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Six down, one to go – Iran named as “world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism”

 

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers”, Major General Smedley Butler, War is a Racket, 1935.

“This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” General Wesley Clark, Democracy Now, 2007.

The reasons for wars are seldom the ones given to the public, for obvious reasons. Geopolitics – the study of geography as it relates to international relations – describes a world of resources and markets: oil and gas; silver and gold; opium and silk, producers and consumers, and the distribution network of pipelines, ports and shipping lanes, and road and rail corridors which connect them.

The great inland rail project was the major driving force behind the rapid industrialisation of the United States from 1860 onwards. With major projects like the Trans-Siberian railway and the Panama Crossing, iron rails began to spread across the face of the earth like a Borg assimilation. It’s hard to believe in 2017 that more than a century ago a planned sea bridge across the Bering Strait would have made it possible to travel all the way from Santiago to Lisbon on a standard 5 foot gauge.

Ultimately it was the Berlin to Baghdad railway which proved to be a bridge too far. The project, commenced in 1903, would have provided Germany with a shortcut to the East through Basra, a connection to its southern colonies in Africa, and access to an unlimited supply of oil. The German-Ottoman partnership posed a threat to established power which would ultimately lead to the outbreak of WWI – but not before Britain concluded a deal with the Baghdad Railway Company recognising southern Mesopotamia and southern and central Persia as the exclusive field of operations of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (later BP.)

With the exception of the Bosphorus, which connects the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, and the Strait of Hormuz which joins the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, Britain and America control almost all of the world’s key shipping lanes. In 2013 China finalised plans to build a 140 million ton per year deep water port at Yevpatoria in the Crimea. This would have cut 6000km off the current trade route between China and Europe, while providing China with direct access to the Mediterranean. Considering this, one might question whether the putsch against the government of Victor Yanukovych in 2014 was really a push-back against Russian expansion into Europe, or rather a head-on collision between China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) and the US and EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

A while ago I wrote a piece on the current genocide in Yemen. I was quickly brushed off by a resident well-travelled expert for pointing a finger in what I thought to be the obvious direction, because as everyone knows there is no oil in Yemen, and the violence we are seeing today is the same sectarian blood feud which has raged for centuries whenever Sunni and Shia have been forced to live together under one rule. Naked orientalism aside, there are in fact substantial proven oil reserves in the Rub’ al Khali desert extending into central Yemen, but the real reason for the current mass slaughter and starvation of Yemenis is about more than control of these resources. It is a vital step in preparation for a confrontation with Iran.

Iran is the world’s fourth biggest oil producer, sitting on an estimated 150 billion barrels, but more importantly Iran controls the Strait of Hormuz, a vital choke point through which 40% of the world’s seaborne oil must traverse. Yemen’s real geostrategic value – the reason its people are being slaughtered and its childen starved starved – is its ports. When complete the Bridge of the Horns will span 29 kilometres from Djibouti to Yemen between the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. With the port of Aden under the control of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and direct access to 2.7 billion barrels of oil and 4.7 trillion cubic meters of natural gas in the Ogaden Basin of Ethiopia, the petrodollars are guaranteed to keep flowing for the duration of the upcoming Persian Gulf tournament.

“We have also started discussions with many of the countries present today on strengthening partnerships, and forming new ones, to advance security and stability across the Middle East and beyond… Later today, we will make history again with the opening of a new Global Centre for Combating Extremist Ideology—located right here, in this central part of the Islamic World.”

The irony of the US President’s speech in Riyadh, the very headquarters of Islamist extremism, should not be lost on anyone. During his recent visit to the Saudi Kingdom, Trump concluded a $110 billion arms deal and met with the leaders of 55 Sunni Muslim countries to discuss the formation of a coalition comprising 35000 troops to fight “terrorism” in the region. Ignore if you will the outrageous hypocrisy, note instead the messaging. Is it just me who thinks “Footsoldiers of evil” sounds like a leftover line from a speech written for Dubya Bush?

