The End Of Hegemony

RT reported on 1–14–20 that when General Soleimani was meeting with the Iraqi PM, the Iraqi PM was acting as an intermediary for the Saudi government as well as Iraq itself in peaceful negotiations between the three nations.

A peace agreement between Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia would be entirely logical. They have had past trade agreements which extend long before the founding of America and all three nations were founding members of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), as was Venezuela.

Know who is NOT a member of OPEC, in spite of being the world leading oil exporter? The US. Don’t you find that a bit odd? Of course, if the US became an OPEC member, they would be bound by rules and decisions made by OPEC as a democratic structure. Rules which would include reducing or increasing production to maintain a fair oil market, something the US has no interest in maintaining.

Keep in mind that Russia has held discussions with each of these nations and Syria. With or without Russia, if these four countries achieve peaceful agreements, several things would happen-

Decreased terrorism. The support of terrorist organizations has had a definite economic effect on Saudi Arabia over years. With the US being less able to covertly fund and arm these groups, to keep them going has required more financial support from SA. As financial and weapons support has dwindled, we have seen increasing defeat and collapse of ISIS, Al Qaeda and associated groups across the entire Middle East. Their complete dissolution is within sight at this time.

War or peace? This leaves SA with one of two options- Mobilize their own military openly and actively declare war on multiple sovereign nations or begin seeking peaceful diplomatic agreements with their immediate neighboring nations. Declaring war would justify Iran closing the Strait of Hormuz and all other involved nations to respond militarily. Considering the sprawling nature of their oil industry on which most of the SA economy is based, SA is extremely vulnerable to attacks which would decimate their economy in short order. Militarily, they would be unable to face multiple war fronts against nations with hard-won battle experience far beyond anything the Saudi military has ever faced. These are nations with advanced military technology and no dependence on the US for their weaponry. As their proxies are defeated, SA is being forced to make some efforts at diplomacy.

Expanding coalition. Should any peaceful agreement be reached between Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, that agreement would very quickly include Syria and Afghanistan. Eventually, that agreement would grow to rope in Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. That is the short list. It is entirely possible even more nations would join that coalition out of choice or necessity.

Fall of the petrodollar. I have explained on numerous occasions that the days of the petrodollar are decidedly numbered and shrinking. Already Syria, Iran and Venezuela have ceased using the US dollar. Russia has been calling for the demise of the petrodollar for years due to the unfair influence of the petrodollar on world commerce. Russia, China and India have been rapidly decreasing their holdings of US Treasuries. Goldman Sachs has advised their major investors to divest from US Treasury holdings and instead invest in precious metals (especially gold) and increase holdings in foreign currencies, especially Eastern currencies. The trade war with China has decreased trade in dollars and increased trade in other currencies. At this point, it seems highly likely Iraq will drop use of the dollar. This would be an absolute certainty if the US seizes Iraqi financial resources. Even if not, they will gradually reduce any holdings in US banks to avoid that being used as a threat in the future. China, Russia, India and Europe have drastically increased trade in currencies other than the dollar. It is only a short time until the dollar falls in international dominance.

Other nations are watching. The actions and rhetoric of the US has sent a clear message to every other nation on earth. The threat of the US to impose sanctions on Iraq and seize their resources while maintaining a military presence in the country against the will of the Iraqi parliament is nothing short of a military occupation. Pompeo claims our purpose there now is to train the Iraqi military on how to fight ISIS. Our military cannot train the Iraqi military when their presence is unwanted, forced upon them and their agenda is not trusted. The seizure of financial resources was set in precedent by the seizure of the resources of Venezuela and Libya. Our government was instrumental in the overthrow of Morales in Bolivia, Zelaya in Honduras, Yanukovych in Ukraine, the assassination of Qaddafi in Libya, in addition to the Taliban in Afghanistan, the illegal invasion of Iraq and attempted overthrows of Assad in Syria and Maduro in Venezuela. Those are just mentioning actions in the 21st century. Military, economic and political threats, sanctions and tariffs have shown the US government to have no respect for human rights, justice, fairness, democracy, diplomacy, peace or sovereignty. At this point no other government can justifiably trust the US government.

Who is next? A direct result of all the above is that other governments and populations are asking themselves, “Is our country next?” for very good reason. That includes countries that are our alleged “allies”. It now seems that all it takes for the US to consider another country as adversarial is openly or even covertly stating they do not agree with our actions or policies. Then that country becomes an immediate target for some form of harm by the US government. While Trump is the most aggressive, uncouth and bombastic president we have had, he is merely a continuation of the foreign policies of previous administrations. As such, other nations see our foreign policy as a threat, no matter the administration. This leaves all other nations no choice but to form coalitions and diplomatic relations which completely omit the US and possibly directly oppose the US on all fronts- militarily, economically, politically, diplomatically and socially.

It really does not matter how nationalistic an American is, even the mainstream media can no longer hide the fact that the US no longer holds the hegemony we once had only a few years ago. This country now faces opposition and competition on all fronts from many directions. This is as it should be. It is amusing when a US nationalist lays claim to a “free market” and opposes socialism, yet then supports the idea of imposing rules, sanctions and tariffs on other nations. All while remaining silent on subsidies, tax breaks and even warfare which benefits the corporations. In other words, imposing rules and force on sovereign nations and our own citizens which amount to socialism for the wealthy in the US, oppression for everyone else.

Other nations are well aware of the condition of our economy, our education system, our military technology, our medical care, our social support structure,and our electoral system. They are aware of our violent crime rate and prison population. They are aware of our surveillance which spans the globe, including on our own people. They are aware of the violence and aggression this country uses to impose a superficial belief in our superiority on the rest of the planet. They are aware that our so-called “freedom” means their servitude and that it is absolutely not freedom.

