Saber-rattling against Iran hits a ferocious level: Updated

I'm sorta sorry that this diary had gotten thread-jacked by some dude, although it's been gratifying to learn that so many of you would like to know more 9/11 truth, and have delved deeper into the original whitewashed version than i might have imagined. That said, you might look at the bottom of the comments section to see what one iteration of the false flags to make war on Iran might be.

Who can leash the Dogs of War before they’re let slip in earnest?  Perhaps Chinese or Russian diplomats?  As allies, both nations would be included in a regional war, and both nations excel in diplomacy.  In the past we’d heard that some of his Generals had known what a nightmare war on Iran would be for US allies…now? Who can say?

Via May 11, 2019: ‘With B-52s, carrier battle group in place, US war against Iran on a hair trigger’ (some key paragraphs)

“The USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group made its way through the Suez Canal on Thursday entering the Red Sea and the heart of the Middle East, while a US bomber task force consisting of four nuclear-capable B-52s landed on the same day at a US airbase in Qatar. The two military deployments have placed the threat of a major and catastrophic new war in the region on a hair trigger.”

“The regime in Tehran should understand that any attacks by them or their proxies of any identity against US interests or citizens will be answered with a swift and decisive US response,” Pompeo said. “Our restraint to this point should not be mistaken by Iran for a lack of resolve. To date, the regime’s default option has been violence, and we appeal to those in Tehran who see a path to a prosperous future through de-escalation to modify the regime’s behavior.”

Pompeo’s remarks were echoed by those of the recently appointed chief of the US Central Command (CENTCOM), which is responsible for US military operations in the Middle East, Marine General Frank McKenzie, who delivered an inflammatory address to the right-wing, pro-Zionist think tank, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

“Any attack on US interests will be met with unrelenting force,” the general told the Foundation, which was used by George W. Bush as a forum for defending his war policy against Iraq. Reflecting the bipartisan support for US imperialist aggression in the oil-rich Middle East, the think tank includes on its advisory board Donna Brazile, the former chairperson of the Democratic National Committee.”

Van Auken reminds readers that  year ago this month, the Trump administration had abrogated the JCPOA that had been forged among Iran and the US, Russia, China, Germany, the UK and France, and began laying down increasingly heavy sanctions against Iran in order to strangle its economy and bring it to its knees in order to install a US puppet government.  He quotes an advisory issued by US Maritime Administration (MARAD):

““Iran or its proxies could respond by targeting commercial vessels, including oil tankers, or US military vessels in the Red Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, or the Persian Gulf. Reporting indicates heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations against US forces and interests.”

He then rightly advises us that the Pentagon, CIA, Israel or Saudi Arabia might be able to construct a provocation (read false flag) for attacks by War, Inc.™  But this news is chilling:

“NBC News revealed that last week top Trump administration officials convened a highly unusual summit meeting at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia to discuss the war buildup against Iran. Present were CIA Director Gina Haspel, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford, Secretary of State Pompeo, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and others, US officials told the network.

The officials told NBC that the session was not convened to discuss the supposed “intelligence” about alleged Iranian plans for attacks on “US interests” that served as the pretext for the dispatching of the carrier battle group and the bomber strike force to the region. The evidence to substantiate the claims of impending Iranian “aggression” is as fabricated as that used to bolster the claims about “weapons of mass destruction” in advance of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

What were these officials talking about in the CIA’s bunker in Langley? Former CIA operations officers and military officials told NBC that such meetings at CIA headquarters are normally convened to discuss highly sensitive plans for “covert actions.” Whether such actions will be aimed against Iran and its government, or at staging a “false flag” operation somewhere in the Middle East that can be used as the pretext for a US attack remains to be seen.”

‘US deploying even more missiles to Middle East as Iran saber-rattling reaches fever pitch’, 11 May, 2019,

“The US is sending a battery of Patriot missiles to join the carrier strike group and bomber task force currently “protecting” American interests in the Middle East from Iran, still insisting the buildup is merely defensive.

