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Rising Iran is another waking nightmare for Washington

Recent Iranian victories on the battlefield coupled with closer ties to China and Russia must greatly alarm the US.

Shane Quinn

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Much to the horror of Washington elites, Iran have been performing a key role in defeating Western-backed opposition terrorists in Syria, while participating in further victories against ISIS in Iraq. Iran’s growing influence in Iraq, a long-time massive oil producer, must be of particular concern to the United States. This may be a reason behind US President Donald Trump imposing sanctions on Iran last month.

One of the consequences of the devastating 2003 Iraq invasion was that the Americans (with allies) inadvertently created a Shiite-dominated state in Iraq. This led to closer ties to Iran with about 90% of Iranians regarded as Shiites. It is safe to assume that Iran’s increasing influence has been viewed with alarm too in Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Saudi Arabia, a major tyranny, have also played an unintended part in Iran’s rise – aided with huge US and British funding, the Saudis have perpetrated an ongoing and disastrous war in Yemen resulting in a grave humanitarian crisis there.

The Saudis have long since become bogged down – a new Harvard study suggests the war may be costing them around $200 million a day. Meanwhile, Iran have been stepping up their aid to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, “giving Tehran the opportunity to become more influential there than ever”.

The Saudis, with Western backing, have also strongly supported brutal opposition terrorists in Syria – such as in the four-year battle for the key city of Aleppo – another calamitous Western intervention that ended in defeat against President Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian army, with crucial Russian and Iranian support.

In 2014 Hillary Clinton acknowledged in an email later released by WikiLeaks that, “Saudi Arabia… are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region [Syria]”.

This critical evidence, never meant for public eyes, reveals that the US have been knowingly supporting ISIS and other terrorist groups – during Barack Obama’s eight years in office the US provided Saudi Arabia with over $50 billion of US-made arms and supplies. The principal reason for close US-Saudi ties is that the latter produce 13% of the of the world’s oil.

It also sheds light on why the “loss” of Iran during the 1979 Islamic Revolution was such a grievous blow to US planners. Iran have the fourth largest oil reserves in the world and are situated in one of the critical (and most troubled) regions on earth – Iran is bordered by Turkey, Iraq and Afghanistan with the Persian Gulf separating it from Saudi Arabia.

This can further explain why Iran have been at the end of such enormous Western propaganda campaigns – in US commentary Iran have been widely described as “the greatest threat to world peace”, outrageous claims based on no evidence.

In reality, polls of international opinion overwhelmingly attach that title to the US – as Robert Jervis, ex-president of the American Political Science Association, said: “In the eyes of much of the world, in fact, the prime rogue state today is the United States”. That is hardly a surprising conclusion if one examines the record.

It is revealing that the nations bordering Iran do not feel her to be a serious threat, instead ranking the US and Israel as the greatest dangers facing them. It could be argued convincingly that the US have mercilessly meddled in Iranian affairs since 1953. The coup in August of that year, led by the CIA with British support, overthrew the parliamentary government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh.

Mossadegh had been a long-standing critic of imperial policies which were robbing his compatriots blind – and, critically, he nationalised the oil industry in 1951. From the West’s point of view, Mossadegh had to go. He was replaced by the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who would rule until his 1979 toppling while compiling “one of the worst human rights records in the world”.

Not that such dire consequences for Iranians bothered the US or Britain who were content that independent nationalism was destroyed – and Western control over oil resources could continue unimpeded. That enormous luxury ended 38 years ago as Iranians rose up against the cruel dictatorship of the Shah.

The torture didn’t end there. Appalled at the loss of such a key ally, the US almost immediately instigated the bloody Iran-Iraq War (1980-88) as Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein, America’s loyal ally, invaded Iran.

US President Ronald Reagan even went to the extreme of blaming Hussein’s perhaps single most atrocious crime – the 1988 Halabja chemical attack that killed thousands of Kurds – exclusively on Iran.

