Neocons Chest Thumping

The news these days is how close the US is coming to a shooting war with Iran…..but it is not the first time in recent history……

https://lobotero.com/2006/12/27/how-will-an-iranian-war-begin/

https://lobotero.com/2015/04/16/a-really-bad-idea-a-limited-war-with-iran-the-national-interest/

Keep in mind that the architect of the 2003 invasion of Iraq on false information was John Bolton, among others…..and now he is in a position that gives him more influence than in 2003……

All I can say is…here we go again!

An Iraq-War redux is now in full play, with leading roles played by some of the same protagonists – President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, for example, who says he still thinks attacking Iraq was a good idea. Co-starring is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The New York Times on Tuesday played its accustomed role in stoking the fires, front-paging a report that, at Bolton’s request, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has come up with an updated plan to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East, should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons. The Times headline writer, at least, thought it appropriate to point to echoes from the past: “White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran, in Echoes of Iraq War.”

Pretexts for an Attack on Iran

John Bolton is in “Wonderland” at this time……

John Bolton has a Haig-sized ego. (one must be an old fart to appreciate the Haig reference) He aspires to control the ebb and flow of foreign policy in the Trump administration. He is often at odds with his colleagues from the State Department and Pentagon. And he is dealing with a president who, if not asleep much of the time, is only intermittently focused on national security issues.

Recently, Bolton too seemed to have his “I’m in control here” moment. With the conflict intensifying in Venezuela, the national security advisor leaked the opposition plan for the army to defect en masse from the Maduro government in favor of challenger Juan Guiado. Bolton’s tweets reportedly angered President Trump, who felt “boxed into a corner,” particularly after the defections didn’t materialize and Nicolas Maduro did not flee the country.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/16/bolton-in-wonderland/

Time for all parties to step back and think what they are doing. Once the “brink” has been breached then coming back becomes much more difficult.

Perhaps these actions are a prelude to negotiations: the U.S. is exerting “maximum pressure”, it says, to bring a more compliant Iran back to the table; in like manner, should Tehran conclude that it has no choice but to reach a new deal with Washington in order to relieve unsustainable economic strain, it will want to enter such talks with a stronger hand. Resuming its nuclear activities, making its presence felt in the region, and disrupting Saudi or Emirati oil exports could all be ways of enhancing its bargaining power. But if these manoeuvres are a diplomatic game, it is a dangerous one: either side could misinterpret the other’s intentions. Any Iranian move could easily lead to U.S. and/or Israeli strikes which, in turn, could lead to an Iranian counter-response. Or vice versa. Escalation comes easily; de-escalation is a much taller order, especially in the absence of direct channels of communication that can pre-empt misunderstandings or miscalculations.

 
This could become a major war since we have a president that sows chaos in his wake….this needs a steady hand and commonsense to prevent this from exploding.
 
But until then….the Neocons in Trumpland are trying to sell this as a “Just War”…….a Just War?
 
Just war theory deals with the justification of how and why wars are fought. The justification can be either theoretical or historical. The theoretical aspect is concerned with ethically justifying war and the forms that warfare may or may not take. The historical aspect, or the “just war tradition,” deals with the historical body of rules or agreements that have applied in various wars across the ages. For instance, international agreements such as the Geneva and Hague conventions are historical rules aimed at limiting certain kinds of warfare which lawyers may refer to in prosecuting transgressors, but it is the role of ethics to examine these institutional agreements for their philosophical coherence as well as to inquire into whether aspects of the conventions ought to be changed.
 
To me a Just War is a silly notion that only applies in a very limited reasons…..
 
And then we have those that a “Preventive War” is the only answer…..to that I say Bullshit!
 
The Neocons are working overtime to find a justification for a war……most are based on LIES and propaganda……PERIOD!
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Saudis And Nukes

If it is Tuesday….then it must be the Middle East…….

Recently the Trump admin announced that the kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be getting nuclear energy (thanx to special deals made with MbS by Jared)……I have been writing against this happening

https://lobotero.com/2018/02/27/nukes-in-the-middle-east/

https://lobotero.com/2019/03/05/saudis-nuclear-dream/

Of course the Saudis did what they ALL do…..claim that they will run out of oil soon and will need an alternative…….

