Trump the seducer and menacer


"It’s been an intense and oftentimes horrific week, but for some reason President Trump decided Americans should head into Friday wondering if we’re on the brink of war.

On Thursday evening, after the White House told the press it’d have nothing else for them, reporters were suddenly summoned and told the president had decided he wanted them to document his dinner with military leaders and their wives, according to the AP.

As the group posed for a photo in the State Dining Room, Trump gestured at the military officials surrounding him. “You guys know what this represents?” Trump asked. “Maybe it’s the calm before the storm. Could be the calm, the calm before the storm.”"  NY Mag


What is he doing? 

IMO this dinner was concerned with bringing the military chiefs to heel concerning Trump's  intention to de-certify Iranian compliance with JCPOA.  The group he had dinner with (Mattis, Dunford, McMaster, etc.) do not like Iran and would like to eliminate Iranian influence outside its borders but they do not want war with Iran.  At the same time the neocons and Israel are urging abandonment of JCPOA.  DJT talks to those people a lot.  They represent the Israeli desire to continue to urge the US toward war in Syria against Hizbullah and eventually Iran.  The conception of the "Iranian menace" that has been sold to Trump is largely a fantasy that insists IAEA certification of Iran's compliance does not satisfy the security needs of either Israel or the US.  The Iranians have now signaled a willingness to negotiate over their missile development program, but, no matter.  This does not matter to Israel/AIPAC.  they want Iran eliminated as a threat to their dream of regional hegemony. 

The dinner has the hallmarks of a typical hustler's deal closing event.  The nice dinner with everyone dressed up, the chamber music quartet, the presence of the ladies who are likely to hope for more such attention.  And, the implied threat is present.  "I can always get someone else."  We should remember that with the possible exception of Mattis, these men reached their present positions by kowtowing to the boss, whoever he was.

IMO Trump will abandon JCPOA and hand the result to Congress who are already in thrall to Israeli/AIPAC political warfare.

What will be the outcome?  AIPAC/Israel will continue to drag us toward war with Syria, Hizbullah and Iran and if any of thes emen object much he/they will be replaced with even more compliant or neocon oriented people.


This entry was posted in Current Affairs, Iran, Israel, Middle East, Syria. Bookmark the permalink.

79 Responses to Trump the seducer and menacer

  1. different clue says:

    Well, once again . . . this is not what I was voting for when I voted for Trump. If I had wanted a war with Iran, I would have voted for Clinton.
    This reminds me of a bitter saying I once read years-after-the-fact concerning the 1964 Goldwater v. Johnson election. And it went like this . . . ” They told me that if I voted for Goldwater, I’d get a war in Vietnam. Well, that’s what I did. And that’s what I got.” The facts and the situations are/were way different, but the feeling seems similar to me.

  2. turcopolier says:

    different clue
    I always thought LBJ was an unfortunate being and I voted for Goldwater. I told him so many years later when he handed out diplomas at my graduation from the Army War College. He thanked me. pl

  3. Babak Makkinejad says:

    There will be now war, JCPOA has eliminated that possibility.

  4. Fred says:

    Just how many wars does Trump want to start? “Rocket Man” hasn’t gone away and he actually has nuclear weapons. What does he expect to gain from our “best ally”?

  5. eakens says:

    Conflicts of interest/stupidity have had no bounds up to this date. I wouldn’t be so sure.

  6. keninparis says:

    That is just the art of analysis. Beautiful, thank you.

  7. Jack says:

    The zionists have infiltrated the inner circle.

    Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have been named the world’s most influential Jews ahead of Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot and Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu…….The newspaper described the pair as being ‘at the heart of America’s sensational political drama, of shifting power dynamics in the Middle East, of battles over refugee resettlement and debate over moral leadership in a nation divided on race’. It added that they ‘hold positions of extraordinary power and influence– an unfireable pair of advisers entrusted by the president more than any other.’

  8. Castellio says:

    Isn’t there an enormous amount he stands to gain? Financial and media support for the next election, to begin.
    If he maintains troops in Syria and positions the US for active operations against Hizbollah and Iran then you will see the alphabet media turn very quickly to support his new position, and financial support will flow.

  9. ked says:

    let’s not abandon all hope quite yet.
    we may depend upon Congress remaining dysfunctional… and a keen way to deny him war. I’m thinking it might’ve been a bad move to send him to NYMA… evidently they taught him how cool it is being warlord. also, may be time to brush up on the Monroe Doctrine.

  10. A.Pols says:

    We never really totally honored our side of the deal and the neocons have been baying for renunciation since the get go.
    Our ability to get the rest of the world to go along with an embargo is fast fading. The sanctions weapon itself probably won’t endure much longer; it’s been so unfairly used that any morality underlying it just won’t be there.
    These are “interesting times” as the USA struggles with the full spectrum dominance fantasy in the face of coalescing and increasingly potent opposition.
    IMO an inflection point approaches that bodes ill for us and our goal of ruling the world.
    The game of “writing checks with your mouth that your arse can’t cash” is great as long as the other parties remain cowed. But what happens when they’re not?
    But who am I but just another bozo on this bus?

