further indications that the Pentagon is preparing for war on Iran

(I know it’s longish, but it’s all of a piece, and of major importance as well, imo.)

‘Amid tensions with Iran, US shifts Middle East command from Qatar to S Carolina’, Sept. 30, 2019, presstv.com

“The United States Air Force temporarily shifts its command center from Qatar to South Carolina amid US President Donald Trump’s escalation of tensions with Iran.
The unannounced operation marked the first time in 13  years that the US command and control was moved out of the region, reported The Washington Post, which had been invited to observe the measure.”

As a result, the Combined Air and Space Operations Center at al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar was left empty on Saturday and Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina was put in charge of controlling US operations from 7,000 miles away.

“The functions that the CAOC provides for air power are so critical and so essential that we can’t afford to have a single point of failure,” said Major General B. Chance Saltzman, using an acronym for the center.”

I did try to read about it the issue at the WaPo, but it’s still behind a paywall for me, and I sure wonder what angle they’re spouting./s.  But consider this lying rubbish from the good Colonel I’ve bolded, when actually what Rouhani and Zarif have said continually, the equivalent of ‘we won’t start a war, but if you come for us, we’ll finish it’.  My second bold is rubbish, as well.

“Colonel Frederick Coleman, the commander of the 609th Air and Space Operations Center, also claimed that, “Iran has indicated multiple times through multiple sources their intent to attack US forces.

“Frankly, as the war against ISIS winds down and as we continue to work through a potential peace process in Afghanistan, the region is calming down and potentially more stable than it has been in decades, except for Iran,” he alleged.” [snip]

“Douglas Barrie, a senior fellow specializing in aerospace at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, stressed the importance of the command center, saying that, “It doesn’t take a whole heap of imagination to look at it and think, if push came to shove and it was a full blown conflict, it would be one of the priority targets.”

The Middle East Eye explains some of technical issues that other coverage had stated, but were even more confusing to me: 

‘US air force temporarily shifts Qatar command centre to South Carolina’, Sept. 30, 2019

“The air base is the largest in the Middle East region, capable of housing more than 10,000 US troops. Although the move was only temporary, with al-Udeid taking back control on Sunday after 24 hours, it appears to indicate a significant tactical shift in US thinking.

While air force personnel said moving functions to a different base had been a long-harboured ambition enabled by new technology, the move comes amid renewed tension with Iran, which lies around 300km to the northeast.

The unannounced operation was the first time US command and control had been moved out of the region since the centre was established in Saudi Arabia during the 1991 First Gulf War.

Air force personnel told the Washington Post that recent incidents involving Iran – including the shooting down of a US drone in June and the attack on Saudi oil facilities this month with what the US said appeared to be Iranian-supplied weapons – had added urgency to the project.

If conflict with Iran were to occur, the base in Qatar would be a prime target for Iran.

The US air force aims to run the centre remotely once a month and remain the rest of the time at al-Udeid. 

Eventually, commanders want to work up to a schedule in which the centre is operated remotely for eight hours of every 24-hour period, either at Shaw or elsewhere.”

Bill van Auken’s coverage is quite blunt, and likely exactly right given that he’d read the WaPo version:

‘Pentagon shifts Mideast command center to US in preparation for war on Iran’, Bill Van Auken, 1 October 2019 (a few bits):

“The report added that issue had become more pressing following the September 14 attacks on Saudi oil installations, which temporarily cut the kingdom’s production in half and sent oil prices soaring by 20 percent. While Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack, Washington, the Saudi monarchy and the major European imperialist powers have blamed Iran, while as yet providing no evidence to support their accusations.”

“This operational change constitutes a deadly serious warning that Washington is making active preparations for yet another war in the Middle East, this one against a country with nearly three times the population and four times the land mass of Iraq. Moreover, due to its massive oil and gas resources and its strategic centrality to control over the Eurasian landmass, a war against Iran would inevitably draw in all of the major powers, including nuclear-armed Russia and China. And, unlike Iraq under the regime of Saddam Hussein, Iran has made serious preparations to fight back.”

