What kind of influence are foreign nations exercising on US colleges and universities? From Joe Guzzardi at ustechworkers.com:
The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has opened an ongoing investigation into an aggregate $6.5 billion in unreported cash gifts donated by foreign nations to America’s leading universities. China, Iran, Russia, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are, according to The Wall Street Journal, among the most prominent foreign countries that made gifts that exceeded $250,000 annually, the total which requires reporting to federal authorities.
DOE documents reveal that, in some cases, the universities actively solicited foreign funding from nations potentially looking to steal research or “spread propaganda benefiting foreign governments.” The foreign donors, the DOE’s probe discovered, showed that “opaque foundations, foreign campuses, and other sophisticated legal structures to generate revenue” have been used to disguise actual funding sources.
Harvard and Yale universities are the DOE’s principal targets. In January, federal authorities charged Harvard’s chemistry department chair, Charles Lieber, with lying about the university’s Chinese grants. The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Lieber had established, apparently without Harvard’s knowledge, a research lab in China’s central city of Wuhan.
Iraq’s prime minister is telling an entirely different story about Qassem’s assassination than the one Trump, Pompeo, and the US news media are telling. From Federico Pieraccini at strategic-culture.org:
Days after the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, new and important information is coming to light from a speech given by the Iraqi prime minister. The story behind Soleimani’s assassination seems to go much deeper than what has thus far been reported, involving Saudi Arabia and China as well the U.S. dollar’s role as the global reserve currency.
The Iraqi prime minister, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, has revealed details of his interactions with Trump in the weeks leading up to Soleimani’s assassination in a speech to the Iraqi parliament. He tried to explain several times on live television how Washington had been browbeating him and other Iraqi members of parliament to toe the American line, even threatening to engage in false-flag sniper shootings of both protesters and security personnel in order to inflame the situation, recalling similar modi operandi seen in Cairo in 2009, Libya in 2011, and Maidan in 2014. The purpose of such cynicism was to throw Iraq into chaos.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Adil Abdul-Mahdi, Iran, Iraq, Israel, President Trump, Qassem Soleimani assassination, Saudi Arabia
Soleimani’s assassination does nothing to increase the safety of Americans back home and will just get the US more deeply involved in the Middle Eastern morass. From David Stockman at davidstockmanscontracorner.com via lewrockewell.com:
During more than a half-century of Washington watching we have seen stupidity rise from one height to yet another. But nothing – just plain nothing – compares to the the blithering stupidity of the Donald’s Iran “policy”, culminating in the mindless assassination of its top military leader and hero of the so-called Islamic Revolution, Major General Qassem Soleimani.
To be sure, we don’t give a flying f*ck about the dead man himself. Like most generals of whatever army (including the US army), he was a cold-blooded, professional killer.
And in this day and age of urban and irregular warfare and drone-based annihilation delivered by remote joystick, generals tend to kill more civilians than combatants. The dead civilian victims in their millions of U.S. generals reaching back to the 1960s surely attest to that.
Then again, even the outright belligerents Soleimani did battle with over the decades were not exactly alms-bearing devotees of Mother Theresa, either. In sequential order, they were the lethally armed combatants mustered by Saddam Hussein, George W. Bush, the Sunni jihadists of ISIS and the Israeli and Saudi air forces, which at this very moment are raining high tech bombs and missiles on Iranian allies and proxies in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Intelligence, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Iran, Iraq, President Trump, Qassem Soleimani assassination, Saudi Arabia
According to Michael Hudson, Soleimani was murdered because he would have been instrumental in Iraq’s quest to control its own oil. From Michael Hudson at counterpunch.org:
The mainstream media are carefully sidestepping the method behind America’s seeming madness in assassinating Islamic Revolutionary Guard general Qassim Suleimani to start the New Year. The logic behind the assassination was a long-standing application of U.S. global policy, not just a personality quirk of Donald Trump’s impulsive action. His assassination of Iranian military leader Suleimani was indeed a unilateral act of war in violation of international law, but it was a logical step in a long-standing U.S. strategy. It was explicitly authorized by the Senate in the funding bill for the Pentagon that it passed last year.
