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General / The Pentagon’s new nuclear doctrine is scary as hell
« Last post by Rudi Jan on Yesterday at 12:46:30 PM »
The Pentagon’s new nuclear doctrine is scary as hell

Published time: 18 Jul, 2019 11:45
Darius Shahtahmasebi

An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test, May 1, 2019, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
© Global Look Press / U.S. Air Force

The Pentagon is actively contemplating the use of nuclear weapons to win wars that need not be fought in the first place. As expected, opposition to the US nuclear doctrine is almost non-existent in the mainstream media.

It used to be the case that the idea of using nuclear weapons in a real-world conflict was such a taboo idea that no one was ever openly to contemplate it. We need only look back to the end of World War II to realize how catastrophic and harmful nuclear weapons can be on civilian populations; yet we shouldn’t have had the blueprint of Nagasaki and Hiroshima to know that the use of nuclear weapons would be a frightening and criminal act. They are deadly and unnecessary, end of story. You can all save me the cliched response “But they ended a war.”

Firstly, the use of nuclear weapons didn’t end a war – it started one (the Cold War). Secondly, anyone who knows even a little bit of history knows that Japan was on the verge of defeat. But don’t take my word for it – I wasn’t there. But those who were typically made statements to the effect that “[t]he use of [the atomic bombs] at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender.” But I digress.

The United States military has decided that the only chance it has of maintaining a stranglehold over its empire is to actively contemplate the scenarios and situations in which it should deploy the use of nuclear weapons.

According to the Pentagon’s June Nuclear Operations or Joint Publication 3-72 (which was unsurprisingly made private not long after its release), the US believes that “developing nuclear contingency plans sends an important signal to adversaries and enemies that the US has the capability and willingness to employ nuclear weapons to defend itself and its allies and partners".

“Nuclear weapon capabilities constitute a vital element of national defense,” the document states. “Nuclear operations are those activities within the range of military operations, to include deterrence, crisis response, strike assessment and return to stability.”

The Pentagon apparently believes that it is “necessary” and “prudent” to “preplan nuclear employment options for contingencies prior to a crisis,” which includes “a means to assess the anticipated effectiveness of options prior to execution,” as well as a “means to assess the nature and extent of unintended consequences.”

READ MORE: A winnable nuclear war? New Pentagon document shows US military thinks so

Having executed an option, the US military is unlikely to stop there. According to the document, “planning and operations must not assume use in isolation but must plan for strike integration into the overall scheme of fires.” The document also states that “there may be a requirement to strike additional (follow on and/or emerging) targets in support of war termination or other strategic objectives.” Commanders must “maintain the capability to rapidly identify and strike previously unidentified or newly emerging targets.”

Forget the Iran nuclear deal. Where is the US nuclear deal? Where is the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to stop global annihilation by nuclear holocaust by a former reality TV star billionaire (the JCPOATSGABNHBAFRTSB)?

“The spectrum of nuclear warfare may range from tactical application,” the document eerily confirms, “to limited regional use, to global employment by friendly forces and/or enemies.”

As the Military Times was astute to note, the new doctrine reflects a world in which the US military is losing its “technological edge” over “other near-peer military rivals.” Just to give you a hint, the list of near-peer military rivals does not include Iran. It includes two nuclear giants in particular who are beginning to put the US military on the backfoot to the extent that the Pentagon has no choice but to release documents which call the employment of nuclear weapons “essential” to mission success.

The urge to deploy the use of nuclear weapons only makes sense if you live in a world in which you must always be prepared to win a war against every potential adversary. Americans amongst you reading this may be thinking: “Yeah, so what?” But take it from the rest of us who don’t wake up every morning swearing allegiance to a flag that to many others represents death and destruction, that winning wars tends to be less of a focus when compared to other issues such as healthcare, housing, climate change, and the list goes on.

Perhaps if the US gave up on the idea that it needs to fight wars in order to predicate its survival in the first place, it wouldn’t need to contemplate such a catastrophic doctrine.