“In an interview broadcast Sunday on the CBS news program “60 Minutes,” Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman warned that a war with Iran would lead to a worldwide economic collapse.” [snip]

“Whether he was speaking just for the Saudi monarchy or its patron in Washington is unclear. The Saudi regime has ample reason to fear a direct military confrontation with Iran. While inundated with tens of billions of dollars worth of advanced weapons from the US, the UK and other suppliers, Riyadh was incapable of defending its most vital facilities against a drone attack.”

“While the US has thus far refrained from carrying out military strikes against Iran, it has conducted other forms of warfare. This includes an economic blockade of the country. This “maximum pressure” campaign, aimed at slashing Iranian oil exports to zero, has been steadily tightened with escalating sanctions. It has resulted in the cutting off of imported food and medicine to Iranians, leading to numerous deaths of people denied drugs for cancer and other diseases.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif has also accused Washington of targeting Iranian infrastructure, including nuclear facilities, with cyberattacks.

“There is a cyber-war going on,” he said on the NBC news program “Meet the Press” Sunday. “The United States started that cyber war, with attacking our nuclear facilities in a very dangerous, irresponsible way that could have killed millions of people.”

This is FM Zarif’s interview with Snotty Toddy on Meet the Press (about 20 minutes):

Zarif: “There is a cyber-war, and Iran is engaged in that cyber war. Any war that the United States starts, it won’t be able to finish.”

Now some additional background behind this provocative Pentagon COAC move:

‘Iran’s Rouhani at UN: No talks with US without sanctions relief;
Iranian president invites Gulf countries to join coalition in Strait of Hormuz region’, middeleasteye.net, 25 September 2019

“About 24 hours before Rouhani’s speech, Trump tried to rally the world against Iran from the same stage.

“All nations have a duty to act. No responsible government should subsidise Iran‘s blood lust. As long as Iran’s menacing behavior continues, sanctions will not be lifted. They will be tightened,” Trump said on Tuesday.

He (Rouhani) called for the two countries to return to the negotiating table without sanctions, urging Washington to abide by the framework of the original agreement and adding that the US should “pay more” if it wants a wider nuclear deal.

“The only way for talks to begin is to return to commitments and compliance,” he said. “Stop the sanctions, so as to open the way for the start of negotiations.”

Rouhani also said he was not interested in meeting Trump or top US officials in the early stages of talks.

Memorial photos are the last stage of negotiations, not the first,” he said.

Later on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded to Rouhani’s speech, repeating Trump’s call to mobilise the world against Iran and accusing the Iranian leader of being deceitful.

“Rouhani is desperate to deceive because the world is awakening to the truth. The truth is that Iran responds to strength and not to supplication,” Pompeo said at an anti-Iran meeting in New York.

“More and more nations are beginning to stand up to Iran’s thuggish behavior, and disengaging economically. We will ensure that all of them do.” [snip]

Most recently, US officials also blamed Iran for an attack on Saudi oil facilities that temporarily disrupted energy markets, cutting global oil production by 5 percent earlier this month.

On Monday, France, Britain and Germany issued a joint statement saying it was clear that Iran was responsible for the attack, but also calling for a return to the negotiating table.” [snip]

‘Coalition of HOPE’

Iran has denied responsibility for the recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities as well as on oil tankers passing through the Strait of Hormuz earlier this summer.

Rouhani used his speech at the UN to invite Gulf countries to join what he termed the “Coalition of HOPE”, which he said stands for the Hormuz peace endeavor.

“The goal of the Coalition of Hope is to build peace, stability, progress, and welfare for all of the residents of the Strait of Hormuz region,” Rouhani said.

He added that the initiative would call for energy security and the free transfer of oil through the strait. Still, the Iranian president used the announcement to take a jab at the US role in the region.

The security of our region shall be provided when American troops pull out,” Rouhani said.

Security shall not be supplied with American weapons and intervention.”

File under hilarious snub (sorry, Chucky Toady): ‘Iran president refused to take Trump’s call arranged by Macron: Reports’, presstv.com, Oct. 1, 2019

‘Trump rejected Iran’s conditions for meeting Rouhani: Zarif’, Sept. 28, 2019, presstv.com

“Zarif said on Saturday that Trump was merely trying to hold a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during the latter’s stay in New York this week, adding that the US president was unwilling to accept that sanctions imposed by his government on Tehran should be lifted as a main precondition for talks with Iran.