The assassination was intended to escalate America’s presence in Iraq to keep control of the region’s oil reserves, and to back Saudi Arabia’s Wahabi troops (Isis, Al Quaeda in Iraq, Al Nusra and other divisions of what are actually America’s foreign legion) to support U.S. control of Near Eastern oil as a buttress of the U.S. dollar. That remains the key to understanding this policy, and why it is in the process of escalating, not dying down.
Posted in banking, Business, Currencies, Debt, Economics, Economy, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Military, War
Tagged Balance of payments, Iran, Iraq, Oil, Qassem Soleimani assassination, Saudi Arabia
Was Qassem Soleimani on a peace mission to Iraq to initiate steps towards an Iraq-brokered peace between Saudi Arabia and Iran with President Trump’s blessing? We may never know for certain, but the Iraqi Prime Minister’s story sounds more plausible than Mike Pompeo’s. If Soleimani was in Iraq to plan attacks against the US, why did he leave himself so unprotected? From Max Blumenthal at thegrayzone.com:
The Trump administration claimed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was planning “imminent attacks” on US interests when it assassinated him. That lie was just destroyed, but not before countless corporate media outlets transmitted it to the public.
Desperate to justify the US drone assassination of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted that Washington had made an “intelligence-based assessment” that Soleimani was “actively planning in the region” to attack American interests before he was killed.
President Donald Trump justified his fateful decision to kill the Iranian general in even more explicit language, declaring that Soleimani was planning “imminent attacks” on US diplomatic facilities and personnel across the Middle East.
“We took action last night to stop a war,” Trump claimed. “We did not take action to start a war.”
Trump’s dubious rationale for an indisputably criminalassassination has been repeated widely across corporate media networks, and often without any skepticism or debate.
At a January 3 State Department briefing, where reporters finally got the chance to demand evidence for the claim of an “imminent” threat, one US official erupted in anger.
“Jesus, do we have to explain why we do these things?” he barked at the press.
Mohammad bin Salman is young, spoiled, and has made some big mistakes. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.org:
When the Saudi King Salman promoted his son Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) to Defense Minister and then Crown Prince the expectations were high. But three of the major projects Muhammad launched since then soon ran into trouble. Now initiatives are under way to limit the damage he caused. The end of the five year old Saudi war on Yemen is coming into sight. The public offering of the Saudi state owned ARAMCO oil company is finally happening but with a much lower valuation than originally planned. The thirty month spat with Qatar is under repair.
On August 17 2019 a Yemeni drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil installations proved that the Saudis had lost the war. Moon of Alabama’s headline empasized the effect that it would have:
Long Range Attack On Saudi Oil Field Ends War On Yemen
Today’s attack is a check mate move against the Saudis. Shaybah is some 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) from Houthi-controlled territory. There are many more important economic targets within that range. […]
The attack conclusively demonstrates that the most important assets of the Saudis are now under threat. This economic threat comes on top of a seven percent budget deficit the IMF predicts for Saudi Arabia. Further Saudi bombing against the Houthi will now have very significant additional cost that might even endanger the viability of the Saudi state. The Houthi have clown prince Mohammad bin Salman by the balls and can squeeze those at will.
A month later another large scale attack disabled half of the Saudi oil output.
The Saudis have since procured additional U.S. military units to provide more air defenses around their oil installations. But U.S. air defenses are not effective against the kind of attacks the Yemenis launched. The Saudis had no choice but to sue for peace.
Posted in Energy, Financial markets, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, Politics
Tagged Houthis, Mohammad bin Salman, Oil, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen
Are we trying to pull out of the Middle East or get more deeply involved? From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:
“Jaw-jaw is better than war-war,” is attributed, wrongly, say some historians, to Winston Churchill. Still, the words lately came to mind.
While last week ended with a hopeful U.S.-Iranian prisoner exchange that was hailed by President Donald Trump — “Thank you to Iran for a very fair negotiation. See, we can make a deal together” — a few days earlier, the week produced more ominous news.
In a startling front-page story Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. is to send 14,000 troops to the Middle East, in addition to the 14,000 we have sent since May.
The reason for the reinforcements, said the Journal, is Iran.
“The Trump administration is considering a significant expansion of the U.S. military footprint in the Middle East to counter Iran, including dozens more ships … and as many as 14,000 additional troops.”
Posted in Economy, Energy, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Houthis, Iran, Middle East wars, Saudi Arabia, Yemen