Venezuela, Iran: Trump and the Deep State — Astute News

The new deal of the White House and the Pentagon The parliamentary elections of 6 November 2018 deprived President Trump of his majority in the House of Representatives. The Democratic Party assumed that this would lead inevitably to his destitution. Of course, he had done nothing to deserve it, but a flood of hysteria swamped […]

via Venezuela, Iran: Trump and the Deep State — Astute News

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Hostile US Agenda Against Iran, China, and Other Countries It Doesn’t Control

By Stephen Lendman
Source

There’s no ambiguity about it — whether Republicans or undemocratic Dems are in power. Their tactics at times differ, their objectives the same, seeking dominance over other nations, demanding they bow to Washington’s will or face its wrath.

Toughness is only language the US understands, how China, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, and Cuba respond to its acceptable actions, refusing to go along.

It’s a lesson Russia failed to internalize, falsely believing normalized relations with the US are possible ahead — despite over 100 years of hostility, except during WW II against Nazism and the end of the Reagan era. 

Today bilateral relations are more dismal than during the height of Cold War differences, its most potentially dangerous time during the missiles of October when Jack Kennedy was president.

He later said he never had any intention of attacking Soviet Russia over the issue, a nation he favored rapprochement with, nuclear disarmament, and peace over war — why the CIA killed him.

Russia’s ineffective approach to the US shows in various ways, including by referring to its ruling authorities as “partners” and “colleagues.” 

Republicans and undemocratic Dems consider Russia their mortal enemy, falsely accusing it of all sorts of things it had nothing to do with, imposing illegal sanctions on its officials and enterprises. That’s not how “partners” and “colleagues” treat each other.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Trump regime’s “real agenda” toward Iran is all about waging sanctions war for “enough economic distress” to get its ruling authorities to “buckle under the weight of popular discontent.”

A second claimed objective aims “to drive Iran’s top leaders back into a conversation with the US, perhaps with (DJT) himself.”

In other words, the Journal believes tough talk and actions on Iran can work the way as it got North Korea’s leader to hold two summits with Trump. 

Cold hard reality tells a different story with both countries. Sanctions don’t work. Most often they’re counterproductive. In nations where they’re imposed, ordinary people hit hardest most often blame the government levying them, not their own.

True enough, North Korea came to the bargaining table with Trump, well aware of longstanding US hostility toward the country, knowing talks could be futile like other times before.

Nothing was accomplished between both countries because of unacceptable US demands. Nor is anything positive ahead likely.

Time and again, the US proves it can never be trusted. Even when becoming signatories to treaties, conventions, and agreements, most often it breaches them.

The Trump regime offered North Korea nothing but empty promises, decades of US hostility toward the country left unchanged, the same thing true for Iran.

The US wants both countries, and all other sovereign independent ones co-opted as client states, demanding they subordinate their sovereignty to US interests, polar opposite what dealmaking the way it should be is all about, why Iran wants no part of talks with Trump or other US officials.

The Journal’s premises are wrong. The harder the Trump regime comes down on Iran, the more ordinary Iranians despise the US, supporting their government, not opposing it.

The same holds for its ruling authorities, wanting no part of dealing with a regime it can’t trust.

Russia foolishly thinks diplomatic outreach to the US can resolve differences, even though the approach when tried fails time and again.

Most recently, Iran experienced US duplicity by Trump’s illegal JCPOA pullout — on top of 40 years of hostility toward its government and people. For Russia, it was DJT’s abandonment of the INF Treaty — each action based on Big Lies.

There’s no prospect whatever for normalized US relations with nations it doesn’t control. Polar opposite it true, going all out to force their compliance with US demands — by war by other means, the hot alternative, and/or other hostile actions.

Retired US Army Colonel/former chief of staff to Colin Powell when  secretary of state Lawrence Wilkerson believes Trump regime tough tactics against China could lead to war, and not just over trade differences.

Both countries are world’s apart on political, economic, financial, trade, and military issues, Wilkerson saying US confrontation with China is all about feeding the military, industrial, security complex’s insatiable appetite for near-unlimited funding.