Prosecuting wars on this basis also assumes that these wars are unavoidable and must be fought. In hindsight, did the wars in Vietnam, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, and co., really need to be fought? Will the wars the US cooks up in the next few decades similarly and inescapably need to be fought? (Not to mention that, if we are being honest, the US military has barely won a war since World War II anyway.)

Prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall, every US artillery unit in Europe was nuclear-ready. Post-1991, this had supposedly all changed. However, a recently released (and then amended) document published by a NATO affiliated body has finally admitted what we all suspected anyway: that American nukes are being stored in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey (approximately 150 in total).

Just to summarize: the US is the only nation to deploy nuclear weapons during battle. The Trump administration suspended its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in February this year, and is releasing documents left, right and center which suggest they are actively considering using nuclear weapons again.

And yet as I type this, the top news item on the BBC is an article entitled “Time running out for missile treaty – Nato head,” the focus of which is NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg calling on Russia to comply with the INF Treaty before the upcoming August deadline.

Somehow, the use of nuclear weapons is only scary or worthy of discussion if that discussion involves countries such as Russia and China. Just take the bombshell admission that the US stores nuclear weapons in Turkey as an example. The US is saying it will remove Ankara from its F-35 fighter jet program – but only because Turkey has purchased the advanced S-400 missile defense system from Moscow. The US barely blinked as a failed coup in 2016 could have put advanced nuclear weapons in some very unsavory hands.

Whoever pulls the trigger on this nuclear holocaust will ultimately bear the blame for what’s to come, but in my estimation, history (what’s remaining of it anyway) will recall the recklessness of the Trump administration and those administrations that served the American empire before it.
US Navy shoots down Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz – Trump

Published time: 18 Jul, 2019 19:22
Edited time: 18 Jul, 2019 20:29

FILE PHOTO. A Phalanx Close-In Weapons System (CIWS) fires during a live-fire exercise on board amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4). © Wikipedia / US Navy

Shortly after entering the Persian Gulf, a US warship shot down an Iranian drone that had approached to within less than a kilometer, US President Donald Trump said at a White House press event.

Amphibious assault ship USS Boxer took “defensive action” against an Iranian drone that approached to within 1,000 yards (900 meters), and ignored multiple calls to stand down, Trump said on Thursday.

The drone was immediately destroyed.

The drone was “threatening the safety of the ship and the ship’s crew,” the president said, adding that the US “reserves the right to defend our personnel, facilities and interests.”

The Boxer sailed into the Persian Gulf earlier in the day, following the reports that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps had seized the Panamanian-flagged oil tanker MT Riah and its 12-man crew.

The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and the accompanying task force – which have been rehearsing a possible strike against Iran for the past two months – are still in the Arabian Sea, conducting search and rescue operations for a missing sailor.

Trump also called on other countries to “condemn Iran’s attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce” in the Strait of Hormuz, a vital international shipping lane for transport of oil from the Persian Gulf.

Washington has called for an international “coalition” to patrol the strait.

R ~ And exactly what was this ship defending? Did Trump just hear about it before or after the Navy took action? If after then he has no control over the Executive. If before then he has become a bellicose aggressor.
The World Below / Trump assigns Rand Paul as Iran liaison, sources tell Politico
« Last post by Rudi Jan on July 17, 2019, 12:45:13 PM »
Trump assigns Rand Paul as Iran liaison, sources tell Politico

Wed Jul 17, 2019 06:03PM [Updated: Wed Jul 17, 2019 07:44PM ]

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) addresses the Faith and Freedom Coalition's Road to Majority Policy Conference at the Marriott
Wardman Park Hotel June 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

US President Donald Trump has reportedly assigned Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) as a liaison to Iran in a stated effort to de-escalate tensions with Tehran.

Trump signed off the proposal this weekend, four US officials told Politico on Wednesday.

The report was released a day after Trump and his state secretary, Mike Pompeo, spoke of “progress” and “deal” with Iran.

