The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Khameini’s Three Directives for Iran

From the useful Elija Mangnier,

1 – Adherence to Iran’s right to nuclear enrichment and everything related to this science at all costs. Nuclear enrichment is a sword Iran can hold in the face of the West, which wants to take it from Tehran. It is Iran’s card to obstruct any US intention of “obliterating” Iran.

2 – Continue to develop Iran’s missile capability and ballistic programs. This is Iran’s deterrent weapon that prevents its enemies from waging war against it. Sayyed Ali Khamenei considers the missile program a balancing power to prevent harm against Iran.

3 – Support Iran’s allies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, and never abandon them, because they are essential to Iran’s national security.

Now, basically, this is an extended riff on the sad joke that Hussein’s Iraq and Gaddafi’s Libya were destroyed after they were disarmed. Libya’s case is particularly sad: Gaddafi disarmed in exchange for safety and inclusion, and instead was attacked.

Everyone with sense knows this: You can’t disarm in the face of the US or its core Western allies, France and England. All three nations are rabid dogs who believe that, though they have the right to invade or fuck up other nations (the psychology behind this is beyond messy), no one has the right to harm them.

(And yeah, France is bad. Almost certainly worse than Britain at this point in its constant interference, especially anywhere they had colonial interests. The French know they are special and civilized, and that other nations need their bayonets.)

Other nations which completely can’t be trusted include Israel and Saudi Arabia, both key American allies.

All these countries, having been sheltered under the superpower’s skirts since the end of the Cold War, feel entitled to fuck up nations which are out of favor with the big bully, the US.

The dynamic, while messy, isn’t very complicated.

As for the Iranian situation, with the seizure of tankers, and the “maximal” sanctions, and with Europe doing basically nothing to help rescue the nuclear deal, I have to say the prospects for this spiralling out of control are high.

I don’t think that Trump wants war. He wants Iran to disarm, then another President will take them out (or their local enemies).

But Iran isn’t going to do that, and the sanctions are so harmful that they amount to war by other means. And as Trump’s administration ratchets up the pressure, and Iran responds, it won’t take much for it turn to hot war. All it will take is one mistake, one miscalculation and Trump deciding he needs to act tough.

The entire situation is very tiring and very stupid. This mess in the Middle East isn’t the US’s problem, everyone is willing to sell them oil (and the US is the world’s largest producer now anyway, thanks to Obama), and they have very few actual strategic interests which are served by meddling.

Even the argument that they must be there to keep the oil flowing is obvious BS, since their meddling is increasing the probability of a huge disruption, and over the past 30 years sanctions and war have tended to reduce oil supplies rather than increase them. (Some will argue that’s been the point. But reducing oil supplies is not in the US’s national interest even if some Americans want it.)

Go home, Yankee. You aren’t needed in the Middle East.

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Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – July 20, 2019


Is Turkey Going to Exit NATO?


  1. 1) It’s not like they’ll have a nuke next week, unless they buy it from Pakistan; and 2) there’s a lot Iran could do both with conventionals and without a lot of collateral: could sink a few tankers in the strait, block it; bomb Saudi oil fields and productions facilities; disrupt Israel’s hijack of Syrian water. Given the circumstances, I applaud their restraint.


    I’m guessing Israel doesn’t want the Yankees to go home until Yinon has been fulfilled entirely. Iran’s the next leg to get kicked out from under the table.

    Iran Says It Arrested 17 Iranians Allegedly Recruited By CIA


    Here’s a great comment from that linked article.

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a former CIA director, declined on Monday to address specifics of the arrests. But he added: “The Iranian regime has a long history of lying.”

    I’m glad the US, Israel, CIA, England, China, Russia, and all other countries never lie and just Iran.

    In order for Trump to secure a second term, war with Iran is mandatory. You don’t change horses in the middle of the conflict. Dubya guaranteed his reelection by invading Iraq in March of 2003. Trump is late. He needs to get his war with Iran on within the next several months for it to maximize his reelection chances.

  4. Adam Eran

    The other motive for stirring things up with Iran: Keeping the price of oil high. Fracking and deep water drilling make no sense at <$70/bbl. That's the reason for the war in Iraq (says Greg Palast). Not to get the oil…to keep in in the ground and make the source and path to our gas tanks insecure.

  5. StewartM

    Trump may not want war, but Bolton sure the hell does.

    Given that Trump’s eye is more on Twitter and not what’s happening with his team (say, with Mick Mulvaney as director of OMB, who brags that he will put the Heritage Foundation icon on White house budget proposals), who can say he won’t be confronted with a fait accompli?

  6. Stirling S Newberry

    The Baby Boom wants to hold on to long for the things that won WWII:

    1. Aircraft carriers.
    2. The Bomb
    3. Production
    4. Oil

    All four have worn out their welcome.


    Hot war with Iran appears inevitable at this point. What’s being done to Iran right now is from the same playbook as to what was done to Japan prior to its attack on Pearl Harbor and to Saddam prior to America’s invasion in 2003.

    America is tightening the noose and eliminating options for the target. The goal is to goad an aggressive act on the part of the target to serve as justification to begin hot aggression in earnest.

    At this rate, by the end of 2019 America will formally be at war with Iran and the majority of Dems in Congress will support it and sign off on it. Trump will get his second term as a war president. It will be mission accomplished for Epstein and Israel. The tape of Trump raping a young girl or perhaps tapes of Trump raping many young girls, children in fact, will not be released to the public afterall. Kompromat isn’t just the purview of the Russians.

    Iran & China are preparing for a conflict as though it’s inevitable.

    Iran squirrelling millions of barrels of oil in Chinese ports

  8. Steve Ruis

    Re “Go home, Yankee. You aren’t needed in the Middle East.” Truer words have never been spoken. When I was young I believed in self-determination … still do.

  9. ponderer

    I don’t think that Trump wants war. He wants Iran to disarm, then another President will take them out (or their local enemies.)

    You say that but how confident are you that a different President, from the pool we are allowed to chose from, wouldn’t have already started a hot war? There’s no disarming to be had, though he might think that. The Israeli’s and SA know that this is just a pretext / trap so that after hostilities start the US can’t help but be dragged in. Clinton would have already started a humanitarian bombing campaign and her base would be cheering her on. Trumps base doesn’t want a war and he knows it will cost him 2020. The Zionists are trying their best to start one. If they don’t think they will get one after 2020, they’ll make a move before then.


    Trumps base doesn’t want a war and he knows it will cost him 2020.

    Trump’s base wants whatever Trump wants. If he wants them all to die, they will die. If he wants them to squeal like little piggies like they do at his rallies, they squeal like the little piggies they are. They’re that mindless. Trump is their Kim Jong-il.

  11. Ten Bears

    I don’t think Trump wants war – he wants a Nobel Prize.

    Penis envy, Obama has one.

  12. Steve

    Th irrationality factor is high. People like Pompeo, although not Bolton, may have forgotten why Iran makes them purple with rage. It’s the grudge over the hostage crisis of 40 years ago. It created an insecurity that makes life practically unbearable for them. Thus all the tough guy acting out. They are indulging adolescent rage with no regard for the horrible consequences.

  13. Phil

    Don’t forget Ukraine in that list. Had 1/4 of the USSR’s nukes, gave them back to Russia for territorial guarantees, got fcked up.

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