Epic Insanity: US is preparing to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities?

For those who believe that it’s Bolton who’s still  in charge of Trump’s Iranian policy, he seems to have handed it to his Secretary of Gunboat Diplomacy, Mike Pompeo, John Kiriakou’s Bolton’s Long Goodbye notwithstanding.  Pompeo’s apparently been all over the Sunday teevee talking heads programs urging global solidarity in his/their mission to take on punishing Iran.  Trump’s threats a month ago that if it came to war with Iran it would mean ‘the official end of Iran’…, arguably at the behest of his friends Nuclear Netenyahu and Crown Prince bin Salman of the Glowing Orb…may have even gotten tiresome for him.

‘U.N. officials: U.S. planning a ‘tactical assault’ in Iran; the military action under consideration would be an aerial bombardment of an Iranian facility linked to its nuclear program, the officials further claimed’, SHLOMO SHAMIR/MAARIV ONLINE, June 17, 2019, jpost.com

“Is the US going to attack Iran soon?
Diplomatic sources at the UN headquarters in New York revealed to Maariv that they are assessing the United States’ plans to carry out a tactical assault on Iran in response to the tanker attack in the Persian Gulf on Thursday.

According to the officials, since Friday, the White House has been holding incessant discussions involving senior military commanders, Pentagon representatives and advisers to President Donald Trump.

The military action under consideration would be an aerial bombardment of an Iranian facility linked to its nuclear program, the officials further claimed.
The bombing will be massive but will be limited to a specific target,” said a Western diplomat.The decision to carry out military action against Iran was discussed in the White House before the latest report that Iran might increase the level of uranium enrichment.
The officials also noted that the United States plans to reinforce its military presence in the Middle East, and in the coming days will also send additional soldiers to the area.

The sources added that President Trump himself was not enthusiastic about a military move against Iran, but lost his patience on the matter and would grant Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is pushing for action, what he wants.

Pompeo has repeatedly made statements against Iran in recent days. He claimed that there is no doubt that the recent explosions in tankers in the Gulf were carried out by Iran.”

‘More troops and photos: America’s message to Tehran;  The photos and the request for troops are a message to Tehran and the region that the US is serious about defending its interests and proving Tehran’s involvement, Seth J. Frantzman, June 18, 2019, jpost.com (and yes, a photo of the oil tanker with a jagged hole far above the water line)

“At least 1,000 US troops are on the way to the Middle East after a request from US Central Command, acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Monday. The US also released new photos showing Iranian involvement in the June 13 attack on two oil tankers.

The photos and the request for troops are a message to Tehran and the region that the US is serious about defending its interests and proving Tehran’s involvement. The photos of Iran’s involvement in removing an unexploded mine from a tanker clearly show an Iranian fast boat with ten men on board. This is alleged to be an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp boat sent on the afternoon of June 13 to remove the mine from one of the disabled ships.

Why would Iran remove a mine in broad daylight? It was apparently fearful that the ship would be towed to the UAE where a salvage crew and investigators would find the mine and easily link it to Iran. But the brazen Iranian removal also appears to show they felt. That even with US cameras rolling, they could do what they wanted in international waters and that there would be no repercussions. Iran has gambled on the US not wanting war.

Shanah[han?] says that the US does not seek conflict with Iran. That means that the US troop deployment is primarily defensive, for now, and that the message is for Iran. But. What is the nature of the message? Iran has announced it will surpass uranium stockpile guidelines set by the 2015 Iran Deal and Iran has threatened to close the Straits of Hormuz to oil shipments. It has also been working more closely with Russia, China and Turkey in several major summits in central Asia over the last week. Iran’s message is that it won’t be deterred.

The US now faces a significant challenge. It can keep showing photos, even close-ups of the IRGC men removing the mine or doing other activities. But Iran has wagered that this doesn’t matter. According to the US the Iranians even fired a missile at a US Reaper drone that was monitoring the June 13 attack. This also comes after two rocket attacks near US personnel in Iraq, one on May 19, one on June 17, and a mortar attack last Friday, and the May 12 sabotage of four oil tankers. In addition the Houthis in Yemen have dramatically increased their use of drones against Saudi Arabia. Iran is testing the US and its allies, seeing if there will be pushback.”