  11. Nobody should be surprise about his abandoning the Iran deal. I voted for him and believed him when he said he would withdraw from the Iran deal. I believed him because I understand the power pushing for this. Well acknowledged in this world-class geopolitical blog.
    I don’t agree with it. Just more insanity. I also knew Hillary was serious about Syria and was the bigger and more immediate threat to world peace. Just think if she was elected during this last false flag she declared that Tomahawks were not enough and would have wiped out Assad’s Air Force possibly and probably putting us in direct conflict with Russia a nuclear armed superpower.
    Well it gives me little consolation that this is playing out like a thought it would. Trump winning simply bought us more time and a war with Iran will be horrific, insane, etc. Still not a war with Russia though.
    I no longer support our President. He is a loon. Even if he goes nothing will change. Maybe a miracle one day will change this course.

  12. different clue says:

    Colonel Lang,
    I was just a grade school kid at the time. ( I think second grade). If I had been old enough to vote back then, and the basic self I now am anyway, I would have voted for Johnson for preserve-the-New-Deal reasons.
    Again, I was too young to know at the time but way after the events I remember reading that Goldwater was somewhat popular in Tennessee and was getting more so. But then he came right out and said that government should not be involved in major utility ownership and that if elected, he would seek to sell the TVA. His popularity began going back down and my memory tells me that Johnson won Tennessee. ( If Johnson got a higher vote-percentage in East Tennessee than in Middle Tennessee or West Tennessee, then I think it might be fair to say that Goldwater’s stated desire to sell the TVA would have been a cause for that).

  13. different clue says:

    Well . . . they didn’t infiltrate. Their presence there is obvious and overt.
    And Trump has ( or should have) Free Will and should in theory be able to think through the implications of things. If Kelly controls who-ever else gets to reach Trump, Kelly should be able to direct a steady stream of “no war” and “re-certify the agreement” analysts and case-presenters into Trump’s office.
    So if Trump decides to award the Kushners senior-most-powerful and final-authority advisory status, then that is on Trump. He doesn’t get to plead senility or illiteracy if the Kushnerfull advice turns out badly.

  14. TV says:

    The Iranians have “signaled” an interest to talking about ballistic missiles.
    Either Trump is making them nervous OR this is just another tactic to quiet things down OR both.

  15. turcopolier says:

    You think we should fight Iran? pl

  16. turcopolier says:

    different clue
    Kelly DOES NOT control Trump. DJT talks to the seducers all day long. pl

  17. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Col. Lang, SST;
    Two non-rhetorical questions:
    1-Would it be prudent for Putin and China to sit out a war of USA w/ Syria, Hizbullah and Iran?
    2-Nasrallah’s latest speech contained a direct warning to the izzies. Do you think the izzies will come out unscathed from such a conflict?
    Ishmael Zechariah

  18. ked says:

    ” Sure, understanding today’s complex world of the future is a little like having bees live in your head. But, there they are.”
    {when Firesign Theater becomes current rather than predictive it’s past-time to get out the old vinyl. to your specific point, I concur that Old Folks Boogie may best describe our late-stage Imperial urge.}
    Off our rockers, actin’ crazy
    With the right medication we won’t be lazy
    Doin’ the old folks boogie
    Down on the farm
    And you know that you’re over the hill
    When your mind makes a promise that your body can’t fill

  19. Clueless Joe says:

    I hope that there are a few half-sane people close to Trump – Mattis and Tillerson for instance – that can make him understand that there won’t and can’t be a mere “War on Iran”; when we’re considering the US going to war against Iran, the only options are no war and World War. There’s no way Russia, or even China, would stay quiet if Iran is actually assaulted.

  20. Outrage Beyond says:

    I have thought for a while now that Israel’s days as Jewish supremacist state are numbered. The question has been: how will it end? I think the best they can realistically hope for is a South African-style transition to equality and democracy. Obviously, the results in South Africa are imperfect, but certainly better than continuing as a pariah state.
    Zionists characterize this possibility of transition into a normal country as the “destruction” of Israel and are opposed to such a prospect. What they really mean is that it would be the destruction of Jewish supremacism in occupied Palestine. Witness the recent comments of “justice” minister Ayelet Shaked, who stated that Zionism meant a rejection of the idea of equal rights.
    Since the South African solution is unacceptable to Zionism, the next alternative is the Algerian model. Hassan Nasrallah’s recent speech was characterized by some observers as a warning in this direction. He urged Israeli citizens to leave while they could.
    A Trump attack on Iran, whether “diplomatic” or direct makes another Israeli war against Lebanon more likely. The Israelis will see the feint against Iran as a green light for attacking Lebanon. They can’t defeat Iran; they failed in Syria; so now they’ll go for the easiest target, at least in their minds. Israeli media has been predicting another Lebanon war for months; and Netanyahu’s personal scandals are another factor contributing towards the likelihood of an Israeli attack.
    This time around, I suspect some Israeli jets will go down and the civilian population may take enough of a hit to accelerate the exodus. Some media reports suggest up to one million Israelis live abroad already. A million Russians could easily go back; and probably another million Europeans and Americans.
    Interesting times indeed.