Today paints a different picture, however. China, a growing US rival, have been investing heavily in Iranian infrastructure. In the east of Iran, Chinese labourers have been modernising the country’s principal rail lines and rebuilding bridges – with the longer term goal of connecting Iran to Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.

In western Iran, “railroad crews are working to link the capital [Tehran] to Turkey and, eventually, to Europe”. The possible connection to Turkey seems appropriate as Iran’s most senior general Mohammad Baqeri travelled to Ankara this week to meet top Turkish officials – the first reunion of its kind in the post-Revolution years.

Like China, Russia have also been invited to invest in Iran. In a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier in the week, his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani said that, “I’m confident that relations and cooperation between Russia and Iran… will be further expanded. Tehran welcomes an active presence of Russian investors to participate and cooperate in key infrastructural projects”.

With US hostility to Iran increasing again under Trump, it seems highly sensible the Iranian leadership is aligning itself to Russia and China.

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Paul Kindlon
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Paul Kindlon

Saudi Arabia knows Iran will be the number 1 economic power in the Middle East and it is terrified of this

John Mason
Guest
John Mason

When errors like this are printed “Western intervention that ended in defeat against President Bashar
al-Assad’s Syrian army, with crucial Russian and Iranian support”, one has serious doubts about the articles’ accuracy. Proof read before posting may avoid further embarrassments.

Vaughanbaby
Guest
Vaughanbaby

Do you mind elaborating? I, for one fail to understand the problem with the line you quoted because it is fact

John Mason
Guest
John Mason

Learn to read, it states that Western intervention has led to the defeat AGAINST Assad!!
It should read ‘defeat BY Assad…”.

permopin
Guest
permopin

Facts always speak for themselves. And here, with a little help from a friend, we learn about the sad facts of the American foreign policies, again. In her closer relationship with Russia and China, though, Iran stands to lose only one thing, additional sanctions.

TecumsehUnfaced
Guest
TecumsehUnfaced

The Syrians and the Persians have been civilized far longer than the people of the Anglo-Zionist genocidal projects.

Steven Fay
Guest
Steven Fay

Its where Civilization really started, where cities began, and agriculture.

Ismail Hameed
Guest
Ismail Hameed

I am so surprised to see sensible people in Saudi fail to understand that war is not a solution. Just like the US Saudis trying solve problems through brute force. Look what you have done to Yemen. Ultimately you ha ve to stop the war in humiliation.

Rastislav Veľká Morava
Member
Rastislav Veľká Morava

This is wonderful news for Isreal and all the lurking Daisy Adler types as well:)

my2Cents
Guest
my2Cents

“”US President Ronald Reagan even went to the extreme of blaming Hussein’s
perhaps single most atrocious crime – the 1988 Halabja chemical attack
that killed thousands of Kurds – exclusively on Iran.””

Not so fast!!!
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/31/opinion/a-war-crime-or-an-act-of-war.html?mcubz=0

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Photos of swastika on Ukrainian mall stairway creates a stir [Video]

Ukrainian nationalist press in damage-control mode to explain away the Nazi sign, but they forgot the name of the street the mall is on.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the aspects of news about Ukraine that does not make it past the gatekeepers of the American and Western news media is how a significant contingent of Ukrainian nationalists have espoused a sense of reverence for Nazis. The idea that this could even happen anywhere in the world in an open manner makes the claim seem too absurd to be taken seriously. Gone are the days when the Nazi swastika adorned streets and buildings in Europe. Right?

Well, maybe, wrong.

This was seen in Kyiv’s Gorodok (or Horodok, if you insist) Gallery, a shopping center in that city, located on Bandera Avenue.

The pro-nationalist news service UNIAN wasted no time going to press with their explanation of this incident, which admittedly may be accurate:

Children and teenagers who participated in the All-Ukrainian break dance festival held in the Kyiv-based Gorodok Gallery shopping mall were shocked to see a swastika image projected onto an LED staircase.

