Kashmir under lockdown: All the latest updates

Source

The Indian government revoked the special status accorded to Indian-administered Kashmir in its constitution, the most far-reaching political move on the disputed region in nearly 70 years.

A presidential decree issued on August 5 revoked Article 370 of India’s constitution that guaranteed special rights to the Muslim-majority state, including the right to its own constitution and autonomy to make laws on all matters except defence, communications and foreign affairs.

In the lead-up to the move, India sent thousands of additional troops to the disputed region, imposed a crippling curfew, shut down telecommunications and internet, and arrested political leaders.

The move has worsened the already-heightened tensions with neighbouring Pakistan, which downgraded its diplomatic relations with India.

India and Pakistan claim Kashmir in full but rule it in part. The nuclear-armed neighbours have fought two of their three wars over the disputed territory. A rebellion in Indian-administered Kashmir has been ongoing for 30 years.

Here are the latest updates:

Saturday, September 21

Kashmiris struggle to meet loved ones in Indian jails

Hameeda Begum described her arduous journey from the Himalayan region of Indian-administered Kashmir to the hot and humid room in Agra Central Jail in northern Uttar Pradesh state, where the exhausted 70-year-old was waiting to see her son.

A man in his early twenties offered her a bottle of water, saying, “Don’t lose hope. You are not alone.” Hameeda drew a long sigh, placed her hand on the man’s hand and spoke in a barely audible voice: “May God give us patience.”

Read the full story here.

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Promoting War, Opposing Peace, How Establishment Media Operate

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Establishment media never met a US war of aggression against a nonbelligerent/nonthreatening state they didn’t wholeheartedly cheerlead.

When the US goes to war or in their run-up, they operate as virtual Pentagon press agents — complicit in US high crimes of war and against humanity by their actions.

Since Iranians ended a generation of US-imposed fascist dictatorship in 1979, establishment media have been militantly hostile toward Tehran.

They joined the anti-Iran chorus in support of the Trump regime’s war by other means on the country, targeting its economy, harming its ordinary people most — reporting US disinformation, Big Lies and fake news about the country.

Not a shred of credible evidence suggests Iran seeks nuclear weapons, a nation at peace with its neighbors that never attacked another country preemptively, threatening none now, fostering cooperative relations worldwide.

No evidence suggests Iran had anything to do with striking key Saudi oil facilities on September 14 — what Yemeni Houthis claimed responsibility for.

The NYT is militantly hostile toward nonbelligerent Iran. In one article, it contradicted itself about the week ago attack on Saudi oil facilities, saying:

The “attack (came) from an unknown source, evidently using missiles and drones…Trump…blames Iran,” adding:

“The Iranian government ordered it because it views Trump as a weak negotiator who is afraid of war.”

More meaningless mumbo jumbo rubbish followed, including nonsense that “Iran may be betting that Trump will back down (by) escalating the situation…”

It’s hard believing editors allow the above rubbish to be published, not remotely reflecting reality.

Separately, the Times slammed Trump for not retaliating after Iran downed its spy drone last June — failing to explain it entered Iranian airspace illegally, didn’t respond to multiple demands to leave, before IRGC forces acted in self-defense, the legal right of all nations to hostile actions.

Attacking Iran earlier or any time preemptively is naked aggression under international law, ignored by the Times in its piece.

The Times: “Three months later, some of Mr. Trump’s own allies fear the failure to follow through was taken by Iran as a sign of weakness, emboldening it to attack oil facilities in Saudi Arabia this month (sic).”

Instead of stressing there’s no evidence supporting the claim, the Times also failed to ask obvious questions:

What was a US spy drone doing in Iranian airspace illegally? Why did it ignore repeated Iranian demands to leave? The incident was a hostile US action the Times and other establishment media failed to explain.

The Times quoted far-right official of the undemocratic Foundation for Defense of Democracies Reuel Gerecht, saying Trump’s “repeated failure to militarily respond to Iranian actions has been a serious mistake.”

Anything advancing peace over war warrants high praise, a notion rejected by the Times and other hawkish US media. 

