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Will Trump Use “Human Rights” to Kill the Iran Nukes Deal?
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In a matter of days, Donald Trump will have the chance to scuttle the Iranian Nuclear agreement, a transaction that Trump has called “the worst deal ever.” The future of the so called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA depends largely on whether Trump opts to reimpose economic sanctions on Iran or not. If the president does in fact reimpose sanctions, (sometime after January 13) the United States will be in “material noncompliance” with the terms of the nuclear agreement and all bets will be off. That means there are two questions that readers should be asking themselves:

1. Will Trump reimpose sanctions and kill the Obama-era nukes deal?

2. Are the protests in Iran instigated by Washington to provide cover to Trump for scrapping the JCPOA?

Take a look at this brief summary from an article at Politico:

President Donald Trump allowed the Iran nuclear deal to survive through 2017, but the new year will offer him another chance to blow up the agreement — and critics and supporters alike believe he may take it.

By mid-January, the president will face new legal deadlines to choose whether to slap U.S. sanctions back on Tehran. Senior lawmakers and some of Trump’s top national security officials are trying to preserve the agreement. But the deal’s backers fear Trump has grown more willing to reject the counsel of his foreign policy team, as he did with his recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital….

When Trump last publicly addressed the status of the Iran agreement, in mid-October, he indicated his patience had worn thin with what he has called “the worst deal ever,” and demanded that Congress and European countries take action to address what he considers the deal’s weakness.

“[I]n the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated,” Trump said in an Oct. 13 speech.” (“How Trump could kill the Iran nuclear deal in January”, Politico)

So there it is. We do not yet know whether Trump is planning to “blow up the deal” or not. Nor do we have a clear idea of how responsible US NGOs or US agents might be in fomenting the demonstrations on the ground. What we do know, however, is that scuttling the agreement — which took years of deliberation, collaboration and compromise– will be very costly for the United States. Former US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew explained what the US can expect if it does walk away from JCPOA. Here’s an excerpt from an editorial that appeared in the New York Times in 2014.

…the United States does have tremendous economic influence. But it was not this influence alone that persuaded countries across Europe and Asia to join the current sanction policy, one that required them to make costly sacrifices, curtail their purchases of Iran’s oil, and put Iran’s foreign reserves in escrow. They joined us because we made the case that Iran’s nuclear program was an uncontained threat to global stability and, most important, because we offered a concrete path to address it diplomatically — which we did….Foreign governments will not continue to make costly sacrifices at our demand….

Indeed, they would more likely blame us for walking away from a credible solution to one of the world’s greatest security threats, and would continue to re-engage with Iran. Instead of toughening the sanctions, a decision by Congress to unilaterally reject the deal would end a decade of isolation of Iran and put the United States at odds with the rest of the world…

The major importers of Iranian oil — China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey … will not agree to indefinite economic sacrifices in the name of an illusory better deal. We should think very seriously before threatening to cripple the largest banks and companies in these countries….

We must remember recent history. In 1996, in the absence of any other international support for imposing sanctions on Iran, Congress tried to force the hands of foreign companies, creating secondary sanctions that threatened to penalize them for investing in Iran’s energy sector. The idea was to force international oil companies to choose between doing business with Iran or the United States, with the expectation that all would choose us.

This outraged our foreign partners, particularly the European Union, which threatened retaliatory action and referral to the World Trade Organization and passed its own law prohibiting companies from complying. The largest oil companies of Europe and Asia stayed in Iran until, more than a decade later, we built a global consensus around the threat posed by Iran and put forward a realistic diplomatic means of addressing it.

(“The High Price of Rejecting the Iran Deal”, New York Times)

The Obama administration did not sign the Iranian nukes agreement because it wanted to, it signed it because it had to. Iranian negotiators made a number of crucial concessions that not only intensified the ongoing inspections regime, but also agreed that Iran would be treated more harshly (and unfairly) then any other nation that had ever signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. “The agreement subjects Iran to greater restrictions and more intrusive monitoring than any state with nuclear programs.” Simply put, the US insisted that Iran accept a number of special protocols which in effect treat Iran like a second-class citizen. Iran accepted these terms so the US would stop its relentless economic strangulation which has persisted almost-continuously since 1979.

It is worth noting, that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program nor is there any evidence that they were trying to develop one. Like Saddam’s fictitious Weapons of Mass Destruction, “Iran’s nukes” are largely a myth created to justify nonstop US-Israeli aggression. Check it out:

It is essential to recognize that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapons program, nor does it possess a nuclear weapon. On February 26, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Ayatollah Khomenei, the supreme leader of Iran, ended his country’s nuclear weapons program in 2003 and “as far as we know, he’s not made the decision to go for a nuclear weapon.”

This repeats the “high-confidence” judgement of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) that was first made in November 2007.