It is only a matter of dwindling time before other nations choose diplomacy over conflict, as their options are depleted, burned and blown up by decades of warfare.

In the end, people tend to fight for one thing. Hope. When wars continue for years, especially over multiple generations, any hope of gain by conflict becomes lost. So what they hope for is peace. Just a normal existence without constant fear of injury and death. Mundane existence becomes a pipe dream.

In the US, we don’t understand this because the wars we have waged have left the general population, our cities and lands unscathed. It’s easy to rage for more warfare when someone else pays the most obvious price. It is those who have paid the highest price for our conflicts who will decide on peace, to stop being used as puppets. It is they who will eject us from their lands and never welcome us in again. Not in this lifetime, any way. It is we who will have to prove we can change our ways. If we refuse to leave, they will join together to remove us by any means necessary. They have begun that process.

Peace Talks Between Iran And Iraq Will Not Be Stopped

When General Soleimani was assassinated by the US, we know now that he was on his way to meet with the Iraqi Prime Minister, carrying a diplomatic message in the effort to further peace efforts between Iran and Iraq.

It would be naive and foolish to think that the public murder of one man, no matter how prestiged that man was, would stop the efforts at peace by two countries. Considering the US also attacked the PMU, a part of the Iraqi military and did all of this on sovereign Iraqi soil, followed by threats against both countries with crushing sanctions, the continuation of those peace efforts has been set, not in concrete but in solid titanium.

Any attempt to oppose the unification of the countries in the Middle East at this point is doomed to failure. At this point, we are facing opposition politically, economically and militarily which our threats have no possibility of overcoming. Take into consideration the following influences-

Ongoing talks. From this point forward I fully expect the government officials of Iran and Iraq to be holding frequent discussions regarding peaceful coordination between them and methods of fending off terrorist groups. The assassination of Soleimani will only serve to drive the level of these talks to higher officials and increase the velocity of those talks to near light speed. Basically, you can consider them finished, with only small details to be worked out.

Trade defiance. We can also expect Iraq to be drawn into the Iran/Russia/China/Syria defense alliance, most likely with China buying most or all of the oil produced by Syria, Iran and Iraq in direct opposition to US sanctions. This would benefit all countries involved financially. I would expect a dramatic increase in the volume of trade in other goods as well.

Military technology. Iran has military technology which rivals or defeats US military technology on many fronts. Note that in their recent missile attack on US bases, we did not hear of any missiles which did not reach the targets. Compare to US Patriot missiles fired on Syria in 2017 and 2018, 70% of which never reached the targets with no air defense raised against them. Iran has also shot down several US drones while flying in stealth mode. If those three countries begin sharing military technological advances, or merely selling military equipment to one another, US military tech will be left far behind.

Military tactics. While the US military likes to claim to have the most advanced tactics of all military organizations, the evidence proves otherwise. Our forces have been in Afghanistan for 18 years and, as we know from the report by the Washington Post, are still being defeated. Afghanistan is roughly the size of Texas and has only 34 million people. Our forces have been in Iraq 16 years, at least half of which has been allegedly fighting terrorists. They were losing to the terrorists until Iran mobilized in Iraq. In Syria we have had active forces and propping up proxies for 6 years and were losing until Iran and Russia stepped in. Iraq is roughly equal in size to Afghanistan while Iran is MUCH larger. If the tactics and capabilities of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia and China are combined in an area about 4 times the size of Texas, our military would stand no chance if we confronted them.

Environment. The countries we are facing have existed as cohesive cultures in some form for thousands of years longer than America has existed. Languages across the region are closely related enough that communication barriers can be resolved easily, where there is a wide gulf of difference between their languages and our own. In addition, the fighters of these countries have lived in the harsh environment since birth. They are accustomed to the heat, the arid climate, the rough terrain, the flora and fauna of the region. US forces imported into the region can take weeks or months to become acclimated, if they ever do. For US service members coming from colder northern states that adjustment can be difficult to impossible.

Logistics. Up to now, our forces have fought in regions where supply lines were fairly simplified affairs. Now consider the challenges and cost of supplying forces across such a vast region as mentioned above. Just supplying food and water across these areas would be formidable and more costly than anything in military history. Supplying weapons and equipment would be far more difficult. Our forces would not have a front line unless they attempted to invade from Saudi Arabia or the Arabian Sea. Their ability to platform from Turkey is now a constant question. However, no matter what direction the US would attempt to approach from would leave them vulnerable to having supply chains cut off once in the country.

Aerial opposition. Opposing all of these nations at once is not something which could be done entirely by air power. The fact is, we have not come up against adversarial air power since the initial Iraq invasion in 2003. Now imagine our air forces encountering hostile aerial opposition from Iraq, Iran, Syria and possibly Russia and China as well. Not only in the air but surface to air defense and electronic warfare from technologically competent enemies.

Monetary defiance. Again, look at a map. Iran stopped using the US dollar 2–3 years ago. Because of US offenses against them, Pakistan stopped using the US dollar over one year ago. Syria stopped using the US dollar a number of years ago for obvious reasons. China and Russia are depleting their holdings of US Securities. If things continue the way they are going, Iraq will drop the US dollar in short order. These countries have growing options available to them which bypass the dollar completely. As they do, this causes growing economic and political pressure on other Eastern countries to also ditch the dollar. With each oil producing country that does so, the petrodollar grows weaker.

NATO can only offer limited assistance. Remember what the alleged role of NATO was supposed to be? To defend Europe from invasion. That means if they abandoned their posts to invade the entire ME in a modern Crusade, they would reveal the entire purpose of their existence for the last 29 years to be a hoax. They would leave Europe completely open an an invasion. Once that would likely not happen at all, making them look as foolish as they are. Remember in 2016 there was a NATO-wide military exercise? It was tragically hilarious. Troops not prepared or properly trained, equipment which was non-functional, in many cases, not even mobile, cannons unable to fire. Europeans do not have the appetite for war in general that the US does. They still live with the visible scars of two World Wars across their continent and have no desire to revisit that horror.