Trump’s reluctance to strike Iran militarily hasn’t deterred his aggression in multiple theaters. Nor did it soften his all-out war on Tehran by other means — the same high crimes committed against Venezuelan social democracy, the real thing absent in the West.

CNN, the most distrusted name in television propaganda masquerading as news, slammed nonexistent Iranian “malign activity (not) thinning out,” claiming what doesn’t exist is “expanding.”

The Wall Street Journal falsely claimed Yemeni Houthis “warned foreign diplomats that Iran is preparing a follow-up strike to the missile and drone attack that crippled Saudi Arabia’s oil industry a week ago” —  citing unnamed sources that lied or don’t exist.

On Saturday, Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdul Salam debunked the Journal’s Big Lie. Another followed, saying:

“In recent days, (so-called) people familiar with the matter said Iran let Houthi fighters know that they wanted their support in carrying out more attacks across the region (sic).”

The London Guardian accused Trump of “dithering over Iran,” saying it “makes America look weak and foolish” — promoting war like other Western chickhawk media instead of denouncing aggression.

Anti-Iran propaganda war wages. Without establishment media support, it would fall flat.

Unexplained is why nonbelligerent Iran at peace with its neighbors would change policy.

What possible strategic aim could it achieve by becoming an aggressor, giving the US a pretext for possible war?

Iran would have much to lose and nothing to gain by attacking the Saudis or another regional country.

What’s obvious goes unreported by establishment media, falsely blaming Iran instead about what no evidence suggests it had anything to do with.

India & Israel – Kashmir And Palestine – A Study In Brutality — Rebel Voice

As tensions increase in both Palestine and Kashmir, the following article takes a look at comparable aspects of both conflicts and the right-wing regimes responsible for them. Palestine has become synonymous with oppression and Apartheid. The actions of the Israeli gerrymander over many decades have been well documented. Those crimes against humanity continue to this […]

via India & Israel – Kashmir And Palestine – A Study In Brutality — Rebel Voice

The Post 9/11 Era and The “Global War on Terrorism”: “You are Either with Us, or with the Terrorists”

Bonnie Faulkner Interviews Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, September 20, 2019
Guns and Butter

The tragic events of September 11, 2001 constitute a fundamental landmark in American history. a decisive watershed, a breaking point. Millions of people have been misled regarding the causes and consequences of 9/11.

September 11 2001 opens up an era of crisis, upheaval and militarization of American society.

A far-reaching overhaul of US military doctrine was launched in the wake of 9/11.

Endless wars of aggression under the humanitarian cloak of “counter-terrorism” were set in motion. 

September 11, 2001 marks the onslaught of the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT), used as a pretext and a justification by the US and its NATO allies to carry out a “war without borders”, a global war of conquest.

Guns and Butter, WBAI  Radio, New York

click here (audio)

https://www.wbai.org/archive/program/episode/?id=5854

The transcript of this interview will be published shortly

***

At eleven o’clock, on the morning of September 11, the Bush administration had already announced that Al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon. This assertion was made prior to the conduct of an indepth police investigation.

CIA Director George Tenet stated that same morning that Osama bin Laden had the capacity to plan  “multiple attacks with little or no warning.”

That same evening at 9:30 pm, a “War Cabinet” was formed integrated by a select number of top intelligence and military advisors. And at 11:00 pm, at the end of that historic meeting at the White House, the “War on Terrorism” was officially launched.

Amply documented but rarely mentioned by the mainstream media, Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA going back to the Soviet- Afghan war. This was a known fact, corroborated by numerous sources including official documents of the US Congress, which the mainstream media chose to either dismiss or ignore. The intelligence community had time and again acknowledged that they had indeed supported Osama bin Laden, but that in the wake of the Cold War: “he turned against us”.

Where was Osama bin Laden on September 11, 2001?

Is there any proof to the effect that Osama bin Laden, the bogeyman, coordinated the 9/11 attacks as claimed in the official 9/11 narrative?

