The following presentation consists of two separate articles, both predicting the outbreak of war any time soon under the clueless Trump and his ultra-Zionist warmonger puppet masters. The first, by Paul Craig Roberts, is relatively short and is therefore published here without any cuts. The second, by Joseph Cirincione and Mary Kaszynski, has been abridged slightly.
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The Orchestration of Russiaphobia is the Prelude to War
“Trump continues to use US foreign policy to commit criminal acts. He has declared that the president of Venezuela is the person HE picked, not the one Venezuelans elected. He has given to Israel part of Syria as if Syrian territory is his to give. He threatens Iran with war as Israel requires. American arrogance [under Trump] rises to ever higher heights.” — Paul Craig Roberts
The Russian Embassy in Washington has prepared an accurate 121-page report, THE RUSSIAGATE HYSTERIA: A CASE OF SEVERE RUSSOPHOBIA. Everyone should read this report. It documents the fake news, lies, violations of diplomatic standards and international law, and gratuitous aggressive actions taken against Russia during the period beginning May 18, 2016 and continuing through the issuance of the Mueller Report.
Without explicitly saying so, the report shows that neither the US government nor the American media has a nanoparticle of integrity. Both are criminal organizations that are willing to risk war with Russia in their pursuit of narrow politicized agendas. This is important information for Americans and the rest of the world to have. Every person, every government and every private organization that supports Washington’s Russiaphobic policies is contributing to the growing threat of nuclear war.
One hopes also that the entirety of the Russian government, media, and population also read the report as it has equally powerful messages for Russia. The messages are no doubt unintended, but they nevertheless emerge from the embassy’s report.
The Russian government should marvel at its naivete in trusting Washington, US institutions such as Citibank, and US adherence to international law. For 121 pages the report lists transgression against Russia followed by transgression and lie followed by lie; yet the Russian government continued to send diplomatic notes that are never answered, requests for meetings that are never answered, requests for evidence that are never answered. One would think that month after month of abuse would have caused the Russian government to wonder where was the intelligence, “cooperative spirit,” reason, and “common interest in global security” that Russia’s responses to Washington assumed were present in Russia’s “partner.”
The Russian government’s naive and gullible response to Washington played into Washington’s hands. By responding to Washington’s orchestrated Russiaphobia as if it were some kind of mistake based on bad information, the Russian government allowed Washington to keep the process of demonization alive and thereby contributed to the ongoing demonization of Russia.
If, instead, the Russian government had denounced the demonization of Russia as Washington’s act of preparing Americans for war with Russia and had taken a belligerent rather than a complaining stance, the realization that Washington’s policy had serious costs would have spread throughout the US and Europe and voices would have arisen against Washington’s dangerous and reckless policy. Today in place of the uniformity of voice against Russia, there would be dissent opposing Washington’s irresponsible provocations.
The danger of Russian self-delusion is not over. The embassy’s report expresses the hope that now that the Mueller report has concluded that the much heralded collusion has no basis in fact, relations between Washington and Russia can be normalized and cooperation achieved.
There is no such possibility.
The Democrats are screaming “coverup” and demanding the resignation of attorney general Barr and Trump’s impeachment. The presstitutes are claiming that the Mueller report vindicates their reporting.
Trump continues to use US foreign policy to commit criminal acts. He has declared that the president of Venezuela is the person he picked, not the one Venezuelans elected. He has given to Israel part of Syria as if Syrian territory is his to give. He threatens Iran with war as Israel requires. In other words, American arrogance rises to ever higher heights.
At some point the Russian government and Russian people are going to have to accept the fact that to reach an understanding with Washington Russia must either surrender her sovereignty or become as belligerent as Washington and replace Russia’s useless refutations of Washington’s accusations with accusations of her own. Otherwise, Washington is going to keep pushing until war is the only possible outcome.
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The Path To War With Iran
by Joseph Cirincione and Mary Kaszynski
The Trump administration is laying siege to Iran.
Taking pages from the Iraq War playbook, senior officials paint a picture of a rogue, outlaw, terrorist regime bent on acquiring nuclear weapons and whose “malign activities” are the cause of all the chaos in the Middle East. They know what they are doing. They have done it before. They are building a case for war.
The “maximum pressure” campaign by the White House, Treasury Department, and State Department accelerated this week with the announcement that the United States would force China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Turkey to cease all imports of Iranian oil or face severe U.S. sanctions. The goal is to cut to zero all of Iran’s oil exports, which account for some 40 percent of its national income. This strategy is unlikely to force the capitulation or collapse of the regime, but it very likely could lead to war.
The United States has already reimposed all the nuclear-related sanctions lifted by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that successfully rolled back and effectively froze Iran’s nuclear program and put it under the most stringent inspections ever negotiated. The goals of the sanctions announced April 22, however, go way beyond nuclear issues.