PressTV-Trump, Pompeo talk of ‘progress, deal’ with Iran
US President Donald Trump and his state secretary, Mike Pompeo, speak of “progress” and “deal” with Iran.

According to Politico, assignment of the “dovish” Kentucky Republican could hamper the administration’s so-called “maximum pressure” campaign.

On Saturday, Paul played a round of golf with the president at his club in Sterling, Virginia, along with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.).

Neither the White House nor Paul’s office has commented about US media questions on a meeting between Paul and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is currently in New York.

PressTV-Iran denies its missile program is up for negotiation
Iran has strongly dismissed a report that its missile program could be up for negotiation with the United States.

The anti-war senator waned Pompeo during an April hearing on Capitol Hill about going to war with Iran through bypassing congressional approval.

“You do not have the permission of Congress to go to war with Iran,” Paul told Pompeo. “Only Congress can declare war.”

The report came on the foothills of restrictions imposed on Zarif during his New York visit.

PressTV-‘US travel restrictions on Iranian diplomats inhuman’
Zarif says US travel restrictions on Iranian diplomats are inhuman.

Tehran has said that the restrictions imposed on Zarif, travelling between the United Nations and the Iranian UN mission or the Iranian UN ambassador's residence, would not affect his “work schedule.”

The US is obliged to allow access to the United Nations, based on a 1947 agreement, involving UN headquarters.
General / Hate Crime Hoaxes
« Last post by Rudi Jan on July 16, 2019, 03:33:58 PM »
Hate Crime Hoaxes

July 16, 2019
Realist Report

A report by a political science professor at Kentucky State University reveals an epidemic of fake hate crimes perpetrated by “victims.”

In this era of fake news and manufactured crises, it should come as no surprise to discover that the vast majority of purported “hate crimes” reported in the media in fact turn out to be fabricated hoaxes perpetrated by the alleged victim himself or herself. Examples abound.

Wilfred Reilly, a young black political science professor at Kentucky State University, conducted a detailed study of alleged hate crimes in recent years for his book Hate Crime Hoax: How the Left is Selling a Fake Race War, published earlier this year and available from AFP. Reilly compiled a database documenting 409 examples of fake hate crimes, which were in actuality perpetrated by the supposed victims themselves.

The mainstream mass media often runs with the fake story in order to perpetuate the left’s narrative of systematic oppression and “white supremacy.” Turns out, there is no real epidemic of hate crimes. There is, however, a very real epidemic of fake hate crimes, which are promoted and advanced by the dishonest media and radical left wing organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League.

Consider, for example, a recently settled case involving the owners of Gibson’s Food Mart and Bakery in Oberlin, Ohio and Oberlin College, the town’s iconic university. The day after President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential victory, three black students from Oberlin College—Jonathan Aladin, Endia Lawrence, and Cecelia Whettstone—fought with Allyn Gibson, the grandson of the longtime owner of Gibson’s Food Mart, after the young man attempted to confront Aladin for stealing alcohol from the store. Gibson’s Food Mart is within walking distance of Oberlin College and had supplied the college dining hall with baked goods and other items for years. The store was a popular hot spot for students and an icon in the small college town.

The black students claimed that they had been racially profiled and discriminated against by Gibson, prompting a boycott of the store by students, professors, and administration officials. The college even cancelled its contracts with Gibson’s based on the students’ false claims. The following August, all three students admitted they had stolen from the store and plead guilty to the charge, demonstrating that their original claims were entirely made up. An Ohio jury eventually awarded $44 million to Gibson’s Food Mart for punitive and compensatory damages.

Fake hate crimes are not limited to the United States. In April, news broke that an alleged “anti-Semitic hate crime” on a kosher Italian-style café in Winnipeg, Canada was entirely staged by the café’s Jewish owners. According to the Jewish Telegraph Agency, Winnipeg police charged the owners of the café with public mischief following an extensive investigation involving 25 officers and 1,000 hours of investigative work.

