MCViewPoint

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Posts Tagged ‘Mike Pompeo’

No Respite for the Wicked, Pompeo Unleashed

Posted by M. C. on March 24, 2020

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/03/23/no-respite-for-the-wicked-pompeo-unleashed/

 Tom Luongo

There are few things in this life that make me more sick to my stomach than watching Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talking. He truly is one of the evilest men I’ve ever had the displeasure of covering.

Into the insanity of the over-reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak, Pompeo wasted no time ramping up sanctions on firms doing any business with Iran, one of the countries worse-hit by this virus to date.

It’s a seemingly endless refrain, everyday, more sanctions on Chinese, Swiss and South African firms for having the temerity in these deflating times to buy oil from someone Pompeo and his gang of heartless psychopaths disapprove of.

This goes far beyond just the oil industry. Even though I’m well aware that Russia’s crashing the price of oil was itself a hybrid war attack on U.S. capital markets. One that has had, to date, devastating effect.

While Pompeo mouths the words publicly that humanitarian aid is exempted from sanctions on Iran, the U.S. is pursuing immense pressure on companies to not do so anyway while the State Dept. bureaucracy takes its sweet time processing waiver applications.

Pompeo and his ilk only think in terms of civilizational warfare. They have become so subsumed by their big war for the moral high ground to prove American exceptionalism that they have lost any shred of humanity they may have ever had.

Because for Pompeo in times like these to stick to his talking points and for his office to continue excising Iran from the global economy when we’re supposed to be coming together to fight a global pandemic is the height of soullessness.

And it speaks to the much bigger problem that infects all of our political thinking. There comes a moment when politics and gaining political advantage have to take a back seat to doing the right thing.

I’ve actually seen moments of that impulse from the Democratic leadership in the U.S. Will wonders never cease?!

Thinking only in Manichean terms of good vs. evil and dehumanizing your opponents is actually costlier than reversing course right now. Because honey is always better at attracting flies than vinegar.

But, unfortunately, that is not the character of the Trump administration.

It can only think in terms of direct leverage and opportunity to hold onto what they think they’ve achieved. So, until President Trump is no longer consumed with coordinating efforts to control COVID-19 Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper are in charge of foreign policy. They will continue the playbook that has been well established.

Maximum pressure on Iran, hurt China any way they can, hold onto what they have in Syria, stay in Iraq.

To that end Iraqi President Barham Salei nominated Pompeo’s best choice to replace Prime Minister Adil Abdel Mahdi to throw Iraq’s future into complete turmoil. According to Elijah Magnier, Adnan al-Zarfi is a U.S. asset through and through.

And this looks like Pompeo’s Hail Mary to retain U.S. legal presence in Iraq after the Iraqi parliament adopted a measure to demand withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country. Airstrikes against U.S. bases in Iraq continue on a near daily basis and there have been reports of U.S. base closures and redeployments at the same time.

This move looks like desperation by Pompeo et.al. to finally separate the Hashd al-Shaabi from Iraq’s official military. So that airstrikes against them can be carried out under the definition of ‘fighting Iranian terrorism.’

As Magnier points out in the article above if al-Zarfi puts a government together the war in Iraq will expand just as the U.S. is losing further control in Syria after Turkish President Erdogan’s disastrous attempt to remake the front in Idlib. That ended with his effective surrender to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The more I watch these moves by Pompeo the more sympathetic I become to the most sinister theories about COVID-19, its origins and its launch around the world. Read Pepe Escobar’s latest to get an idea of how dark and twisted this tale could be.

It is sad that, to me, I see no reason to doubt Pompeo and his ilk in the U.S. government wouldn’t do something like that to spark political and social upheaval in those places most targeted by U.S. hybrid war tactics.

But, at the same time, I can see the other side of it, a vicious strike back by China against its tormentors. And China’s government does itself, in my mind, no favors threatening to withhold drug precursors and having officials run their mouths giving Americans the excuse they need to validate Trump and Pompeo’s divisive rhetoric.

Remaining on the fence about this issue isn’t my normal style. But everyone is dirty here and the reality may well be this is a natural event terrible people on both sides are exploiting.

And I can only go by what people do rather than what they say to assess the situation. Trump tries to buy exclusive right to a potential COVID-19 vaccine from a German firm and his administration slow-walks aid to Iran.

