Is It Is Or Is It Ain’t?

If you have been paying attention to the news these days then you will know that we may be inching closer to a war with Iran……..

Pompeo has gone on the Tube and accused Iran of an attack on tankers in the Persian Gulf….without any proof other than his word……the problem there is that the captain of one of the attacked tankers does not agree with Pompeo….

The owner of the Japanese tanker that was attacked on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, the Kokuka Outrageous, contradicted the US military’s claims about the attack. Central Command reported that the two tankers were hit with limpet mines, a type of mine that is attached to the hull of a ship below the waterline using magnets. But Yutaka Katada, the owner of the Kokuka Outrageous, said he received reports a projectile hit the ship.

“We received reports that something flew towards the ship,” Katada said at a press conference, “The place where the projectile landed was significantly higher than the water level, so we are absolutely sure that this wasn’t a torpedo. I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship.”

(antiwar.com)

All this reminds me of the 1980s…..the old “Tanker Wars”……

Mysterious attacks on oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz this week show how one of the world’s crucial chokepoints for global energy supplies can be easily targeted, 30 years after the U.S. Navy and Iran were entangled in a similarly shadowy conflict called the “Tanker War.”

While the current tensions are nowhere near the damage done then, it underscores how dangerous the situation is and how explosive it can become.

The so-called “Tanker War” involved American naval ships escorting reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers through the Persian Gulf and the strait after Iranian mines damaged vessels in the region. It culminated in a one-day naval battle between Washington and Tehran, and also saw America accidentally shoot down an Iranian passenger jet, killing 290 people.

https://www.apnews.com/ceb6e7a86bf14a9a8d8ecf81c9dcc7ef

Plus the MSM has been hyping the incident to fan the flames of war….trying to get the public lathered up so they will fully support an illegal war….

If there were any lingering hopes that the corporate media learned from its role in perpetuating the lies that led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and would never again help start a Middle East war on the basis of false or flimsy evidence, the headlines that blared across the front pages of major U.S. news websites Thursday night indicated that such hopes were badly misplaced.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/06/14/think-us-media-wont-help-lead-nation-war-iran-based-flimsy-or-false-intelligence

It is getting so bad that Pompeo even blames Iran for attacks by the Taleban….

In the violence in Kabul broached by Pompeo, the Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on a U.S.convoy on May 31 that killed four Afghan pedestrians and wounded four American servicemen and at least three civilians. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid boasted of the attack in a phone call with The Associated Press.

But on Thursday, as Pompeo slammed Iran, he called the Kabul bombing one of “a series of attacks instigated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its surrogates against American and allied interests,” the Post reported.

The characterization of the Kabul attack as linked to Iran surprised experts and a former U.S. diplomat, the Post reported. Besides the Taliban’s claim of responsibility, they said it would be unusual for Iran to launch an attack inside Kabul.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tanker-attacks-iran-pompeo-taliban_n_5d0581b2e4b0dc17ef0aed60

These warmongers are itching for another fight and will use or blame whoever they must to get their war.

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Closing Thought–14Jun19

Today is Flag Day…..a day when most Americans should spend some time a learn how to properly display the American flag.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt…the Iranians did it! (Pompeo and Bolton’s accusation)

We have had two more attacks in the Persian Gulf and as usual the US is blaming Iran……

Two tankers traveling through the Gulf of Oman were attacked on Thursday, forcing the crews to abandon the ships, and which left one of the ships on fire. One of the sailors was reported “slightly injured” in the incidents.

The ships were the Front Altair, a tanker owned by Frontline which was shipping naphtha to Taiwan, and the Kokuka Courageous, a ship owned by Japanese company Kokuka Sangyo, was transporting methanol to Singapore. They departed from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The ships were apparently hit with sea mines, potentially magnetic mines. The US Navy claimed to have seen an unexploded mine on one of the two ships. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other US officials immediately blamed Iran.