As Reilly details in his book, the mass media plays a central role in promoting fake hate crimes, only to then bury the story once it is exposed as a hoax.

The American public is beginning to see that fake hate crimes are happening all the time, thanks in large part to independent media outlets like American Free Press that continue to monitor, cover, and expose the blatant attempts to manufacture racial conflict and resentment in the form of hoaxes.
US jet attempted to deceive Syrian, Russian air defenses over southern Syria: report

By News Desk -2019-07-16

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:25 P.M.) – A U.S. jet attempted to deceive the Syrian and Russian air defenses while flying along the Syrian-Jordanian border recently, the Russian site Avia.Pro reported on Tuesday.

According to the Avia.Pro report, a U.S. Air Force jet flew within 5 kilometers of the Syrian border while masking itself as a civilian airliner.

Avia.Pro shared a photo of the U.S. aircraft’s flight plan on Tuesday.
Source: Flight Radar 24

According to the information provided by Avia.Pro, the data transmitted by the aircraft’s systems were artificially replaced, with the result being that the jet’s radars displayed it as a small civilian vessel.

Despite the absence of violation of the border of the Syrian Arab Republic, experts regard this incident as an attempt to test the Syrian and Russian air defense systems, the publication added.

“As a rule, much less attention is paid to private civil aircraft, in connection with which, the American military aircraft almost certainly tried to evaluate the performance of the Syrian and Russian air defense systems. A similar case was observed at the Russian military Airbase “Hmeimim”, when an American military reconnaissance aircraft replaced the identification data with a civilian passenger plane from a South American country,” a military expert told Avia.Pro.

The U.S. currently has aircraft, mostly helicopters, inside of Syria, with almost all of them being deployed in the northern part of the country.
Bank Run: Deutsche Bank Clients Are Pulling $1 Billion A Day

by Tyler Durden
Tue, 07/16/2019 - 10:51

There is a reason James Simons' RenTec is the world's best performing hedge fund - it spots trends (even if they are glaringly obvious) well ahead of almost everyone else, and certainly long before the consensus.

That's what happened with Deutsche Bank, when as we reported two weeks ago, the quant fund pulled its cash from Deutsche Bank as a result of soaring counterparty risk, just days before the full - and to many, devastating - extent of the German lender's historic restructuring was disclosed, and would result in a bank that is radically different from what Deutsche Bank was previously (see "The Deutsche Bank As You Know It Is No More").

In any case, now that RenTec is long gone, and questions about the viability of Deutsche Bank are swirling - yes, it won't be insolvent overnight, but like the world's biggest melting ice cube, there is simply no equity value there any more - everyone else has decided to cut their counterparty risk with the bank with the €45 trillion in derivatives, and according to Bloomberg Deutsche Bank clients, mostly hedge funds, have started a "bank run" which has culminated with about $1 billion per day being pulled from the bank.

As a result of the modern version of this "bank run", where it's not depositors but counterparties that are pulling their liquid exposure from DB on fears another Lehman-style lock up could freeze their funds indefinitely, Deutsche Bank is considering how to transfer some €150 billion ($168 billion) of balances held in it prime-brokerage unit - along with technology and potentially hundreds of staff - to French banking giant BNP Paribas.

One problem, as Bloomberg notes, is that such a forced attempt to change prime-broker counterparties, would be like herding cats, as the clients had already decided they have no intention of sticking with Deutsche Bank, and would certainly prefer to pick their own PB counterparty than be assigned one by the Frankfurt-based bank. Alas, the problem for DB is that with the bank run accelerating, pressure on the bank to complete a deal soon is soaring.

Here are the dynamics in a nutshell, (via Bloomberg): Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing is pulling back from catering to risky hedge-fund clients, i.e. running a prime brokerage, as he attempts to radically overhaul the troubled German lender while BNP CEO Jean-Laurent Bonnafe wants to expand in the industry. A deal of this magnitude would be a stark example of the German firm’s retreat from global investment banking while potentially transforming its French rival from a small player in the so-called prime-brokerage industry to one of Europe’s biggest.