The missiles and transport ship USS Arlington are being deployed to the region “in response to indications of heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations against US forces and our interests,” according to a Pentagon statement.

“The latest round of heavy weaponry joins the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and an Air Force bomber task force, both of which arrived in the Central Command region this week to send an “unmistakable message,” in the words of National Security Advisor John Bolton, that the US is prepared to unleash “unrelenting force” in response to any provocation. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo echoed the threat on Thursday, promising a “swift and decisive” response to an attack by Iran – or its proxies.

Details about the “intelligence” used as a pretext for the military buildup have been scarce, though multiple reports suggest the tip came from Israel’s Mossad, which is far from a neutral source when it comes to Iran. A CNN report on Friday claimed “intelligence has shown” Iran is “likely” loading short-range ballistic and cruise missiles onto boats belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which President Donald Trump conveniently declared a terrorist organization last month. The US military, CNN said, “believes that cruise missiles could be launched from the small Iranian boats.”

Mossad may not be a neutral source, but the organization sure would know how to create false intelligence that would please US war-mongers.

“”We have been very clear that we have no interest in escalation,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told Al Jazeera earlier this week, adding that Iran would not “permit the US to threaten the Persian Gulf.” Last month, he warned Trump that the more hawkish members of his administration might conduct a false-flag attack to push the US into war with Iran.”

Jake Johnson at on May 11, 2019 advises readers that:

“Shanahan worked at Boeing, one of the world’s largest defense contractors, for more than 30 years before joining the Trump administration.

In a move critics warned could further deepen the ties between the sprawling and immensely profitable private weapons industry and the U.S. government, the White House announced Thursday that President Donald Trump will nominate former Boeing executive Patrick Shanahan to head the Pentagon.”

‘War is a racket’ ~ Smedley Butler

While noting that Gordon Duff can be a bit (ahem) histrionic at times, thus file this under FWIW, at, May 11 he asks ‘Intel Drop: Will an Israeli Sub Sink the Abraham Lincoln?

Following paragraphs of not terribly relevant rants, then Bibi as author of the ‘fake intel’ on Iranian boats carrying missiles, etc.) he finally gets here:

“What we know:

Israel has gotten ahold of a batch of “off the books” production of a highly capable Norwegian-built missile that the US is looking at in order to deploy tactical nuclear weapons with the F35. The Konigsberg NSM or Naval Strike Missile has been sold to a number of countries, but most of the sales have been “off the books.”

Israel has 5 German-built Dolphin Submarines that are modified to carry missiles like these, and larger variants of cruise missiles as well, such as the one that hit the Pentagon on 9/11. Israel has deployed cruise type missiles from their submarines on several occasions.”

And last, from May 12 (today): ‘Iran‘s IRGC Commander: ‘If America Makes a Move, We’ll Hit Them in the Head’

“Separately, Al Jazeera quoted Salami as saying that it’s unlikely that the US will use its aircraft carriers against Iran.

He argued that Iran’s defence capabilities are “adequate and sufficient”, while the US aircraft carriers are quite vulnerable, which is why “Washington will not take a risk [using the carriers against the Islamic Republic]”.

Salami’s remarks followed a statement by Vice Admiral Jim Malloy, commander of the US Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet, that he does not rule out sending the Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier to the strategic Strait of Hormuz in light of Washington’s tensions with Tehran.

If I need to bring it inside the strait, I will do so. I’m not restricted in any way, I’m not challenged in any way, to operate her anywhere in the Middle East,” Malloy told Reuters.”

“Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has meanwhile stressed that the Islamic Republic is facing an “all-out war” due to unprecedented restrictive US economic and political measures and that Tehran “should not accept submission and should try to find a solution”.”

ach; i'd forgotten this diplomat's appeals to the CIA insurgency and shame on me.

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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from wsws:

"Late Monday, the New York Times posted an article under the headline “White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran, in Echoes of Iraq War.” The article cited as sources “more than half a dozen national security officials” and reported that a meeting of President Trump’s top national security aides last week discussed a plan to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East."

and that pompeo's crashing of the brussels meeting may not have gone as well as he'd hoped as far as looking for a transatlantic front against tehran and its nuclear ambitions, but instead found warnings that ' the United States and Iran are inching toward war.'