  21. Laura says:

    Why would voting for a former Secretary of State (diplomacy!) necessarily mean you were voting for war?
    It was clearly not her preferred modus operandi.

  22. Bandolero says:

    In all due respect, but I think the outcome of this upcoming battle will not be that “AIPAC/Israel will continue to drag” the USA “toward war with Syria, Hizbullah and Iran.” I think it will be quite the opposite: AIPAC will get a bloody nose.
    And I think POTUS is on the right side. You said:
    The dinner has the hallmarks of a typical hustler’s deal closing event. The nice dinner with everyone dressed up, the chamber music quartet, the presence of the ladies who are likely to hope for more such attention. And, the implied threat is present. “I can always get someone else.”
    POTUS is an experienced salesman. I think he bets on the failure of AIPAC and congress and calculates that this is quite the opposite of a promising sales pitch to war on Iran. If he wouldn’t bet on AIPAC failure why would he chose such a curious sales pitch for war on Iran?

  23. different clue says:

    Harlan Easley,
    Now that you write about this, I retro-remember something about Trump calling Iran a terrible deal and so forth before the election. I guess I felt so threatened and menaced by a President Clinton that I set that aside in my mind.
    And on reflection, I would agree that Trump was still the less immediately dangerous choice. Perhaps Trump’s anti-Iran policy will play out slowly enough that all the other parties to the deal will announce that the deal remains in force so far as they are concerned, and they will no longer honor any sanctions on Iran. EUrope will have enough time to think about whether it wants to be Independent or not.

  24. Pacifica Advocate says:

    If Trump is suffering from early onset dementia, then waht we have is anotger Wilson/Reagan administration, with Zionists in the place of Madam Wilson/the Brits/G. Bush Sr.

  25. LeeG says:

    Then again Trump is enjoying being a carnival barker. It’s not like his words represent some kind of thoughtful representation of reality as much as celebration that he’s in the spotlight.

  26. fanto says:

    “calm before storm’ — I interpret it (wishful thinking is ) that the trio Mattis, Tillerson, Kelly would resign after DJT withdraws from Iran deal . This would cause a pause and possibly DJT resignation.

  27. JamesT says:

    I would argue it is hard to get much more neocon that the Jerusalem Post, and they don’t seem to be advocating tearing up the agreement. The last paragraph of their latest article on the issue:
    “If President Trump decertifies Iranian compliance without clear evidence of Iranian violations, it will jeopardize this united front against Iran,” Deutch continued. “The JCPOA is an imperfect agreement, but to address the problematic provisions including the sunset clauses, we will need to stay in lockstep with our global partners.”
    I’ve long asumed that Bibi and his friends in congress are talking trash about the JCPOA for show. If Trump decertifies the JCPOA and then tosses it into Congress’ lap, Congress will have to publicly back the JCPOA and Trump can call them cowardly wimps who are colluding with Iran.

  28. turcopolier says:

    IMO he wants these men to accept what he is going to do and not resign. I did not say he plans to go to war with Iran immediately but is being dragged in that direction. pl

  29. turcopolier says:

    She had the State job as a consolation prize to unify the party. She was the most hawkish neocon in the cabinet. pl

  30. paul says:
    “I want the Iranians to know that if I‘m the president, we will attack Iran (if it attacks Israel),” Clinton said in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
    “In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them,” she said.
    “That’s a terrible thing to say but those people who run Iran need to understand that because that perhaps will deter them from doing something that would be reckless, foolish and tragic,” Clinton said.

  31. eakens says:

    Her diplomatic prowess was on full display when dealing with Libya.

  32. Pacifica Advocate says:

    >>>Why would voting for a former Secretary of State (diplomacy!) necessarily mean you were voting for war?
    >>>It was clearly not her preferred modus operandi.
    You’re joking, right?
    * Honduras
    * Libya
    * Egypt
    * Iraq, Deux
    * Syria
    * Ukraine
    And those are just the wars we are certain she was instrumental in initiating and/or perpetuating. We have no idea to what extent she was involved in Obama’s African wars, or in Afghanistan.
    At any rate, the idea that war was “clearly not [Hillary Clinton’s] modus operandi” is not just false, but totally contrary to the reality: she was (and remains) a warmonger of the most venal and opportunistic sort.

  33. Bill H says:

    Yes, he would. He was a consummate gentleman.
    I not only voted for him I helped persuade my father, a career Air Force officer and normally more or less a Democrat, to do so too. It was sort of a milestone for me, as I was pretty young and recall being rather surprised that my father was that receptive to my opinions.

  34. TonyL says:

    “As the group posed for a photo in the State Dining Room, Trump gestured at the military officials surrounding him. “You guys know what this represents?” Trump asked. “Maybe it’s the calm before the storm. Could be the calm, the calm before the storm.”” NY Mag”
    God helps us. The guy sounds like a character in some dark films. I’m more and more pessimistic about whether the trio Mattis, Tillerson, and Kelly can have a calming influence on DJT, and can help the world to steer away from World War III until the next election.