According to CBS news (Dan Rather, January 28, 2002), “Enemy Number One” was admitted to the urology ward of a Pakistani military hospital in Rawalpindi on September 10, 2001, courtesy of America’s indefectible ally Pakistan. He could have been arrested at short notice which would have “saved us a lot of trouble”, but then we would not have had an Osama Legend, which has fed the news chain as well as presidential speeches in the course of the last 18 years.

1. Osama bin Laden could not reasonably have coordinated the 9/11 attacks from his hospital bed;

2. The hospital was under the jurisdiction of the Pakistani Armed Forces, which has close links to the Pentagon. Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts were known to both the Pakistani and US military.

 U.S. military and intelligence advisers based in Rawalpindi. were working closely with their Pakistani counterparts. Again, no attempt was made to arrest America’s best known fugitive. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claimed, at the time, that the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden were unknown. According to Rumsfeld:  “Its like looking for a needle in a stack of hay”.

October 7, 2001: Waging America’s 9/11 War of Retribution against Afghanistan

The immediate response of the US and its allies to the 9/11 attacks was to the declare a war of retribution against Afghanistan on the grounds that the Taliban government was protecting “terror mastermind” Osama bin Laden. By allegedly harboring bin Laden, the Taliban were complicit, according to both the US administration and NATO, for having waged an act of war against the United States.

Parroting official statements, the Western media mantra on September 12, 2001 had already approved the launching of “punitive actions” directed against civilian targets in Afghanistan. In the words of William Saffire writing in the New York Times: “When we reasonably determine our attackers’ bases and camps, we must pulverize them — minimizing but accepting the risk of collateral damage” — and act overtly or covertly to destabilize terror’s national hosts”.

This decision was taken by the Bush-Cheney war cabinet in the evening of September 11, 2001. It was based on the presumption, “confirmed” by the head of the CIA that Al Qaeda was behind the attacks.

On the following morning, September 12, 2001, NATO’s Atlantic Council meeting in Brussels, endorsed the Bush administration’s declaration of war on Afghanistan, invoking Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.

An act of war by a foreign nation (Afghanistan) against a member of the Atlantic Alliance (the USA) is an act of war against all members under NATO’s doctrine of collective security. Under any stretch of the imagination, the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon cannot be categorized as an act of war by a foreign country. But nobody seemed to have raised this issue.

Meanwhile, on two occasions in the course of September 2001, the Afghan government –through diplomatic channels– offered to hand over Osama Bin laden to US Justice. These overtures were turned down by president Bush, on the grounds that America “does not negotiate with terrorists”.

The war on Afghanistan was launched 26 days later on the morning of October 7, 2001. The timing of this war begs the question: how long does it take to plan and implement a major theater war several thousand miles away. Military analysts will confirm that a major theater war takes months and months, up to a year or more of advanced preparations. The war on Afghanistan was already in the advanced planning stages prior to September 11, 2001, which begs the question of foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks.

The repeal of civil liberties in America was launched in parallel with the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan, almost immediately following 9/11 with the adoption of the PATRIOT legislation and the setting up of a Homeland Security apparatus, under the pretext of protecting Americans. This post-911 legal and institutional framework had been carefully crafted prior to the 9/11 attacks.

Al Qaeda is a US Intelligence Asset

Important to the understanding of 9/11, US intelligence is the unspoken architect of “Islamic terrorism” going back to the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war.

Bin Laden was 22 years old and was trained in a CIA sponsored guerrilla training camp. Education in Afghanistan in the years preceding the Soviet-Afghan war was largely secular. With religious textbooks produced in Nebraska, the number of CIA sponsored religious schools (madrasahs) increased from 2,500 in 1980 to over 39,000.

آل سعود يُطلقون النار على رؤوسهم

سبتمبر 21, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

اعتقد آل سعود أنهم قادرون على احتلال اليمن وإلحاقه بنفوذهم بحربهم الضروس التي شنّوها قبل أربع سنوات ولا تزال متواصلة.

لكن النتائج انقلبت عليهم، بصمود أسطوريّ يكشف مدى إيمان شعب يمني متواضع الإمكانات، بقدرته على القتال ضدّ الغزاة حتى بالحجارة والأسنان. فهذا شعب له هوية تاريخية يتشبت بها وينقلها سليمة إلى الأحفاد.

