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14 June 2019


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Patrick Armstrong

Isn't it amazing how the Enemy-of-the-day always does exactly what you want it to do when you want it to?

Bill H

" why would Iran sabotage it's own diplomacy in this way?"

For the same reason that Syria would employ a chemical attack when it is decisively winning in its war against the rebels.

In case you do not detect the irony... It would not. Third parties with different issues certainly would, probably the same parties.

Eric Newhill

I really don't know and it's sad that we can't trust what our government tells us. However, couldn't Iran benefit from this by way of a demonstration of the chaos they could create in the oil markets should the US/Israel/Britain attack or otherwise attempt regime change? Just a little demonstration of power as a warning and a negotiation tactic?

Patrick Armstrong

The other observation is that photography technology has once again reverted to blurry Brownie box camera standards. When Russian artillery is photographed in Ukraine -- blurry indistinct B&W photos of something or other -- when Russia aircraft are photographed in Syria -- razor sharp colour photos.
Must be some poorly understood law of physics at work.


In addition to being just what the neocons desire to spur military action it shows the complete inability of the current USN forces in the region to provide shipping security. If these risks are so great why aren't tankers sailing in convoy with military escort just like WW2? Just what good are F35s and Stealth bombers in that role?

Barbara Ann

Zvi Bar'el's piece is a good example of a problem much in evidence these days; leftist utopian delusions that order is the universally desirable state of the world that everyone is working towards. But nightmare wars that last for decades are exactly what the sponsors of these actions are looking for. Does he not see what is happening right next door in Syria?

From rapture-obsessed Christian Zionists to PNAC folk sewing chaos simply to slow the rise of Asian powers, there are many for whom order on the Eurasian continent is anathema. It is not their sons and daughters on the front line. And right now these people hold the reigns of power in America.

Cui bono? The Grim Reaper, as always. Whodunnit? Sadly without hard proof either way it just doesn't matter, it's done. The only thing that matters is stopping these madmen.

The Beaver

Don't go too far.
Beware of MBZ.

Barbara Ann

Anyone else notice the pan away between 36s and 39s in the grainy 'mine removal' video? The pan away seems unnecessary and it just happens to focus far enough back on the hull to show the hole seen in the photos.

Of course if you did want to make a video of a small boat next to a tanker match the photos, both of which may or may not show events happening in the same timescale and may or may not have manufactured 'mine' or 'hole' artifacts, it would be useful to 'inadvertently' evidence their consistency.

Then again, maybe there is another explanation for the damage:



My money is on Tel Aviv


Without any hard knowledge one way or the other, I would tend to agree with Linda- and what easier way to do so, than by employing Israeli special ops, e.g.- from one of its submarines- except that I'd also speculate the US (Pompeo, Bolton, the CIA, and our military) had prior knowledge, and were fully on board, given Pompeo's rapid response blaming Iran.

And what better act or timing to move closer to war, or to trash the possibility of any positive results of the Rouhani-Abe meeting, including that Iran be persuaded to release US prisoners in response to Trump's request, or respond positively to whatever else Abe might have communicated to Rouhani on behalf of Trump, or that Japan be willing to improve trade and investment with Iran despite of U.S. sanctions, than, contemporaneous with the meeting, to initiate another false flag to be blamed on Iran.

Christian J Chuba

Can someone please buy the U.S. navy a few cell phones? That video is awful. I did't see any mine. If anyone else did please give me the time offset.

BTW even if the IRGC did remove a mine, since they were doing a rescue, removing an un-exploded mine would be the responsible thing to do. Granted it would be suspicious not to mention it but in any case I didn't see anything, just a bunch of guys on a boat.


I have been hearing small reports of unrest in Iran. Or am I wrong about that?

My reaction was that maybe the U.S. is trying to take advantage of that social unrest in Iran--it it is a problem.

But, then, I have no experience in foreign relations.

(Sorry if my comment is naive.)

Harlan Easley


The Twisted Genius

I agree with all those here who smell something rotten with the USG line. The captain of the Japanese tanker said he was hit from the air not by a mine. A photo of one of the tankers shows two fairly small holes well above the waterline. Unless there's a bouncing betty sea mine, I'm calling bullshit on that story. Looks like it could be small missiles from a drone like the ones we used to go after individual targets for years.