He said, however, that a direct meeting between Trump and Rouhani had never been on agenda and Iran basically wanted a meeting between heads of states signatory to a 2015 agreement on Iran’s nuclear activity which has suffered since Trump’s administration withdrew from the deal in May 2018.” [snip]

“Iran had indicated that talks would be possible only if Washington returns to the Iran nuclear deal while insisting that Washington should remove all sanctions imposed on the country since November last year.

Zarif said in his Saturday interview that Iran would never commit to a “theatrical meeting with a president that has not observed his obligations”.

“If the Americans want to have the honor of being the conversation partner of the Islamic Republic, they must return to their commitments and stop the sanctions,” he said.”

Now let’s see; which nations had helped negotiate the 2015 JCPOA but refuse to pressure the US to end the sanctions and re-join the agreement again?  Oh, well:

P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany),, and the European Union.  Dontcha wonder why the bolded nations and the EU haven’t done that?

One analyst I’d read opined that as the President is busy with impeachment inquiries and Congressional demands for his tax documents, etc., it”s Thug Pompeo running his FP; perhaps the ghost of John McCrankypants and Joltin’ Bolton’s toxic fumes as well?

(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)

25 responses to “further indications that the Pentagon is preparing for war on Iran

  1. Anyone’s guess isn’t it, whether they go full on military war or not. Course it’s all relative as stated in one of the articles, the war is on it’s just a matter of how far they’ll go. I glanced at an article yesterday suggesting the war against Iran will proceed in Iraq which has the Iraqis worried. Considering they invited the Wapo to observe and report on this move, I’d say it’s just another in a long line of threats and poses for political purposes. They do the same shit over and over, their playbook isn’t that hard to understand. The silence in this country is deafening.

    • as i’d said, i would have liked to read the WaPo coverage, as bezos’s rag i as hegemonic as they come, while the NYT is anonymous Cia central. some of DT’s generals used to know that any bombing of iran would unleash a regional war, including iran’s allies china, russia, and other nations under the Imperium’s guns. nuclear israel may be fomenting for an actual war on iran, including their nuclear power plants as well.

      but while trump’s busy, who’s calling the shots? esp. given another iranian false flag afoot?

      nice to see you, my friend.

      • Well, and this is a sticking point with me, Trump is calling the shots. I personally don’t buy the deep state angle because I think it obfuscates the reality we who want to stop these bastards need to portray. And that is those who are responsible are responsible, i.e., the president, congress and senate. If they can’t do their jobs, then they need to be fired just like the million plus other federal government employees. I think the focus on the deep state as responsible provides the supporters of these politicians and this political system a convenient excuse to continue to support and perpetuate a rotten system.
        Nice to see you :)

        • imo, there are several deep states (shadow govts.) at play, sometimes competing, sometimes cooperating, and the lists of the influence peddlers are long, and include many NGOs, mr. market, amerikan allies, nato/africom, CIA, and mainstream news ‘creators’, etc.

          but in terms of actually launching an air war on iran or any other nation, it depends whose orders the pentagon would obey, and beyond DT, who might be on the list, nor who would even disobey a president’s orders.

          but you’ve added this list as ‘should be responsible parties’, and yes, but i reckon they *believe* they are doing their jobs, which is horrific in itself. two war parties w/ some social policy differences, yawn…

  2. dedicated to the US empire, the largest exporter of violence, not democracy™ on the planet. a nation cannot make war and expect it can lead to peace! good night; peace when you can manage it.

    • Hard to spread democracy when you don’t even know what the hell it is. It’s like the “global policeman” thing, I saw an article on that on counterpunch or somewhere, didn’t even read it. The title said, we shouldn’t be the global policeman. That’s like saying the Mafia shouldn’t be the city policeman, it’s such a ridiculously condescending and bullshit label. And of course, the progressives democratic party partisans who love their tulsi gabbard fall to their knees in praise when she says it. Just like they insist she’s antiwar war even though she outwardly states she’s a “hawk for the war on terror.” It’s been a pretty depressing sight.