(Micah Zenko, “Putting Iran’s Nuclear Program in Context”, Council on Foreign Relations)

Iran has no nukes, no nuclear weapons program, and no sinister nuclear project aimed at blowing up Israel or the United States. It’s all 100 percent bunkum conjured up by the same propagandists in the establishment media who concocted the mobile weapons labs, the yellowcake uranium, the aluminum tubes, curveball and the myriad other cockamamie fabrications that preceded the invasion of Iraq.

It’s also worth noting that “Forty-five US military bases encircle Iran, with over 125,000 troops in close proximity” and that both Republican and Democratic presidents have repeatedly expressed their support for regime change in Tehran. Moreover, the vast majority of Senators and Congressmen have frequently expressed their contempt for Iran while supporting covert activities to destabilize the government or punish the people. Ideally, Trump and his lieutenants would like to replace the Islamic clerics who currently rule Iran, with a puppet like the Shah who privatized oil production, ruled the country with an iron fist, and faithfully followed Washington’s diktats to the letter. The Shah’s reign of terror lasted a full 40 years during which time his CIA-trained secret police, the SAVAK, rounded up and tortured millions of innocent Iranians who were then systematically subjected to “whipping and beating, electric shocks, extraction of teeth and nails, boiling water pumped into the rectum, heavy weights hung on the testicles, tying the prisoner to a metal table heated to a white heat, inserting a broken bottle into the anus, and rape.” This is how the United States brought freedom and democracy to the people of Iran under the Shah.

Is it any wonder why the Iranians are skeptical of Trump’s so called “supportive” tweets (such as):

“The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime…..The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They are hungry for food and freedom. Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted. TIME FOR CHANGE!” Donald Trump

Trump’s outspoken support for the protestors has many critics believing that Washington might be orchestrating events on the ground, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. In an excellent article at the World Socialist Web Site, Keith Jones, explains that the massive demonstrations are reaction to neoliberal policies that have exacerbated inequality while fueling social tensions. “Liberal reforms” and austerity have negatively impacted living standards in Iran just as they have everywhere else they’ve been implemented. In other words, the social explosion we are seeing unfold in Iran is not a Washington-engineered color revolution, but a the emerging signs of a class war. Here’s an excerpt from the WSWS article:

Since Dec. 28, tens of thousands have defied the Islamic Republic’s repressive apparatus and taken to the streets in cities and towns across the county. They have done so to voice their anger over food price rises, mass unemployment, gaping social inequality, years of sweeping social spending cuts and a pseudo-democratic political system that is rigged on behalf of the ruling elite and utterly impervious to the needs of working people.

The scope and intensity of this movement and its rapid embrace of slogans challenging the government and the entire autocratic political system have stunned Iranian authorities and western observers alike. Yet, it was preceded by months of worker protests against job cuts and plant closures and unpaid wages and benefits…..

The trigger for this explosion of popular discontent was the government’s latest austerity budget. It will further slash income support for ordinary Iranians, raise gas prices by as much as 50 percent, and curtail development spending, while increasing the already huge sums under the control of the Shia clergy…

The claim that the current protests are akin to those mounted by the Green Movement in 2009 is a base slander meant to justify a bigger crime. The Green challenge to the results of the 2009 Iranian presidential election was a long-prepared political operation that followed the script of similar US-orchestrated “color revolutions” in the Ukraine, Georgia, Lebanon and elsewhere. It was aimed at bringing to power those elements of the Iranian elite most eager to reach a quick rapprochement with US and European imperialism. It drew its popular support almost exclusively from the most privileged layers of the upper middle class, who were mobilized on the basis of neoliberal denunciations of the populist President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for “squandering” money on the poor….

The current challenge to the Iranian regime is of an entirely different character. It is rooted in the working class, including in smaller industrial cities and district towns; draws its greatest support from young people who face an unemployment rate of 40 percent or more; and is driven by opposition to social inequality and capitalist austerity….The period in which the class struggle could be suppressed is coming to an end.

(“Working class opposition erupts in Iran: A harbinger for the world in 2018″”, World Socialist Web Site)

Iran’s protests are not the result of US meddling (although the US does undoubtedly have agents on the ground) Nor is there any real chance of regime change, in fact, from Trump’s point of view, that’s not even the main objective. In our opinion, the Trump administration is looking for a way to terminate the nuclear agreement without abrogating the deal itself. My guess is that the administration plans to use Iran’s crackdown on protestors as a justification for rescinding the nukes deal, thus, providing cover for the allies to join Washington without fear of incurring the attendant penalties.

Trump’s recent tweets, all of which emphasize human rights, suggest the plan is already underway.

“Big protests in Iran. The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism. Looks like they will not take it any longer. The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!” Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2017

Iran is failing at every level despite the terrible deal made with them by the Obama Administration. The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They are hungry for food & for freedom. Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted. TIME FOR CHANGE! Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2018

The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime. All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their “pockets.” The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching! Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018

Iran, the Number One State of Sponsored Terror with numerous violations of Human Rights occurring on an hourly basis, has now closed down the Internet so that peaceful demonstrators cannot communicate. Not good! Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2017

Trump’s sudden interest in human rights is suspicious, but is it really a sign of a plan to kill the nukes deal?

