So far there has not been a word from ever voluble Mike Pompeo on this latest Middle East incident. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
“You’re gonna need a bigger boat”
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.
The US government insists that Iran was behind the attack on the Saudi Arabian oil field, not the Houthis who are claiming credit for the attack. From Mnar Muhawesh at mintpressnews.com:
Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran are escalating to new heights, drawing the United States into a confrontation with the Islamic Republic after a sophisticated attack targeted Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil facility — the largest oil processing facility in the world — knocking out half of the country’s oil capacity, or more than 5 million barrels a day, and leaving the oil fields in flames.
The attack was nothing the Kingdom had seen before or expected: According to U.S. and Saudi intel, 18 drones and seven cruise missiles were launched and went undetected by both American and Saudi radar systems. The weaponry even went unnoticed by the U.S. military base nearby, the Prince Sultan Airbase, which is guarded by an American Patriot missile defense system and over 500 U.S. military personnel.
You better believe an attack at this level targeting a crossroad for global oil supplies did more than ruffle a few feathers.
Panic not only struck the Kingdom and the international economy, where oil prices spiked 19 percent — the highest ever recorded one-day increase — but U.S. and Saudi politicians, as well as a chorus of mainstream pundits, began to beat the drums of war targeting an old foe: Iran.
Saudi and U.S. military analysts have presented satellite images of where the missiles landed in the oil fields, purporting to show that the drones/missiles came from the direction of Iran. However, some experts are already countering these claims, pointing out that the images show impact points that are indeed west-northwest, which is the opposite direction of Iran.
A good chronicle from a former Australian diplomat of the deterioration of US-Russian relations. From Tony Kevin at consortiumnews.com:
A retired Australian diplomat who served in Moscow dissects the emergence of the new Cold War and its dire consequences.
In 2014, we saw violent U.S.-supported regime change and civil war in Ukraine. In February, after months of increasing tension from the anti-Russian protest movement’s sitdown strike in Kiev’s Maidan Square, there was a murderous clash between protesters and Ukrainian police, sparked off by hidden shooters (we now know that were expert Georgian snipers) , aiming at police. The elected government collapsed and President Yanukevich fled to Russia, pursued by murder squads.
The new Poroshenko government pledged harsh anti-Russian language laws. Rebels in two Russophone regions in Eastern Ukraine took local control, and appealed for Russian military help. In March, a referendum took place in Russian-speaking Crimea on leaving Ukraine, under Russian military protection. Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to join Russia, a request promptly granted by the Russian Parliament and President. Crimea’s border with Ukraine was secured against saboteurs. Crimea is prospering under its pro-Russian government, with the economy kick-started by Russian transport infrastructure investment.
In April, Poroshenko ordered full military attack on the separatist provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine. A brutal civil war ensued, with aerial and artillery bombardment bringing massive civilian death and destruction to the separatist region. There was major refugee outflow into Russia and other parts of Ukraine. The shootdown of MH17 took place in July 2014.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Imperialism, Intelligence, Media, Politics, Uncategorized
Tagged Mike Pompeo, President Trump, Russia, Skripal poisoning, Ukraine
The government has been completely captured by the bipartisan military-industrial-intelligence complex. From Daniel Lazare at consortiumnews.com:
Republicans and Democrats alike are blaming U.S. crises on foreign adversaries instead of themselves, writes Daniel Lazare.
A few things are clear after Robert Mueller’s testimony last week. One is that the former special counsel is an out-of-touch figurehead who doesn’t even seem to have read his own report. Another is that Russiagate is a stinking sack of excrement – as California Republican Tom McClintock more or less described it (quote starts at 3:40:45) – that Democrats would never again mention if they had half a brain (which they don’t).
A third is that America is now dominated by a war party that includes everyone on Capitol Hill other than a few isolationists on the right and the Bernie Sanders-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez faction on the left. To be sure, there’s disagreement as to whether the enemy is Russia or Iran. But such minor details aside, the logic is otherwise the same. Foreigners are out to get us. They are responsible for all our troubles. Americans must mobilize to stop them.
Elementary concepts like evidence meanwhile fall by the wayside. During a visit to India last month, Mike Pompeo described Iran as “the world’s largest state sponsor of terror” (quote at 27:15).
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Government, History, Intelligence, Military, Politics, Uncategorized
Tagged Deep State, Mike Pompeo, military-industrial complex, President Trump
Mike Pompeo wants to tell Iranians about how much the US government cares for them. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:
In a tiff over whether Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his delegation would be permitted to enter the United States as part of a meeting of the United Nations and over whether they would be free to travel freely around New York City, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a whopper, one that might have even embarrassed Pinocchio. Expressing a desire to be invited to appear on Iranian television, Pompeo said that he would tell Iranians that “we care deeply about them, that we’re supportive of the Iranian people, that we understand that the revolutionary theocracy is not acting in a way that is in their best interest.”
Why, that’s just a lie, a plain old, downright, old-fashioned lie.
When Pompeo is using the pronoun “we,” he is referring to U.S. officials. And the fact is that U.S. officials, from President Trump on down, couldn’t care less about the well-being of the Iranian people. All that U.S. officials care about is re-installing a pro-U.S. dictatorship in Iran, no different from that of the Shah, who U.S. officials made Iran’s brutal dictator in 1953.
After all, look at the U.S. sanctions on Iran. They target the Iranian people for economic impoverishment and even death. The idea is that if the U.S. government can squeeze the life out of the Iranian people, they will rise up in a violent revolution against the ruling regime and replace it with one that is acceptable to U.S. officials.
There is no maximum limit on the impoverishment or death toll that would cause U.S. officials to lift their sanctions. That is, even if sanctions were causing thousands of people to die every week from starvation, illness, or plane crashes owing to the sanctions, U.S. officials would not lift the sanctions. No price in terms of suffering or death of the Iranian people could be high enough to cause U.S. officials to cease and desist.
Is Trump really boxed in? From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:
President Trump did the smart thing last week by calling off a US airstrike on Iran over the downing of an American spy drone near or within Iranian territorial waters. According to press reports, the president over-ruled virtually all his top advisors – Bolton, Pompeo, and Haspel – who all wanted another undeclared and unauthorized US war in the Middle East.
Is Iran really the aggressive one? When you unilaterally pull out of an agreement that was reducing tensions and boosting trade; when you begin applying sanctions designed to completely destroy another country’s economy; when you position military assets right offshore of that country; when you threaten to destroy that country on a regular basis, calling it a campaign of “maximum pressure,” to me it seems a stretch to play the victim when that country retaliates by shooting a spy plane that is likely looking for the best way to attack.
Even if the US spy plane was not in Iranian airspace – but it increasingly looks like it was – it was just another part of an already-existing US war on Iran. Yes, sanctions are a form of war, not a substitute for war.
The media are also a big part of the problem. The same media that praised Trump as “presidential” when he fired rockets into Syria on what turned out to be false claims that Assad gassed his own people, has been attacking Trump for not bombing Iran. From Left to Right – with one important exception – the major media is all braying for war. Why? They can afford to cheer death and destruction because they will not suffer the agony of war. Networks will benefit by capturing big ratings and big money and new media stars will be born.
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