The same goes for Russia, Iran and other nations the US falsely calls threats to its national security, a sure way to get billions more dollars from Congress for offense on the phony pretext of protecting national security.

What mostly scares the Pentagon and industrial/security complex is a peace dividend, why enemies are invented when none exist.

They’ve been none since WW II ended, so they’re manufactured to assure endless wars, peace treated as a threat to national security.

It’s why the global war OF terror, not on it, was created, major media playing a lead role in perpetuating the myth of barbarians at the gate threatening the US.

Americans are easy marks to be fooled, no matter how many times they were duped before, believing rubbish pounded into their minds by the power of state and media propaganda — the latter acting as press agents for powerful interests against the general welfare.

US Intelligence Shows No Iranian Threat Exists

By Stephen Lendman
Source

Claims by Trump regime hardliners about an Iranian threat lack credibility. No evidence suggests the Islamic Republic threatens any nations — not the US, Israel, its imperial partners, or any others.

Following a closed-door Tuesday congressional briefing on the Islamic Republic, Pompeo slammed Iranian “malign activity” that doesn’t exist, nor “40 years of terrorist activity — how the US and its imperial partners operate, not Tehran.

Trump’s acting war secretary Patrick Shanahan turned truth on its head, claiming “we received credible intelligence about threats to our interests in the Middle East and to American forces (sic)” by Iran, adding:

“That intelligence has borne out in attacks (sic), and I would say it’s also deterred attacks (sic). We have deterred attacks based on our re-posturing of assets, deterred attacks against American forces (sic).”

No such actions occurred because no Iranian threats exist to deter.

After Bolton briefed congressional members Monday on Iran, hawkish GOP Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted:

“It is clear that over the last several weeks Iran has attacked pipelines and ships of other nations (sic) and created threat streams against American interests in Iraq (sic),” adding: 

“If the Iranian threats against American personnel and interests are activated, we must deliver an overwhelming military response.”

Congressional briefings on Monday and Tuesday failed to convince Dems. Senator Chris Murphy said the following:

“I’m listening to Republicans twist the Iran intel to make it sound like Iran is taking unprovoked, offensive measures against the US and our allies,” adding:

“I’ve read the (same) intel, and let me be clear: That’s not what the intel says.” There’s nothing in it about an Iranian threat, just the opposite, indicating no Iranian threat exists.

Rep. Ruben Gallego made similar remarks, saying: “Lindsey and I get the same intel. That is not what is being said. This is total information bias to draw the conclusion he wants for himself and the media.”

Rep. Adam Smith said “(w)e still don’t know what the (Trump’s) objectives are,” adding he “does not anticipate” military action against Iran,” adding:

“What our ‘maximum pressure’ campaign has done in terms of achieving our objections, I have not seen.”

Speaker Pelosi said the White House has “no business” moving toward confrontation with Iran without congressional approval, adding: 

“We have to avoid any war with Iran…The very idea that they would say that they would use the authorization of the use of military force that is 18 years old is not appropriate in terms of its scope, its geography, its timing for any actions they might take.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called information gotten from Trump regime officials about an Iranian threat “inadequate.”

Ranking Dem Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Bob Menendez said “Congress has not authorized war with Iran.” The White House has not provided any information to this committee on the intelligence behind their” their accusations against Tehran.

Former senior State Department official involved in negotiating the JCPOA Wendy Sherman warned against making reckless accusations against Iran, undermining the credibility of its claimants.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger called Trump regime remarks about Iran “deeply troubling.” House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff said he wants to know what Trump’s “strategy is…to keep us out of war” with Iran.

For weeks, Trump regime officials failed to provide evidence of Iranian “malign activities” or threats to US or Israeli regional interests.

The claim about Iran intending to attack US forces is utter rubbish. Not a shred of evidence supports it. What possible benefit could Iran get by taking this action — with everything to lose and nothing to gain by going this far.

Weeks earlier, John Bolton falsely accused Iran of “troubling and escalatory” activities. At the time, a fake news NYT report claimed “intelligence (shows) Iran or its proxies were preparing to attack American troops in Iraq and Syria,” citing unnamed Trump regime officials — no evidence cited because none exists.

