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25 November 2017

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Christian Chuba

Regarding the lack of escalation with Iran, Trump (and the Neocons) are fitting the profile of a bully.
When the schoolyard bully wants to show his mettle, they don't go after the varsity football player, they go after the small kid with the glasses.

1. He bombed the Syrian airfield because he knows that Assad dares not retaliate.

2. He gives weapons to the Saudis and diplomatic cover in Yemen because well, the Yemenis are the weakest of the countries said to be Iranian allies. If Iran is guilty of shipping advanced missiles all over the place why not blockade Iran? (rhetorical question, Iran has submarines, cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, and even supercavitating torpedoes)

3. He decertifies the JCPOA and sends out Haley to lie about Iran and lobbies our vassals, oops, I meant valued partners in the EU to add more sanctions against Iran because of their ballistic missile program, the ballistic missiles that keeps Iran from being attacked. Iran and Hezbollah would be crazy to give up the one weapon that offers their only practical deterrence. Economic strangulation is the next best thing.

He is being as aggressive as possible given the situation without risking our assets.

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

Even the feckless Obama was quick to seize on Putin's offer to destroy Syria's chemical weapons in order to defang the drumbeat for war that was picking up in those days after Assad was accused by the Borg of 'gassing his own people'. I see in a write up in a recent NY Review of Books that this proven fraud is still used as a bedrock truth in respectable western reportage.

outthere

I read a lot of comment about personalities of leaders on this blog. Consider this comment from Bacevich:
quote
BACEVICH REPLIES

Boston

If I understand Professor Langguth’s letter, he is insisting on the primacy of personalities in politics. Dean Rusk was a “rigid anticommunist” and Walt Rostow an “unyielding hawk,” and that’s all you need to know. Attach the right label to people and you can tell the story just the way you like it. Seen from this perspective, Vietnam becomes an argument over alternative versions of “the Best and the Brightest.”

In Perils of Dominance Gareth Porter offers us a different angle of vision. He suggests that power–perceived and misperceived–rather than personalities might explain how we blundered into that war. For those willing to countenance a version of politics that looks beyond good guys and bad guys, I recommend it.

By the way, on Clark Clifford: In 1968 President Johnson was in a deep fix and was desperately looking for a way out. Johnson hired Clifford not because he was a “staunch supporter of the war” but because he was a fixer. Sometimes a single label won’t suffice.

ANDREW J. BACEVICH

outthere

Thierry Meyssan analyzes the Argentina bombings.
Remember there were 2 bombings, the Israeli embassy in 1992 and the AIMA in 1994. Read the whole linked story for more details
quote
The investigating judge Alfredo Horacio Bisordi has testified under oath, behind closed doors, before a parliamentary commission of enquiry concerning the the first terrorist attack. Voltaire Network has been able to obtain a transcription of this hearing.

According to Bisordi, police commissioner Meni Battaglia lead the enquiry
into the embassy bombing. He was seconded, in an unofficial capacity, by an unidentified Green Beret from the US embassy and by the head of security at the Israeli Embassy, Ronnie Gornie, both of whom supposedly had long experience investigating this type of terrorist attack in the Middle-East. At the advice of these "experts", the commissioner immediately adopted the Islamic hypothesis of a car bombing and claimed to have found the scatterd remains of the engine of a Ford 100.

It was not possible to establish the exact casualty list of the bombings
since it turned out that the list of accredited Israeli diplomats didn't
correspond to that of the actual embassy personnel and this anomaly couldn't be explained. Commissioner Battaglia opposed Judge Bisordi's wish to hold autopsies claiming that this would provide no new evidence. The judge insisting, the Chief Rabbi of Argentina in turn voiced his opposition claiming that, for the Jews, this would be a profanation of the dead. There was no autopsy.

The judge questioned two aspects of the case : why wait until the embassy was empty before attacking when a a hundred Jewish dignitaries were about to be received at the embassy with great ceremony? And why use a suicide bomber when a car bomb would have been sufficient.

Showing more and more skepticism about the version that was being imposed on him, he was visited by the director of the secret services(SIDE), Dr. Gerardo Conte who was under instructions to make him see reason.

Ever more suspicious, the judge burst unexpectedly into the police
commissariat during the interrogation of a key witness : a taxi driver who claimed to have taken a group of Muslims to the airport just before the explosion. They allegedly told him that it was necessary to get out of the area quickly before it turned into an inferno. The judge himself questioned the witness who believed he was dealing with someone as accommadating as the police. The taxi driver refused to give his identity and described himself as a loyal Israeli. He claimed to be a colonel in the Israeli Army and to have fought in the Six Day War.

The second enquiry reveals some equally edifying details such as an "Israeli police officer" who makes himself quite at home in Argentinian police stations and prisons, questions people outwith normal procedures and brings pressure to bear on witnesses. Asked to explain himself before an Argentinian court, he has disappeared. The Isreali government, after denying his existence, finally admitted he was one of their employees but refused to allow him to testify.