“We have made our demands very clear to the ayatollah and his cronies,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in remarks to the press Monday morning. “End your pursuit of nuclear weapons. Stop testing and proliferating ballistic missiles. Stop sponsoring and committing terrorism. Halt the arbitrary detention of U.S. citizens.”
All are worthy policy goals. The first, of course, has been met. The National Intelligence Estimate on Iran concluded that Iran ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003. There is no evidence that the program has restarted. Instead, in true Trumpian fashion, the administration simply asserts the counterfactual. It claims that the program has restarted, with slippery phrases about seeking weapons or references to long-ended activities. The media, overloaded with the Mueller report and a daily cascade of lies, does not challenge these claims.
It is no accident that National Security Advisor John Bolton, the man who declared unequivocally in November 2002, “We are confident that Saddam Hussein has hidden weapons of mass destruction and production facilities in Iraq,” is now the chief strategist behind the drive towards war—with Mike Pompeo happily riding shotgun.
John Bolton, Donald Trump, Mike Pompeio
“If you cross us, there will be hell to pay!”
— John Bolton threatening Iran
Both Bolton and Pompeio are manipulating a distracted and largely uninformed president into a confrontation he may not actually want. Although Trump came into office promising to cancel the JCPOA painstakingly negotiated by the Obama administration and our allies, he was initially held in check by the united front of his military, intelligence, and diplomatic advisors.
Then, Trump ousted Rex Tillerson and replaced him with Mike Pompeo. He fired H.R. McMaster and appointed John Bolton. He accepted the resignation of Jim Mattis as secretary of defense and replaced him with a former Boeing executive more interested in contracts than policy. Bolton has had a clear field ever since. With minimal or no inter-agency discussion, Bolton quickly dispensed with the Iran accord, but he did not stop there.
By Christmas 2018, Bolton had dismantled what remained of US-Iran relations. The United States reinstated all sanctions on Iran that were previously lifted by the Iran accord, and the State Department pulled out of the 1955 Treaty of Amity between the United States and Iran, which provided a “legal framework for bilateral relations.” As a result, Iran’s currency hit a historic low and the country witnessed waves of economic protests. Bolton used his national platform to publicly send bellicose warnings to the regime with statements like,
“If you cross us, or our allies, there will indeed be hell to pay.”
The campaign hit a crescendo on April 8, 2019—exactly one year to the day after Bolton’s appointment—with the unprecedented move of designating the IRGC a “Foreign Terrorist Organization.” It now appears alongside the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, and Boko Haram on this list. That day Pompeo delivered a statement to the press and public in which the words “terror,” “terrorism,” and “terrorist” appeared 21 times.
For over a year, the Trump administration, and Pompeo in particular, has been exaggerating the connection between Iran and al-Qaeda to claim legal justification for military action against Iran. This effort reeks of former vice president Dick Cheney’s consistent false allegations of links between Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and the 9/11 attacks, a nexus the Bush administration debunked only after we had lost too much in blood and treasure.
Bolton, Pompeo, and their allies in and out of government continued to hype the Iran-al-Qaeda link. In May 2018, announcing the U.S. abrogation of the nuclear agreement, Trump made a point of saying that “Iran supports terrorist proxies and militias such as…al-Qaeda.” In a speech at the Heritage Foundation later that month, Pompeo said: “Today we ask the Iranian people: Is this what you want your country to be known for, for being a co-conspirator with Hezbollah, Hamas, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda?”
Experts have disparaged the administration’s false claims. That hasn’t stopped the administration from continuing with the insinuations. In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Pompeo went out of his way to construct an explicit connection between al-Qaeda and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) with multiple statements like: “There is no doubt there is a connection between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Al-Qaeda. Period, full stop.”
The administration’s plan is clear: keep beating the twin drums of terrorism and nuclear threat.
Bolton and Pompeo will use both to justify more sanctions and more provocations. They have a highly disciplined, coordinated messaging strategy. They are engaged in establish false claims, as Bolton did this January in a conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel.
It does not matter that U.S. intelligence assessments—as well as Israeli intelligence and the International Atomic Energy Agency—confirm that Iran is in full compliance with its legal obligations. That it is doing no wrong. On the contrary, America’s ally Saudi Arabia is known to be funding al-Qaeda and other Sunni terrorist groups. And America is fully aware of this but pretends not to notice.
The US invasion of Iraq is the principle cause of Middle East chaos today. Trump officials are cherry-picking information, packaging it, and amplifying it across a willing echo chamber—exactly as the Bush administration did in the lead up to the illegal war in Iraq.
The real question is: will America fall for it again?