Pompeo’s declaration of Iran’s guilt was based chiefly on similar incidents happening in mid-May. John Bolton and Pompeo blamed Iran then, and since this was the same sort of thing, they blame Iran now. The problem is, they have offered no evidence Iran was responsible for the first incidents, let alone today’s, and are just tying them all together. Pompeo rattled off a list of things to blame Iran for, including multiple incidents that were done by Yemen’s Houthis, a rocket fired in Iraq that was never convincingly blamed on anyone, and an Afghanistan bombing that clearly was nothing to do with Iran at all.

(antiwar.com)

Where’s the evidence?

In a press conference that immediately evoked memories of the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday claimed Iran was behind alleged attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman without presenting one single shred of evidence.

“This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high-degree of sophistication,” said Pompeo, who did not provide any details on the intelligence he cited.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/06/13/deja-vu-iraq-war-lies-mike-pompeo-blames-iran-tanker-attack-without-single-shred

Is this the same intel that our President refuses to accept elsewhere?

For me the question is…..The big questions are, as always, motive. Iran has no conceivable reason to attack such ships. 

Plus the Japanese ship is attacked while Japan’s Abe is on a state visit to Iran….again it smells like cow manure.

Just thinking out loud……

Remember The Gulf Of Tonkin?

I sincerely hope that all my American visitors had a great Memorial Day……

Back to work, Professor!

I’ll bet that if you are not an old fart then you have no idea what I mean by the title…..for you ‘younguns’…..

This was an attack by North Vietnam on two naval vessels cruising off their shores….and this incident lead to the mash up that cost 50,000+ American lives……

More information on the incident…..

That is enough history for you….I bring this up because I said that the attacks on the tankers in the Persian Gulf smelled like a new “Tonkin Incident”…..

But to refresh your memory…..

With the US having signed off on another 1,500 ground troops being sent to the Middle East, some justification is needed. A top Pentagon official is relying on previous speculation to make this all look very official.

Vice Admiral Michael Gilday told reporters that the US has “very high confidence” that recent sabotage of oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates was done by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. He also claimed rockets recent fired ib Baghdad were fired by “Iranian proxies.

(antiwar.com)

Then the president order more troops to the region….and now he, Trump, is using an unclear threat to help sell weapons, that the Congress has said no to, to the Saudis and their lackeys…..

In a move predicted earlier this week by members of Congress, President Trump has declared a “national emergency” for the sole reason of circumventing Congressional restrictions on arms sales, and using it to rush shipments of arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Under the Arms Export Control Act, Congress is supposed to get a 30 day notice ahead of any sales, and can then block shipments. Concerns about war crimes in Yemen mean Saudi arms would be likely to face some effort to block them.

But the law has a loophole in it, which allows the president to declare an “emergency” of any sort he wants, with no oversight on that declaration, and then send the arms over without Congressional notification.

This is a notoriously cheap way to circumvent Congress on arms exports, but several Senators said they expected Trump to make such a move as soon as next week. It appears he decided to get out in front of that move with a declaration on Friday going into the holiday weekend.

Officially, the “national emergency” is tensions with Iran, though several in Congress have pointed out that the US has had nonstop tensions with Iran for decades, and that’s not a reason to suddenly declare a new emergency.

(antiwar.com)

We have an emergency according to Trump…..The Trump administration on Friday invoked a rarely used provision in federal law to bypass congressional review of arms sales to Saudi Arabia, citing threats the kingdom faces from Iran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo notified Congress of the decision to use an emergency loophole in the Arms Export Control Act to move ahead with sales of $7 billion in precision guided munitions, other bombs and ammunition and aircraft maintenance support to Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, without lawmakers’ approval. Pompeo said, the AP reports, “that an emergency exists which requires the immediate sale” of the weapons “to deter further the malign influence of the government of Iran throughout the Middle East region.” He said the transfers “must occur as quickly as possible in order to deter further Iranian adventurism.”  (If anybody can recognize “adventurism” it is the American war machine….we have been committing it for over 5 decades)…….

