The three sites chosen for the news bases, Erbin, Sulimania and Halabja are all extremely close to Iran, with Halabja just eight miles from its border.Continue reading US Announces Three New Bases in Iraq After Iraqis Demand Full Withdrawal
Russian intelligence sources have claimed that Michael D’Andrea, head of CIA operations in Iran and who orchestrated the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, was killed in a US spy plane downed yesterday in Ghazni, Afghanistan.Continue reading CIA Chief ‘behind Soleimani’s assassination’ Killed in Downed Plane in Afghanistan | Taliban
Brynn Tannehill, a defense analyst and genocide scholar, took to Twitter to warn that the necessary conditions and many of the precursor events for genocide in the US “are in motion.”Continue reading Genocide Scholar Warns That the Groundwork for Genocide in the US Has Been Laid
“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” — Johann Wolfgang Von GoetheContinue reading Sheep Always Seem to Lose Their Wool
Kobe Bryant was one of several celebrities directly criticizing Trump’s “divisive, aggressive rhetorics.” Is it possible that the Israeli MOSSAD is actively eliminating Trump’s political enemies as a token of appreciation for the latter’s significant contribution to the Greater Israel Project in the Middle East?Continue reading Did MOSSAD Reciprocate Trump’s Soelimani Ambush with Kobe Bryant Copter Crash?
A peculiar pattern is developing over the past two weeks. As we should know by now, various countries are being hit by calamitous events, almost simultaneously.Continue reading Anti-Deep State Countries Hit by Calamities, Coincidence?
Iraqis have rallied in Baghdad in massive numbers to call for an end to US military presence in the country following high-profile assassinations and airstrikes targeting anti-terror forces.Continue reading 2.5 ‘Million-Man March’ Kicks Off to Eject US Forces from Iraq
First published in September 2017, this article is of relevance to the ongoing protest movement and debate on Climate Change (COP25)
Continue reading Does the US Military “Own the Weather”?
“Weather modification will become a part of domestic and international security and could be done unilaterally… It could have offensive and defensive applications and even be used for deterrence purposes. The ability to generate precipitation, fog and storms on earth or to modify space weather… and the production of artificial weather all are a part of an integrated set of [military] technologies.” (Study Commissioned by the US Air Force: Weather as a Force Multiplier, Owning the Weather in 2025, August 1996)
Billions of US tax-payers’ money will continue to be funneled into Israel in the next fiscal year, and for many years in the foreseeable future. Republican and Democratic Senators have recently achieved just that, passing a bill aimed at providing Israel with $3.3 billion in annual aid.Continue reading In the Name of “Security” U.S. Gives Israel Billions More in Military Funding
In the last months of 2019 and early 2020, a growing number of cases of severe physical torture against Palestinian detainees carried out by Israeli Shin Bet interrogators have been documented. While torture and abuse of various kinds have been a mainstay of the Israeli interrogation process, after a 1999 Israeli Supreme Court ruling and amid widespread international attention, torture under interrogation for some years focused on physical and psychological techniques that were less likely to leave physical scars. However, these tactics, including sleep deprivation, extreme heat and cold, solitary confinement and the use of prolonged shackling in painful positions, are often effective in extracting coerced confessions.Continue reading Severe Torture in Israeli Prisons Targets Palestinian Steadfastness
Since its creation, the occupying state developed and enforced laws and practices that led to both the systematic use of torture and to absolute impunity for the perpetrator of this crime. There has never been any individual or agency held accountable for the well-documented crimes of torture and ill treatment at Israeli prisons and interrogation centers.Continue reading Hard Evidence on Israeli Torture Against Palestinian Detainees
Here, in this reposted column from Jan. 7, 2019, are his thoughts about the then-nascent presidential election campaign.
It is January 2019. This signals the start of the 2020 election circus. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is the first big-name Democrat on stage. But we will soon be deluged with candidates, bizarre antics and endless commentary by fatuous TV and radio pundits.
