Tuesday, 25 June 2019

The Western World Is Leaderless as we face Armageddon

As We Face Armageddon the 

Western World Is Leaderless

By Paul Craig Roberts

June 23/24, 2019 "Information Clearing House" -   

According to news reports, the validity of which cannot be ascertained by the general public, a crazed US government came within 10 minutes of igniting a general conflagration in the Middle East, the consequences of which could have been catastrophic for all.

The moronic warmongers in high office—Bolton, Pompeo, and Pence—and their Israel Lobby masters are determined, and they have not abandoned their campaign for war with Iran.  Of course, the liars say that Iran will just accept its punishment for defending its territory and there will be no war.  But this is not what Iran says.  I believe Iran.

Some of the tiny percentage of people in the Western World who are still capable of thought regret that Trump called off the insane plan.  They think the consequences would have been the destruction of the Saudi and Israeli governments—two of the most evil in history—and the cut-off of oil to the US and Europe, with the resulting depression causing the overthrow of the Western warmonger governments.  They believe that catastrophic American defeat is the only way peace can be restored to the world.
In other words, it is not clear whether Trump calling off the attack saved us or doomed us.  The Israel Lobby and their neoconservative agents have not been taught a lesson.  Trump has not fired Bolton and Pompeo for almost igniting a conflagration, and he has not dressed down his moronic vice president.  So, it can all happen again.  

And likely will.  The lesson that Bolton and Israel have learned is that the fake news about an Iranian attack on a Japanese freighter, denied by the Japanese, was not sufficient to lock Trump into “saving face” by attacking Iran.  So be prepared for a larger orchestrated provocation. Bolton and Israel know that the Western presstitutes will lie for them.  Watch for a provocation that allows Trump no alternative to an attack.

Washington’s use of fake news and false flag attacks to launch military attacks goes back a long way.  In the 21st century we have had a concentrated dose—Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, Assad’s use of chemical weapons, Iranian nukes, Russian invasions, Maduro starving his own people, the endless lies about Gaddafi.  Yes, I know there are more.  I am writing an article, not an encyclopedia.

Washington has grown accustomed to attacking countries on false pretenses and getting away with it.  Therefore, there is nothing to discourage the Israel Lobby and its Washington puppets from continuing to set-up Iran for an attack.  Success breeds incaution.  The attack on Iraq was stage-managed by a credible US Secretary of State before the UN.  The attack on Libya was stage-managed by a UN resolution that a deceived Russia and China failed to block.  In situations such as these, Washington arranged a green light for its war crimes.  However, Washington has failed to stage-manage a green light for an attack on Iran. Moreover, Iran is a more powerful military force than Iraq and Libya, and the extent of the depth of Russian and Chinese support for Iran is unknown to Washington.

If Israel succeeds in having its Washington puppet attack Iran, Israel and its neoconservative agents will not welcome failure of their objective.  They will fight against failure with more dangerous moves.  I can easily imagine the fanatics having Trump “save face” by destroying the world and issuing some kind of ultimatums to Russia and China or resorting to the use of nuclear weapons against Iran.  

The insouciant American—indeed, Western—people are kept unaware by design.  It is the function of the presstitutes to control the explanations given to the people.  The US Congress is bought and paid for by the Israel Lobby, as are most important politicians in the UK and Europe.  What I am telling you is that it is very easy for fanatics to produce Armageddon.

Stephen Cohen and I, and a few surviving others, lived through the 20th century Cold War. In recent years we both have reported on numerous occasions that the threat of nuclear war today is far higher than during the Cold War.  One reason is that during the Cold War US and Soviet leaders worked to defuse tensions and to build trust.  In contrast, since the Clinton regime the US has worked consistently to build tensions.  Both Cohen and I have listed on many occasions the tension-building activities pursued by all post-Reagan/George H.W. Bush administrations.

The Russians no longer trust Washington, and neither do the Chinese.  Washington has lied to, and about, Russia so often in the 21st century that Russian trust of Washington is exhausted.  No matter how earnestly the Russian government wants to trust Washington, it dare not do so.

Therefore, it takes very little miscalculation for the morons in Washington to cause a threat-ending response from Russia as Washington has convinced the Russian government that the US intends to destroy them.  

The orchestration of Russiagate by the Democratic Party, military/security complex, and their media whores has, as Stephen Cohen has emphasized, forced President Trump in an act of self-preservation to adopt the neoconservative attitude toward Russia and other “non-compliant” governments.  This attitude is dangerous enough in the best of times.  It is extremely dangerous after trust has been destroyed by years of lies and false accusations.  