Of course, publicly telegraphing that DB is in dire liquidity straits and needs an in-kind transfer of its prime brokerage book would spark an outright panic, and so instead the story has been spun far more palatably, i.e., "BNP is providing “continuity of service” to Deutsche Bank’s prime-brokerage and electronic-equity clients as the two companies discuss transferring over technology and staff", according to a July 7 statement. The ultimate goal of the talks is for BNP to take over the vast majority of client balances, which are slightly less than $200 billion currently.

There is just one problem: nothing is preventing those clients who would be forcibly moved from a German banking giant to a French banking giant from redeeming their funds. And that's just what they are doing. Or rather, nothing is preventing them from moving their exposure for now, which is why they are suddenly scrambling to do it before they are suddenly gated.

Which is why the final shape of the deal remains, pardon the pun, fluid, and it is unclear how it will proceed, facing a multitude of complexities, including departing clients.

In an attempt to stop the bank run, BNP executives are meeting with U.S. hedge-fund clients this week to convince them to stay following similar sit-downs with European funds last week, Bloomberg sources said.

However, if this gambit fails, and hedge funds keep moving their business elsewhere, officials at the German bank may just relegate its assets tied to the prime finance division into the newly formed Capital Release Unit, i.e. the infamous "bad bank" which is winding down unwanted assets totaling 288 billion euros ($324 billion) of leverage exposure, and the prime brokerage is responsible for much of the 170 billion euros of leverage exposure that’s coming from the equities division into the division, also known as CRU a presentation shows.

It also means that countless hegde funds are suddenly at risk of being gated on whatever liquid exposure they have toward Deutsche Bank.

To be sure, Deutsche Bank’s hedge fund balances have been declining throughout the year as speculation swirled around Sewing’s intentions for the prime brokerage, but the rate of redemptions was far lower than $1 billion per day. Now that the bank jog has become a bank run, the next question is how much liquidity reserves does DB really have and what happen if hedge funds clients - suddenly spooked they will be the last bagholders standing - pull the remaining €150 billion all at once.

We are confident we will get the answer in a few days if not hours, until then please enjoy this chart which compares DB's stock decline to that of another bank which was gripped by a historic liquidity run in its last days too...

The World Below / The MEK is not a valid alternative
« Last post by Rudi Jan on July 15, 2019, 08:59:26 AM »
The MEK is not a valid alternative

Mon Jul 15, 2019 01:44PM [Updated: Mon Jul 15, 2019 01:58PM ]

This file photo shows ringleader of anti-Iran Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) organization Maryam Rajavi (2nd L) posing for a photo with a number of American officials, including President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and former New York City mayor, Rudy Giuliani (2nd R).

By: Reza Alghurabi

(Reza Alghurabi is an Arab journalist who lives in Iran. He is a former researcher at the Beirut Center for Middle East Studies and an independent researcher and journalist writing in Iranian newspapers including the Khorasan daily.)

Exploiting Washington’s hostile policy toward Tehran, the Mojahedin-e Khalq organization (MEK) posit themselves as the alternative to the current government of Iran. To achieve that goal, they claim they have the support of a majority of Iranians. This claim is much disputed by academics and other specialists on Iran, who assert that in fact, the MEK has little support among Iranians. They argue that the Mojahedin's activities since the group's leadership fled from Iran in 1981, particularly their alliance with Iraq and the group's internal oppression, have discredited them among the Iranian politics.

Think of Iranians living in the US. According to a 2018 poll among Iranian Americans by the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), only 6 percent said they supported the MEK as a legitimate alternative to the current government in Iran. This mirrors results of the organization’s survey at the previous year (2017) regarding favorability of Maryam Rajavi, leader of the MEK, which had shown that only 7% had a favorable view of her.

The MEK’s unpopularity in Iranian-American community is admitted by John Limbert, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iran. In an article published in The American Prospect on June 5, 2019, Limbert has written about his recent lecture on the group and its influence to graduates of three of the world’s best universities.