The mall administration apologized to visitors, explaining saying that their computer system had apparently been hacked.

“The administration and staff have no relation to whatever was projected onto the LED-staircase, and in no way does it support such [an] act. Now we are actively searching for those involved in the attack,” it said in a statement.

According to Gorodok Gallery’s administrative office, it was not the first time a cyber breach took place.

As reported earlier, Ukraine is believed to be a testing ground for cyberattacks, many of which are launched from Russia. Hackers have earlier targeted critical energy infrastructure, state institutions, banks, and large businesses.

This time, it appears, hackers aimed to feed the Kremlin’s narrative of “Nazis in power in Ukraine” and create a relevant hype-driving viral story for Russian media to spread it worldwide.

The Gorodok Gallery also apologized on its Facebook page and said that this was a result of hacking.

But what about the street that the mall is on? From the self-same Facebook page, this is what we see:


To translate, for those who do not read Ukrainian or Russian, the address says the following:

23 Steven Bandera Prospekt, Kyiv, Ukraine 04073

This street was formerly called “Moscow Avenue.” Big change, as we shall see.

Steven Bandera got his birthday designated as a national holiday in Ukraine last December. He is known in Ukraine’s history for one thing. According to the Jerusalem Post:

The street where the shopping mall is located is named for Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist who briefly collaborated with Nazi Germany in its fight against Russia.

His troops are believed to have killed thousands of Jews.

Several Israeli papers picked this bit of news up, and of course, the reasons are understandable. However, for the West, it appears possible that this news event will largely go unnoticed, even by that great nation that is often called “Israel’s proxy”, the United States.

This is probably because for certain people in the US, there is a sense of desperation to mask the nature of events that are happening in Ukraine.

The usual fare of mainstream news for the West probably consists of things like “Putin’s military seizes innocent Ukrainian sailors in Kerch incident” or, “Ukraine’s Orthodox Church declared fully independent by Patriarch of Constantinople” (not that too many Americans know what a Constantinople even is, anyway), but the overriding narrative for the American people about this country is “Ukraine are the good guys, and Russia are the bad guys,” and this will not be pushed aside, even to accommodate the logical grievance of Israel to this incident.

If this article gets to Western papers at all, it will be the UNIAN line they adhere to, that evil pro-Russia hackers caused this stairway to have a swastika to provoke the idea that Ukraine somehow supports Naziism.

But UNIAN neglected to mention that the street name was recently changed to Stephan Bandera (in 2016), and no one appears to have hacked this. Nor does UNIAN talk about the Azov fighters that openly espoused much of the Nazi ideology. For nationalist Ukrainians, this is all for the greater good of getting rid of all things Russia.

A further sad fact about this is the near impossibility of getting assuredly honest and neutral information about this and other similar happenings. Both Ukrainian nationalists and Russian media agencies have dogs in the race, so to speak. They are both personally connected to these events. However, the Russian media cannot be discounted here, because they do offer a witness and perspective, probably the closest to any objective look at what is going on in Ukraine. We include a video of a “torchlight march” that took place in 2017 that featured such hypernationalist activity, which is not reported in the West.

More such reports are available, but this one seemed the best one to summarize the character of what is going on in the country.

While we do not know the motive and identities of whoever programmed the swastika, it cannot really be stated that this was just a random publicity stunt in a country that has no relationship with Nazi veneration.

The street the mall is on bears witness to that.

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It’s Back to the Iran-Contra Days Under Trump

Abrams and his cronies will not stop with Venezuela.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Authored by Wayne Madsen, via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Showing that he is adopting the neoconservative playbook every day he remains in office, Donald Trump handed the neocons a major win when he appointed Iran-contra scandal felon Elliott Abrams as his special envoy on Venezuela. Abrams pleaded guilty in 1991 to two counts of withholding information on the secret sale of US weapons for cash to help illegally supply weapons to the Nicaraguan right-wing contras, who were battling against the government of President Daniel Ortega. Abrams would have headed to a federal prison, but President George H. W. Bush, an unindicted co-conspirator in the scandal, issued pardons to Abrams and his five fellow conspirators – former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, and former Central Intelligence Agency officials Alan Fiers, Duane “Dewey” Clarridge, and Clair George – on Christmas Eve 1991, during the final weeks of Bush’s lame duck administration.