China sends aid to Iran and Italy by the container full. Is that to salve their conscience over its initial suppression of information about the virus? Good question. But no one covers themselves in glory by using the confusion and distraction to attempt further regime change and step up war-footing during a public health crisis, manufactured or otherwise.

While Pompeo unctuously talks the talk of compassion and charity, he cannot bring himself to actually walk the walk. Because he is a despicable, bile-filled man of uncommon depravity. His prosecuting a hybrid war during a public health crisis speaks to no other conclusion about him.

It’s clear to me that nothing has changed at the top of Trump’s administration. I expect COVID-19 will not be a disaster for Trump and the U.S. It can handle this. But the lack of humanity shown by its diplomatic corps ensures that in the long run the U.S. will be left to fend for itself when the next crisis hits.

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“Iran Must Begin Acting Like A Normal Nation,” Says Totally Normal Nation – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on January 15, 2020

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to expand its interests from the region and begin toppling noncompliant governments and invading nations all around the world.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to circle the planet with hundreds of Iranian military bases.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to obtain thousands of nuclear weapons, and actually use a couple of them.

The US doesn’t want Iran to be like America. The US wants Iran to be like the other nations which have allowed themselves to be absorbed into the blob of the US-centralized empire.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/01/13/iran-must-begin-acting-like-a-normal-nation-says-totally-normal-nation/

The government which runs a globe-spanning empire led by a reality TV host keeps talking about the lack of normality in the nation of Iran.

“What we want all countries to join in,” said State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus in a recent Fox News interview, “is to help us not only to de-escalate any tensions with Iran, but to help us bring Iran to a place where they are ready to stop their terrorist and malign behavior, and where they are ready to discuss with the United States, with Europe, with everyone, about how they can change their behavior to act like a normal nation.”

“We want Iran to simply behave like a normal nation,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a press statement the other day. “We believe that the sanctions we imposed today further that strategic objective.”

These would be the additional sanctions which have been expanded to include virtually the entire Iranian economy, deliberately targeting Iran’s already sanction-starved populace, with the explicit goal of fomenting a civil war in that nation.

Which is of course a perfectly normal thing to do, from a perfectly normal nation.

This would be the same Iran whose cultural heritage sites were threatened with destruction if it retaliated for the totally normal assassination of its top military official via flying robot. The same Iran whose financial system was just threatened with destruction using the totally normal hegemony of American central banking. Perfectly normal, perfectly healthy.

So what can Iran do to become a “normal nation”? Well, since it’s the United States making this demand, we can safely assume that it’s the model Iran should look to.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to expand its interests from the region and begin toppling noncompliant governments and invading nations all around the world.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to circle the planet with hundreds of Iranian military bases.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to obtain thousands of nuclear weapons, and actually use a couple of them.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to become the most dominant military, economic and cultural force in the world, and then use that dominance to destroy any government, political party, ideology, faction, movement or person who stands in its way.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to arm violent extremist factions all around the world with the goal of eliminating all governments that refuse to bow to its interests.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to become the dominant producer of films, music and TV shows and use this influence to propagandize its power structure’s ideology to every possible cultural sphere.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to begin meddling in scores of democratic elections all around the world and then crying for years at the possibility of any nation returning the favor.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to shore up economic control of the world so that it can crush any sort of disobedience by starving civilians and depriving them of medical care while pretending that it’s a force for peace.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to indefinitely occupy a vast region on the other side of the planet with thousands upon thousands of troops and trillions of dollars in military equipment, to no benefit of a single ordinary Iranian, and against the will of the people who live there.

In order to become a normal nation, Iran will need to create a presidency led by a reality TV star oligarch who is only supported because Iran’s populace is so disgusted with the status quo of their government.

I am kidding, of course. The US government does not want Iran to become like the US. The US government does not want any nation to become like the US. The US likes its abnormality among nations just the way it is, thank you very much. The US is the exception to all its own rules. That’s how American exceptionalism works. This is one of those “do as I say, not as I do” situations.

The US doesn’t want Iran to be like America. The US wants Iran to be like the other nations which have allowed themselves to be absorbed into the blob of the US-centralized empire.