Perhaps there is someone in the Trump administration who has the intelligence to understand the dangerous situation and who has Trump’s confidence.  But I do not know who that person is.

We have to face the fact that as we face Armageddon the Western World is leaderless.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the WestHow America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

Trump's 'Coalition Of The Willing'?

Trump Seeks 'Coalition Of The Willing' Against Iran

Pompeo in Saudi Arabia, Iran threatens more US drone ...

24 June, 2019

After 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 2019
Mnuchin: "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?
Brian Hook is by the way a loon who does not even understand the meaning of what he himself says:
laurence norman @laurnorman - 10:53 utc - 24 Jun 2019
US Hook says Iran knew what getting into when struck deal with president who had 1 1/2 yr left in office. "They knew what they were getting into...They knew that there was a great possibility that the next president could come in & leave the deal." Note: US elections 17 months away
Those are two good arguments for Iran to never again agree to any deal with the 'non-agreement-capable' United States.
It seems obvious from the above that the Trump administration has no real interest in reasonable negotiations with Iran:
The administration is not really interested in negotiations now,” said Robert Einhorn, a former senior State Department official who was involved in negotiations with Iranian officials during the Obama administration. “It wants to give sanctions more time to make the Iranians truly desperate, at which point it hopes the negotiations will be about the terms of surrender.”
That is part of the strategy. But the real issue is deeper:
Max Abrahms @MaxAbrahms - 16:41 utc - 24 Jun 2019
Pro tip: Sanctions against #Iran aren’t to retaliate for the downed drone or to punish tanker attacks or to improve the nuclear deal or to help the Iranian people but to foment revolution against the regime. The strategy is regime change with velvet gloves.
The U.S. now tries to build an international coalition against Iran. Trump invited China and Japan to protect their tankers in the Middle East:
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump - 0:08 utc - 24 Jun 2019
China gets 91% of its Oil from the Straight, Japan 62%, & many other countries likewise. So why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation. All of these countries should be protecting their own ships on what has always been....
....a dangerous journey. We don’t even need to be there in that the U.S. has just become (by far) the largest producer of Energy anywhere in the world! The U.S. request for Iran is very simple - No Nuclear Weapons and No Further Sponsoring of Terror!
One wonders what the U.S. Central Command and the U.S. Navy will say when that Chinese carrier group arrives in the Gulf region.
Who else will join this?
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday he wants to build a global coalition against Iran during urgent consultations in the Middle East, following a week of crisis that saw the United States pull back from the brink of a military strike on Iran.
Pompeo spoke as he left Washington for Saudi Arabia, followed by the United Arab Emirates, ..
"We’ll be talking with them about how to make sure that we are all strategically aligned, and how we can build out a global coalition, a coalition not only throughout the Gulf states, but in Asia and in Europe, that understands this challenge as it is prepared to push back against the world’s largest state sponsor of terror,” Pompeo said about Iran.
Pompeo was hastily sent to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Brian Hook is now in Oman and Bolton is in Israel. The U.S. will also pressure Europe and NATO to join a new 'coalition of the willing'. The UK will likely follow any U.S. call as it needs a trade deal to survive after Brexit.
Other countries are best advised to stay out.

Russian Navy frigate arrives in Cuba

Russian Navy frigate arrives in Cuba under US observation

A Russian Navy frigate armed with cruise missiles has arrived in Havana Harbor for an official visit. As Russian seamen stretch their legs on shore, US warships idle nearby and quietly observe their counterparts.
The frigate Admiral Gorshkov, armed with Kalibr missiles, left the Russian port of Severomorsk in late February for its months-long voyage, making stops in China, Djibouti and Sri Lanka before docking in Cuba on Monday. It is accompanied by several support vessels.

A group of Russian ships from the North Fleet, led by the Admiral Gorshkov frigate, approached the coast of Cuba, said North Fleet spokesman Vadim Serga.
“The group of North Fleet ships headed by the Admiral Gorshkov frigate approached the coast of Cuba. Today the Russian sailors will make a working visit to the capital of the republic – the port city of Havana, with the Elbrus logistic vessel and the tugboat Nikolai Chiker. The average offshore tanker Kama continues its voyage to the eastern Caribbean Sea to the islands of Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.
It was reported that the detachment of ships left for the long voyage from Severomorsk on February 26. Since the beginning of the voyage, the ships and support vessels of the detachment have traveled about 28 thousand nautical miles.
It is reported that during the voyage the Russian sailors made stops at the ports of Djibouti and Colombo as well as at the Chinese port of Qingdao to participate in the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army of China.