This script was written so long ago it’s descended into farce. Put aside the terrifying images from Saudi Arabia of gays being hurled off rooftops and the headless bodies of rape victims dangling from cranes; Iran, according to the US State Department and its corporate media whores, is the new face of evil. Iran which hasn’t waged war against another country in more than 300 years; Iran which while by no means perfect, is still far and away the most democratic state in the Middle East.

The “War on Terror” is approaching its endgame. In the battle for control over resources, markets and transport corridors, Iran may soon find itself pit against the rest of the (Sunni) Muslim world. They will get more than they bargained for. As a friend in the UAE reminded me recently, Iran is fierce – let’s hope we never have to find out how fierce.

48 comments

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  1. Freethinker

    Remember the supposed weapons of mass destruction which paved the way for the invasion of Iraq?
    Well seems to me that the policies of USA, UK and other allies it is selective because North Korea still showing them that it is prepared to have and using them but nothing happens.
    The little man in North Korea appears to be correct when he said that as long as the country have nuclear weapons it will be safe.
    Not wonder USA and their followers were worry about Iran developing nuclear weapons……..

  2. Kaye Lee

    Sean, you really confuse me. A few months ago you wrote

    “Trump’s desire to tighten the reins on federal defence spending puts him at loggerheads with the military industrial complex which has kept Wall Street afloat these last 70 years.”

    This has proven totally false.

    “Trump has the potential to be a good president. If he can control the extreme right wing of his party and negotiate his much needed progressive reforms through a conservative majority congress, he might even be a great one.”

    Words fail me on that one. Which progressive reforms were those?

    Trump is an idiot who is being played by the Saudis and Russia. To think he has some sort of strategic plan against Iran shows you still don’t understand the man. That was just the last story someone told him – Iran bad.

    It’s interesting that you never seem to feel Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine had anything to do with oil or ports – that was all about returning a willing ethnic community to the motherland….apparently.

  3. Freethinker

    I would put that the extreme right (perhaps very few faceless individuals) are controlling Trump by allowing him to implement regressive polices or agreements which will benefit him and other few until he reaches “the use by date” and is removed from office.

  4. James O'Neill

    Kaye, what invasion was that exactly? Are you referring to the return of Crimea to Russia after a free referendum that voted overwhelmingly for that option? Do you even begin to understand the role of Ukraine as a pipeline conduit to Europe for Russian gas and how the Syrian war is mainly about using Qatari gas as an alternative? Do you even know that the US organised and financed a coup in Ukraine in 2014?

  5. RonaldR

    WHAT A BULLSHIT HEADING:
    The only ones that have been taken down are those standing in the Way of the British Empire.
    The 3 main countries behind world terrorism is the City of London (British Empire) The USA Government & CIA The Saudis who finance and Britain is involved with the Saudis via an Arms for Oils Slush Fund set by Saudi Royals , Margaret Thatcher & Prince Charles. This money was used to finance 9/11 and the queens favourite Bank. Tony Blair heads a movement to end Free Nation States and this Movement is funded by two British Empire Countries Canada & Australia.
    These countries that have had their leaders taken down are a worse mess now and under those leaders (includes Ukraine) and Why do you think North Korea is armed to the teeth and you need to learn the true history about who split Korea in two. North exists to justify attack on China.
    NATO is the most dangerous terrorist organisation – only reason it was not dismantled with the end of the USSR is Russia was not completely taken down.
    AIM is as bad as the Mass Media or even worse due to the high amount of Bullshit it carries – It looks like a George Soros Funded Blog to me.

  6. Matters Not

    RonaldR you write good комедия or perhaps コメディ or even 喜剧 ?

    Forgive me RonaldR but you really are a joke.

  7. Michael Taylor

    AIM is as bad as the Mass Media or even worse due to the high amount of Bullshit it carries – It looks like a George Soros Funded Blog to me.