What all of this means is that the US has backed ourselves into a corner. There is absolutely no reason for ME countries to trust the US regarding any form of treaty or agreement. They are fully justified in their belief that allowing the US to remain will cause only more war, more bloodshed, more pain, more conflict, more destruction.

Yet be absolutely clear on this point- They are NOT announcing any form of offensive against the US. Yet. That can change, depending on what our government does from this point forward. They are defending their nations, their continent the only way they can. They have lived with the atrocities forced upon them for two decades and want it to end. They want us out, they want terrorist groups defeated, they are reaching across ancient lines and resolving differences.

There are only two countries that oppose withdrawing our forces at this point- the US and Israel. Like it or not, we do not owe Israel anything at all. Unless we offer a stage for genuine peace talks between Israel and their opponents, who have offered many times and been lied to or ignored. Right now there is a bill in CONgress to give Israel another $3.3 BILLION a year in foreign aid. That would bring US aid to Israel to $7.1 BILLION a year, every year. With absolutely no requirement at peace efforts.

These peace talks will continue. These peace talks will advance. These peace talks will expand to country after country after country. At this point, nearly every nation on the planet is calling for peace.. except the US and Israel. It is time for us to stand aside, to allow peace to happen if we will not help it along. Bring our service members home. Stop spending our money on bombs. Stop causing death, start supporting life. Stop destroying, start building.

Because this is absolutely our last chance.

Back From The Brink.. What Next?

So, allegedly Trump has eased tensions with Iran. Allegedly.

Corporate US mainstream media is reporting on the fact that no injuries or fatalities occurred from the Iranian missile strikes. Yet they make it sound like this is because of some form of miracle or because we are such badasses that our military personnel can magically evade getting hit by missile fragments. What our media consistently fails to report is that Iran gave sufficient warning that the strikes were coming. It was their absolute intent to strike equipment, not people. Now that those strikes have occurred, Iran stated they had no intention of engaging in further strikes.

Nothing has changed. None of this changes the fact that a military leader has been assassinated. None of this changes the fact that we attacked the military of a supposed sovereign ally. None of this changes the fact that Iraq wants us gone, Afghanistan wants us gone, Syria wants us gone. None of this changes our illegal actions in numerous countries and still have an illegal presence in Syria. None of this changes the fact that the US is imposing sanctions, tariffs and/or threats of same on nearly every nation on earth.

Isolationism. We can bemoan the fact that trump withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council. From the UN Peace Council. From the International Criminal Court. From the JCPOA. From the INF (Intermediate Nuclear Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty.

No consequences. Then again, what consequences or opposition has he met with for any of this? What consequences has any past administration met with for creating the conditions and power structure which led to all of this? What is the “Resistance” doing to rectify any of these things? What have they suggested? Nothing. They are very much on board with every bit of it.

No punishments. How many people have gone to prison for torture? For invading countries on false “intelligence”? For millions dead in countries that posed no threat? For creating the largest refugee crisis in modern history? For arming and funding terrorist groups? For slave markets in the streets of Libya after we destroyed the country?

Very specific limitations. Right now the only opposition being displayed against Trump are theatrical pieces of legislation to ban funding for a war with Iran. This does not in any way include banning waging war against the 7 other nations we are bombing, to withdraw troops from any of those 7 or the 50 of 54 African nations where we have military forces. There is no legislation to restore funding to Venezuela. No censure on threats or suggestions of peace talks with Russia, China, Venezuela, Iran or North Korea. No withholding of funds to Israel to force them into peace talks entailing actual action with Palestine and Syria. No arms embargo on Saudi Arabia.

Higher chances of confrontation. In other words, we are not any closer to peace than we were last week. We are much closer to a major confrontation with countries that have the ability to fight back. We are closer by the minute to our allies turning our backs on us and our adversaries joining forces against us. Could you blame them?

So, what happens next?

More sanctions. Right now Trump is promising even stronger sanctions against Iran. He is threatening to impose even worse sanctions against Iraq if they practice their right to national sovereignty and force our military occupation to leave.

NATO involvement. Trump has asked for more involvement from NATO, to which the chief of NATO has agreed. However, that request has not yet been placed in front of the people or governments of the NATO member states. Once that happens, I have a feeling the picture will change drastically. The EU relies heavily on oil from ME countries.

Nothing to lose. With multiple ME countries wanting our forces out of the region and ISIS basically reduced to a large street gang with guns, these countries now have the chance to turn their attention toward invasive and belligerent occupying forces from the US and NATO. These countries have been at war for years. They have seen their families depart or die, their homes destroyed. Most of them see little left to lose which they have not already lost. Yet they can see clearly that western intent is to seize their resources for generations, meaning they never actually regain their countries. This means they have no reason to not turn on the western invaders who caused these conditions for them.

The coming response. It is imminent that at some point the countries being occupied against the will of the residents will choose to regain their true sovereignty, their resources, their freedom to choose their own destinies rather than have those destinies dictated, subjugated, darkened by debt they did not rightfully incur. They will, as Iraq is doing, try and peacefully instruct our forces to leave. If that fails, we can absolutely expect that a gradual increase in force will take place. Iraq has taken their plea in front of the UN General Assembly. Note: They intentionally took this before the General Assembly, NOT the Security Council, which the US controls too harshly. If that fails, expect other responses. Cutting off supply sources. Complete separation of their forces from ours. If all that fails, then expect military assaults on a small scale. If we respond militarily, they will respond with devastating force. If that happens, many thousands of US service members will perish very quickly.