So the weapons could be sold….the State Department withheld info from Congress……

The US State Department missed a deadline today to explain to the heads of multiple Congressional committees why the Iran section of their arms control report contradicted all available information from US intelligence agencies.

The report came out in mid-April, and was immediately contested by a number of officials. Intelligence officials said the report was “skewed” in such a way as to justify military action against Iran. They also said that the text indicated that the State Department had totally ignored all intelligence assessments on Iran, and just wrote the report in a way that would fit the narrative.

At the time, the State Department refused to address the allegations from other officials, and claimed the report included “all relevant information,” suggesting they didn’t consider intelligence reports that didn’t agree with the conclusion they were supposed to come up with relevant enough to mention.

Ignoring Congressional calls for clarification is a growing problem throughout the administration. Repeatedly, the administration has been given direct questions by Congress, or members thereof, with specific deadlines, and just let those deadlines go with neither a response, nor an explanation as to why they didn’t respond.

(antiwar.com)

Could it be missed because the intel will not confirm that lie being sold?

A piece of evidence in the Trump administration’s case against Iran may be less than it seems.

The Trump administration announced Friday that it is sending 1,500 new troops to the Persian Gulf and authorizing new arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in order to counter a rising Iranian threat in the region. But satellite images provided exclusively to The Daily Beast by the company Planet Labs show that a component of the administration’s description of Iran’s aggressive behavior—an apparent positioning of Iranian missiles onto boats—may not be as clear in commercial imagery as anonymous administration officials claimed it to be in statements to other publications.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/satellite-images-raise-questions-about-iran-threat-experts-say

Sorry, but I have heard all this before….and it did not end well for 50,000+ Americans…..we cannot let it happen yet again!

Who Wants This War?

Well unless you hide during the day under a rock then you are aware of how close the US and Iran maybe to a war……personally, I do ot think it is a good idea but then I am an antiwar person and cannot see too many wars as a good thing.

But ask yourself….just who is it that wants this war?

Trump and the Secstate and NatSec adviser do not seem to be on the same page….so who wants this?

Speaking on state TV of the prospect of a war in the Gulf, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei seemed to dismiss the idea.

“There won’t be any war. …We don’t seek a war, and [the Americans] don’t either. They know it’s not in their interests.”

The ayatollah’s analysis is correct. Consider the consequences of a war with the United States for Iran.

Iran’s hundreds of swift boats and handful of submarines would be sunk. Its ports would be mined or blockaded. Oil exports and oil revenue would halt. Airfields and missile bases would be bombed. The Iranian economy would crash. Iran would need years to recover.

 
But not to worry….the Speaker of the House said that the Congress have not voted for war….

The Trump administration does not have congressional authorization to go to war against Iran, the Democratic leader of the U.S. House of Representatives warned on Thursday amid escalating tensions in the region.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that she backed what appeared to be U.S. President Donald Trump’s aversion to actual military conflict with Tehran.

“I like what I hear from the president — that he has no appetite on this,” she said. The Washington Post, citing several unnamed U.S. officials, reported late Wednesday that Trump was frustrated that his advisers may be rushing into war and that he preferred a more diplomatic approach and direct talks with Iran.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-iran-congress/u-s-house-speaker-congress-has-not-approved-war-against-iran-idUKKCN1SM1WA

Really?  The Congress has not thought it important enough to vote on any war since the invasion of Afghanistan….so what makes me think they will have any say whatsoever in whether we go to war with Iran or not?

Besides they, the Congress, cannot stop a war any way….look at the failure with the Yemen conflict….the Congress has become a toothless tiger.

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!

On The Road To War!

It seems that the advisers to the president are determined to get into a shooting war with Iran…..personally I do not think any of these accusations are true (that means they are LIES)…..apparently I am not alone…..

