empire watch, featured, Iran, Iraq, latest, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Syria

Iran: the seventh country on the alleged US list for regime change

Just a reminder of Wes Clark’s claim the US planned back in 2002 to “take out 7 countries in 5 years”. Six of those countries – Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Lebanon & Syria – have now had “revolutions” or “civil wars” or conflict. – Iran is the seventh.


  1. Basher says

    BigB: Continuation on our Corbyn thread (seems I can’t reply now on original thread)

    You’re so right on NATO, Environment/energy etc. But my point is that Corbyn is already supported by the electorate whilst being left of the narrow political spectrum taught at Oxbridge and accepted as ‘the only way’ by the MSM. For now this will have to do. More radical policy would be counterproductive at this point, for the reasons I previously gave. The link you posted on green energy shows where Corbyn wants to go. See it as a positive, not a negative. The neoliberal system can only be defeated from within, by someone who is still allowed to play the electoral game. Unless you advocate armed revolution….

  2. The Wolfowitz memo sounds like Mein Kampf, and has started out similarly successful: 6 out of 7 is not a bad score. Of course it has taken 15 years instead of 5, but engineers know that everything takes roughly 3 times longer than planned (the pi factor). Looking on the bright side, Syria has emerged bloody but unbowed; so actually the Wolf has eaten only 5 chickens — and digested none. In fact, it soon might have to disgorge. For the second time in my life, I thank God for Russia.

  3. Fair dinkum says

    The insatiable One Per Cent crave deification through avarice.
    The M.I.C. is the most profitable, self perpetuating business on the planet.
    Their reign of Terror is coming to an end.
    Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

  4. bevin says

    There is only one short term remedy for these attempts at regime change, which have brought so much suffering to the world and must have led to the deaths-within the last fifteen years or so- of several millions of entirely innocent bystanders to imperialism’s aggression.
    And that is to for the victims to visit upon the aggressors equal measures of the violence and pauperisation which is dealt out by them.
    If 9/11 was not the work of disgruntled members of victim communities it might have been, and the obvious logic behind such action is the only reason that so many people still believe that the sudden demolition of WTC 7 can be accounted for by The Establishment.
    The case of Iran is particularly dangerous because any war against it- and attempts at regime change are wars and regarded as such by all grown-ups- will have to involve simultaneous campaigns against Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and perhaps Turkey whose regime is crying out to be changed. And that is a big ‘ask’ for an Empire crumbling internally to the extent that it is only held together by the military emergencies which are the causes of its fiscal and socio economic problems.
    There is no pot of gold at the end of the neo-cons’ regime change rainbow, just a reckoning with the poor and the insecure. At home and abroad.
    And if I can see this we can be assured that those pinning their futures on these policies can too-the difference between us being that they regard their police systems (from surveillance and propaganda to their command over violence) as entirely sufficient to put down any uprising by the people that they despise so much, as only oligarchs, drunk on the blood of their victims, do.

    • Hugh O’Neill says

      Whilst I agree with your diagnosis, I cannot agree with your solution. Escalation of violence, endless vendetta, revenge all exacerbate the crime. This morning’s speech by the Chinese premier about supporting the UN makes much more sense to me. We have international laws which prohibit wars of aggression. The UN would work if the Big Five had their power of veto removed, and the US corruption rooted out. Peace, Truth and Justice could so easily be with8n our reach. We need to get more vocal and find some courage to speak truth to power. Well done Offguardian. You need to join forces with other alternative media with the simple goal of reforming the UN. Venceremos

      • Jennifer Hor says

        I agree with Hugh O’Neill and will go so far as to say that it is precisely because the US and its allies spurn diplomacy, shun the UN and ignore international laws and conventions in favour of subverting and overthrowing governments that the current global situation of chaos, uncertainty and violence exists. Revenge is not the solution.

