No Respite for the Wicked, Pompeo Unleashed

Getting Bolton out didn’t help much. Or any of the other assholes, there’s always an equal replacement.

Tom Luongo is an independent political and economic analyst March 23, 2020

There are few things in this life that make me more sick to my stomach than watching Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talking. He truly is one of the evilest men I’ve ever had the displeasure of covering.

Into the insanity of the over-reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak, Pompeo wasted no time ramping up sanctions on firms doing any business with Iran, one of the countries worse-hit by this virus to date.

It’s a seemingly endless refrain, everyday, more sanctions on Chinese, Swiss and South African firms for having the temerity in these deflating times to buy oil from someone Pompeo and his gang of heartless psychopaths disapprove of.

This goes far beyond just the oil industry. Even though I’m well aware that Russia’s crashing the price of oil was itself a hybrid war attack on U.S. capital markets. One that has had, to date, devastating effect.

While Pompeo mouths the words publicly that humanitarian aid is exempted from sanctions on Iran, the U.S. is pursuing immense pressure on companies to not do so anyway while the State Dept. bureaucracy takes its sweet time processing waiver applications.

Pompeo and his ilk only think in terms of civilizational warfare. They have become so subsumed by their big war for the moral high ground to prove American exceptionalism that they have lost any shred of humanity they may have ever had.

Because for Pompeo in times like these to stick to his talking points and for his office to continue excising Iran from the global economy when we’re supposed to be coming together to fight a global pandemic is the height of soullessness.

And it speaks to the much bigger problem that infects all of our political thinking. There comes a moment when politics and gaining political advantage have to take a back seat to doing the right thing.

I’ve actually seen moments of that impulse from the Democratic leadership in the U.S. Will wonders never cease?!

Thinking only in Manichean terms of good vs. evil and dehumanizing your opponents is actually costlier than reversing course right now. Because honey is always better at attracting flies than vinegar.

But, unfortunately, that is not the character of the Trump administration.

It can only think in terms of direct leverage and opportunity to hold onto what they think they’ve achieved. So, until President Trump is no longer consumed with coordinating efforts to control COVID-19 Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper are in charge of foreign policy.

They will continue the playbook that has been well established.

Maximum pressure on Iran, hurt China any way they can, hold onto what they have in Syria, stay in Iraq.

To that end Iraqi President Barham Salei nominated Pompeo’s best choice to replace Prime Minister Adil Abdel Mahdi to throw Iraq’s future into complete turmoil. According to Elijah Magnier, Adnan al-Zarfi is a U.S. asset through and through.

And this looks like Pompeo’s Hail Mary to retain U.S. legal presence in Iraq after the Iraqi parliament adopted a measure to demand withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country.

Airstrikes against U.S. bases in Iraq continue on a near daily basis and there have been reports of U.S. base closures and redeployments at the same time.

This move looks like desperation by Pompeo et.al. to finally separate the Hashd al-Shaabi from Iraq’s official military. So that airstrikes against them can be carried out under the definition of ‘fighting Iranian terrorism.’

As Magnier points out in the article above if al-Zarfi puts a government together the war in Iraq will expand just as the U.S. is losing further control in Syria after Turkish President Erdogan’s disastrous attempt to remake the front in Idlib.

That ended with his effective surrender to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The more I watch these moves by Pompeo the more sympathetic I become to the most sinister theories about COVID-19, its origins and its launch around the world. Read Pepe Escobar’s latest to get an idea of how dark and twisted this tale could be.

Rep.MikePompeo | H.R. 4432, Rep. Mike Pompeo Monsanto Safe a… | Flickr
It is sad that, to me, I see no reason to doubt Pompeo and his ilk in the U.S. government wouldn’t do something like that to spark political and social upheaval in those places most targeted by U.S. hybrid war tactics.

But, at the same time, I can see the other side of it, a vicious strike back by China against its tormentors.

And China’s government does itself, in my mind, no favors threatening to withhold drug precursors and having officials run their mouths giving Americans the excuse they need to validate Trump and Pompeo’s divisive rhetoric.

Remaining on the fence about this issue isn’t my normal style. But everyone is dirty here and the reality may well be this is a natural event terrible people on both sides are exploiting.

And I can only go by what people do rather than what they say to assess the situation. Trump tries to buy exclusive right to a potential COVID-19 vaccine from a German firm and his administration slow-walks aid to Iran.

China sends aid to Iran and Italy by the container full. Is that to salve their conscience over its initial suppression of information about the virus? Good question.

But no one covers themselves in glory by using the confusion and distraction to attempt further regime change and step up war-footing during a public health crisis, manufactured or otherwise.

While Pompeo unctuously talks the talk of compassion and charity, he cannot bring himself to actually walk the walk.

Because he is a despicable, bile-filled man of uncommon depravity. His prosecuting a hybrid war during a public health crisis speaks to no other conclusion about him.

It’s clear to me that nothing has changed at the top of Trump’s administration. I expect COVID-19 will not be a disaster for Trump and the U.S.

It can handle this. But the lack of humanity shown by its diplomatic corps ensures that in the long run the U.S. will be left to fend for itself when the next crisis hits.