  35. johnf says:

    Is the ongoing crisis between Qatar and the Saudis and other Gulf states, with CENTCOM stuck in the middle, likely in any way to hinder an attack on Iran?
    “US military halts exercises over Qatar-Gulf crisis
    Joint army drills with Gulf Arab allies cancelled ‘out of respect for the concept of inclusiveness’, US army says.”

  36. Gareth Porter hits back at Elliot Higgins over the alleged Khan Sheikhoun sarin attack in Syria. Higgins has tweeting frantically against Porter’s original article. In this piece, Porter explains in detail why Higgins and others who support the official narrative are wrong.
    Exposing a Shoddy Sarin Attack Narrative
    This refers to Porter’s September 15 article on the chemical attack claims:
    Have We Been Deceived Over Syrian Sarin Attack? Scrutinizing the Evidence in an Incident Trump Used to Justify Bombing Syria

  37. Peter AU says:

    Trumps weakness was always Iran. From wat I saw throughout the US election campaign trumps weakness was Iran. A big opening for Zionists and others. The Zionists and others have gone through the opening. Back to business as usual for the US or so they think. But the world is changing. The US hegemonic empire is a flash in the pan in the terms of history.
    Saudi’s doing a deal for S-400? China is now the largest importer of oil in the world, whereas US has self sufficiency for some period with fracking.
    To get the Chinese market, Saudi’s need to be able to sell their oil for RMB. Oil the most traded commodity in the world.
    China dropping communism as an ideology, just keeping what works, Russia – no ideology, taking the best of all ideology, US stuck on it’s capitalist ideology – bogged down in corruption and loyalties to other paymasters/religions/ideologies.
    Plus Full spectrum dominance.
    Trump? perhaps he was against what sections of the so called borg were doing, but now`?
    from the other side of the world watching Haley at the UN, Centcom’s antics in Syria
    And other stupid shit, all done by US officials so officially US – yep the US has some nukes, but other than that, the absolute laughing stock of the world.
    Perhaps the US takes WWF and reality TV seriously but the rest of the world?… most roads now seem to lead to Moscow.

  38. different clue says:

    Clinton favored a No Fly Zone over Syria. This was meant to stop Russia from flying any planes in support of any SAR/ SAR activity. If Russia had flown any planes in Clinton’s desired No Fly Zone, Clinton would have ordered them shot down.
    And of course, to create the No Fly Zone to begin with, Clinton would have authorized a total bombing campaign against all Syrian air defense assets and people to begin with.
    Either of those actions could have brought us into violent armed conflict with Russian military elements. Both those things together certainly would have.
    Therefor, voting for this particular ex-SecState would have been voting for massive war-action against Syria and probably voting for war with Russia itself.

  39. different clue says:

    Pacifica Advocate,
    Well . . . if that’s what we have, then I blame Clinton for “winning” the Democratic nomination and I blame the Democrats for “nominating” Clinton, thereby forcing me to vote for Trump.

  40. confusedponderer says:

    re: Tillerson – I have a hunch, considering recent news of Trump undermining Tillerson and openly condemning him for ‘wasting time’ doing dilpomacy. That’s to say that I feel that Mr. Tillerson may be just another ‘already listed’ ‘aidee’ (to the extent he is listend to) about to be fired in nearby future.
    Imagine that – Tillerson comes along as an damned adult, err, as ‘a foreign secretary who negotiates with the evil’ instead of, properly and more clearly, demanding their immediate surrender, an apology, their suicide while threatening war??! Gee, he makes Trump look like a nut, and that is a job he keeps to himself.
    Apparently Tillerson’s thinking is a dire horror to Trump and, say, Kushner types. Point is, they appear to feel that Tillerson does think too much, so, away with him.
    I feel, and have felt so since Scaramucchis’s clownery and then firing, that Trump is not yet done with firing aidees that he disagrees with, or who are adults.
    As Trump likely will say to Tillerson: “You’re fired!” with the finger shot. Or perhaps he’ll tweet the firing from a golf place.
    Amusingly that kick would then be for Tillerson being reasonable and doing his job, not for failing in it (or not doing it at the apparently more desired Scaramucci style with more **** phrases).

  41. J says:

    The Israelis look upon Trump like a new show bull, they put a ring in his nose, and now they’re pulling the lead which in turns puts pressure on the bull ring calling to tow their show bull (Trump) in question. Wonder what the Israelis think of Trump, is he their Angus Bull, or their Hereford? He’s definitely not their Red Sacrificial Bull, or is he? Hmm……
    From my understanding, we Americans owe Putin the medal of peace award, as he had a meeting quite awhile back with the Iranian mullahs who were then in charge of Ahmadinejad, in which he told them he was TAKING POSSESSION (spelled not open for discussion) of the nucklar toys Ahmadinejad had made, away from them before they hurt themselves. Putin was and still is in a strong position with the Iranian head-shed (the Mullahs).
    If Trump really wants Iranian peace (current tense), all he has to do is pick up the phone with Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин, as Putin is eager to listen, and to keep the idiots (like Israel) from cracking our planet in half with their bone-headed Israeli war bullshit.