We’ll see.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at [email protected].

(Republished by permission of author or representative)
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  1. Giuseppe says:

    Iran’s protests are not the result of US meddling …

    Plausible deniability…

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  2. The timelines look too convenient for it not to be a case of yankee subversion piggybacking onto legitimate protests. Now that the facts have become apparent, the whiff of treason permeates the later rioting. Expect the Iranians to rally round the regime against foreign interference.

  3. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Trump will exterminate the Iranians.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  4. This is the gist of it.
    My guess is that the US administration plans to use Iran’s crackdown on protestors as a justification for rescinding the nukes deal, thus, providing cover for the allies to join Washington without fear of incurring the attendant penalties.
    This is a quote from the above article
    The flaw in this argument is that the allies have already (5+1 Germany) rejected this in the UN.

  5. It’s OK if Trump repeals the deal, not because that would be ethical or fair, but because it will accelerate the demise of the US-controlled global financial system in favor of an independent Eurasian system.

    • Replies: @Alden
    , @Ilyana_Rozumova
  6. nebulafox says:

    No, I don’t think so. There’s no question the USA (and Israel) welcomes and encourages it, but there’s genuine reason for discontent. It’s the age old matter that many talking heads fail to realize: intelligence services can exacerbate already existent political conditions, but they cannot create them. Iran is a pretty young nation: like Vietnam, much of the current populace has no memories of America’s role in their 1950s-1970s history. But unlike modern Vietnam, the regime in Tehran isn’t providing opportunities for their (often well educated) young populace for them to support them, with not-so-hidden corruption further exacerbating the problem. Ironically enough, this is exactly the same trap the Shah ran into in the 1970s when the White Revolution produced more graduates than the Iranian economy at the time could handle-all these unemployed young men were easy targets for the Islamists. Whereas Vietnam is experiencing the same hot house growth that China had a decade ago, thus young people have no incentive to go out and protest and no reason to be anything other than happy with, or at least accepting of, the Communist Party.

    That said, though, this discontent immediately goes out the window if the US starts to go all visibly neocon. The mullahs will have zero trouble uniting the populace in such a scenario. Mr. Buchanan nailed it: the way of maximizing the chance of positive change in Tehran is to stay out of it and let things take their course. Not least because, as I said on his column, that “regime change” in Tehran isn’t going to bring the kinds of supplicant foreign policy changes that the GOP has wet dreams about. A democratic Iran is still likely going to be a Persian nationalist, Shi’a favoring one that will pursue a bomb program.

    • Replies: @Giuseppe
  7. there is a simpler more elegant way of looking this latest outpouring of faux outrage directed at iran.

    there are many in america who view trump as stupid and unstable.

    imo he is neither of those

    and is in his own manner quite subtle as he uses his over the top tweeting to move his opponents in the very direction he wishes them to go all the while taking away their latent power.

    he proposed while running for office to get america out of the role as the worlds policemen. withdraw from the useless wars in the middle east and geld the neocons in the process. as a very smart man he discovered that doing this openly and frontally was impossible as entrenched deep state power in america was too strong.

    so what he has done is appear to be over the top in his aggressive exhortations towards all the same neocon enemies as before during obamas tenure.

    however the world is no longer that place of even 5 years ago as russia has demonstrated in syria and as china belt road initiative gathers force and the petro yuan trade up and coming.

    what trump is in the process of doing is alienating all those forces in the middle east that now want him out except for israel and saudi arabia both now quite irrelevant after their DEBACLE in syria.

    his generals have told him war with iran is impossible. it was suicide 5 years ago and only more so now with china and russia backing iran.

    in short the net effect of all trumps maneuvering will be washington withdrawal from the middle east, something trump campaigned on and something he will get . the neocon are too stupid and ideological to see they have been used and setup by trump in to giving him exactly what wanted to begin with.

    placing the american nation ahead of the american empire which will be slowly dismantled by trump ”intentionally” overplaying the empires hand turning previous allies into neutrals and fence sitter nations into resistors.

    our allies are finding out right now we are no longer what we appear to be and they better figure out how to get along with this new reality.

    big/little wars of the neocon variety are no longer possible, the world has moved on and figured out the neocon color revolution game and will no longer believe the bullshit or bite at the gambit.

  8. Giuseppe says:

    What we’re dealing with is plausible deniability. It’s not possible to know at this time how much of these protests are spontaneous, or to what extent they may be encouraged or directed by external state actors. In saying this, this is the only disagreement I can recall having with Mike Whitney, whose writing I highly esteem. I give conspiracy the benefit of a doubt, I have faith in the CIA and Mossad.

