58

Caught in the Strait

Binoy Kampmark

It is clear that the United Kingdom could not have thought this through. Was it a touch of the Suez jitters, the haunting syndrome of 1956 leaving a false impression that the Old Empire still had it? To taunt a power already under the watchful and punitive eye of the United States was never a recipe for equanimity and calm repose.

But taunt they did, using 30 Royal Marines to detain an Iranian tanker Grace I in Gibraltar last month.

The official justification was unconvincing: the need to enforce European Union sanctions against the regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. The vessel had been supposedly en route to Syria. Some in the diplomatic fraternity were perplexed: it had not previously been UK policy to diligently pursue the impounding of vessels bound for Syria with Iranian cargo.

Local Spanish authorities sensed the hand of US pressure, of which squeezing oil revenue is one; as well as they might, given the unbridled joy expressed by President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton.

Excellent news: UK has detained the supertanker Grace I laden with Iranian oil bound for Syria in violation of US sanctions.” The US and its allies would “continue to prevent regimes in Tehran & Damascus from profiting off this illicit trade.”

Former Swedish prime minister and co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations outlined some of the inconsistencies in the UK approach.

The legality of the UK seizure of a tanker heading for Syria with oil from Iran intrigues me. One refers to EU sanctions against Syria, but Iran is not a member of the EU. And the EU as a principle doesn’t impose its sanctions on others. That’s what the US does.”

Becoming the US running dog on enforcement was not going to sit well with Iran. The Mullahs are spoiling for a fight. On May 20, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, cast an eye to historical examples of Persian resistance.

President Donald Trump would fail as others had in their efforts to subdue his country. Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan had tried, and not succeeded. (The foreign minister’s sense of history is only as good as his sense of relativity: the Persian entity was, for a time, conquered, but the conquest was never indefinite.)

The seizures of vessels constitute a recipe for a tit-for-tat calamity. We are already seeing the bitter fruit of the harvest arising out of the seizure of Grace I. Two oil tankers – the UK registered Stena Impero, and the Mesdar, another Liberian registered vessel though British operated – were subsequently seized in the Strait of Hormuz. The Mesdar’s detention was threatening though teasingly brief; the Stena Impero, on the other hand, was to be made an example of.

Another oil tanker has since fallen into the hands of the Iranian forces, one accused of smuggling some 700,000 litres of fuel to Arab states. “The seizure of the oil tanker,” noted IRGC commander Ramezan Zirahi, “was in coordination with Iran’s judiciary authorities and based on their order.”

In all of this, the UK has made a fateful decision: the US is there to be supported in a policy to protect merchant ships against Iranian efforts. But Washington has assisted in creating the problem for which it now claims to have the solutions. It is the supplied choice of a current empire to a former one, and the current empire is keen on misbehaving.

The forces of the US imperium have been doing their bit to ensnare Iran in a troubling vice, be it from al-Asad airbase in Iraq, to Qatar. At sea, the US Navy holds forth with its carrier strike group. Sanctions have been ramped; the Iran nuclear deal dumped upon and exited. The Trump administration persists in causing a certain modicum of mayhem.

Putting up your hands for an unconditional commitment to a US-led effort cuts against the grain for a united European-controlled mission in the strait. European powers also feel they must be firm, just not in the Trump way. The result has seen hesitation and concern about whether Germany and France might be added to any cobbled coalition.

Farther afield, Australia has also fielded a request from Washington described as “serious and complex”, one that would see oil shipments from Iranian incursions being protected. Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has not been exactly forthcoming in any way on what qualifies the request as complex and serious, though, like a long retained servant to the lord of a manor, makes it sound grander than it is.

Now, Britain finds itself stretched, the rubber man of international relations keen to maintain shape, if only in distorted fashion. Iran was bold, even brazen, but its forces feel they have every right to be. The current conventions are for ditching; the protocols of old are being thrown out like stagnant dishwater.

Now, in with the new, the asymmetrical teasing, be it through sponsored agents in Yemen, allies in Iraq, or a chance to seize, if only arbitrarily, various assets in the Strait of Hormuz.

The Iranian actions have done their bit to strike a degree of consternation.

Moez Hayat, penning a view in The National Interest, exemplifies that consternation. Iran struck when the UK lacked awareness and cogency. “Functionally, Britain was leaderless as Iranian forces boarded the vessel.