      • bevin says

        You might notice that I specified what you call ‘revenge’ as no more than a short term alternative. As you suggest the only solution is to pursue peaceful policies.
        But this would seem to depend upon getting public opinion, now more impotent than it has ever been, to recognise that these wars have costs, both economic and social. And that the victims are real people not less than human and unworthy of sympathy.
        The difference between Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn is that Corbyn offers the public the option of peace, whereas Sanders appears committed to imperialism as the norm.
        The US needs a peace platform of the sort advanced by Black Agenda Report, there is a massive appetite for social justice and peace in the world. Only the few benefit from war and imperialism.

        • Big B says

          Bevin: Corbyn’s attitude toward peace is ambivalent, to say the least. In part, it is mollified by the pro-Israel neocon warmongers in the Labour party. He has committed to closer ties with Russia; whilst also committing to spend 2% of GNI on NATO …whose entire raison d’etre is imperial and russophobic? He has committed to stop the air strikes (an NFZ?) and a negotiated settlement to the “Syrian civil war” [???] …whilst also committing to INCREASING the 0.7% GNI FCO-DFID ‘Foreign Aid’ budget? This coming AFTER it was disclosed that £13mn was diverted to the jihadi cause? [in a letter to Treason May – December 2017] As has been exposed elsewhere, including here at OffG, this is a fraction of the (known) £325mn spent on funding the Syrian “opposition” [what opposition???]. I’m sure I don’t need to draw a parallel between UKAID and USAID? He has also committed to the UN investigation (OPCW-JIM) into the use of chemical weapons by ‘Assad’ (of whom he previously said “many more have been killed by the Assad regime than by ISIL” [speech to Parliament – December 2015]) – who we already know have worked a posteriori from their pre-determined conclusion of guilt? Then we “go from there” …go where? [Andrew Marr show]. He has personally endorsed and raised funds for the White Helmets. In fact, he seems incredibly naive and ill-informed about the subversion of the Stop the War coalition …that features such Soros illuminaries as Avaaz, Hate not Hope, the Jo Cox Foundation …he once infamously shared an STW platform with the Syrian Solidarity UK; who are notoriously pro violent extremist jihadis, and anti-truth (Mother Agnes, Vanessa Beeley et al.) That he offers the UK (and Syrian?) public the option of peace (in the UK via the ‘defensive’ use of nuclear weapons?) …sort of???

          • bevin says

            Corbyn’s position is very difficult. During the past two years it has been even worse, he has made all manner of apparent compromises, or allowed them to be made on his behalf.
            But the reality is that hr cannot go back on his commitments to, for example, independent foreign policy and support for Palestine.
            And he cannot go back because his power is based entirely on public opinion- he has no support but that of the people, led by the most politically aware and committed, socialists.
            The best electoral chance currently on offer anywhere in the world is Corbyn. And what he desperately needs is for the PLP to be brought into line by the constituents of MPs like Ian Austin, Stella Creasey and Jess whatsername.
            By Corbyn of course, I refer not to the man himself (of whom I know nothing and care less) but to the movement that he represents a movement which was old in the days of the People’s Charter and is as fresh as six hundred thousand members and the overwhelming support of the nation’s youth. Ordinary people talking peace and freedom to their neighbours in a permanent election campaign offer us more than a small chance of real change.

            • Big B says

              Bevin: I respect your POV, and I’d love to wholeheartedly endorse it …but from personal experience, I can’t.

              For a start: independent foreign policy – independent of whom? Trump: whilst still maintaining an alliance with NATO and the ‘Washington consensus’ of imperialism? [There is a further muddying of the waters with PESCO, the “permanent cooperation” of NATO and the EU – who sets the foreign policy there???] And who sets our nuclear ‘deterrence’ policy???

              In aligning with the single market (if that is what our policy is, as Abbot seemed to be indicating) – are we dependent or independent of Brussels? It’s not at all clear where our national sovereignty lies? Or even where Labour would want it to be?

              On Palestine: trust me, any position that is deemed to be ‘too’ overtly Palestinian …and Corbyn will not know who to cry “et tu Brute” to – there will be that many people stabbing him at once!!!