 

No Place Is Safe for US Forces in the M.E.

No country or army in the Middle East ever challenged the US until Iran. US lied about deaths of US soldiers after strike to save face.

Soleimani left Beirut and slept in Syria on the first of January, not far from Damascus airport. On every trip to Syria, he used to hold a meeting with all commanders, after morning prayers and just before the sun rises, for a maximum of two hours.

That day he kept all commanders for lunch and allowed them to leave just before sunset. He didn’t stop talking, leaving his instructions for his team of commanders in the Levant. Captain Wahid Zamaniam used to be his inseparable companion.

The Major General was greeted by Iranian and Iraqi officers at Baghdad airport when arriving, where a US drone assassinated them.

According to a well-informed source within the “Axis of the Resistance”, when he learned about the assassination, Sayyed Khamenei called for a meeting of his commanders in the first hours following the murder and instructed: “prepare yourself for a strong reply.

We shall announce our direct responsibility, so our enemy knows we are challenging it face to face and not in the cowardly way the US killed Soleimani and his companions. Hit the US army hard to break their arrogance in the same theatre they have executed this vile assassination”.

Many scenarios were laid down in front of Sayyed Khamenei. The first choice was Ayn al-Assad, the most significant and most substantial airbase in Iraq, where President Trump landed in what he considered the safest location in Iraq.

Iran knows every single detail about the base. Its drones and intelligence were good enough to identify the contents of every hangar and construction.

A plan for a second hit was also prepared against a US base outside Iraq across the Persian Gulf, more powerful and painful than the first objective, in case the US responded to the Ayn al-Assad hit. 

A third hit was also organised, much more powerful and destructive than the first two against the most significant US base in the Middle East. This hit aimed to cause many casualties, many more than the US other possible retaliation.

Three plans, three scenarios, all planned to be executed one after the other for three consecutive hits. Sayyed Ali Khamenei approved all these responses so there would be no need for his commanders to ask for his blessing.

After that, Sayyed Khamenei instructed his commanders to return to him for further instructions and to declare a general mobilization of the country where an all-out war would be announced against the US if there were military responses to all the Iranian hits.

In this last scenario, Sayyed Khamenei ordered a plan where hundreds of missiles would have been launched simultaneously against all US military bases in the countries surrounding Iran, in the Levant and beyond.

All Iran allies in the Middle East would have been involved, and US allies would be directly hit.

But this ultimate decision would require the last evaluation by Sayyed Khamenei.

That was a foreseeable scenario that the US President – with his decision to stand down, notwithstanding the human casualties and destruction inflicted on Ayn al-Assad military base – managed to avoid.

“Iran didn’t use any missiles in its silos to hit US targets at Ayn al-Assad. On the contrary, missiles were deployed overtly and prepared for launching two days before under the eyes of US satellites. Messages were flocking to Iran from diplomats asking to refrain from retaliating or at least to soften the response.

All requests were turned down. Iran avoided surprising the US; had Iran wanted to surprise the US, missiles would have been launched from its silos with no warning.

It was a direct challenge to US hegemony.

Moreover, Iran informed the US that the hit was coming, further challenging President Trump and his military apparatus in the Middle East by showing that Iran is not afraid of the consequences”, said the source.

Iran sent its drones over Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and other nearby countries in daylight over US bases.

It was a signal that Tehran was prepared for war and an indication of some of the Iranian bank of objectives. The Iranian leadership was ready to go to the point of a no-return if necessary.

No one in Iran accepts to give up the missile programme that has become the pride of the Iranian people and its armed forces.

When the US bombed hundreds of Russian contractors in Syria, Deir-Ezzour, who were crossing the Euphrates river to chase ISIS remnants, Russia decided not to respond. No country or army in the Middle East ever challenged the US, notably when the US deployed tens of thousands of troops and effective equipment in the Middle East.

Only Iran has directly challenged US hegemony and military power.

The “Axis of Resistance” confirmed the balance of fear and imposed a deterrence policy on the US in the Middle East. Iran overtly challenged the US and declared its responsibility with no fear of the consequences. So far, the US has confirmed at least 64 casualties suffered; some time ago Iran announced that “US casualties were not less than 80.”

President Trump thought he was living a historical moment in his life where he could do anything he wants with no fear of consequences. He believed no country in the world would dare to challenge him.

He also advised that Iraq was divided, that no government could contest violation of its sovereignty, and that Iran is no longer tolerated in Mesopotamia. He was most likely informed that the burning of two Iranian consulates was enough to kick Iran out of Iraq.

Perhaps he imagined that assassinating Sardar Qassem Soleimani would go unpunished, and he bragged about killing “two for the price of one.” He and his warmonger team also wrongly believed – and I guess still find – that his “maximum pressure” and harsh sanctions would bring Iran onto its knees begging him for mercy.

He said he would be waiting by the phone for Iran to call, proving his ignorance of Iran, its mentality, culture, patience, harshness and pride. 

The magic turned against the magician and Trump gave Iran a massive gift by allowing it to bomb his army and challenge him face to face.

Trump was afraid to announce the number of casualties in the first week. The Pentagon is now releasing a part of the reality every week. The US, not Iran, has shown fear.