Turning east. For some time, Russia and China have been making diplomatic efforts with ME governments. These efforts have seen gradually increasing success in spite of western opposition and threats. What you can rely on is that Russia and China have offered to supply and possibly assist these countries, meaning the ME countries do not have to be dependent on the US/UK for weapons and supplies. Between Russia and China, there is absolutely nothing we can offer which they cannot, without making imperialist claims on resources. Often what they offer also comes with higher efficiency, lower cost and less bureaucracy, making trade on all fronts more attractive when discounting or ignoring threats.

The imperialistic threats continuously escalating from the US have reached maximum density for most countries across the globe. Like any abusive relationship, that abuse can only continue and escalate so far before the victims fight back. At this point, every nation on the planet feels victimized by the US to varying degrees. It is no longer debatable that all will gradually respond in their own manner. Some will decrease trade and diplomatic efforts. Some will cut ties entirely. Others will form alliances and fight back. Those alliances will be highly successful because our military and weapons capability is stretched far too thin.

On multiple occasions we have run out of bombs to drop, meaning production is at capacity. That also means if more capacity is needed, we cannot supply other countries. That poses a problem in itself, as countries we have contracted with to supply weapons, if forced to defend themselves (like Saudi Arabia) and we cannot honor weapons contracts, will turn elsewhere. Chinese drone sales have increased significantly. The Russian S400 and other systems are being sold to many countries, including NATO members.

Sanctions and tariffs have done more damage to US consumers and businesses than the countries they are directed at. The responses have gradually been countries forming new trade deals which bypass the US or develop entirely new industries of their own. It was US sanctions which caused Russia to expand oil/gas production and become the world leading grain exporter. Our threats mean less and less and will continue meaning less as time goes on. The literal truth is that the entire world could probably survive extremely well if all other nations suspended trade with the US at this point. The dollar would plummet in value if that happened and it is happening gradually.

Now, I will say that there is always the possibility that my assessment is wrong. That depends on what happens next. There could be decisions made or circumstances which change which could cause a radical shift in direction. Considering US history of always increasing aggression, CIA manipulation and illegal intervention, I do not see such changes or circumstances happening without major consequences before we are absolutely forced to engage in peace efforts.

There Is Absolutely NOTHING To Win In A War With Iran

Yesterday Iran launched missile strikes against US military installations in Iraq. This was in response to the US assassination of their most revered general, who was in Iraq to meet the Iraqi PM in peace talks, by all accounts.

The missile strike now divides the US populace, with some calling for retaliation against Iran and others opposing further military action.

The assassination was not the only attack by the US in Iraq. The US also struck the Iraqi PMU, which is labeled a terrorist organization by the US government. The PMU is a part of the Iraqi military which fights against ISIS very effectively. Which means our government directly attacked the military of a sovereign government while claiming we are there to help them fight ISIS.

There are claims that General Soleimani is responsible for US deaths. Funny how we are just now hearing this and the claims are extremely vague. The actual reason for these claims is because Iran, under Soleimani, trained Iraqi military. They used that training when Iraq was invaded by US forces under knowingly false pretenses in 2003. Where are those WMD’s again?

This also comes while Iran has been struggling for years under US trade sanctions which have severely damaged their economy. For claims that they have violated the JCPOA nuclear agreement. Never mind that there has been no evidence presented of any violation. Never mind that the IAEA stated clearly Iran was in compliance. Never mind that all other nations signed onto the agreement have remained dedicated to the JCPOA. Never mind that Iran invited US inspectors into the country to confirm their compliance. Never mind that the US government refused to conduct those inspections.

This also comes after the Iraqi Prime Minister told the US to remove our military forces from the country. Since the missile attacks, the Iraqi parliament voted unanimously for the US forces to leave the country. Some will point out that not all the parliament was present for that vote. Yet it has been several days since the vote and the groups who were absent have not issued an opposing statement in any form. In response to parliament telling us to leave, Trump has threatened to impose crippling sanctions against Iraq. That’s funny, I thought we were supposed to be there to HELP them? How do sanctions achieve that?

Let’s make this clear. Every Middle East country in which the US is conducting combat operations wants our forces gone. No, we are NOT doing combat inside Saudi Arabia, Israel or Turkey. We are in Syria illegally and they want us out. We invaded Iraq illegally and they want us gone. We overthrew the Taliban in Afghanistan and have been there for 18 years. Today the Taliban has more public support in Afghanistan than they have had at any point since 2001 and they control more of the country than ever. The people want us gone. Only the US puppet PM claims to want us there.

Look at a map. If the US declares war against Iran, This will require using all of our forces and resources from other ME countries and redirecting them toward Iran. Which means we would no longer be fighting ISIS at all. Now, look at the countries which would be to our rear and flanks. Those would be the same countries that have told us to get out. The same countries whose governments we have tried to overthrow, with varied levels of success but mostly failed.

Yes, Israel and Saudi Arabia would also be there. Yet those two countries have not seen combat the way our opponents have. They have funded and armed proxy terrorists to fight for them. In other words, mercenaries. Israel and Saudi Arabia are also HIGHLY dependent on the US for their arms and economies. If all of our resources are mandated to fight Iran, primarily our weapons production capabilities, the US will no longer be able to supply weapons to Israel and SA. So, IF they defended our rear, their weapons supplies would be exhausted within days. Tactically, all their enemies have to do is destroy the shipping ports and possibly airports of those two countries and they will be economically crippled. No need to confront their military forces. That would also strangle their supply lines. Iran would close the Strait of Hormuz and that would stop multiple countries in their tracks.