  42. r whitman says:

    Has anyone considered the propaganda value of the US losses in a war with Iran. Think of the sinking of US warships in the Persian Gulf. The destruction of US planes in Qatar and Turkey. Tele Viv and BG airport bombed and northern Israel occupied with Arab countries exporting their Palestinian refugees from camps.
    The US and Israel might be the eventual winners but think of the cost. It may well be the end of the American Empire.

  43. LeaNder says:

    I agree, Lee.
    Maybe the most interesting soundbites during his run up to the election circled around opacity vs transparency. I suspect that is what people base their hope on. If we leave his [partly artificially?] established image out for a while.
    It’s not like his words represent some kind of thoughtful representation of reality
    Never did, never were meant to, starting with the narrow scope of his vocabulary. Beautiful, wonderful. Anyone ever checked what the most frequently used words are? …
    I forget the SST’s community response to his foreign policy speech. To this uninformed nitwit it looked like a peculiar collection of some good talking points in a more conventional frame: Iran? Necessity for a populist? Only?
    Admittedly, I didn’t even trust him on Russia:
    The Russians and Chinese have rapidly expanded their military capability, but look at what’s happened to us. Our nuclear weapons arsenal, our ultimate deterrent, has been allowed to atrophy and is desperately in need of modernization and renewal. And it has to happen immediately.

  44. Fred says:

    Money and media lost the last election.

  45. EEngineer says:

    Peter, the US is NOT self sufficient in oil production. We currently use about 20Mbpd and only make 15Mbpd. That’s 25% imported. It used to be over 50%, but the shale game will not last much longer.

  46. Thomas says:

    “Would it be prudent for Putin and China to sit out a war of USA w/ Syria, Hizbullah and Iran?”
    No if the US is involved, it is game on for World War III. Though thinking about it some more, they should give it 24 hours to see how their allies are fairing while calling for dialogue before jumping in.
    “Nasrallah’s latest speech contained a direct warning to the izzies. Do you think the izzies will come out unscathed from such a conflict?”
    No, they will greatly suffer as Tel Aviv gets the treatment they have been giving Lebanon over the years.
    The quiet before the storm makes me wonder if the Show Bull is giving the Haughty Heifer room to play around and allow her to attack Lebanon without US involvement? And if she loses, well you were free to choose your course of action.
    All we can do is wait and watch.

  47. Tim B. says:

    Concerning “Killary” Clinton, the exact opposite of what you write is true. War, bombing and killing were her preferred modus operandi.

  48. Tim B. says:

    The American Empire is ending, mostly because we are the stupidest people on the planet. We exported our manufacturing base to China so extremely wealthy people here could become even wealthier. We let our working people and our cities rot. We let the wealthy buy our government. We let Wall Street steal from everyone in violation of our laws without any punishment. And when these banker- crooks fail, our government bails out those crooks with trillions of dollars but does nothing for Main Street USA. Capitalism my ass.
    Militarily, we are the world’s bully. While we can kill and bomb with abandon all over the world, we lose wars we never should have started. And when we do start wars, we turned victory into defeat by overstaying our welcome in both Iraq and Afganistan. Trillions of dollars and thousands of US lives later, the end result is that the US is a weaker empire tottering on ruin.
    Once other countries start trading in Chinese currency instead of US dollars, we are done for. Don’t worry though. Our stupid trade sanctions, which prevent supposed enemies from trading in dollars, will only speed up that eventual day of reckoning. But that’s what being the stupidest people on the planet gets you. Well, that and a choice between Trump and Clinton for president.

  49. I have been thinking about that question. This question depending on the answer may prevent war, may let a limited war ensue, or may be the end of this age.
    I have no idea. I would also be curious what the opinion of the experts are such as Col. Lang.

  50. Bobo says:

    Trump knows he is supported by his Base and that Base will be quite diminished if the USA winds up in a war supporting Israeli ambitions. The man is games player and yes he will toss the Iranian agreement to congress hoping he gets a little more out of Iran but the man is not going to war and Israel better understand that the Prize Show Bull will come out of it smelling like rose and they will smell…..
    The “Calm before the Storm” comment is just another one of his teases. There is a storm hitting the Gulf tonight and the poor guy and missus has been running around the past few months consoling the populace over other storms. I read it as that Rocket Man’s next shooter will get knocked out of the sky when we will find out if we are as good as we say we are.
    His real problem is that he alienates those close to him who are succeeding in their jobs as he has to be the winner. Or it could be he prefers the Jeff Sessions type who will take it and go to thei corner. Nobody is perfect.
    He better get back to Domestic Policy as he is good at that and leave the foreign crap to others.

  51. VietnamVet says:

    This is the opening scene from an apocalyptic horror movie before everything goes to hell. Except, today there is no script, director or producer and the rifts from the world tearing itself apart are visible.

