War Criminal Elliott Abrams Tapped as the US Special Envoy to Iran


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Note: The announcement comes on the day marking 75 years since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

From Iranian FM Javad Zarif, August 6:  @JZarif

75 years ago today, the US gained the infamy of becoming the 1st and ONLY user of nuclear weapons. And against innocents. Today, US & Israeli nukes threaten our region. It’s long overdue to end nuclear nightmare & the #MAD doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction.

Keep in mind that he and President Rouhani have stated unequivocally and repeatedly: ‘Nuclear Weapons are forbidden by our religion’. But Western Powers and media refuse to believe it, and have for a long time.  Apparently at Bibi’s urging, the Pentagon under Shrub Bush had stocked up on bunker-busting bombs to use on various ‘underground’ nuclear facilities in Iran. 

The Islamic Republic (formerly Persia) had always been in compliance with the IAEA’s rules under Director Generals El Baradei, then Yukiya Amano (who died in July, 2019), adn was replaced by Argentinean Rafael Grossi.

According to Newsweek, Grossi’s June report claimed that:

“…since the end of January 2020, Tehran has refused the IAEA access to two nuclear sites of concern and declined to answer questions about a third. The IAEA report includes the admonishment, “For over four months, Iran has denied access to the Agency…and, for almost a year, has not engaged in substantive discussions to clarify Agency questions related to possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities in Iran.”

The nuclear deal has been unravelling since May 2018 when Donald Trump withdrew the US and reimposed sanctions on Iran. Tehran said earlier this year it would gradually shed its commitments under the deal and is due to announce its next step within days unless the US lifts economic sanctions.  And they did, and have, mainly by way of the speed of their newer centrifuges at which they’re able to enrich uranium, not so much the incremental levels of enrichment, as I understand it.

But sure, Tehran is doing so in order to convince the other parties to the JCPOA: Germany, France, China, Russia, and the UK to incentivize the Trump administration to end their egregious sanctions on the beleaguered nation.  Sanctions have not been lifted.

According to Newseek, ‘The IAEA Did Its Part on Iran. Now the World Must Act’:

“A key conclusion from the IAEA’s report, issued on June 5 by its director-general, Rafael M. Grossi, is that since the end of January 2020, Tehran has refused the IAEA access to two nuclear sites of concern and declined to answer questions about a third. The IAEA report includes the admonishment, “For over four months, Iran has denied access to the Agency…and, for almost a year, has not engaged in substantive discussions to clarify Agency questions related to possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities in Iran.”

“The first site is Lavisan-Shian. It was located at the former headquarters of Iran’s pre-2003 nuclear weapons program, the Physics Research Center. The IAEA’s questions about what happened at Lavisan arose after the agency learned more from an archive of Iran’s nuclear files that were exfiltrated by Israel in 2018.” [‘exfiltrated’ ilnk leads to Bibi on youtube]

Under Brian Hook (who’d resigned), Trump and Pompeo’s ‘maximum pressure on Iran’ (that that coincided with the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) in 2018) wasn’t quite panning out, even though Mafia Don Pompeo had solicited stories on Twitter: ‘Tell us your stories of oppression under Iran’s regime!’ trying his best to create an insurgency (perhaps with the aid of CIA cutouts) that would eventually topple the Evil Regime from within.

From Rt.com, Aug. 6, 2020:  (w/ a photo of Abrams I couldn’t bear to bring)

“The US is putting Iran on regime-change notice, appointing Iran-Contra convict Elliott Abrams as Special Representative for Iran in addition to his duties as Special Representative for Venezuela, a State Department release shows.” […]

“Tensions between the two countries nearly spiraled into war in January after a US airstrike killed Quds Force leader Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, provoking a barrage of missiles from Iran targeting two coalition bases in Iraq. The US has also flooded the Persian Gulf with military assets and placed bounties on Iranian ships and other military assets.

Abrams has been a ubiquitous presence in the US’ regime-change efforts in Latin America, helping to replace left-leaning governments with right-wing dictatorships in El Salvador and Guatemala and attempting similar makeovers in Nicaragua and Venezuela. In 1991, he pleaded guilty to two minor criminal counts regarding the Iran-Contra scandal, in which the CIA illegally funneled weapons to the Nicaraguan Contras. However, he was subsequently pardoned by then-President George HW Bush and went on to continue undermining democratically-elected governments under George W. Bush and Donald Trump.