Prime Minister Theresa May was a lame duck, unable to act as the Conservative Party elected a successor.” The problems go far deeper than that, telling of European disunity and continued US bellicosity. On this occasion, a simpler assessment is that Britain was caught in the strait, a true US set-up with continuing consequences.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: [email protected]
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harry law
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harry law

John Bolton said “I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy,” Bolton wrote of his decision in the 25th reunion book. “I considered the war in Vietnam already lost.”
Bolton said nuts to that, later writing in a memoir that he “wasn’t going to waste time on a futile struggle” in Vietnam. (The memoir’s title, by the way, is Surrender Is Not An Option.)

John Bolton: I totally would’ve gone to fight the war I publicly advocated, but it was going to be lost anyway, and I didn’t want to die, like the 9,500-plus Americans who went in my stead and died between 1970 and the fall of Saigon. Now buy my book, Surrender Is Not An Option, which explains why we need war with Iran and North Korea.
Prospective private Donald ‘bone spurs’ Trump called himself a “brave soldier” for avoiding STDs while dating in the late 1990s. He made reference to the HIV and AIDS epidemic at the time as well, referring to women’s vaginas as “potential landmines,” adding: “There’s some real danger there.” “It’s amazing, I can’t even believe it. I’ve been so lucky in terms of that whole world, it is a dangerous world out there. It’s like Vietnam, sort of. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier,” he said. https://popculture.com/trending/2019/07/03/donald-trump-dodging-stds-personal-vietnam-resurfaced-interview/
These two degenerates are leading the ‘Free world’ what a fucking joke.

mark
Reader
mark

What a brave little soldier!

All fully paid up members of the Bill Clinton Light Infantry.

You have to admire the kings and warriors of old. At least they put their life on the line, sword in hand in front of their men. William The Conqueror, James IV of Scotland, Frederick the Great.

Nowadays you get Bush and Blair strutting around like little sawdust Caesars, sending kids off from some crappy council estate to come back with their legs blown off and their brains scrambled.

Shardlake
Reader
Shardlake

Not only do some return maimed in body and mind, some return home in flag draped caskets and the only comfort their loved ones have is the engendered belief that they perished for their country doing a job they loved doing. In reality these poor service people died for nothing more than securing greater personal profit for the relatively few unheard of individuals with British and American financial interests who pulled the strings that control our governments that placed them in harms way in the first place.

When will the leaders of the western world send their own children to such places ?

David
Reader
David

The answer is quite simple – let those who call for war be the ones to go and fight them on the front lines!

harry law
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harry law

This is becoming intolerable, first the Germans put their companies and population first by buying cheap gas off Russia via Nordstream 2, even after the US Ambassador to Germany wrote directly to the German firms involved warning them of sanctions, then they failed [by a large margin] to meet the 2% target of German GDP [4 Trillion] for NATO, now they have the audacity not to join the US led coalition to make the Strait of Hormus safe, and at the same time putting maximum pressure on Iran to achieve regime change. Something will have to be done, if Germany can ignore us then others may get the idea that the big boss man is a paper tiger and that Trump, Pompeo and Bolton are not to be trusted, more sanctions on Germany are in order, failing that Bolton may threaten to mobilize the US forces occupying Germany and march on Berlin. /S

mark
Reader
mark

It’s quite bad, really. You stage a coup or a regime change nowadays and nobody takes no notice.

Rhisiart Gwilym
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Rhisiart Gwilym

For some reason, the ‘reply’ button isn’t functioning for me, so I put this here, in reply to ‘Molloy’ and his humble opinion, some way down:

Shilling? Really? For what exactly? I don’t get it. I couldn’t actually give a toss whether anyone heeds my ideas about gold. And if that’s not what you’re speaking of, then shilling for what? Imho (to coin a weaselly acronym) you’re well up the weird’n’windy-opinon creek without the proverbial paddle. Welcome to the internet, where – as Jim Kunstler puts it – “Anything goes, and nothing matters.” Your baseless comment is an excellent example! 🙂 PS: Slag away as you will, but if you can’t put any substantive evidence on your ‘opinion’ I shan’t be responding.

Igor
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Igor

For opportunities such as this, is why the UK is reluctant to cede Gibraltar or the Falklands. Choke points on world trade routes.

Jumpbean Max
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Jumpbean Max

If the UK decides to join a patrol force protecting Strait of Hormuz shipping and freedom of navigation from Iran, then it also needs to join one protecting Strait of Gibraltar shipping and freedom of navigation from itself and the US.

Or China, Russia, and Iran need to put together such a force.

But yeah, it would be funny to see British special forces trying to illegally seize a vessel, according to the wishes of their master America, while other British special forces try to prevent that, in service of “freedom of navigation”.

Igor
Reader
Igor

The UK Navy may only be capable of attacking unarmed merchant ships at this point in time.
The US Military has its own difficulties with insurgents and third world nations.

