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Iran Shoots Down US Drone, Says “Ready For War”

Iran Shoots Down US Drone, Says “Ready For War” 

Tensions between the US and Iran flared on Thursday when the Iranian Revolutionary Guard shot down an American drone that was said to have flown into Iranian airspace (the US claims the drone flew over international territory). The drone was reportedly flying over the Strait of Hormuz – that critical chokepoint for the global oil trade – not far from where two oil tankerswere recently attacked.

drone

“We will defend Iran’s airspace and maritime boundaries with all our might,” Ali Shamkhani, secretary-general for the Supreme National Security Council was quoted as saying by state-run Islamic Students’ News Agency. “It doesn’t matter which country’s aircraft cross our airspace.

IRGC Commander Hossein Salami said shooting down the drone had sent a clear and strong message for the US: Iran’s borders are ‘red lines’ and though Iran doesn’t seek war, Iran is ready for war. The US, meanwhile, denies that the drone crossed into Iran’s airspace, and says it was in international airspace the whole time.

The drone reportedly was shot down over a village called Kuhmobarak in Iran’s Hormozgan province.

Map

The news sent oil prices surging, with Brent up as much as 3%. President Trump has been briefed on the incident and the White House is “monitoring the situation.” The US military has branded the shooting “an unprovoked attack.”

The shooting follows attacks on six tankers in the region, which Iran has denied responsibility for (including the two from last week). On Wednesday, a news agency operated by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen said that the rebels had hit a power station in Jazan, Saudi Arabia, with a cruise missile, though these reports weren’t independently verified.

Numerous geopolitical experts warned that Thursday’s incident “significantly raises” the prospects for international conflict.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“The Dollar Is Becoming Toxic” – Russian Intel Chief Slams “Aggressive, Unpredictable” US Behavior

With the latest TIC data showing China following Russia’s lead and reducing its US Treasury exposure (to two-year lows), as it increases its gold reserves (for six straight months), the unipolar US hegemon faces an ugly trend among the ‘rest of the world’ attempting to de-dollarize, as Sergey Naryshkin,  director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, calls the US dollar is an anachronism of the modern world economy.

Countries across the globe, including Russia, China, India, and others, have been working to diversify their foreign reserves away from the greenback.

Kyle Bass Sees Hong Kong Politics ‘Speeding Up’ Pressure on Dollar Peg

And, as RT reports, the head of the Russian intelligence service has now voiced those concerns clearly – that the use of the dollar presents risks and more nations are looking into finding alternative tools for doing business.

“It seems abnormal that the United States, behaving so aggressively and unpredictably, continues to be the holder of the main reserve currency.”

“Due to the objective strengthening of multipolarity, the monopoly position of the dollar in international economic relations becomes anachronistic. Gradually, the dollar is becoming toxic.

And it’s not just talk, as RT notesRussia has taken concrete steps towards de-dollarizing the economy. So far, Moscow has managed to partially phase out the dollar from its exports, signing currency-swap agreements with a number of countries, including China, India, and Iran. Russia has recently proposed using the euro instead of the US dollar in trade with the European Union.

This comes on the heels of Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad proposing a gold-backed currency as a unit of account for trade between East Asian nations.

Infinite growth on a finite planet, what could possibly go wrong?

What About Venezuela’s Hacked Power Grid?

What About Venezuela’s Hacked Power Grid?

Russia and the US are engaging in tit-for-tat hacking of each others’ power grid, the New York Times is reporting, in what is really a kind of cyber “cold war” where the hackers from each country’s military and intelligence services load electronic “explosives” in the computer systems of critical infrastructure of the other, that in a crisis or war could be “detonated” to create chaos or bring down electric grids.

The Times article, the publication of which President Trump decried in a tweet as “close to treason,” was disturbing for a number or reasons. One was that sources told the Times the hacking by the US Cyber Command of Russia’s power grid had been conducted without the president’s knowledge, for fear that he might act to prevent it or might disclose it.

In other words, an action — the hostile hacking of another rival country’s essential infrastructure, which the US government has warned other nations would be viewed as an “act of war,” is being taken by the US military, without the President’s or Congress’s knowledge!

That should be enough to send shivers down the spine of any sane person. In fact, the that could lead to a US “military response.”

If the Times is correct in both its articles, the current US hacking of Russia’s power grid is evidence of a US military establishment run amok.