لذلك فإنّ آل سعود في مأزق حقيقي متعدّد الأبعاد: الأول هو انتقال حربهم إلى داخل السعودية نفسها، والثاني أن اليمنيين بدأوا يستهدفون بطائراتهم المسيرة، نقاط القوة السعوديّة الوحيدة التي تؤمن لهم هذا الانجذاب الغربي ـ الأميركي إليهم. وهي مصافي النفط والمطارات والمواقع الإداريّة والعسكريّة. والنقطة الثالثة هي انكشاف عجزهم العسكريّ ضدّ هذه الهجمات اليمنية بما يدفع إلى الاعتقاد بأن مئات مليارات الدولارات التي دفعها السعوديّون ثمناً للأسلحة الأميركية ـ الأوروبية ليست أكثر من حديد أصيب بصدأ لندرة استعماله والعناية به والتدرب عليه.

أما النقطة الرابعة، فهو الإحباط الذي تتزايد درجاته عند السعوديين خصوصاً والخليجيين عموماً من البرودة الغربية في التعامل مع قصف مصفاتي أرامكو في بقيق وصريح، وهما أكبر مصفاتين سعوديتين تورّدان الذهب الأسود.

كان آل سعود يعتقدون أن هجوماً أميركياً أوروبياً، ينطلق آلياً بمجرد حدوث استهداف يمني كبير على مراكز نفطهم التي تشكل عصب الاقتصاد الغربي بالاستهلاك المباشر أو الاستثمار في ربوعها ببيع مختلف السلع الغربية أو بالاثنين معاً.

لقد أثارت ردود فعل الرئيس الأميركي ترامب، امتعاض الخليج الذي لا يتجرأ على التعبير عن نقمته. فليس معقولاً أن يبدأ سيد البيت الأبيض باتهام إيران متحولاً بسرعة مدهشة نحو التأكيد بأن بلاده مكتفية بنفطها وغازها الصخريين وليست بحاجة للسعودية بهذا الشأن، لذلك دعاها إلى تغطية تكاليف أي تحرك عسكري أميركي في المنطقة.

وعندما لمس صمتاً خليجياً، ابتدأ بالقول إنه لا يريد حرباً مع إيران، مضيفاً بأن الحرب هي آخر الحلول وليست مستبعَدة، مُسهباً بعد يومين فقط، بأن الحرب «مستبعدة وممكنة» بأسلوب بائع أسهم في بورصة الأحياء الشعبية في نيويورك.

المهم هنا، هو معرفة ما يريده الأميركيون بشكل دقيق، فهم يبتعدون عن أي إشارة لحرب اليمن وعلاقتها بقصف المصافي السعودية.

ما يوضح أن الحاجة الأميركية لهذه الحرب لم تنتهِ بعد، وإن على السعودية مواصلة عدوانها على اليمن: وأغراضها منها، فهي منع تشكل دولة يمنية مستقلة، والسيطرة على حدودها البحرية من عمان وحتى باب المندب وصولاً إلى الحدود في أعالي البحر الأحمر مع السعودية.

وللأميركيين اهتمامات غامضة بموارد طاقة يمنيّة تقول مصادر غربية إنها موجودة بكميات وازنة، وتجمع بين النفط والغاز.

هذه أسباب أميركية تمنع السعوديين من التخلي عن عدوانهم وفي طريقة لرفع مستوى الرعب السعودي، يتعمّد الأميركيون الربط بين إيران واليمن والعراق وسورية ولبنان، مع التركيز على محورية إيران في هذا الحلف، الأمر الذي يربط آل سعود بالسياسة الأميركية المعادية لإيران.

الجمهورية الإسلامية إذاً هي هدف أميركي أساسي يريد البيت الأبيض تفجير دولتها، لكنه يصطدم بقدرتها الدفاعية والهجومية، فيعمد إلى الاستثمار بهذه القوة الإيرانية بوسيلتين: عزلها عن الجوار الخليجي، وتحويل هذا الخليج إلى سوق كبيرة لشراء السلاح الأميركي إلى جانب حصر علاقاتها الاقتصادية بالسلع الأميركية والغربية، من خلال استبعاد السلع الصينية والآسيوية عموماً.