It takes a heavy toll on a nation’s wealth to project violent power globally. Wealth that flows to a few private hands, the same hands that funded Europe’s wars between Royal cousins for centuries.

Tick tock for the US Dollar regime. 75 plus years since Bretton Woods. They went from a gold standard to a petrodollar standard to keep it going. Over a century of the private Federal Reserve controlling the public money supply and privatizing profits.

Igor
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Igor

Coincidentally(?) over a century of global wars, since the creation of the Federal Reserve monster.

Brian Harry
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Brian Harry

“It is not a coincidence that the the Century of total war coincided with the Century of Central Banking”…..Ron Paul.

vexarb
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vexarb

@Igor & BrianH. “A Century of War” by Wm.Engdahl; starting with Anglo Zio Capitalist takeover of South Africa’s gold & diamonds (Boer War), continuing with AZC takeover of Middle East’s oilfields (WW1), the AZC financial destruction of Social Democratic Weimar and grooming of Hitler to take over Communist Russia’s vast resources (failed in WW2), then the AZC killing 3 million in failed attempt to destroy Communist Korea and Communist China, another 3 million in failed attempt to destroy Communist Vietnam, failed war against Communist Cuba, and so on … right up to the present Anglo Zio Capitalists failed attempt to destroy and take over the hydrocarbon resources of Socialist Syria, Socialist Venezuela, Democratic Russia, Communist China and Communist Iran.

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

PS Oops! China is not rich in hydrocarbons, it is rich in industrious manpower. London banker’s son, British PM Camoron, got the UK to defy U$A for the first time in living memory, by allowing British banks to join Chinese banks; the AZC (which contrary to popular opinion is based in ThreadNeedle Street, London not Wall Street, New York) is obviously aiming to take over China by infiltrating the Bank of China, in case NATZO fails to take over China by invasion in WW3.

(Five years ago I had a notion that the AZC were scheduling WW3 for 2033 — the centenary of their successful takeover of Germany by Fascism: the Private-Public Partnership between State Power and Money Power. But now I think this date seems to be receding because of powerful resistance by the Free World — a resistance dramatically spearheaded by Hezb’Allah, Syria and Iran with increasing help from Russia and China — by the continual restlessness of partially-subdued conquests like Afghanistan and Iraq, and by the agonizingly slow awakening of the sheeple from their mass-consumption dreamworld by Truther sites such as this).

Brian Harry
Reader
Brian Harry

It seems to me that The USA Government(not the American people) have made such utter “Cnuts” of themselves since WWII that the rest of the World are/have woken up as to who is the ‘Problem’.
Even the American people, loyal to the Star Spangled Banner, have been shafted financially in the process.
The USA Government is just a Zionist Puppet Show……”Who controls money, controls the World”…..Henry(War Criminal)Kissinger

Chris Osh
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Chris Osh

Um , I think Alexander the Great defeated Darius the king of Persia in 331BC.
Otherwise the Persians have been quite resistant to invaders throughout their history, certainly if the UK and the guys holding the leash the US decided to try a military solution in Iran, they would be biting off a lot more than a chewable chunk.
The current lot in the UK government including Bojo and Ms (dis)May have little idea of how to conduct a bus never mind international relations or war.

nottheonly1
Reader
nottheonly1

There was an Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran in the second world war. It is most interesting to read about it. I wrote about it in relation to the relentless smear of Russia by their former ‘ally’ UK.

Molloy
Reader
Molloy

“The Mullahs are spoiling for a fight.” (Kampmark)

This sounds to me like victim-blaming (by the Great Satan); with the usual elements of ‘othering’, racism and bigotry.

Molloy
Reader
Molloy

Divisiveness applied to the 99%? Pointless arguing. These are simply war crimes to be called out.
There is a long list of victims:– Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Venezuela, Yemen, Palestine, Ukraine. To name a few.
Not calling out the crime is to facilitate the crime.

in their DNA
Reader
in their DNA

“the United Kingdom could not have thought this through”

They don’t need to [think it through].
When it comes to the UK, plundering, thieving, hijacking, deception, thuggery and criminality come naturally.

Tim Jenkins
Reader
Tim Jenkins

“The Mullahs are spoiling for a fight.”

I wonder at this choice of wording, right now …

And the ‘miraculous’ absence of trolls 😉
Ain’t it all well overdue ?… 🙂 to revise perceptions & avoid further reprisals (as Harry clarifies)
& foul mouthing 😉

andyoldlabour
Reader
andyoldlabour

The choice of words was indeed very strange, because the mullahs are definitely not spoiling for a fight. No country on earth would deliberately pick a fight with a country which is as unpredictable as the US.
The mullahs come in all shapes and sizes and are often very well educated, even if you don’t agree with their views.
The simple fact is, that the UK should never have ILLEGALY stopped and kept the Grace, it was almost an act of terrorism/war.

