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May 25, 2018

Moon of Alabama Needs Your Help - Please Support Its Poor Poet

[This post is pinned to the top. Scroll down for fresh content.]

Dear reader, your support is absolutely essential to continue this site.

Moon of Alabama provides news and analysis which mainstream media cover late or not at all. This site is free. It serves original thought and no-nonsense writing on a (nearly) daily basis. It has an open and lively comment section. It is the full-time effort of this single person.

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The growing readership of the blog and your feed back keep me going. But I also need to eat and pay rent. I have little other income. Each donation to this Poor Poet, be it $5, $50 or $500, is welcome and urgently needed. A recurring contribution or institutional sponsorship would be great.

Transaction costs are smallest when you send cash or a check. You can also use a bank-wire transfer. Send email to MoonofA @ aol.com for the necessary details. (They are the same as before.) You can use a credit card or other means when you donate through the PayPal button below. (The receiving account is in Euro - 1 Euro is about US$ 1.20)

Thank you!

Bernhard aka b.

Posted by b at 04:24 PM | Comments (43)

On Sources And Information - The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights (SOHR) claims to be a one person shop in Coventry, Britain. But that is only the front story. It is part of a larger organization and the intelligence infrastructure used to wage war on Syria.

A few commentators have recently criticized that I used SOHR as a source in some of my pieces. Here is why.

SOHR is not a pure propaganda operation like the White Helmets are. It is relatively truthful in its reporting of events and casualties in Syria. The total casualty count of the war SOHR gives is likely too high due to some estimates it uses in its bottom numbers. But an early check of its detailed accounts showed that its reports from incidents on the ground were mostly correct.

SOHR's numbers have been quoted by about every news outlet in the world, usually in pro-rebel propaganda pieces. But it is not the observatory that turns the information it collects into propaganda. The media do that when they quote SOHR without the necessary caveats or when they disregard it where its information contradicts the official story. The examples below show that this is now often the case.

One of the first descriptions of the one man who allegedly runs SOHR is in a Reuters portrait from late 2011:

Cont. reading: On Sources And Information - The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Posted by b at 04:20 PM | Comments (27)

May 24, 2018

How John Bolton Sabotaged The North Korea Talks

U.S. President Trump just canceled the planned summit with North Korea's chairman Kim Jong-Un. The two were supposed to meet on June 12 in Singapore. In a letter to Kim Jong-un, released to the media, Trump accused North Korea of hostile statements which, according to him, make the summit impossible:

Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I fell it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long planned meeting.

Since the very first summit talk National Security Advisor John Bolton set impossibly high expectations for the results. Trump fell for it.

The various 'hostile statements' go back to remarks by Bolton who has for some time compared disarmament of North Korea to Libya. On April 29 Bolton again asserted that the 'complete de-nuclearization' of North Korea would follow the 'Libya model'. North Korea never really offered to 'de-nuclearize'. It rejects the 'Libya model' for two reasons:

  • When Libya made peace with the U.S. it was not a nuclear capable state which North Korea is. North Korea demands to be seen as equal to other nuclear armed states.
  • Libya's transfer of the little nuclear production equipment it had was followed a few years later by a full fledged war waged by France, the U.K. and the U.S. against Libya and its government under Muhammad Ghaddafi. The war destroyed the country. North Korea has no intent to allow a repeat of such treason.

North Korea pushed back against the Bolton statement. On May 16 the White House made amends by not endorsing what Bolton said:

Referring to the Libya comparison, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday that she hadn't "seen that as part of any discussions so I'm not aware that that's a model that we're using.

"I haven't seen that that's a specific thing. I know that that comment was made. There's not a cookie cutter model on how this would work."

But a day later Donald Trump was asked about the Libya comparison and he seemed to agree with it:

Cont. reading: How John Bolton Sabotaged The North Korea Talks

Posted by b at 11:59 AM | Comments (113)

British Hostage Video Of Yulia Skripal Released

Yesterday the British news agency Reuters published a hostage video and a statement of Yulia Skripal:

[Miss] Skripal was speaking from a secret location in London as she is under the protection of the British state. She was discharged from Salisbury District Hospital about five weeks after the poisoning and has not been seen by the media until now.

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We had earlier noted the Silence of the Skripals, the D(SMA)-notices issued by the British government to prevent deeper British media reporting on the case and the obvious disinformation peddled by British government sources. (All previous Moon of Alabama reports on the Skripal case are linked at the bottom of this piece.)