In early May, citing unnamed Trump regime officials, NBC News claimed intelligence showed Iran and/or its “proxies…could go after American military targets in the region,” adding:

Attacks could come from “small ships…Iranian-trained Shiite militia groups, and…against US ships by the Houthi rebels in Yemen” — no evidence cited backing the clearly fabricated claims.

In mid May, the NYT falsely claimed “communication intercepts and imagery indicated that Iran was building up its proxy forces’ readiness to fight” — again no evidence presented. Accusations and allegations without it are baseless.

Last week, the Pentagon put its forces in Iraq on high alert over a nonexistent Iranian threat. The State Department ordered all non-emergency personnel to depart the country.

Iraqi officials said they’re unaware of any threat to US or other foreign personnel from Iran. UK General Chris Ghika, Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve deputy commander, expressed a similar view, saying:

“There’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces” in Iraq or regionally. “We monitor them along with a whole range of others because that’s the environment we’re in. If the threat level…go(es) up then we’ll raise our force protection measures accordingly,” adding:

“As of now, “coalition forces observed no change in (the posture of Iran and its allies) since the recent exchange between the US and (Tehran), and we hope and expect (this) will continue…We don’t see an increased threat from them at this stage” because there is none.

A CENTCOM statement shot back, repeating the falsified claim of an Iranian threat without providing a shred of evidence proving it.

If a legitimate Iranian threat existed, the US and its “coalition” partners would agree, not disagree on the issue.

Germany’s Defense Ministry spokesman Jens Flosdorff agreed with Ghika, saying “there is no concrete threat” from Iran to the US or its regional allies.

Claims about Iranian responsibility for sabotage to Saudi and UAE tankers, as well as against Saudi pumping stations, were and remain willful disinformation.

The Trump regime is waging war on Iran by other means, aiming to make its economy scream through harsh illegal sanctions and other hostile actions.

Its plan to drive Iranian oil exports to zero is doomed to fail. China remains a key buyer, in April purchasing about 800,000 barrels a day of Iranian crude, according to customs data.

Its Sinopec and China National Petroleum Corp invested billions of dollars in Iran’s oil fields, recouping their investment by importing large amounts of Iranian oil monthly, what’s highly unlikely to stop.

Its Foreign Ministry denounced US anti-Iranian actions. Both countries maintain normal political, economic, and trade relations. The same goes for Russia, Turkey and other nations.

War winds are blowing way short of gale force. Going this far against Iran is opposed by the world community and leading Dems. Even some establishment media are skeptical in recent articles and commentaries.

The usually hawkish Washington Post raised concerns, saying “war with Iran would be the mother of all quagmires.”

“A conflict with Iran would not be like the Iraq War. It would be worse…Trump is barreling toward war with Iran. Congress must act to stop him…The Iran threat is being exaggerated by GOP hawks.”

A NYT opinion piece headlined: “Don’t Fight Iran.” A separate one headlined: “How to Stop the March to War With Iran.”

Last Friday, the Times headlined: “War With Iran? Count US Out, Europe Says.” In its latest edition, the Times said Trump officials haven’t convinced skeptical Dems about supporting war on Iran.

WaPo today headlined a similar remark. The Wall Street Journal quoted Trump regime acting war secretary Patrick Shanahan, saying the “Iran threat” (sic) has been put “on hold.”

Separately, the Journal said “Intel suggests (the) US (and) Iran misread each other, stoking tensions.”

Trump appears wary of war on Iran. John Bolton’s rage for attacking the country gained traction among hawkish Republicans, not Dems.

As long as the world community and Dem leadership oppose going this far, attacking Iran most likely will be restricted to waging war by other means — short of military intervention.

Note: According to a newly released Reuters/Ipsos poll, 60% of Americans oppose US war on Iran. Only 12% support it.

Proving propaganda works as intented, 53% of respondents said they believe the Islamic Republic is a “serious (or) imminent” threat — polar opposite reality.