The US would be perfectly happy for Iran to begin acting like Saudi Arabia: arming terrorist factions, beheading heretics, committing war crimes and deliberately creating humanitarian disasters for geostrategic convenience, yet aligning fully with US military, financial, and resource control agendas.

The US would be perfectly happy for Iran to begin acting like Israel: a nuclear-armed military outpost which constantly bombs adjacent nations, interferes in the US and other nations’ politics to shore up support, works toward the slow extermination of its indigenous population and fires upon protesters with live ammunition.

The US would be perfectly happy for Iran to begin acting like Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand or the EU: obedient military/intelligence assets who function as extra American states when it comes to foreign policy and international affairs.

That is what the US means by acting “normal”. Not acting moral. Not acting healthy. Certainly not acting like the US. It means acting obedient, compliant, and enslaved.

Which is precisely what Iran is resisting.

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Iraqi PM reveals Soleimani was on peace mission when assassinated, exploding Trump’s lie of ‘imminent attacks’ | The Grayzone

Posted by M. C. on January 10, 2020

According to Abdul-Mahdi, he had planned to meet Soleimani on the morning the general was killed to discuss a diplomatic rapproachment that Iraq was brokering between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Abdul-Mahdi said that Trump personally thanked him for the efforts, even as he was planning the hit on Soleimani – thus creating the impression that the Iranian general was safe to travel to Baghdad.

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/01/06/soleimani-peace-mission-assassinated-trump-lie-imminent-attacks/

The Trump administration claimed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was planning “imminent attacks” on US interests when it assassinated him. That lie was just destroyed, but not before countless corporate media outlets transmitted it to the public.

By Max Blumenthal

Desperate to justify the US drone assassination of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted that Washington had made an “intelligence-based assessment” that Soleimani was “actively planning in the region” to attack American interests before he was killed.

President Donald Trump justified his fateful decision to kill the Iranian general in even more explicit language, declaring that Soleimani was planning “imminent attacks” on US diplomatic facilities and personnel across the Middle East.

“We took action last night to stop a war,” Trump claimed. “We did not take action to start a war.”

Trump’s dubious rationale for an indisputably criminal assassination has been repeated widely across corporate media networks, and often without any skepticism or debate.

At a January 3 State Department briefing, where reporters finally got the chance to demand evidence for the claim of an “imminent” threat, one US official erupted in anger.

“Jesus, do we have to explain why we do these things?” he barked at the press.

Two days later, when Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi addressed his country’s parliament, Trump’s justification for killing Soleimani was exposed as a cynical lie.

According to Abdul-Mahdi, he had planned to meet Soleimani on the morning the general was killed to discuss a diplomatic rapproachment that Iraq was brokering between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Abdul-Mahdi said that Trump personally thanked him for the efforts, even as he was planning the hit on Soleimani – thus creating the impression that the Iranian general was safe to travel to Baghdad.

Soleimani had arrived in Baghdad not to plan attacks on American targets, but to coordinate de-escalation with Saudi Arabia. Indeed, he was killed while on an actual peace mission that could have created political distance between the Gulf monarchy and members of the US-led anti-Iran axis like Israel.

The catastrophic results of Soleimani’s killing recall the Obama administration’s 2016 assassination of Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansur, a Taliban leader who was eager to negotiate a peaceful end to the US occupation of Afghanistan. Mansur’s death wound up empowering hardline figures in the Taliban who favored a total military victory over the US and triggered an uptick in violence across the country, dooming hopes for a negotiated exit.

Since Soleimani’s assassination, Iraq’s parliament has voted to expel all US troops from the country and Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has sworn to exact a “severe revenge” on the “the criminals who have stained their hands with [Soleimani’s] and the other martyrs’ blood…”

Trump, for his part, tweeted a litany of gangster-like threats, promising to destroy Iranian cultural sites if it retaliated and pledging to sanction Iraq “like they’ve never been before” if it ousted US troops.

Trump’s treacherous assassination has brought the US closer to war than ever before against a country more militarily potent than any adversary it has faced since the Korean War. And as with the failed US invasion of Iraq, Washington’s casus belli for triggering this conflict was based on falsified intelligence sold to Americans by administration officials, and on a pliant Beltway media acting as their megaphone.