The promotion comes ahead of a hotly-anticipated UN Security Council vote on extending the arms embargo on Iran. If the measure does not pass, the US has threatened to trigger “snapback” sanctions agreed upon as part of the 2015 nuclear deal – despite having pulled out of the deal years ago and therefore lacking an ability to enforce its provisions as a “participating nation.”

 ‘US Iran Envoy to Step Down—Ahead of Key U.S. Move on Nuclear Program;

The move comes as the Trump administration is  expected to try to ‘snapback’ UN Iran sanctions, collapse nuclear deal’, Laura Rozen, August 6, 2020, justsecurity.org

[Quoting Pomeo]

“Elliott Abrams, currently the Trump administration’s Special Representative for Venezuela, “will assume the position of Special Representative for Iran, in addition to his responsibilities as Special Representative for Venezuela,” Pompeo’s statement said. Abrams, who was convicted in 1991 on two counts of withholding information from Congress related to the Iran contra affair, and subsequently pardoned, has spearheaded the Trump administration’s so far unsuccessful effort to try to oust the Maduro regime in Venezuela through diplomatic and economic pressure. It is a similar approach to that which the Trump administration has taken with Iran, and one in which it finds itself increasingly at odds with its European allies.

The U.S. resolution [before the UN Security Council] –which it could move for a vote on as early as Monday, a diplomat in New York said–is ultimately expected to fail.

If the United States fails to secure passage of the resolution extending the Iran arms embargo, Pompeo on Wednesday vowed the United States would then move to “snapback” all UN sanctions on Iran that were lifted as part of the JCPOA, though several other permanent UN Security Council members dispute that the United States, which quit the deal, has the legal right to do so. The move would not only re-instate the conventional arms embargo, but, if successful, would also make it essentially impossible for the JCPOA to continue on life support.”

“For their part, Iranian officials have repeatedly said they are open to the United States returning to the deal, whether it be a second term Trump administration or its possible successor.”

From Foxxnews.com, Aug. 6, 2020:

“Hook, in a call with reporters earlier Thursday, had said it would be “diplomatic malpractice” for other countries to allow the embargo to expire and said there was “no question” it was the right thing to do.

“We have an objective to extend the arms embargo,” he said. “That can be done the easy way or it can be done the hard way, but it’s going to be extended.”

You may remember Toni Cartalucci’s  ‘‘America Planned to Break “Iran Nuclear Deal” Years Before Signing It’, Aug.5, 2018, journal-neo.org  (h/t Big Al; a few paragraphs):


“But while the agreement has been hailed as a “signature foreign policy achievement [of Obama’s],” it was, before even its inception – not a vehicle towards peace – but a cynical ploy to justify future war.

The United States had never intended to allow Iran to rise as a counterbalancing regional power in the Middle East or Central Asia nor escape from under the constant threat of US military intervention or the crippling sanctions it has targeted the nation with for decades.

The enduring presence of US military forces in Afghanistan transcending now three presidencies and nearly two decades was one of two bookends placed around the rise of Iran.

The other has been a war waged in the Middle East by the US and its allies against Iraq beginning in 2003 and spreading to Syria and Yemen by 2011.

Despite the numerous proxy wars Washington is waging against Tehran, US policymakers had determined years ago the necessity to justify a wider and more direct confrontation with Tehran itself.

A Conspiracy to Offer Then Sabotage an Iran Peace Deal is Stated US Policy:”  (the rest is here.)


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(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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Several weeks ago, the tempest in the teapot of the week was the fairy tale of Russia putting a bounty on GIs and I had this to say:

.

To this day, we use "weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," as an emblem for political manipulation couched in the form of "intelligence." It turned out that there were no nuclear, chemical or biological weapons under the control of Saddam Hussein and his government. So, we are correct when we remind people that "intelligence" is not necessarily accurate and is often just a pack of lies.

Left unexamined is the premise behind the assertion of WMDs in Iraq -- that if there were WMDs, the USA must therefore invade the country. That is insane, and it remains the infinitely elastic rationale for war against any country that the national security "community" deems unacceptable. Iran is the most obvious example of this now generally accepted idea across the alleged "spectrum" of American politics -- "we" cannot "tolerate" a "rogue state" with weapons of mass destruction.

.

In pushing this depraved approach to foreign relations, Trump is again following the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) script. Elliot Abrams is forever, but the politicians come and go.