Russia and China. Only a few weeks ago, Iran held joint military drills with Russia and China. In other words, two major military forces of countries we have directly threatened and opposed militarily and economically. Countries with advanced weapons capabilities. Should they step into the battle, there is no effective way we could fight back. If they stepped in early enough, even if the US enacted a draft, the war would be over before new recruits could be trained here. In addition, the US relies heavily on rare earth minerals from China, which they could easily embargo. That would strangle our ability to build many electronics and military equipment. China could cease trade with the US, leaving store shelves completely empty, so our general economy would largely collapse.

Don’t count on NATO. Allegedly, NATO forces have already begun pulling out of Iraq. Europe relies heavily on trade with ME countries and China. In addition to the fact that assassinating a military leader and directly attacking a sovereign military force was a step too far for Europe. Yes, the UK may assist us but that would be a difficult sell to the UK public. Especially when they are still debating Brexit. If NATO opposes action, they would have to divest themselves of NATO, which would be largely irreversible. Political sentiment across Europe would affect their trade. On their own, with limited trade and lessened military capability, they would not be much help and would face the same conditions the US would face.

Nothing to gain. There is literally nothing to gain in any of this. We have turned allies across the ME into enemies. We are facing opposition across the globe on this, including a massive percentage of the US public. Our government can try to claim we are being attacked but have refused the option to simply leave countries where we are not wanted. More people are aware of this than at any point in past history. We have no right to be there. We cannot claim we are fighting terrorists when we turn our backs against ISIS to fight multiple sovereign nations inside their own countries. This would be a war which would either end quickly with our absolute defeat or would continue indefinitely for generations. Diplomatic relations would NEVER be repaired.

So, if you support some military action against Iran, you also support actions against Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and possibly Russia and China. You mindlessly, emotionally support a war which we cannot win and in which there is no such thing as winning. I expect other nations to realize this immediately.

Impending War With Iran- Where Is The “Resistance” Now?

With the attack this week on Iranian and Iraqi forces in Iraq, Trump authorized the assassination of Iran’s most elite general. Iran has stated they will retaliate, as has Iraq.

This is not merely a matter of Iraq ejecting US forces from the country any more. This was an attack on a sovereign nation and their allies.

The general in question was the leader of the Quds, a highly specialized faction of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. In turn, the Revolutionary Guard is a specialized faction of the Iranian military. So this general was the most elite of the most elite portion of the most elite force Iran has to offer. You can think of them as an equal to US Marine Special Forces, the SEALS or Green Berets. The Quds are credited with turning the tide against ISIS in both Iraq and Syria.

Yet the Revolutionary Guard (IRG) is even more than that. They are not merely a military force. They are a political and social force as well. They hold immense political sway in Iran. Plus when not in combat, the IRG performs social services, delivering food and doing service within their communities.

The military in Middle Eastern countries is a very different phenomenon from the US. They are not treated and considered separate from their communities. Hezbollah and the IRG keep a much shorter combat rotation than US forces do. 6–8 weeks on average, with three rotations. Thus, a combat soldier will enter combat for 6–8 weeks, then go home to their communities and families for 12–16 weeks. This keeps them mentally sharp, physically fit and emotionally healthy because they are constantly reminded exactly what they are fighting for. They are not on the other side of the planet fighting for the profits of oil and drug companies. Their marriages and families do not disintegrate because of long absences. They do not miss every single milestone of watching their children grow up. This makes them formidable forces to encounter.

Now, add to this the fact that Iran just held joint military drills with Russia and China less than two weeks ago. Should the US go to war with Iran alone, it would be unlike any war we have ever fought. They have the capability to strangle the Strait of Hormuz, stopping oil tankers and supply ships from entering and leaving to Saudi Arabia. They have the ability to destroy the oil fields in Saudi Arabia. They would have assistance from the countries they have been lending assistance to for several years now- Iraq and Syria chief among them. Some experts believe a war with Iran alone would require at least 1 MILLION ground troops by an invading military. If they have further assistance from Russia and/or China, this would definitely be a war the US could never win.

So, while the “Resistance” has claimed fear that Trump would start new wars, they then handed him the AUMF powers to do exactly that, along with the largest military and military budget in world history. One has to ask why the “Resistance” is so silent now? Why they are still pursuing impeachment based on claims that will be long, drawn out and almost certainly fail? Why are they not holding emergency meetings all night long to avert absolute disaster?

Of course, those meetings should have happened long ago. AUMF powers should never have been created or granted. They should have been rescinded during the GWB or Obama administrations, especially as our conflicts spread from 1 to 2 to 5 to 7 nations, causing the worst refugee crisis in modern history. Now it is far too late in the game.

If this does not result in a true world war, it will only be because some other nations step in to prevent it. It will not be because our government chose to back away from the brink of global decimation.

True Progressive writers, pundits and content providers have been warning of this for years. We have tried incessantly to mobilize an anti-war movement, to awaken Americans to the very real dangers. Instead we have met with diva drama regarding Russiagate, Mueller, crude tweets and idiots obsessed with tax returns.

Make no mistake about it. This would not be happening now if not for GWB’s invasion of Iraq. If not for Obama’s expansion of warfare and failure to end any conflicts. In short, it would not have happened if we were not in Iraq and the Middle East to begin with.

Did I mention that this is all over the alleged death of a US oil company contractor in a war zone?!!! Funny thing about war zones- People DIE in war zones!!!

Are YOU ready to become a TRUE peace activist yet? Or are you still concerned with tax returns? Are YOU ready to call your elected officials and tell them to GTFO of the Middle East? Are YOU ready to resist ALL the warmongers of BOTH major parties? You better get busy. Right now. “But Trump” is not going to save any of us.

Syrian Kurdish Conflict- A Simplified Sequence Of Events- Past, Present, Future

Many Americans are raging against the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria, claiming that the US government is abandoning the Kurds to the Turkish invasion.