With its claim of “imminent attacks,” the Trump administration has essentially re-mixed Condoleeza Rice’s 2003 warning that “we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” Back then, the US attacked a sovereign state to rid it of WMD that did not exist. This time, it killed the second-most important Iranian official to prevent a killing spree that was not on the way. And Trump administration officials knew they were lying.

In fact, Pompeo pitched assassinating Soleimani to Trump several months ago, well before any attacks were “imminent.” And in the wake of the general’s killing, a US official revealed to the New York Times that the NSA had intercepted “communications the United States had between Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and General Suleimani showing that the ayatollah had not yet approved any plans by the general for an attack.”

But the preponderance of evidence exposing Trump’s basis for killing Soleimani as a titanic lie has not generated the same level of media interest as the lie itself.

On January 3, CNN assigned three reporters to disseminate the Trump administration’s disinformation about Soleimani, claiming without a hint of critical detachment that he was “planning specific attacks on US interests, including US personnel.”

After the story went live, CNN’s lead reporter, Jim Sciutto, reached out to another official US source to “confirm” his now-discredited piece of war propaganda. In Sciutto’s mind, if more than one US official says a thing, it must be true.

Sciutto is not just any run-of-the-mill national security reporter. During the Obama era, he accepted a job as chief of staff at the US Embassy in Beijing, placing himself at the center of Washington’s gathering Cold War with China. Now back behind CNN’s anchor desk, Sciutto poses as a ferocious critic of Trump while providing the Pentagon and State Department with reliable stenographic services.

No president in recent history has been despised more viscerally by the Beltway press corps than Trump. Nearly everything he says is met with disdain and suspicion, even when he is telling the truth.

But when Trump and his administration attempt to lie the public into war against a designated evildoer, a swath of the corporate media responds with reflexive trust, then shrugs when the lie is exposed in broad daylight.

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Why I Don’t Trust Trump on Iran

Posted by M. C. on January 7, 2020

At some point, when we’ve been lied to constantly and consistently for decades about a “threat” that we must “take out” with a military attack, there comes a time where we must assume they are lying until they provide rock solid, irrefutable proof. Thus far they have provided nothing. So I don’t believe them.

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/january/06/why-i-don-t-trust-trump-on-iran/

Written by Ron Paul

President Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told us the US had to assassinate Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani last week because he was planning “Imminent attacks” on US citizens. I don’t believe them.

Why not? Because Trump and the neocons – like Pompeo – have been lying about Iran for the past three years in an effort to whip up enough support for a US attack. From the phony justification to get out of the Iran nuclear deal, to blaming Yemen on Iran, to blaming Iran for an attack on Saudi oil facilities, the US Administration has fed us a steady stream of lies for three years because they are obsessed with Iran.

And before Trump’s obsession with attacking Iran, the past four US Administrations lied ceaselessly to bring about wars on Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Serbia, Somalia, and the list goes on.

At some point, when we’ve been lied to constantly and consistently for decades about a “threat” that we must “take out” with a military attack, there comes a time where we must assume they are lying until they provide rock solid, irrefutable proof. Thus far they have provided nothing. So I don’t believe them.

President Trump has warned that his administration has already targeted 52 sites important to Iran and Iranian culture and the US will attack them if Iran retaliates for the assassination of Gen. Soleimani. Because Iran has no capacity to attack the United States, Iran’s retaliation if it comes will likely come against US troops or US government officials stationed or visiting the Middle East. I have a very easy solution for President Trump that will save the lives of American servicemembers and other US officials: just come home. There is absolutely no reason for US troops to be stationed throughout the Middle East to face increased risk of death for nothing.

In our Ron Paul Liberty Report program last week we observed that the US attack on a senior Iranian military officer on Iraqi soil – over the objection of the Iraq government – would serve to finally unite the Iraqi factions against the United States. And so it has: on Sunday the Iraqi parliament voted to expel US troops from Iraqi soil. It may have been a non-binding resolution, but there is no mistaking the sentiment. US troops are not wanted and they are increasingly in danger. So why not listen to the Iraqi parliament?