      • i’ve never understood what ms gabbard means by claiming she’s a hawk on terrorism, and when i’ve asked on the boards, no one’s explained it. but that ‘no regime change’ is what makes he three cuts above the rest of the back baffles me to no end. but her supporters are fine with her endless sanctions on russia, iran, dprk, cuba, which is just war by other means in aid of (i suppose) an internal coup with the aid of the cia as provocateurs, as in so many resource-rich african nations which can then be stabilized by…africom! and amerikan puppets can be installed as alternative leaders.

        i agree that title was absurd, almost an inverse tautology. and now we have an actual mafia thug as our chief ‘diplomat’. it’s insane, but where this country’s been heading for decades, and citizens keep allowin’ it to happen.

        i still think that anyone applying to be prez of this #shithole nation should be immediately disqualified, as should anyone applying to be a cop. yeah, i’m semi-serious, but who in the hell has the hubris to think they could be a good prez, and why the hell would they even want the job? it gives me the shivers to think about.

        yeah: spreading democracy; what a cynical theme, created by a nation in which the rule of law was based on elites’ property rights. my stars.

  3. ” There lives, in certain living souls, a quality of loneliness, unspeakable, a loneliness that must be shared, as company is shared by lesser beings, so know by this I write, there is one Lonelier than thou, out there in immensity.

  4. Right now, right now, I am Beating on my drum, trying to get my money’s worth out of it, what is it that I was willing to fork-out $600.00 bucks for? This drum is really good, it was worth every penny I paid, it is a compliment to it’s creator, I would buy another one tomorrow if I should be given that chance:Give Truth a Chance!!!

  5. If, and that is a Big If, we just always told the honest truth to each other, and never told a lie, to cover up a ‘nothing’ thing, could it be possible for us all to just Love our life: Here-Together, as one, and just decide to play along with our brothers and sisters. What a World that would be!!!I play,not prey, for that to be-come a common truth, here on this Earth-Land…..

  6. I, myself, never again allow evil thoughts to enter my mind; it is only music that allows me to survive, my drum speaks to me, and says, do not do evil, just play me, and all will be well. I do not have to pay for anything, I have made my way, by sharing myself with other’s who happened to be less fortunate than myself. In my world NO-ONE goes to bed hungry or alone; there is always some-one there to comfort them, to hold them, and just say; I Love You. Those simple words make all the difference, to a life well lived…..

    • i do allow evil thoughts (thought crimes) in my mind, so i find your not doing so almost hard to believe. the rest of your prose, however is inspirational, and remind me of rasta ‘one love, one heart’ philosophy.

      • So is there something wrong with “One Love, One Heart?” I am working on building the “House of Mankind” Where Man-‘Kind’ is not an Oxymoron. If we ever get to this place we will find that a big portion of this wonderful Universe will suddenly be opened to us, because we will not arrive to visit our neighbors bearing Small-Pox blankets…..

        • why the fook are you so defensive, anyway? no, nothing wrong with one love philosophy. in case you hadn’t noticed, this is ‘café babylon’, babylon being what the rastas call the western empire. get a grip, man.

          i use marley and tosh’s tunes all the time, as well as indigenous ones, esp. john trudell and buffy sainte marie. look up trudell (rest in power) if you don’t know him.

          • Hear Fuck is spelled ‘Fuck’ we have nothing to hide so we can tell it like it is. Our only livable home is being destroyed by the Monster Greed, so Who gives a Fuck? I do, I care that my children will be able to go on a Whale viewing trip, and view them as Living Creations, not some photo in an old, old National Geographic magazine set aside on an old, dusty shelve some-where. Is this too much to ask? To make a Future Possible, to make this great Journey around our Galaxy, an enjoyable, livable trip, to factor in Awareness, of the sheer wonder of it all?

            • ……………………………………………………………

              • Here I am again, I just played my drum for an hour or more, waiting for Eddie Wood to show up and play with me on that New Drum I ordered from Him,,,$600. 00 I offered to pay him, but I guess he don’t need that money, cause he never showed up. Am I such a bad guy to play with? Is my Music that bad, that you could not stand to play with me? So I can just shut-up and be gone for-ever? Because I know I am a good music-an and I can play along with any one because, being deaf, I have learned how to Listen,Like really listen, so I could repeat those beats. Where am I writing here in this little tiny space. I am sending out this message to One Lonely Person? If so, please let me know, I will shut -up and depart into silence….