Recent media reports have drawn a lot of attention to Saudi Arabia’s nuclear energy ambitions and US nuclear diplomacy toward Riyadh. This explainer provides context and background information in order to better understand the dynamics at play. 

Saudi Arabia is interested in the development of a nuclear power programme to meet growing electricity demand and to diversify its energy sources. Riyadh has outlined plans to construct up to 16 large nuclear reactors over the course of 20 to 25 years to provide the kingdom with 17 GWe of nuclear capacity by 2040. Riyadh started soliciting proposals for the construction of two reactors in November 2017 and has been in talks with Russia, China, France, South Korea and the United States. The official tender should be launched in early 2020.

https://www.iiss.org/blogs/analysis/2019/04/saudi-arabia-nuclear-energy-programme

The one thing that got me laughing the loudest was their statement that “they will need to meet a growing electricity demand”….and nukes will provide for that demand…….

Seriously?

Think about that for a moment. (pause here for contemplation)

How much sunshine does the peninsula get yearly? How about the winds from the desert? Maybe think about tidal cycles.

The US needs to act like a global leader and start encouraging these countries off nukes and toward renewables……

Instead of straining to control these programs, or even facilitating them, the U.S. should encourage less risky, cheaper, clean non-nuclear alternatives.

The case for nuclear power in the Middle East has never been strong. First, the national electrical systems there are relatively small. Put large amounts of electricity (nuclear or non-nuclear) on their grids and you risk overloading them and causing blackouts. This is particularly worrisome for nuclear reactors whose safe operation depends on a steady, external supply of electricity to run their coolant and safety systems (think Fukushima).

Second, because large reactors can be used to make nuclear explosive materials, they’re prime military targets. Iran, Israel, and the United States each attacked Iraq’s Osirak reactor (Israel successfully). Iraq bombed Iran’s Bushehr reactor. Egypt and Iraq targeted Israel’s Dimona reactor. Israel successfully bombed Syria’s reactor at Al Kibar, and, more recently, the Iranian-backed Houthis claimed they fired missiles at the UAE’s nuclear reactors. Any such strikes risk radiation releases and rattling even the strongest of regimes to its roots (think the Soviet Union’s political meltdown, catalyzed, in no small part, by Chernobyl). There is also the danger of insider and cyberattacks that could result in catastrophe.

https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2019/05/09/no-one-in-the-sun-and-gas-soaked-middle-east-needs-nuclear-power/

An excellent idea!

Too bad we have NO ONE with the brains or the balls to implement this.

Slice And Dice Death

Recently there has been a rise in civilian deaths….both reported and those that are hidden from the light…..and it is not limited to one conflict or another it is across the spectrum in our War on Terror…..

“There is no military solution” is an often-heard saying since the “global war on terror” began almost 18 years ago.

We need political solutions to the military conflicts we’ve embroiled ourselves in over the last two decades, most policymakers agree. But in the meantime, the last three administrations have sent in the military to pave the way for a political solution—and have kept them there, allegedly to protect civilians from the Taliban in Afghanistan, ISIS in Syria and al-Shabab in Somalia, among other militant groups.

Yet all too often, these civilians become casualties of the very military forces Washington supposedly deployed to protect them.

A series of new reports document an alarming escalation of civilian casualties caused by U.S. operations in Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia — and with it, a pattern of U.S. denial about the scale of the problem. The result is a global war on terror that persists in killing and injuring civilians—including children—in ever rising numbers.

 
The Pentagon has come up with a solution to the alarming rise in civilian deaths……a new missile!
Ever heard of a missile that doesn’t explode? That, the Wall Street Journal reports, is a key feature of a secret weapon adapted by the US military. It’s a modified version of a Hellfire missile that hits pinpoint targets but doesn’t explode on impact, meaning reduced damage and less risk of civilian casualties. The weapon, which the Journal likens to a “speeding anvil” falling out of the sky, is known as R9X. But it also has a nickname, “the flying Ginsu,” inspired by its hidden ring of six blades, which emerges just before impact and shreds anything it meets. The missile was in development as early as 2011—a similar weapon was reportedly considered in the plot to kill Osama bin Laden—but so far the Journal has found only two instances in which it’s been used.
 