Abrams escaped being charged with more serious crimes by Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh because he cut a last-minute deal with federal prosecutors. Trump, who has made no secret of his disdain for cooperating federal witnesses, would have normally called Abrams a “rat,” a gangster term meaning informant. The man who helped engineer the pardons for Abrams and his five convicted friends was none other than Bush’s Attorney General, William Barr, who has just been sworn in as Trump’s Attorney General. Trump, who is always decrying the presence of the “deep state” that thwarts his very move, has become the chief guardian of that entity.

During a recent hearing of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, newly-minted congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, reminded her colleagues and the world about the sordid background of Abrams.

Omar zeroed in on Abrams’s criminal history:

“Mr. Abrams, in 1991 you pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress regarding the Iran-Contra affair, for which you were later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony you give today to be truthful.”

Abrams, as is the nature of neocons, refused to respond to Omar and cited her comments as “personal attacks.”

Abrams’s and his fellow criminals’ use of mercenaries and “death squads” to conduct secret wars in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala during the Ronald Reagan administration in the 1980s has made a re-entrance under Trump. Abrams was brought on board by neocons like National Security Adviser John Bolton, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to oversee a US military build-up in Colombia, said to be 5000 US troops, to support Venezuelan paramilitary and military efforts to topple President Nicolas Maduro. Abrams and Bolton are also believed to have retained the services of another unindicted conspirator in the Iran-contra affair, Michael Ledeen, a colleague of the disgraced and convicted former Trump National Security Adviser, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. Ledeen and Flynn co-authored a book titled, “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and its Allies.” The book contains nothing more than the standard neocon tripe one might expect from the likes of Ledeen.

An official investigation of the Iran-contra scandal by the late Republican Senator John Tower of Texas concluded that Abrams’s and Ledeen’s friend, Iranian-Jewish middleman Manucher Ghorbanifar, a long-time Mossad asset and well-known prevaricator, was extremely instrumental in establishing the back-channel arms deals with Iran. Ghorbanifar has long been on the CIA “burn list” as an untrustworthy charlatan, along with others in the Middle East of similar sketchy credentials, including the Iraq’s Ahmad Chalabi, Syria’s Farid “Frank” Ghadry, and Lebanon’s Samir “Sami” Geagea. These individuals, however, were warmly embraced by neocons like Abrams and his associates.

Abrams, whose links with Israeli intelligence has always been a point of consternation with US counter-intelligence officials, is part of an old cabal of right-wing anti-Soviet Democrats who coalesced around Senator Henry Jackson in the 1970s. Along with Abrams, this group of war hawks included Richard Perle, Frank Gaffney, William Kristol, Douglas Feith, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Abram Shulsky, and Paul Wolfowitz. Later, this group would have its fingerprints on major US foreign policy debacles, ranging from Nicaragua and Grenada to Lebanon, Iraq, and Libya. Later, in December 2000, these neocons managed to convince president-elect George W. Bush of the need to “democratize” the Middle East. That policy would later bring not democracy but disaster to the Arab Middle East and North Africa.

Abrams and his cronies will not stop with Venezuela. They have old scores to settle with Nicaraguan President Ortega. The initiation of “regime change” operations in Nicaragua, supported by the CIA and the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Miami, have been ongoing for more than a year.