JudyJ
Reader
JudyJ

Tim

(As promised) thought I’d let you and wardropper and balky, and others, know that I have again written today to Mark Tami MP to remind him that I am still awaiting an official, government reply to my letter (22 July) requesting clarification of the EU legal instrument purportedly used to ‘legitimise’ the UK’s seizure of the Grace 1 tanker. I have said to him that I shall continue to send a reminder every week until the information is provided. Until such time as you hear otherwise from me, you can assume that no information has been forthcoming.

All the best
Judy

Tim Jenkins
Reader
Tim Jenkins

Interesting: Thanks Judy, back in the day an advice that the minister is on holiday (maybe even in Gibraltar, lol) would have sufficed as a minimal acknowledgement of your efforts, but, it appears today that nobody even feels the need or any sense of accountability & responsibility, for matters obviously above their station, let alone to the electorate …

Which is worrying, (as, if he senses the futility of following up), then further distraction is in the pipeline and he knows full well that nobody cares for the Laws anymore, just like with Julian Assange, scandalous …

A sign that matters will not end well, universally …
ruled by Dictators, above any governance & national concerns:
The National Security State and their ignominious shameful history,
has usurped total control of any information flow and no Body seems to care,
or is capable of regulating them.

Thanks for the update and look after yourself,
whilst persevering for responsible answers on ‘Reprisals’:
Best wishes,
Tim

harry law
Reader
harry law

In my opinion the Iranians did the right thing in detaining the Stena impero it shows an intent not to be messed around with, something the UK/US are masters at, in this case, some call it tit for tat but in International law it is called a reprisal…
Belligerent reprisals are usually committed in times of war however a reprisal is a limited and deliberate violation of international law to punish another sovereign state that has already broken them.
Reprisals refer to acts which are illegal if taken alone, but become legal when adopted by one state in retaliation for the commission of an earlier illegal act by another state.
Before reprisals could be legally undertaken, a number of conditions had to be satisfied:
• There had to be a previous act by the other party that violated international law.
• Reprisals had to be preceded by an unsatisfied demand for reparation or compliance with the violated international law.
• There must be proportionality between the offence and reprisal.
Using a sporting analogy, supposing a Boxer upon starting a contest immediately kicks his opponent in the stomach then stands on his neck, his opponent will be dead in 15 seconds, his opponent is allowed to strike out with his feet in order to stop the illegal assault, even though kicking is also illegal. It is also called common sense.

nottheonly1
Reader
nottheonly1

Exactly. I am wondering, how the author would describe such a reprisal by Venezuela, that is not only in the vise as the author claims about Iran, but clearly under attack by the US regime by all illegal means antes a full Iraq style invasion.

Shardlake
Reader
Shardlake

Did anyone ask why a group of individuals forcibly took over the commercial airliners and flew them into two tall buildings in New York on September 9th, 2001 ? Did nobody ask what on earth we had done to these people that caused them act in such a disastrous manner ? I believe maybe not, as it has been easier to condemn these individuals as pure fanatics who have little regard for human life. There’s an irony there when one considers the amount of western fanaticism that is self evidently being used against the likes of Venezuela and Iran – better watch out or we’ll have the makings of a second 9/11 if we’re not careful.

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

@ShardLake: “Did nobody ask what on earth we had done to these people that caused them act in such a disastrous manner ?”

Yes, I did, because I believed the official fairy story that Osama Bin Laden had plotted 911 in revenge. Ten years later I found out — through Truther sites such as Saker, Syrper, and A&E for 911 Truth — “what we had done to these people” (to the Saudi goons who took flying lessons). These Saudi patsies were being wined, dined and whored in a Las Vegas nightclub owned by Trump’s Israeli-American financial backer, Sheldon Adelson, while the U$A’s Shrub Bush regime was coordinating with Israel’s Nutty Yahoo regime to blow up the WTC and kill 3,000 New Yorkers on 911 (plus another 4,000 US soldier boys in Iraq and Afghanistan).

Now I know what “we” done to “these” people that made them vote a second term for the Bush / Cheney reime, with a vote for the Trump / Adelson regime to follow. Truth slow to arrive, hard to find, sometimes bitter but always salutary.