“… All of the Iranian Americans at the meeting, however, knew the group well and detested it. They knew its murderous history in Iran.” wrote Limbert. “They knew that a MEK-ruled Iran would bring them all the horrors of Stalinism—gulags, one-man (or -woman) rule, confiscations, and executions for being a member of the wrong social class.”

In its 1994 report about the group, the US Department of State emphasizes that the MEK would not be an authentic alternative to the Islamic Republic:

Before that, in 1992, the then Assistant Secretary of State Robert Pelletreau through a written response to a subcommittee question about the MEK has referred to the group’s weak position among the Iranians:

The People’s Mojahedin Organization does not represent a significant political force among Iranians, partly because of its close links to the Iraqi Government.

The United States first placed the MEK on the Foreign Terrorist Organization list when the list was established in 1997. On its Background Information Appendix on the listed terrorist groups titled “Patterns of Global Terrorism: 1997,” the State Department confirmed that the group directs a worldwide campaign against the Iranian government that stresses propaganda and “occasionally uses terrorist violence.” The MEK’s stance among Iranians was not referred to in this report.

In 2009, RAND Corporation, an American think tank, released a Secretary of Defense’s sponsored investigation centering on the MEK titled The Mujahedin-e Khalq in Iraq: A Policy Conundrum, in which the MEK’s unpopularity among Iranians was reflected:

Prior to its exile, the MEK was the most popular dissident group in Iran. It lost much of its popularity due to its willingness to fight with Saddam—the instigator of the destructive Iran-Iraq War—and to kill Iranian conscripts. It also lost much of its popularity due to Masoud Rajavi’s transformation of the MEK from an activist dissident group into an inward-looking cult.

Jeremiah Goulka, former RAND Corporation’s analyst who was the leading writer of the 2009 report, later explained the cause of this unpopularity:

Once upon a time, the MEK did enjoy some measure of popular support in Iran. But after getting shoved aside by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s party after the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the MEK spent the next two decades launching terrorist attacks against the new government and its military, harming bystanders in several instances. The MEK joined sides with Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), moving to camps in Iraq in 1986 and fighting against Iranian conscripts. Frustrated that Saddam failed to install it in power in Tehran by the end of the war, the MEK attempted its own invasion of Iran (using more of Saddam Hussein’s military munificence), resulting in the death of thousands of its members. These acts destroyed the MEK’s credibility among Iranians.

In 2011, at the height of an aggressive and well-funded lobbying campaign supported by a bipartisan cast of high-profile former public officials to remove the MEK from the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations, 37 leading Iran scholars signed a letter, published in the Financial Times, that warned against decision to delist the MEK. It was insisted in the letter that the MEK has “no political base” inside Iran and “no genuine support” among the Iranian population. Gary Sick, one of the signatories of that letter, who served on the National Security Council staff under Presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan, described the MEK’s support inside Iran “very, very limited.”

After the State department’s announcement in September 2012 that the group would be removed from the terrorist list, a senior state department official asserts that the Department does not consider the MEK as a viable opposition for the Iranian Government:

I want to be very clear about this. We do not see the MEK as a viable opposition or democratic opposition movement. We have no evidence and we have no confidence that the MEK is an organization that could promote the democratic values that we would like to see in Iran. There is nothing in the way they govern themselves that would suggest they’re interested in adopting democratic principles….

Michael Rubin, the resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, has admitted public hatred in Iran from the MEK, based on his direct exchange with Iranian people. Rubin, who, according to himself, has spent seven months in the Islamic Republic of Iran for completing his Ph.D. dissertation, wrote in The National Interest that “absolute hatred of the Mojahedin e-Khalq” was only one item that all Iranians agree on it.

Iranians’ public hatred toward the MEK has been stated by John Limbert, too: “By all reports, much of Iran’s population—whatever its view of the Islamic Republic—shares this deep hatred of the MEK. Most Iranians are not deceived by its claims of being democratic. They know its history.”