Congress should be outraged and calling for immediate hearings to determine the chain of command that allowed this to happen. Either Trump is lying, and knows all about the hacking, or some high-ranking military officers who acted without his knowledge should be fired the way President Truman fired an insubordinate Gen. Douglas McArthur during the Korean War.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Ugly View of Western Democracy

The Ugly View of Western Democracy

From flimsy false flags in the Gulf to the signing of Assange’s extradition warrant, Craig Murray reviews the abuses of power made  obvious in the past two weeks. 

Standing back a little and surveying the events of the last couple of weeks, gives a bleak view of the current state of Western democracy.

We have seen what appears to be the most unconvincing of false flags in the Gulf. I pointed out why it was improbable Iran would attack these particular ships. Since then we have had American military sources pointing to video evidence of a packed small Iranian boat allegedly removing a limpet mine from the ship the Iranians helped to rescue, which was somehow supposed to prove it was the Iranians who planted the alleged device. We also have had the Japanese owner specifically contradict the American account and say that the ship was hit by flying objects.

The Iranians certainly have a strange method of bomb disposal if they carry it out using unarmoured personnel, with as many as possible crammed into a small boat in immediate contact with the “mine.” It is also hard to understand why the alleged “limpet mines” would be four feet above the waterline.

Limpet mines are placed below the waterline. There are numerous reasons for this. Firstly, holes above the waterline will not sink a ship. Secondly, the weight of the water helps contain the blast against the ship. Thirdly, it is obviously harder to detect both the diver placing the mine and the mine once placed if it is below the water. In fact it would be very difficult for a diver to place a limpet mine four feet above the waterline, even if they wanted to.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

World War III – 2024-2027?

World War III – 2024-2027? 

QUESTION: Besides the Bible, there are many clairvoyants who predict that there will be World War III. Your models predict the rise in war tensions. What is your “opinion” about the prospects for a third world war?

JC

ANSWER: There is no doubt that we are in the process of a rising war cycle. It really appears to be more of a bitter war between leaders once again, as was the case with the last two World Wars. World War I was really about destroying the former Holy Roman Empire which had its seat of power in Vienna. That city was besieged in 1683 when the Ottoman Empire sought to conquer Europe. If you recall, the financial panics I used to discover the Economic Confidence Model began with the Panic of 1683 caused by the invasion of the Ottoman Empire.

The War Cycle is turning up and we are looking at a possible peak as early as 2027. This is why I have been concerned about the economic crisis in 2021-2022. Once the economy turns down, it will be the fuel for the war.

We must also respect that this particular cycle is the combination of both civil and international unrest. I do not believe we are in a cycle of conquest. Nobody wants to conquer and occupy each other — neither China, Russia, nor the USA. So, on the international level, it appears we are dealing with old grudges. When I have asked why Russia is our enemy since they abandoned communism, the only response I get is that, “Well, they are Russian!” World War I unfolded when the Archduke of Austria was assassinated by a Serb. He was heir to the throne of the old Holy Roman Empire. The French hated Germany for they were defeated under Napoleon. Additionally, in the first Treaty of Versailles in 1871 Germany became an empire at the expense of France. So it was really very much about settling old debts.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Report: US Planning “Massive” Airstrike On An Iranian Facility

Report: US Planning “Massive” Airstrike On An Iranian Facility

According to a new article from English-language Israeli publication The Jerusalem Post, the Hebrew-language Israeli publication Maariv has reported that diplomatic sources in the UN are assessing a US plan to conduct a “massive” airstrike on “an Iranian facility linked to its nuclear program” in response to alleged attacks on two sea vessels in the Gulf of Oman.

“The sources added that President Trump himself was not enthusiastic about a military move against Iran, but lost his patience on the matter and would grant Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is pushing for action, what he wants,” The Jerusalem Post reports.

This news comes after public statements by Pompeo that the US is considering a “full range of options” against Iran. It also comes as 1,000 additional US troops are being sent to the Middle East to “address air, naval, and ground-based threats” there. It also comes amid sightings of depraved war criminal Henry Kissinger at the Pentagon.

So that’s great.

in response to unproven claim that Iran attacked a Japanese tanker in the Persian Gulf the US is going to bomb an Iranian nuclear facility. https://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Iran-News/UN-officials-US-is-planning-a-tactical-assault-in-Iran-592832 …9781:56 PM – Jun 17, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacyU.N. officials: U.S. planning a ‘tactical assault’ in IranThe military action under consideration would be an aerial bombardment of an Iranian facility linked to its nuclear program, the officials further claimed.jpost.com

Spotted today at the Pentagon: former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger

Many comparisons are being made today between the unforgivable Iraq invasion and the agendas that this administration is attempting to advance in Iran, and rightly so. But make no mistake, Iran is not Iraq.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

All the Cyber Attack Stories from the Past Few Days Can’t Be Linked…Can They?