Bring our troops home, close the US Embassy in Baghdad – a symbol of our aggression – and let the people of the Middle East solve their own problems. Maintain a strong defense to protect the United States, but end this neocon pipe-dream of ruling the world from the barrel of a gun. It does not work. It makes us poorer and more vulnerable to attack. It makes the elites of Washington rich while leaving working and middle class America with the bill. It engenders hatred and a desire for revenge among those who have fallen victim to US interventionist foreign policy. And it results in millions of innocents being killed overseas.

There is no benefit to the United States to trying to run the world. Such a foreign policy brings only bankruptcy – moral and financial. Tell Congress and the Administration that for America’s sake we demand the return of US troops from the Middle East!


Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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Pompeo Gives Away the Palestinian West Bank, by Philip Giraldi – The Unz Review

Posted by M. C. on November 27, 2019

The decades long building of Israeli settlements on Palestinian homelands, with nothing but silence from Washington, should have made plain to anyone more paying attention that a 2 state solution was never in the cards.

http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/pompeo-gives-away-the-palestinian-west-bank/

A story has been circulating suggesting that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will soon be resigning because he needs to focus on planning for his campaign to become a Senator from Kansas in 2020. This is good news for the United States, as Senator Lindsey Graham has had no one he is able to talk to about exporting democracy by blowing up the planet since Joe Lieberman retired and John McCain died. And the tale even has a bit of palace intrigue built into it, with an interesting back story as Pompeo is apparently considering his move because he fears that staying in harness with Donald Trump for too long might damage his reputation. There are also reports that he has been traveling to Kansas frequently on the State Department’s dime to test the waters, a violation of the Hatch Act which prohibits most government officials from engaging in self-promotional political activities unrelated to their actual jobs.

If one is seeking evidence to suggest that Pompeo, a man who lies with a fluency that takes one’s breath away, is delusional, it would certainly have to include his self-assessment that he has a reputation to protect. It is possible to cite many instances in which Pompeo has asserted something that is absolutely contrary to the truth, though one might also have to concede that he could often be saying what his factually challenged boss wants to hear. When Pompeo was Director of the CIA he even joked openly about how “We lied, we cheated, we stole.”

Mike Pompeo’s latest concession to the war criminals in charge of Israel, clearly intended to boost the electoral chances of Benjamin Netanyahu, is only the most recent dose of the Secretary of State’s falsehood piled on fiction. It is generally assumed that the move to help Bibi by interfering in Israeli politics has been made in an effort to have Tel Aviv reciprocate by putting pressure on its many American fellow travelers in the media and congress to go easier on Trump in the impeachment saga…

The Trump Administration’s gifts to Israel are unprecedented, including moving the capital to Jerusalem and acknowledging the annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights. Pompeo, driven by his Christian Zionist beliefs, has been the point man on many of those moves, ably assisted by a U.S. Ambassador David Friedman, ex-bankruptcy lawyer, who has served as a consistent advocate and apologist for Israel with little or no concern for actual American interests. One might also observe that if Pompeo is truly interested in running for the Senate a little help and cash from Israel and its many friends might be very welcome.

The Pompeo gift to Bibi was announced early last week. He said that the Trump Administration is now rejecting the 1978 State Department Hansell Memorandum legal opinion that the creation of civilian settlements in occupied territories is indeed “inconsistent with international law.” In a sense, he was giving something away to Israel that neither he nor the Israelis legally possess. He said that he was “accepting realities on the ground” and elaborated on his view that the White House believes legal questions about settlements should be dealt with in Israeli courts, meaning that the hapless Palestinians would have no voice in developments that would deprive them of their homes...

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Arab League warns against Israel’s West Bank settlements ...

 

 

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Pompeo: Israeli Settlements in West Bank Don’t Violate International Law – News From Antiwar.com

Posted by M. C. on November 19, 2019

This position further encourages the Israeli government to take steps to make the occupation permanent, secure in the knowledge that the US government is prepared to ignore international law.

The only people who believed in a two state solution were the unwashed masses duped by the presstitute media.

https://news.antiwar.com/2019/11/18/pompeo-israeli-settlements-in-west-bank-dont-violate-international-law/

In a move seen as a further blow to Palestinian hopes for statehood, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that the US is repudiating the 1978 State Department legal opinion that the Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine are in violation of international law.