Essentially, the weapon is employed when a regular airstrike on a high-value target would pose a risk to innocent bystanders. Aware that the US would want to avoid civilian casualties, terrorists routinely hide in places with women and children. With the R9X, the US can minimize the risk. After the CIA used the R9X to kill an al-Qaeda terrorist traveling by car in Syria in 2017, for example, photos showed a large hole in the vehicle’s roof, along with some cracks in the windshield. Otherwise, the exterior of the car appeared in pretty good shape. Gizmodo notes rumors have been swirling about a secret weapon since that time.
 
(antiwar.com)
 
The key to the claim is the term “minimize” civilian deaths…..then they, the civilians, are still at risk just a lower risk than say a Hellfire…..
 
Sorry I am still not impressed….it is still an implement of destruction that will continue the killing of civilians but at a lower rate (does anyone see how silly that sounds?)

Middle East, As Bad As It Ever Was.

When the Middle East is mentioned most Americans just shake their heads and make some indistinguishable sounds……

It all began with the Sykes-Picot Agreement……https://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/Sykes-Picot_Agreement ……..and but it was the Balfour Declaration that made most of the problems today…..a short but sweet statement…..

Foreign Office
November 2nd, 1917

Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Yours sincerely,
Arthur James Balfour

And so it begins…….

Fast forward to the desk of FDR…….

There is no question that the Middle East Arab-Israeli-oil situation is one of the world’s most enduring and vexing problems. Almost every economically significant country in the world has a major stake in how this scenario plays out and most countries orient and arrange a large part of their foreign policy and energy strategy with Middle East considerations front and center in their planning.

What if the United States had been presented with the opportunity to circumvent the Mid-East Jewish-Arab-oil crisis before it had a chance to metastasize into the worldwide scourge it is today? The opportunity did, in fact, present itself in 1945. Unfortunately, the United States—under FDR—failed to capitalize on it and thus the world today lives in constant danger caused by the flashpoint of those seemingly unending, unsolvable regional tensions.

The missed opportunity was the result of FDR’s mishandling of his historic meeting with King Abdel Aziz Ibn Saud of Arabia on Great Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal on Feb. 14, 1945. FDR’s actions here essentially created the 70+ year economic and political tensions and conflicts regarding oil that continue to afflict international relationships and define the national security and oil acquisition strategy of virtually every developed country in the world today. Most of the damaging international energy related circumstances in the present-day world were set in motion by FDR’s actions at that meeting.

https://www.realclearhistory.com/articles/2019/04/11/another_fine_mess_in_the_middle_east_431.html

And then there is another view……

But again, the European powers were the ones who actually divided the region that once existed as the Ottoman Empire. After the first World War, the victors went on to partition the large Islamic State into several smaller nations. The problem was not only that there was no natural boundary, such as rivers and mountains, that separated the very similar groups of people, but also the direct and indirect colonization of those states by Britain and France. People who shared a common history, religion, language and culture had to live within those arbitrarily drawn boundaries, and under foreign control. In addition, the British promise to establish a national home for the Jews in Palestine, as well as the free movement of a large number of Jews from Europe to the region, further infuriated the Arab people. The Jews were seen as rivals who took Arab’s land and jobs.

At this point, the United States had a benevolent image in the Middle East, because it had restrained itself from interfering in the region in the name of national and economic interests. Instead, the U.S. entered the region as a diplomatic ally with several lucrative characteristics, such as industrialization, economic expansion and western systems of market and economy. The Middle Eastern nations believed these would improve their lives. The Arab nations saw hope in the United States in the aftermath of WWI and leading into WWII.

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/the-middle-east-mess

Yada….Yada…..and then there is Donald Trump and he had/has a plan (put a invoice his son-in-law in charge of finding a Middle East peace)……with tht said what is Our Beloved Supreme Leader’s “Big” plan?