  52. different clue says:

    The Israelis may well think of Trump as their prize bull, but are they correct to think so? Trump seems to me to be too erratic to be predictably controlled or even controllable.
    His views against Iran certainly run parallel to Israel’s own. But are they Israel-inspired? Or are they taken from Mattis, McMaster and other military people who have deep long-standing grudges against Iran? And is it also based in Trump’s own nasty petty spite against any genuinely positive Obama-derived achievement which gains genuine respect for Obama? Does Trump hate the “bad Iran deal” because it is Obama’s “bad Iran deal”?

  53. different clue says:

    If Tillerson gets fired for overtly adult reasonableness, Tillerson can wear that firing as a badge of honor.
    In which case, who would Trump try to nominate for SecState after that? Nikki Haley? John Bolton? Someone even worse?
    Those Democratic officeholders living and working in DC have access to gossip and scuttlebutt which the rest of us don’t have. If they feel they have real reason to think TrumpCo Incorporated is moving towards firing Tillerson, can they pre-emptively obstruct the ongoing drift? Can they pre-annouce their blanket refusal ahead of time to even conSIder any post-Tillerson nominee that TrumpCo Incorporated might offer? Could they even obstruct the entire process completely? And if they “could”, would they even care to?
    Or would they be just like Pelosi under Bush Junior when she said “Impeachment is off the table.” . . . ? Would the Democrats figure that things would get so bad under SecState Bolton or SecState Haley that they could then run against “how bad things are” in 2018 and 2020?
    This could be another opportunity for Sanders to boost his credibility against the Clintonite Obamacrats by refusing to co-operate in any effort to replace Tillerson with anybody else whatsoever. And by making his refusal very overtly loud soon enough to make a difference.

  54. Christian Chuba says:

    The Iranians would be willing to agree to a range limit for their missiles.
    How do I know? They have already offered it for free. They have stated that they are only interested in missiles that have a 1,000 mile range because that is enough to deter their most serious security threat, Israel.
    They might also agree to other technical limitations since they are not interested in ICBM’s. They could formerly agree to limitations but in this environment, they would be foolish to do so because the Neocons would setup unreasonable compliance measures to accuse them of violations. I think Iran is onto their game and won’t make this mistake. I can just picture someone in the Trump Administration with a tape measure accusing Iran of having a fuel tank that is 1 sq centimeter too big and in material breach of their agreement.

  55. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Putin could have endorsed the 2006 offer, or the 2003 one earlier, but did not. His position was that there was to be no enrichment on the Iranian soil.
    In that, and in his estimation of the Fortress West intentions towards Russia he was wrong.

  56. The Beaver says:

    Two articles to read:
    At one point, in my dealings with my American friends, I proposed a game. I said, “Let’s exchange roles. We’ll plan the American military options. You plan ours in a war with Iran.” With all the toys in the American store, I started to plan sorties from Tampa, Florida, in which you come back in the evening to have pizza after you unloaded all that from high altitude. For Israel, it’s difficult, the military option. I talked to a commander of the [Israeli] Air Force and said how much my heart goes to those young pilots who exercise for this thing and had to fly very long [routes], with refuelling midair and sometimes flying very low. The very exercises were extremely demanding. We did practice, and it could have been done.
    yeah , go to war on our behalf 🙁
    Wonder if that guy worked for the Third Division of SAVAK ( during the good days of Israel-Iran relation pre 1979)
    2. T-Rex
    Tillerson took the microphone and began again, his voice unwavering. The real problem, he said, was that Iran had been attacking Americans since 1979, when Iranian students seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held fifty-two diplomats for more than a year. “The modern-day U.S.-Iran relationship is now almost forty years old,” he went on, still looking at Zarif. “It was born out of a revolution, with our Embassy under siege—and we were very badly treated.” He enumerated Iranian-sponsored attacks in Lebanon in the nineteen-eighties and in Iraq more recently, which together killed hundreds of American citizens. “The relationship has been defined by violence—against us,” he said.
    Guess he never read what the CIA did in 1953 🙁
    And he is an Oil Man !

  57. confusedponderer says:

    your idea about Haley isn’t that far off actually. I have read that Hayley was/is talked about as a possible replacement for Tillerson.
    If that wasn’t surreal and bad enough, the old, undying neocon John Bolton also has been talked of as a replacement, but the writers there found it necessary to mention that Bolton didn’t make it because Trump … ghasp! … didn’t like his moustache.
    Haley would IMO be bad enough, given the nonsense she likes to utter as America’s UN person.
    But if the Bolton talkation was accurate it would be hilarious given its absurdity:
    So Bolton would be suited as a foreign secretary since he is reliable as in:
    (a) reliably hostile,
    (b) reliably anti-everything (including international organisations, diplomacy and/or treaties etc pp) and
    (c) reliably malicious, cunning and dumb enough – but
    (d) with that moustache he is … too ugly for Trump?
    Ah well … the bad thing is, not despite but because of its absurdity, that may even be accurate. Certainly Haley has an advantage here since, so far, she doesn’t have a moustache.
    That written, I said I have a **HUNCH** that Tillerson is to be fired. I don’t know it, but for me it *feels* as if it is what to expect.