The supreme court met in private sessionto examine various espects of the conduct of the case. It formally accepted scientific findings which
established that, contrary to that which had been originally claimed, there were no car bombs driven by suicide bombers, but that, rather, the explosives had been placed in the buildings themselves, both the embassy and the AMIA.

Everything that had been claimed about the vehicles and their drivers was therefore deemed to be false. The day after this session, the spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires deplored these conclusions and accused the Supreme Court of anti-semitism.

A lot more independence and perseverance will be required by the Argentinian judicial authorites to elucidate completely this case.In the meantime, let's focus on certain aspects of the affair.

It is strange that 12 years are needed to establish that the explosives were in the building and that it was not a suicide car bomb. I would observe in passing that in the ongoing enquiry into the assassination of the Lebanese president Rafic Hariri, the hypothesis of car bomb which was taken as given by the UN special envoy Detlev Mehlis, is only a working hypothesis according to his successor.

For 14 years, numerous Western experts have based their work on terrorism on an interpretation of the Buenos Aires attacks which has turned out to be false.

It is lamentable to be able to assert that all the enquiries into the
terrorist attacks imputed to Muslims are inconclusive , whether it is a case of Buenos Aires, New York, Casablanca, Madrid or London. Although that doesn't prevent the neo-conservative governments and their "experts" from drawing sweeping conclusions.

The US has a habit of modifying retrospectively the perpetrators of
terrorist attacks against themselves according to their real or imagined
adversary of the moment. Now they are rewriting the history of other
peoples' terrorist attacks.

Finally, it is advisable to be vigilant with regard to warmongers who want to evoke the Buenos Aires attacks in order to categorize some or other group or government as "terrorist" and call for their eradication.

http://www.911forum.org.uk/board/viewtopic.php?p=169469

Babak Makkinejad

I wonder why those bombings in Argentina have been a matter of discussion - beyond academic - for US, EU countries, Canada, etc. It ought to be a matter to Argentina and Israel only.

Anna

From Unz Review: http://www.unz.com/jpetras/saudi-arabia-regional-and-global-linkages/
"Saudi Arabia has long established de facto linkages with Israel, despite their superficial religious differences, based on their intense racist tribalism and common opposition to independent Iran and secular, nationalist Arab states…
Saudi Arabia and Israel play the key roles in anchoring the ‘arc of reaction and terror’ in the Middle East. Both foment wars, finance terrorism and spread ethno-religious fragmentation leading to millions of refugees…
Saudi Arabia’s ‘Crown Prince MBS’ competes with Israel’s Netanyahu in concocting the most outrageous warmongering slander against Iran, preparing the world for global conflagration.”

Is there a way to make the approaching conflagration local, so that it would consume these two arsonists only, while leaving the rest of humanity unharmed?

Steve G

Richardstevenhack
“Six to ten trillion in undeveloped resources”
Are you referring to North Korea and if
so where and what are they?

FB Ali

Col Lang,

I would be very interested in your view on Patrick Armstrong's comment at 2:42 PM on 26 Nov.

The reason I ask is that I have great respect for both your opinion and that of Patrick Armstrong's. And, they seem to differ on this subject.

Jeff Kerber

Agree. Good points. All of the commentators here at SST were convinced that if Hillary won the election that the U.S. military would go all out and bomb the SAA and help the AQ/IS jihadis overthrow Assad. And Hillary was prepared to declare a NFZ in Syria and shoot down Russian planes. If Hillary won there was a very good chance those of us living in the NE Acela corridor would now be carbonized silhouettes by now.

I believe what Trump said during the election. His off-the-cuff realist comments about the ME and foreign policy can’t be faked, IMO. Given the globalist neocon forces arrayed against him, Trump is having to do a lot of bluffing, doublespeak, and game-playing to mitigate the forces pushing him into disastrous conflicts. Frankly, I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have playing this complicated game than a guy like Trump, who has extremely rare ability to play multi-dimensional chess and who has ungodly levels of confidence and fortitude in sticking with his instincts.