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I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

wendy davis's picture

@fire with fire

In pushing this depraved approach to foreign relations, Trump is again following the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) script. Elliot Abrams is forever, but the politicians come and go.

although i'd add the Council on Foreign Relations. but i'm pretty sure i'm correct in saying that the US had given iraq chemical weapons to use against iran. saddam later destroyed them. but colin powell's 'biological weapons aboard helicopters' drawings were pretty funny, too, and i'd tho't that BS would have caught fire w/ the public more than the Madison Ave firms' 'Saddam Stealing babbies from incubators', but...no. ; )

as far as tempests in a teapot goes: the first iranian government the US an UK managed was Mossadegh in 1953, and the CIA and MI6 toppled him soon after he'd nationalized...'BP's oil'

similarly, VZ under chavez had nationalized 'Rexxon's oil'. and Rexxon's deep water oilfields off the coast of Vz and guyana (?) are still in contention.

one Q i have is: is this another election distraction ploy from Boss Tweet? or an unconscious 'I'll be a national/world/israeli hero if i get 'er done now...even if I don't get reelected'?

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

...takes over the Presidency next year from the mentally lost Biden — the Neocons will have the full house they have been dreaming of. Actually, a better title for Rice would be The Flunky of Benghazi.

The Neocons, and Americans in general, have this peculiar brain deformity that compels them to project their own evil motives and monstrous intentions onto global competitors, especially those with nationalized oil and an identifiable racial ethnicity they can blindly hate. These US Doomsday Diplomats whip themselves into a paranoid frenzy, which is always characterized by a lack of any physical evidence at all.

That same brain deformity has people all over the US clinging to that preposterous, bullshit story — devoid of motive or logic — that Russia placed bounties on US soldiers' heads.... So dumb.... Why pay the Taliban? Just about anyone in Afghanistan with a rifle and a clear shot would be eager to do it for free.

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I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for Enlightened Men — if they ran for public office — but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.
— Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

#SociopathsMadForPowerProject, amiga; thank you. pindar's revenge had called the competitor nations: 'Imaginary Enemies' and as a play on Imaginary Friends. i loved it.

ah, yes; hadn't gropin' dementia joe promisedpromisedpromised to choose his running mate next week? and of course his dear doctor wife will eventually find the need to have him shut away in some bedlam or other. cripes, i'd read some weird thing on twitter about rice having fed a cup of poison tea to someone or other... and while a bit on the phantasmagoric side, somehow it had a ring of truth to it.

but but but...she tried soooo hard to act like an adult, remember? even changed her hairdo into a bun or some such. 'flunky of benghazi', eh? with her side kick hellary

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

susan rice tweeets on cordelier's account. i won't embed them, just list them. give their urls:

Susan Rice's "presence at Abiola's snuff scene [was] her mafia-style induction into the US power elite" http://ocnus.net/artman2/publis

https://twitter.com/cordeliers/status/271051006433959936

Susan Rice key player in African "low intensity" proxy wars, sharing responsibility for policies that killed millions http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/09/exposi

https://twitter.com/cordeliers/status/271057034454130688

Phony pretexts for war: Susan Rice manufactures Viagra rape hoax to sell NATO attack on Libya http://antiwar.com/blog/2011/04/30/susan-rices-viagra-hoax-the-new-incub...

https://twitter.com/cordeliers/status/374204494076448768

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

There are some details that are new to me. Thanks Wendy.

Susan Rice had such an amazing education, and she was brilliant and aggressive going after it. She's a Manchurian candidate, groomed for the full ride.

But she was born weaponized — a poster child for the natural born psychopath; a disorder for which there is no treatment. Women like Rice always find their way into high-stake politics, where they can blend in. The US State Department is an incubator for them. A few will win entrance into the deep state's geopolitical Man Cave, usually by virtue of their casual appetite for mass murder used as a tool to achieve political goals. Hillary is another classic example of this genetic twist, which I believe is passed on by the female of our species. We need to expel these women from the gene pool. They should be spayed, and one of their ears clipped like feral cats.

Or perhaps not. It's probably too late do any good.

The threat that the Left poses to the US political system — is that the Left can somehow spot the embedded psychopaths — when no-one else can. If you read Western history you can see this dynamic at work during certain events. I think this is why a few countries, including the superpowers, will not let go of the death penalty. Killing the psychopaths does not stop the infection or improve society — because they are not the ones spreading the infection. The death penalty is nothing more than a degrading dystopian decoration.

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I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for Enlightened Men — if they ran for public office — but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.
— Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
wendy davis's picture

@fire with fire

they don't come out and say it was the CIA who gave saddam the chemical weapons, instead posit: Italy.