Let’s try to untangle a few of these claims.  First, Iran had started a 60-day clock announcement that if the EU and other interested parties couldn’t get sanctions lifted and allow Iran to sell oil again, create an alternative to the SWIFT banking system, then they’d consider enriching uranium to a higher level, and that it was Trump (by way of Bibi) who’d pulled the US out of the JCPOA, which agreement was designed to ease sanctions on Iran, never mind that the IAEA had continued to say that Iran was in full compliance.

And never mind that anyone with half a brain can tell that the ‘Iranian attack on the oil tankers’ is such an obvious false flag that it would be funny…if the repercussions weren’t about to be so serious.  The drone may have been what the owner of the tankers had noted crew members had reported: some sort of missile (some had reported ‘two’ from the air, not something exploding on the ocean’s surface.  Over to a few snippets from Peter Symonds:

‘US preparing “assault” against Iran’, Peter Symonds, 18 June 2019, wsws.org

“The US subsequently [post JCPOA] re-imposed and strengthened its crippling sanctions on Iran aimed at cutting off all oil exports and collapsing the Iranian economy. It also threatened to take punitive economic measures against companies breaching its unilateral sanctions. Washington’s actions amount to an economic blockade of Iran and an act of war.

With US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the lead, the Trump administration is exploiting attacks on two tankers in the Persian Gulf last Thursday as the pretext for threatening to strike Iran. On Sunday, Pompeo declared that the US was “considering a full range of options,” including “a military response.”

The US Central Command, which would oversee any attack on Iran, released a video which it claims shows a small boat of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) approaching and removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the damaged tankers—the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous. It followed up yesterday with photos of the same alleged activity.”

“US officials have continued to blame Iran for the attacks despite a declaration from the tanker’s owner that the vessel was hit by a flying object according to its crew members. Both Japan and Germany have questioned Washington’s claims and called for further evidence, saying the video did not constitute sufficient proof. Iran has denied any involvement in the attacks.”

“Pompeo is due to travel today to US Central Command (CENTCOM) headquarters in Florida. He will meet with two top military leaders—CENTCOM commander General Kenneth McKenzie and General Richard Clarke, head of the Special Operations Command—to “discuss regional security concerns and operations.”

“The US has also seized on Iranian statements on Monday warning that its low-level enrichment of uranium will exceed the limit set under the 2015 agreement within 10 days to further wind up tensions. Speaking to the media on Monday, US National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis branded Iran’s actions as “nuclear blackmail” and insisted it must be met with “increasing international pressure.”

“Marquis also reiterated Trump’s lie that the US pulled out because “the horrible nuclear deal left their capabilities intact.”

“Iran has only tentatively moved towards abrogating the agreement, even though it would be fully justified in doing so by Washington’s illegal actions. In early May, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani set a 60-day deadline for the other signatories—Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China—to put tangible measures in place to enable Iran to export oil and transact with international banks. The deadline expires on July 7.

The European powers have sought to save the agreement, but so far have taken little action. An alternative payment system, INSTEX, which that would circumvent the existing US-dominated international financial and banking system, has been launched but is not yet operational. Even if it were up and running, it would initially only apply to trade in food and medicine. A fully operational system would bring the European powers into open conflict with the United States, which would undoubtedly retaliate.

The Trump administration’s warmongering in the Persian Gulf is opening up divisions in Europe. While German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has openly questioned US “evidence” of Iranian involvement in last week’s tanker attacks, Britain has quickly fallen into line. On Monday, Italy’s deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, leader of the fascist Lega, signalled Rome’s support for Washington’s war drive against Iran.

The Trump administration is recklessly preparing for a war against Iran. Any US airstrike on Iran, even if limited to one attack, would rapidly escalate into an all-out war that would not only involve other US regional allies such as Saudi Arabia and Israel, but also threaten to drag in other major powers to defend their vital interests.”


(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)

 

22 responses to “Epic Insanity: US is preparing to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities?

  1. Rocket hits site of foreign oil firms in Iraq’s Basra, wounds two

    Al Arabiya (Reuters), June 19

    A rocket landed at the headquarters for several major global oil companies, including US giant ExxonMobil, in Iraq’s southern city of Basra early on Wednesday, wounding two Iraqi workers, police said.

    The rocket hit the Burjesia residential and operations headquarters west of Basra, they said.

    A security source said Exxon was preparing to evacuate some 20 foreign staff immediately.