    You clearly don’t like this site, and you keep telling us. The feeling is mutual, however, as nobody here likes you very much either.

    Please feel free to leave.

  8. Michael Taylor

    Sean, if it is not a Russian invasion of the Ukraine, then what is it? Why have Russian troops been there since 2014?

    According to the ICC it is an illegal invasion. I don’t know if it was or it wasn’t, so I’m not going to say either, but the ICC have a compelling argument.

  9. Kaye Lee

    “Kaye, what invasion was that exactly? Are you referring to the return of Crimea to Russia after a free referendum that voted overwhelmingly for that option?”

    No I am referring to the Russian troops who invaded Ukraine and took over the local parliament four days after Putin held an all-night meeting with his security organisations after which he said “we must start working on returning Crimea to Russia.” That was well before the referendum which was carried out under the scrutiny of armed Russian soldiers.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/putin-describes-secret-operation-seize-crimea-212858356.html

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidadesnik/2014/03/18/how-russia-rigged-crimean-referendum/#2dac99c36d41

  10. Michael Taylor

    Sean, btw, what is a “liberal snowflake sjw”?

  11. paulwalter

    Yes, definitely the UN, the Glitterati and Jewish socialist bankers at work here, well pointed out Ronald (also watch out for the Masons).

    Sean Stinson, well nailed as usual.

  12. paulwalter

    Is Kaye Lee being annoying again?

    Stop it or the Thing under the bed will come out and get you.

  13. Kaye Lee

    Under the bed and the bottom of my handbag are indeed scary places where I rarely venture. It seems I am annoying lots of people lately. I shall put myself in time out.

  14. Michael Taylor

    You certainly aren’t annoying me, Kaye. RonaldR is though.

  15. Michael Taylor

    Paul, it’s only conspiracy theorists (or small kids) who have scary monsters lurking under their beds. I’m fairly sure then that there are none under Kaye’s.

  16. jim

    USA have used/tested 66 Nucler bombs in the Marshel isles 9 nuclear bombs in Maralings Aust…,USA has invaded 55 countries most of which were democracies USING Two atomic bombs on Whole cities ,this is “our” Planet it’s Not a “USA Empire” macdonald thrump mcorporatoin we are not the USA 275 milliom clusre bombs 6 milliom galons of agent orange napalm ……….see;.Croatia Nazis …..see Sells Arms through Multi nationals who’s Jim Steel?.head of cruelity employed by the USArmy………….http://www.globalresearch.ca/americas-war-for-global-domination-the-roadmap-of-conquest/5578157

  17. jim

    Colonel James Steele is a US veteran of the “dirty wars” in Central America, during which he trained counter-insurgency commandos who carried out extreme abuses of human rights.[3] Steele is also a veteran of the Vietnam war. From 1984 to 1986, during the Salvadoran Civil War, Steele operated as a counterinsurgency specialist and was a member of a group of United States special forces advisers to the Salvadoran Army. In 1986 he was implicated in the Iran contra affair. In 2004, early in the Iraq War, Steele was sent by Donald Rumsfeld to serve as a civilian adviser to Iraqi paramilitary Special Police Commandos known as the Wolf Brigade…………https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Steele_(US_Colonel)

  18. paulwalter

    Michael, since I’m up early this icy morning, I will explain.

    Am glad to say, as before, that I’m a big fan of Kaye Lee. Like yourself, smart, knowledgeable, fast and rational. But there is imho an exception and it involves a picketty approach to Sean Stinson’s posts over time, posts that I find eminently reasonable and accurate.

    OK it is not to say whose wrong or right. But over some time I’ve felt puzzled on this one issue as to moderator objectivity.

    To compare Kaye Lee to Ronald McDonald would be absurd, after all she clearly acknowledges the fundamental point as to the US and Saudi Arabia, going back to oil discoveries over eighty years ago that necessitated deep British and US interference in the mid east.
    Also there is no contention to the notion that US policy is narcissistic and exceptionalist or that Trump is a nutter (as proven by his walking off sulking like Kevin Cartman, re the Paris climate accords, no doubt to suit the economic likes of the Kochs and Chevron).