The hyperventilating, the constant polling, the updates on who has the largest campaign war chest, the hypothetical matches between this hopeful and that hopeful, the mocking tweets by Donald Trump, will, as we saw in the 2016 election campaign, have as much relevance to our lives and political future as the speculation on cable sports channels about next year’s football season. This farce takes the place of genuine political life.
It costs a lot of money to mount this spectacle. Our corporate masters, like the oligarchic rulers of ancient Rome who poured money into the arena as they stripped the empire and its citizens of their assets, are happy to oblige.
The campaign sustains the fiction of a democracy and gives legitimacy to the corporate state. Maybe Hillary Clinton, who raised $1 billion in her 2016 run for president, will return for another season, although the Bill and Hillary tour is now a debacle with empty seats and slashed ticket prices.
Maybe Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders will make comebacks. And what about the new faces in the scramble for the presidency—Beto O’Rourke, former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., former Housing Secretary Julian Castro, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg?
It is a political version of the reality television show “Survivor.” Who will be the first knocked out? Who will make it into the semifinals and the finals? Who is the most devious and cunning? Who will come out on top?
We get to vote for the contestants that appeal to us most, or at least vote against those we hate the most. The cable news shows, in a prelude to the nonstop idiocy to come, have spent the last few days speculating about whom Mitt Romney will endorse in the 2020 race. Now there’s a burning question of national importance.
To take power in 2021 in lieu of any real policy changes, the Democratic Party is banking on the deep animus toward President Trump. It has no intention of instituting genuine populist programs, rebuilding unions, funding universal health care, providing free college tuition or curbing the criminal activities of the corporations and the big banks.
The war machine will continue to wage endless war and consume half of all discretionary spending. The vaunted new populist members of Congress will be no more than window dressing, trotted out, like Sanders, to trick voters into thinking the Democratic Party is capable of reform. Most voters, for this reason, are “voting out of loathing, against enemies and against the system in general, not really for anybody,” as journalist Matt Taibbi points out.
Working men and women especially despise the slick-talking politicians—including the Clintons and Barack Obama—and the “experts” and well-groomed pundits on their screens who sold them the con that deindustrialization, deregulation, austerity, bailing out the banks, nearly two decades of constant war, the exporting of jobs overseas, tax cuts for the rich and the impoverishment of the working class were forms of progress.
Trump hangs on to the support of white working Americans because he expresses through his adolescent insults and dynamiting of political norms the legitimate hatred they feel toward the well-heeled, college-educated ruling elites who sold them out. The Democrats, at the same time, understand that it takes someone as revolting as Trump to fire up their lethargic base, a group in which millions do not vote. They cling to a tactic of “anybody but Trump” even though it did not work in 2016.
The corporate media ignores issues and policies, since there is little genuine disagreement among the candidates, and presents the race as a beauty contest. The fundamental question the press asks is not what do the candidates stand for but whom do the voters like. As for now, Warren—the only nationally known Democrat except Julian Castro to form an exploratory committee for a presidential bid—is not winning this popularity contest.
A CNN/Des Moines Register Iowa poll—yes, polling in Iowa already has begun—puts her fourth, with only 8 percent of support among the Democrats surveyed, behind Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke.
Our corporate rulers do not need to denounce democracy. Democratic laws, such as who can fund campaigns, have been subverted from within, their original purposes redefined by the courts and legislative bodies to serve corporate power. This managed democracy has transformed elections from the simple, straightforward process of voting for a party platform or party positions to vast, choreographed theatrical productions.
Politicians run on “moral” issues and use public relations experts to create manufactured personalities. Trump, his image constructed by a reality television show, proved more adept than his rivals at playing this game the last time around.
Politicians must stick to the script. They have well-defined roles. They express a suffocating, reality-defying positivism about the future of America. They are steadfast in their obsequious praise of the nation’s “heroes” in the military and law enforcement. They are silent about the crimes of empire.
They ignore the plight of the poor; indeed the word “poor” is banished from their vocabulary. They pretend we do not live in a corporate oligarchy, although they acknowledge amorphous attacks on the middle class and promise to stem the assault.