    Other companies operating at the site include Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Italian Eni SpA, oil officials said.
    —————————————————-
    False flag, retribution, or just a random strike?

    • i dunno, but it seems clear that the site brings a lot of inflammatory anti-iranian hasbara. look at the one beneath this one: ‘advisor to the iranian government warns…(uae will be wiped off the map’, etc. they claim that dude’s organization advises iranian FP? no, iran is trying to ratchet down war talk, but sure wants relief from the strangling economic sanctions and oil blockade.

      anyhoo, i added a few things over yonder, but it’s hard to pick a few to bring here…as so few comment here any longer. nice to see you, by the way. ; )

  2. Greyson Smythe

    https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

    • and from AP an hour ago:

      “The Guard said it shot down the drone over Iranian airspace, while two U.S. officials told The Associated Press that the downing happened over international airspace in the Strait of Hormuz. The different accounts could not be immediately reconciled.”

      guess who i believe? this is all getting soooooo obscene.

  3. “Hey! Everybody, look around, what’s that sound? There’s a man with a gun over there.” How are we going to get our insane clown re-elected? Nothing like a tidy little war to boost the pols. Except this will not be a tidy little war. Iran is a Shia country, when we drop the first bomb Pakistan, and every other Shia country will send holy warriors to do battle with the Great Satan, so then it will boil down to Nukes or not, and then of course Iran is allied with Russia and China. Anybody think they are just going to sit this one out? We need to immediately can the Neo-cons Bolton and Pompeo, and hire someone with some common sense. Quit being a stupid bully and start being a good neighbor…..

    • welcome to the café, alaskaman (great avatar). oddly, i’d actually checked a bit ago, and pakistani muslims are 93% sunni; that struck me as odd somehow. iirc, i’d checked while reporting on genocidaire nrendra modi having been elected for five…more years.

      but this terrifying hubris, isn’t it? i can’t imagine that there’d be a land invasion of iran later, all from the air and the sea. but as woods dweller over yonder had said: if they bomb a reactor site, that will unleash its own nuclear hell. israeli bunker busters, i’d imagine.

      not to be the cynic that i actually am, but who will demand no war and be heard? anti-war marches in deecee…no one cares, but who can even manage to get to deecee? does the D congressional team care or just posture? is it already written in the stars?

      i’d added more at the c99% cross-post link, but we all know that Iran is an evil nation ruled by sharia law./s (and is part of the eurasian Belt Road Initiative great competitor), to boot.)

  4. Are we really going to allow these warmongers have their way, or are we going to show some spine and tell them NO WAR!

  5. Greyson Smythe

    Trump Approves Strikes on Iran, but Then Abruptly Pulls Back

    New York Times, By Michael D. Shear, Eric Schmitt, Michael Crowley and Maggie Haberman, June 20

    <A href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/20/world/middleeast/iran-us-drone.htmlWASHINGTON — President Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing an American surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching them on Thursday night after a day of escalating tensions.

    As late as 7 p.m. Thursday, military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike, after intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president’s top national security officials and congressional leaders, according to multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations.

    Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries.

    The operation was underway in its early stages when it was called off, a senior administration official said. Planes were in the air and ships were in position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to stand down, the official said.

    —–

    So, Putin placed a call? Or ???

    • Greyson Smythe

      It was not clear whether Mr. Trump simply changed his mind on the strikes or whether the administration altered course because of logistics or strategy. It was also not clear whether the attacks might still go forward.

    • Greyson Smythe

      Or, maybe:

      https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

      • i’d had to free this comment, but it may be down to the fact that you also often include the //platform twitter widget code, as well. all one needs here is a tweet’s url, and it’ll embed itself.

        you haberman q was answered in subtweets noting that dT is putin’s bitch. guess that shit ain’t gonna die.

        but i wasn’t quite buying the times coverage of ‘offishuls told the slimes…etc.’

    • your link didn’t work, but i found it by title, but it’s behind a paywall for me. this seems to be a reprint, one of many:

      https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/donald-trump-approves-strikes-on-iran-but-then-abruptly-pulls-back/articleshow/69884983.cms

      Rt had had something up about it, but bill van auken has it up today, and i’d just stuck it on my thread over yonder. but as i said, is it by way of a palace coup? as i’d asked: who are these officials?