    Alright, so Sean might not have got it dead right in the stuff written the months ago on that aspect (context includes the aggressiveness of Clinton globalism), but his stuff is overwhelmingly accurate and a blessing after any visit to any commercial media available at the mo.

    MSM clamps down on any negative info as to Saudi, Turkey, Israel and the USA and automatically labels any opponents like Iran or Russia or poor little Palestine trying to avoid encirclement as sole cause for discontent and blood shed… even the Grauniad is obsessive when it comes to Israel.

    So no, no quarrels, but there is a sort of irritation I am trying to come to terms with.

    Now, back to ABC Early, where Trioli is showing such independence of though as to upset her fellow panellists… enjoying the looks on sourpuss confratere faces..

  19. paulwalter

    Kaye Lee, there is NOTHING more macabre than the bottom of a woman’s handbag.

  20. michael lacey

    Confused about the invasion as well of Ukraine and also the election of Crimea to join with Russia.

    I think a little more reading about events are in order away from the mainstream propaganda!

  21. James O'Neill

    Ml @ 9.38. I am afraid that Kaye Lee is more than just confused. Her answer to my questions shows an alarming ignorance of the facts. I don’t know why I even bother given her track record of ahistorical BS.

  22. paulwalter

    No. She is pretty much on the ball on most things.

    She is, I think, disagreeing with Stimson on emphasis and degrees, subtle but can be important. I will risk saying I don’t believe that any major difference as to fundamentals extant as to a reading of what gives over time in that part of the world..a little “softer” than Sean, perhaps Kate Lee is, as to the US and its clumsiness in world affairs.

    But I must allow others to speak for themselves, writing this is not good etiquette and both Kaye Lee and Sean are well capable of clarifying without my interference.

  23. Michael Taylor

    I am afraid that Kaye Lee is more than just confused. Her answer to my questions shows an alarming ignorance of the facts. I don’t know why I even bother given her track record of ahistorical BS.

    Well I’m afraid – that if your opinion of Kaye is so subjective – then you should instantly include 99% of us in the same pod.

    How odd though, that if a person sees things different to you, that you say they are “confused”. By that standard … seeing that see things different to me, you must be confused.

  24. Sean Stinson

    “Wait long by the river and Paul Walter will show up”

    Sean Tzu, The art of not being triggered by incessant trolling.

  25. Sean Stinson

    “Trump is an idiot who is being played by the Saudis and Russia.”

    No, Trump is an elected official representing US interests. He doesn’t get to decide policy.

    I had hoped for an injection of fresh blood when he appointed Flynn and cleaned out the State Dept, but the counter coup came quickly. I lost hope after Flynn’s resignation. Do you know the Bill Hicks joke about the smoke filed room? look it up.

    Saudi Arabia is a British client state and US protectorate run by Zionists — The tail does not wag the dog. (** NO, I don’t mean “Jewish bankers”, nor am I being “anti-semitic”, nor pushing “conspiracy theory”.)

    Russia’s foreign policy posture since its “capitalist restoration”, ie looting, has been purely defensive. Russia’s capacity to project power extends to about 1500km from its borders – hence not intervening in Libya – but Ukraine and Syria are well within its sphere of influence.

    “I am referring to the Russian troops who invaded Ukraine and took over the local parliament four days after Putin held an all-night meeting with his security organisations after which he said “we must start working on returning Crimea to Russia.” That was well before the referendum which was carried out under the scrutiny of armed Russian soldiers.”