“All US military bases have become a threat to the hosting countries in the Middle East. These bases no longer serve to protect these countries but have become perfect targets for Iran in case of war. They provide an overwhelming list of targets for Iran.

No place will be safe for US forces in the Middle East if red-lines are crossed, as happened with the assassination of Sardar Soleimani,” said the source.

source

False Flag: US Hacked Ukrainian Plane Transponder

US launched cyber-attack on Iran weapons systems’ 23 June 2019

The US launched a cyber-attack on Iranian weapons systems on Thursday as President Trump pulled out of air strikes on the country, US reports say. Both the Washington Post and AP news agency said the cyber-attack had disabled the systems. The New York Times said it was intended to take the systems offline for a period of time.*

01/18/2020  Philip Giraldi, a former counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer of the CIA, penned a piece in the American Herald Tribune speculating that the U.S. launched several cyber-attacks, one on an Iranian missile defense system, and another on the transponder of the doomed Ukrainian plane.

Giraldi explains the Iranian missile operator experienced extreme “jamming” and Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752’s transponder was switched off several minutes before the two Russian made Tor missiles were launched.

“The shutdown of the transponder, which would have automatically signaled to the operator and Tor electronics that the plane was civilian, instead automatically indicated that it was hostile. The operator, having been particularly briefed on the possibility of incoming American cruise missiles, then fired,” he said.

Giraldi said the Tor missile system used by Iran is vulnerable to being hacked or “spoofed,” and at the same moment, Flight 752’s transponder was taken offline “to create an aviation accident that would be attributed to the Iranian government.”

The Pentagon has reportedly developed technologies that can trick enemy radars with false and deceptively moving targets, he said.

“The same technology can, of course, be used to alter or even mask the transponder on a civilian airliner in such a fashion as to send false information about identity and location. The United States has the cyber and electronic warfare capability to both jam and alter signals relating to both airliner transponders and to the Iranian air defenses. Israel presumably has the same ability,” Giraldi said.

Iran made the claim Wednesday that “enemy sabotage” cannot be ruled out in the downing of the plane. 

Iranian Brigadier General Ali Abdollahi suggested the U.S. hacked missile defense systems to make it appear Flight 752 was an incoming missile.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also accused the U.S. of being responsible for the downing of the plane, saying that:

“The root of all sorrows goes back to America… this cannot be a reason for us not to look into all the root causes.”

He added that:

“One cannot believe that a passenger plane is struck near an international airport while flying in a [commercial] flight channel,” after previously saying that IRGC commanders were not the only ones involved in the plane downing, noting that “There were others, too.”

The Iranian parliament also stated that “we are in powerful confrontation with the criminal U.S. and do not allow a mistake… to pave the ground for misusing the issue by the enemies.”

Giraldi concludes by saying electronic warfare by the U.S. to bring down a civilian jet and blame it on Iran “suggests a premeditated and carefully planned event” to create a false flag for the next world war.

Foreign Intervention Behind Iran Protests: CIA


Lethally shooting around 20 or Iranians through New Year’s day, including at least one policeman, suggests foreign interference.

What’s going on resembles March 2011 protests in Daraa, Syria. US-supported armed protesters fired on police, instigating conflict.

Security forces responded to violent armed insurgents, killing civilians and police, attacking government offices.

What began in Daraa, spread elsewhere in Syria, things escalating into Obama’s war, unresolved nearly seven years later.

Events are also similar to late 2013, early 2014 Euromaidan violent protests in Kiev. The Obama administration’s coup involved snipers, killing and injuring hundreds of civilians and police, firing on them with automatic weapons from Kiev’s Philharmonic Hall.

Witnesses saw them carrying military-style bags used for sniper and assault rifles with optical sights.

Ahead of the uprising, Maidan leaders practically lived at Washington’s embassy in Kiev. US-supported putschists toppled Ukraine’s democratic government.

Fascist tyranny replaced it – the most brazen European coup since Mussolini’s 1922 march on Rome.

Events in Iran also eerily similar to earlier CIA-instigated street violence in Venezuela, scores killed, hundreds injured – a US-orchestrated color revolution attempt to replace Bolivarian social democracy with fascist tyranny.

Tactics included shootings, roadside bombs, arson and other vandalism against state facilities, barricades of burning rubbish, blocking roads, destroying a food storage depot, and holding a maternity hospital under siege.

Later, a helicopter attacked the Interior Ministry and Supreme Court. Other disruptive tactics were used.

Since early in Hugo Chavez’s tenure, Washington sought regime change. The Trump administration is committed to ousting President Nicolas Maduro, perhaps a renewed attempt to come this year.

Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Shamkhani said a “proxy war” is being waged against the Islamic Republic on streets and via social media.

He blamed Washington, Britain and Saudi Arabia for what’s going on.

“Based on our analyses, around 27 percent of the new hashtags against Iran are generated by the Saudi government,” he explained.

Israel’s dirty hands are involved, long wanting its main regional rival eliminated, pro-Western puppet rule replacing the Islamic Republic.

A “small and minority group” is responsible for rioting, lawbreaking and violence, Rouhani said.

Reportedly, Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is now in charge of cracking down on elements responsible for violence if it continues – ongoing since December 28.