The British government claims that the 'former' British spy Sergej Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by a deadly nerve agent of the Novichok group. According to British government leaks to the media the nerve agent was applied either through a suitcase, a box, flowers, spiked drinks or food, car vents, mini drones, a front door, cereal or a door handle in the form of a spray, gel or liquid. The British government loudly accused "Russia" of being responsible for poisoning of the Skripals but has not identified any individual who might have carried out such an attack.

In the new Reuters video Yulia Skripal gives a memorized and pressed monologue which declares that she does not want to be contacted by her cousin, grandmother, the Russian government or anyone else. The statement was pre-written in stilted, bureaucratic English language. On camera Yulia Skripal used a Russian version of the English text which she likely had not translated herself.

If this would have been a video and statement of a British citizen in 'protective custody' of the Russia state the British media and government would surely claim that these were made under duress.

Yulia Skripal looked well but for a scar on her throat which might be from an earlier trachea cut.


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Reuters published an additional report and video which also shows her signing a handwritten statement (pdf) with the same text she read on camera.

Cont. reading: British Hostage Video Of Yulia Skripal Released

Posted by b at 06:35 AM | Comments (89)

May 23, 2018

Turkey's Lira Troubles Threaten Erdogan's Rise To Full Power

In May 2016 Turkey elected a parliament dominated by the AK Party. At that time a prime minister and a cabinet were supposed to run the government while the Turkish president was supposed to be neutral. But Recep Tayyip Erdogan, AKP leader, former prime minister, then president was still the dominant figure and the government was practically chosen and run by him. Two months later a coup attempt against Erdogan failed. Since then Erdogan ruled by emergency decrees. More than 100,000 people were sacked or suspended and 50,000 arrested in an unprecedented crackdown. All independent media companies were taken over or eliminated.

A spring 2017 referendum, barely won, officially changed Turkey's executive into a presidential system. The government would no longer be elected by the parliament but picked by the president. The new system would come into full force by the next election in late 2019. The wannabe-Sultan Erdogan would thereby achieve near absolute power. 

In April 2018 Erdogan called for a snap election on June 24. He feared that a worsening economic downturn would otherwise diminish his chances to win. But the downturn has since accelerated. Today the Turkish currency fell rapidly and the presumed surety of Erdogan's reelection is now in doubt:

The Turkish lira has fallen more than 5% to hit a record low against the US dollar.

The currency has lost more than a fifth of its value this year as fears grow that the government might undermine the powers of Turkey's central bank.

Many investors want to see a rise in interest rates to bring down inflation, which is in double figures.

For consumers of foreign products in Turkey the effect of the currency drop is noticeable:


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Tourists to Turkey will like the move, the Turkish people not so much.

The Turkish government is blaming, as usual, foreign powers:

[Erdohgan's] deputy Bekir Bozdag has implied that foreign powers were to blame for the lira's collapse.

"The people have seen the game and the player, the people have seen the puppet and puppeteers. They will not allow them or give an opportunity," he said.

Two weeks ago Melkulangara Bhadrakumar, a former Indian diplomat, also opined that foreign powers were causing the downturn in Turkey:

Cont. reading: Turkey's Lira Troubles Threaten Erdogan's Rise To Full Power

Posted by b at 01:29 PM | Comments (70)

May 22, 2018

A Dive Into Washington's Swamp

One year ago Trump pledged allegiance to the Wahhabi Orb. The one Orb that rules them all:

This swearing of an oath to the Wahhabi death star was part of the opening of the potemkinesque "Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology" in Riyadh.
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The Saudis arranged the whole theater to flatter Trump into fighting Iran for them. They hope to have bought Washington's obedience.

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The Saudi "anti-terrorism" effort was directed at its local rivals Qatar and Iran. Trump strongly supported the Saudi anti-Qatar campaign until the Pentagon finally told him that Qatar hosts the biggest U.S. air-base in the Middle East, which can not be moved at a moments notice.

Now an interesting AP story gives some backdrop to Trump's deference to Riyadh. It is the result of many bribes and lots of shady dealings. If or rather how Trump or his family profited from these is not yet known.

The princes, the president and the fortune seekers:

Cont. reading: A Dive Into Washington's Swamp

Posted by b at 09:26 AM | Comments (100)

May 21, 2018

Trump's New Campaign Against Iran Will Not Achieve Its Aims

The Trump administration made it perfectly clear today that it wants regime change in Iran by whatever means it has.

In a well promoted speech at the Heritage Foundation Secretary of State Pompeo laid out twelve demands towards Iran. He threatened the "strongest sanctions in history" if those demands were not fulfilled.