The Trump administration has already achieved a regime change victory of sorts in El Salvador. Nayib Bukele, the former mayor of San Salvador, who was expelled from the formerly-ruling left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation (FMLN) party and joined the right-wing GANA party, was recently elected president of El Salvador. Bukele has quickly re-aligned his country’s policies with those of the Trump administration. Bukele has referred to President Maduro of Venezuela as a “dictator.” He has also criticized the former FMLN government’s recognition of China and severance of diplomatic ties with Taiwan. It will be interesting to see how a sycophant like Bukele will politically survive as Trump continues to call hapless asylum-seeking migrants from his country, who seek residency in the United States, “rapists, gang monsters, murderers, and drug smugglers.”

Another country heading for a US-installed “banana republic” dictator is Haiti. President Jovenal Moise has seen rioting in the streets of Port-au-Prince as the US State Department removed all “non-essential” personnel from the country. Moise, whose country has received $2 billion in oil relief from Venezuela, to help offset rising fuel prices, has continued to support the Maduro government. However, at the US-run and neo-colonial artifice, the Organization of American States (OAS), Moise’s envoys have been under tremendous pressure to cut ties with Venezuela and recognize the US puppet Juan Guaido as Venezuelan president. Moise’s refusal to do so resulted in armed gangs hitting the streets of Port-au-Prince demanding Moise’s resignation. It is the same neocon “regime change” playbook being used in Venezuela and Nicaragua.

There will be similar attempts to replace pro-Maduro governments in his remaining allies in the region. These include Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Abrams was also brought in as an adviser on Middle East policy in the George W. Bush administration. The carnage of Iraq is a stark testament to his record. In 2005, it was reported that two key Bush White House officials – Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliot Abrams – gave a “wink and a nod” for the assassinations by Israeli-paid operatives of three key Lebanese political figures seeking a rapprochement with Syria and Lebanese Hezbollah – Member of Parliament Elie Hobeika, former Lebanese Communist Party chief George Hawi, and former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

In 2008, a United Nations panel headed by former Canadian prosecutor Daniel Bellemare later concluded Hariri was assassinated by a “criminal network” and not by either Syrian and Lebanese intelligence or Lebanese Hezbollah as proffered by Abrams and his friends in Washington.

Representative Omar was spot on in questioning why Abrams, whose name is as disgraced as his two fellow conspirators – Oliver North and John Poindexter – whose criminal convictions were overturned on appeal, is working for the Trump administration on Venezuela. The answer is that the neocons, who can sense, like raptors, Trump’s political weakness, have filled the vacuum left by top-level vacancies in the administration.

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Putin: If mid-range missiles deployed in Europe, Russia will station arms to strike decision centers

Putin: If US deploys mid-range missiles in Europe, Russia will be forced to respond.

RT

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Via RT…


If the US deploys intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Moscow will respond by stationing weapons aimed not only against missiles themselves, but also at command and control centers, from which a launch order would come.

The warning came from President Vladimir Putin, who announced Russia’s planned actions after the US withdraws from the INF Treaty – a Cold War-era agreement between Washington and Moscow which banned both sides form having ground-based cruise and ballistic missiles and developing relevant technology.

The US is set to unilaterally withdraw from the treaty in six months, which opens the possibility of once again deploying these missiles in Europe. Russia would see that as a major threat and respond with its own deployments, Putin said.

Intermediate-range missiles were banned and removed from Europe because they would leave a very short window of opportunity for the other side to decide whether to fire in retaliation after detecting a launch – mere minutes. This poses the threat of an accidental nuclear exchange triggered by a false launch warning, with the officer in charge having no time to double check.

“Russia will be forced to create and deploy weapon systems, which can be used not only against the territories from which this direct threat would be projected, but also against those territories where decision centers are located, from which an order to use those weapons against us may come.” The Russian president, who was delivering a keynote address to the Russian parliament on Wednesday, did not elaborate on whether any counter-deployment would only target US command-and-control sites in Europe or would also include targets on American soil.

He did say the Russian weapon system in terms of flight times and other specifications would “correspond” to those targeting Russia.

“We know how to do it and we will implement those plans without a delay once the relevant threats against us materialize,”he said.

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