On Monday, a policeman was lethally shot, three others wounded from gunfire, the death toll mounting, anti-government armed gunmen responsible.

Maryam Rajavi from the so-called People’s Mujahedin of Iran called on Washington, Brussels and the Security Council to intervene. The CIA-supported group calls for toppling the Islamic Republic violently.

Trump and Netanyahu expressed support for protesters. Reportedly, Washington and Israel may try to assassinate IRGC al-Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani.

He’s in charge of Iranian anti-terrorist operations in Syria.

Things remain volatile. They bear the disturbing earmarks of an attempted US-orchestrated color revolution.

Iran is well aware of what’s going on, its security forces trained and able to confront made-in-the-USA violence and instability.

Readings and Initial Outcome of the Iranian Missile Attack

Screengrab from propaganda video purportedly showing Islamic State militants in Iraq (September 2019)

Islamic State (western backed terrorists) welcomes killing of Soleimani

Al-Manar

Here are some notes and conclusions of the Iranian Missile retaliatory attack on US bases in Iraq:

– Inability of the US Defense System to intercept the Iranian missiles or target them, knowing that the Americans said they serveilled the launching of missiles from Iran.

– Accuracy in targeting the goal, which was revealed in pictures.

– The quick hit, as it took place instantly after the funeral of martyrs.

– One shouldn’t stand much on the fact that the US hasn’t acknowledged any casualties until now, as any acknowledgment will put pressure on Trump Administration which prefers to reassure the Americans that “everything is going well”. However, he (Trump) canceled a statement he was planning to give today which is a sign that he is avoiding confrontation.

– It is obvious by now that Trump who had threatened to retaliate to any Iranian response using the “beautiful” most advanced US weapons, preferred to keep mum for the safety of US other bases in the region and “Israel” which for its part was the second on Iran’s list of retaliation incase the US hit Iranian targets.

– Iran proved that it does not only make speeches and it does not fear threats. After this response, it had reinforced its defensive power so that any future attack against it would be thought about twice.

– In case the situation did not develop, this will reflect on the US position among its allies. By that, these attacks would have had a reverse effect since the assassination was committed in this blunt and direct manner.

– The US will have to reconsider the locations of its bases in the region, specifically in Iraq, after they have been exposed to the Iranian missiles.

– This response should have positive repercussions on Iran’s position in the region and on the nuclear issue. Negotiations around its ballistic power are no longer on table after it had been revealed, once again, that it is one of its deterrence elements to defend its land and benefits.

– The position of Iran’s allies in the resistance axis should be stronger after the missile retaliation, especially in the face of “Israel”.

– ‘Israel’ will not be satisfied if the situation did not aggravate, as it wanted to push the US toward a military confrontation with Iran. This will raise tensions inside the occupying entity.

False Identities Become the New Weapon: War with Iran Promoted by Fake Journalists

MEK is a curious hybrid creature in any event in that it pretends to be an alternative government option for Iran even though it is despised by nearly all Iranians.

“Heshmat Alavi is a persona run by a team of people from the political wing of the MEK,” said Hassan Heyrani, a high-ranking defector from the MEK who said he had direct knowledge of the operation.

 “They write whatever they are directed by their commanders and use this name to place articles in the press. This is not and has never been a real person.”

Heyrani said the fake persona has been managed by a team of MEK operatives in Albania, where the group has one of its bases, and is used to spread its message online. Heyrani’s account is echoed by Sara Zahiri, a Farsi-language researcher who focuses on the MEK.

Zahiri, who has sources among Iranian government cybersecurity officials, said that Alavi is known inside Iran to be a “group account” run by a team of MEK members and that Alavi himself does not exist.

By Philip Giraldi

Most Americans believe that Iran actually threatens the United States, though they would be at a loss to explain exactly how that could be the case.

One of the claims made about alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election was that Kremlin-controlled entities were using fake identities to create dissension and confusion on social network sites.

This should surprise no one, if it is true, as intelligence operatives have been using false names since Sumerian times.

The concern over fake identities no doubt comes from the deception involved, meaning that if you are dealing with a real person you at least have some handle on making as assessment of what something means and what is likely to occur.

A false persona, however, can pretend to be anything and can advocate or do something without any yardstick to measure what is actually taking place.

In other words, if Mike Pompeo says something you know that he is a liar and can judge his words accordingly but if it is someone otherwise unknown named Qwert Uiop you have to wonder if he or she just might be telling the truth.

You might even give them the benefit of the doubt.

A prime example of a false internet persona has recently surfaced in the form of an alleged “activist” invented by the Iranian terrorist group Mojahedin e Khalq (MEK).

MEK is a curious hybrid creature in any event in that it pretends to be an alternative government option for Iran even though it is despised by nearly all Iranians.

At the same time, it is greatly loved by the Washington Establishment which would like to see the Mullahs deposed and replaced by something more amenable to western and Israeli worldviews.

MEK is run like a cult by its leader Maryam Rajavi, with a number of rules that restrict and control the behavior of its members. One commentary likens membership in MEK to a modern day equivalent of slavery.