لكن، فالخطة الأميركية تركز على الأولويات المتحكمة حالياً بالعقل الخليجي الرسمي، وهو الخوف على الأنظمة السياسية، وبما أن السلاح الخليجي الموجود لم يتمكّن من صدّ الصواريخ والمسيَّرات اليمنية. فهذا يعني عجزه عن التعامل مع المستجدّات العسكرية لهذه المرحلة، فلا بأس إذاً بشراء أسلحة حديثة للزوم قمع الداخل من جهة والخارج الإيراني ـ العراقي ـ اليمني من جهة ثانية.

ألا تفترض هذه الأهداف تغييراً كاملاً للسلاح الموجود، يؤدي إلى تقليد خليجي متسارع من الكويت وحتى عمان مروراً بالإمارات والبحرين وقطر. وقد توزع السعودية صفقات أسلحة حديثة على الأردن ومصر والسودان لضرورات التعاون.

ماذا يعني هذا التجديد؟ تستلزم الأسلحة الحديثة وقتاً طويلاً للتعامل المفيد معها، الأمر الذي يستلزم إيفاد آلاف العسكريين الخليجيين للتدرب عليها في بلاد الإنتاج، وهذا يتطلب دفع أثمان السلاح وكلفة التدريب عليها، ونفقات آلاف المستشارين الغربيين الذي يعملون في جيوش الخليج، وتسديد ثمن أسلحة الدول الصديقة، المتحالفة.

إنها إذاً عملية مرهقة، تقول مصادر عسكرية روسية، إن نفقاتها قد تزيد عن ألف مليار دولار قابلة للتصاعد، وهي كافية لإنعاش الطبقات الوسطى في الغرب الصناعي، وإعادة تجديد معامل السلاح في بلدانه.

بالمقابل ليس أكيداً قدرة الخليج على استعمال هذا السلاح الذي قد يصبح قديماً بعد نصف عقد على شرائه والتدرب عليه وفي عالم ينتج أسبوعياً، أصنافاً جديدة من الأسلحة.

هناك نقطة إضافية وهي أن السلاح يحتاج إلى عقيدة قتال، ليست موجودة في الخليج الملتزم بالسياسة الأميركية وبالتالي الإسرائيلية، فيبدو آل سعود كمن يطلقون النار على رؤوسهم في حروب لا علاقة لهم بها، لتطوير طبقات غربية على حساب شعوبهم التي تحتاج إلى تطوير فعلي يمنعه عنهم الأميركيون ومعهم آل سعود الذين يخافون من السعوديين أكثر من إيران واليمن وحزب الله.

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IRGC displays British, American drones seized over Iran’s territory

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps displays a number of intruding American and British drones captured for violating Iran's airspace, in an exhibition in Tehran on September 21, 2019. (Photo by Tasnim news agency)

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps displays a number of intruding American and British drones captured for violating Iran’s airspace, in an exhibition in Tehran on September 21, 2019. (Photo by Tasnim news agency)

Press tv

Sat Sep 21, 2019 02:35PM [Updated: Sat Sep 21, 2019 02:49PM

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has displayed a number of American and British drones captured for violating Iran’s airspace.

In an exhibition in Tehran on Saturday, the IRGC showcased a British unmanned aerial vehicle, named Phoenix, seized by its Aerospace Division.

Phoenix is an all-weather, day or night, real-time combat surveillance drone. The twin-boom UAV provides surveillance through its surveillance pod, from which the imagery is data linked to a ground control station (GCS) that also controls the aircraft in flight. It has also a maximum flight time of around five hours.

The drone, powered by a 20 kW (26 hp) piston engine, had a maximum speed of 166 km/h and a wingspan of 5.6 meters.

The IRGC also displayed the Aerosonde HQ vertical take-off and landing drone belonging to the US Army used for multi-intelligence payloads such as electronic warfare and communications relay in a single flight.

