Closing Thought–03Aug17

Don’t Let The Door Hit You In The Ass On The Way Out!

Yes, I know that I am a foreign policy geek!

Iran has come into the conversation from the Trump people……they have been threatened with violence even though it is obvious that they are complying with the word of the Nuke deal they signed with the US….

So I was truly surprised when McMasters fired a Iran hawk from the NSC…..

The White House has announced today that National Security Council member and top Trump adviser on Iran Derek Harvey has been fired “effective immediately.” Harvey was seen as extremely hawkish on Iran, and his firing comes amid major cabinet disagreements on Iran policy.

Harvey was said to be among the proponents for unilaterally withdrawing the US from the P%+1 nuclear deal, a position which ultimately lost out in recent weeks, as Secretary of State and Defense, Tillerson and Mattis, managed to convince Trump to take a more measured approach.

Some reports cited officials as denying that Harvey’s position on Iran was the reason for his dismissal, saying rather that he was viewed by other cabinet members as too close to Stephen Bannon. Harvey was initially hired for the council by Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who has also been sacked, and may not have been favored by H.R. McMaster.


This is interesting…..was he fired because he was a hawk?  Is the NSC taking a more liberal tact on Iran?  Is the Trump White House softening its stand on Iran?

McMasters seems to be making a clean sweep in the NSC….he has fired yet another member…

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has sacked yet another member of the National Security Council today, with the White House announcing that the senior director for intelligence programs Ezra Cohen-Watnick has been removed from his position, with the requisite praising of his past service.

McMaster has had problems with Cohen-Watnick for awhile, trying to fire him back in March amid mounting complaints from CIA officials who didn’t like working with him. Cohen-Watnick was close with Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, and Trump overruled McMaster on that last firing attempt.

Questions…I have questions.

At least the amateurs are being shown the door….may be a more coherent national security policy can be found.  Can anyone now spell SANITY?

That is it for my day of posting….time to kick back and enjoy some quiet contemplation……

Have a good day my friends…..Don’t forget to check out my other blog…..Gulf South Free Press…………chuq

Dammit! Iran!

Back in the Dark Ages, the Obama Years, there was a nuke deal that was signed by the world and Iran…a deal which if they stuck to it would eliminate some sanctions and lessen others…..

Then Trump came to the pinnacle of power and his little commie toady, Flynn (before he was caught in a lie and forced to resign) made a statement that the Trump admin was putting Iran on notice.

Notice for what few are sure of….but they were put there anyway.

While grousing about what a “bad deal” they believe it was, Trump Administration officials accused Iran of having violated “the spirit” of the deal, offering absolutely no details on what that even means, or how the administration,which has repeatedly gone on record as not liking the deal in the first place, interprets that spirit.

Then a couple of days ago word came down about Iran and the deal that they signed…..

Facing a deadline of Monday, President Trump is going to have to re-certify to Congress that Iran is totally complying with its obligations under the P5+1 deal, which effectively delays his expected effort to force a “renegotiation,” an idea that no other party of the treaty seems at all interested in.

The fact that Iran is complying with the deal is no surprise, of course, as the IAEA issues monthly reports to that effect anyhow. Still, it wasn’t a slam dunk that the administration was going to tell the truth, and there was speculation that they might withhold the re-certification.


Trump is not happy about having to certify that Iran is in compliance with the deal….

It’s a problematic position, but mostly boils down to the Trump Administration being keen to have some excuse to “rip up” the nuclear deal as they’d long threatened to do, and being incredibly annoyed at the fact that they don’t have a pretext to do so.

This has officials publicly admitting that Iran is complying with the deal, and threatening new sanctions against them anyhow, because that compliance “won’t go unpunished.” This is a confusing position that’s likely to be a problem for the other P5+1 members, who already see the US, and not Iran as the weak link in the deal.


Why would anyone be disappointed in the fact that Iran is in compliance….unless they are looking for an excuse to do something stupid.

Iran is still “one of the most dangerous threats to US interests and to regional stability,” one senior administration official told reporters Monday, per Reuters, detailing all of the ways in which the country remains problematic. Those issues include Iran’s enabling of terrorism in Syria and its continued development of ballistic missiles, which, in combination with other issues, leaves Iran “unquestionably in default of the spirit of the [deal]” signed by the US, the EU, France, Britain, Russia, China, and Germany. The White House plans to handle this, per the official, by tightening the agreement (and then enforcing its mandates), and taking on “the totality of Iran’s malign behavior” beyond the nuclear deal, which could include new sanctions, per CNN. Trump aides tell the Times the president is “frustrated” and won’t keep recertifying compliance if Iran doesn’t get its act together.

