Category Archives: Foreign Policy

On the Importance of Being Anti-War, by Tom Luongo

Tom Luongo pays tribute to antiwar activist and Justin Raimondo. SLL posted many articles by Raimondo while he was alive. He was a good writer and a good man. From Luongo at tomluongo.me:

Justin Raimondo died last week. It was a long-time coming.

Co-Founder of Antiwar.com, Justin was one of the most important men in America you’ve probably never heard of.

In the dark days after 9/11 he was the Antiwar movement in America. I remember how quickly everything turned against libertarians politically after that.

And yet, there was Raimondo, plugging away exposing the truth, naming names and showing no fear.

Inspiration doesn’t cover it.

For close to 20 years, three times a week, wielding the biggest rhetorical stick he could find, he let the Empire have it right where it deserved it most.

Right between the eyes.

I haven’t talked about him much here on the blog or even recently on my livestreams and it was an omission.

I may have been avoiding this, to be honest. Why else would it take me a week to even address the subject?

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Does Iran Already Have Nuclear Weapons? by Michael Snyder

Michael Snyder is never at a loss for things to worry about, but he raises a real possibility that Iran may already have nuclear weapons. From Snyder at endoftheamericandream.com:

What if what you have been told over and over again is not really the truth?  For weeks, the mainstream media has been telling us that Iran is getting dangerously close to having nuclear weapons.  And now that the Iranians have publicly admitted that their uranium stockpile has exceeded the limit set by the nuclear deal, there is a lot of buzz that either the United States or Israel may soon strike Iran in order to prevent their nuclear program from proceeding even further.  But of course once the missiles start flying, it is going to be just about impossible to stop a major war from erupting in the Middle East.  Before we get involved in such a war, we better make absolutely certain that Iran does not already have nuclear weapons, because a war with a nuclear-armed Iran could be absolutely cataclysmic.  If the Iranians felt that the survival of their regime was on the line, they would not hesitate to throw everything that they have at Israel and at U.S. forces in the region.  Unfortunately, very few people are talking about the well known evidence that Iran has had their hands on nukes for a long time.

In the immediate aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was a mad scramble for the nuclear weapons that were being held by Kazakhstan and Ukraine.  According to former CIA spy Reza Kahlili, during that time period Iran received at least two nuclear warheads from Kazakhstan…

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We’re Not the Good Guys, by Tom Engelhardt

It’s always other nations that do “aggressive” things, never the US. From Tom Engelhardt at tomdispatch.com:

Why Is American Aggression Missing in Action?

Headlined “U.S. Seeks Other Ways to Stop Iran Shy of War,” the article was tucked away on page A9 of a recent New York Times. Still, it caught my attention. Here’s the first paragraph:

“American intelligence and military officers are working on additional clandestine plans to counter Iranian aggression in the Persian Gulf, pushed by the White House to develop new options that could help deter Tehran without escalating tensions into a full-out conventional war, according to current and former officials.”

Note that “Iranian aggression.” The rest of the piece, fairly typical of the tone of American media coverage of the ongoing Iran crisis, included sentences like this: “The C.I.A. has longstanding secret plans for responding to Iranian provocations.” I’m sure I’ve read such things hundreds of times without ever really stopping to think much about them, but this time I did. And what struck me was this: rare is the moment in such mainstream news reports when Americans are the “provocative” ones (though the Iranians immediately accused the U.S. military of just that, a provocation, when it came to the U.S. drone its Revolutionary Guard recently shot down either over Iranian air space or the Strait of Hormuz). When it comes to Washington’s never-ending war on terror, I think I can say with reasonable confidence that, in the past, the present, and the future, the one phrase you’re not likely to find in such media coverage will be “American aggression.”

I mean, forget the history of the second half of the last century and all of this one so far. Forget that back in the Neolithic age of the 1980s, before Iraqi autocrat Saddam Hussein turned out to be the new Adolf Hitler and needed to be taken down by us (no aggression there), the administration of President Ronald Reagan actively backed his unprovoked invasion of, and war against, Iran. (That included his use of chemical weapons against Iranian troop concentrations that American military intelligence helped him target.) Forget that, in 2003, the administration of George W. Bush launched an unprovoked war of aggression against Iraq, based on false intelligence about Saddam’s supposed weapons of mass destruction and his supposed links to al-Qaeda. Forget that the Trump administration tore up a nuclear agreement with Iran to which that country was adhering and which would indeed have effectively prevented it from producing nuclear weapons for the foreseeable future. Forget that its supreme leader (in fatwas he issued) prohibited the creation or stockpiling of such weaponry in any case.

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Drowning Children, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

It’s despicable when politicians use pictures of dead children to score political points. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

Any image of a dead child is always harrowing, for everyone but the most deranged psychopaths among us. If the child has drowned while seeking a better life it is possibly worse. The public reaction of politicians to such images, which varies from doing very little, or nothing, to solve the issues that have led to a child drowning, to trying to make cheap political gains from the image, must be the worst.

On September 2 2015, this photo of Syrian Kurdish 2 year-old Alan Kurdi, lifeless on a beach near Bodrum, Turkey, went viral. Almost 4 years later, all Europe has done is try to hide the problems that led to his death, by handing Turkey billions of euros to keep refugees inside that country. And still today conditions in Lesbos, Greece are appalling. Hardly a thing has changed.

