Texas doesn’t crash and burn; Biden does, and Pompeo shines. From PF Whalen at thebluestateconservative.com:
Headline #1: Biden Holds First Presidential Press Conference
On Thursday, President Joe Biden held his first press conference more than two months into his presidency; the longest such period without a press conference by a U.S. President since press conferences have existed.
Thoughts and Observations:
- In Fifth Grade, I ran for class president. There were two key issues during that election: 1) the fairness of our school’s classroom monitors, and 2) permissible activities during recess. On the day of that election, we had a Q&A session which was monitored by one of our teachers. Along with the other 11-year olds running for president, the questions we faced that day, including follow-up questions, were more difficult than any questions Biden faced on Thursday.
- Biden’s performance during the hour-long presser was disturbingly feeble. He lost his train of thought multiple times, he had to be reminded of the questions he’d been asked, he blatantly lied, and he came across as unprepared and bewildered. For those of us who’ve felt Biden is nothing more than a figurehead, his first press conference not only solidified that opinion, it crystallized it.
The Washington protest doesn’t hold a candle to killing a bunch of kids and other innocent Yemeni civilians. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:
While the Capitol riot is being hysterically compared to Pearl Harbor and Kristallnacht by the political/media class, the Trump administration has done something far, far worse that is receiving far, far less attention.
The US State Department has officially announced its intention to designate Yemen’s Houthis as a terrorist group, as many had previously warned. Humanitarian organizations have been condemning the move as it will make it more difficult to provide aid to a population that is already being brutalized by the worst mass atrocity in the entire world, a Saudi-led atrocity which could not occur without the help of the western power alliance.
We are already seeing some effects of this designation.
ntiwar‘s Dave DeCamp reports the following:
The terror designation will hamper the efforts of international charities that deliver food to Houthi-controlled areas, where 70 percent of Yemen’s population lives and malnutrition is the most widespread.
Aid agencies fear their work in north Yemen will now be criminalized since the Houthis are the authority they have to deal with and make transactions with. US terror designations open up sanctions on any individuals or entities that do business with those Washington brands as terrorists.
Pompeo said exemptions would be made for humanitarian goods. But any additional roadblocks for aid agencies will cause more suffering in Yemen since the situation is so dire. “Even with exemptions, the operation will be compromised,” said Janti Soeripto, the president of Save the Children, according to AP News.
We can live together or die together, those are the choices. From Matthew Ehret at strategic-culture.org:
The Pentagon’s new military report on China released on September 1st has demonstrated that the outdated and deadly Cold War mentality which has wrought such destruction upon the world since the end of WWII has not only become more deeply embedded into the psyche of dominant foreign policy officials in the Pentagon, it demonstrated that the current American establishment is totally unfit to survive in today’s nuclear age. In our nuclear age, Hobbesian laws of the jungle will only result in mass extermination. If we are to survive beyond the coming decade, it is high time that a higher moral paradigm befitting of human dignity becomes hegemonic.
If one wishes to play the role of Alice and join the tea party which these Pentagon Mad Hatters are hosting, one would be expected to believe that the belligerent aggressor in the Pacific theater is not the America which has spread its military tentacles around China’s backyard since Obama’s Asia Pivot that was announced in 2012, but rather China itself. The authors of the Pentagon report assert that it is China who is interested in expansionism, overthrowing the “rule of law”, conquering the weak of the Pacific and overtaking the US as a globally hegemonic power, both militarily and with their Belt and Road Initiative, which the Washington Consensus has labelled a debt trap.
More recently, Pompeo has sent Undersecretary of State Keith Krach to Taiwan to belligerently organize bilateral free trade deals and several military deals worth $7 billion which the current basket-case leadership of Taiwan is all too happy to oblige.
Mike Pompeo has done nothing but embarrass himself. From Muhammad Sahimi at responsiblestatecraft.org:
For many years Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has worked to bring Iran to heel, if not to destroy the Islamic Republic altogether. He would presumably prefer to accomplish those ends through economic and political warfare, but it is unlikely he would object to military attacks if that is what it takes. As a Congressman from Kansas as early as 2014, he was urging Washington to attack Tehran’s nuclear facilities, noting it would take “under 2,000 sorties,” or bombings, to do the job. “This is not an insurmountable task for the coalition forces,” he said.
Pompeo is an ideologue rather than a diplomat. His urge to confront Iran appears to be motivated by his Christian Zionism and support for Israel, as well as, as some believe, his own presidential ambitions. Adding to these factors are no doubt his views about American exceptionalism that require such countries as Iran, Venezuela, Syria, and Iraq to bow to U.S. demands for their own good, all of which creates a mixture dangerous to world peace, and to the Middle East, in particular.