All the Cyber Attack Stories from the Past Few Days Can’t Be Linked…Can They?

A very important skill for anyone who hopes to be in the know is the ability to put together seemingly unrelated stories for consideration.

Over the past few days, stories about grid incursions, Russians, cyber attacks, and technological failures seemed to be at the top of the headlines. A massive cyber attack could happen far more easily than most people realize.

The good folks over in Prep Club have been posting a lot of interesting links this weekend. Let’s take a peek at each one. All these stories can’t be linked…can they?

The US Is Hacking Russia’s Grid

On Saturday, the New York Times reported (rather irresponsibly in my opinion) that the United States is escalating their “digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin” according to nameless current and former government officials.

Of course, this kind of stuff has been going on for a while. A friend of mine with a military intel background said it’s similar to how we have nukes so that other people with nukes won’t nuke us.

But the NYT story goes far beyond the mutually assured destruction theory.

The American strategy has shifted more toward offense, officials say, with the placement of potentially crippling malware inside the Russian system at a depth and with an aggressiveness that had never been tried before. It is intended partly as a warning, and partly to be poised to conduct cyberstrikes if a major conflict broke out between Washington and Moscow…

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Pompeo To Present Military “Options” To Trump As Iran Threatens Carriers With “Precision” Ballistic Missiles

Pompeo To Present Military “Options” To Trump As Iran Threatens Carriers With “Precision” Ballistic Missiles

Echoing prior comments from Tehran’s leaders that a US aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf would set the stage fora “shooting gallery,” the commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) warned Tuesday that its ballistic missiles are capable of hitting “carriers in the sea” with great precision

“These missiles can hit with great precision carriers in the sea… These missiles are domestically produced and are difficult to intercept and hit with other missiles,” Brigadier General Hossein Salami said in a televised speech, per Reuters.A 2017 Iranian military drill involving missile test on a carrier mock-up in the Persian Gulf.

He also asserted that Iran’s ballistic missile technology had tipped the balance of power in the Middle East in Tehran’s favor, even with an increasing build-up of American forces in the region, including the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group deployed last month. 

As we previously analyzed, it appears Tehran is now waging its own “maximum counter-pressure” campaign against the White House, given its been largely blocked from exporting its vitaltwo million barrels per day, and the US economic blockade sending its economy into a tailspin. Tehran could force Trump to choose among two bad options: see global oil squeezed with soaring prices due to a “tanker war” and military threats in the Strait of Hormuz, or commit US forces to yet another disastrous regime change war in the Middle East. 

Iran appears ready to match threat for threat, as we mentioned: a real war is fast unfolding in the Middle East today, a war where oil tankers and oil delivery to the world (30% of world oil supply goes through the Gulf) are the targetsBrigadier General Hossein Salami 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Oil traders have bigger worries than a new Hormuz tanker war

Oil traders have bigger worries than a new Hormuz tanker war

Oil tankers ablaze in the Gulf of Oman and the US pointing the finger at Iran should be enough to send the price of the world’s most vital commodity skyrocketing.

Instead, oil prices have barely budged. Traders are not buying into the theory that Tehran wants a war, but they are worried about demand.

Dated Brent assessed by S&P Global Platts – the world’s most important oil benchmark – spiked by over 4% following the attacks on June 13 and traded briefly just above $62/b. On the face of it, this modest rise doesn’t reflect the risk to almost a fifth of the world’s oil shipped through the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow 21-mile-wide channel separating Iran from the Arabian Peninsula.

“I see the limited reaction in the crude oil market as an indication of traders saying ‘hang on a minute’,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank. “If Iran did this it would be an open invitation to the US to step up its involvement and that should have sent the price much higher.”

Supporting Hansen’s point, crude had futures tumbled earlier in the week, with Brent falling below $60/b for the first time since late January, after data showed a larger-than-expected increase in US crude oil inventories.

Demand-side worries

The combination of rising stockpiles, tepid demand growth and fears of a slowing global economy has been enough to wipe $13 off the value of a barrel of Brent crude since May, despite the recent attacks on oil shipping and infrastructure in the Middle East.

Last week’s attacks were described by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as “an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran”.

Infographic on June 13 tanker attack near strait of Hormuz

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Understanding the Failure of U.S. Foreign Policy: The Albright Doctrine

Understanding the Failure of U.S. Foreign Policy: The Albright Doctrine

Albright typifies the arrogance and hawkishness of Washington blob.

How to describe U.S. foreign policy over the last couple of decades? Disastrous comes to mind. Arrogant and murderous also seem appropriate.