Sounds like someone wants to go to war and nothing Iran does will prevent it from happening……is this the new “norm” for American foreign policy?

A better question would be…..who is the true enemy we should fret over?

It is one of the great ironies that the United States, a land mass protected by two broad oceans while also benefitting from the world’s largest economy and most powerful military, persists in viewing itself as a potential victim, vulnerable and surrounded by enemies. In reality, there are only two significant potential threats to the U.S. The first consists of the only two non-friendly countries – Russia and China – that have nuclear weapons and delivery systems that could hit the North American continent and the second is the somewhat more amorphous danger represented by international terrorism.

Source: Who Is the Real Enemy? – The Unz Review

Personally, I think he, Trump, is looking in the wrong direction for the “enemy”.

Pointing The Way To War?

Iran has not been in the news much these day…the silly season is on the Russia thing and the new health care mash up…..but deep beneath the news these days is Iran and the direction that the president in his “wisdom” is traveling.

There has been triggers that are pointing to a coming war with Iran…..

The long-simmering conflict between the United States and Iran is fast escalating toward war. The battlefield is the desert expanse of eastern Syria where civil war has raged for the last five years. Tehran wants to keep U.S. forces out of the area, while Washington wants to use the region to wage war against Iran’s ally, Syria.

After 15 years of unsuccessful war in Afghanistan and Iraq, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the Trump administration is pursuing a policy of “regime change” in Iran that might lead to a third U.S. ground war in the Middle East since 2001.

Restraint is breaking down. While President Obama resisted U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war, Trump has approved it. While Obama pursued dialog with Iran, Trump has embraced the new Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who laid down his country’s new, harsher line in April. ‘We will not wait until the battle is in Saudi Arabia,” he said, “but we will work so the battle is there in Iran.”

Source: 6 Trigger Points: How the Conflict Between the United States and Iran Is Fast Escalating Toward War | Alternet

The rhetoric is picking up to the point that makes war with Iran a likelihood….the defense build-up points to something big brewing…..Afghanistan would make a good platform to launch an attack on Iran and we are slowly building the troop levels and ordinance up…..will calmer heads prevail?

Not in this admin….calm heads is the furthest thing from reality…….war is coming…..are you ready for more death and destruction?

The only nation that would benefit from such a war would be Israel….but it would only be short lived until they, Israel, can invent a new foe……a new threat.

The losers as always will be the American people and society.

Iran: How It All Began

I see that Iran has once again made it into the conversation about foreign policy….there is the nuke deal that Congress is screwing with and then there is the Iranian interference in Syria or should I say…the Middle East?

I realize that Iran has become the “bad guy” in our foreign policy…..and since many readers are not old enough to remember the history behind the situation ….leave it to me to fill in the blanks for you….

Relations with Iran has been in the dumper since 1979 and the taking of American hostages….that is the story the media and the history book will pass along…..but actually the problem began further back than 1979… all began in 1953…..with the plot to overthrow a popularly elected prime minister because of his leftist leanings….

The State Department today released a long-awaited “retrospective” volume of declassified U.S. government documents on the 1953 coup in Iran, including records describing planning and implementation of the covert operation.  The publication is the culmination of decades of internal debates and public controversy after a previous official collection omitted all references to the role of American and British intelligence in the ouster of Iran’s then-prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddeq.  The volume is part of the Department’s venerable Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series.

For decades, neither the U.S. nor the British governments would acknowledge their part in Mosaddeq’s overthrow, even though a detailed account appeared as early as 1954 in The Saturday Evening Post, and since then CIA and MI6 veterans of the coup have published memoirs detailing their activities.  Kermit Roosevelt’s Countercoup is the best known and most detailed such account, although highly controversial because of its selective rendering of events.  In 2000, The New York Times posted a 200-page classified internal CIA history of the operation.

Source: US Releases Long-Awaited Documents on 1953 Coup in Iran

Now as Paul Harvey use to say….”You know the rest of the story”.

(For those too young…Paul Harvey was a radio show commentator for decades)

Iran: ISIS Attacks

It is a busy day here on IST…..attacks, hearings, Qatar and USS Liberty…..I will try to be short and sweet…whenever possible….and thanx everyone for the visits……

I have waited a few days before posting on this situation to see how the tale shakes out…..