They exude a cloying feel-your-pain compassion that revolves around personal stories of the hardships they overcame in their own lives to become “successes”—the most ludicrous being Trump’s claim that he turned a “very small” loan from his father into a multibillion-dollar real estate empire.
They telegraph to us that they are one of us. We can be like them. They trot out their wives, husbands and children, even when a spouse like Melania Trump looks as if she has been taken hostage, to portray themselves as family men and women.
They claim they are outsiders, ignoring their long political careers and their status as members of the wealthy ruling elite. They are no different from the array of self-help gurus who ignore systemic injustice and social decay to peddle schemes for personal success. The formula is universal. It is the triumph of artifice, what Benjamin DeMott called “junk politics.”
Those who do not play this game, like Ralph Nader, or who like Sanders play it begrudgingly—Sanders refused corporate money, has called for reforming “the bloated and wasteful $716 billion annual Pentagon budget” and addresses issues of class—are ridiculed and marginalized by a monochromatic corporate media that banishes qualification, ambiguity, nuance and genuine dialogue.
Trump’s success as a candidate came, in large part, because of the constant media attention he received. Those like Sanders who attempt to defy the rules of the game are punished. The goal is entertainment. Politicians who are good entertainers do well. The poor entertainers do badly.
The networks seek to attract viewers and increase profits, not disseminate information about political issues. Voters have little or no say in who decides to run, who gets funded, how campaigns are managed, what television ads say, which candidates get covered by the press or who gets invited to presidential debates. They are spectators, pawns used to legitimize political farce.
“At issue is more than crude bribery,” the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin writes in “Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Spector of Inverted Totalitarianism.” “Campaign contributions are a vital tool of political management. They create a pecking order that calibrates, in strictly quantitative and objective terms, whose interests have priority.
The amount of corruption that regularly takes place before elections means that corruption is not an anomaly but an essential element in the functioning of managed democracy. The entrenched system of bribery and corruption involves no physical violence, no brown-shirted storm troopers, no coercion of the political opposition.
While the tactics are not those of the Nazis, the end result is the inverted equivalent. Opposition has not been liquidated but rendered feckless.”
This process, Wolin writes, has turned the electorate into “a hybrid creation, part cinematic and part consumer. Like a movie or TV audience, it would be credulous, nurtured on the unreality of images on the screen, the impossible feats and situations depicted, or the promise of personal transformation by a new product. In this the elites were abetted by the long-standing American tradition of dramatic evangelism and its fostering of collective fervor and popular fantasies of the miraculous.
It was no leap of faith from the camp meetings of the nineteenth century and the Billy Sundays of the twentieth century to the politically savvy televangelist of the twenty-first century.”
The corporations that own the media and the two major political parties have a vested interest in making sure there is never serious public discussion about issues ranging from our disastrous for-profit health care system and endless wars to the virtual tax boycott that large corporations have legalized. The corporate system is presented as sacrosanct and the ruling ideology of neoliberalism as natural law. The corporations are funding the show. They get what they pay for.
Sanders, it appears, will run again as a Democrat, despite the theft of the 2016 nomination by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party hierarchy. His next campaign, to quote Samuel Johnson, will be the triumph of hope over experience. The Democratic establishment and the media sharks will, if Sanders uses the old playbook, devour him. They have already severely diminished his stature by turning him into Clinton and Chuck Schumer’s barking seal.
The differences between the right-wing media and the liberal media are minuscule. As Taibbi writes in “Insane Clown President: Dispatches From the 2016 Circus,” they are “really just two different strategies of the same kind of nihilistic lizard-brain sensationalism.
The ideal CNN story is a baby down a well, while the ideal Fox story is probably a baby thrown down a well by a Muslim terrorist or an ACORN activist. Both companies offer the same service, it’s just that the Fox version is a little kinkier.”
“Elections are about a lot of things, but at the highest level, they’re about money,” Taibbi writes. “The people who sponsor election campaigns, who pay hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the candidates’ charter jets and TV ads and 25-piece marching banks, those people have concrete needs. They want tax breaks, federal contracts, regulatory relief, cheap financing, free security for shipping lanes, anti-trust waivers and dozens of other things.”