Next US Iran Rendezvous in Less Than 60 Days — Astute News

US President Donald Trump no longer has any cards to wave in the face of Iran nor any grounds for negotiation. He can only resort to more economic sanctions and wait by the phone for a call from Iran, unlikely in view of Iran’s clear decision to reject any negotiations for the time being. Humanitarian […]

via Next US Iran Rendezvous in Less Than 60 Days — Astute News

US Foreign Policy is Nothing Short of Low-Intensity Warfare Against the Whole Planet by Finian Cunningham — Dandelion Salad

by Finian Cunningham Writer, Dandelion Salad East Africa Crossposted from Sputnik, May 16, 2019 May 20, 2019 To say the US conducts “foreign policy” is patently a misnomer. US policy is nothing short of low-intensity warfare against the whole planet. Its “foreign policy” is nothing more than a continuous program of psychological operations.

via US Foreign Policy is Nothing Short of Low-Intensity Warfare Against the Whole Planet by Finian Cunningham — Dandelion Salad

Venezuela isn’t Syria… but America’s war tactics are the same — In Gaza

May 14, 2019, RT.com -by Eva Bartlett

Since Juan Guaido declared himself Venezuela’s interim president, rhetoric emanating from Washington has grown increasingly familiar. It echoes the bombastic & hollow humanitarian-crisis type of war propaganda which has been used repeatedly in resource-rich nations, from Afghanistan to Iraq to Libya to Syria. And now we’re seeing it […]

via Venezuela isn’t Syria… but America’s war tactics are the same — In Gaza

Escalated Trump Regime War Threats Against Iran

By Stephen Lendman
Source

Preemptive Trump regime war on Iran would be madness. Israel should be wary about what it’s long pushed for.

If war on Iran happens, its cities, military, and nuclear facilities will be vulnerable. So will US regional bases, troops and warships.

Knowing it could be attacked by US and/or Israeli forces, Hezbollah could aid Tehran by missile strikes on Israeli and US targets. If Russia got involved to defend its regional interests as it did in Syria, global war could follow.

All of the above is why I doubt the Trump regime will go this far, continuing to exert maximum toughness on the Islamic Republic by other means — notably by escalated sanctions war to crush its economy, heated rhetoric, and saber rattling, hoping for regime change by these actions.

Yet Pompeo, Bolton, Netanyahu, and likeminded extremists in both countries are so hostile toward Iran, making anything possible, even unthinkable war on the nation, risking dire consequences if launched.

It could happen by accident or design, perhaps by a CIA/Mossad false flag, a US tradition since the mid-19th century, 9/11 the mother of them all.

According to the Wall Street Journal on Monday, an unnamed Trump regime official accused Iran of “likely (being) behind the attack on two Saudi Arabian oil tankers and two other vessels damaged over the weekend near the Strait of Hormuz,” the Journal adding:

“The assessment (was) not conclusive…The US official…didn’t offer details about what led to the assessment or its implications for a possible (Trump regime) response.”

On Monday, a similar AP News report cited an unnamed Trump regime official, saying an “initial assessment (of what happened to Saudi and UAE tankers) is that Iranian or Iranian-backed proxies” were responsible — a bald-faced Big Lie.

Pompeo falsely accused Iran of “escalating a series of threatening actions and statements in recent weeks.” 

Days earlier, a State Department statement said the Trump regime “hold(s) (Iran) accountable for activities that threaten the region’s stability and harm the Iranian people. This includes denying Iran any pathway to a nuclear weapon” it doesn’t seek.

Iran’s nuclear program has no military component, affirmed multiple times by the IAEA and US intelligence community.

In its annual assessments of global threats, time and again it stated that no evidence suggests the Islamic Republic is pursuing a nuclear weapons capability.

Claims otherwise by Trump regime hardliners and Israel are bald-faced Big Lies.

On Monday, Trump said “(i)f they do anything, they will suffer greatly. We’ll see what happens with Iran.”

Fact: Iran hasn’t attacked another country in centuries, threatening none now except in self-defense if attacked, its legal right under the UN Charter and other international law.

Fact: Iran seeks regional peace and stability. Its ruling authorities abhor nuclear weapons, wanting them all eliminated.

Fact: Not a shred of evidence suggests Iran had anything to do with alleged sabotage to Saudi and UAE tankers over the weekend.

Fact: Lots of evidence shows the Islamic Republic intends no actions to give the Trump regime a pretext for war.