Meanwhile, the hydrographers of the Russian North Fleet intend to confirm assumptions about the existence of new islands and map them during the Arctic expedition in 2019.
The festivities of May were spent in Vladivostok, then they crossed the Pacific Ocean, crossed the equator and made a stopover in Puerto BolĂ­var, Ecuador. Last week, the detachment passed through the Panama Canal to the Caribbean Sea.
“There are six or seven islands whose existence must be confirmed during the expedition, most of which are supposed to be more than 500 meters long,” Aleksei Kornis, head of the Hydrographic Service of the Fleet, quoted by Izvestia.
According to Kornis, these are islands in the archipelago of Nova Zembla. The assumptions about its existence arose following the analysis of satellite images and data from other expeditions.
“However, the islands are only considered officially discovered when they are trodden by surveyors. It is necessary to establish how these structures are permanent, if, for example, are not part of a glacier,” said Kornis.


Update from Iran - 24 June, 2019

Iranian President Rouhani Says White House is 'Mentally Retarded' - State TV

24 June, 2019

Washington previously imposed restrictions on Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and "those closely affiliated with him". US President Donald Trump has said he is responsible for "the hostile conduct" of Tehran towards the United States.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has stated that the sanctions against Tehran show the US administration's "despair", calling the White House "mentally retarded". Rouhani stressed that the sanctions against the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are futile, because he has no assets abroad.
The statement comes after Iranian diplomats slammed US policy toward the Islamic Republic.
"Imposing useless sanctions on Iran's Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] and the commander of Iran's diplomacy [Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif] is the permanent closure of the path of diplomacy", Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi stated.

The US sanctions targeting top Iranian statesmen come after the downing of a US drone by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps last week. According to Tehran, the UAV and P-8 Poseidon spy plane accompanying it had violated the country's border.
At the same time, the US insists that the aircraft were flying above neutral waters in the Strait of Hormuz.
Addressing the incident, Trump said that the US planned to retaliate with a military strike, claiming he had stopped the operation 10 minutes prior to its start in order to avoid disproportionate casualties.

The US has destroyed the glimmering chance for negotiations and undermined “world peace and security” by targeting the Iranian leadership with a new wave of sanctions, Tehran has said.
By slapping “useless sanctions” on Iran’s top officials, Washington has precipitated “the permanent closure of the path of diplomacy,” the spokesperson for the Islamic Republic’s Foreign Ministry, Seyyed Abbas Mousavi, said on Tuesday.
Trump’s desperate administration is destroying the established international mechanisms for maintaining world peace and security.
His words were echoed by Iran’s envoy to the UN, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, who said“there is no way that Iran and the US can start a dialogue” while Washington is applying economic pressure and sanctions against the country.
On Monday, the US announced plans to blacklist Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. President Trump explained that the new sanctions are a response to Iran shooting down a US drone last week, among other things. He also said that he had considered striking several targets on Iranian soil, but called off the attack.
Even Channel 4 News is saying sanctions are more of the same which gave rise to the conflict in the first place

Trump signs new sanctions against Iran

US Denied Iran UN Access To Present Evidence, Pipeline Sabotage In Syria & Oman Denies Warning Iran

The last American Vagabond

The rift in the pro-Trump movement

There is a real rift opening up between Trump's supporters - the anti-war people and the war hawks.

Hannity meltdown exposes thirst for war with Iran. Tucker is voice of reason

the Duran

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the on air meltdown of Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday night, where his viewers witnessed the host screaming about how Trump would “bomb the hell of out Iran” for downing an American drone.

Hannity lashed out at Fox News contributor, and long time friend Geraldo Rivera, who advocated for a restrained approach towards Iran. Rivera continuously stated that Iran claims they “have absolute, undeniable proof” that the drone they shot down was over their territorial waters. “

A strong message needs to be sent that a huge price will be paid if you take on the United State of America,” Hannity shouted. “Simple peace through strength, and it works.” Hannity continued, “they shot an American drone out of the air, they are not getting away with it.”

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson praised the US President for resisting calls for military action. 

See: The Red Elephants Vincent James Paul Joseph Watson CALLS OUT Ben Shapiro for His Warmongering, Tucker Piles On Too 

Trump May Be In Too Deep To Avoid War With Iran

I am running out of juice but will return to Iran tomorrow

Cockburn: Trump May Be In Too Deep To Avoid War With Iran

President Trump’s last-minute change of mind over launching US airstrikes against Iran shows that a military conflict of some description in the Gulf is becoming highly probable.

 His hesitation was most likely less connected with an Iranian surface-to-air missile shooting down a US surveillance drone than with his instinct that militarising the crisis is not in America’s best interests.