“They mostly don’t care about abortion or gay marriage or school vouchers or any of the social issues the rest of us spend our time arguing about. It’s about the money for them, and as far as that goes, the CEO class has had a brilliantly winning electoral strategy for a generation. They donate heavily to both parties, essentially hiring two different sets of politicians to market their needs to the population.
The Republicans give them everything that they want, while the Democrats only give them mostly everything. They get everything from the Republicans because you don’t have to make a single concession to a Republican voter. All you have to do to secure a Republican vote is show lots of pictures of gay people kissing or black kids with their pants down or Mexican babies at an emergency room.”
The Republican strategy of playing to the lowest common denominator ensured that eventually the useful idiots would take over and elect one of their own, in Donald Trump. Trump is the epitome of the human mutation produced by an illiterate, dumbed-down age of electronic images. He, like tens of millions of other Americans, believes anything he sees on television. He does not read. He is consumed by vanity and the cult of the self. He is a conspiracy theorist.
He blames America’s complex social and economic ills on scapegoats such as Mexican immigrants and Muslims, and of course the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party, in turn, blames Trump’s election on Russia and former FBI Director James Comey. It is the theater of the absurd.
The childish gibberish Trump speaks is the new language of political discourse. His taunting tweets against his enemies are countered by his enemies with taunting tweets against him. These grade-school-level insults dominate the daily news cycle. The political process, captured by commercial interests, devolved to Trump’s imbecilic level. The presidential election of 2020 has begun. The circus, with its freaks, con artists and clowns, is open for business.
Mr. Fish, also known as Dwayne Booth, is a cartoonist who primarily creates for Truthdig.com and Harpers.com. Mr. Fish’s work has also appeared nationally in The Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice, Vanity…
The Rothschild-controlled United Nations’ own Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) fact-finding investigation has found no evidence that the Syrian government has any culpability to the ISIS-staged “chemical attack” on Douma residents, years ago. Yet, its final report, as compiled by an undisclosed party who were not on site during the investigation, concluded that there were some reasonable grounds to put the blame on Assad’s government.Continue reading U.N. Suppressing Own Evidence Absolving Syria from ISIS Staged Chemical Attack
US President Donald Trump placed an advance order to purchase 10,000 copies of a book about his presidency titled “A Very Stable Genius,” days before aides realized that the title is sarcastic.Continue reading A Very Stable Genius: Trump ‘Dumbfounded’ re Sarcastic Title of A Book About His Presidency
Ahead of this year’s Munich Security Conference, due to begin on February 14th, its chairman Wolfgang Ischinger praised what he called President Putin’s “method” concerning security-issues in the Middle East.Continue reading Soleimani Fallout Continues to Produce Diplomatic Dividends for Russia
As the whole world knows by now, Julian Assange is being drugged and subjected in a solitary confinement for doing what every journalist worth his salt should do. This is being done to serve as a strong warning against all truth tellers out there, while the more deserving criminal is still at large, thanks to the active suppression of evidence by the Scotland Yard.Continue reading This Man Deserves to Replace Assange at Belmarsh Prison, But Scotland Yard Covers Up
President Donald Trump’s administration has trotted out an embarrassingly inconsistent series of justifications for the recent drone strike in Iraq that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. The ever-changing story of why Soleimani was killed underscores the Trump administration’s thin rationale for an action so provocative that it could have triggered an all-out war.Continue reading Three Reasons Trump Ordered Soleimani’s Killing
In a remarkable two-part interview, Chomsky and Scheer meet to discuss topics ranging from the type of dystopian future we face to the unfortunate, brutal success of the U.S. empire.Continue reading America Has Built a Global Dystopia | Noam Chomsky
The United States military has said that 11 of its troops were wounded in an Iranian retaliatory missile attack last week despite Washington’s initial claim denying casualties.Continue reading U.S. Says 11 US Troops Wounded in Iranian Missile Attack Despite Earlier Denials
Through its main investors, SoftBank and Lockheed Martin, Cybereason not only has ties to the Trump administration but has its software running on some of the U.S. government’s most classified and secretive networks.Continue reading Israel Tech Firm Has Access to the U.S. Government’s Most Classified Networks
In more than one occasions, the US President Donald Trump has tweeted about how much he loves the Iranian people, and even prodded Iran government to not kill them while doing the protests against everything bad about the country. Covertly, he also pressured China not to buy oil from Iran, as part of the US-China trade deal.Continue reading Stop Buying Iranian Oil or Face Sanctions | Trump told China
The American obsession with Iran is about oil and natural gas. If these two resources had been absent, it is hard to imagine such an intense American focus on the country from the time of a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency-backed coup of Iran’s elected government in 1953 to today. The Foreign Policy magazine piece linked above is based on declassified CIA documents and summarizes the coup this way: “Known as Operation Ajax, the CIA plot was ultimately about oil.”