              There are other, more authentic anti-capitalist, broad-based social movements globally. The Bolivaran Revolution for one …and look at how that is going???

              The history of an authentic revolutionary spirit in the UK is one of decline and co-option, I’m afraid. From its heights, in the post-Depression “entre-deux-guerres” period (1918-39) …then post-war (45-83) it becomes a history of succumbing to affluenza, resulting in capital and regulatory capture …Epitomised, of course by Thatcherism – finally crushing and recuperating Trade Unionism and democracy to the needs of capital; (83 onwards …to present, really.)

              Social Democracy has long been seen as an end point: not the “vanguard of the proletariat”, as Luxemburg put it …leading to a complete overhaul of class and society; and real structural change in the mode of production (beyond the token nationalisation of key industries). I’m not a social scientist, but Momentum do not strike me as a communist vanguard? More a State Capitalist ameliorationist movement: that – no matter how many come to support it – will not seek to restructure the infrastructure and institutions of capitalism???

              [Trust me, my POV is not simply isolationist in nature. I have had a reasonable interface with others from inside the party. Anti-capitalism is still considered an extreme view. You can mention Marx; but you can’t mention the ‘c’ word!]

              Therefore, your invocation of Chartism is most apt: did they not also dissolve into mid to late century affluenza? Although they achieved nearly all of their goals: capitalism thrived, did it not???

              A genuine anti-capitalist, anti-war (imperialism), truly socialist (as a transition state in and of itself), is decades away, IMHO. And one that is further allied to the environmental cause (eco-Marxist) is an intellectual ideation only (in the minds of John Bellamy Foster, and Paul Burkett, etc.) And ideas don’t change society alone: the people must demand it. They want jobs, benefits, and a return to prosperity for now (for which Corbyn has my limited support) …but an end to capitalism and an eco-Marxist egalitarian redistribution of resources and wealth within the stateless framework of a classless society? Not yet.

              • bevin says

                “Therefore, your invocation of Chartism is most apt: did they not also dissolve into mid to late century affluenza? ”
                ‘No’ is the easy answer to that- Chartism evolved into other broader movements, most notably Trade Unions for a variety of reasons. Affluence was not one of them.

                Regarding your other points the last thing that the working class needs is a Vanguard Party. What exists is a challlenge, a necessity for many, particularly the young, but also those concerned about the NHS and basic services such as transportation and utilities: they have no alternative but to vote for Corbyn and that involves making sure they have a Corbyn candidate by digging out the neo-liberals from the Labour Party. It is either that, winning the lottery, emigration (where too in a neo-liberal globe?) or betting on the afterlife.
                OK most people, one hand on their crotches the other reaching for those English tattered forelocks, will not act but enough will that the choice can be conveyed-over the top of the media- to every doorstep in the land: “you choose-hospitals and GPs or Trident? You choose- looking after our own urgent affairs or shackling ourselves to Uncle Oligarch-Sam’s ankles and handing him a blank cheque (as we did in 2003) to spend as much of our money and soldiers’ lives as he pleases?
                The point is that this is one of those rare eras in which there is a real possibility of the middle man being cut out of the political system-as it was briefly in the early C19th when Samuel Bamford and his fellow mechanics all over the industrial areas took to the hills, talked politics, listened to Cobbett’s editorials and drilled under the eyes of old soldiers.
                Already it seems to me-and I live thousands of miles away- politics in the UK has spilled over from the election season into being a regular part of life. Nothing is settled, the wheel is very much in spin, the possibility of change for the better is as evident as the probability of change for the worst.
                And if the spark takes fire in the UK it will lead to a conflagration that will set fire to Europe and America, for this is a time when, thanks to decades of arrogance, neglect and callousness illusions about the bona fides of the ruling elites are lower than they have been in centuries.
                No the people are not calling for an end to capitalism and a reversal of environmentally catastrophic policies (or non policies) but the change which people do want-cheaper commuting services, lower rents, higher wages, etc- are impossible- as the neo-liberals know- under capitalism. There is no alternative to replacing capitalism and class rule with democratic self government and socialisation of the means of production.
                As to Palestine, do not be misled by appearances the Friends of Israel in the Labour Party and elsewhere are very close to having shot their bolts- they have not only gone too far (defending the indefensible, making idiotic demands -of the sort that the South once made pre Civil War- to curtail discussion and debate) but they are fools, star struck by the power of their Israeli friends to terrorise children and unarmed men. Like George Bush, who ‘was born on Third Base and believed that he had hit a triple’ these Labour MPs parachuted into position by Blair and Mandelson have convinced themselves that they won selection from the membership and that their policies have been endorsed by the voters. Tristram Hunt, for all his faults, knew better.