    Ok… some historical background

    From 1991 until the events of 2014, the politics of Crimea had been that of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and of Sevastopol. However, the ousting of the democratically elected Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych during the 2014 Ukrainian revolution initiated a chain of events that culminated in a referendum in Crimea on whether it should rejoin Russia. Days after the official results revealed overwhelming support for the proposal, Russia signed a Treaty of Accession with the self-declared independent Republic of Crimea that annexed Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to the Russian Federation as two federal subjects. (source: wikipedia)

    FACT: Crimea was originally annexed to Russia by Kathryn the Great in 1783. FACT: Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union when when Krushchev handed over Crimea in 1954. Krushchev never envisioned Russia and Ukraine being two separate countries. FACT: Russian troops did not invade Ukraine, they were already in Crimea under treaty, protecting the Black Sea Fleet. Conjecture: Would Crimea, having already survived the aftermath of the Soviet implosion, have willingly given up its peaceful autonomy to Poroshenko’s vultures? I think not.

    The International Criminal Court’s verdict rests an article which states that “For purposes of the Rome Statute an armed conflict may be international in nature if one or more States partially or totally occupies the territory of another State, whether or not the occupation meets with armed resistance.” The flaw in the argument is that Russia already had thousands of troops in Crimea under treaty, so there was no “occupation”, much less “invasion”.

    The only points which still need clarification are whether Russian troops ever “took over the local parliament” (and if so, which parliament would that be? Crimea or the City of Sevastopol?) and whether Russia “rigged the referendum”, presumably the same way they “rigged the US election”. Still waiting for evidence to substantiate these claims.

    On anther note, how is any of this relevant to my post?

  26. Freethinker

    I would love to see more comments about Iran which by understanding was the main point in the article.
    Have Iran the right to protect themselves with nuclear power?
    If not, why Israel which invade other territories can have them?
    Why the international community do not inspect Israel in the same manner that like to do it in Iran?
    Would be nice to have unbiased comments about this.
    So far the country that have invaded more countries is USA.

  27. Phil Atkinson

    It may be pure coincidence, but Iraq and Syria both dumped the petrodollar for the Euro. Syria went so far as to have all foreign transactions conducted in Euros. Libya’s Qadhafi also wanted to drop the petrodollar and introduce an Africa-wide currency based on the gold standard. Now look what occurred in those three countries.

    In 2009, an article appeared which claimed to show why the US dollar would remain the default international currency. You can read the article here: http://foreignpolicy.com/2009/10/07/debunking-the-dumping-the-dollar-conspiracy/

    Having read the article, consider how much of it has been debunked in the intervening years since 2009 and what’s planned for several countries’ currencies. Interesting reading.

  28. Sean Stinson

    Not coincidence at all. Venezuela was among the OPEC countries which proposed switching to the Euro back in 2000.

  29. paulwalter

    Sorry Sean, it’s just a couple of them were putting up wacky stuff and I was moved to comment. Not aimed at you or Kaye Lee.

    Where do you reckon of Phil Atkinson’s proposition fitting in with it all?

    Is time running out for a profligate USA?

  30. Sean Stinson

    Always appreciate your comments Paul. Saves me blowing a valve when I shouldn’t

    I agree with Phil 100%

    I suspect the plan to take out 7 countries, per Clark, was probably hatched by neocon crazies Scooter Libby and Paul Wolferwitz way back under Bush 41. The Iraq war however was a direct reaction to OPEC countries leaving the petrodollar. Remember they tried to oust Chavez at the same time – succeeded for a few days, but the people had other ideas. Venezuela is copping the same treatment again.

    Yes, I think they are losing the empire. As I’ve said in a few of my recent posts, I think it boils down to geographic determinism. The “Great game” to surround Eurasia a ala Halford McKinder, was always a fools errand. Forsaking world war, China and Russia will be the new great powers going forward.

  31. paulwalter

    So, some would say the situation is a Mephisto waltz for all concerned. This why Kaye Lee et al would say the USA has no more choice than the rest as to participating in the Big Game?

    Its been a pity that US politics in its current form has prevented any sort of constructive leadership emerging there, for quite some time.

    As for the Chinese, Putin and the rest, no more hope with most of them?