Improvements to the situation that lead to Alan Kurdi’s death, within Syria itself, have had very little to do with European efforts. Russia had a much bigger role in that. And Syria is not the only source, or place, of troubles and refugees. Libya has turned into an open air slave market thanks to US and EU “efforts” under Obama. And Iraq is not exactly a land of milk and honey either. Or Afghanistan.

And then this week another picture of a drowned child made the frontpages -and more. That child, too, drowned due to a situation that has a long history: the US seeking to turn Central America into a dirt-poor, chaotic and unsafe environment that local people desperately want to escape. Same difference. And again, in the US and EU it is used as propaganda material.

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Is Putin Right? Has Liberalism Lost the World? by Patrick J. Buchanan

Vladimir Putin is a believer in nationalism, not neoliberalism. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

“The liberal idea has become obsolete. … (Liberals) cannot simply dictate anything to anyone as they have been attempting to do over the recent decades.”

Such was the confident claim of Vladimir Putin to the Financial Times on the eve of a G-20 gathering that appeared to validate his thesis.

Consider who commanded all the attention at the Osaka summit.

The main event was Trump’s meeting with China’s Xi Jinping and their agreement to renew trade talks. Xi runs an archipelago of detention camps where China’s Uighur Muslims and its Kazakh minority have their minds coercively “corrected.”

A major media focus at the summit was Trump’s meeting with Putin where he playfully admonished the Russian president not to meddle again in our 2020 election. The two joked about how both are afflicted with a media that generates constant fake news.

At the G-20 class picture, Trump was seen smiling and shaking hands with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom U.S. intelligence says ordered the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump called the prince “a friend” who has done a “spectacular job.”

Trump then left for Seoul, traveled to the DMZ, and crossed into North Korea to shake hands with Kim Jong Un, who runs a police state unrivaled for its repression.

Negotiations on Kim’s nuclear weapons may be back on track.

Among other G-20 leaders present were Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi of India and President Recep Erdogan of Turkey, who has imprisoned tens of thousands following a coup attempt in July 2016.

In his interview with the FT’s Lionel Barber, Putin appeared as much an analyst of, as an advocate for, the nationalism and populism that seems to be succeeding the 20th-century liberalism of the West.

Why is liberalism failing? Several causes, said Putin. Among them, its failure to deal with the crisis of the age: mass and unchecked illegal migration. Putin praised Trump’s efforts to secure the U.S. border:

“This liberal idea has become obsolete. It has come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population. … This liberal idea presupposes that … migrants can kill, plunder and rape with impunity because their rights as migrants have to be protected.”

Putin deplored Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2015 decision to bring into Germany a million refugees from Syria’s civil war.

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The ‘Trump Doctrine’ Is Sinking Fast, by Reese Erlich

If Trump hadn’t called back the jets headed towards Iran, there might have been a hellacious conflagration in the Middle East. From Reese Erlich at antiwar.com:

Tehran resident Dariush is exactly the kind of person that the Trump Administration claims to be supporting. He is a middle-class businessman who hates the clerical regime. The White House thinks Iranians like Dariush would welcome the overthrow of their government. But when I talked to Dariush by phone, he was more angry at President Donald Trump.

Dariush’s mother requires regular injections of medicine. The cost of the drug has increased threefold in the past year, and he must buy it for her on the black market. He blames inflation on the US sanctions: “They are just hurting normal people.”

I ask his reaction to Trump’s on-again, off-again threats of war against Iran. “If a war happens,” he says, “I will defend my country. I don’t like my government, but I will fight.”

Over the past several weeks, the Trump Administration has managed to infuriate ordinary Iranians, traditional US allies, and US war hawks. The emerging “Trump Doctrine” uses economic sanctions and tariffs to bully other countries, accompanied by fiery threats of military action without actual attacks. Not only is the doctrine foolhardy, it isn’t working.

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Where Does Trump Go From Here With Iran? by Tom Luongo

Backed by Russia, Iran is not buckling to Trump’s maximum pressure. From Tom Luongo at strategic-culture.org:

Donald Trump has boxed himself into a corner. His maximum pressure campaign on Russia, China, Iran and the Palestinians isn’t working. Time is ticking by and we are now, officially, into campaign season for 2020, when these operations were supposed to have been resolved by now.

While Trump still draws nearly unfathomable crowds for his rallies he is staring at an abyss of bad decisions in front of him which will see him either reverse course on all of his signature wins with his base over the past year – getting tough on Iran and China, going after evil socialists in Venezuela – or face a global economic meltdown which his daily Surreality Show is fomenting.

Trump refuses to take responsibility for anything that is happening. Everything is someone else’s fault.

Trade balance? China. Europe. Mexico. Canada.

Unrest in the Middle East? Iran. ISIS. Hezbollah. Russia.

Collapse and conflict in Ukraine? Russia.

Border Security? The Democrats.

Interest Rates? The Fed.

His inability to see how his moves affect events in the context of the global arena is his greatest weakness. It should have been a strength, his lack of shame. But it isn’t. Because now he’s gotten himself so far over-extended on Iran he’s been exposed as all bark and no bite.

He’s pushed Iran into a corner and from that corner they decided to finally strike back by downing a Global Hawk drone flying in full stealth mode over Iranian airspace if the Iranian side of the story is to be believed.

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