The biggest problem with this is that these Americans have not paid any attention to any part of this conflict except what corporate media has fed them. They are completely unaware of the sequence which led to this point.

So, this is a simplified review of events leading up to this point and where it is most likely to lead in the future.

2014- The YPK, PKK (Kurdish militant groups) and Al Qaeda are listed as extremist terrorist groups by the US government.

2015- All three groups engage in attacks against the Syrian government. This leads to the US State Department downgrading the terminology regarding all three groups from “terrorist organizations” to “moderate rebels”. The US military and CIA begin covertly funding and arming all three groups. This includes Al Qaeda, the leading alleged organization responsible for the attacks on the World trade Center and the Pentagon on 9/11/01.

Each group maintains the same tactics and ideology which they adhered to before this change occurs with no changes other than to become more violent than ever.

These attacks lead to a massive refugee crisis out of Syria, overwhelming neighboring countries and Europe, with thousands dying in the attempt to reach a safe haven.

In response to the terrorist attacks, the Syrian government requests assistance from Russia to repel the attacks. Russia agrees, having a long history of alliance with Syria. Note that Russia has had a naval base in Syria for over 40 years.

Iran offers assistance to repel the terrorist attacks, an offer which is accepted by the Syrian government.

2016- The Syrian government asks the Kurds to participate in peace talks which include the Kurds, Syria, Russia and Iran. The US government discourages the Kurds from participating and refuses to participate as more than passive observer status.

Multiple meetings between Syria, Russia, Turkey and Iran will take place through 2016 through 2018.

Wikileaks releases Hillary Clinton’s emails documenting US funding and support for terrorist organizations. The media conducts a full court blackout on the documents. The revelation forces the Obama administration to end official arms supplies and funding to NGO (non-governmental organizations) militias.

2017/2018/2019- The Syrian Arab Army (official military of Syria), the Russian military and Hezbollah, backed by Iran, show tremendous success in defeating terrorist organizations in Syria, retaking most of the Syrian territories under control of the Syrian government.

2018- Assad wins democratic election as president of Syria.

The Turkish government still considers the Kurdish militia groups to be terrorist organizations. The Turkish military begins incursions into northern Syria to defeat Kurdish militant groups in addition to Al Qaeda and ISIS.

2019- Trump announces withdrawal of US forces from Syria. US forces have been present in Syrian territory illegally since 2015, according to the UN Security Council and UN Peace Council. US forces were never granted permission to be in Syria by the only entities with the authority to grant legality to their presence- The UN Security Council, the Syrian government or the Russian government.

The media portrays the withdrawal as an abandonment of the Kurds, still considered terrorists by Turkey and Syria. No mention of the illegal status of US forces is reported by corporate media. No mention of the previous designation as terrorist organizations is mentioned. No mention that Syria and Turkey consider them terrorist organizations at this time.

Turkey increases the intensity of the attacks on the Syrian Kurds.

The Kurdish militia requests assistance from the Syrian government and strike a deal with the Assad administration to participate in peace talks. The Syrian military mobilizes to assist the Kurds and drive the Turkish military out of Syria.

This brings us up to the present. So, what can we expect to happen in the future?

Most likely it can be expected that the Turkish government will withdraw from Syria, either before engaging the Syrian military or shortly after beginning to do so. Mention has been made of establishing a no fly zone over northern Syria. However, this would lead to a direct confrontation with Russian air forces, while Russia has not agreed to the no fly zone. Even if the US attempts to force the issue, expect Turkey to retreat from the suggestion, not wanting military confrontation with Russia.

Expect to hear more attempts at peace talks between the Kurds, Syria, Turkey, Russia and Iran. Without US intercession, these peace talks are highly likely to succeed, building a coalition between all countries involved. These peace talks will go unreported by corporate media.

In response, expect the US to intensify sanctions against Turkey, the member of the coalition with the current fewest sanctions imposed upon them.

All or part of the coalition will drive the remainder of terrorist forces from central and northern Syria.

Then expect the coalition governments to offer similar assistance to the Iraqi government, which will be accepted. Then the enlarged and strengthened coalition will set their sights on Yemen, driving out Saudi forces permanently.

By the end of all of this, expect all of the coalition countries to turn to attempts at peace efforts with Saudi Arabia and Israel, by willing invitation or by brute force. The US will likely be unwelcome to participate in these peace efforts.

Failure of US Weapons in Saudi Arabia

The US government is reporting that the recent attack on the Saudi oil refinery was due to a missile launched from inside Iran.

Yemen is claiming that the attack was conducted by them utilizing 10 drones.

Here’s the biggest problem with all the claims. No matter which way you view it, this indicates an absolute failure of US weapons sold to Saudi Arabia.

If the attack was conducted by drone, it’s somewhat more understandable, as drones can fly much lower than missiles. The distance would also be far shorter from Yemen to the refinery. However, there was still quite some distance for them to travel and there were ten of them. For an effective defensive weapons system, they should have been detected at some point and defended against.

If the attack was a missile from Iran, then the picture worsens greatly. A missile launched from Iran to the refinery would have had to travel at least 300 miles before reaching the target.

Nowhere have we seen/heard reports that any defense was mounted, let alone successful at bringing down any offensive weaponry. So the attack came as a complete surprise with no prior detection. The US State Dept is now claiming that the missile was detected by US satellite. However, the defensive weapons systems being sold to other countries allegedly link to satellite systems to make them more effective.

Make no mistake about it, the countries to whom the US sells weapons at costs of billions of dollars per year to them are watching this. They do not like what they see. They are now realizing how ineffective US weaponry truly is, leaving them largely defenseless. Offensive weapons are somewhat effective, yet the Patriot missile system and F35 fighter jet are plagued with problems. The Osprey has seen numerous catastrophic failures and requires massive amounts of maintenance, costing far more than it should for repairs.