The group currently operates out of a secretive, heavily guarded 84 acre compound in Albania that is covertly supported by the United States, as well as through a “political wing” front office in Paris, where it refers to itself as the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

MEK, which is financially supported by Saudi Arabia, stages events in the United States in Europe where it generously pays politicians like John Bolton, Rudy Giuliani and Elaine Chao to make fifteen-minute speeches praising the organization and everything it does.

It’s paying of inside the Beltway power brokers proved so successful that it was removed from the State Department terrorist list in 2012 by Hillary Clinton even though it had killed Americans in the 1970s.

MEK also finds favor in Washington because it is used by Israel as a resource for anti-Iranian terrorism acts currently, including assassinations carried out in Tehran.

Here’s John Bolton Promising Regime Change in Iran by the End of 2018 to Maryam Rajavi MEK spokesperson.Tthe MEK has poured millions of dollars into reinventing itself as a moderate political group ready to take power in Iran if Western-backed regime change ever takes place.

MEK’s fake journalist, who has recently been exposed by The Intercept, is named Heshmat Alavi. He, or if you prefer “it,” has very successfully gained access to a considerable body of generally conservative mainstream western media, including ForbesThe Hill, the Daily Beast and The Federalist.

Alavi has placed scores of articles as “an activist with a passion for human rights,” aimed at discrediting Iran and its government while also subtly praising MEK as an alternative to the current regime. His bona fides have never been questioned, even by Forbes, which placed no less than 61 articles under the name between April 2017 and April 2018.

The pieces appearing allegedly by Alavi are reportedly composed at a “troll factory” as a so-called “group account” in Albania where MEK members who belong to the organization’s “political wing” toil under tight security.


Alavi’s contribution to the damning of Iran has not been insignificant. An article written by him/it that appeared in Forbes claiming that the Mullahs had been able to increase their military budget due to having money freed up by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement.

The article reached the White House and reportedly helped convince the Trump Administration to withdraw from the pact.

MEK members working in the ‘Twitter troll factory’ in Manez Camp, Albania

To supplement the Alavi propaganda effort, MEK’s Albania operation uses banks of computers manned by followers, some of whom are fluent in English, who serve as bots unleashing scores of comments supporting regime change in Iran while also directing waves of criticism against any pro-Iranian pieces that appear on social media, to include Facebook and Twitter.

 By one account,more than a thousand MEK supporters manage thousands of accounts on social media simultaneously. The objective of all the chatter is to convince the mostly English-speaking audience that there is a large body of Iranians who are hostile to the regime and supportive of MEK as a replacement.

While the Iranian government and MEK might well be regarded by most Americans as a far-away problem, there was considerable shock expressed even by congress and the media when it was learned shortly before The Intercept’s revelations that the United States government had been funding a so-called Iran Disinformation Project that was employing tactics remarkably similar to those of MEK in an attempt to control the discussion over Iran policy.

The project, run by the State Department’s global engagement center, consisted of a trolling campaign which targeted online American citizens critical of the government’s Iran policy, labeling them as disloyal to the United States and tools of the Iranian government.

It used, for example, the website IranDisInfo.org and the hashtag #NIACLobbies4Mullahs. Iranian-American activist and long-time State Department contractor Mariam Memarsadeghi headed the program, receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars to “relentlessly attack critics of the Iran policy on social media…accusing them of being paid operatives of the regime in Tehran.”

In all, the “Iran Disinfo” operation received over $1.5 million through the Memarsadeghi contract entity the oddly named E-Collaborative for Civic Education.

The investigation of Iran Disinfo also revealed that the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), which has been leading the charge for war with Iran, had at least one employee working with E-Collaborative.

FDD, which has been advising the Trump White House on a more aggressive policy towards Iran, has also been actively involved in the State Department effort and cross-posting material from the Disinfo campaign.

FDD has long been targeting Iran. It received $3.63 million in 2017 from Bernard Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot. Marcus is a hard-core Zionist who hates Iran and once referred to that nation as “the devil.”

FDD has also received billions from Las Vegas casino mega billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the GOP’s largest individual donor, who has advocated dropping a nuclear bomb on Iran to send a message.

The link between major Republican donors supporting FDD and an increase in FDD quasi-overt cooperation with the Trump Administration in demonizing Iran should not surprise anyone.

Even though the State Department operation was relatively insignificant compared to similar initiatives undertaken by Israel, the idea that an ostensibly democratic government should propagate lies to defend its own policies was definitely unsettling.

Some might think that disinformation on Iran is of little importance, that it has little impact on actual policy, but they would be wrong. Bad information that is allowed to circulate freely creates its own reality.

Most Americans believe that Iran actually threatens the United States, though they would be at a loss to explain exactly how that could be the case. Dubious stories that originated with Reuters about corruption in Iran have been used by Mike Pompeo to justify sanctions against the regime on humanitarian grounds, measures which have ironically hurt average Iranians disproportionately.

The same story was also used in at least four books to discredit the Iranian leadership.

To be sure, the mainstream media is itself largely at fault, as it was with Heshmat Alavi, for not vetting their sources more carefully, particularly when a story is clearly providing unique information or representing a point of view that might be considered controversial.