Since 9/11, Washington has been extraordinarily active militarily—invading two nations, bombing and droning several others, deploying special operations forces in yet more countries, and applying sanctions against many. Tragically, the threat of Islamist violence and terrorism only have metastasized. Although Al Qaeda lost its effectiveness in directly plotting attacks, it continues to inspire national offshoots. Moreover, while losing its physical “caliphate” the Islamic State added further terrorism to its portfolio.

Three successive administrations have ever more deeply ensnared the United States in the Middle East. War with Iran appears to be frighteningly possible. Ever-wealthier allies are ever-more dependent on America. Russia is actively hostile to the United States and Europe. Washington and Beijing appear to be a collision course on far more than trade. Yet the current administration appears convinced that doing more of the same will achieve different results, the best definition of insanity.

Despite his sometimes abusive and incendiary rhetoric, the president has departed little from his predecessors’ policies. For instance, American forces remain deployed in Afghanistan and Syria. Moreover, the Trump administration has increased its military and materiel deployments to Europe. Also, Washington has intensified economic sanctions on Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Russia, and even penalized additional countries, namely Venezuela.

U.S. foreign policy suffers from systematic flaws in the thinking of the informal policy collective which former Obama aide Ben Rhodes dismissed as “The Blob.” Perhaps no official better articulated The Blob’s defective precepts than Madeleine Albright, United Nations ambassador and Secretary of State.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Will A False Flag Iran War Cause A Financial Crisis?

Will A False Flag Iran War Cause A Financial Crisis?

Just a couple of weeks ago the financial world’s biggest worry was the plunging price of oil. Supply was up, stockpiles were building and speculation was pointing towards $40 a barrel, a price at which the fracking/shale oil “miracle” would evaporate. A trillion dollars of related junk debt would default, taking a big part of the leveraged speculating community along for the ride.

Then it all changed. Someone attacked some ships and oil infrastructure in the Middle East, the US and Saudi Arabia accused Iran, and now the fear is that a major regional war will interrupt the flow of oil, sending its price way up and causing a financial crisis at least as severe as a shale oil debt collapse.

This is a legitimate concern, for two reasons.

First, oil shocks have happened in the past, most notably during the Arab-Israeli war of the 1970s. So we know what they do, and it isn’t pretty. Gas prices jump, workers can’t afford their commute, the economy slows dramatically and pretty much everyone other than domestic energy companies suffers badly.

Second and potentially more serious, the pretext for this war is so blatantly false that it risks destroying what little creditability the US government has left. Think about it: With the US doing everything it can to delegitimize and destabilize Iran while positioning assets for an invasion, Iran’s leaders … start attacking oil tankers in its offshore waters.

Does that make sense? Of course not. Much more likely is that this is yet another false flag – that is, an incident faked to give a pretext for war – and a clumsy one at that.

For readers who aren’t clear on the false flag concept and its ubiquity in geopolitics, here are just a few of the dozens of documented examples:

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Putin, Lavrov and Xi Call for an End to MAD. Lord Russell’s Spectre Frowns

Putin, Lavrov and Xi Call for an End to MAD. Lord Russell’s Spectre Frowns 

The spectre of nuclear war has long hung over the world like a nightmarish sword of Damocles offering humanity much cause for despair at the dual nature of science as a beautiful source of creative power that uplifts and ennobles on the one hand and acts as a harbinger of death and chaos on the other.

However, it would be wrong to blame science for the crisis which mankind unlocked with the atom, when the reality is that we have never freed ourselves from the pest of oligarchical systems of rule. Going back to records of the Roman, Persian and Babylon empires, such systems have always sought to manipulate the masses into patterns of behaviour of self-policing and constant conflict.

Whether we are talking about the Crusades, European religious wars, Napoleonic wars, Crimean War, Opium Wars, or WWI and WWII, it has always been the same recipe: Get victims to define their interests around material constraints, diminishing resources, or religious/ethnic/linguistic biases that prevent each person from recognizing their common interests with their neighbor and then get them to fight. Classic divide and conquer.

By the close of WWII, that ancient recipe for managed chaos no longer functioned as a new ingredient was introduced into the geopolitical “great game”. This atomic ingredient was so powerful that those “game masters” managing the affairs of the earth from above like detached Olympian gods, understood that they could now be annihilated as fast as their victims and a new set of rules had to be created post haste.