US gave Saddam blessing to use toxins against Iranians , 26 Aug, 2013, RT.com

as far as saddam having destroyed his chemical weapons (one adds 'and biological weapons', the saga was a lengthy affair according to history today, and it simply isn't worth unwinding it.

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snoopydawg's picture

should believe a word he tells them after his actions during Iran/Contra.

Abrams is another Israel toady who will only go away when he is 6 feet under. Horrible man.

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“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

i'll watch half now, tke care of a few chores, watch the rest later. iirc, i'd seen some of assal rad's quotes in the bing cache, as a member of the Iranian/american association or close to that.

queer story as how i'd run into code pink's list at raw story.

In a statement late Thursday, anti-war group CodePink provided a snapshot of Abrams’ views and record dating back to his time in the Reagan administration:
•In the 1980s, he defended the infamous Guatemalan General Efraín Ríos Montt, whose violent crackdown on the indigenous Ixil Mayan people of Guatemala was so brutal that it was classified as genocide by the United Nations.

•He denied that the Salvadoran military was responsible for the devastating El Mozote massacre where, in 1981, a U.S.-trained battalion murdered more than 500 civilians, slitting the throats of children along the way. Not only did Abrams deny the massacre and push for continued U.S. support for the notoriously brutal Salvadoran government, but he even claimed in a 1994 interview that “the U.S. administration’s record in El Salvador is one of fabulous achievement.”

•He is vehemently anti-Palestinian and shamelessly supports Israel. As George Bush’s aide on the National Security Council, Abrams did everything he could to thwart peace negotiations. He repeatedly undercut any U.S. pressure on Israel to stop the building of settlements and cited the Holocaust as justification for Israel’s killings of Palestinians (Jews are “a people who had learned from history what happens to Jews without security”). In 2015, he applauded then-Speaker John Boehner’s decision to invite Netanyahu to address Congress without the approval of President Obama. He lauds Evangelical descriptions of Israel such as the belief that “Israel is connected to the idea that God favors and protects Americans.”

•In 1991, Abrams pled guilty to withholding information from Congress related to his involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal, the secret and illegal scam in the 1980s to siphon profits from Iranian weapons sales to support the right-wing Contra rebels trying to overthrow the Sandinista government.

•Abrams was a key supporter of the disastrous invasion of Iraq. In 1998, he submitted a letter to President Clinton encouraging him to depose Saddam Hussein. As Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy during George W. Bush’s second term, Abrams was in charge of promoting Bush’s strategy of “advancing democracy abroad.”

•Abrams championed the U.S. overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, echoing the tactics used by the neocons for intervention in Iraq.

•Abrams’ opposition to the Iran Nuclear Deal is epitomized by his attempts to encourage Israel to bomb Iran’s nuclear sites before negotiations became too serious. He expressed concern that Israel’s capacity to impede the deal was “already being narrowed considerably by the diplomatic thaw, because it is one thing to bomb Iran when it appears hopelessly recalcitrant and isolated and quite another to bomb it when much of the world—especially the United States—is optimistic about the prospect of talks.”

•In January 2019, Abrams was appointed to be the U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela, and used his position to support an attempted coup, quash diplomatic talks, and increase brutal sanctions, even during the pandemic.

“The dangerous conflict resulting from Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear agreement will be exacerbated by a man committed to Washington’s failed policies of regime change,” CodePink said.

(and more text) but rad is there as well. oopsiee, can't start the rising yet; mr. wd just came in for lunch. ; )

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@wendy davis still hidden on his resume? Such as the crimes (deals) that predated and paved the way for Iran-Contra. Something that makes Trump think that Abrams has some clout in Iran.

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wendy davis's picture

@Marie

i'm trying to make a wild sort of family drama that might have caused him to be what he is, though. but i'll resist my imaginings as to the 'ease at which he'd murdered...for convenience' stuff.

but i could find him on twitter since an account that ended in 2018, so i went to da wiki, which usually offers a twitter account. nothing.

but i was sincerely shocked to find that his entry was/is so bald an indictment of his posing as a human rights interventionist, and (bush doctrine) amerikan exporting of democracy. as well as his crimes against humanity esp. given that he was exposed of believing,

According to American University political scientist William M. LeoGrande,[10]

Communist governments were the worst human rights violators in the world, Abrams believed, so virtually anything done to prevent Communists from coming to power (or to overthrow them) was justifiable on human rights grounds. This theory fit neatly into the Cold War presumptions that framed Reagan's foreign policy and allowed the administration to rationalize supporting murderous regimes so long as they were anti-Communists. In practice, it was little different from Henry Kissinger's realpolitik that discounted human rights issues entirely.