UreKismet
Reader
UreKismet

Some serious missing the point goin on round here. We have already discussed how the US cannot get into a serious conflict with Iran and still keep all the empire’s plates here, there and everywhere spinning, how being caught up in yet another war will make Orange boy’s plan to carve a big chunk of US wealth off the mugs for himself, a big risk as it is most def gonna take a second term to finesse and getting into a war will make an election much tougher to win, so the amerikan warmongers have created a situation where all the fighting and dying gets done done by england, now that the englanders have either accidentally or deliberately become ensnared in the Iran mess ever since they pirated the Iranian tanker.

Most likely both May & C+nt the Ken doll got sucked in, while Johnson has gauged a war could mesh nicely with the Cummings plan for the destruction of parliament which is to be implemented later in the year when war could be a handy distraction capable of galvanizing the moronically jingoistic.

But the booby prize for this will go to Australia if Morrison, the man who can knock out a jingle to turn Oz voters 180 degrees in the space of a few weeks, but cannot comprehend the forces pushing Australia into a pointless (for Oz) conflict, succumbs to pressure from USuk and Oz hops aboard the war with Iran express by sending some boats up to the Gulf.
AFAIK Murdoch the ABC and Fairfax are in unison about how important it is for Australia to join in when the only certain outcome of it will be lotsa diggers dying.

That is why the euros have demurred, sending boats is a guarantee that the boat owners will be drawn into the conflict. Any nation that prefers peace will stay right TF out of this mess, no matter how many smarmy poms and septic tanks insinuate that doing so is an act of extreme cowardice when in fact it is an act of extreme intelligence.

Wilmers31
Reader
Wilmers31

Britain needs to get out of the EU, very soon. Britain’s influence is not benign. They are too close to the US – the wars will never end under US/UK influence.

mark
Reader
mark

Iran can either sit back and be strangled, and cheerfully accept its people starving and dying for lack of medicine, or it can act pre-emptively and impose some real costs of its own. Costs that are unbelievably high. Costs that are greater than those being imposed upon itself.

Some people think Iran has no option but to sit quietly and accept whatever the Zionist stooges in Washington choose to inflict upon it. Destroy its economy, starve and immiserate its people, reduce it to penury.

This is understandable. The UK has been the abject, grovelling, obsequious, toadying, lickspittle vassal of Washington for 70 years. It is more of a satellite state than the old GDR ever was of the USSR. Anyone who doubts this should listen to the nauseating, bootlicking speeches of UK leaders like William Hague and others. For all this time successive UK ambassadors have simply been told to bend over, drop their trousers, and do anything necessary to keep Uncle Sam happy. This has become such a habit they can’t imagine anything different.

Failure to act on Iran’s part, and failure to respond to provocations, is merely interpreted as weakness, leading to further more serious provocations. The EU asked Iran to take no action as Washington sabotaged the JCPOA. Iran waited for a year, and the spineless EU, with the largest economy in the world, did precisely nothing to protect its businesses and citizens from US threats. Volkswagen, Mercedes, Peugeot, Renault, Total, Bayer, Maersk, Siemens, and many others, withdrew from Iran when threatened. Brussels waffled and id nothing. Iran should have withdrawn from the JCPOA and NPT there and then. It was far too passive and reticent.

Intrusions into its airspace and territorial waters followed. Iran was threatened with “obliteration” on a daily basis. Then the act of piracy off Gibraltar on Bolton’s orders. This is an act of war. The US has gone to war numerous times whenever its shipping was interfered with, dating back to the Barbary coast in the 18th century and war with Britain in 1812.

It is simply not possible to invade Iran as Iraq was invaded. There can be no land invasion. All the US bases surrounding Iran are wide open to attack. Critical facilities have been placed deep underground as protection from bombing. The Straits could be closed in one day in a mining operation. Any navy entering to clear them would be like ducks in a shooting gallery. No oil would be exported from the region indefinitely. More to the point, the oil infrastructure of the entire region would be immediately destroyed in any conflict. It cannot be defended. There would be an immediate global depression. An implosion of the banking and financial systems and derivatives markets. The swift collapse of the Saudi and other Gulf dictatorships, and the collapse of the dollar. The destruction of US power in short order.
The whole region on fire. Escalating completely beyond any control. The Gulf, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Israel. And that’s only the beginning, the first chapter.

The response of Russia, China, and neighbouring countries is uncertain. They cannot view a major war in a neighbouring country and major economic partner with equanimity. Nor do they want to see the country turned into a US satellite complete with missile bases. We simply don’t know how they would react till it happens. But react they would, in some way. So would the EU. They could not fail to do so. Their interests would be too gravely affected.

All that can be said with any degree of certainty is that this would not be a short war. It would probably last for years, and escalate uncontrollably, and the consequences would be incalculable. It would not be pretty.

In such circumstances, Britain would be almost totally irrelevant.