That’s not to say their respective policies are remotely the same. Beneath these continuities lie significant shifts in emphasis that, unless corrected, risk doing serious damage to America’s interests and position. As Trump embarks on his first trip to the Middle East as president and the region wonders what to expect, I see four trends—one encouraging, and three worrying—that have emerged:

https://newrepublic.com/article/142764/know-donald-trumps-middle-east-policy

https://warontherocks.com/2017/04/trumps-middle-east-policies-boorish-and-belligerent-but-surprisingly-normal/

There are some that think they have the answer to a region that has few true answers……(I do not agree with most of this op-ed)…..

This is how the United States can pursue its interests in the Middle East and make the region safer for America and its allies.

The United States is a global power with global interests and responsibilities. Protecting these interests hinges on access to the commons (sea, space, air, cyberspace) and stability in Europe, the Middle East and the Indo-Pacific region (the great trading centers).

In some ways the Middle East is the most important of these three regions. It is the intersection of commercial air and sea travel between the other key regions. It is a global energy hub, a lynchpin of international financial networks and a crossroads for human migration. Much of what is good (and evil) in the world is based in the Middle East or passes through it.

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/5-sustainable-solutions-middle-east-security-54282

One of the most out there solutions was one that the MSM overlooked to focus on something else……Trump will ask the Saudis to pay for his “deal of the Century”……

For an administration not exactly famed for strategic patience and deliberative policymaking, President Trump’s push for an impending Middle East “deal of the century” could be a notable outlier.

Trump administration officials have spent the past two years quietly pursuing back-channel communications with wealthy Gulf Arab powers and Palestinian business leaders in preparation for the much-anticipated rollout of a major peace plan aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once and for all.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/apr/23/trump-asks-saudi-arabia-pay-middle-east-peace-deal/

Just a short look at what is the Middle East and why it is such a complicated mess.

Learn Stuff!

Peace Out!

What Of The War On Terror?

Gee there is not much news these days about those pesky terrorists that were all the rage 2 years ago. NO now we must learn about some damn silly horse race or some golfer who gets a medal for what we are not sure or then there is the Royal birth…another mouth for the country to feed. But what about that all important War on Terror?

I am so glad you asked.

First how about an assessment of Global Terrorism?

……..the jihadist threat has become more diverse since the horrific attack on September 11, 2001. Prior to 9/11, al-Qaeda maintained a base in Afghanistan and fought alongside the Taliban, operating primarily at the cellular level in several other countries throughout Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. Al-Qaeda’s base in Afghanistan was key to allowing it to recruit and train its cadre of global operatives for attacks against the U.S. and its allies. Iran’s primary proxy was Hezbollah in Lebanon, and it also supported Palestinian terrorist groups against Israel.

Since 9/11, al-Qaeda’s footprint has greatly expanded. It has established branches in Yemen and Saudi Arabia (al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula); North and West Africa (al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin, or JNIM); Somalia and East Africa (Shabaab); Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar (al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent); and in Syria. In many of these countries, al-Qaeda maintains an active insurgency, and in some, al-Qaeda’s branches or allies control a significant amount of land.

https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2019/04/30/examining-the-global-terrorism-landscape/

Speaking of 9/11 al-Qaeda were the bastards that committed that atrocity so how have they been dealing with the loss of Osama?

The organisation he led was considered one of the deadliest jihadist groups in the world, commanding thousands of fighters.

It was also believed to have had considerable financial resources.

But with the demise of its leader and the emergence of the Islamic State group (IS), al-Qaeda’s power and influence have weakened considerably.

So how influential is the group today, and what threat does it now pose to global security?

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48056433

One last report about terrorism……

Most people know who ISIS or IS or Daesh are and what they are capable of doing…….and most people that have watched the Middle East know who Blackwater is and the crimes they committed with the deaths of Iraqi civilians…..why are these two mentioned in the same breath?

I am so glad you asked!