The Fourth Geneva Convention is very clear about settlements being illegal, as it explicitly bars an occupying power from transferring its own civilian population into occupied territory.

Pompeo’s position is that the US stance on West Bank settlements is based on “unique facts.” While not necessarily trying to reinterpret international law, the State Department will now argue that international law doesn’t advance the cause of peace and therefore should be ignored.

Instead, Pompeo will argue that any legal questions on Israel building settlements in occupied Palestine should be handled within Israeli courts. He added that he did not intend to prejudge the status of the Wes Bank in any peace deal.

This position further encourages the Israeli government to take steps to make the occupation permanent, secure in the knowledge that the US government is prepared to ignore international law. It also seemingly encourages them to block Palestinian statehood to allow for more settlements in the future.

In bolstering the Israeli far-right’s annexation position, the new US stance is likely intended to bolster Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a time when his survival as premier is in doubt. Trump has expressed a preference for Netanyahu.

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Pompeo Can’t Blame Iran For Attacking Itself – Gold Goats ‘n Guns

Posted by M. C. on October 12, 2019

They jumped the gun on impeachment. They didn’t neuter Trump, they unleashed him. Because he simply has nothing left to lose…

https://tomluongo.me/2019/10/11/pompeo-cant-blame-iran-for-attacking-itself/

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat”

–Jaws

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water someone poked a couple of holes in an oil tanker belonging to Iran. This sent oil prices up briefly in the vain hope of stabilizing them. But, strangely, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was silent.

This was a warning to Iran from someone on the Saudi/Israeli/U.S. side, “You won’t win without costs.”

Well, of course, that’s true. The big question everyone is asking is, of course, “Who did this?”

Details are sketchy with a lot of back and forth. Iran initially reported missile strikes.

But Iran’s national tanker company, the owner of the boat, is now ruling out missiles.

But who did this is honestly not even relevant at this point. It could be Israel, the Saudis, rogue U.S. or British agents, etc.

Once we started down this path of sanctions, attacks on oil assets, and the like, it opened up the possibility of anyone with an axe to grind creating an incident for their purposes and blaming someone else for it…

The people squawking the loudest about the President’s recent policy decisions in the Middle East are the ones most likely behind this. They are the ones with the most to lose if Saudi Arabia falls and the U.S. pulls much of its force out of the Middle East.

The most likely candidate is the one actor who has consistently overstepped its bounds in attacking neighbors it considers hostile for any reason. Israel…

But the reality is that the partitioning of Syria has been a U.S. neoconservative project from the beginning of the civil war. Israel has given aid and comfort to ISIS fighters along the Golan Heights. This is not news, folks.

And the use of the Kurds to destabilize not only Syria but Iraq, Iran and Turkey by outside actors, like the U.S., Saudi Arabia and YES, Israel, is well established.

Pompeo has helped preside over sending the Kurds more than 30,000 truckloads of weapons. Who paid for those weapons, by the way?

We did.

How many of these SDF fighters are nothing more than foreign mercenaries paid by us to hold strategic areas of Syria– the oil fields and the border crossings –to starve Assad out of power?

It’s been long established that the U.S. presence in Syria is unsustainable. But who keeps the pressure on Trump politically to maintain the situation?

Israel.

There comes a point where the evidence of influence is overwhelming and the state of the game board so degraded that it’s time for someone to make a bold call and change tactics.

If the neocons and Israeli Firsters in Congress (and formerly in his cabinet) have turned on Trump to the point of starting impeachment proceedings against him for not going to war with Iran, then Trump is free to finally just blow it all wide open.

Which is exactly what he is doing. The Kurds were simply mercenaries to help us defeat ISIS. Job’s done, your beef with Turkey is your problem.

Remember that Russia’s intervention in Syria outed who was really behind the coalition to overthrow President Assad and when Turkey’s Erdogan was framed into a fight with Russia, shooting down an SU-24 in November 2015, Erdogan realized he would be the scapegoat for the entire operation and swiftly began changing his tune.

Don’t you think Trump can see the same setup happening here now with the Kurds?

They jumped the gun on impeachment. They didn’t neuter Trump, they unleashed him. Because he simply has nothing left to lose…

So, to me, it makes perfect sense to see rogue elements around the region acting independently to try and revive the war footing while cynically supporting a collapsing oil price.