In some cases, of course, the news outlet wants the story to be perceived as true even when it knows that it is not, so it becomes an accomplice in the propaganda effort.

A recent attempt to create a mechanism to establish standards by determining the reliability of online news content has, in fact, been little more than a neoconservative scheme to discredit sites that do not support the neocon point of view.

Since governments and various non-governmental constituencies now, by their own admission, are heavily into the game of providing false information and discrediting critics, most Americans will completely tune out of the process, meaning that there will be little or no measurable difference between truth and lies.

One already hears complaints from all across the political spectrum that most news is fake. When one reaches the point where such skepticism becomes the consensus, both elections and democracy itself will be rendered pretty much meaningless.

This article originally appeared on American Herald Tribune.

Preparing the Stage: A War With Iran to Save Netanyahu Legacy

Events suggest that Netanyahu wants to seal his legacy by persuading the US to join with Israel in an attack on Iran.

The CIA used similar tactics – violent attacks on shops – to escalate the protests in the 1953 overthrow of PM Mosaddegh, in favour of strengthening the monarchical rule of the Shah.

The Iranian government is not teetering at any ‘brink’

Excerpt

An Iran-focused treaty was to be a key issue on the agenda of hurriedly-arranged talks with Secretary Pompeo, in Lisbon this week – a ‘summit’ that followed in the wake of a notable flock of very high-level, US Defense officials visiting Israel in recent days.

In Lisbon, Netanyahu said that his talks with Pompeo had focused on: 1. Iran; 2. Iran, and number 3: Iran.

The protests in Iran – and the ‘message’ being promoted by the main-stream media which has the “regime” teetering at the brink of collapse, and obliged to use unprecedented violence to quell mass unarmed protests, in the wake of an extraordinarily ineptly managed, fuel-price hike.

What is wrong with this version? Well, what is right is that the hike triggered protests across 100 cities on the Friday, 15 November.

The protests were widespread, and the poorer segments of the population (traditional supporters of the state) were heavily represented. But they were not violent.

The rest of the narrative is wrong.

On the day of the truly mass protests against the fuel hike, no one was killed. And, on the following day, the protestors almost wholly vanished from the streets.

Instead, small groups of pre-prepared, armed and violent activists – not protestors – attacked the strategic hubs of state infrastructure: banks, petro-chemical plants, the gas network, and fuel storage.

These hubs were attacked using rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and sub-machine guns.

Other groups took out banks (100s of them), armed with guns, swords and iron bars. (One of these latter groups attacked six banks in the space of just one hour.) Nothing here was spontaneous or ‘populist’.

The security forces reacted militarily – arresting and killing many insurgents. And yes – the internet was shut down. But, not the internal Iranian internet – only the global internet.

So, the Iranian equivalent of WhatsApp and Telegraph, and Iranian news channels were still accessible – though the global internet was not.

The overseas anger at the external internet shut-down possibly reflected surprise and irritation that Iran had this capability. Likely, it was not a capacity that Iran was thought to possess.

So what was going on? The Iranian government, it seems, had prior knowledge of plans to stage attacks by ‘activists’, as a part of an (externally formulated and resourced) disruption plan.

But that original plan indicated that the start of these actions would take place early next year.

What seems to have happened is that when the fuel hike protests began, these ‘activists’ were given the go-ahead to ‘seize the moment’.

In other words, they activated all their pre-prepared plans prematurely. This was exactly what the Iranian security forces wanted, and had sought.

It enabled them to ‘smoke out’ the plot, and to arrest, or kill the ring-leaders.

In other words, the Iranian government is not teetering at any ‘brink’ – and later internal Iranian polling shows popular anger directed principally towards the violent gangs, and to a lesser extent, towards the Rouhani Administration, for its mis-handling of the fuel-price hike – but not against the state, per se.

The latter result is not so surprising as older Iranians will remember how the CIA used similar tactics – violent attacks on shops – to escalate the protests in the 1953 overthrow of PM Mosaddegh, in favour of strengthening the monarchical rule of the Shah.

Here is the question: Have the various instigators of these deliberate, violent attacks, ‘come clean’ about the failure of their plan – and of the unraveling (the arrests and disruption) of their Iranian ‘networks’ to President Trump?

Or, is he being presented only with the Netanyahu ‘narrative’ of an Iran cornered ‘and at the brink’?

Iran is not at the brink; its economy is not imploding, and it has not – at least not yet – been cornered in the region.

The arm-wrestling between the US and Iran in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon is engaged, but not over. It is not the moment for Israel ‘to count its chickens’ with respect to an imploding Iran.

The other question then, is with all this swelling max-pressure, financialised ‘war’ operations mounted by the US, Israel, and certain Gulf States, across the Middle East, is there a way out? Or, is it likely to end in war?

The momentum, as matters stand, must be towards escalation. To avoid that disaster, one or other of the parties must row back.

One ‘off-ramp’ might be that whilst Trump (ignominiously) might be ready to contemplate the disruption, the distress and hardship being administered to the people of Lebanon, Iraq and Syria in the interests of weakening Iran, he may not want to proceed to that ultimate step of war.

US polls show no popular appetite for war with Iran. Yet climbing down from his Iran ‘tree’ for Trump, will not be easy. The other off-ramp might be that Netanyahu does not remain as PM for these vital, coming six months to ‘write history’ and seal his legacy.