But the demands do not make sense. They only demonstrate the incompetence of the Trump administration. The means the Trump administration laid out to achieve its aims are not realistic and, even if they were implementable, insufficient to achieve the desired results.

Iran is asked to stop all uranium enrichment. Stopping enrichment is a no-go for Iran. The program has wide support in Iranian politics as it is seen as an attribute its sovereignty.

Pompeo demands that Iran closes its heavy water reactor. Iran can not close its heavy water reactor. It does not have one. The one it was building in Arak was disabled under the nuclear agreement (JCPOA). Concrete was poured into its core under supervision of IAEA inspectors. How can the Secretary of State of the United States make such a fact-free demand in a prepared speech?

Cont. reading: Trump's New Campaign Against Iran Will Not Achieve Its Aims

Posted by b at 02:21 PM | Comments (121)

May 20, 2018

The MoA Week In Review and Open Thread 2018-25

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama:

Yesterday I planned to write about the FBI spy who tried to infiltrate the Trump campaign. But the Syria piece took longer than anticipated. Now Glenn Greenwald beat me to it:

    The FBI Informant Who Monitored the Trump Campaign, Stefan Halper, Oversaw a CIA Spying Operation in the 1980 Presidential Election

The Intercept should not have used "monitored". Prof. Stefan Halper, a man with deep CIA and MI6 connections, spied on the Trump campaign for the FBI. He wasn't an informant, he was an operator. Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller reported the story on March 25 and was the first to name Halper. Larouche Pub and the American Thinker also ran the story and expanded it further.

After the Daily Caller report came out the FBI tried to hide the name of its spy, telling Congress that revealing the name would endanger the man as well as other 'informants' and secret investigations. The main stream media played along and the anti-Trump 'resistance' feigned outrage that anyone would attempt to look into this. But the name was out there all along for everyone to see, as was the whole story.

Greenwald concludes:

Whatever else is true, the CIA operative and FBI informant used to gather information on the Trump campaign in the 2016 campaign has, for weeks, been falsely depicted as a sensitive intelligence asset rather than what he actually is: a long-time CIA operative with extensive links to the Bush family who was responsible for a dirty and likely illegal spying operation in the 1980 presidential election. For that reason, it’s easy to understand why many people in Washington were so desperate to conceal his identity, but that desperation had nothing to do with the lofty and noble concerns for national security they claimed were motivating them.

Amen.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b at 11:22 AM | Comments (144)

May 19, 2018

Syria Sitrep - Liberating The M5 Highway, Syria's Economic Lifeline

In this situation report we look at the consolidation of the Syrian government space, discuss the upcoming operatitwelons to secure the vital M5 highway, clear up the S-300 confusion and provide a bit on the political developments.

Over the last twelve months the Syrian Arab Army and its allies made a lot of progress.


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The government held area was extended to the Euphrates and the Syrian-Iraqi border. Deir Ezzor was liberated. The border to Lebanon was secured. All "rebel" enclaves within the government held areas (except the ISIS desert pocket) were consolidated.


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Cont. reading: Syria Sitrep - Liberating The M5 Highway, Syria's Economic Lifeline

Posted by b at 01:58 PM | Comments (73)

May 18, 2018

Trump's Newest Threat To North Korea Makes A Deal Impossible

President Trump again derailed the negotiations with North Korea. It will be difficult to get them back on track. The attitude he showed  makes it unlikely that any deal will be made.

Tuesday night North Korea threatened to cancel the summit with U.S. President Trump. Remarks by U.S. National Security Advisor Bolton that the "Libya model" would be applied to North Korea were taken as insult.

Libya had bought some equipment that could be used to eventually start Uranium enrichment. But it never had a coordinated program to develop nuclear weapons nor did it have the industrial and academic base to pursue such a project. To get out of sanctions Libya gave up the little material it had. All was shipped to the U.S. before the sanctions were lifted. Bolton probably referred to only that part of the "Libya model".

But there is also the other part. A few years after Libya had given up its minuscule nuclear stuff France, the United Kingdom and the U.S. (FUKUS) waged a regime change war against it. With U.S. help Muhammad Ghaddafi was murdered by radical Islamists and Hillary Clinton even joked (vid) about it. Libya has since devolved into total chaos and a multi-sided tribal war with continued foreign meddling.

North Korea naturally rejects both parts of the Libya model. It sees itself -quite rightly- as a full fledged nuclear state. It demands negotiations on an equal base.