As CIA Director Pompeo released the agency’s documents taken from Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan, but gave advanced copies to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a well-funded, stridently pro-Israel lobby and think tank that opposed the JCPOA and has long promoted waging economic warfare against Iran. Pompeo had presumably hoped that FDD would uncover evidence linking Iran directly to al-Qaeda — much as the George W. Bush’s administration struggled to link Saddam Hussein to Al Qaeda nearly 20 years ago — so that the 2002 Authorization for use of Military Force in the so-called war on terror could be invoked against Iran. The FDD obliged and published a report. But the evidence for such a link that it adduced from the documents was so weak that it was almost entirely ignored by lawmakers and major media alike.
The neocons inside and outside the Trump Administration can talk all they want about waging war against Iran, but supported by the Chinese and Russians, Iran would be a tough, perhaps impossible, nut to crack. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:
So it never was then a ‘peace agreement’ between Israel and the UAE. It was ‘normalisation’ for the purposes of mounting a military alliance against Iran. Pompeo suggested so, this weekend. He said that the UAE and Israel have agreed to form a security and military alliance against Iran to ‘protect’ U.S. interests and the Middle East. This agreement and any that might follow means that there will be an Israeli military and security military presence in the Gulf, and a joint Israeli-UAE intelligence base on Socotra Island in the Red Sea basin overlooking the Bab al-Mandab Strait. According to Pompeo, this agreement will transform the conflict in the Middle East from being Arab-Israeli, to Arab-Iranian, and perhaps Arab-Turkish later on.
The language used by Pompeo is significant in another way. Trump is proud of having taken Jerusalem ‘off the table’ (in the context of negotiations with the Palestinians). He says he has taken the Golan and the Jordan valley ‘off the table, too’. Pompeo’s formulation of the conflict transformation he believes he has just engineered says something else too: It is that the Palestinian issue is ‘off the table’ as well. It is now all about Iran (in Trump’s optic). The Palestinians are to stew in their own juices.
Well, Pompeo perhaps was speaking loosely when he designates it now an Arab-Iranian conflict. It is (at least for now), the UAE alone that has put itself on the Front Line. The Qatari-owned Al Quds al-Arabi scathingly noted that “in this alleged alliance against Iran … were the unwanted were to happen, and [a larger] war break out against Iran, the Emirates will be on the receiving end of the blows – and will be the biggest loser.”
For those who love bipartisanship, US foreign policy has been a bipartisan disaster. From Philip Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:
As the United States sinks deeper into a multi-faceted global crisis that no politician seems able or even willing to address, one hears more and more often demands for radical change in who runs the country and to what end. Of course, Donald J. Trump offered such a dramatic shift in priorities four years ago, but he has been unable to deliver due to his own inability to execute and the ill-conceived machinations of those whom he has chosen as advisers. The Democrats for their part are offering little beyond a repeat of their 2016 pander to grievance groups in an effort to cobble together an unassailable majority based on buying off the party’s various constituencies.
But there is one area where change could come dramatically if either party were actually motivated to do something that would truly benefit the American people, and that is in the area of foreign and national security policy where the president has considerable power to set priorities and redirect both the State and Defense Departments. Unfortunately, foreign and national security policy is almost never discussed during the presidential campaigns and this time would already appear to be no exception. That means that the one thing that is a constant amidst all the smoke and mirrors is the continued bellicosity of both parties on the world stage.
The Republicans are apparently eager to “democratize” Latin America while the Democrats in particular are wedded to the “foreign interference” angle to explain their loss in 2016, with Hillary Clinton predictably advising in her Democratic National Convention speech that the public should “Vote to make sure we — not a foreign adversary — choose our president.” Indeed, the tendency to create and then demonize “foreign conspiracies” is generally supported by the establishment and its parasitical media, since it enables the billionaire oligarchs who really run the country to grow fatter while also avoiding any blame for the declining fortunes of most of the American people.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Military, Politics, Propaganda, War
Tagged Europe, Iran, Iran nuclear deal, Mike Pompeo, President Trump
Trump and Pompeo said we’d get a better nuclear deal with Iran if we backed out of Obama, and five other nations’, deal. They backed out, but to date have no better deal with Iran. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:
The US foreign policy establishment has for decades been dominated by neoconservative interventionists and falsely-named “humanitarian” interventionists. These people believe that because the United States is the one “exceptional nation,” no conflict anywhere in the world could possibly be solved without our butting our noses into it.
One of President Obama’s few foreign policy successes was to work with European countries on a deal that would see a reduction of sanctions on Iran in exchange for a series of Iranian moves demonstrating its abandonment of a nuclear weapon.