  58. robt willmann says:

    The focus is on the JCPOA and what position the executive branch, through president Trump, is now going to take. Is the talk just some more New York City bull manure, or is a dramatic change going to take place?
    On 14 July 2015, “The Islamic Republic of Iran and the E3/EU+3 (China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) have decided upon this long-term Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).” It was adopted by the United Nations Security Council on 20 July 2015 through resolution 2231, and was included in the resolution–
    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is to monitor the “plan of action”, and the implementation day was 16 January 2016.
    Earlier, on 22 May 2015, president Barack Obama signed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which was passed by Congress, amended the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, and became Public Law 114-17.
    The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act is 12 pages long and does not take a long time to read. It has just one long section because is was slipped into the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.
    Section 135(d)(4) requires semi-annual reports by the president. The focus soon will be on section 135(d)(6), “compliance certification”–
    “(6) Compliance Certification.—After the review period provided in subsection (b), the President shall, not less than every 90 calendar days—
    (A) determine whether the President is able to certify that—
    (i) Iran is transparently, verifiably, and fully implementing the agreement, including all related technical or additional agreements;
    (ii) Iran has not committed a material breach with respect to the agreement or, if Iran has committed a material breach, Iran has cured the material breach;
    (iii) Iran has not taken any action, including covert activities, that could significantly advance its nuclear weapons program; and
    (iv) suspension of sanctions related to Iran pursuant to the agreement is—
    (I) appropriate and proportionate to the specific and verifiable measures taken by Iran with respect to terminating its illicit nuclear program; and
    (II) vital to the national security interests of the United States; and
    (B) if the President determines he is able to make the certification described in subparagraph (A), make such certification to the appropriate congressional committees and leadership.”
    This certification will likely be the flashpoint the week of 15 October 2017.
    The last time this came up was 18 July 2017, in the last paragraph of a State Department announcement about new sanctions against Iran–
    From that last paragraph–
    “While the review [of U.S. policy toward Iran] is ongoing, the United States will also continue to expect strict Iranian adherence to Iran’s nuclear commitments under the JCPOA and look to the International Atomic Energy Agency to continue to monitor and verify all of Iran’s nuclear commitments. In addition, the United States will continue to comply with its commitments under the JCPOA. As a result, we communicated to the U.S. Congress on July 17 that the United States continues to waive sanctions as required to continue implementing U.S. sanctions-lifting commitments in the JCPOA, and is certifying to Congress that, based on available information, the conditions of Section 135(d)(6) of the of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (AEA), as amended, including as amended by the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (Public Law 114-17), enacted on May 22, 2015, are met as of July 17, 2017.”
    Thus, as of 17 July of this year, Trump, through the State Department, said everything was hunky-dory with Iran and the JCPOA.
    Then, on 31 August 2017, the IAEA made its verification and monitoring report about the JCPOA, which report is six pages long, and it sounds positive–
    Is Trump going to pay the U.S. House and Senate back in funny money, by throwing a wiggling skunk into their chambers in the form of a document stating that he is not certifying that Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA?
    After all, look at how Congress voted when passing the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015. The Senate was 98 ‘yes’, 1 ‘no’, and 1 ‘not voting’.
    The ‘no’ was Senator Tom Cotton (Repub. Arkansas), who received a lot of neocon oriented campaign donations when he ran for election. Senator Barbara Boxer did not vote.
    The House of Representatives voted by considering it under the name of another bill on the floor, the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act–
    This resulted in 400 ‘yes’ votes, 25 ‘no’ votes, and seven ‘not voting’–
    Congress approved the “Iran deal” by huge margins.
    I wonder what, if anything, might be cooking….

  59. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think Tillerson’s speech is part and parcel of diplomacy; you air your position, they air theirs and through this process of screaming at one another, a.k.a. “frank and candid discussion”, some isdues may be settled.

  60. Babak Makkinejad says:

    To wit, last month, Vatican’s Foreign Secretary was in Tehran and he had one such frank exchange with Iran’s Foreign Ministry officials; in effect telling them that while they (the Iranians) talked a good talk about treating Christians well, in fact, Christian Iranians endured all manners of hardships in conducting their daily lives.

  61. Babak Makkinejad says:

    From this sort of private naming and shaming, some improvements in the lot of Christian Iranians may be hoped for. This is diplomacy at its best.

  62. Babak Makkinejad says:

    JCPOA was a cease-fire deal negogiated in 2015, while the Western Fortress and Arabs and Turks had not been defeated in Syria.
    Now the cease-fire is evidently not acceptable and is going to die…like so many other such deals.