  32. Sean Stinson

    At least Putin and Xi pay lip service to international law, which is more than can be said for the West.

    “If one day China should change her colour and turn into a superpower, if she too should play the tyrant in the world, and everywhere subject others to her bullying, aggression and exploitation, the people of the world should identify her as social-imperialism, expose it, oppose it and work together with the Chinese people to overthrow it.” – Deng Xiaoping, Special Session of the U.N. General Assembly, April 10 1974

  33. paulwalter

    No doubt it will all come out in the wash.

  34. MikeW

    Get back here Kaye Lee don’t you dare leave.

  35. diannaart

    Paul Walter a fan of Sean Stinson.

    AIM is a most fascinating place.

  36. paulwalter

    Why diannart, of course. I am a big fan of yours, too. And Kaye Lee. I think I almost love you all sometimes, I am such a big fan..

  37. Freethinker

    Can we call this terrorism?
    If we ask the civilians there I think that we know the answer.
    The interesting thing is that no much it is in the media when one side kill so many innocent people but if it is done by the other side, Purinis a devil person.
    Quote for the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve Monthly Civilian Casualty Report
    By CJTF-OIR | June 02, 2017

    SOUTHWEST ASIA- In the month of April, CJTF-OIR received 43 new reports of possible civilian casualties resulting from Coalition strikes in support of partnered force operations to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. During this period, the Coalition completed the assessment of 47 reports, of which 31 were assessed to be non-credible and 16 were assessed to be credible resulting in 132 unintentional civilian deaths. To date, based on information available, CJTF-OIR assesses that, it is more likely than not, at least 484 civilians have been unintentionally killed by Coalition strikes since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve. A total of 38 reports were still open and being assessed at the end of the month. Coalition strikes are defined as ground artillery or air strikes conducted as part of the Coalition Air Tasking Order.

    Just wonder if the Australian government will declare this an evil act?

  38. diannaart

    Love, love me do…

    Stones always better at irony

  39. diannaart

    Sean Stinson At least Putin and Xi pay lip service to international law, which is more than can be said for the West.

    Sean are you being ironic, also?

  40. Sean Stinson

    How so, diannaart? Its clear you don’t like me. Pray tell what have i done to get on your wrong side this time?

  41. diannaart

    You weren’t being ironic….

    Well, that’s a start. You believe Russia & China et al, less bad than Profit obsessed West?

    As for liking or not liking you – such levels of emotion do not enter my consideration of your blogs. Or did you mean your personal self? To which I can only admit, I do not have sufficient data.

  42. paulwalter

    Sean, you know I normally agree with your propositions, but must admit to some sympathy for the one put by diannart this time.

  43. Esther Haman

    Iran named as “world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism” , well, HOW BIG IS IT?! LOL. This is only going to cost the American Tax payer a lot of money and nothing will be gained. Why you may ask? It’s clear we just don’t want to make peace with the Iranians, we have made that clear to them. So, this is going to be a wild goose chase at best. The whole scenario is A-s backward. We side with the Terrorists and call them (Saudi Wahabia, Kuwait, Jordan, UAE etc. who support ISIS financially and ideologically), our friend and allies. Then we call the only country that has fought against the ISIS from its inception, namely Iran, Terrorist!! So, it is also clear that we want this mess to stay around so we can fish the muddy waters and sell arms as our president just did with the Saudi Wahabia $120B in heavy arms.
    If we really want peace and harmony there, then we should make peace with Iran and ‘call a spade a spade’, and have a true friend there that can help us with real intelligence and support, which is the only way to make America safe again.

  44. paulwalter

    Esther, I think you see it for what it is: the next stage in a Big Game plan to remove obstacles for the dominant faction trying to control the region outright.

    If/when Iran is put back to the Dark Ages it will not matter a jot, so long as Russia becomes completely isolated and the Chinese attempt to move west stifled.

  45. Sean Stinson

    Make America safe from who, exactly?

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