by the rockets’ red glare?!?

    https://osociety.org/2019/07/05/doubling-down-the-military-big-bankers-and-big-oil-are-not-in-climate-denial-they-are-in-control-and-plan-to-keep-it-that-way/

    The neoconservative/ neoliberal (they can all burn in hell) ideology will not allow us to take off the star spangled cheap sunglasses for a moment to take in the glory of the Anthropocene eclipse of the human race because… wait for it… hegemony, oil, and dollars are white people’s gift to the world (or what’s left of it).

    But hey, how ’bout them *Patriots and Bill Kraft getting busted in the massage parlor and the red, white, and blue spectacle, huh?

    • Jeff Harrison
      July 8, 2019 at 21:22

      Ya know, O, until the great onslaught of PC post WWII, it was called the Department of War.

    • July 9, 2019 at 08:48

      Indeed it was, Jeff. I find it Offensive, and hence, propose another name change to one which fits. Department of Offense is running neck and neck with Destabilization, Inc

      https://osociety.org/2019/05/05/destabilization-inc/

      and the Church of Humanitarian Intervention

      https://osociety.org/2019/01/04/mass-psychosis-and-the-church-of-humanitarian-interventionism/

      What’s your vote?

    • O Society
      July 11, 2019 at 10:48

      I have friends and relatives in the military. We should appreciate their service in keeping us safe. I do.

      However, the war pigs at Lockheed and Ratheon and so on pulling the strings are not serving anyone but themselves at an all-you-can-kill buffet.

    • AnneR
      July 9, 2019 at 12:49

      Yes Jeff – and wasn’t that far more honest? Since then it’s been pretense – Offense named Defense. And thanks O Society – right on.

  16. Brian James
    July 8, 2019 at 18:01

    All part of the Pentagons plan’s spoken by Clark captured on video for viewing .

    Sep 11, 2011 General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned – Seven Countries In Five Years

    “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”

    https://youtu.be/9RC1Mepk_Sw

  17. Brian James
    July 8, 2019 at 17:54

    June 23, 2019 Trump Has a $259 Million Reason to Bomb Iran

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, for his part, is staking out the position that the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force allows the administration to take military action against Iran without congressional approval, an unusual and broadly criticized interpretation of congressional oversight.

    https://lobelog.com/trump-has-a-259-million-reason-to-bomb-iran/

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