                • BigB says

                  Bevin: thanks for your reply. Digging out neoliberals – as you put it – is not possible. The grassroots do not control the party – the neoliberals control the NEC, the endorsement of policy, and the majority of the PLP. No neoliberals, no party …though it pains me to say.
                  The “permanent election” has coalesced around a singular point: Brexit. To me, it seems Labour are biding their time on the assumption they have won the next election. That’s the antithesis of political debate, much as sterile as it has been for the last 35 years? And then you quote TINA!
                  Commuting, services, rents, wages …there is no disconnect between these than either the environment or the structure of capital accumulation – none. What there is is a massive consciousness gap leading to fictitious thinking – that we can transcend the laws of physics to achieve negentropic permanent exponential growth and wealth accumulation. We can’t. Nor will tinkering with capitalism and calling it socialism work. The biophysical economy functions as a whole: a singular complex adaptive system. For instance: if you reinvest retained earnings (production capital); increase productivity and wages (plus energy, waste, and resource depletion); (unless it is legislated against) the increased earnings will be absorbed in increased commodity prices and rent seeking …the faster you try and grow the system (capital expansion or valorisation); the faster the rate of depletion and pollution; this reflects in higher fuel prices and the cost of commuting …surely this is basic common sense, not advanced political science? Why do we seek to inveigle ourselves with economic pseudo-science when it should be obvious the environment and the mode of production are not functionally independent or seperable? And if we want real peace: capitalism’s evil twin, imperialism, is majorly deployed for hegemonic resource acquisition or denial …that is related to the mode of production too. So if we want to fundamentally address any concerns of peace, prosperity, wages etc – do they not need to be addressed structurally and systemically? Is there any other way to permanently address this other than socialisising the mode of production?

              • Rhisiart Gwilym says

                Big B: one question mark at at time is generally considered enough by grammarians. Scattering them about so freely doesn’t help to bring on the eco-Marxist utopia, you know. But then, nothing makes that very likely. In the real world, Corbynism is about the best chance that Britain has – though a long shot. I doubt that JC would get very far with his hoped-for programme as PM, considering the hysterical massed opposition his principled honest politics draws from the English-raj class and their retainers in lamestream media-hacking and Paedominster pocket-politics. Worth a try though. Once again, consulting that ever-useful touchstone of the real world, it’s about the best chance we have.

                Bevin: should you read this; I notice that the hasbarollocksers infesting Craig Murray’s comments section seem to have ousted you from that website. You might want to have a look at The Lifeboat News as a place to comment. You’d be most welcome – and a considerable asset. 🙂

                • Basher says

                  Bevin, Big B, Rhisiart.