Lord Russell’s Nuclear Gamble

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“The Countdown Has Begun:” Iran Warns It Will Breach Uranium Stockpile Limits In 10 Days

“The Countdown Has Begun:” Iran Warns It Will Breach Uranium Stockpile Limits In 10 Days 

Iran certainly isn’t planning on backing down in the face of Washington’s accusations about the country’s role in last week’s tanker bombings, and as a result, the possibility of a boots-on-the-ground military conflict in the Islamic Republic cannot yet be ruled out. Making an already tense situation infinitely more precarious, Iran on Monday reminded the world that it’s preparing to violate the terms of the Iran deal during the next ten days.

Iran

By increasing its stockpiles of enriched uranium, Iran is bound to elicit accusations that it’s once again working on a nuclear bomb. Tehran has always maintained that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but American neocons like John Bolton have warned that this was merely a ruse, and that Iran could target American allies like Israel with a missile.

The Iranian government announced on Monday that it was set to breach the cap on enriched uranium, unless Europe finds a way to trade with Iran, or otherwise fulfill its financial obligations made under the deal.

European officials have been somewhat more skeptical of Iran’s role in last week’s tanker attacks, though many have acknowledged that if this were to be true, it could seriously complicate efforts to preserve the nuclear deal. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who visited Tehran last week, said Germany is still looking at evidence on whether Iran was responsible for last week’s attacks. Meanwhile, the UK has decided to deploy 100 Elite Royal Marines to the region to serve as a “rapid reaction force” to protect British assets.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesperson for the Iranian atomic energy agency, said Iran has “already increased” uranium production at a nuclear research site in Natanz in the central Isfahan province, according to RT.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Did the B-Team Overplay its Hand Against Iran?

Did the B-Team Overplay its Hand Against Iran?

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has a term of endearment for Iran’s enemies, “The B-Team.”

The “B-Team” consists of U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister (nee Dictator) Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and the UAE’s Mohammed bin Zayed. 

When we look seriously at the attacks on the oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman this week the basic question that comes to mind is, Cui bono? Who benefits?

And it’s easy to see how the B-Team benefits from this attack and subsequent blaming Iran for it. With Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tehran opening up a dialogue on behalf of U.S. President Donald Trump the threat of peace was in the air.

And none of the men on the B-Team profit from peace in the Middle East with respect to Iran. Getting Trump to stop hurling lightning bolts from the mountain top the B-Team guided him up would do nothing to help oil prices, which the Saudis and UAE need/want to remain high.

Bin Salman, in particular, cannot afford to see oil prices drop back into the $40’s per barrel. With the world awash in oil and supply tight, even with OPEC production cuts, Bin Salman is currently on very thin ice because of the Saudi Riyal’s peg to the U.S. dollar, which he can’t abandon or the U.S. will abandon them.

Falling oil prices and a rising dollar are a recipe for the death of the Saudi government, folks. Iran knows this. 

Netanyahu and Bolton don’t want peace because the U.S. fighting a war with Iran serves the cause of Greater Israel and opens up the conflict in the hopes of regime change and elimination of Iran.

Bolton, as well, is finally feeling the heat of his incompetence and disloyalty to Trump, according to John Kirakau at Consortium News

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump Offered to Suspend Sanctions While Negotiating With Iran, Khamenei Rejected the Offer: More Attacks Expected

TRUMP OFFERED TO SUSPEND SANCTIONS WHILE NEGOTIATING WITH IRAN, KHAMENEI REJECTED THE OFFER: MORE ATTACKS EXPECTED

Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo conveyed a message from US President Donald Trump to the Iranian leadership, asking the release of 5 US prisoners and inviting Iran to sit around a negotiation table, adding “he [Donald Trump] would be ready to suspend all sanctions only during the negotiations”. No guarantee was offered to freeze or revoke the sanctions. Sayyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the revolution, rejected the message and any dialogue with the US President and told his guest that he considers Trump unworthy to “to exchange a message with”.

Informed sources close to Iranian decision makers repeated the words of President Hassan Rouhani and the Iranian advisor to Sayyed Khamenei for international affairs, Ali Akbar Velayati, namely that  “if Iran can’t export oil through the Persian Gulf, no-one in the Middle East will be able do this”. The source “expects further attacks in the future, given the US decision to stop the flow of oil by all means at all costs. Thus, oil will stop being delivered to the world if Iran can’t export its two million barrels per day”.

Two tankers  – Kokuka Courageous and Font Altair – were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, putting at risk the supply of oil to the West and making oil tanker navigation in the Middle East very unsafe. “One more attack and insurance companies are expected to increase their fees. More attacks and no insurance company will agree to cover any oil tanker navigating in Gulf waters, putting Iran and other oil-exporters at the same level. Moreover, let us see what justifications Trump and Europe will offer their people when the price of oil becomes unaffordable”, said the source.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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