  9. Sean says:

    Trump is deliberately painting himself into a corner. So yes, he’ll kill the deal although he knows full well that Europe and Iran’s other trading areas won’t go along with more US sanctions. With a dead deal Trump will say “How sad, too bad, never mind. We now must take the one option remaining: an attack on Iran.”

  10. @paraglider

    Are you saying that this is more 3D chess? I’m more inclined to conclude that Trump is pretty much as he appears: an egotist who has been unable to adjust to the realities he has been presented with now that he has what he sees as the power he wanted to exercise.

    Trump made some dismaying choices for his cabinet and has done little to restrain or direct the people he put into positions of authority. I reject the idea that his deranged UN ambassador was put in place as a prank, as some have said here recently. Haley is a disaster, and her appointment was a huge mistake. If Trump were as smart as some think he is, Haley would have been replaced after a month or so.

    Ordering a missile attack on a Syrian air base in response to a patently fraudulent story about Assad ordering a chemical attack on Syrians showed me that he’s not at all the kind of man you seem to think that he is. The way it appears to me is that Trump hasn’t a clue and acts impulsively for reasons that wouldn’t even occur to a normal adult human being.

    What he’s in the process of doing is doubling down on what everyone who voted for him feared that Clinton intended to do.

    • Agree: Dan Hayes
  11. Trump should be concerned with the human rights situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories rather than with the situation in Iran. These protests were instigated by the CIA, despite the denial by CIA director Mike Pompeo, and the Mossad who has agents on the ground. Both Intel organizations support and operate through “Mujahadeen-e-Khalq,” a terror group, operating from within and without of Iran. Finally, the US under Trump bought the spin by Netanyahu that Iran poses a threat to world peace. Instead of looking into Israel’s substantial illegal nuclear arsenal the US political and media class fabricates another cause for attacking another country. Israel poses the most significant threat to the Middle East. To destroy Iran would give Israel hegemonical control from Iran to Marocco. As we know from the scribbler Michael Wolff, there is a war going on in the White House between “Jews and non-Jews.” As for now, it seems as if the Jews have won as Trumps Jerusalem decision shows. If this dominance continues, it will be to the detriment of the American people. Trump’s support of human rights seems phony.

  12. When the presidential race was between Obama and McCain, I hoped Obama would win from the hawk.
    Alas Obama did not bring peace.
    The last race, I was glad hawk Hillary did not win, I expected her to wage a ‘limited’ nuclear war in Europe against Russia.
    Now USA generals are talking about imminent war, it seems.
    There already was an article here that the neocons are back.
    Obama at least understood that giving Jerusalem away to Israel would be a political folly.
    Trump did, despite his good college results.
    He now threatens Iran, why, I can see no USA interest, just an Israeli one.
    So I’m beginning to wonder if anything will ever change in the USA without revolution.

    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
  13. @Twodees Partain

    I fully agree with the last sentence

  14. Miro23 says:

    The Neocons don’t give up, and they very much want the destruction of Iran.

    The deal now seems to be 1) To finish with the nuclear deal on some human rights pretext 2) go through with the ARAMCO IPO so that MBS gets his payoff – then he fulfills his part of the bargain, and gets an Iran War rolling.

    A whole new collection of US investors will be crucially interested in the outcome, and MBS will get all the support he needs along with the usual False Flag and secret US military guarantees.

  15. Alden says:
    @Fidelios Automata

    What makes you think a Eurasian aka Chinese system would be better?

    • Replies: @Vidi
  16. Alden says:
    @Twodees Partain

    If Trump were as smart as the average high school grad he never would have appointed Haley
    I think even Bolton was more moderate and even handed.

    Moving the embassy to Jerusalem was a
    signal that Israel is supreme in the Middle East

    But every Jew I know still hates him and the Jewish publications I read haven’t thanked him for moving the embassy to Jerusalem. It’s the same old same old he and his voters are Nazi fascists anti gay anti woman anti black Hispanic Jews Asians and other minorities.

    What I like about him is that liberals hate him and just can’t accept that he was elected.

    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
  17. Clyde says:

    Most Iranians are impoverished, this is why there are widespread demonstrations going on. The families of the smelly stinko phony baloney Mullahs hog most of the nations wealth via “foundations” that own key companies and businesses. The revenue from selling 2.7 million barrels oil per day is not enough for the Iranian population of 80 million to live off of when the extended families of Mullahs get most these earnings.

    You know the wealthy princelings of China? These are the connected sons and daughters of prominent Communist party members. Same system in Iran except substitute smelly Mullahs and their worthless offspring that own and run and profit. Plus are employed by them. Anything Donald Trump does with Iran is fine by me. There is also extreme tech cooperation between Norks and Iran. With Iran funding a good part of North Korea’s nuke and missile research.

    Their ultimate goal is to turn the Middle East Shia and to oust the Saudis from Mecca and Medina so it is under Shiite rule.