Fact: Tehran seeks mutual cooperation with regional and world community nations.

Fact: Throughout the Islamic Republic’s history, seven US administrations sought regime change — from Jimmy Carter to Trump.

Fact: US war plans were drawn against Iran years ago, never implemented, updated over time. The possibility of US aggression against the country is greater by the Trump regime than any time before.

So far, US actions have been restricted to sanctions war, hostile rhetoric, and saber-rattling. How far the Trump regime intends to go against Iran remains to be seen.

Bolton and acting US war secretary Patrick Shanahan reportedly drew up a plan to deploy up to 120,000 US troops to the Middle East if Iran attacks Pentagon forces or resumes activities Washington can claim are all about pursuing nuclear weapons — no matter how false.

The plan reportedly was discussed by Bolton, Shanahan, CIA director Gina Haspel, DNI Dan Coats, and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Joseph (“fighting Joe”) Dunford.

It’s unclear if Trump was briefed so far. Pompeo and Bolton have been escalating hostile rhetoric toward Iran for months. Fake Mossad intelligence warned of a possible Tehran plot against US regional forces.

Not a shred of credible evidence suggests such a plan exists. Big Lies repeated enough get most people to believe them. All wars are based on lies and deception.

In response to phony claims of an Iranian threat to US Middle East forces, the Pentagon deployed the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to the region.

In April, Trump falsely declared Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a terrorist group, an unprecedented action against a nation’s military. US moves against Iran greatly escalated tensions, heightening the risk of war.

All post-WW II US wars were against nations threatening no one, naked aggression by any standard, none authorized by Congress or the Security Council.

On Monday, Pompeo met with his UK, French, and German counterparts in Brussels, along with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, discussing Iran.

She was quoted saying that the EU strongly opposes “military escalation” against Iran, urging “maximum restraint and avoiding any escalation on the military side,” adding:

“Pompeo heard that very clearly today from us, not only from myself, but also from the other ministers of EU member states” on where they stand on this issue.

“We, as you know, as the European Union, always encourage dialog and diplomatic engagement. This has always been our commitment. This is what we are practicing, including with Iran.”

EU/NATO countries are involved in virtually all US wars of aggression, Washington’s so-called “coalition of the willing.” Will Iran be an exception if the Trump regime attacks the country? Heavy pressure will be brought to bear on its key countries to get involved if things go this far.

Mogherini was less than candid, claiming “(t)here is full determination on the European Union’s side, and also all the member states expressed that today very clearly on continuing to implement it at full the nuclear deal with Iran.”

Since Trump’s JCPOA pullout last May, EU actions belied its supportive rhetoric for the deal, failing to follow through on promises made.

It’s why Iran gave Britain, France and Germany “60 days to meet their commitments, especially in the banking and oil sectors,” adding:

“Whenever our (legitimate) demands are met, we will, to the same extent, resume the commitments. Otherwise, the Islamic Republic will be suspending more commitments stage by stage.” 

“In line with protecting the security and national interests of the Iranian people,” the Supreme National Security Council said it’ll suspend some of its voluntary commitments, relating to enrichment and storage of uranium and heavy water — according to its rights under JCPOA articles 26 and 36.

“Iran stands ready to continue its consultations with the remaining parties to the deal at all levels, but it will swiftly and firmly react to any irresponsible measure, including returning the case (of Iran’s legal nuclear program) to the Security Council or imposing more sanctions.”

Iran, Russia and China fully comply with JCPOA provisions. The Trump regime illegally pulled out of the binding agreement. Britain, France and Germany failed to fulfill their obligations, delaying and equivocating instead.

Will they change their behavior in the weeks ahead to save the deal, or will they surrender to US demands like countless times before?

Avoiding US war on Iran may depend on their JCPOA compliance. How they’ll act is very uncertain. The jury remains out on this vital issue.

Note: Spain’s Defense Minister Margarita Robles ordered the withdrawal of its Mendez Nunez frigate from the Middle East combat group led by the USS Abraham Lincoln over heightened tensions with Iran. 

Will other NATO countries take similar actions to avoid the risk of war with the Islamic Republic?

 

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