The narrative of an “increased threat” posed by Iran and its proxies across the Middle East is being used to justify a US military buildup and a general escalation of tensions in the area. British Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika, however, has raised serious doubts about that.

Maj. Gen. Ghika said that there has been “no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces,” despite the claims from US officials, mostly Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and John Bolton. Perhaps more damningly, Ghika says he does not believe there is any daylight between Britain’s assessment of “no increased threat” and the assessment from US intelligence.

In other words, the US officials are lying about the intelligence, presumably to justify the growing US buildup and to keep hyping the possibility of a war with Iran. US Central Command, however, angrily shot back contradicting Ghika, insisting his statement runs counter to established US position on the matter.

CENTCOM’s statement is not exactly a refutation of Ghika’s position on UK and US intelligence. Rather, it refers to “identified credible threats” but provides no indication where they came from. It clearly wasn’t intelligence agencies, because the threats were only made available to intelligence agencies after their identification.

Early reports on the “Iranian proxies” allegation suggested it came out of Israel, and that it was built around Israeli officials believing it would make sense for Iran to do that sort of thing to attack the US. This could suggest it was never verified by US or UK intelligence, and was rather just accepted as the official version because it fit with US policy at the time.

(antiwar.com)

US is fanning those flames vigorously…..(do not believe all the denials)…..these neocons want war……

The Sunday “sabotage” on oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates warrants a “thorough investigation,” according to US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid, who told reporters that he wants responses “short of war” to be taken.

Other officials indicated on Monday that they consider Iran the main suspect of the attack, though they have conceded that they don’t have any real evidence of this, let alone proof. Abizaid said starting a war over it would not be in the interest of Iran, the US, or Saudi Arabia.

Which is a potentially controversial position for the ambassador to take, given the ongoing US military buildup in the Middle East, centered around the idea of a war with Iran. Even if he believes this isn’t in America’s interest, nor justified on unproven allegations of sabotage, it seems to be the general direction the US is headed anyhow.

In particular, the idea of having a thorough investigation before the reaction is not the way the US has done things in recent years. At a time when hawks are lining up to call for action against Iran on any pretext, it is vital to hear the call to let cooler heads prevail.

(antiwar.com)

Filter out all the warmongering BS and think about one thing……this article was published in The American Conservative……

David French defends one of the great crimes of the 21st century:

Today is the 16th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and Twitter is alive with condemnations of the conflict — countered by precious few defenses. Yet I believed the Iraq War was just and proper in 2003, and I still believe that today.

There is good reason that the Iraq war has “precious few defenders.” The Iraq war was a great crime and a massive blunder. Not only was it illegal under international law, but it was undeniably unjust according to any fair reading of just war theory. Our government did not have just cause to invade Iraq and overthrow its government. Preventive war can never be justified, because it can never be just to strike first against another country because you fear what their government might one day do to you. That is simply aggression committed out of irrational fear. To say that you still think 16 years later that invading Iraq is “just and proper” is to admit that you don’t know what those words mean.

Preventive War Is Always Unjust

The “Just War Theory”? 

A confusing thing but as usual I can help……Just war theory deals with the justification of how and why wars are fought. The justification can be either theoretical or historical.

https://www.iep.utm.edu/justwar/

In this world today, the 21st century in case there is any confusion) war does not make sense….the only people to gain are those that make the weapons of destruction.

We Americans have allowed too many wars in our name…..all the deaths are in our name…..and what does anyone gain?

****Breaking News******

News came out after I had written this draft for post today……

The US Embassy in Iraq says the State Department has ordered all non-essential, non-emergency government staff to leave the country right away amid escalating tensions with Iran. The security alert, published on the embassy’s website on Wednesday, comes after Washington last week said it had detected new and urgent threats from Iran and its proxy forces in the region targeting Americans and American interests. On Sunday, the embassy advised Americans to avoid travel to Iraq, citing “heightened tensions.”

And the world waits!

I Have Been Waiting For The Next Shoe!