"The Trump administration has called for “maximum pressure” on Iran. The EU’s chief diplomat, Federica Mogherini, reached for a different extreme after meeting with Pompeo on Monday.

“The most responsible attitude to take,” she said, “should be that of maximum restraint and avoiding any escalation on the military side.”

Pompeo was rebuffed on even some basic requests in Brussels. While his plane crossed the Atlantic, European diplomats haggled over how much to accommodate him while his plane sped across the Atlantic. Although Mogherini managed to find time, initially she said she had a busy day and that the pair would talk “if we manage to arrange a meeting.” The top diplomats of Britain, France and Germany agreed to meet one on one with Pompeo but would not allow the Americans the symbolic victory of a group meeting. (The Europeans publicly blamed scheduling difficulties.)

U.S. diplomats downplayed talk of a split."

during his meeting with nasty, apparently anti-semitic, racialist viktor orban, a reporter had asked him if he were already at war with iran. i lost that link, but this from yahoo/bloomberg will have to do:

"President Donald Trump warned Iran against a military provocation and said the country “will suffer greatly” if hostilities break out with the U.S.

“We’ll see what happens with Iran. If they do anything it’ll be a very bad mistake, if they do anything,” Trump told reporters on Monday during a meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the White House.

“I’m hearing little stories about Iran,” Trump added. “If they do anything they will suffer greatly.”

Saudi Arabia claimed that two of its oil tankers were attacked on Sunday while sailing toward the Persian Gulf. The U.A.E. foreign ministry on Sunday reported that four commercial ships were attacked by an unknown adversary."

but didn't the 'iranian sabotage' of the ships dovetail nicely with this US Maritime Administration (MARAD):

“Iran or its proxies could respond by targeting commercial vessels, including oil tankers, or US military vessels in the Red Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, or the Persian Gulf. Reporting indicates heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations against US forces and interests.”

the pompeo/lavrov/putin meeting at sochi's today; that ought to interesting.

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With the US-Iran War Ball Now Rolling, Could an “Accident” or “False Flag” Serve as Pretext?; Certain forces in the U.S. and Israel have been actively pushing for war with Iran for years and have a track record that demonstrates little inhibition about using an “accident” to start it.’, whitney webb may 13, 2019

she covers much of what’s here, but her sections on netanyahu contain historical revelations i’d never known about, i’ll clip just a couple of the bits on current history:

“Now, with the Trump administration having shown its willingness to favor Israeli interests in the Middle East, Netanyahu has apparently sensed that the hour has come to push the U.S. towards war with Iran. For instance, the Trump administration organized a summit aimed at securing “peace and security in the Middle East,” to which Iran was not invited. The New York Times described that summit as follows:

…Leaders of Israel and Arab states met publicly again, at an international conference in Warsaw staged by the Trump administration. But the goal of this meeting, drawing officials of some 60 nations, was not peacemaking. It was to rally support for economic and political war with Iran, for which the United States has found little enthusiasm among allies since withdrawing from the 2015 deal that restricts Iran’s nuclear program.”

Notably, during that meeting, Netanyahu wrote in a since deleted tweet that the summit was “an open meeting with representatives of leading Arab countries, that are sitting down together with Israel in order to advance the common interest of war with Iran.”
In the wake of the Warsaw summit, Netanyahu has since claimed that he was responsible for the Trump administration’s decision to label Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a terror group, a move that dramatically increased the risk of a military confrontation between the U.S. and Iran, especially given that Iran subsequently responded by declaring the U.S. military’s Central Command a terrorist organization.