By Kurt Kobb | Resourceinsights.com
This should come as no surprise. Iran was an oil power back in 1953 and it remains one today. Iran is presumed to have the third largest oil reserves in the world and the second largest natural gas reserves. Even if the numbers cited are somewhat inflated, Iran’s reserves are not small, and the country is likely to play a large role in world energy markets for many years to come.
The recent escalation of tensions between the United States and Iran because of the U.S. assassination of a prominent, popular and by all accounts highly effective Iranian general will allow the advocates of war to trot out all manner of excuses for such a war: terrorism, regime change, the credibility of the United States, Iran’s nonexistent nuclear weapons, and the United States’ geostrategic posture vis-à-vis big power rivals such as Russia and China. (Does anyone really know what the last one means?)
What won’t be discussed are the deep historical antagonisms which have developed starting with the 1953 CIA-backed coup. For example, few people remember that the United States supplied economic aid, dual-use (both civilian and military use) technology, training and arms through other countries to Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq War. Saddam invaded Iran thinking he could take advantage of the chaos in that country right after the 1979 revolution. In this war Iraq attacked major Iranian cities including Tehran with ballistic missiles and used poison gas on the battlefield. Iran is said to have suffered over 1 million deaths during the eight years of conflict which also created a large class of disabled people.
It turns out that the Iranian focus on America and its worldwide military, intelligence (covert and otherwise) and diplomatic operations is but a mirror image of the American focus on Iran and its worldwide network of intelligence and allied surrogates that Iran uses to strike at the United States and its allies.
Behind it all are the vast stores of hydrocarbons that make Iran’s power possible and its importance substantial in the world. What is strange about this American obsession is that successive American administrations, both Republican and Democratic, have told us that soaring domestic production of oil and natural gas from shale deposits in the United States would free us from foreign sources and lighten our military and security burden abroad. “Energy dominance” became the watchword in the U.S. oil and gas industry.
U.S. net imports of crude oil have dropped from 10 million barrels per day (mbpd) 15 years ago to around 3 mbpd today. And, because of its vast refining capacity, the United States exports about 3 mbpd of refined petroleum products. While the United States remains connected to world markets, the country is far less dependent on foreign sources of oil than in the past.
So, why is the U.S. government and national security establishment still obsessing over Iran? Here are three possible energy-related explanations:
1. There isn’t as much U.S. shale oil and natural gas as we are being told.
This is a real possibility. This independent report—actually an update of previous reports—concludes that forecasts of abundance by the U.S. Energy Information Administration are “extremely optimistic” and “highly unlikely to be realized.” The report is based on actual well histories and not industry hype about future resources.
Others who have started to look closely at the data agree that the industry has overblown the potential from shale. And, investors have finally wised up to the fact that the shale industry as a whole has done nothing but destroy their capital over the last decade, losing 80 percent of its market value as of the middle of 2019.
Free cash flow has been consistently negative for almost all the major players which has forced them time and time again to raise money through the bond and equity markets. Unfortunately for investors, these infusions didn’t stabilized shale players. Investors were just throwing good money after bad. Now those investors are finally pulling back.