Iran is in a much stronger position than it might at first seem. You have to imagine a man holding the button to a suicide vest in his hand. If he presses the button, he blows up the whole world, and of course himself with it. He naturally would prefer not to do that, but he isn’t going to surrender either. And the rest of the world has to offer him something to make it worth his while not to do so. Maybe China offering to import oil exclusively from Iran, in defiance of illegal US sanctions.

I don’t know what’s going to happen. Neither does anybody else. Iran just has to be ready to push the button if need be. Unless it’s willing to become as much of a US satellite than Britain. The odds are high, the stakes enormous.

nottheonly1
Reader
nottheonly1

There is one danger though. As you stated :
“It is simply not possible to invade Iran as Iraq was invaded.”
Leaving actually only one option for the unprecedented psychopathy of the US regime. A pre-emptive nuclear attack jointly with the string pullers for any crisis in the Middle East. In order to stop this unilaterally madness, people should watch ‘Threads’ again to get an idea what will become of their little island following >200 Megatons of warheads homing in on the worst hypocrites in Europe.

mark
Reader
mark

You make a good point, N. I don’t think all the surrounding countries would be too pleased about nuclear fallout drifting in from next door, but you can’t rule it out. These psychopaths have done it before, after all. Maybe the answer is for all countries to get their own WMD. Democratise nuclear weapons. Either nobody has them or everybody has them.

Oliver
Reader
Oliver

Lots of nuclear weapons have already been used, in plain sight. The Chinese banned the import of crab from Anglesey in 2015, 8 days after the explosion sequence at Tjanjin. The Wylfa nuclear power station’s plutonium can be identified down to the individual reactor, through isotopic fingerprinting. The Chinese were being diplomatic. We are already in a nuclear war, it doesn’t look like ‘Threads’ though.

Question This
Reader
Question This

The cognitive dissonance seems incredibly strong in peoples subjective minds on the US V Iran conflict.
How does this ever end well for Iran? I did have a debate earlier about this with people wanting to make a stand & rush into battle for honor & glory, giving the empire a black eye.

How does any form of conflict between the US (who isn’t dependent on middle eats oil) & Iran end up with the US lifting sanctions?

If Iran gets into a bare knuckle fight with the US (& lets just dream for a second it won), do you think the US is going to throw in the towel & say OK we’ll lift the sanctions now? NO, it may give you all a semi thinking how nice it might be to give the empire a bloody nose, (i’d be cheering too) but Iran can’t win, win or loose, Iran looses, Iran can not force the US or UK to lift the criminally outrageous sanctions.

Of course Europe isn’t keen on sanctioning or fighting Iran, they are dependent on middle east oil. The empire took its time with Iraq, Iran is a whole different fish, its going to take longer to weaken Iran & the US were prepared to kill 100s of thousands with Iraqi sanctions. You can’t imagine the nasty shit they are planning for Iran! its time to get a dose of reality people.

And this theater between the UK & Iran oil tankers is typical deep state covert operations to manipulate Iran into some rash action facilitating further action agsint it. Its just so blatant. You really believe the UK & US couldn’t have seen this coming & stopped it? Come on FFS. the shit is getting serious.

bevin
Reader
bevin

“How does any form of conflict between the US (who isn’t dependent on middle east oil) & Iran end up with the US lifting sanctions?..”
The US is dependent on its control over Middle East oil producers to maintain its financial and strategic position. What is critical is not that the US consumes or needs to consume oil from the region but that other countries- the EU, India and China included- depend upon it. So long as the US dominates the region it has enormous economic leverage.
And then there is the relationship between that and the US dollar’s position as a reserve currency.
In summary: Iran is being very realistic in assessing its importance in the scheme of things imperial. What it wants is to outlast the US in this conflict, and in doing so assert its sovereignty whilst, at the same time, strengthening the alternative relationships, within eurasia which will allow it to thrive without paying tribute to the maritime Empire.
Perhaps you ought to be questioning the inevitable domination of the Washington centred Empire, which is clearly crumbling.

On the larger point of the UK’s purpose in following orders from Bolton and Pompeo, it has been evident for some time that the Tory government simply does what it is told to do by neo-con thugs. My own view is that it is unlikely that the Cabinet believes that it has any power in these matters and simply rubber stamps the Civil Service’s Security orders. Any doubts on that score were erased by the Skripal nonsense. Half of the idiots who make up the Johnson Cabinet sincerely believe that they are sitting on their elbows.

Question This
Reader
Question This

At last a rational argument, thought my comment might provoke a reasoned reply.

What it wants is to outlast the US in this conflict

Seems to me this makes conventional war with Iran even more likely & sooner rather than later.