It’s clear that no one in the U.S. or Saudi Arabian power circles wants oil collapsing below $50 per barrel. The Russians and the Iranians don’t care, they trade oil now mostly outside the dollar and their currencies immunize them to the fluctuations.

Trump watches the stock market like a hawk and the Saudis watch the price of Brent like their lives depend on it, because they do.

So, some noises that talks are good and an attack on Iran’s tankers are good for oil prices. An end to the trade war (very unlikely) and Iran bowing to U.S. demands to stop exporting oi (even less likely) is doing nothing more than creating yet another opportunity to short oil.

That’s the legacy of the chaos created by making terrible decisions intervening in other people’s affairs. That’s why it really doesn’t matter who attacked the Iranian tanker. It was a bad move. All it does it convince Trump further that it’s time to get out of the way and cut bait.

The Saudis and the Israelis are harboring huge and ancient grudges against Iran that can no longer be tolerated in U.S. political circles. This is crippling U.S. politics.

Regardless of who actually attacked this tanker their collective grudge and control over the corridors of power in the U.S. is the fuel that keeps these conflicts ongoing.

Trump, to his credit, is now finally voicing and acting on his long-held beliefs that the Iraq War was a mistake, that Syria is an Obama/Clinton quagmire and that Russia has a strong role to play in cleaning up their messes.

And the less we listen to the cries of anguish from “the usual suspects” the quicker we can back away from war.

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Will More US Troops in Saudi Arabia Make America Great?

Posted by M. C. on September 24, 2019

Why should the military be sent to “defend” one of the wealthiest and most repressive countries on earth? It is hard to see how putting US servicemembers into harm’s way – into a war zone – to defend Saudi Arabia can in any way make America great again.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/september/23/will-more-us-troops-in-saudi-arabia-make-america-great/

Written by Ron Paul

President Trump deserves credit for resisting the war cries from neocons like Sen. Lindsey Graham and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after last week’s attack on two Saudi oil facilities. Pompeo was eager to blame Iran because he wants war with Iran and anything that can trigger such a war is fine with him. So he put the president in a difficult spot by declaring Iran the culprit: suddenly the president’s options in the media and in Washington were limited to “how to punish Iran.”

A week has now passed since the attack and Pompeo’s rush to judgement has been shown for what it was: war propaganda. That is because there has still been no determination of who launched the attack. Yemen’s Houthis took responsibility right away and Iran denied any involvement. We have seen nothing to this point that contradicts this.

President Trump likely understands that a US war on Iran will be his undoing as president. Who knows, maybe that’s what his closest advisors want. But according to a Gallup poll just last month, only 18 percent of Americans were in favor of military action against Iran. Seventy-eight percent of Americans – including 72 percent of Republicans – want the president to pursue diplomatic efforts over war. Iran has made clear that any attack on its territory will trigger a total war. The Middle East would be engulfed in flames and the US economy would be in the tank. Suddenly we’d see Democrat challengers pretending to be antiwar!

The message to Trump is pretty clear – war with Iran would be deeply unpopular – and it seems clear he understands the message. Just hours after his Secretary of State put the US on war footing with Iran, President Trump was forced to walk back Pompeo’s aggression. When asked about going to war with Iran, President Trump said, “Do I want war? I don’t want war with anybody.”

Unfortunately, with pressure on President Trump to “do something” even as Iran has not been found to have been behind the attack, the president has settled on two measures – one pointless and the other dangerous. On Friday Trump announced yet even more sanctions on Iran, leaving many of us to wonder what is possibly left to sanction. He also announced a deployment of US military forces to Saudi Arabia of a “defensive nature.” Why should the military be sent to “defend” one of the wealthiest and most repressive countries on earth? It is hard to see how putting US servicemembers into harm’s way – into a war zone – to defend Saudi Arabia can in any way make America great again. I believe most Americans would agree.

President Trump should immediately cancel the order to send US troops to Saudi Arabia and should immediately remove what troops are already on Saudi soil. Then the Saudis would understand that they must end their aggression against Yemen.