      “Officials said the president had initially approved attacks ..”
      https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/06/21/iran-j21.html

      but just in, trump’s saying he’ changed his mind, tweets seem to confirm it:
      ‘US planned to hit 3 different sites in response to Iran, was told 150 people would have died – Trump’, 21 Jun, 2019, RT

      Despite being “cocked and loaded” to launch an assault on Iran, President Donald Trump says that he eventually decided the strike would have been “not proportionate” to the downing of the unmanned US drone.

      Accusing the Islamic Republic of shooting down the US surveillance drone over “international waters”, Trump tweeted Friday that he had pulled the plug on an attack 10 minutes before the strike was to take place.

      “10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone. I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world,” Trump said in a series of tweets. “Sanctions are biting & more added last night.”

      oh, and i’d meant to bring over here last night:

  6. Greyson Smythe

    With Trump’s approval, Pentagon launched cyber strikes against Iran

    Washington Post, By Ellen Nakashima, June 22

    President Trump approved an offensive cyber strike that disabled Iranian computer systems used to control rocket and missile launches, even as he backed away from a conventional military attack in response to its shoot-down Thursday of an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone, according to people familiar with the matter.

    The cyber strikes, launched Thursday night by personnel with U.S. Cyber Command, were in the works for weeks if not months, according to two of these people, who said the Pentagon proposed launching them after Iran’s alleged attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman earlier this month.

    The strike against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was coordinated with U.S. Central Command, the military organization with purview of activity through the Middle East, these people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because operation remains extremely sensitive.

    • Greyson Smythe

      and: Trump warns he will impose ‘major’ new sanctions on Iran Monday

      “Let’s make Iran great again,” he added, tweaking for the occasion his main domestic political mantra.

    • fascinating, esp. if true. pretty funny how that story is on the down-low anonymous level, but that iranians have stepped up their cyber-hacking isn’t even caveated with ‘sources say’.

      “Our U.S. military has long known that we could sink every IRGC vessel in the strait within 24 hours if necessary. And this is the modern version of what the U.S. Navy has to do to defend itself at sea and keep international shipping lanes free from Iranian disruption.”

      (pretty bold claim, lol)

      Thursday’s strikes against the IRGC represented the first offensive show of force since Cyber Command was elevated to a full combatant command in May. It leveraged new authorities, granted by the president, that have streamlined the approval process for such measures. It is also a reflection of a new Cyber Command strategy — called “defending forward” — that its leader, Gen. Paul Nakasone, has defined as operating “against our enemies on their virtual territory.”

      can cyber command order ‘kinetic’ (as they say) military attacks? say the ones trump allegedly ordered then withdrew? as i said over yonder, i think it was a palace coup, but i’m collecting notes on (ahem) various opinions, and may put up a thread about it.

      i can’t find the original source saying that henry kissinger was at the pentagon twice this week; do you know?

  7. Greyson Smythe

    I don’t see anything about Kissinger having been at the White House, but there are tweets referencing him at the Pentagon.

    Seems that the Cyber Command is limited to Cyberspace, considering their mission statement:

    USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries.

    though they can “help out” for any need.

  8. yes, tweets about killer kissinger at the pentagon. i’d added it over yonder a couple days ago, but i can’t find the source/s, even reverse-engineering the request by bingling.

    thanks for the mission statement, and your thinking. it may kill one of my theses, but that’s okay. ; )

  9. Just read an article in 12/2016 issue of Atlantic Mag., “The Lessons of Henry Kissinger” by Jeffrey Goldberg….That global war criminal was 93, and still in denial of his many crimes. What a con man, him and Nixon bombed the f— out of Cambodia, Oh! he says we had the leaders permission! Remember the “Merry Christmas” B-52 bombing raids on North Vietnam? I am a Viet Vet who while there wondered what we would do if the Viet’s were depositing thousands of troops in the good old USA? We would fight like hell to get the the hell out of our home. They are some of the bravest fighters in the world!

    • iirc, it was the mas protests of the ‘secret’ bombing of cambodia that turned the tide that finally sorta ended that war. kissinger: yes, he should have been in the hague prison for decades along w/ so many other amerikan war criminals. ‘permission’, eh?

      dayum, how hard you were ‘in country’; i simply can’t image in it. but that war turned a lot of that generation against war, including wm. blum whose work i’ll feature in a new diary i may post today.

      but did finally find the ‘kissinger at the white house’ thin, but hell if i know where it is by now.

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