Abrams was generally considered a skilled and influential bureaucrat in the human rights bureau.

Mad Mnuchin on twitter has promised that next on Treasury's hit list, of course is Daniel Orteg of nicarauga. can't have no fucking socialists/pinkos in Our Backyard: they are a direct threat to US national security (Obomba, then trump).

so...er...spill. what are you imagining, Marie? ; )

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@wendy davis his personal psychology. Rabid 72 year old warmongers, anticommunists, racists, etc. are a dime a dozen in the US. They bought into the post WWII US propaganda and it has personally served some like Abrams very well.

I was considering the 1980 "October Surprise."

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wendy davis's picture

@Marie

joshin' with you. and yes, rabid neocons are a dime a dozen. it's those who pretend they're not we need to be aware of. wolves in sheep's clothing like St. Obomba and the Hillary Hawk, say. by anthony freda:

p.p.s on edit: i should have added the 'progressive' signatories to ro khanna's 'letter to pompeo'.

p.s. on edit: i just twigged to your 'October Surprise'. yeah, again: the timing of this abrams appointment.

and i should have added:

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wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

read toni cartalucci's exposé i'd linked: JCPOA designed to fail', and she was right to bring up the hardliners recently elected. i'd read OF that, but no analysis of what it actually signified. the other woman (tracy?) did mention DT and 'run out the clock', and 'ahead of the election', and i suspect she imagines the relevance of the timing of war criminal elliott's appt. as 'special envoy'. i'd looked up that term and found it means close to 'roving ambassador, not forced to live in a US embassy in-country...ever.

added later: andre vltchek has opined that iran actually IS socialist in its own way.

third, i get that omar quite narrowly asked him about an amerikan military misadventure was on VZ, but the utter hypocrisy by her and list of progressives are epic! they believe all the lies and smears against 'the maduro regime' that the OAS, cia, has sited. i'll give the shot version, but their actual long-winded 'letter to mob boss Pompeo is worth reading:

'RELEASE: Khanna Leads Progressive Colleagues in Call for a Peaceful Political Solution to Avoid Violent Conflict in Venezuela', march 7, 2019

Today, Rep. Khanna with fifteen progressive colleagues, sent a letter to Secretary of State Pompeo rejecting threats of U.S. military intervention in Venezuela, supporting diplomatic dialogue to resolve the political crisis there and opposing broad economic sanctions that hurt ordinary Venezuelans.

The letter condemns the Maduro government’s anti-democratic actions, human rights abuses and destructive economic policies but strongly expresses concerns that the Trump Administration’s misguided policy could make the situation even worse for the Venezuelan people.

Polls from respected pollster Datanálisis show that the vast majority of Venezuelans are opposed to foreign intervention as a means of removing Maduro and instead want a negotiated solution to the crisis.

The letter urges support for a mediation process advocated by the Pope, and governments of Mexico and Uruguay, to promote dialogue instead of civil war.

“The Administration’s aggressive actions and rhetoric play into the Venezuelan government's narrative that the country’s problems are the result of U.S. intervention, helping shore up Maduro's support base and diverting attention from what is fundamentally a domestic problem,” said Rep. Khanna. “We respectfully call Sec. Pompeo to cast off threats of U.S. military intervention in Venezuela and build a dialogue to resolve the political crisis there.”

The 15 co-signers of the letter are: Reps. Pramila Jayapal (WA-17), Mark Pocan (WI-2), Raul Grijalva (AZ-3), Henry C. "Hank" Johnson (GA -4), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Ilhan Omar (MN-5), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Ayanna Pressley (MA-7), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-7), José E. Serrano (NY-15), Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2), Karen Bass (CA-37), Danny K. Davis (IL-7) and Jan Schakowsky (IL-9).

fuck them all, and i say that in the kindest possible way. ; )

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@wendy davis We are the problem in Venezuela. Not Maduro. The so-called Progressives need to study basic geography and US history.