    • Replies: @Avery
    , @Twodees Partain
    , @WHAT
  18. Trump will do what ever the hell his Zionist masters tell him to do.

    • Replies: @Clyde
  19. Joe Hide says:

    Why don’t the authors on this site write about the vastly increased indictments, arrests, and disempowerment of the pedophiles, deviates, and traitors to humanity, in our country and globally, since the Trump administration took power? Is this subject too hot to handle? While articles on Iran, the economy, Sino-American and Russian-American relations are of importance, they are way down the list compared to the removing of psychopath, genocidal, narcisstic, increasingly psychotic, control freaks that have held sway for so long. Don’t discount this as conspiracy theory. We that recognize this are a rapidly growing percentage of humanity. is a great information source. Just step up to the plate and hit a home run instead of singles. Good luck you guys!

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    , @Anonymous
  20. @Fidelios Automata

    You are dead right. But you insinuating Trump is deliberately planning suicide of US financial hegemony. And I do not think that it is the case.

  21. @paraglider

    Brilliant analysis! But your preposition that Trump is consciously playing this is far out.
    You have to realize that Trump is a winner and he always wants to be a winner.
    Trump is not kind of a person who would turn around and say: They wanted me to do it. So it is not my fault.

  22. @Anonymous

    Trump will exterminate the Iranians.

    No doubt it’s because Netanyahoo has exterminated his soul, if any, and he knows that if he doesn’t exterminate the Izzyies’ enemies, his precious little tushy will be up for grabs. Or, more likely extermination.

    Lotsa blackmail potential there.

  23. But you insinuating Trump is deliberately planning suicide of US financial hegemony. And I do not think that it is the case.

    You’re correct that it isn’t Trump who’s doing the planning. He’s just another useful idiot, as you seem to be insinuating.

  24. @Joe Hide

    You are correct.

    You can help by making like comments on a regular basis.

    Please help keep us up to date.

  25. Avery says:

    {…the smelly stinko phony baloney Mullahs….}

    How do you know the mullah are smelly?
    Have you had close, intimate relationships with one or more of them so you could intimately smell their stink?

  26. Clyde says:
    @Desert Fox

    The Zionists have their new and improved mind rays aimed at Donald Trump and you too. Same for the so called Jacques Shiites who posts here. The only way to block them is by wrapping copper foil around your noggin while leaving burka like slits for the eyes.

    • Replies: @Desert Fox
  27. @Twodees Partain

    i agree that this is how it looks.

    think about the consequences of these action rather than the actions themselves. in any complex game the movement of any piece on the board is fundamental to the end game.

    haley is a zionist clown there is no denyng that fact. no good businessman, and that is what trump is, is NOT a politician places haley in that position unless he a) he wants to denigrate the UN and b) wants to alienate as many nations as he can in the areas of the world he wants to ultimately vacate military forces

    haley is perfect as foil for american bluster, stupidity, parochial understanding of other nations cultures. she is an all around fool for all to see. in effect she ensures washington will garner less and less UN support for any future nation building efforts it may desire. without other nations acting as cover for washintons neocolonial plans attack becomes impossible. the last person trump wants at the UN is a lavrov type who could actually persuade other nations to act with washington when washington wanted to something ugly.

    in short what trump is doing is making it increasingly impossible for neocon washington to find any kind of global consensus for its military plans. in trumps world if you make it impossible for the neocons create another iraq, libya, syria type debacle by showing the world how really insane the neocon military complex really is you win and the world wins. to do this trump needs thugs clowns like haley.

    the missiles at the syrian airport demonstrated impotence not power. in fact is doubtful just how many were prevented from hitting their targets by russian EW technology vastly ahead of our own.

    it is important to view trumps communication as foreplay for the ultimate negotiation he wants to take place. by acting over the top he sets up his opponents to react which allows him the pacing to reach to table to talk.

    he throw bones to the military like more troops in afghanistan which is primarily for 2 reasons.

    1. it allows the us military to have a safe staging area for its fantasy attack against iran which will NEVER take place and 2 it allows the us security agencies to maintain their control of the opium trade which provides staggering funding off the books

    imo trump has very powerful establishment people behind him. in the cia, nsa and military. he would never have made to the whitehouse without their help. they choose to remain in the backround but fully understand the peril the neocons in the clinton,bush.obama tenures have done tot he united states as a nation.

    imo trump was elected and helped to SAVE the american nation and bury the american empire

    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
  28. Don Bacon says:

    >The “Forty-five US military bases encircle Iran, with over 125,000 troops in close proximity” are actually a guarantee that Iran won’t be attacked, because then Iran could destroy those nearby bases and the troops. (Korea is similar.)
    >Human rights sanctions were first imposed on Iran by the US in 2010 and by the EU in 2011. Does Iran care? No, especially since the human rights issues have surfaced in the sanctioners.