The only advantage US weapons have in battle conditions is by sheer number. So, if a country is going to rely on number of weapons deployed, wouldn’t they buy less expensive weaponry in an effort to field as many weapons as possible?

Absolute numbers of weapons are a truly poor choice in either offensive or defensive tactics. If one accurate weapon can maneuver past or defeat ten inaccurate weapons, that is far more effective. This can be compared to a boxer throwing wild punches blindly, never landing a blow competing against an opponent who throws one or two targeted punches and knocking the wild boxer unconscious.

If a weapon fails to even detect a threat and respond, you may as well not have any weapons at all. This makes US weapons a bad deal for purchasing countries.

One reason other countries purchase US weapons is because they are subsidized, making them seem like a good deal. The more failures our weapons demonstrate, the worse that deal becomes, even if obtained for “free”. (Just pay shipping and handling!)

I have explained in previous articles that US weapons are sold to other countries at a net loss, even as they are portrayed as profitable. We give tens of billions of dollars a year in “aid” to other countries. Many times, those countries use a portion of that money to purchase weapons from US companies. As an example, we give $3.8 billion per year to Israel. Maybe they buy $2 billion a year in weapons. That’s already a net loss. However, when they receive the money, they receive it from the US government, in other words, the taxpayer. When they purchase the weapons, they purchase from a private US corporation. The country loses money, the corporation profits. Then the corporation is given tax breaks. Then the corporation gets paid for US military contracts. Then the weapons sold are transported by US military transport, with US military security escort. Every step of this process is a subsidy to corporate contractors which we pay for. Not to mention the fact that oil purchases from Saudi Arabia also serves as a war subsidy all by itself.

For weapons that fail.

Yes, we have the largest military budget in the world. Yes, we have forces in more locations than any other country. Yes, we once had the most advanced military technology but that is no longer true. Other countries have developed more effective, more accurate military technologies at lower cost as a direct result of the threat posed to them by the US. Now they are selling their weapons at lower cost to even more countries in competition with the US, while maintaining a faster delivery time. Meanwhile they are not incurring massive debt in the process.

Even less advanced weaponry has proven effective against US weaponry. IED’s and homemade RPG’s have been highly effective against US weapons in the Middle East, drones have been taken down by hand held weapons. While we remain engaged in conflicts we are repeatedly told would last only weeks, still going on 18 years later.

And we have not confronted an adversary with the capabilities and experience that Iran has.

These recent events, combined with the knowledge gained from observation of US conflicts are going to be influencing the future purchase of US weapons by other countries. Even the subsidies may prove to be ineffective in placing any trust in the capabilities of our technology. They are fully aware that our technology is so insufficient that we must also commit human ground forces. Yet our forces are growing weary and thin while our citizens are objecting to our involvement in conflicts that have nothing to do with us. We are objecting to the cost on all levels, especially monetarily and emotionally.

The time for diplomacy is now. Stop the arms sales. Stop the warmonger rhetoric. Stop the subsidies. Sit down and start talking. Openly, publicly. Find solutions that do not include destruction and killing.

Saudi Refining..Recovered? I Call BS!

The announcement came today from Saudi Arabia that they had already recovered their oil refining capacity from the attack a few days ago and would be at full capacity in 2–3 weeks.

Now, there are a number of possibilities here. First, as mentioned in my first article on the subject, they had been running at reduced capacity for some time. So maybe that refinery or another not running at capacity simply increased output.

However, to be back at full capacity in 2–3 weeks would be beyond possibility. That attack reduced refining by 50% with fires so extensive that the smoke was seen in space. So, what? Did they just have enough equipment sitting around unused, enough to basically build half of a refinery? That doesn’t sound likely. Ordering new equipment, shipping from other countries, transporting massive pieces of equipment and installing it doesn’t happen in that time frame.

Then there is another possibility. That the whole thing was a ruse meant to portray Iran badly.

Or there is the possibility that they are lying and have not recovered capacity. They may do that to make it seem to their adversaries that the attack was ineffective, so as to discourage future attacks.

I am guessing the truth is a combination of the latter and having unused refinery capacity which they restarted. This would also discourage trading partners from seeking out other sources for oil products, which they had to already be doing.

No matter what the truth is, Saudi Arabia seems to be taking a passive role in the warmongering rhetoric coming from Israel and Washington, who were not attacked. Perhaps they think the US will take unilateral action against Iran without Saudis being directly involved. The rhetoric from DC is claiming that “intelligence shows” the attack was by missiles launched from Iran. By inserting the word “intelligence”, what they are truly trying to do is say the information is classified, so you don’t get to see it. None of it. No images, nothing.

Once again our government is trying to push this country into a war based on “information” which we do not get to verify or examine. There is nothing to gain for the people of this country. An actual conflict, as I noted previously, will diminish oil availability globally. The only people who gain would be US oil producers. Your cost on absolutely everything would increase substantially. Iran would actually attack Saudi oil refineries and fields. The environment would suffer horribly. The next “defense” budget would be even higher than it is now. Yet that would not stop other countries from seeking oil from other sources. Like Russia, who would be unaffected by this conflict.

Right now is the time that you need to call or write elected officials and tell them “Hands Off Iran”. That you do not support any form of attack against Iran or any other country. Don’t wait. Do it today.

Tapping Strategic Reserves Is A Ploy

In response to the attack on the Saudi oil refinery, Trump has said he will tap the National Strategic Reserve. This is a ploy. If not for it being a ploy, I would be forced to say, “My, how SOCIALIST of him.”

The strategic reserve is in place to safeguard against a national oil and gas shortage, as happened in the early 70’s. We are not there, nor are we at risk of being there.