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NYCVG

wendy davis's picture

@NYCVG

amerika, or as Boss Tweet said: This Shithole Nation. the world's most despised exporter of democracy© by bombs, missiles, and gunboat diplomacy (such as sanctions, war by other means).

yes they need to read CEPR on VZ, for instance. or watch abby martin, who's gone to VZ and debunked the 'maduro kills his protestors'; it's the opposite! by filming the golpistas in action. their crap about refusing USAID convoys was way over the top: we saw what was in them. barbed wire, guns, and ammo. i know snoopy remembers all that better than i, though, dagnabbit.

i'd recently given a former blogging ally a bit of a list to destroy the charges against maduro as a tyrant, as he'd been defending him at a blogsite i'd left ten years ago. wish i could remember more, but you don't need educating. they.do. ; )

but maduro still stands (madman abrams has failed), even after several attempts on his life, because the police and military support him, as do most of the people. he sure has made some newbie mistakes, though.

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at the age of 95. (Does that suggest that Abrams still has many more years of warcraft ahead of him?)

On May 17, 2009 Bob Parry shared his encounter with Brent Scowcroft. Knowing 'What's Good for the Country' Same miscreants have continued in power since then.

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wendy davis's picture

robert parry was a most excellent truth-teller, and i'm not so sure would care much for the new iteration of consortium news, but i'd hate to pressed as to why'.

'do it for one's country'; oh my. hide the uncomfortable truths, or peggy noonan, et.al.: 'loo forward, not backward'.

i wish i'd read his exposé on iran contra back in the day, as i wish i'd read those by gary webb at the san jose mercury news.

pretty bizarre death, too, but apparently his wife agreed: a two shots to the head...suicide.

brent scowcroft was also CFR, unsurprisingly. thanks marie; dinnae know he'd died. (had to start scanning after a bit, though slow reader here.)

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@wendy davis Consortium News is carrying on in his absence. Of course none of the writers/reporters have the depth and skill of Parry, but he came by that the hard way.

Can't recall how I managed to do it, but I read Webb's series soon after they were published, and as Iran-Contra dragged on for many years there were multiple sources for parts of it. I did listen to the broadcasts of Kerry's drug trafficking hearings that seemed quite revealing to me, but all too soon that stuff went into some black hole.

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wendy davis's picture

@Marie

likely due to the fact that Robert's son Nat is on the board of directors, but again, i'd not likely to be pressed on the many reasons i don't support this post-Robert Parry iteration, and it's not solely due to the fact that they delete my comments. (just deleted the rest, never mind.)

glad to hear that you were so aware of gary webb, as well as kerry's drug-trafficking hearings of which i yam totally ignorant.

thanks again, Marie.

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@wendy davis the MSM wasn't totally devoid of real reporting when I was young. On general news even the WSJ was mostly solid. The most conservative bias was in the opinion section which I rarely bothered to read. The erosion was slow, but sped up during the 1980s. The Nation and Harper's were always valuable, and in 1986 FAIR became another good source. NPR, PBS, and Pacific added to that.

Watergate may have been a turning point. It was covered in print and on TV. The networks covered the Senate Watergate hearings live and PBS rebroadcast them in the evening (which is how I saw them). So, while aspiring reporters wanted to be WoodStein, the media titans didn't want to go there again. And they wonder why they've lost readers and viewers?

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wendy davis's picture

@Marie

that Watergate was the turning point in the deterioration of actual investigative reporting. it does have the ring of correct analysis. i got to thinking about how much slanted coverage is due to Brands being more key that facts (a loose term, by now, isn't it?)

iirc, one of the only print papers we subscribed to was Mother Jones, and a magazine maybe called Omni?

anyhoo, i got a hella lot of new things to report from various sources loaded with hyperlinks, much of it based on your (and i reckon mind on the timing) October Surprise. i'll stick it all in at the bottom bottom, hope i don't make a hash of it. if i do, i'll try to fix it after i eat some toast. ; )

on edit: here's one branding that ain't goin' away (via msn.com):

The Wall Street Journal
'Russia Working to Damage Biden's White House Bid, Spy Agencies Say' Dustin Volz 10 hrs ago

WASHINGTON—The U.S. intelligence community has assessed that Russia has undertaken a broad effort to damage Democratic Joe Biden’s bid for the presidency, while China prefers that President Trump not win re-election, a senior intelligence official said Friday.

Iran is also seeking to undermine U.S. democratic institutions and President Trump, and to divide the country ahead of the November contest, Bill Evanina, who runs the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, wrote in a brief public report.

The disclosure is the most detailed yet from U.S. intelligence agencies about foreign efforts to interfere in the 2020 election, after months of escalating but generally vague warnings about such activity. It represents the “most current, accurate, and objective election threat information” on behalf of the U.S. intelligence community that can be offered “in an unclassified setting at this time,” Mr. Evanina wrote."