Gif: Roman columns crash all around Netanyahu.

It would be both “scary and dangerous”, for sure, were Netanyahu (and close associates) to conclude that Netanyahu needs such a war to survive – as Ben Caspit was so clearly warned.

But what is not so likely, is that Iran buckles or implodes.

Israel Tested Nuclear Missile Aimed at Iran

Trump says an Iranian attack on anything American will be met with ‘obliteration’.

According to a report in the New York Times Thursday Iran has been using the continuing chaos in Iraq to build up a hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in that country, that may pose a threat to American allies and partners in the region including Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Iran’s foreign minister accuses the United States, Germany, France and the United Kingdom of not condemning ‘the only nuclear arsenal in West Asia.’ Israel earlier said it tested a rocket propulsion system

Amid growing tension with Iran, Defense Ministry says launch over central Israel was completed as planned, providing no further details

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Portugal Wednesday, to discuss the growing threats from Iran.

The Threat From Iran Is Overblown- New York Times

Iran not a threat to the U.S.- citizensvoice

No increased Iran threat in Syria or Iraq, top British officer says, contradicting US

Iran Is Not the Greatest Threat to World Peace- the Nation


According to a report in the New York Times Thursday Iran has been using the continuing chaos in Iraq to build up a hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in that country, that may pose a threat to American allies and partners in the region including Israel and Saudi Arabia.

2008- Israel has carried out the successful test launch of a long-range, ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, in what was intended as a clear show of strength to Iran.

CIA rabble rousers busted in Iran again during unrest

“We condemn strongly any acts of violence committed by this regime against the Iranian people and are deeply concerned by reports of several fatalities,” Pompeo said.

Washington early on voice support to the protests, sparked initially by the economic crisis in the US  sanctions-wracked country.

CIA: Capitalism’s International Army

The CIA collaborated with the last Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, to overthrow Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq and install General Fazlollah Zahedi. Later, the 1979 hostage crisis at the American embassy in Tehran, lasting 444 days until January 21, 1981, stemmed from past CIA affairs in Iran, and involvement and collaboration between the two countries requires further analysis to understand the 1979 hostage crisis.

CIA personnel proved instrumental in the Iran-Contra affair of the mid-1980s involving a triangulation of arms-dealing and arms-smuggling between the United States military, Iran, and right-wing Contra groups waging a civil war in Nicaragua.

More recently in 2007–08, the CIA claimed to be supporting the Sunni terrorist group Jundallah against Iran, but these claims were refuted by a later investigation.

It is widely believed the CIA was directly involved with the Mosaddeq coup as declassified documents from 2011 have revealed.

The declassified documents explicitly state the CIA objective to replace the Iranian government in the early 1950s with a “pro-western government under the Shah’s leadership.”[2]

The U.S. and Iran have maintained a strained relationship for a long time as claims of CIA involvement kept surfacing.

These claims included such that the U.S. Officials were committing acts of violence and rape against the eastern locals.

However, these accusations were never brought to justice despite United States validation on the acts.

In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in 2013, the CIA confirmed its role in the coup as various documents outlining its involvement have been released to the public, most of which were previously unknown.

The evidence followed by violent protests and strikes.[3] Ultimately, the United States promised to refrain from interfering with Iranian internal affairs.

The U.S. government coup was eventually discovered as the United States was providing services to both Iran and Iraq.[4]

There is, therefore, no legitimate reason for any thinking person to believe anything they’re told about what’s happening in that country.

As soon as you know the CIA is involved in any situation, you know you can’t look at it separately from the smoke and mirrors that these lying, torturing, warmongering psychopaths have inserted in between what’s actually happening and the public perception of what’s happening.

All you know for certain is that there is an organization bent on deceiving you into supporting a coup that the US intelligence/security machine has been pursuing for a long, long time, and that its involvement in the nation in question has escalated.

The Central Intelligence Agency’s secret history of its covert operation to overthrow Iran’s government in 1953 offers an inside look at how the agency stumbled into success, despite a series of mishaps that derailed its original plans.Written in 1954 by one of the coup’s chief planners, the history details how United States and British officials plotted the military coup that returned the shah of Iran to power and toppled Iran’s elected prime minister, an ardent nationalist.

The document shows that:

    • Britain, fearful of Iran’s plans to nationalize its oil industry, came up with the idea for the coup in 1952 and pressed the United States to mount a joint operation to remove the prime minister.
    • The C.I.A. and S.I.S., the British intelligence service, handpicked Gen. Fazlollah Zahedi to succeed Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh and covertly funneled $5 million to General Zahedi’s regime two days after the coup prevailed.
    • Iranians working for the C.I.A. and posing as Communists harassed religious leaders and staged the bombing of one cleric’s home in a campaign to turn the country’s Islamic religious community against Mossadegh’s government.
    • The shah’s cowardice nearly killed the C.I.A. operation. Fearful of risking his throne, the Shah repeatedly refused to sign C.I.A.-written royal decrees to change the government. The agency arranged for the shah’s twin sister, Princess Ashraf Pahlevi, and Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the father of the Desert Storm commander, to act as intermediaries to try to keep him from wilting under pressure. He still fled the country just before the coup succeeded.

mideast/2019/11/27/iran-says-arrested-8-cia-spies-during-unrest

Iranian security agents arrested at least eight people linked to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency during last week’s unrest over gasoline price hikes, the official news agency IRNA reported on Wednesday.

