Category Archives: Politics

Accelerating Imperial Decline, by Patrick Lawrence

There’s an air of complete unreality to the US’s foreign policy and its machinations. From Patrick Lawrence at consortiumnews.com:

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

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

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

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

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

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VIPS Memo to the President: Is Pompeo’s Iran Agenda the Same As Yours?

Is Mike Pompeo trustworthy? From the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity at consortiumnews.com:

UPDATED: VIPS says its direct experience with Mike Pompeo leaves them with strong doubt regarding his trustworthiness on issues of consequence to the President and the nation.

DATE: June 21, 2019

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President.

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Is Pompeo’s Iran Agenda the Same As Yours?

After the close call yesterday when you called off the planned military strike on Iran, we remain concerned that you are about to be mousetrapped into war with Iran. You have said you do not want such a war (no sane person would), and our comments below are based on that premise. There are troubling signs that Secretary Pompeo is not likely to jettison his more warlike approach, More importantly, we know from personal experience with Pompeo’s dismissive attitude to instructions from you that his agenda can deviate from yours on issues of major consequence.

Pompeo’s behavior betrays a strong desire to resort to  military action — perhaps even without your approval — to Iranian provocations (real or imagined), with no discernible strategic goal other than to advance the interests of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. He is a neophyte compared to his anti-Iran partner John Bolton, whose dilettante approach to interpreting intelligence, strong advocacy of the misbegotten war on Iraq (and continued pride in his role in promoting it), and fierce pursuit of his own aggressive agenda are a matter of a decades-long record. You may not be fully aware of our experience with Pompeo, who has now taken the lead on Iran.

That experience leaves us with strong doubt regarding his trustworthiness on issues of consequence to you and the country, including the contentious issue of alleged Russian hacking into the DNC. The sketchy “evidence” behind that story has now crumbled, thanks to some unusual candor from the Department of Justice. We refer to the extraordinary revelation in a recent Department of Justice court filing that former FBI Director James Comey never required a final forensic report from the DNC-hired cybersecurity company, CrowdStrike.

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The Fact That Americans Need To Be Deceived Into War Proves Their Underlying Goodness, by Caitlin Johnstone

You can’t fool all the people all the time. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

Last night Fox’s Tucker Carlson praised Trump’s decision not to go forward with a planned attack against Iran which the president claims would have killed approximately 150 people in response to a downed drone, which if true would have been a profoundly barbaric response to a broken toy plane and would have led to retaliations from Iran, followed by a chain of military actions which could have escalated God knows how far.

Carlson, who has been credited with persuading Trump against further military escalations with Iran, lit into the neoconservative elements of Trump’s cabinet with unprecedented viciousness. He called National Security Advisor John Bolton a “bureaucratic tapeworm” who never suffers any consequences for his relentless warmongering and accusing him and his collaborators of deliberately engineering a provocation to lead to direct military confrontation. Carlson urged Trump to expunge the influencers who are pushing for a war with Iran, and cautioned that it would cost him re-election.

“Bombing Iran would have ended [Trump’s] political career in a minute,” Carlson said. “There’d be no chance of re-election after that.”

Carlson’s first guest, The American Conservative‘s Robert Merry, plainly stated the likely reason for Bolton’s deceitful manipulations, saying that Americans are typically reluctant to go to war and citing a few of the historical instances in which they were tricked into consenting to it by those who desire mass military violence.

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Silicon Valley Is Destroying American Democracy by Playing Political Favorites, by Robert Bridge

The New York Times is wringing its hands about the alt-right on social media, but it sounds an awful lot like sour grapes. From Robert Bridge at strategic-culture.com:

Perhaps it was expecting too much that the tech giants would check their political allegiances at the door to ensure fairness. Instead, they have let their political affinities disrupt the process every step of the way and this is leading the country down a blind alley.

June 2019 may go down in the history books as the defining moment when the American IT giants – in cahoots with the limping ‘legacy’ media – removed their masks, as well as their gloves, revealing the real threat they have become to the institution of US democracy, fragile as it already is.

The New York Times got the ball rolling when it ran a front-page story (‘The Making of a YouTube Radical’) detailing the trials and tribulations of one tortured Caleb Cain, a college dropout who was “looking for direction” in life but instead tumbled headlong into a rabbit hole of “far-right politics on YouTube” where he eventually found himself “brainwashed” and “radicalized.”

The article, quoting “critics and independent researchers,” which I suppose could mean just about anyone, says the Google-owned platform has created “a dangerous on-ramp to extremism by combining … a business model that rewards provocative videos with exposure and advertising dollars, and an algorithm that guides users down personalized paths meant to keep them glued to their screens.”