In short, the shale boom is not sustainable financially or technologically. The “miracle” technology that is bringing oil and natural gas not previously available out of the ground has never been able to make the industry as a whole profitable. Eventually, that will be reflected in production numbers as investors only finance those few players and few prospects that can actually make money.
2. Iran is a competitor of the U.S. oil industry.
Despite Iran’s vast oil and natural gas reserves, its exports have fallen dramatically due to sanctions placed on it by the United States and forced on other countries whose companies do business in America.
The cuts in Iranian oil exports have kept low prices in the oil markets from getting even lower and affecting U.S.-based oil operations negatively. By keeping sanctions in place and continually working toward zero exports from Iran, the U.S. administration is also helping to keep oil prices higher than they otherwise would be and this helps the domestic U.S. oil industry whether the administration intends this result or not.
3. Iranian energy exports are a way for Iran to extend its influence.
Pakistan backed out of a pipeline project last year because of sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran. The pipeline would have brought Iranian natural gas into the country. The pipeline was originally planned to bring natural gas to India as well before that country pulled out of the project. The U.S. government clearly wants to prevent Iran from using its energy exports to give it leverage with other countries.
No one can say for certain whether current tensions between the United States and Iran will spiral into war. But remember: When they tell you it’s not about oil (and natural gas), you can be certain that these resources are at the center of American motives. Absent these resources it would be difficult to understand the United States’ decades-long obsession with Iran.
President Donald Trump warned that Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani was planning “imminent” attacks against Americans, but his own defense secretary seems to be unable to back this claim.Continue reading U.S. Defense Secretary Admits He ‘didn’t see’ Trump’s Evidence About Soleimani Planning Attacks
This latest revelation should not surprise anyone who has been actively following the exploits of the current Trump Administration and its partner organization, Israel’s Netanyahu government.Continue reading CONFIRMED: Israel Supplied the Key Intelligence for U.S. Assassination of Iran’s Soleimani
It was only a matter of time before US President Donald Trump got the recognition he deserved for America’s military exploits these past two weeks. Yesterday, Trump received glowing praise from the official international ISIS newspaper, Al Naba, highlighting Washington’s assassination of Iranian IRGC’s General Qasem Soleimani on January 3rd.Continue reading Official ISIS Newspaper ‘Thanks God’ for Trump Killing Iran’s General Soleimani
Even amongst Iraq’s more pro-US factions, the calls for “Yankee go home” have grown increasingly louder. Yet, there are some sectors who still argued that when the resolution was passed to evict the US forces from Iraq, there were only Shia legislators and no Sunnis attending the session.Continue reading What Part of “Go home” Don’t You Understand? – Iraq to US
Mainstream media pundits are now talking about “de-escalation” between Iran and the US, after “both sides have fooled everyone that they have achieved victory.” Is that how cheap the life of a man who dedicated his better days fighting against the Deep State controlled ISIS and Al Qaeda terror groups?Continue reading Butcher of the Worst Kind: The Deeper Story Behind Trump’s Assassination of Soleimani
Four decades of dealing with Western imperialist ambitions in the Middle East have taught the Iranians to rely on their own capability to repel future aggression by way of advancing its military capabilities. The short-range ballistic missile strikes into a US military airbase were not only successful, but also show precision, i.e. targeting only the equipment over personnel.Continue reading Satellite Photos Confirm Iranian “Warning Slap” Missile Precision
Russian President Vladimir Putin has not issued any direct pronouncements yet on Trump’s decision to assassinate Gen. Qassem Soleimani, but his recent visits to Turkey and Syria, all suggest he’s not sitting idly by while the Middle East is exploding again.Continue reading Putin’s Visit Coincided with Syrian Arab Army Preparation to Clear Idlib of ISIS
As part of the send-off ceremony of the most accomplished general against global counter-terrorism, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian Islamic Revolution Guards Corps started heavy ballistic missile attacks on US Ein Al-Assad airbase in Southwestern Iraq near the border with Syria, early Wednesday morning.Continue reading 80 Killed, 200 Wounded US Army Personnel in the First Wave of Iranian Reprisal