Perhaps you ought to be questioning the inevitable domination of the Washington centred Empire, which is clearly crumbling.

Though i think this is based more on wishful thinking than reality, no surprise for this site however.

Half of the idiots who make up the Johnson Cabinet

Its never wise to underestimate the enemy, but I can’t fault your analysis of the US/UK relationship & the tories. I’m not a tory apologist, but the empires both former & present can’t be that useless they’ve managed to get this far.

However you still didn’t answer the question how does it end well for Iran, are you saying America is going to disappear up its own backside, not anytime soon I fear. I think sanctions for Iran are a long term project. Difficult to see how China or Russia can have any significant impact on that in the short term, so my money would be on the empire lasting longest. If Iran wasn’t already suffering then they wouldn’t be so provocative.

Some say Iran has had decades to prepare & plan but so has the CIA & MIC.

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

@QT: “my money would be on the empire”.

Reminds me of two little Jewish boys — one English, one German — sheltering in a London Tube during the Blitz. The little English boy was trying to shut up the little German boy who was crying,

“We shall die, we shall die, none can defeat our Wehrmacht, we are so strong!”

Tim Jenkins
Reader
Tim Jenkins

Simply gorgeous, Vexarb 🙂

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

Tim, this anecdote is true; I heard it from the Englishman while we were strolling on Clapton Common some years after the war. It illustrates divided loyalties and the hypnotic effect of power; like the fictional boy in Empire of the Sun. Conditioned reflex: The Empire is Omnipotent. Resistance is Futile.

“Resistance is Fertile”. — Bashar Assad, MD

Tim Jenkins
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Tim Jenkins

Stunning that: & we were writing to one another quite literally simultaneously, unwittingly … 🙂

Have a bonus live recording, that wholly relates to your comment above, in every sense of wartime memories …

Exquisite artistic interpretations … that prove that science would not last a minute without ‘Beauty’, naturally …

vexarb
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vexarb

La voix humaine; most supple, most tonally sensitive, most emotionally wide ranging of all musical instruments. Generated in the same tube which leads down to our gut, by vocal chords which quiver like the membrane of a medusa. Evolved amongst the most ancient of all vital organs — breathing and digestion — and yet (in humans at least) connected to the most refined neurological processes of the brain. The more I study music the more I believe that singing came before speech: our first words were more likely to have been fragments of melody than brutal grunts.

I don’t think the boy has much of a voice and I think it needs training but he certainly has charisma and knows how to use it. I haven’t seen so much high emotion in female faces since Sinatra and the bobbysoxers. (Male faces too). His Chinese flautist was also good, and exactly suited his quiet style; was it a bamboo flute? Sounded less edgy than a silver or gold flute. By coincidence I was listening to an old LP by Sir Adrian Boult on the instruments of the orchestra, and in my ignorance was surprised to hear Sir Adrian say that flutes were made of wood (they are woodwinds, you dummy!) “but increasingly are being made of silver”.

What a delight to look away from those pompous thugs currently running the West into ruin.

vexarb
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vexarb

La voix humaine: 10 year old Arab American girl singing Nessun Dorma:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ao8sC4kt6CI

Question This
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Question This

The replies to my comment so far seem to reflect & confirm my own original thoughts, on this matter. Its likely to get much more unpleasant for everyo9ne before it gets better.

The empire like all empires will over extend itself & eventually its demise will come about through its bankruptcy, but that’s not going to help Iran’s current predicament. Like I said to others, Iran’s best bet is to weather the storm hoping that it can improve its economic fortunes with new alliances & business with China & Russia in the future.

Any pre-emptive attack on the empire will be a futile suicidal exercise.

Rhisiart Gwilym
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Rhisiart Gwilym

QT, would you like a bullion bet? 2 to1 in your favour. I stake one gold sovereign, you stake a half sovereign. The bet is that USAmerica and its Anglozionist empire will collapse within a decade, leaving its bullying victims free to pick themselves up and recover. Since `i’m nearly 80, I’ll probably have to leave it to my heirs to pick up my winnings. But I’ll make the bet, if you will. Money where windy opinions are! What do you say?

Question This
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Question This

Although i would like to take your sovereign, I’m afraid i’m not a betting man, , have you seen the price of gold lately? I bought a half sovereign only a few months ago & its gained value quite nicely thanks to the empires struggles, though i think you’re right its demise will be its bankruptcy I think it has some life in it yet.

As a side note do you think gold will plateau of fall any time soon?

Rhisiart Gwilym
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Rhisiart Gwilym

Q, I never make predictions about gold price, except to say: I think it will continue to be used globally as a universally-deemed-to-be real, and of course exchangeable, store of value; and that, whatever it’s momentary price in any given fiat, it will continue to hold its real buying power for actual goods and services more or less at the same value indefinitely.