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Crazyland, by James Howard Kunstler

No argument here: much of the US, especially among its intelligentsia and political class, is crazyland. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

Surfing the cable channels the evening before my Friday a.m. blog duties, I came upon Sean Hannity at Fox News completely losing his shit in a colloquy with Geraldo Rivera about the Iran drone incident. “Bomb the crap out of them!” Mr. Hannity ranted, several times, the veins in his neck throbbing visibly on the high-def screen. I thought I was having an acid flashback to Doctor Strangelove. Geraldo himself seemed a bit nonplussed and embarrassed by Mr. Hannity’s tantrum, but his attempts to calm down the raving anchorman only ramped up the hysteria. One wondered: are there any adult producers off-screen on that network?

Perhaps the Golden Golem of Greatness, our president, who is also known to follow the Cable TV news, witnessed the cringeworthy incident and realized that every other head-of-state on this nervous planet would also see it, and might infer he was doing the bidding of a crazed boob-tube performer if he actually went forward with an air strike. Earlier, he’d told reporters, “You’ll soon find out,” what the USA’s response to the drone shoot-down would be. He should have just kept his mouth shut. Planes and ships were on their way to the bottleneck in the Persian Gulf known as the Straits of Hormuz. Before they could deliver any payloads, Mr. Trump called the whole thing off suggesting that maybe some “loose and stupid” Colonel Borat type on Iran’s side had gone rogue in the incident.

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Microsoft and the Pentagon Are Quietly Hijacking U.S. Elections, by Lee Camp

Good news, two institutions everyone trusts—Microsoft and the Pentagon, are teaming up to ensure honest elections. From Lee Camp at truthdig.com:

Good news, folks! We have found the answer to the American election system!

Why do we need an answer? Well, our election system is … how do you say … a festering rancid corrupt needlessly complex rigged rotten infected putrid pus-covered diseased dog pile of stinking, dying cockroach-filled rat shit smelling like Mitch McConnell under a vat of pig farts. And that’s a quote from The Lancet medical journal (I think).

But have no fear: The most trustworthy of corporations recently announced it is going to selflessly and patriotically secure our elections. It’s a small company run by vegans and powered by love. It goes by the name “Microsoft.” (You’re forgiven for never having heard of it.)

The recent headlines were grandiose and thrilling:

Microsoft offers software tools to secure elections.”

Microsoft aims to modernize and secure voting with ElectionGuard.”

Could anything be safer than software christened “ElectionGuard™”?! It has “guard” right there in the name. It’s as strong and trustworthy as the little-known Crotch Guard™—an actual oil meant to be sprayed on one’s junk. I’m unclear as to why one sprays it on one’s junk, but perhaps it’s to secure your erections? (Because they’ve been micro-soft?)

Anyway, Microsoft is foisting its ElectionGuard™ software on us, but worry not that we Americans will be tied down by laborious public debate as to the effectiveness, efficiency and accountability of said software. According to MintPress, “The election technology is already set to be adopted by half of voting machine manufacturers and some state governments for the 2020 general election.” Hardly any public discussion will plague our media or tax our community discourse.

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America Last: The Real Meaning of the Donald’s Deplorable Aggression Against Iran, by David Stockman

Iran never should have abrogated that nuclear treaty, it’s get exactly what it deserves. Oh wait, it wasn’t Iran that abrogated the treaty, nor is it Iran trying to tell other nations not to trade with the US. It’s the US that’s the aggressor in this imbroglio. From David Stockman at antiwar.com:

In the present era of 24/7 “breaking news”, the journalistic information intermediated by the internet and the cable networks has largely been reduced to noise, devoid of signal. Or at least any historical context beyond the here and now.

The currently threatened escalation of Washington’s economic war on Iran into an actual shooting war is a fraught case in point. Based on the news coverage since the two oil tankers were damaged yesterday you’d think that a crew of bloody-minded aggressors in Tehran had up and decided out of the blue to attack the whole world via disrupting its 18 million barrel per day oil lifeline through the Straits of Hormuz.

The truth of the matter, however, is just the opposite. The blatant aggressor is Washington and the dangerous confrontation now unfolding is utterly unnecessary.

That’s the foundational reality, and it’s far more important to understand than the momentary disputation about whether the Japanese oil tanker got hit by an Iranian mine or incoming projectile of uncertain origin.

Indeed, the Bombzie Twins, Pompeo and Bolton, have been in such heavy war heat for years that you can virtually bet when the dust settles the following false flags and manufactured pretexts for war per Max Blumenthal will have a Gulf of Oman coda:

Remember the Maine, Operation Northwoods, Gulf of Tonkin, Kuwaiti incubator babies, Saddam’s WMD’s, Qaddafi soldiers’ Viagra spree, Last Messages From Aleppo, Douma, burning aid on Colombia-Venezuela bridge…. and now today’s attacks in the Gulf of Oman.

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