“These elements had received CIA-funded training in various countries under the cover of becoming citizen-journalists,” IRNA quoted the Intelligence Ministry as saying. “Six were arrested while attending the riots and carrying out (CIA) orders and two while trying to … send information abroad.”

Iran later on the same day gave a glimpse into the scale of what may have been the biggest anti-government protests in the 40-year history of the Islamic Republic, with an official saying 200,000 people had taken part and a lawmaker saying 7,000 were arrested.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in his strongest remarks since the unrest peaked, described the two weeks of violence as the work of a “very dangerous conspiracy”.

He also said the unrest, initially sparked by fuel price hikes but which then spiraled, had been completely quelled.

Iran has given no official death toll, but Amnesty International said this week it had documented the deaths of at least 143 protesters. Tehran has rejected this figure.

The Threats and Challenges Facing Israel

Iranian efforts to smuggle precision weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, to deploy military bases in Syria and to place advanced weapons systems in Syria and Iraq did not stop even after a massive campaign of air strikes, attributed to Israel.

We have to practice our fear faces

In the background, one cannot ignore the political context within Israel. All the key players in the coalition negotiations – President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz – talk in gloomy tones about a real change in Israel’s security, hinting that citizens are not fully aware of the gravity of the situation.

Oct 27, 2019

Sooner or later, things will get messy. Iranian efforts to smuggle precision weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, to deploy military bases in Syria and to place advanced weapons systems in Syria and Iraq did not stop even after a massive campaign of air strikes, attributed to Israel.

Tehran has signaled on several occasions that it still has a score to settle with Israel over earlier strikes. Following the exchange of blows between the two sides in late August and early September, Iran has laid down a new equation, according to which every new Israeli attack will be met with a swift military response.

A possible conclusion is that the next round of clashes between the two sides is imminent. This could be a result of pre-emptive Israeli action against an Iranian retaliatory attack or a deliberate IDF strike against growing Iranian power in the region or the smuggling of weapons to Hezbollah.

The backdrop for all this is the growing assessment that the instability in various arenas around Israel (Syria, Lebanon, the Gaza Strip) could last for a long time and that these arenas have an affect on each other, more than was the case in the past.

High tensions in the north could deteriorate into military strife in the south. According to military intelligence, the Hamas government is striving for stability and is concerned about a war, but Islamic Jihad is a free agent with its own considerations, unconcerned about possible damage to Gaza in case of a slide into another military confrontation.

In the background, one cannot ignore the political context within Israel. All the key players in the coalition negotiations – President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz – talk in gloomy tones about a real change in Israel’s security, hinting that citizens are not fully aware of the gravity of the situation.

Netanyahu, in a video clip he released just before handing back to Rivlin his mandate for forming a government, tried to accuse Gantz of ignoring the danger. He claimed that his rival persisted in his refusal to seriously discuss the formation of a unity government, “even though I earlier acceded to his request to meet the army chief of staff, who presented him with the array of threats and challenges facing Israel.”

Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi spoke in cooler tones in a meeting between top army brass and Netanyahu, saying that “decision making is done professionally, in a considered and judicious manner, based on what is good for Israel.” We’ll have to wait and see.

Trump’s fiasco

The rising tension between Israel and Iran is developing against the backdrop of a most significant regional development, the continued American withdrawal from the Middle East. Each week brings its tidings, mostly coming directly from the mouth of President Donald Trump.

In recent days the dimensions of the fiasco that ensued after his decision to remove his forces from the path of Turkish forces invading Kurdish areas in northeastern Syria have become apparent to everyone except his blind followers.

This move played into the hands of the Russians, the Turks, the Assad regime, the Islamic State and to some extent Iran. The Kurds were badly affected, and Israel certainly gained nothing.

Read More

A blow to Washington… China to invest $280 billion in Iranian sectors targeted by sanctions

It only takes one person to stand up to a bully – and it only takes one country to stand up to the bullying, sanctioning, war-mongering United States of America.

The Imperialist Lie That Won’t Die: America is Making the Planet Safer

When you’re right you don’t have to run from questions and you can provide straight answers.  When Secretary Mike Pompeo declared Iran guilty of provocations he ran from questions and of course offered no credible evidence. Just compare this to Pompeo’s version and truth is clear from error.

 The US doesn’t answer questions, it just gives answers with no evidence. As with lying Israel, we just ‘say’ and it ‘is’. Just watch the beginning of this video (Trump) to get the gist. All three videos exposes the Imperialist lies. Since the NWO was passed to the Jews in 1940, everyone has to play along. Lie cheat steal kill it doesn’t matter how to get rid of the obstacles.

Chabad is a Judeo-Nazi ultra-Orthodox sect, also known Chabad-Lubavitch as movement. They run the NWO for Jews and everyone else. “Jews are above all, and Chabad is higher than the Jews.”