Shades of the Gulf of Tonkin……..

2002–Deja vu…all over again.

Whenever the US starts down a path to war they have to make the case for the public to support a war……Iraq there was the search for yellow cake uranium (which was a lie)…..and the US seems to be thumping that chest again…this time in the Horn of Africa……

I did not wait long for that shoe to drop with the mash-up with Iran……

The United Arab Emirates said Sunday that four commercial ships off its eastern coast “were subjected to sabotage operations,” hours after Iranian and Lebanese media outlets aired false reports of explosions at a nearby Emirati port. Emirati officials declined to say who might have been responsible, the AP reports. However, the US has warned ships that “Iran or its proxies” could be targeting maritime traffic in the region; America is deploying an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf to counter alleged threats from Tehran. Tensions have risen since President Trump withdrew the US from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, restoring American sanctions that have pushed Iran’s economy into crisis. Last week, Iran warned it would begin enriching uranium at higher levels in 60 days if world powers failed to renegotiate the deal.

The UAE statement put the ships near the country’s territorial waters in the Gulf of Oman, east of the port of Fujairah. It said that it was investigating the incident “in cooperation with local and international bodies” and that there were “no injuries or fatalities on board the vessels” and “no spillage of harmful chemicals or fuel.” Earlier Sunday, Lebanon’s pro-Iran satellite channel Al-Mayadeen, quoting “Gulf sources,” falsely reported a series of explosions at Fujairah’s port. State and semi-official media in Iran picked up the reports, citing Al-Mayadeen, which later published the names of vessels it claimed were involved. The AP found the reports about an explosion to be unsubstantiated

Bam! That shoe has dropped!

But happened?

With the US military buildup in the area around Iran, hawks both within the administration and elsewhere in the region suspect that it might not take much to sucker the US into starting a war. Something oil tanker related might do it.

A pair of Saudi oil tankers have been reported to have been “sabotaged” off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. What actually happened is unclear. Officials are only saying sabotage and not elaborating on what happened to the ships or how.

Officials are investigating, however, and with all the talk of undermining international security, the public is meant to suspect that the Iranian government did it, whatever “it” actually was, because the US has been warning Iran that they’d better not do something.

Does appear as Trump and his Boyz are wanting the crisis to escalate……

This week, one year after President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, relations between Washington and Tehran approached a crisis, with an American carrier strike force headed for the Persian Gulf and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo making a sudden trip to Baghdad to consult with Iraqi officials. In fact, precipitating a crisis was the point of the administration’s strategy; the question now is how well they manage it.

Pulling out of the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was not just an attempt to dismantle a cornerstone of President Obama’s legacy. Nor was it fundamentally a disagreement about how to constrain Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program, though prominent hard-liners in the Trump administration surely hated the agreement. Instead it was a long-shot bet that a U.S.-imposed economic embargo just short of war could bring Tehran to its knees, forcing a fundamental change in the Iranian regime’s policy, or even regime change itself.

https://news.yahoo.com/trump-got-the-crisis-he-wanted-in-iran-now-what-173946309.html

Making the case…..it is so typical something I have seen and heard for decades……the government wanting a “WAR” and set about making the case for the conflict and to get the American people to go along with the ride.

Is America ready for the Bolton/Pompeo war with Iran?

National Security Advisor John Bolton’s announcement this week that the U.S. is deploying a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region seemed perfectly framed to put America on a war footing with Iran. And it is.

Claiming that the decision was made in response to “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings,” Bolton declared that “the United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime.” But, he added, “we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces.”

Is America Ready for John Bolton’s War With Iran?

I am kinda hoping that this situation is all a ploy to get the nation to look away from the fact that Trump is pissing up a great economy (according to Wall Street)…..

If war is truly what Trump and Bolton want then there should be one more “dire” event that will make the war necessary.

What will it be?

I really do not like where this is going!

This is feeling like…..deja vu …..all over again!