As stated above, the MEK’s unpopularity among Iranians is not something that is unknown to the US officials. They know very well how despised the MEK is in Iran and has no support as an opposition force. They couldn’t have any illusion about the MEK’s claims of having a popular base to play the role of an alternative to the current government of Iran. So, why the US officials continue to support them? Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), answers to this question:

Unlike other Iranian opposition groups, however, the MEK can mount military operations. Its members are experienced in sabotage, assassinations, and terrorism, as well as in guerrilla and conventional warfare. These are not qualities that lend themselves to any project of democratization, but are extremely useful if the strategic objective is to cause either regime change (by invasion) or regime collapse (by destabilization).

In 2012, Trita Parsi’s organization warned that the MEK was an Iranian version of the Iraqi National Congress, the opposition-in-exile to Saddam Hussein led by Ahmed Chalabi, which the neoconservatives in Washington tirelessly promoted in the early 2000s to provide grounds for going to war in Iraq. The MEK calculates that by provoking a war between the US and Iran, a goal that this group is obviously looking for, it would move into the wreckage and pick up the pieces.

A US-Iran war, aside from inflicting heavy damage on Iran, would also involve Americans in yet another fiasco in the Middle East. According to Limbert, “We [Americans] would again find ourselves in a quagmire that would make Iraq look simple. We should reject the self-serving assumption that military action against Iran will be easy and without cost. It will be neither.”

R ~ MEK seems to be ignored entirely from the MSM as regards who it is working hand in glove with the 'coalition' to return Iran to the heyday of US puppets running the country. If they did they would have to conclude that much of the 'opposition' in Iran are nothing but USG trained and financed terrorists.
The World Below / Greek ex-finance minister scraps with police at Paris airport
« Last post by Rudi Jan on July 14, 2019, 03:28:04 PM »
‘Disgrace to French nation’: Greek ex-finance minister scraps with police at Paris airport

Published time: 14 Jul, 2019 12:50
Edited time: 14 Jul, 2019 15:17

French border police (PAF) is seen at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Roissy. © Reuters / Gonzalo Fuentes

Greece’s former Finance Minister and current MP Yanis Varoufakis was caught on film telling off a police officer at Paris’ main air hub after a passport check.

“You are a disgrace to the French nation,” Varoufakis is heard saying to a French Border Police officer in footage posted on YouTube. The incident was filmed at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport after the officer who was checking passports at the exit ramp from an Athens flight allegedly pushed the former finance minister.

According to Varoufakis, he was blocked from exiting the ramp by a policeman who asked to see his passport. Despite doing as asked, he claims the officer left him almost no room to pass and he accidentally rubbed against him on the narrow ramp.

“The moment our elbows touched, he reacted violently. [He] manhandled me, using physical violence,” Varoufakis told AFP, adding that the officer then pushed him, snatched his passport, and told him to stand against the wall. The YouTube video doesn’t show the moment that Varoufakis was pushed, but it does show what happened afterwards.

“You are violent and you are rude. I don’t trust you… You are a problematic member of the police force, a disgrace to your nation,” Varoufakis can be heard saying as he stands against the wall. The officer tells the ex-finance minister to follow him, but he refuses. When another person asks why Varoufakis cannot leave, he says, “he does not let me!” pointing at the officer.

He then starts pacing up and down the ramp, telling the officer: “I will do what I want, I will pace up and down. You can stop me if you wish. I challenge you!” The officer appears to be holding Varoufakis’ passport throughout the exchange.

According to the Athens News Agency, Varoufakis was briefly detained after two more officers were called in to resolve the conflict, but was later released and given his passport back.

“I am formally requesting a formal apology from the French police,” Varoufakis told AFP. He then tweeted about the incident, saying that he was given an “idea” of the repression blossoming in the “decomposing” EU, which “lurks where you least expect it.” 

In turn, one of the officers said he plans to file a complaint against the former minister for insulting them.