                  U guys know your stuff no doubt: political history/theory etc. But what you want isn’t currently on offer, by any political party, with even the slightest chance of success in an election. It will probably never be on offer in the US, in our lifetimes. A starting place is victory in ‘us vs them’. It is that simple. In the UK there is a genuine chance of victory for people over profit. The outcry of the monied elite/corporate media will be vicious, and the truly radical propositions you want to see, would be counterproductive at this point, and an easy target for the spite and bile of billionaire press barons, who still can buy the minds of enough of the electorate. I believe these will follow, attempting to change structures and policy from within, through unilateral disobedience. Until then, have faith in Jeremy Corbyn. Not a god, or infallible human, but easily, a man of integrity and principles, and the best we’ve got. Corbyn represents real change, not the wolf in sheeps clothing, changenothingism of that shithouse Trump. Respectfully: save your intellectualising for stage two

                  • BigB says

                    Corbyn v May: no debate necessary. How do we navigate “stage 2” (or stage 1 even) without a map of the territory? All our macroeconomic and political economic theory is based on historical precedent: but there is no historical precedent for the ecological and economic crises we now face. Recent (20th century) prosperity was based on abundant cheap hydrocarbons: how do we design a political economy based on declining hydrocarbons, resources, etc? That’s a debate worth having, and respectfully, one that won’t wait?

                    • Basher says

                      If Corbyn wanted, for example, to withdraw from NATO, right now, publicly stating this, would electoral suicide. Enough of the electorate still take their cue, wittingly or not, from the billionaire press barons and/or liberal TV news. Witness the corporate roll out of purple faced old men screaming about being denied their promised nuclear Apocalypse on BBC election ‘debates’. Your point about the White Helmets and his supposed support of fund raising for them – I’d take the position, that such things, are mistakes. A quick, simplistic reaction to what would initially appear to be humanitarian aid. Perhaps driven from elsewhere with Labour. Of course, building an green economy is vital, but in simplistic terms, it is not without precedent. In by gone, simpler times people knew not to destroy their own environment, as they had nowhere else to go. Just the same as today, except for the 1% elite, of course, who are driving both climate change and its denial.

                      Surely you don’t see Corbyn as just anyone vs May/Tories? It, the movement, and he himself, is worthy of much more respect than that….

                    • BigB says

                      Basher: I get the realpolitic of the deviation from 35 years of neoliberalism. However, whilst positioning himself as a non-interventionist – Corbyn has also endorsed the pre-intervention NATO propaganda. That was my original point: his position is ambivalent. Put in context, support for the WH is entirely consistent – not a mistake. And no, neither can he say the WH are a western regime change propaganda construct – such is the indoctrination of the electorate. That is the centrist common ground that political discourse has been pulled into. Likewise on the environment. I believed in JC enough to join the party to get him elected. Comparing anyone with May would doubtless prove favourable! This vision from candidate Corbyn is one I would fully endorse. However, this had changed by the Manifesto to 40% nuclear, unproven technology (Carbon Capture and Storage), and preserving the North Sea oil and gas industry – I.e. not leaving it in the ground. It’s not about Corbyn: rather than a socialised or syndicalised approach to energy production – in line with neoliberal philosophy – it would seem the Labour party in toto want to benefit from the commodification of Nature …and that is not compatible with a transition to a post-carbon economy, IMHO. The only endorsement I can give is that it is still better than May’s position …but both confer a paucity of the ideal?

                • bevin says

                  Nobody can be too kind, but you certainly come very close.

            • Frank says

              ”The best electoral chance currently on offer anywhere in the world is Corbyn.”

              Yes, it’s that bad!

              I would be interested to know why you think Corbyn is any different to the current social-democratic parties and leaders throughout Europe: viz., Tspiras, Hollande, Shulz, Papandreou, Sanchez et al.

              Maybe it would be best to state the obvious which is that social-democracy is out of date and out of time: it was the response in the economic and geopolitical crises in the US in 1933 and the rest of Europe up to and beyond 1945. It was a spent force, as were its spokespersons by the mid-1970s. It has had its day and has now been almost entirely co-opted by the neoliberal establishment – conference hot air notwithstanding.

              What is left of social-democratic parties in Europe had already capitulated by the mid-80s to neo-liberal forces, or in some cases such as Germany, had allied themselves directly with bankers and investors running the Eurozone-wide pan-Eurozone Institutions such as the EC and the ECB. Syriza wanted a version of Roosevelt’s New Deal but was 70 years too late and history was not about to repeat itself. Time and again leaders of these parties have talked the talk but once in power declined to walk the walk.