  63. Walrus says:

    In respect of the dinner, I agree with Col. Lang, this was a “team building” session designed to cement Trump as the great leader for the coming planned military action against, I think, North Korea.
    Of importance was who was NOT there – Tillerson.
    My sense is that Tillerson is now on the outer and excluded from inner circle deliberations. President Trump talking about “calms before storms” and today tweeting that “only one thing works” – implying diplomatic solutions to the Korean problem have failed, is either social bullying of his Secretary of State or the most superlative acting role in a play of “good cop, bad cop” that I have ever seen.
    If it is the latter, Secretary Tillerson is already on the phone to NK saying words to the effect that “Trump really means business this time, I’ll try and cut you a deal if you cooperate”.
    If it is the former (and I think it is) then President Trumps military team is about to try a decapitation strike on the North Korean leadership, leaving Tillerson to clean up the diplomatic mess. Tillerson must be aware of the social bullying and may be preparing to resign. He doesn’t know about the planned military action or he would have already resigned. Trump is counting on presenting Tillerson with a fait accompli and trusting on his sense of duty to remain afterwards.
    Just my ramblings. Watch the Gold price and war risk premiums on shipping insurance on Monday

  64. TV says:

    NOt now, hopefully never.

  65. kooshy says:

    Sounds to me you have more problem with the Iranians, then president Trump has. As I have come to understand, Iran is (now) a fully independent sovereign state acting for her best interest and not Putin’ or anybody else, much unlike, majority of western states.

  66. J says:

    I have no problems with modern-day Iran, we (spelled U.S.) need to normalize relations with Iran, not antagonize unnecessarily. If Israel has a beef with Iran, that is their Israeli business, not our U.S.’s
    Iran like Korea has made peace overtures over and over and over again to U.S., alas with the clunk-heads in D.C. only listening to their Israeli and NEOCON masters, instead of what is best for U.S..

  67. DH says:

    Trump has been so cooperative with Russia-Syria-Iran I find it doubtful he would willingly turn on a dime. If the Iran deal is tossed out, Russia will probably step in and act as guarantor of Iran’s honorable nuclear progress, and we will go along with it, as we have been doing in the ME since Trump’s election. Actually, a little before.

  68. Pacifica Advocate says:

    I totally agree.

  69. NancyK says:

    That “if it attacks Israel” is a very important if. Trump will possibly get us into 2 wars. Are you still happy you voted for him.

  70. Adrestia says:

    Just my ramblings. Watch the Gold price and war risk premiums on shipping insurance on Monday
    The weird thing is that the volatility index is extremely low. This is an indicator that investors don’t expect anything to happen.
    It’s time for a Minsky moment. Homage to Catalonia is also coming next week.
    Russia is very autarkic. China is selling their USD assets and investing these in OBOR.
    Interesting times indeed.

  71. Joe says:

    could you please consider using a more traditional typeface? I have poor eyesight. Thanks, Joe

  72. kooshy says:

    Colonel, she wasn’t even good for the SOS job, one must just review her record at state.

  73. Sam Peralta says:

    Among the major powers no one is more leveraged than China, even relative to Japan. IMO, their financial system and in particular their banking system is an accident waiting to happen. They are a text book case of the Minsky hypothesis.
    I say, watch the USD, more than Gold.
    If the Catalonia crisis accelerates and gets chaotic, the ECB will believe they have to pile on even more liquidity.
    Yes, VIX has been trading at its lows for sometime and in fact selling volatility to increase portfolio return has been very profitable for a while with a lot of open positions. This is an example of everyone on one side of the central bank put boat. When the tide turns it could be explosive. Another is the risk-parity construction which will add significant fuel.

  74. ed says:

    like they say, whoever you voted for, the government got in…….

  75. turcopolier says:

    Sorry. I like this one. pl

  76. Ingolf Eide says:

    “Russia is very autarkic.”
    With exports at 25% of GDP and imports 20%, I’m not sure that’s quite the right description. Still, there’s no doubt Russia is more capable than most of sustaining itself independently. The sanctions imposed in 2014, together with Russia’s counter sanctions, have significantly strengthened that capacity.

  77. Pacifica Advocate says:

    >>>Among the major powers no one is more leveraged than China, even relative to Japan. IMO, their financial system and in particular their banking system is an accident waiting to happen. They are a text book case of the Minsky hypothesis.
    A) Minsky was coming to the trade-table about 2000 years after China first started its own worldwide domination of markets. The Chinese decision in AD 100–to hoard silver–toppled the Roman markets to such an extent that wa, hey–200 years later the Northern Tribes took over.
    B) The Chinese economy is administrated by a VERY LARGE GROUP of observers, each of which is focused like a laser upon the section of economy they have been tasked with:
    1) Reporting on, and
    2) Administrating
    There is no ambiguity in the chain-of-command. There is no ambiguity in the collective aims.
    Now, at this point some people might be inclined to ask me if I am envious of the Chinese system. To that, I would say “Nah. Not really.”
    At that point others would ask me if I feel that I would prefer to live under the Chinese system. To that, I would say: “I’ve never had the privilege of choosing what I live under. I’m a serf. The same as you.”
    At that point, some idiot would ask me “Don’t you think being a serf under the Chinese system makes you a slave?”
    There are a lot of answers to that question that I can imagine, but none of them end with the one word: “Yes.”
    China’s “leverage” is also a fulcrum.

  78. different clue says:

    Ingolf Eide,
    In fact these sanctions are a kind of “accidental protectionism” imposed on Russia from without. It will be interesting to see what greater levels of strength and balance across many sectors the Russian economy achieves under this “accidental protectionism”.

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