The Twisted Genius

OTOH, perhaps that tanker already off loaded much of its cargo so those holes could have been at the waterline. However that still doesn't account for the captain's account of an air attack.

John Merryman

Not that it means anything, but the ones who would benefit most from the US being drawn into a Mid-East conflagration would be Russia and China. Not that they benefit directly, so much as it would distract from any further military moves against them.


Fake News CNN is reporting that the Iranians fired at a US drone prior to the hit on the tanker, it is possible that the Iranians accidentally hit the tanker.

Tanker captain is Japanese and claims the attack came from the air and creates a perfect narrative for the NeoCons.


Hey Japan - nice oil tankers you got there. Be a shame if something happened to them. Maybe you want to stop meeting with Iran.

robt willmann

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's statement of yesterday about the attack on a petroleum tanker(s) in the Gulf of Oman; he walked to the podium, read the prepared remarks, and walked off--


Patrick Armstrong,

When I saw the fuzzy video of the boat and ship, it made clear that the propaganda campaign is underway to gin up action against Iran. The U.S. has sensors and optics that can count the hairs on the back of a mouse from high up in the air, but this cheesy video is pushed out on the public. Plus, if that is an Iranian IRGC boat, there are shrimp boats on the Texas coast that are more robust than that.

The Beaver,

Here is a brief article by David Hearst of the Middle East Eye about Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ), the 'crown prince' of Abu Dhabi, and his policies--



The only 'fact' that we know is that Pompeo is blaming Iran for this, and if you can't trust Pompeo then who can you trust ?

White Frogmen

‪The distress call was at 6 a.m. while the attacked Japanese tanker was sailing South/South-East, from Sea of Oman towards the Indian Ocean. However the shadow of the boatmen (@30 sec. time tag‬ twitter.com/sinatoossi/status/1139494335924322304?s=21‪) is consistent with a sunset as opposed to a sunrise positioning! = Poorly falsified record by White Helmets mutated into White Frogmen‬


Iran rescues the 11 Russian crew: tass.com/emergencies/1063638/amp

Iran rescued all the crew from both tankers:

Not sure whether Pidgin English version of BBC is meant as humor:

A search via Yandex.com will give you a different picture.

Patrick Armstrong

OTOH, MoA makes an argument that it actually could be Iran sending a message, not for Washington which is deaf, but to others, of just what Iran could do if attacked.

Mark Logan

The reports that the boat was removing a mine seem unlikely, the boat appears to be right next to one of the holes in the ship. There would be no unexploded ordinance there. Below is a shot of the ship showing both holes and the grainy shot of a boat supposedly removing a mine. Note the white "T" marker visible in the forward hole in both shots, of the ship alone and the small boat. The smudge on the paint is also visible in both. That small boat was inspecting damage, bet the farm.



We are probably being gamed there.

However, reports that both ships hit had the crews taken off by other vessels, and both vessels say they were surrounded by Iranian patrol boats who demanded they pass the rescued crews to them seems very odd. Why would the Iranians do that?? I'm sure we are being gamed by the neo-cons, but can't dismiss the possibility IRG has also done something exceptionally stupid.


We are about to learn something about the Donald's ability to exercise good judgement. It is true that his judgement in assembling his National Security/ Foreign Policy staffing has been demonstrably poor and at serious odds with the policy pronouncements that got him elected. Prospects for his hearing prudent advice are therefore dim and he has only himself to blame in this regard. One may hope, however, that an instinct for political survival continues to operate in the cloud of Beltway bullshit he has plunged himself into and he manages to say no and avoid catastrophe, if not for the greater good, at least to save his own political ass. For if he thinks that his political supporters have a bigger appetite now for his engaging us in another Middle Eastern war than back when he was running for President, he is a dope. This would apply triply when it turns out, as it inevitably will, that the casus belli was just another concocted mirage. I hope I am not wrong in assuming that the Trump base, for want of a better word, of 2 1/2 years ago will not be so damnably stupid to go over the cliff with a judas goat. He has blustered himself into the nasty predicament where he's made himself a sitting target for false flag provocations and his resources for sorting out the true from the false consist of two born warmongers and Javanka. Not good. He nevertheless should remember that for him it's nut cutting time.

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