Not long ago, Trump was crowing about how the US is now a “net” oil exporter. Meaning we export more oil than we import. We still import oil. Lots of it from Saudi Arabia. So, what’s the problem? Stop exporting, right?

Wrong. There are several issues at play here.

First, ceasing the export of US oil would mean impacting the petrodollar system directly. Which will already see a significant impact because Saudi oil is sold anywhere in the world in dollars, a significant portion of the petrodollar system and the original petrodollar itself. For that to be reduced by half takes a huge bite out of the petrodollar system because a lot fewer dollars are being traded internationally. If we stopped exporting oil, that would result in a drop of roughly 75% of the value of the petrodollar itself. Assume import/export to be equal, so 50/50. Half of the imports gone means a reduction of 25% of the petrodollar. Reduce export by 100% and you cut another 50% of the petrodollar value.

Second, this is a giveaway to the oil companies. There is no federal oil refinery, no federal wells in operation. What comprises the strategic reserve is purchased from oil companies at roughly market price. In other words, it was replenished while the cost of oil was low. Now, if we exhaust some or all the reserves, they will have to be replenished later. At higher cost to us, higher profit to oil companies.

All of this is aside from this action being extremely dangerous. Who is to say that Yemen will not destroy another Saudi refinery? Even if they do not, what happens if we deplete the reserves while we do not need it, then run into the situation that we do need it?

The short answer is, we’d be screwed. The major purpose of the strategic reserve is so that the military and government can keep functioning in an emergency. Not the whole country. Deplete the reserves and then have an emergency, that would mean the government and military would be stopped in their tracks.

In fact, the world is watching. Including Iran. If we attack Iran, they could very well attack the other Saudi oil refinery/ies, reserves and naval ports. That would crush the petrodollar, freeze the country and partially cripple the military.

I see a ration card in your future.

Understand, we do not produce enough oil to be energy independent at current capacity. I don’t know the actual numbers but will give an example. Say we use 120 gals of oil per day. We export 50 barrels per day and use 50. That means 70 barrels of what we use is imported. If we stopped importing, we would still be 20 barrels short.

“We can just buy more oil from other countries.”

Wrong, bucko. The Saudi reduction in oil means less oil sold to all countries that buy from them, not just the US. So there will be fierce competition to buy oil from other sources. We would be one in a crowd, all fighting for the same scraps.

The fact is, a small, war torn country in the Middle East may well have just figured out a way to destroy the United States as we know it. Without ever having to threaten us directly. I don’t know about you but after all the weapons we’ve sold Saudi Arabia, I’d call that karma.

I’d say it’s about time the US stepped up to the bargaining table and stopped being the bully/bully’s friend. No threats are going to help with this. Only a diplomatic solution will do anything worthwhile.

Saudi Oil Refinery On Fire.. Who Benefits?

The tale being told to us is that Iran was somehow behind the drone attack on what is reportedly the world’s largest oil refinery. The result of that attack being a reduction of Saudi oil production by a full 50%.

First, read that last sentence again. Saudi oil production has been reduced by a full 50%.

Now, there is the fact that the Saudis had voluntarily reduced oil production for quite some time to boost oil prices. Because the US has maintained oil production, the Saudi reduction had limited success and oil prices have remained low.

Now consider the fact that this is occurring at the exact same time that several other major oil producing nations are being actively and aggressively sanctioned by the US, driving down the oil available on the world market. Iran, Venezuela and Russia are all being sanctioned at the same time.

Not only is there no evidence that Iran was involved in this, they would stand nothing to gain from it and it would involve considerable risk. Israel and the US are already standing with their itchy fingers on the triggers, anxious to find an excuse to attack Iran. With a false accusation against Iran, this would drag Saudi Arabia into that mixture. Iran stated that they could and would block the Strait of Hormuz to tanker traffic to and from Saudi Arabia. That action is legal while involving no violence or destruction of infrastructure.

The destruction of the Saudi refinery does not lead to increased oil sales for Iran. It does increase oil sales for the US.

Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for the attack and had announced plans for effective attacks weeks prior. All in response to years of the worst humanitarian crisis in modern times imposed on their country by Saudi Arabia.

There can be little question that one expected result of this will be increased use of the petrodollar. However- If the US and OPEC nations are unable to meet the demand for oil on the international market, that could very well backfire. Winter months in the Northern hemisphere are not far off, especially for Northern Europe, where winter begins as early as late Sept or early October. So this could very well result in Europe increasing oil purchasing from Russia, thanks to unpredictable supply and increased pricing regarding the US oil supply. Winter months are the most turbulent for the north Atlantic, the route tankers must traverse between the US and Europe. China may well break with the US and increase oil purchases from Venezuela and Iran.

Should other countries make such trade agreements, there is the very good chance that any oil trade agreements will be gone for years, decades, possibly forever.

One of the biggest tasks for the US administration now will be to convince other nations that Iran is somehow responsible for the attack. This is not likely to happen, as other nations are less likely than the US to run up further debt than they currently have for the purpose of waging what will absolutely be a protracted war with Iran. Other nations have a longer history than the US and have not forgotten the invasion of Iraq or destruction of Syria via US terrorist proxies. Europe is still dealing with the fallout of refugees coming from Middle Eastern countries, placing extreme strain on their economies and safety. Nor have they been convinced that Iran violated the terms of the JCPOA, which has been the ongoing rationale for the increased tensions with Iran. Nor are they blind to the Trump administration attempting to find an excuse to attack Iran.

As of today, oil prices have increased by 20%. In real terms, that is an increase of 40¢ on every $2 gallon of gas. As winter approaches, that cost will increase. The effects on the US and other economies will be immediate, severe and long term. We will soon see increases in the prices of all consumer goods, utility bills and electronic services.

We ALL need to stop this in it’s tracks by calling and writing our elected officials to tell them NO WAR WITH IRAN.

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