On Wednesday, after the North Korean threat to cancel the summit, the White House spokesperson pulled back on Bolton's "Libya model":

Cont. reading: Trump's Newest Threat To North Korea Makes A Deal Impossible

Posted by b at 04:10 PM | Comments (99)

Afghanistan - U.S. Military Finds No Fault With Special Forces' Potential Drive-By Murder

On January 9 we wrote about a video some U.S. special force veteran had posted online to promote his tactical clothing brand. The U.S. military launched an investigation into the issue and has now announced its conclusion. Here are the first graphs of the original Moon of Alabama report:

Afghanistan - U.S. Special Forces Commit Drive-By Murder (Video):
A recent video mashup provided by some U.S. Special Force soldiers in Afghanistan seems to show evidence of a warcrime.

A military truck passes a civilian truck on a paved road at normal traveling speed. A soldier fires directly and intentionally at the driver of the civilian truck without any discernible reason.

This is the relevant two second long cut (repeated 5 times) from a private video mix of scenes taken during the last few months in Afghanistan.

The reporting on the video was taken up by several mainstream news sites. The U.S. military in Afghanistan launched an investigation into the incident. Stars & Stripes, a newspaper for the U.S. military, now reports of the official result:

Cont. reading: Afghanistan - U.S. Military Finds No Fault With Special Forces' Potential Drive-By Murder

Posted by b at 07:58 AM | Comments (34)

May 17, 2018

Syria - Inconsistent, Incomplete And Implausible - The OPCW Report On Saraqib Is Another Disgrace

On February 4, two days before a UN Security Council meeting on chemical weapon issues, a Syrian army helicopter flew into Idelb governorate which is held by al-Qaeda. Escaping the quite effective air defenses of the terrorists it dropped two chlorine gas cylinders near a militarily irrelevant agricultural warehouse 40 kilometers away from the front line of the war. Eleven men of fighting age who are living in the al-Qaeda ruled territory were allegedly impacted by the released gas but none of them was seriously hurt.

The implausible story above is the base of a recent report by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. All 'evidence' for the tale comes from organizations which tightly cooperated with al-Qaeda and other militant 'rebel' groups in Syria and are paid by 'western' governments opposed to Syria. The implausible story is repeated in the 'western' press without any journalistic skepticism.

The British Guardian writes:

The fact-finding mission by the OPCW on the Saraqeb attack determined that “chlorine was released from cylinders by mechanical impact on 4 February,” it said on Wednesday. The team’s conclusions were based on finding two cylinders that were determined as previously containing chlorine.
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The incident is by no means the worst chemical weapons attack during the seven-year civil war, but it led to 11 people being treated for breathing difficulties. Western observers said the use of helicopters in the attack suggested Syrian government involvement since the opposition did not have access to helicopters.

Saraqib in Idleb governorate has been in the hands of the Syrian 'opposition' since late 2012/early 2013. In April 2013 Syrian 'rebel' forces alleged that a chemical attack with Sarin took place in Saraqib. However only one person died, allegedly from of Sarin intoxication, while no Sarin traces were found on two other affected persons.

On February 4 2018 new claims were made of a 'chemical attack' in Saraqib. The war front line is far away from Saraqib. No military operation has taken place there for years. The 'chemical attack' allegations came (us usual) at a political convenient time:

Amnesty International has accused the Assad regime of showing “utter contempt” of international law following a chlorine gas attack on the town of Saraqib Sunday. This latest chemical attack comes just one day before the U.N. Security Council failed to agree on a U.S.-proposed statement Monday condemning the continued use of chemical weapons in the war-torn nation.

The Amnesty International report is solely based on anonymous 'witness testimony' from propaganda organizations financed by countries which oppose the Syrian government:

Cont. reading: Syria - Inconsistent, Incomplete And Implausible - The OPCW Report On Saraqib Is Another Disgrace

Posted by b at 03:29 PM | Comments (60)

May 16, 2018

North Korea May Cancel Summit Over Bolton's 'Absurd' Demands - Updated

Updated below
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The Trump administration thought it was an easy path in its negotiations with North Korea. Trump was euphoric when North Korea released three U.S. prisoners and proudly announced the June 12 summit with Kim Jong-un in Singapore where North Korea would agree to give up all its nuclear weapons and nuclear development programs. Trump would get a Nobel peace prize and all would be well.

This was a serious miscalculation based on a lack of understanding. It misread each and every statement North Korea made. The Trump administration has no ambassador in South Korea, the most experienced North Korea expert at the State Department left in disgust. The National Security Council is run by a maniac who had sabotaged earlier agreements with North Korea and wants to do it again.