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Aerosonde has been designed for expeditionary land- and sea-based operations and equipped for simultaneous day/night full-motion video. It is field-proven with more than 300,000 flight hours, including desert heat and Arctic cold.

It is equipped with an easy-to-use launch and recovery trailer for constrained land and shipboard operations.

Desert Hawk was another American drone showcased in the exhibition. It has a length of 0.86 meters with a weight of 3.2 kg. It has an endurance of about an hour with an electric motor driving a quiet pusher propeller.

In June, Iran shot down an intruding American spy drone in the country’s southern coastal province of Hormozgan.

The IRGC said in a statement that the US-made Global Hawk surveillance drone was brought down by its Air Force near the Kouh-e Mobarak region — which sits in the central district of Jask County — after the aircraft violated Iranian airspace.

Back in 2015, Iran also downed a US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft with minimal damage. The drone was flying over the Iranian city of Kashmar, near the Afghan border, when it was brought down.

Known to be able to hack into enemy drones, Iran currently possesses the biggest collection of captured or downed American and Israeli drones, including the US’ MQ1, MQ9, Shadow, ScanEagle, and RQ-170 as well as the Israeli regime’s Hermes.

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Resistance report: Syrian Army takes the initiative in Idlib while Washington blames its failures on Iran again

Resistance report: Syrian Army takes the initiative in Idlib while Washington blames its failures on Iran again

September 20, 2019

By Aram Mirzaei for The Saker Blog

August was an eventful month for the Syrian Army and its allies as the battle for northwestern Syria saw a breakthrough after months of static frontline movements. Just like in the previous 3 years, the month of August has been one accompanied by important victories for Damascus. The Syrian Army managed to break through the jihadist lines at the Khan Sheikhoun front and from there steamrolled through the entire frontline, eventually encircling and trapping the jihadist militants in a pocket in northern Hama. Despite counteroffensives launched by Tahrir Al-Sham and their allies from the “Rouse the believers” operations room, the SAA managed to hold on to the newly liberated areas.

With this development, Hama city and Christian towns such as Mhardeh are now safe from the encroaching jihadist threat. This offensive should be expanded now that the Syrian Army still has the initiative, especially with the jihadist morale still shaken by the loss of their doorway into Hama. It is important for Damascus to clear out the remainder of the Latakia province as well as western Aleppo since both these areas are heavily populated and hold strategic value. If Latakia and Aleppo are cleared, then the jihadist threat will be contained to a single province in the country, leaving them pretty much besieged in Idlib as Ankara’s support seems to be fading, as evident by their passiveness during the Syrian Army’s August offensive.

Since the conclusion of the offensive, with a new ceasefire having been declared and expired, the Syrian Army is said to be amassing troops near the Al-Ghaab front in a potential move to completely kick the jihadists out of Hama and thereby finally paving the way for the liberation of Jisr Al-Shughour. This news seems to have been expected by the Jihadists as the Jaysh Al-Izza terrorist outfit has already begun making preparations for the upcoming battle, reportedly sending over 2000 men to the Western Hama countryside. The Syrian Army would do well to be careful here as the key hilltop town of Kabani, overlooking Jisr Al-Shughour still hasn’t been liberated.

Meanwhile, last weekend saw more than half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production go down in flames as the Saudi Aramco oilfields and refineries came under heavy drone attacks. The attacks caused the greatest drop in oil production in history, prompting oil prices to jump 19 percent. If oil prices rise further, the world will inch closer to a global recession, which, among other things, could cost Trump his reelection. Immediately after the attacks, the Yemeni Houthis issued a statement where they took responsibility for the attacks with the movement’s spokesperson General Yahya Sare’e adding that 10 drones were deployed against the sites at Khurais and Abqaiq. “This was one of the largest operations which our forces have carried out deep inside Saudi Arabia. It came after careful intelligence and cooperation with honorable and free people inside Saudi Arabia,” he said without elaboration.