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@wendy davis @wendy davis Less hard-hitting and sober reporting of facts relevant to the public. Not that it was ever all that strong on those measures. And we can't ignore that the media went soft on Nixon after they took down LBJ. So soft that the Watergate break-in was consigned to a 72 hour news cycle for all but a couple of outlets until Sirica began handing out long prison sentences for the burglars. It was a very slow moving train wreck.

They went soft on Ford -- who had never been elected to national office. Ate a bowl of Wheaties for Carter's last two years, and then went really soft on Reagan. Tabloid journalism ultimately became the MSM specialty. If it takes down a politician or celebrity, so be it, but it can't be blamed on them.

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The Iran Nuclear Deal may have only ever been Deception Theater. Yes, Obama and Kerry spent IDK how many hours and how many dollars on effecting this complicated legislation but all the while the Iranians were protesting that a nuclear weapon capability was not on their agenda. I believed the Iranians. And the cited articles above make perfect sense to me.

At some point it seemed to me that what we were meant to focus on when the Iran Nuclear Deal was being fabricated, was a screen that hid the actual target.

Nobody here will be surprised that I thought then as I do now, that the real target always was Iranian Oil Supplies. Just as we have targeted Venezuelan oil fields.

Speaking more broadly,this is the current incarnation of the Great Game: Find, control, and move resources around the globe for the greatest profit.

The US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia's joint interests are threatened by Iran, Syria, Turkey, Russia and China, along with Qatar which shares with Iran the largest untapped deepwater oil field we know of.

Venezuela has also been a target as we attempt to seize and control their oil supplies. Starving their population and destroying their country in the process.

same as it ever was.

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NYCVG

wendy davis's picture

@NYCVG

as i believe the iranians. i'll readily admit that i've forgotten all the papers catalucci had linked to to make his case. but one was titled: 'the path to persia', which may be why you're pinging 'oil'. it was a very long exposé (although i vaguely remember several iterations of it), and again: h/t to big al.

thanks for reading and commenting, NYCVG.

p.s. on edit: that is the purpose of Africom, as well. rape, plunder, incite riots for regime change, then rescue those nations by installing US puppets at the top. we have no idea how many amerikan military bases are in sub-saharan africa by now, do we?

or as they say at Africom: sea basing offshore! (they've taken those fantastic videos by now; a bit too bald, i'd imagine.)

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wendy davis's picture

but this Tweet is by iranian FM javad zarif. he includes a black down arrow indicating ‘read this thread by iranian journalist Reza Nasri, too many parts to copy/paste even the most relevant ones. i never grok the ‘customization options’ of embedding tweets here.

on third edit: this is the url/link to FM javad zarif's tweet featuring 'International Lawyer. Foreign policy analyst Reza Nasri's thread. Tweets about Iran, in Persian, English and French.

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wendy davis's picture

an applicable quote from 13th century persian poet rumi.

the best i can do for now is to offer this admittedly bizzare metaphor on Western MSM reporting on the nations in contention on this thread:

out of curiosity, mr. wd watched a bit of a major league baseball team game the other day, i've forgotten which teams.

of course the stadium was empty, but the announcers played sounds of the crowd roaring. 'it's a hit!' yaaaaaaaayyyyy! there were a few cardboard cut-outs of 'fans' in the box seats home plate.

good night, sweet dreams. an oldie from roy orbison; look at the band, the backup singers, see the Star Powers you recognize. (i've forgotten some of them.)

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wendy davis's picture

although i'd never mentioned the explosion at natanz, as it became an absurd political football as to whether or not tehran believed it was an israel strike. the reporting and claims/counter-claims were jaw-droppingly childish.

The Policy Of Maximum Pressure Against Iran Has Failed’, Reese Erlich, Foreign Correspondent., August 7, 2020

“On July 2, a blast ripped through the main assembly hall at Natanz, a facility that produces centrifuge parts essential for enriching uranium for Iran’s nuclear power program.
No one officially took credit for the sabotage, but The New York Times reported that a “Middle East intelligence” source admitted that Israel was behind the bombing. An Israeli newspaper later identified the source as Yossi Cohen, head of the Mossad intelligence agency.

Analysts say such a brazen attack, which constitutes an act of war, would need the approval of officials in Washington, D.C.
.....................................
Washington and Tel Aviv think such attacks, along with the unilateral US sanctions, are a low-risk means of pushing back on Iran. They are an escalation of Washington’s “maximum pressure” campaign—which has notably failed and will likely be abandoned after the US presidential election.

October surprise?