North Korea's overarching aim is to gain enough security to cut its military expenses and to then use its resources for economic development. The method to achieve peace with the U.S. was progress in its nuclear weapons program. Each time a milestone was reached in the nuclear field North Korea sought talks with South Korea and the United States. It offered some concessions - to stop or slow its progress in its development of nuclear warheads and missile - in exchange for a peace agreement and economic support. Each time a deal was made the U.S. did not stick to its commitment. The promised oil supplies were not delivered, the civilian nuclear reactors the U.S. promised were not build. Each time an agreement failed North Korea started the next phase of its nuclear weapons program up to the next milestone.

Last year it finally reached the apex. It tested a thermonuclear device, the ultimate destructive weapon. It launched an intercontinental missile that can carry such a bomb to the continental United States. North Korea is now a full fledged nuclear state. After this achievement North Korea was again ready to negotiate.

When Donald Trump came into office promising that he would not condone a nuclear weapon capable North Korea that could threaten the United States. He launched a "maximum pressure" campaign to take away North Korea's nuclear weapons. The UN security council put strong sanctions on North Korea.

North Korea was already ready to negotiate. It were not the sanctions that brought it to the table. It was its new status as a nuclear power. The Trump administration never understood that. It believed that its "maximum pressure" campaign brought North Korea to offer "complete denuclearization". North Korea used that wording but it was meant as an aspirational aim for the whole world, not a unilateral disarmament of its new capabilities.

The Trump administration did not get it - or did not want to get it. This was partly out of stupidity and lack of knowledge, it was partly mischievous:

Cont. reading: North Korea May Cancel Summit Over Bolton's 'Absurd' Demands - Updated

Posted by b at 07:18 AM | Comments (189)

May 14, 2018

Trump's Family Applauds Zionist Massacre Of Palestinians In Gaza

U.S. President Trump's family applauds Zionist massacre of Palestinians in Gaza:


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At some settler event in the capital of Palestine Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, mentioned today's Gaza massacre in which Israeli soldiers murdered at least 52 and maimed 1,200 unarmed Palestinians. He accused them of being the guilty ones because they protest  against the Zionist theft and occupation of their land:

"As we have seen from the protests of the last month and even today, those provoking violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution."

The White House omitted that sentence in its official transcript. In its daily press briefing the White House called the murder committed by the Zionist army "a propaganda attempt" by Hamas and Palestinians.

In response to today's massacre South Africa recalled its ambassador from Israel. It is so far the only country which did so. South Africa knows apartheid and colonial violence. It no longer condones it.

Posted by b at 02:58 PM | Comments (203)

The 'Kingmaker' Is Back - Muqtada Al-Sadr Wins The Election In Iraq

On Saturday the people of Iraq voted for a new parliament.

The surprising winner is the Sairoon coalition of the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and the Communist Party of Iraq. According to the preliminary results it gained 54 parliament seats. There are a total of 320 seats in the Iraqi parliament and complicate multiparty coalitions are necessary to gain a majority and to elect a new Prime Minister.

The Fatah Coalition headed by Hadi al-Amiri came in second with 47 seats. The Nasr coalition of the current Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is third with 42 seats. The party of former premier Maliki is lagging behind with 25 seats.

Two, three or four of the larger blocks will have to find a coalition agreement that will also accommodate dozens of smaller parties with two or three parliament seats.

For outsiders Iraqi politics can be somewhat surprising. The female candidate of the Communist Party in the Shia holy city of Najaf, Suhad al-Khateeb, wears a Hijab. She is a scion of the Marjaiyya (religious establishment) family Saleem Adel. The Communist Party is allied with rabble rouser Moqtada al-Sadr. She won her parliament seat.


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Muntaza Al Zaidi (vid), the Iraqi journalist who in 2008 threw his shoes at George W. Bush (vid) also won a seat.

This was the first election after the war against ISIS in Iraq has been won. It was feared that ISIS underground cells would interrupt the election by attacking candidates or voting locales but nothing significant happened.

With only 44.5% of the people voting the participation was abysmal. The last elections had participation rates above 60%. One reason might have been the generic election campaigns of the establishment parties. They lacked arguments on issues and policies. Fortunately sectarianism played only a small role with some Shia candidates winning large shares of Sunni votes and vice versa.

The low participation rates favored those parties and personalities with a large direct following. These "whale parties" will now have to make further coalition deals. It is quite possible that Prime Minister Abadi, whose party lost significantly, will stay in his office and lead a new coalition government in which he has less say. Muqtada al-Sadr will be the one who decides that.