The Arabic-language newspaper al-Akhbar reported that Blackwater and other security firms have been allowed to operate in Iraq since early 2018 under intense US pressure.

The daily cited sources close to the chargé d’affaires of the US mission in Iraq, Joey Hood, as saying that Blackwater had transferred US military equipment from Jordan to the western Anbar Province.

According to the sources, the private company is currently training Daesh terrorists at the Ein al-Assad base which President Donald Trump visited in December. 

Al-Akhbar quoted field sources as saying that trucks carrying Daesh militants were transferred from the town of Baqouz, the last piece of land which the terror group held in Syria

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/05/06/595230/US-Blackwater-training-Daesh-Iraq

Seriously?

Read that report carefully!

If true then there is something rotten at the Pentagon.

The War on Terror is about as ineffective as the War on Drugs…wasting money and making people wealthy while doing as little as possible.

It’s Lies Once Again!

The terrifying news came out over the weekend that the US was moving a Naval Strike group is moving into the region on some vague reason…..that reason has been speculated that it is a warning to Iran. For so a warning for what?

Once again the US will take Israel’s word for it….it is not like their intel has been ever wrong….(sarcasm)…..

A US buildup of military forces in the Middle East, and threats to use force against Iran are now being justified by US officials who claim to have “clear indications” that Iran was plotting to attack US forces in the area, in Iraq according to some reports.

Exactly what these “clear indications” actually were is unclear. Israeli media, however, gave credit to Israeli intelligence, saying they’d passed on their own report of a “possible Iran plot,” and the White House went from there.

This intelligence doesn’t seem great, as officials say that Mossad was unclear what Iran was actually planning to do, but that tensions are on the rise, and there were several scenarios that Mossad came up with that might happen.

Israel is always keen to drum up tensions between the US and Iran at any rate, so they probably didn’t need a lot of confidence to pass it along to the US and hope something came of it.

Iran, by contrast, accused the US of “talking up” the threat as a justification for a buildup that the US Navy had scheduled some time ago. The Navy has already scheduled the aircraft carrier deployment nearly a month ago.

(antiwar.com)

This is just the sort of LIES that gets our asses in trouble over and over again.

We trusted the Israeli intel in Lebanon in the 1980s and we kill about 100 innocent people trying to kill one person and again in the 80s when we trusted their intel and we missed Qaddafi and finally the intel from Israel has been wrong about Iranian nukes for 25 years….and now we are trusting their inept intel once again…..

What do we pay the CIA to do?

Maybe confirm the intel before we do something stupid like Iraq.

Just a thought.

Wag The Dog!

Trump over the weekend was freaking out on Twitter over the announcement that Mueller would be testifying before Congress this month.

Then from the shadows came the word that the US was deploying a strike group to the Middle East….

The United States will send an aircraft carrier and a bomber task force to the Middle East in response to “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” from Iran, national security advisor John Bolton announced on Sunday.

Bolton, who is known for his hawkish stance on Iran, did not specify what “warnings” the United States was responding to; however, a U.S. official with knowledge of the situation told CNN that threats had been made against “both U.S. maritime and land-based forces in the Middle East.”

Although there has been no indication that “any action by Iran is imminent,” the deployments are meant as a deterrent, the official told the news network.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed on Sunday that the U.S. had seen “escalatory actions from the Iranians,” AP reported. He refused to elaborate on what these actions entailed, yet insisted that “we have good reason to want to communicate clearly about how the Iranians should understand how we will respond to actions they may take.”

What troubling developments?

Was this the news to deflect the temper tantrum our Dear Beloved Supreme Leader is having during his most recent meltdown?

Please tell me this is not some BS to “protect” Israel.

With all the aid they get from the US they are well capable of protecting themselves from rockets and stones.

Speaking of rockets…..what happened to their “Iron Dome” defense…a system that the US is suppose to buy….if rockets get through maybe it is not as effective as they say…..maybe the US should save that cash.  (Sounds like a good topic for a post)

My money is on trying to divert attention from Trump to Iran…..a diversion too often used by this administration (well most admins have used this technique)……..

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