Now, with Netanyahu feeding Bolton “intelligence” that Bolton has greatly exaggerated in order to justify their common goal — a U.S. war with Iran — and also “predicting” dubious “sabotage” attacks near the Persian Gulf, Israel’s government has revealed itself to be a driving force behind the spiking tensions between the two countries.”

webb’s ‘For Netanyahu, it’s now or never for a U.S.-Iran war’ is more complicated, as it contains a lot of moving geopolitical parts: iran pressuring the EU that might cause trump to extend the waivers that had allowed five or six nations to purchase oil, giving them 60 days to accomplish that v. threats to enrich uranium again, syra about to take idlib, then perhaps damascus turning their efforts toward reclaiming the golan heights, which nation is militarily allied with iran and russia, etc. there’s a lot more, but i’d sure need time to consider this more carefully; so far i'm not buying it:

“Yet, the clearest indicator that the push for war is very much in earnest is the intention of Netanyahu to effectively destroy Palestine. Several analysts, including ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern, have long maintained that Israel’s and Netanyahu’s main reason for wanting a war with Iran is to “have Iran bloodied the same way we did to Iraq” so that Iran “would no longer be able to support Hamas and Hezbollah in Gaza, Lebanon, and elsewhere.” In other words, Netanyahu wants Iran out of the picture so it can no longer provide material or financial support to groups that resist Israeli occupation.”

then the coming ‘deal of the century’ kushner peace deal, which when revealed might lead to regional war...

“With top officials in the U.S. government and much of the media failing to push back, Netanyahu finally has a window of opportunity — albeit one that is shrinking — to push the U.S. to war with Iran and it appears that he, along with his allies in the Trump administration, plans on taking it."

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Lavrov & Pompeo agree to work on nukes control but clash on Venezuela, election interference (VIDEO),, 14 May, 2019

some highlights:

"As predicted, nuclear arms control was top of the agenda, following the Trump administration’s recent withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Pompeo and Lavrov seemed open to cooperation on establishing new arms control pacts, with Pompeo restating President Donald Trump’s desire to bring China into any future deal.

With the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty set to expire in February 2021, Pompeo said that Washington is willing to work towards extending the deal by five years, ]my italics] while the Russian FM said he hopes any future agreements will be “positively received by both nations.”

Stalemate on Venezuela but moving on..

"Amid the buildup of US naval power in the Persian Gulf, and rhetorical shots fired back and forth between the Trump administration and Tehran, Pompeo tamped down talk of war on Tuesday.

“We fundamentally do not see a war with Iran,” the secretary of state said, adding: “We’ve made it clear to the Iranians that if American interests are attacked, we will certainly respond in an appropriate fashion.”

Lavrov also addressed reports that the US is preparing to deploy 120,000 troops to the Middle East in response to the supposed Iranian threat, saying that he hoped the reports were “baseless” rumors. Pompeo deflected the question, saying it was a question for the Department of Defense. As both diplomats talked, Trump denied the report, telling reporters in the White House that “it’s fake news.” Nevertheless, the president added that “If we did that, we’d send a hell of a lot more troops than that.”

the video's about 32 minutes, but the most interesting parts begin about 22 minutes; sergei lavrov was being extremely diplomatic; pompeo showed his ignorance on the '1933s'.

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and (to me) counter-intuitive twists in his may 13 'Iran Squeezed Between Imperial Psychos and European Cowards' at first, the backstory:

"Washington’s economic war proved instead the IRGC was right all along, echoing the finely-tuned geopolitical sentiment of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, who always emphasized the Americans cannot be trusted, ever.

And as much as Washington has branded the IRGC a “terrorist organization,” Tehran replied in kind, branding CENTCOM the same."Independent Persian Gulf oil traders dismiss the notion that the kleptocrat House of Saud — de facto run by Jared “of Arabia” Kushner’s Whatsapp pal Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), the Saudi crown prince – holds up to 2.5 million barrels of oil a day in spare capacity capable of replacing Iran’s 2 million barrels of exports (out of 3.45 million of total daily production). The House of Saud seems more interested in hiking oil prices for Asian customers.

"The most glaring reason for the irrational hatred is the fact the Islamic Republic is one of the very few nations on the planet consistently defying the hegemon — for four decades now.

The second reason is that Iran, just like Venezuela — and this is a combined war front — have committed the supreme anathema; trading on energy bypassing the petrodollar, the foundation stone of U.S. hegemony.