Some analysts speculate that the Trump Administration is seeking to provoke Iran into military retaliation. Trump could then launch a war, rally support at home, and win the election. It’s a classic “October Surprise” or even a “Wag the Dog” scenario.
But Foad Izadi does not agree with that analysis.”

[Speculate link goes to The NY mag intelligencer:

“Via anonymous leaks to major media outlets, Israeli intelligence sources have more or less copped to the country’s involvement in some of the incidents. After an explosion at the Natanz nuclear-fuel-enrichment complex in early July, which may have set back Iran’s progress toward a nuclear warhead by months or years, a “Middle Eastern intelligence official with knowledge of the episode” told the New York Times that Israel was behind the attack. Right-wing Israeli politician Avigdor Lieberman implicitly accused Mossad chief Yossi Cohen of being the Times’ source, suggesting that the leak was part of Cohen’s campaign to succeed legally embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as head of the Likud Party.
..............................................
The meeting of the minds between the Netanyahu and Trump administrations on Iran is another likely motivation for the timing of its covert sabotage campaign. The Israeli government is as aware as anyone of the polls showing that Trump seems likely to lose reelection in November and exit the White House in January (nightmare constitutional crises and soft-coup scenarios notwithstanding). A potential Biden administration would probably not continue Trump’s “maximum pressure” approach to Iran and would not be as solicitous of Israel’s covert operations. It is unclear whether the U.S. has explicitly or tacitly blessed the past month’s attacks, but the administration certainly isn’t condemning them. Israel may have a limited window of time to act with carte blanche from Washington and is perhaps seeking to do as much damage to Iran as possible before that window closes.

Uncorroborated reports are emerging that Iran is preparing to retaliate militarily against Israel and the U.S. for these attacks, amid other threatening statements from Iran’s military over Israeli attacks on Iranians in Syria.”

Report: Iran has already decided to strike back against Israel;
"Tehran's decision to retaliate to the Israeli and American attacks has already been made and will be implemented at the right time and place," sources in Lebanon tell Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai’, israelhayom.com, July 7, 2020

back to erlich:

“Iran is not Iraq,” Izadi, an assistant professor of American studies at the University of Tehran, tells me by phone from Tehran. “Any overt war runs the danger of serious US casualties. He should know, after being President for almost four years, attacking Iran has consequences.”
........................................
Iranian response [to US fighter jet provocations on iranian passenger flights]

To date, the Iranian government has not overtly responded to the US provocations. It seems more likely that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is waiting for the US election on November 3, which could result in the election of Joe Biden.

“Iranians are holding their fire, playing the long game,” Parsi says. “They fear it may be a trap to give Trump an excuse to go farther.”

Iran’s conservative hardliners, meanwhile, denounce Rouhani as vacillating in the face of a US and Israeli onslaught. But Parsi says these hardliners “are playing a political game. They understand the logic of not doing anything for now, but that doesn’t prevent them from calling Rouhani weak.
.............................................
Biden has pledged, if elected, to reverse course on Iran. Izadi believes a Biden Administration would change the Trump policy of maximum pressure. “Whether doing it through rejoining the nuclear agreement or coming up with some other policies, we have to wait and see,” he says.

“Biden could lift sanctions by executive order without rejoining the nuclear accord,” he says. “That’s a necessary step, but not sufficient.” The new administration will also have to work with Congress and lay the groundwork for restoring the nuclear accord.”

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@wendy davis using the term October Surprise. In our imagination it's a constructed, concocted, or manufactured event by one candidate (and/or his/her team) in October that alters the election in his/her favor. If that's ever happened, I'm unaware of it.

There's no term to label what Nixon/Reagan/GOP did in 1968 and 1980. LBJ and Carter weren't holding back on breakthroughs in negotiations until October; so, there was no intentional October Surprise at their end. In both instances, breakthroughs could have happened in October and would have favored HHH and Carter in the elections. What Nixon/Reagan did was work with foreign government officials to insure that no breakthrough would happen before the election. We'll never know absent that intervention if LBJ's and Carter's team were anywhere near a breakthrough. We do know that the Nixon and Reagan administrations subsequently granted favors to those that helped them. The evidence against Nixon is solid. It's more circumstantial in Reagan's case, but it's difficult to fathom 1) hostage release right after his inauguration and 2) covert military supply sales to Iran.

An October Surprise would have to be notable enough to predictably swing the votes some large number of the electorate. That's a rather tall order for a ruse. It's generally accepted that had Carter brought the hostages home that he would have been reelected, but we'll never know.

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