In Israel, Bibi Netanyahu wants to stay in power, and he does that by behaving badly. Likud and Likud-aligned parties faced the music Tuesday, and it looks like Bibi’s decade-long rule may be over for the next few seasons. Endless war and tales of imminent destruction by a legion of enemies may no longer be a good look for Israel. More importantly, Bibi started to lose Sheldon Adelson a few years ago, and now it’s worse.
Trump faces unusual challenges in the 2020 re-election campaign he’s spending a billion dollars to win. The GOP leadership is as fragmented about Trump populism as they were in 2016. Promises have been kept by the Trump administration, but the shiny best-sellers – the Wall, an America First non-interventionist foreign policy, and a strong economy – are looking a little fusty. There will be pictures of a wall, and neocons have been removed from the NSC and at State but not Pompeo yet – although as a comic foil for a reasonable President you can’t do better! The economy needs actual free trade, we the people need a lot smaller government, and both need some End the Fed action. An actual major withdrawal of troops from the Middle East is going to be a big part of Trump’s 2020 campaign, and his aggressiveness in this area has given the deep state cause for concern. Yes, I know, it doesn’t take much! To be re-elected, Trump needs the enthusiastic populist faith of workers, country people, veterans and the elderly, meaning nice big roads not nice little wars. Unlike Bibi, Trump still has the support of the Adelsons, as he takes their advice, and gets their permissions. Peak Trump: The Undrai... Best Price: $15.85 Buy New $20.38 (as of 09:25 EDT - Details)
The House of Saud is a royal mess, and the 4-year war in Yemen to restore a Saudi-US lackey to power has already failed, despite (and because of) the humanitarian crisis caused directly by Saudi and US greed. Peace talks are now happening, because, well, they have to. The House of Saud wants to survive; its members have cash and valuables already packed. The strange Saudi government, born of the petrodollar, on the other hand, has no such transition or survival plan as the petrodollar collapses. By the way, Saudi Arabia is, significantly, a longtime ally of the United States and Israel, and functions as a tentacle of US and Israeli foreign policy.
Iran, under political, economic and military siege (why did they decide to put their country in the middle of 50 US military installations?), would like to hold their 11th Parliamentary elections in February 2020. Pleasing 83 million Persians isn’t an easy task, and between warmongering of their own politicians and that of the Israel-Saudi-US troika, Iranians are ready for some hope and change. We Americans can certainly relate to the issues that face the Iranian voter – lack of faith in their government and ruling elite, poor turnout, party disunity, election fraud and criminality. Trump should call Rouhani and talk shop!
While Sheldon Adelson is certainly an enemy of Iran, there is more going on here than just who wants what. Things billionaires cannot control often cannot be controlled at all, as I certainly hope Bill Gates discovered with his funding of Oxitec.
The Saudi invasion of Yemen will not last, and there is no victory. The US occupation and manipulation of Afghan politics failed from the outset and will not last. Israel’s endless expansion will not continue. Old people pass away, as do regimes and states drawn up by outsiders for ulterior purposes. That’s the big picture and it is why the US not only should not, but will not fight a war with Iran.
Progressivism: A Prime... Best Price: $8.50 Buy New $3.99 (as of 02:10 EDT - Details) At a more biological level, incumbent politicians desire to preserve their influence. Their challengers are also fighting to preserve something – often what they perceive as their very lives. The past four US Presidents (Clinton, Bush 43, Obama, and Trump) – over a quarter of a century of White House occupants – all elected on platforms of peace and prosperity, not more war, more conflict, more overseas intervention, and less prosperity. Each knew they were lying except for Donald Trump. That Trump actually believed he would be allowed to end wars, reduce spending, liberate actual Americans and rebuild our roads and bridges is either a miracle or a really funny joke, depending on your place in the hierarchy of state.
The question of the day is the source of the drone attacks on the Saudi oil facility. I defer to the assessments of Gordon Duff at Veterans Today and Danny Sjursen writing at the Future of Freedom Foundation. My immediate thought upon hearing about it was the new movie, Angel Has Fallen, that starts out with a drone swarm attack.
In the movie, the US state media directive was Attack. Russia. Now. The US state media directive after the Saudi swarm was Attack. Iran. Now. To be fair, one of these directives is their response to just about anything on any given day, movie or no movie.
More seriously, if a few hundred, a few thousand (or a few million) dollars’ worth of drones can effectively defeat a national government, or conversely cannot be defeated by a national government using trillions of dollars of weaponry, we indeed have a black swan, as Charles Hugh Smith explains. We have unpredictability – the enemy of political campaigns and the nemesis of politicians seeking to remain in power, or billionaires hoping to live forever.
It is predictably stupid and probably false that the US “intelligence community” has “determined” the drone swarm launched from southwest Iran, for the many reasons Gordon Duff has outlined. There was, however, something truly irregular in the Wall Street Journal. The otherwise vile and constitutionally challenged Senator from Virginia, Mark Warner, had this to say, “We don’t even have a mutual defense agreement with Saudi Arabia, so on what legal basis would this president try to attack Iran? We need to get the facts together first.”