The third (invisible) reason is that to attack Iran is to disable emerging Eurasia integration, just like using NSA spying to ultimately put Brazil in the bag was an attack on Latin American integration.

As shown before, a possible shut down of the Strait of Hormuz, whatever the reasons, would be like a major meteor impact on the global economy. And that would inevitably translate as no Trump reelection in 2020."

now the new and counter0intuitive twists:

"The Strait of Hormuz would never need to be blocked if all the oil Iran is able to export is bought by China, other Asian clients and even Russia — which could relabel it. But Tehran wouldn’t blink on blocking Hormuz if faced with total economic strangulation.

So what happens next? Professor Mohammad Marandi at the Faculty of World Studies of the University of Tehran offers quite a sobering perspective: “After 60 days Iran will push things even further. I don’t think the Iranians are bluffing. They will also be pushing back at the Saudis and the Emiratis by different means.”

Marandi, ominously, sees “further escalation” ahead:

“Iranians have been preparing for war with the Unites States ever since the Iraq invasion in 2003. After what they’ve seen in Libya, in Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, they know that the Americans and Europeans are utterly brutal. The whole shore of the Persian Gulf on the Iranian side and the Gulf of Oman is full of tunnels and underground high-tech missiles. The Persian Gulf is full of ships equipped with highly developed sea-to-sea missiles. If there is real war, all the oil and gas facilities in the region will be destroyed, all the tankers will be destroyed.”

And if that show comes to pass, Marandi regards the Strait of Hormuz as the “sideshow”:

“The Americans will be driven out of Iraq. Iraq exports 4 million barrels of oil a day; that would probably come to an end, through strikes and other means. It would be catastrophic for the Americans. It would be catastrophic for the world – and for Iran as well. But the Americans would simply not win.”

So as Marandi explains it — and Iranian public opinion now largely agrees — the Islamic Republic has leverage because they know “the Americans can’t afford to go to war. Crazies like Pompeo and Bolton may want it, but many in the establishment don’t.”

and right on cue today: ‘There won’t be any war’ between Iran & US – Khamenei'

"Despite a spike in tensions between Iran and the US, the two nations won’t engage in a military conflict – but there will also be no new nuclear deal, Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has said.

“There won’t be any war. The Iranian nation has chosen the path of resistance,” Khamenei said as cited by Iran’s state TV.

“We don't seek a war, and they don't either,” he added, insisting that the Americans are well aware that a military confrontation with Iran is “not in their interests.”

The Supreme Leader also said that Tehran won’t engage in any talks on signing a new nuclear deal with Washington. “[Such] negotiations are a poison,” Khamenei said.

(the longer press tv version is here.) these may be the most notable extras:

"The Leader further said any confrontation between the US and Iran would not be “a military one,” and that “there was not going to be any war.”

“The Iranian nation’s definite option will be resistance in the face of the US, and in this confrontation, the US would be forced into a retreat,” Ayatollah Khamenei said. “Neither we nor they, who know war will not be in their interest, are after war.”

Ayatollah Khamenei further explained that the confrontation between the two sides is “a clash of wills,” asserting that Iran would be the ultimate victor of this battle.
Ayatollah Khamenei said Washington gives priority to Israel’s interests over the benefits of all others, adding, “The control of many affairs rests in the hands of the Zionist society.”

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Pluto's Republic's picture this essay. Life has intruded on my time for nearly a week, and I've been unable to fix on anything but drive-by headlines. These last few articles really deliver on the war theories and military strategies regarding Iran. I'm sorry this is happening to Iran at the hands of Greater ISIL in the ME — but I am so grateful that the entire world can witness it and talk about it. I think the most deserving nation will ultimately be marginalized. I'm up to speed. Thanks Wendy.

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

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@Pluto's Republic

chuckling over your liking the endings, as i'd begun feel as though i were hogging the comment stream again.

"I think the most deserving nation will ultimately be marginalized."

i'm looking forward to it, as the US Empire is an increasingly loose cannon. hope things in your life have gotten sorted, amigo.

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