There’s also a lottery chance that it will have one of its occasional big shoot-ups in value. But never buy with that as the main motive. Basically, it’s a best-bet value store which will always be acceptable anywhere. Everything I say applies ONLY to real physical gold, of reliable provenance, HELD IN YOUR OWN DIRECT POSSESSION. Never consider having it any other way. Cheers Q!

Molloy
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Molloy

imho. One or both of you in this thread are apparently shilling. Not strong on ‘subtle ‘. Not impressive.

Tim Jenkins
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Tim Jenkins

Well, the Central Banks have been manipulating the price of gold for ages: and for over a decade, since the introduction of the Blockchain Distributed Ledger computer designs and the first crypto currency that they had to immediately under-mine or lose control of their corrupted methodology, the Central Banks have not been selling gold and look what the UK just did to Venezuela, which was wholly illegal, imho …

At least think about it, Molloy.

Tim Jenkins
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Tim Jenkins

For clarity, I mean the Venezuelan Gold Reserves in London,
obviously THEFT !

mark
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mark

The gold market, like all other financial markets, has been rigged for decades. For every ounce of physical gold traded, 50 ounces of non existent “paper” gold is sold.

Brian Harry
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Brian Harry

Beware,”Paper” Gold is a ‘derivative’. If, one day, you want to collect your ‘Gold’….there’s not enough Gold to collect……But, in the meantime, someone is making money, selling you “Paper”…..a ‘promise’ to pay.

Francis Lee
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Francis Lee

Something of a Mexican standoff here. Position 1. Iran cannot win a (conventional) war with the United States and its proxies, so it is best not to get engaged in one. Instead Iran should box clever and play for time using diplomatic asymmetric means to do combat with the great Satan. Position 2. Iran has to be prepared to fight back using all means necessary even if it means a huge cost.

I have to say that the first position seems untenable since any reluctance on the part of Iran to threaten the use of force in its defence will be taken by the Great Satan as a sign of weakness. It will simply increase the Juggernaut’s military and economic pressure on Iran to the extent that military force will not actually be necessary and Iran will be starved into submission. The AZ-empire wins at minimum cost.

Second option. Iran calls the A-Z bluff. Iran has no realistic option other than to fight the Great Satan. And it seems a moot point as to who will actually win. Whoever does win the victory would be extremely costly for the Iranians.

But it should be noted that it is not at all unusual for these David versus Goliath contests to result in a victory for the Davids. In terms of military power the US dwarfed that of the Vietnamese but lost all the same. The siege of Leningrad 1941-44 defied all the odds and eventually saw off the German encirclement at an enormous cost.

Another aspect of this deepening crisis is the position of Russia and China who cannot helped to be involved. Russia in particular, given its proximity in South Caucasia cannot stand by and watch Iran fall into the hands of Russia’s bitter enemies. And for China, Iran is one of the key nodes of its Belt and Road Initiative. (Good summary from Marc Soloboda).

So here we are. Neither option seems particularly foolproof or appealing, but that is the way it is. If I was forced to make a choice it would be for option 2.

mark
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mark

Win or lose, everybody loses. Everybody. Not just Iran. That’s the whole point.
There is just a slim hope that fact can be leveraged to prevent a war.
But I wouldn’t put money on it.
Iran would be destroyed, but so would US power.
It would be like the basket case British Empire of 1945.

Question This
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Question This

The one thing i think we are all in agreement here about, is causing the minimum harm to Iran’s people are we not?

mathias alexand
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mathias alexand

Russia, Iran and China could form an entirely self sufficient trading block and sit out the West’s comming financial colapse which the West can only avoid by asset stripping Russia, Iran and China. This is why the US is shipping its terrorist assets into camps in Afghanistan, so that they can disrupt the Belt and Road inittiative in Central Asia.
Its hard to see how a militaraly defeated USA would enforce its sanctions on third party countries.

Tim Jenkins
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Tim Jenkins

Bang on, ‘mathias’

and what’s the title of that song again? … ah yes 🙂

“Ain’t no stopping us now…” McFadden & Whitehead

Safety in Numbers and “we’re on the move”

Xi & VVP, on the move 😉 and these guys will never Kowtow…

“It’s about faith & It’s about Trust”
(Sadé – Nothing can come between us …)

A done deal, with 3+3 Formations and already the world’s largest economy, if you put the pair of them together and their Tech. know how !

Fair dinkum
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Fair dinkum

Ahh, the quandaries of the underlings.
Me ‘art bleeds for em.