JohnB

According to this article by Mark Perry:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/kushner-kept-tillerson-in-the-dark-on-saudi-lebanon-move/

It looks like the US has twin track approach to ME policy one by the Tillerson and the other by Kushner. Only can win out!

turcopolier

FB Ali

My understanding of DJT is a work in progress, but at present IMO he has constructed an artificial persona for himself that reflects the "Art of the Deal" man that he thinks he ought to be. I watched the Farid Zakariya special yesterday as to how he was elected. Zakariya is a pretentious twit but this was interesting in its display of DJT in his own words and pictures over the last 35 years. The Trump of that long ago time was a different seeming man. He spoke English well and in complete sentences. He was calm and courteous. Gradually, over the decades, he became the menacing brutish lout that he seems now. Zakariya's conclusion is that DJT is a deeply insecure man who was never accepted by the Manhattan establishment and who in retaliation and self-protection transformed himself into a parody of Joe Sixpack, the Everyman at heart of his base as it is called. His son has called him the blue collar billionaire. I think that is the desired effect. With that tool he successfully convinced scorned ordinary Americans that he was one of them and would stand up for them against the people that both he and they detested. There is nothing stupid about him at all. IMO he sees himself as a modern version of a Byzantine emperor balancing the needs of the pleb supporters with the need to play off his crowd of potential rivals in the Congress and his own house against each other. IMO he has his own policy ideas and he works on these on a personal basis with people he sees as analogs to the negotiating partners he has known most of his life. I would not want to work for him. i have worked for people like him and he will shop you in a minute if he comes to think of you as a threat to his power and image. pl

EEngineer

"shop you in a minute"? Did you mean "shoot"?

turcopolier

EEngineer

No. I watch too much British television. It means - sell you out. There ae no real immunity from this. Kushner is only partially fire proof because of Ivanka. pl

Fred

Richardstevenhack,

"Meet the new boss; Same as the old boss."

I really like the pro-immigration statnce Trump has. Those repeated appeals to the Supreme Court after the 9th Circuit stayed his executive orders, why that was just so much window dressing.

"All Trump wants to do is fake being "Presidential" until he can leave office and make some real money,..."
Maybe he should make a few deals with the open borders globalists. How many billions would Soros or Bezos shell out to get him to sell out? It has to be tough on his ego to know he's only just a billionaire. Why he's almost a peasant. If only he had started as an Arkansas lawyer or a Chicago community organizer, why then nobody would question his finances.
https://www.forbes.com/donald-trump/#613cf0772899

outthere

superb LONG article by Erix Zeusse, goes back to 1996 Khobar Towers bombing which saudis tried to blame on Iran but was actually the work of Osama; analyzes Hersh and Gareth Porter reports, Bush2, Clinton, FBI refusal to accept thousands of pages of Saudi documents showing their terrorism, etc
must read all, too much to quote or restate

Here’s why the US spreads falsehoods about Iran
Iran is not sponsoring terrorism, but the US has vested interests in perpetuating lies on the matter.

by Eric Zuesse Eric Zuesse
November 27, 2017

http://theduran.com/heres-why-america-spreads-falsehoods-about-iran/

outthere

PAUL JAY: But, what I’m getting at, or I guess what I’m asking, in terms of targeting Iran, which I do not think this administration has given up on, far from it, the Saudis I think are aggressive as anything. In fact, a lot of this purge, and I’m not sure enough has been made of this, but the purge of these various princes by the new crown prince in Saudi Arabia, some of that seems to have been princes who were opposed to this very anti-Iranian policy of the crown prince.

LARRY WILKERSON: Yes, opposed to the split with Qatar, which was in my view utterly stupid, strategically inept, breaking up the GCC that way.

PAUL JAY: It’s all about getting ready for an even more aggressive stance towards Iran. What I’m saying is, I’m not so sure Russia will mitigate that aggression towards Iran.

LARRY WILKERSON: I’m not sure Russia will be willing to step into that one, because I think that would be propitious for Putin to stand on the sidelines and watch the United States, mainly because of Israel and its commitment to Israel, and to a certain extent Saudi Arabia, get sucked into it. That’s exactly my expectation, that we are going to, as one headline had it the other day, be the Saudis’ proxy. The Saudis are going to fight Tehran to the last dead American, and the Israelis of course will fight Hezbollah to the last dead American. They’ll do a little bit better of the fighting, but that’s the way it will be. The Saudis are utterly incompetent at military operations. You’re seeing that in Yemen. They drop their bombs from so high altitude because their pilots are scared to death of getting hit by antiaircraft fire that the bombs go everywhere, schools, hospitals, churches. It is going to be, if it is going to be, an extremely brutal war.

Iran will respond probably asymmetrically. They will not exchange hardware with Saudi Arabia. They will send the Quds Force, now highly trained and highly capable, into the oil-producing regions of Saudi Arabia, where Shia mostly work, and they will stoke those Shia, and the kingdom, and Mohammad bin Salman, this consolidating of power crown prince will suddenly have a rebellion on his hands. This could really get bad. It can go bad really fast.

PAUL JAY: We’re in a very dangerous moment in various places in the world. Just to add-

LARRY WILKERSON: Paul, we’re exactly as you just characterized it, and what we have in Washington is a bunch of amateurs with no experience. I include Rex Tillerson in that. That is not what you want on your team when you’re in this kind of situation.