Cont. reading: The 'Kingmaker' Is Back - Muqtada Al-Sadr Wins The Election In Iraq

Posted by b at 10:39 AM | Comments (35)

May 13, 2018

The MoA Week In Review And Open Thread 2018-24

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama:

On this day in 1985 the police of Philadelphia engaged in a gun battle with members of the black radical group MOVE. After it had fired some 10,000 shots without much result the police built an improvised "barrel bomb" from military grade explosives and and dropped it from a helicopter onto the groups house. The bomb killed 5 adults and 6 children. The resulting fire destroyed 61 homes and made 250 people homeless.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b at 01:50 PM | Comments (80)

John Bolton Once Sabotaged A Deal With North Korea - He Will Try To Repeat That Feat

The Washington Post published a half-truth story today about the U.S. occupied al-Tanf border station between Syria-and Iraq. Downplaying the possibility of military action around al-Tanf it inserts this strange nugget:

Mattis’s main focus of late has been preparing for possible conflict with North Korea.

Why is the Defense Secretary Mattis preparing for conflict with North Korea? Why is this his "main focus"? Ain't we all gonna have peace and love after Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un meet on June 12 in Singapore? No? Why am I not surprised?

I suspected all along that the whole theater between Trump and Kim Jong-un is a setup designed to fail. North Korea offers a phased denuclearization in exchange for a peace treaty and (partial?) U.S. withdrawal from South Korea. The U.S. is unlikely to accept that. For U.S. hawks nothing less than total capitulation is acceptable. But even if North Korea offers all its nukes at once the U.S. will demand more. It will likely ask for intrusive verification access to all North Korean military facilities and the like.  North Korea will surely reject such inspections as a danger to its defense capabilities and as a breach of its sovereignty. The Trump administration will spin that into a reason to heat up the conflict.

That would be a replay of the situation in 2008. Following the six-party-talks North Korea blew up (vid) the cooling tower of its sole reactor. It submitted information about its nuclear program as had been agreed. The U.S. did not fulfill its part of the deal, taking North Korea off the "terrorist supporter" list, but demanded additional verification access. That ended the deal.

From a forensic report at that time:

Cont. reading: John Bolton Once Sabotaged A Deal With North Korea - He Will Try To Repeat That Feat

Posted by b at 01:38 PM | Comments (75)

May 12, 2018

Countdown To War On Iran

John Bolton is a ruthless man:

In early 2002, a year before the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration was putting intense pressure on [José] Bustani to quit as director-general of the [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons].
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Bolton — then serving as under secretary of state for Arms Control and International Security Affairs — arrived in person at the OPCW headquarters in the Hague to issue a warning to the organization’s chief. And, according to Bustani, Bolton didn’t mince words. “Cheney wants you out,” Bustani recalled Bolton saying, referring to the then-vice president of the United States. “We can’t accept your management style.”

Bolton continued, according to Bustani’s recollections: “You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don’t comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you.”

There was a pause.

“We know where your kids live. You have two sons in New York.”

José Bustani successfully negotiated to get OPCW inspectors back into Iraq. They would have found nothing. That would have contradicted the U.S. propaganda campaign to wage war on Iraq. When Bustani did not leave voluntarily, the U.S. threatened to cut the OPCW's budget and "convinced" other countries in the executive council to kick him out.

John Bolton was also behind a campaign against the IAEA and its chief Mohamed ElBaradei. ElBaradei's phone was tapped and rumors were launched against him to oust him from his office.


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The U.S. administration, the neoconservatives and the media are running a remake (recommended) of the propaganda campaign they had launched to wage war on Iraq. This time the target is Iran:

As with Iraq, it’s easier for Bolton and Netanyahu to achieve that goal if they discredit the current system of international inspections. Bolton has called the inspection efforts established by the Iran nuclear deal “fatally inadequate” and declared that “the International Atomic Energy Agency” is “likely missing significant Iranian [nuclear] facilities.” In his 2015 speech to Congress attacking the Iran deal, Netanyahu insisted that “Iran not only defies inspectors, it also plays a pretty good game of hide-and-cheat with them.”

Anyone who counters their propaganda must go. Bolton, who demands to bomb Iran, is back in charge. One of his natural targets is the IAEA which certifies that Iran sticks to the nuclear deal. It seems that Bolton succeeds with his machinations:

Cont. reading: Countdown To War On Iran

Posted by b at 06:35 AM | Comments (179)