  29. @jilles dykstra

    When the presidential race was between Obama and McCain, I hoped that both candidates would suddenly snap and stab each other to death at one of their debates. That was the only hope I had at the time. Since I gave up hope, I feel much better. Hoping for a political solution to the mess we have here kept me in a constant state of turmoil.

    Those red pills work wonders for the kind of upset I was experiencing.

  30. @Alden

    “What I like about him is that liberals hate him and just can’t accept that he was elected.”

    That’s what I used to like about him. Now, it just looks as though he and the libtards are pretending to fight a`la WWE. The show has gotten old to me.

  31. @Clyde

    Disgust over Iran’s ruling gang is a poor excuse for allowing US leaders to start a war with Russia and China by invading Iran. I’m glad it isn’t up to you.

  32. @paraglider

    You were making sense until the last sentence. I doubt Trump could accomplish what you’re hoping for even by accident.

    • Replies: @paraglider
  33. Anonymous [AKA "Lesser Satan"] says:

    The real issue here is not Trump’s feigned interest in human rights, but the US government’s manifest distortion of human rights in breach of the principle of non-intervention [UNGA Res 36 103 (XX) and now customary international law.] Iran is now legally able to impose countermeasures and take the US to the ICJ to enforce cessation, restitution, reparations, or compensation. This is what Iran does, as in the Aerial Incident and Oil Platforms cases. We American taxpayers pay through the nose, again and again, so CIA can settle the cases and avoid binding judicial precedent restricting its clandestine crime. When are we going to do what JFK said and RIF all the dimbulb knuckle-draggers like D’Andrea?

  34. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Why no discussion of the alleged US orchestrated tanker incident?

  35. @Clyde

    Israel and the deep state did 911 and everyone with a brain knows it and everyone is too afraid of the zionists to do anything about it, and that is control in spades, so you can shove the tin foil hat up your ass.

  36. @Twodees Partain

    trump is the symptom. the americn empire is now collapsing exactly as the soviet empire collapsed in the late 1980’s.

    the real plan for those who understand the empires collapse is now””” unstoppable””” is to transition into being a powerful nation state rather than an overarching empire.

    if trump and his backers fail the american empire will collapse chaotically with living conditions here for many americans resembling russia or worse in the 1990’s.

    the american empire is collapsing for all the same reasons evry other empire has collapsed in the past

    over spending
    over indebtness
    endless futile wars that sap the treasury and increase the debt
    a recognition on thr part of other powerful nations that contingency plans must be executed to minimize the fallout……ie; chinese one belt one road, petro yuan oil contract, bilateral trading in currencies local rather than the dollar

    in short our empire is failing now and its accelerating. thtrick is to get to the other side with as little human and economic damage as possible.

    humpty has fallen off the wall and only the most shortsided and ideological want to try and glue him back together. trump is merely one of many in power who understand this and want to mitigate the consequences for as many americans as possible.

    and for this he is viillified by huge segments of the supposed elites which just goes to show how really overrated the elites actually are.

    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
  37. A number of people don’t believe the protests in Iran are “home grown”. These people think that Washington is basically responsible for the anti-government demonstrations. But that does not appear to be the case. Check out this short clip from an article at the WSWS:

    Since coming to power in August 2013, the Rouhani administration has accelerated privatization and slashed social spending, while rewriting the rules governing investment in the oil sector to satisfy Total, Shell, Eni, and other European energy giants.

    The government’s proposed budget for next year would cut \$5.3 billion in income support for poorer Iranians, raise gasoline (petrol) prices by as much as 50 percent, expand privatization of education and cut infrastructure spending by \$3.1 billion. This in a country where, according to a report published in the IRGC’s own political organ, Sobhe Sadeq, 50 percent of the people live below the poverty line.

    A study conducted by BBC Persian found Iranians are 15 percent poorer than they were a decade ago. The consumption of bread, milk and red meat has dropped by 30 to 50 percent, as growing numbers of families can no longer afford them. Meanwhile, as around the world, the income and wealth chasm between the richest 1 and 10 percent of Iranians and the rest of the population has widened…”

    It looks to me like the protests are a reaction to the same policies of austerity and privitization that have triggered social upheaval everywhere…although I could be wrong.

  38. Art says:

    No doubt that Trump will in some way, disrupt the nuke agreement. He is incapable of going against what he has already said. He has made too big a deal of it already. He is a prisoner of his mouth.

    The idea that Muslim Iran is going to change stripes is preposterous. It has no choice but to be Shia. However Iran is in a bad place – the sanctions are hurting it.

    Iran should go to the other G5+1 signatories and say we will honor the nuke agreement if you will not put sanctions on us. Let Trump pound his putz.

    The Iranians are very skilled diplomats. Iran have a valid argument that they have acted honorably. If Russia and China go along with more trade – so should Europe. Nobody in the world, really respects America today. Our caving to Israel is sickening to friend and foe alike.

    Perhaps this could turn out good for Iran.