              Your argument rather reminds me of stock market traders inflating the latest asset bubble informing us that – ”This time it’s different” No it is’nt and it doesn’t help the cause to pretend that it is.

              It anything will change the direction in which we are being carried it will be a mass movement from below and outside of the formal structures of power. Like those movements which ended the Vietnam war and aparthied in South Africa.

              • bevin says

                The history of Social Democracy is not particularly long. If indeed, outside the confines of sectarian polemics, there is such a thing as a Social Democratic tradition.
                In many european countries, for example, Social Democracy masqueraded as Communism for seventy years or more. In others it was invented by the CIA and its cultural offshoots, after the War, precisely because, outside of the CP and minuscule Trotskyist sects, there were no Social Democrats.
                The Labour Party is a different story. The possibility of instituting democracy into the party is live even if it is chancy: the NEC can be captured by the CLPS, and the Constitution changed to ensure that it is made democratic sooner rather than later. There is nothing inevitable about the party being dominated by Blairite scabs or Union Bosses: they can be reduced to the indignity of having no more ‘say’ than numbers warrant quite easily.
                And that is where the bridge to a mass movement begins: the hundreds of thousands who have joined the Party have indicated that they think that, at last, there is a chance for them to make their voices heard, to listen to others with similar problems and perspectives, and to have their votes counted. This was not the case when Labour went to war with Iraq.
                When I first joined the party fellow members, in wards and General Committees, recalled the days, after 1945, when the local MP was called to a monthly meeting in the Co-op Hall and explained his votes and the Government’s policies, often under blistering attack from members, to five hundred and more people. In those days the party’s conferences and NEC were dominated by a few Trade Union leaders wielding Block votes and local bosses like Herbert Morrison (who put poison pills into the nationalisation legislation that facilitated Thatcher’s re-privatisation, you could say that his greatest achievement was the Thatcher government). This meant that the membership was, in formal terms, powerless but that is not the way that politics works, in the final analysis the masses always overpower the few, provided only that they persist and ignore setbacks.
                The abiding problem with the socialist movement in this world is that it is infested by defeatism and cynicism, of the sort that had Alexander suffered from it would have left him puzzling his way and bruising his fingers over the Gordian knot until old age or frustration put an end to him.
                The situation is very simple: join the local Labour Party, insist on it operating democratically and select a candidate who is pledged to socialist and democratic policies. Elect that candidate and then the hard work will begin.
                Now BigB makes the point that capitalism is no longer sustainable: that it is in conflict with the possibility of life itself. That exponential growth and capital accumulation are incompatible with survival. I am wholly in agreement, which is why I see no alternative to socialism as democracy, bringing us as individuals and as a society into confronting reality. A reality which takes us back to where we came in, the dawning of this world economy, in the early C19th. It was then that the precursors of the Labour Party, and Cobbett is by far the most important of these, questioned both imperialism and capitalism, concluding (and it may be that they were not wrong in the long term) that the key to founding a better world lay in Parliamentary Reform-one man one vote- and the election of a Commons majority responsive to the demands of the electorate and ready to its bidding.
                We have never had such a Parliament.
                Let me add one thing: the current trajectory of the Labour Party may not impress the world weary veterans of student pseudo-trotskyist milieus but it frightens the hell out of the deep state. The Tories and the Intelligence services and the City are already planning their next moves and the formbook tells us that such moves will include killings, massive smear campaigns, blackmail, bribery and a mobilisation of every resource of the secret police.
                They realise that the consequence of a million or so ordinary people going to meetings, canvassing, pooling resources and working in unison for socialism, involves the life and death of a system, not just capitalism but the system of class rule, or hierarchy in society as a milking shed, in which the few exploit the very many.

    • Anononononomyous says

      What a good post! Once in a while some one posts pure gold. Thank you!

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