Attempting to placate the neocons is a fool’s errand, because they are never satisfied even up to and including war. The tide is turning in America – and even in Washington – against Saudi Arabia. After the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and a catastrophic four-year Saudi war on Yemen, no American politician is any longer in the mood to stick his or her neck out to defend Saudi Arabia. President Trump would be wise to use caution: it’s always dangerous sticking one’s neck out when the Saudi government is around.

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Saudi Attacks May Nudge US to ‘Go to War’ With Iran and Seize its Oil, Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom Warns – Sputnik International

Posted by M. C. on September 16, 2019

McCain, Bolton and the third stooge Pompeo.

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201909151076808289-saudi-attacks-may-nudge-us-to-go-to-war-with-iran-and-seize-its-oil-megauploads-kim-dotcom-warns/

by

The Trump administration, which has long demonised Iran and been trying to choke off its oil exports, has blamed the latest attacks on Saudi oil processing facilities on the Islamic Republic, despite Yemeni Houthi rebels claiming responsibility. Iran rejects the accusations.

The United States will emerge as the “biggest beneficiary” of Saturday’s drone attacks that targeted a Saudi Aramco processing facility and oilfield in eastern Saudi Arabia, internet tycoon Kim Dotcom has suggested.

The attacks are expected to trigger a jump in oil prices when markets reopen on Monday, given that Saudi Arabia has halted half its oil production – around five million barrels of crude per day, or around 5 percent of the world’s daily output.

The millionaire Megaupload founder, who is fighting extradition to the US on charges of fraud and online piracy, predicted the attacks would embolden the US – the largest oil producer – to “blame Iran, go to war, [and] take control of Iran’s oil which pays for the war.”

This scenario has partly come to pass already: although Yemen’s Houthi rebels acknowledged they were behind the strikes, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed there was “no evidence”  to believe the attacks came from Yemen and blamed Iran instead….

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Pompeo’s Constant, Shameless Lying About Iran | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on September 11, 2019

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/pompeos-constant-shameless-lying-about-iran/

By Daniel Larison

Mike Pompeo can’t get through a single interview without telling a bald-faced lie. Here he lies about Iran again:

They’re investing in missile systems that they’re not allowed to have. They continue – indeed, they announced just yesterday that they’re going to continue to do more research and development on their nuclear weapon systems [bold mine-DL]. Those things are unacceptable.

The Iranian government announced no such thing, and Iran has no “nuclear weapon systems.” Iran has no nuclear weapons program, and hasn’t had anything like that for more than fifteen years. Pompeo is promoting an extremely dangerous lie here, and as usual he is never challenged on what he says. The Trump administration is desperate to deceive the public into thinking that Iran seeks nuclear weapons when that is not happening. They dishonestly put modest Iranian responses to U.S. violations of the JCPOA in the worst light in the hopes that people don’t realize that their reckless and destructive Iran policy has failed and has brought us dangerously close to an unnecessary war.

The so-called “third step” that the Iranian government announced this week was that they were no longer going to respect the JCPOA’s limits on research and development. They taking this step in response to the continued economic war being waged against them by the Trump administration after it violated the deal and reimposed sanctions. The purpose of these limited, reversible steps is to pressure the other parties to the agreement to deliver on their end of the bargain. To date, our European allies have failed to deliver, and so Iran keeps taking these steps.

The Times article on the announcement makes another important point:

Rescinding the limits on research and development violates one of the accord’s core principles, but does not necessarily put the Iranians any closer to the ability to make a bomb.

Iran continues to reduce compliance with an agreement that the U.S. reneged on more than a year ago, and it is going to continue doing that as long as the U.S. keeps illegitimate sanctions in place. That doesn’t mean that Iran is going to start pursuing nuclear weapons, and it is important to understand that none of this would be happening had the U.S. not broken its word and violated the agreement first. If the U.S. eased or lifted the sanctions, it is likely that Iran would respond in kind by reversing some of its recent actions. Of course, the Trump administration wants to drive Iran out of the JCPOA because they want the deal to collapse, and they want it to collapse because they see it as an obstacle to creating a pretext for conflict.

The administration’s Iran policy is a complete failure that has needlessly increased tensions between the U.S. and Iran to the detriment of both countries, and the only way that Pompeo can sell this policy to the public is by constantly, shamelessly lying about Iran and the nuclear deal.

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