    Think Peace — Art

    • Replies: @smellyoilandgas
  39. @Mike Whitney

    And of course Cuban poverty also is home grown.
    This poverty has also nothing to do with USA terrorism
    Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, William Blum,, ‘Superpower Principles, U.S. Terrorism against Cuba’, 2005, Monroe

    • Replies: @Wally
  40. bjondo says:

    the legit protesters miss ahmadinejad and his policies that cared for the ‘deplorables’.
    even khamenei has criticized rouhani’s econ policies.

    the usa and israel have infiltrated the legit homegrown protesters
    with the usual violence and bs hoping to create another color rev.

    wont happen.

  41. @paraglider

    I really hope I’m wrong, paraglider. Your view is much more hopeful than mine.

  42. @Mike Whitney

    Maybe yes and than maybe no.
    But than action and timing certainly fits sequentially into the greater plan.

  43. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Mike Whitney

    If an analysis is posted to WSWS, Politico or Counterpunch does that mean accuracy or good information or just propaganda?

    Trump says a lot of things, none of which need to be taken literally, yet you do that in most of your pieces. More typically with a cut n’ paste from another source that might be telling a story.

    We have no clue what’s going on – is that the goal of your writing? I’d say this effort was successful. We’ll suspend disbelief and take your version of reality as long as you make up your own citations.

  44. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Mike Whitney

    If accurate – the application of Iranian neoliberalism – the question is why Americans are so passive when the same is being done to them. Could it be our own media (all of it) no longer talks about ongoing economic ravages but instead has a hired army writing about Russiagate, race and sex? Obviously the Iranians don’t have a propaganda system nearly as effective as Americans do.

  45. Greg Bacon says: • Website

    Tubby the Grifter will do whatever his money men like Sheldon Adelson and the mobsters like President Kushner & Bibi tell him to do.

  46. Vidi says:

    What makes you think a Eurasian aka Chinese system would be better?

    The U.S. is currently stealing from the rest of the world; if you “pay” for imports with printed dollars, you’re basically stealing those goods. The world needs something different, a financial system that’s more honest.

    • Replies: @Ilyana_Rozumova
  47. peterAUS says:
    @Twodees Partain

    After reading the book….agree.

  48. @Vidi

    Not so! US is Robin hood. He is steeling from the rich and giving it to poor.
    Most of the US bonds are bought by rich.

    • Troll: L.K
  49. Wally says: • Website
    @jilles dykstra

    Only Zionists cite the discredited fraud, Chomsky.

  50. Wally says: • Website
    @Mike Whitney

    “Since coming to power in August 2013, the Rouhani administration has accelerated privatization and slashed social spending”

    Repeatedly shown to be wise & necessary actions.

    Communism, the most incompetent form of government the world has ever seen, is the very definition of failure.

    • Replies: @skrik
  51. Frankie P says:
    @Mike Whitney

    The protests are certainly home grown, and the economic issues related to privatization and Rouhani’s wish to increase foreign investment are accurate. That said, much of the information in the WSWS articles is questionable, and I recommend that you visit the saker and read the challenges, responses, and responses to the reseponses from Ramin Mazaheri. WSWS writes Ramin off as an apologist of the Iranian “regime”, and it’s sad to see the WSWS reverting to mainstream media vilification of Iran and its government. Ramin has a much deeper understanding of the culture and civilization in Iran, and he correctly calls the WSWS out on their constant Trotskyite thinking, further bringing up the important point that socialism CAN exist in a culture that is deeply religious. Interesting stuff.

    There is certainly a push and pull in Iran, especially regarding the economy; people don’t sit still when their standard of living plunges, even if the policies promulgated are for the eventual improvement of standard of living. Nobody can argue that the Iranian economy hasn’t been damaged by ongoing US economic blockades, sanctions, etc., extending to the European economies, which tend to fall into line when the US raises the prospect of “You do business with us or them. Choose.” Rouhani may have moved too quickly on privatization hopes, cutting social benefits too quickly. Iran now has to remedy the situation, and address the true root causes of the protests: economic in nature. The US, the west, the corrupt mainstream media are NOT the root causes of these protests, but they certainly did try to influence them, change their direction and the western perception of the protests, and add fuel to the fire, making these protests seem that they were seeking regime change. Perhaps responses to the protests and some kind of pervese R2P will be used to destroy the JCPOA, to implement new sanctions, to target Iran for some kind of UNSC censure (doomed to fail).

    Mike, go to the saker site and read Mazaheri’s articles, if you haven’t already.