PAUL JAY: And, a very divided Washington. I’m reading reports, I don’t know how credible they are because obviously I’m not so sure of the websites I’ve been seeing them, but apparently a real split between the Pentagon and sections of the CIA, which apparently don’t buy this policy of maintenance of the Assad era, or what should I say, accepting Assad is going to stay in power. There’s sections of the CIA that are continuing to fund and arm anti-Assad Islamic forces in Syria, and that the Pentagon is seriously at odds with these people in the CIA. Have you heard this?

LARRY WILKERSON: I haven’t. My question there as always, and has been recently, does the president know about this? Does McMaster know about this? Is this happening beneath their watch, as it did with Ronald Reagan with the Contras and Sandinistas in South America, Honduras and Nicaragua? Ronald Reagan did not know everything that Bill Casey and his minions were doing, including Bob Gates. There were things going on between the president’s watch, if you will. Who cares what the reason was, dotage, or inattention, or whatever? That happens from time to time with the CIA. When you get these internecine bureaucratic battles beneath it, it gets even worse. I wouldn’t be surprised at all, because I have seen it before in the historical record, in the archives, in testimony. It’s there.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/11/saudis-going-fight-tehran-last-dead-american.html

Eric Newhill

outthere,
Interesting to read about Comey and Mueller being involved in the Bin Laden/Iran bait and switch.

It is corruption like that that makes me think that they must either thoroughly corrupt or kill Trump now that he has access to all kinds of state secrets. There must be a tremendous fear of what he might publicly reveal, especially when he leaves office. I suspect that, for now, Trump is aware of the danger and is playing at being corruptible at times and using the secrets as leverage over people at other times (something that would not be appreciated in the least).

LeaNder

Maybe he should make a few deals with the open borders globalists.

Fred, should I suppose this is ironical? Trump isn't an 'open borders' globalist? If it is all about America First, why would he want to possess a golf course in Scotland? Dubai, Indonesia? And strictly how many Deplorables use his golf premises in the US?

http://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/travel-guide/g9195761/royal-guide-to-scotland/

https://www.trumpgolf.com/Our-Courses

********
yes, let's leave out Soros, as the center of evil, I am vaguely undecided about him. ...

But yes, interesting that Bezos has replaced Gates, who seems to struggle to close up with regular/constant business returns e.g. with Google?

But concerning Bezos. Never mind they may occasionally sell web-space to the wrong type of customers, in hindsight that is,

https://aws.amazon.com/de/s3/

never mind they, as others, used Luxembourg as a safe tax haven, may not pay their employees as much as they should, they were always a highly reliable and highly customer friendly business partner for me. In other words, they have earned my trust over the decades, from the moment my foreign language department lady retired shortly before the bookshop closed its branch/shop close to me. And yes, they quite efficiently expanded beyond books.

Nutshell: That lady, the one that retired, could get me US books in two weeks at most. Meaning if the books had to be ordered from the publisher directly.

I vaguely recall I once before Amazon was around, a long time ago, asked a friend on visit from the US over here to bring the next two volumes of a trilogy by a US scholar. She replied, she had been told it would take four weeks for her to pick them up in Seattle. That was even longer then it was at the time for me here in Germany. Of course I have no idea if she was the wrong person to ask. But I doubt.

Has there been a bestseller bias on the US book market before Amazon opened shop, I ask you?

rjj

Hack: Suggest dialing down the Shrill and the Histrionic from 11 (eleven) to between 2 and 3. They interfere with the Passionate Intensity.

Beige Barbaria

The former US National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection and Counter-terrorism, Richard Clarke, explicitly stated on US television that the United States had retaliated against Iran for Khobar Towers bombing; "We did something very nasty to them and told them not to do that again." - if my memory serves.

Beige Barbaria

" let's leave out Soros, as the center of evil,", indeed!

We do not wish to be dislodged from that august position by a mere armature.

jpb


DJT is experienced dealing with rich powerful Jews who dominate the New York real estate business.

Is is possible DJT is using Kushner to play the Israeli's, rather than the other way around?

turcopolier

Beige Barbara

That was along time ago. Trump's motto is"what have you done for me today?" pl

turcopolier

jpb

I think it is likely. pl

Anna

Moral relativism: http://thesaker.is/the-zionist-wahhabis-are-gearing-up-for-a-new-war/
"The covert relationship that Israel has with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states is no longer a secret. It is clear that the Saudi-Israeli unity regarding their common enemy, Iran and Hezbollah, will grow even stronger from now on as their relationship is taking a more overt character. This alliance will try to change the regional balance of power to Iran’s disadvantage. But what remains unclear is if these two criminal states will, despite their unsuccessful adventures in Yemen and Lebanon respectively have taught them any lesson at all? I remain doubtful as arrogance and impulse rules the day in Riaydh and Tel Aviv."
These spoiled brats, sanctimonious to the extreme, need a good lesson. For now they hide behind the US might.

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