A couple of days ago ISIS hit the capital of Iran…..killing and injuring many…. first time Iran has tasted the likes of ISIS and its tactics……

Terror in Tehran: Several attackers stormed into Iran’s parliament and a second group of attackers including a suicide bomber targeted the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on Wednesday. At least 12 people were killed and 42 people were wounded in the twin attacks, reports the AP. ISIS claimed responsibility, marking the first time it has taken responsibility for an assault in Iran, the AP reports. The Sunni extremist group is fighting Iran-backed forces in Syria and Iraq.

The Iranian Intelligence Ministry says security forces were able to thwart a third terrorist attack in the country’s capital. In one image in state media, a man was seen lowering a young boy from the parliament building. Authorities say a woman was arrested at the scene of the shrine attack. The attack on the tomb of Khomeini was symbolically stunning, the AP notes. As Iran’s first Supreme Leader, Khomeini is a towering figure in the country and was its revolutionary leader in the 1979 ouster of the shah.

Just like all these types of attacks the rhetoric is on-going…..out of Iran a reason for the attack is being spread…….

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) pointed the finger at Saudi Arabia for twin attacks on Iran’s parliament and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini on Wednesday morning which left 12 people dead.

The attacks, which took place a few kilometres south of the capital, were the first in the country to be claimed by the Islamic State group.

“This terrorist attack happened only a week after the meeting between the US president (Donald Trump) and the (Saudi) backward leaders who support terrorists,” said the IRGC in a statement, published by Iranian media.

Source: Iranian Revolutionary Guard blames Saudi Arabia for Tehran attack | Middle East Eye

They could have a point…..

Iran: A “What If”

Iran has been in the news lately….it seems that some in the Trump power cliche is not happy with the Iranian nuke deal and the chest thumping has started…..and since I do like my history I thought I would propose a ‘what if’ scenario…..

In 1954 the US was involved in a coup in Guatemala and most people think that it was our first attempted coup….they would be wrong.  Iran was the US first successful coup lead by the CIA.  But for the same reason as the first…to protect American business profits and control.  Guatemala was to protect Standard Fruit and their monopoly…Iran it was to protect American oil interests…..

What lead up to the coup?
In 1951, Iran’s Parliament voted to nationalize the oil industry, and legislators backing the law elected its leading advocate, Dr. Mosaddeq, as prime minister. Britain responded with threats and sanctions.

Dr. Mosaddeq, a European-educated lawyer then in his early 70’s, prone to tears and outbursts, refused to back down. In meetings in November and December 1952, the secret history says, British intelligence officials startled their American counterparts with a plan for a joint operation to oust the nettlesome prime minister.

To many Iranians, Mossadegh was a national hero, not only because he had stood up to Britain, but also because he was the only Iranian politician who could challenge the authority of the ambitious young shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. When the US and Britain overthrew Mossadegh, they brought about an extended period of dictatorship under the shah that lasted until the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

That was an oversimplification of the events that leads up to the coup of 1953…..for further fleshing out the scheme there is a good summation……

Source: The 1953 Coup D’etat in Iran

So the question is…..would we be at this point in history if the US had let the events of 1953 play on there own?  Would the religious upheaval had come about if the popularly elected PM had been allowed to serve his term?

The coup of 1953 is still used today to rampant up anti-American sentiment.

In essence it was the US that set up the situation that allowed the revolution of 1979 to become active…..the “Iron Fist” of the Shah fed the idea of revolition.

We have no way of saying that if things were allowed to progress normally without interference that everything would be different today….the one thing we can say is the US was partially to blame for the revolution that led to the hostages and the rest is history, as they say…..

My students like these types of things for they like talking….and that makes teaching easier…..

Anybody got a “what if”?

Remember Operation Eagle Claw

Closing Thought–25Apr17

I apologize but this post was a draft that was suppose to be published yesterday and I somehow missed it.

Yep you got it….another history lesson……

This is an operation that cost American lives and it should not be forgotten…..

On 4 November 1979, after a popular revolution swept the Shah of Iran, a close American ally, out of power, Iranian students backing the new revolutionary Islamic government stormed the US embassy in Teheran and took the staff and USMC security contigent hostage. In all, 52 Americans were captured and it was unclear whether they were being tortured or readied for execution. After six months of failed negotiation, the US broke diplomatic relations with Iran on 8 April 1980 and the newly certified US Army Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (Airborne) was put on full alert and plans were being drawn up for a rescue.

The Americans faced a daunting task. Teheran is well inside Iran and away from friendly countries. The hostages were not held at an airport as in Israel’s four years earlier Entebbe raid. Good intelligence was hard to come by about forces inside the embassy and in Teheran. And of course, all the planning and training had to be carried out in complete secrecy.

Source: Operation Eagle Claw

The sacrifice that these people made should not be forgotten….and I will see that they are not.