    Frankie P

    • Replies: @L.K
    , @Don Bacon
  52. L.K says:
    @Mike Whitney

    Mr. Whitney says:

    It looks to me like the protests are a reaction to the same policies of austerity and privitization that have triggered social upheaval everywhere…

    I believe MoA to be correct; it’s a case of regime change operatives – a very small minority within the not very large protests – attempting to hijack legitimate economic protests against Rouhani’s neo-liberal policies…
    Iran – Regime Change Agents Hijack Economic Protests

    Followed up by;

    On Rouhani’s neo-liberal policies & its consequences in Iran, see:

  53. L.K says:
    @Frankie P

    Frankie P:

    WSWS writes Ramin off as an apologist of the Iranian “regime”, and it’s sad to see the WSWS reverting to mainstream media vilification of Iran and its government. Ramin has a much deeper understanding of the culture and civilization in Iran, and he correctly calls the WSWS out on their constant Trotskyite thinking, further bringing up the important point that socialism CAN exist in a culture that is deeply religious. Interesting stuff.


  54. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Joe Hide

    Paedophilic interest is natural and normal for human males. Trump routinely participated in coke fueled sex themed parties with underage women. Numerous allegations he helped himself to the young ladies. “Increasing indictments and arrests” ? What the fuck are you talking about? Here let me help:

    Come on Unz authors, while Iran, Russia and the Israel-thing are all important those are hardly as urgent as the threats from corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies and Christians of convenience. Genocidal, narcisstic, increasingly psychotic, control freaks want to turn the USA into one symbolically led by Evangelicals but controlled by the mafia that controls everything and commits all the real crimes anyway.

    Don’t discount the real sex conspiracies out there committed and denied by the deviant right wing. Treatment is available. Throw a Hail Mary instead of putting a vicious hit on on a pious fellow troubled by delusion and bad propaganda. Good luck to everyone of you!

  55. Don Bacon says:
    @Frankie P

    extending to the European economies,
    Yes. Sanctions hurt not only sellers but buyers.
    The World Bank
    2018/2019 GDP growth forecast
    advanced economies
    United States 2.1 1.9
    Euro area 1.4 1.4
    Japan 0.8 0.4
    UK 1.3 1.3
    emerging market & developing
    East Asia 6.1 6.1
    China 6.3 6.3
    India 7.8 7.8
    Iran 4.8 4.5

  56. skrik says:

    Repeatedly shown to be wise & necessary actions.

    Really? Got any proof? Haw. And to see neoliberalism as some sort of competition for communism adds insult to injury.

    Sorry [but not too sorry]; IMHO here you are not just wrong but dead wrong – which is too bad, because that raises doubts on your entire oeuvre.

    Neoliberalism is a universal bad [except for the US/Z/Western ‘deep-state’ and oligarch beneficiaries]; jilles dykstra quoting Chomsky may be unadvised but quoting Zinn, Blum, et al. definitely not. US/Zs may well be stupid, but their even more stupid sanctions *do real damage*. A proof: Look at Libya and Syria; what gave any genuine ‘arab spring’ demonstrators some of their original impetus were the neoliberal policies ‘tested’ in those countries – which did tangible damage to the people. Who knows how Cuba, Libya and Syria, Russia, China or even NK could have developed, sans US/Z meddling? rgds

  57. Zzz says:

    A number of people don’t believe the protests in Iran are “home grown”. These people think that Washington is basically responsible for the anti-government demonstrations. But that does not appear to be the case.

    It seems americans are last people on the planet who do not understand how it work . I suppose it’s one of reasons why it still work – because they are main target audience.
    It’s ALWAYS genuine reason for discontent. You need to take one or several issues, you can always find some in any country, to put people on the street – bigger herd is better. Next you use genuine idiots sheep as cover and shield for group who will go violent. Police will be forced to intervene. Bigger mess is better. Ideally you need blood so if police is too mild- “unknown shooters” will come.

  58. @Art

    Almost for sure the recent uprising in Iran has turned out well for Iran. USA Reverse PR bounced Iran announced right of its citizens to peaceful protests to be a right of every Iranian.

    Problematic in these posts is the continuous aimless bantering back and forth good news/bad news good people/ bad people etc. I think this or that. This means no one anywhere gets anywhere..

    Why not write a position paper.. . what is it people want their government to change and to do?
    1. Is there a major difference between America and the USA; if so, how should it be resolved?
    2. Should the constitution empower government or private parties to operate government affairs in secret?
    3. Should government directly or indirectly, or through a third party be empowered to spy on its Citizens..?
    4. Should ordinary people have standing to sue (including class action) government and private parties for substantial statutory monetary damages from publishers of fake, false news or psycho adjusted news?
    5. should taxpayer funds be used to finance any activity outside of nation? If so, which external activities should citizens allow its government to conduct or to become engaged in?

    The idea is not to keep completing the bigger and wider loops in the same cycle times.

  59. @Mike Whitney

    you started of really strong, but …

    • Replies: @norse nestor
  60. @norse nestor

    srsly, if you’re a communist, you cann’t just blame the rich or pwerfull
    you need something more than divide et conquere, or ab chaos ordo
    unless of course you don’t really believe in nap
    i mean, power rules everything
    jungle law, maybe not a bad concept

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