Have the incidents in the Persian Gulf been perpetrated by Iran, or are the false flags of the US or its allies? We may never know, but the US government certainly has a history of using false flags to get the country into war. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:
For many years, I’ve held the belief that, when World War III was brought on, it would most likely be in the Strait of Hormuz.
The strait is relatively narrow, with a shipping lane of just two miles. It’s bordered on the east by Iran and on the west by the United Arab Emirates. It’s also the main oil highway for Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Since it’s the most critical point for oil distribution in the world and it’s shared by the oil industry’s equivalent of the Hatfields and McCoys, it’s the ideal location for an aggressive nation to start a “rumble.”
In May of this year, it was reported that mines in the strait had damaged four oil tankers. US National Security Advisor John Bolton quickly announced that “naval mines almost certainly from Iran” were to blame. He offered no evidence to back up this claim.
But Vice Admiral Michael Gilday reaffirmed the claim, saying “with a high degree of confidence that this [attack] stems back to the leadership of Iran at the highest levels.”
Although this was strenuously denied by Iran’s foreign ministry, Mr. Bolton reasserted, “There’s no doubt in anybody’s mind in Washington who’s responsible for this. Who else would you think is doing it? Someone from Nepal?”
We’ve gotten to the point where an all-power president makes the big decisions on war and peace. Trump’s decision to pull back on Iran was the right decision, but it shouldn’t be in his hands only. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:
The Donald made the right call. Now that’s a rare statement. Calling off – or at least delaying – a military strike on Iran was prudent. Nevertheless, there was something deeply unsettling about the whole thing. The system is broken, perhaps irreparably.
The president never even considered seeking congressional approval before playing emperor and unleashing death and destruction on a sovereign nation. Why would he? Essentially every president, since Truman, has done the same thing one time or another. Unilateral executive action has been the American norm pretty much since World War II wrapped up. Seen in this context, Trump isn’t so anomalous as many would like to believe. Korea kicked off the trend. But the Vietnam advisory mission, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Bosnia, Libya, and Syria – to name the highlights – were all undertaken without the constitutionally mandated consent of the legislature.
In that sense, a dozen or so more palatable and polite emperors, I mean presidents, paved the way for the coarser and more buffoonish reality TV star currently calling the shots in the White House. Americans’ collective sin of ignoring foreign policy and ceding unilateral power to the executive branch has truly, and definitively, come home to roost. That’s partly why I find the protestations from Democratic lawmakers to be more about partisanship than principles. Genuine legislators – that spent more time following international policy instead of obsessively raising money – would all revolt and restrain the president regardless of their political party. We’re unlikely to see that.
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.
Trump and company are pressing hard for negotiations that would entail Iran accepting provisions it will never accept. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.com:
fter a somewhat quiet weekend the Trump administration today engaged in another push against Iran.
Today the Treasury Department sanctioned the leaders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). It also sanctioned Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and his office! There will be no more Disney Land visits for them.
There is more to come:
Josh Rogin – @joshrogin – 16:18 utc – 24 Jun 2019Mnuchin: “The president has instructed me that we will be designating [Iran’s foreign minister Javad] Zarif later this week.” cc: @JZarif
The Treasury Secretary will designate Javad Zarif as what? A terrorist? Zarif is quite effective in communicating the Iranian standpoint on Twitter and other social media. Those accounts will now be shut down.
The Trump administration’s special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, said today that Iran should respond to U.S. diplomacy with diplomacy. Sanctioning Iran’s chief diplomat is probably not the way to get there.
All those who get sanctioned by the U.S. will gain in popularity in Iran. These U.S. measures will only unite the people of Iran and strengthen their resolve.
Iran will respond to this new onslaught by asymmetric means of which it has plenty.
On Saturday Trump said that all he wants is that Iran never gets nuclear weapons. But the State Department wants much more. Hook today said that the U.S. would only lift sanctions if a comprehensive deal is made that includes ballistic missile and human rights issues. Iran can not agree to that. But this is not the first time that Pompeo demanded more than Trump himself. Is it Pompeo, not Trump, who is pressing this expanded version to make any deal impossible?
Posted in Energy, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, Military, War
Tagged Iran, Israel, Mike Pompeo, Oil, President Trump, Saudi Arabia
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.
Posted in Energy, Governments, History, Imperialism, Intelligence, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Iran, Mike Pompeo, Oil, President Trump
The second order effect of shutting down the Strait of Hormuz would be to collapse huge derivatives market. From Pepe Escobar at strategic-culture.org:
Sooner or later the US “maximum pressure” on Iran would inevitably be met by “maximum counter-pressure”. Sparks are ominously bound to fly.
For the past few days, intelligence circles across Eurasia had been prodding Tehran to consider a quite straightforward scenario. There would be no need to shut down the Strait of Hormuz if Quds Force commander, General Qasem Soleimani, the ultimate Pentagon bête noire, explained in detail, on global media, that Washington simply does not have the military capacity to keep the Strait open.
As I previously reported, shutting down the Strait of Hormuz
would destroy the American economy by detonating the $1.2 quadrillion derivatives market; and that would collapse the world banking system, crushing the world’s $80 trillion GDP and causing an unprecedented depression.
Soleimani should also state bluntly that Iran may in fact shut down the Strait of Hormuz if the nation is prevented from exporting essential two million barrels of oil a day, mostly to Asia. Exports, which before illegal US sanctions and de facto blockade would normally reach 2.5 million barrels a day, now may be down to only 400,000.