The American neocons as well as the hardliners in Saudi Arabia and Israel were furious at the compromise, but for a couple of years it showed real promise. Trade between Europe and Iran was increasing and there was no evidence that Iran was reneging on its obligations. Even American companies were looking to Iran for business opportunities. Whenever goods flow between nations, war becomes less likely.
President Trump has had problems with policy consistency throughout his first term in office. But, unfortunately, his few policy consistencies have been the most ill-advised ones. On the campaign trail Trump relentlessly attacked Obama’s Iran policy and promised to pull the US out of the JCPOA Iran agreement.
Mike Pompeo certainly talks like a man looking for a fight. From Brian Cloughley at strategic-culture.org:
When prominent U.S. personalities such as Secretary of State Pompeo speak critically and scornfully about leaders and other prominent figures of countries with whose policies they disagree, they ignore or even welcome the fact that such attacks are heard not only by the persons at whom they are aimed. The citizens of the country concerned are unlikely to disregard such criticism, and even if they may agree with some of it — perhaps all of it — on a purely practical or individual basis, they do not accept the premise that their countries are in the wrong because some foreign representative sounds off against their leaders.
There is a campaign of denigration being waged by Washington against Beijing, and Secretary Pompeo is brandishing the sharpest sword. His speech of July 23 at the Richard Nixon Library and Museum was a definitive indication of how the United States stands in regard to the People’s Republic of China, and its very title made it clear that Washington has no intention of engaging in reasoned dialogue that could lead to rapprochement with the Chinese government. Pompeo’s discourse on ‘Communist China and the Free World’s Future’ was a venomous diatribe aimed at persuading the world community to combine against the PRC.
Pompeo is nostalgic for the good old days of the Cold War, and warned that “If we bend the knee now, our children’s children may be at the mercy of the Chinese Communist Party, whose actions are the primary challenge today in the free world. General Secretary Xi is not destined to tyrannise inside and outside of China forever, unless we allow it. Now, this isn’t about containment. Don’t buy that. It’s about a complex new challenge that we’ve never faced before.”
The US is not the world’s indispensable nation or global policeman, it’s an empire in decline. From Patrick Lawrence at consortiumnews.com:
Americans are caught in a kind of national psychosis, wherein little of what is said about foreign conduct — from Germany to the South China Sea — can be taken at face value.
Applause for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech on “Communist China and the Free World’s Future,” at Richard Nixon Presidential Library, Yorba Linda, California, July 23, 2020. (U.S. State Department, Ron Przysucha)
Let’s face it: The Trump regime has from the first had a tenuous relationship with reality. A thousand jobs at a Midwestern air-conditioner plant don’t go to Mexico and the revival of American manufacturing is coming to a theater near you. The U.S. supports jihadist savages in Syria in the name of “freedom” and human rights. The administration is about to ban TikTok, a harmless but highly popular video application, and it’s not about suppressing a superior competitor: It’s about protecting Americans in the name of “national security.”
President Donald Trump can hardly be blamed for inventing this nation’s dangerous detachment from what we quaintly call the real world. By my reckoning, the last president to speak honestly of things as they are and to say what he meant was Franklin D. Roosevelt. But the national malady, our shared delusions, has worsened markedly under the Trump regime, it is true.
Look westward across the Pacific, eastward across the Atlantic and southward to Latin America: The U.S. leadership and the clerks in the press who serve it have swooned deeply into delusions of this sort over the past couple of weeks. Here’s the thing to note: Fewer and fewer people, other than a regrettable proportion of Americans, seem any longer to take seriously what America says it is doing and why. The effect, we must not miss, is increasing isolation.
President Trump and his foreign policy team have driven Iran into the loving arms of Russia and China. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
For more than three years I’ve tried to explain that President Trump’s foreign policy was having the exact opposite effect of its intended purpose.
Trump, under the advice of people like John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has pursued a maximum pressure campaign against Iran in the hopes of the regime either crumbling or suing for peace.
Trump was warned by both Chinese Premier Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin that Iran would ‘rather eat dirt’ than submit to him on nuclear weapons, support for Hezbollah, Iraq and President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
In effect, Trump and Pompeo have argued for Iran to give up its sovereignty to appease the fears of Netanyahu in Israel, and they have steadfastly told Bibi and The Donald to go pound sand.
Every six months or so, depending on the state of domestic affairs, tensions with Iran ratchet up another notch. Over the past couple of weeks a series of explosions at key Iranian military facilities occurred with fingerprints of Israel striking deep into Iran to cripple strategic targets.
Trump, distracted by the domestic insurrection against him, has left foreign policy strictly to Pompeo who is avidly pursuing a ‘have his cake and eat it too moment,’ trying to extend the weapons embargo against Iran at the United Nations while still claiming the unilateral right to leave the JCPOA without further consequences.
In a word, Russia, China and Europe are telling him, “No.”