R ~ They are disgrace.
SDF Received Over 1,700 Trucks With Supplies From U.S. After ISIS Defeat: Monitoring Group


The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) received at least 1,730 trucks loaded with military supplies from the U.S. after the liberation of the last ISIS stronghold in northeastern Syria last March, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) revealed on July 14.

According to the UK-based monitoring group, the last two shipments included around 280 trucks loaded with logistics and military supplies.

“The SOHR observed the entry of around 280 new trucks coming from northern Iraq, in two batches, to the SDF-held areas east of the Euphrates River,” the monitoring group’s report read.

The motive behind these military supplies remains unclear. ISIS has been defeated in northeastern Syria, according to the US-led coalition itself.

Last year, President Donald Trump ordered a full military withdrawal from Syria following the defeat of ISIS. However, a backlash from politicians in Washington and the mainstream media forced him to make a U-turn.

The increasing support for the SDF could lead to more tension between Turkey and U.S. Ankara considers the Kurdish-dominated group a threat to its national security.
Netanyahu Threatens Hezbollah With ‘Crushing Military Blow’ Amid War of Words With Nasrallah

15:05 14.07.2019(updated 15:47 14.07.2019)

© AP Photo / Gali Tibbon/Pool

Earlier, Hezbollah's secretary general warned that Israel was in range of the Lebanese militant group's missiles, as the Israeli prime minister told the group's allies in Tehran that Iranian territory was well within range of Israeli warplanes.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has responded to Hezbollah movement leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's recent claims that Israel would be on the "verge of vanishing" in the event of a new war with the militant group.

Calling Nasrallah's comments "boastful words," Netanyahu warned that if Hezbollah "dared to do something foolish and attack Israel, we would impose a crushing military blow on it and on Lebanon." Netanyahu made the comments at a cabinet meeting on Sunday, the Jerusalem Post has reported.

Saying he would not go into detail to "elaborate on our plans," Netanyahu noted that "suffice it to say that for years Nasrallah dug terror tunnels, which we destroyed within days."

The Israeli prime minister's warning came amid recent belligerent remarks by Nasrallah, who warned that Israel would be "wiped out" if it found itself drawn into a war between the US and Iran.

"Iran is able to bombard Israel with ferocity and force," Nasrallah said, speaking to Lebanon's Al-Manar television channel. "When the Americans understand that this war could wipe out Israel, they will reconsider," he added.

Last week, Netanyahu responded to an Iranian lawmaker's warning that "Israel's lifespan" would be cut short if Tel Aviv's US allies attacked Iran, saying Israeli warplanes, including its new F-35s stealth fighters, could "reach anywhere in the Middle East, including Iran."

The Iranian military blasted Netanyahu over the remarks, saying Iran reserves a legitimate right to self defence on the basis of the UN Charter, "Islamic teachings" and its own defence strategies.

Israel and Hezbollah last clashed in Lebanon in 2006, with Israeli forces invading the Mediterranean country after Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid. The conflict, which lasted 34 days, claimed the lives of over 1,300 people, and caused billions of dollars in damage to Lebanon's infrastructure, was halted after a UN-brokered ceasefire.

Bilateral relations between Israel and Hezbollah's Iranian allies have been poor for decades, with the two powers cutting off formal diplomatic ties after the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Israel intensely lobbied US President Donald Trump to scrap the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, with Prime Minister Netanyahu making a media presentation on Iran's alleged attempts to hide its nuclear activities from the world just days before Trump announced that the US would be scrapping its obligations under the treaty and imposing sanctions against Tehran.

Leaders and military officials from the two countries have repeatedly threatened one another, with Israel also accusing Iran of running anti-Israeli proxy campaigns in neighbouring countries, including Lebanon and Syria. Iran has denied the claims, and said its Syria aid was aimed at eliminating terrorists in the war-torn country.

R ~ Would love to see this fat bombastic warmonger in a uniform and pointed toward Lebanon.
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