          • So, here I sit, playing along on my old Marine Band Harmonica, it is really old, yet still producing Music, and My Drum Man: “Eddie Wood” a wonderful name for my local wood drum provider, is on his way here with a new one for me, as I beat the last one into Shit,by playing on it all the time, trying to play along with the music on the radio, such a great station KBBI, Homer, Alaska 99603. I send them Money $100. bucks here and there as I can afford it, to thank them for providing that beautiful music, so I can learn to play along on my drums and Harmonica. I am a free man, the only debts I have are to the Sun, for shinning every-day, and this Earth, for making my life possible. This is the only song I sing, I can do it because I am the Loneliest Man on Earth. The only cure I know of is to have that Space-ship arrive and sing it’s song out to Us. I am Not going to build a fire, in my newly repaired stove, until the temp’s get down to where freezing to death becomes a possibility, I just put on more clothes and pretend like I have my great old dog Tao’s fur coat….Is this just having Fun, or what? You have to learn to Laugh at the darkness and ask: :Hey, Great Clod,what next?” And “Splot” out pops a fresh Wart!. You should read the River Why? by David James Duncan, I read a lot, cause I do not watch a T.V. screen, and this is the best Love Story I have ever read, I read it aloud to the woman I love, I bought and gave away at least 40 copies, I wrote the Author, and got an answer.: “I wrote this book, solely for enjoyment, and I hoped that readers who read it, would find enjoyment in it also.” that is what he said, That David James Duncan, what a kidder!

          • I am also Deaf, so if you call me on the Telephone, you are wasting your breath. Word Press is my only means of communication left to me….

  7. Yes, just knock on my door, and ask me, my name, and I will answer “Welcome In” It is just that easy to find a friend, knock on the door, and if they let you in, you have found a ‘Friend’ If not welcomed in just turn around and set off on another direction, some-where out there is a friend waiting, to Welcome You In. I am going to burn all of those thousands of books I bought , I thought I had forever to read them, and time is running out, much faster than I had imagined, I am really only looking for a friend out of this darkness, to appear, give me a hug and stay on or disappear forever, that is the choice here, to give your love, or, to keep it all for yourself…..Any one on Earth is welcome at my door, as long as they want to share Friend-Ship, I do not turn any one away. So now I ask, how many people are knocking at my door? Not Many, can hear the song of Love, I am Playing, welcoming, people in to my house. The song is sung, the door is closed for now, but if you ask with a true heart, that door will always be open…..

    • so nice that your original quote by theodore sturgeon had triggered your fine, if plaintive, prose here, my friend. may more knock at your door soon, and ease your loneliness! let it be so!

      more later as i have the time-space.

  8. Thank you for Foreign Minister Zarif’s interview, wendye. I hadn’t seen him I think since back in Charlie Rose days – at least as long as I’ve boycotted mainstream news and kept my sanity. That is a good man.

    • he is a good man; he rivals sergei lavrov in being both direct and diplomatic at once, imo. both share a sense of humor, as well. charlie rose had been celebrated for his even-handedness in interviews, but i’d not found it so. was he as creepy at chuck toady back in the day with FM zarif?

  9. I want to thank you for that Bob Marley song, ‘One Love’ It took me a long time just to figure out how to make it all work on my little computer I had to buy speakers and then a cord to get hooked up, and then, all of a sudden it all worked, it all came together, So thank You for that…..

  10. I can write here on this site, as well as any-place else, so why not get good and stoned, and share a moment with you; are you going to call the cop’s on me for writing on here? I will just wait it out, it is all in time after all. I threaten NO-ONE, I love all my neighbors, and they LOVE me back, just the other day my neighbors came over and took my woman to the hospital, because she was really, sick, and would not listen to me when I said” Let me take you to the Hospital, NO! It took my neighbors to do that, That woman would have died in her bed, rather than just listen to me, So my Neighbors stepped in, Thank You ,God, for good neighbors. Lu Ann Nelson, stepped in and got my lady to the hospital, and stayed with her, and then came home and told me my lady had a lung infection. And her daughter flew up to be with her, so it all worked out well, in the end, my lady is still alive, and that is all I care about. Get well,babe, that is all I can say!!!

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