Washington was quick to dismiss the Houthi claim of responsibility when Trump said that Washington has “reason to believe that we know the culprit,” noting that Washington is “locked and loaded depending on verification” and is waiting to “hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack.” The same response was voiced by Pompeo and Lindsey Graham who called for Washington to strike Iran in an attempt to “break the regime’s back”.

Surely Washington understands how embarrassing this debacle is for them. The Saudis have spent hundreds of billions of dollars on purchasing US military equipment and weapons. Equipment and weapons that Washington has spent quite some time claiming is superior to anything else the world has to offer. Last week, a Saudi prince took to twitter and claimed that Saudi Arabia could “destroy Iran in 8 hours”, adding that Iran’s military technology belong to the “museum”.

That same claimed superior weaponry failed to stop a single attack that took out half of the kingdom’s oil production. This makes me wonder if they’re laying the blame on Iran in order to cover up the even greater embarrassment, that American and Saudi military forces and their networks of advanced air defenses never detected the Yemeni drones that were launched on Saturday to strike oil facilities deep inside Saudi Arabia, proving futile the billions of dollars that the Riyadh regime has spent on them to protect its territories. What message does this send to US vassals around the world? In an attempt to downplay the uselessness of the Patriot system, Pompeo, sounding surprised by the vastness of the operation, said: “This is an attack of a scale we’ve just not seen before.”

Really? Never seen before? So the thousands of drone strikes that Washington has launched across the Islamic world is something that they’ve never seen before?

In any case, Pompeo immediately traveled to Riyadh to assure Washington’s vassals that everything is under control, and to discuss “potential responses”, calling the incident “an act of war”. By now, this blame game has become routine, Washington keeps using the same miserable strategy of intimidation, thinking it will work at the 500th attempt.

So here we are again, another dubious incident in which Tehran is held responsible, without any evidence presented. Of course, Tehran didn’t just stand idly by while Washington made these threats, both Ayatollah Khamenei and foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif issued separate responses, vehemently denying Iran’s role in the attack and warning that any attack on Iran would spark an all out war. Khamenei also went on to talk about the importance of not falling for the failed US maximum pressure campaign, which this is all about. Speaking on Tuesday, Khamenei said entering talks with the US under the current circumstances would be tantamount to surrendering to Washington’s pressure campaign. “Negotiating would mean Washington imposing its demands on Tehran. It would also be a manifestation of the victory of America’s maximum pressure campaign,” he noted.

Thus, the Islamic Republic has correctly calculated that Washington’s maximum pressure campaign is nothing but a bluff to intimidate Iran into entering negotiations. Khamenei said “I had already said that America’s objective of [pursuing] talks is to impose [its demands], but they have become so insolent that they even speak about this openly.”

“The US regime is after making its domestic rivals and the Europeans accept this as a definitive policy that maximum pressure is the only way to confront Iran,” added Ayatollah Khamenei. “Their objective in [offering to hold] talks is to prove to everyone that the policy of maximum pressure has yielded results, and that Iranian authorities were forced to come to the negotiating table despite what they said.”

The most probable conclusion is that there won’t be a war. Washington knows very well that it cannot afford a regional war, especially not now when Washington has been exposed for not being able to defend its vassals. If indeed Iran was behind this attack, then one can imagine that if a single drone strike took out half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production, imagine what an all-out war would result in for Washington and its vassals. The consequences of this debacle can be very severe for Washington in the future as Moscow has already offered the Arab states to purchase Russian weaponry instead, slowly outmanoeuvring Washington as was the case with Turkey and the S-400 deal. It is a real pathetic mess that Washington has got itself into. Washington’s own allies won’t even back their lies. “We are not aware of any information that points to Iran,” Japan’s Defense Minister Taro Kono told reporters at a briefing on Wednesday.

“We believe the Houthis carried out the attack based on the statement claiming responsibility,” he added, referring to the Yemeni group incorporated into the armed forces fighting back a Saudi-led war on Yemen.

Washington’s list of options grows thin, the US better retract its words, repent and return to the nuclear accord that it has violated or see itself fall even further into decay as Washington’s days of being the sole unipolar power that everyone used to fear are quickly fading away.

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