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Eric Margolis

Trump Shoot The US in The Foot Over Iran

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President Donald Trump has put the United States on the course for war with Iran.  That was clearly his objective last Friday when he refused to certify the international nuclear accord with Iran and proclaimed heavy sanctions against Tehran’s powerful paramilitary Revolutionary Guards Corps. 
Trump’s move was also a clever ploy to deflect blame for abrogating the key 2015 Iran nuclear treaty that the US signed with Iran, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union.
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Vietnam Déjà Vu

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Much of America, including yours truly, has been watching the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) series, ‘Vietnam.’  Instead of clarifying that confusing conflict, the series has ignited fiery controversy and a lot of long-repressed anger by soft-soaping Washington’s motives. This march to folly in Vietnam is particularly painful for me since I enlisted in the US army at the height of the war.  Gripped by youthful patriotism, I strongly supported the war.  In fact, the TV series even showed a pro-war march down New York’s Fifth Avenue that I had joined.  Talk about déjà vu.
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Time To Listen to Our Korean Allies

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Old Chinese saying: "when elephants battle, ants get crushed." Think of the current crisis on the Korean Peninsula in which the government in Seoul has been all but ignored. South Korea’s newly elected president, Moon Jae-in, keeps insisting that the US must not launch war against North Korea without South Korea’s agreement. 

President Donald Trump and the US media appear not to have heard Moon’s pleas, or are simply disregarding them. Amazingly, six decades after the end of the 1950 Korean War, South Korea’s 650,000-man active armed forces and 4.2 million-man reserves remain under the command of a US four-star general. 

This neo-colonial arrangement was supposed to have ended years ago, but successive conservative South Korean governments maintained their nation’s acceptance of Washington’s Asian Raj. So does Japan. The most recent South Korean rightist leader, Park Guen-hye, was ousted for alleged corruption and is now in jail awaiting trial.
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Trump and Korea. I’m Also Scared

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President Trump’s ability to trigger a nuclear war is "pretty damn scary" said former US intelligence director James Clapper this week. Remember when Trump vowed to "bomb the shit" out of his enemies?


I don’t have much respect for Clapper, who brazenly lied to Congress and is a ringleader of the deep government’s efforts to overthrow Trump. But this time, Clapper is 100 percent right. He’s scared and I am too.

This week, Trump proclaimed he would continue the pointless, stalemated US colonial war in Afghanistan and might ask India to help there – a sure-fire way to bring nuclear-armed India and Pakistan into a terrifying confrontation.

Meanwhile, Trump has backed himself into a corner over North Korea.  His threats and bombast have not made the North’s leader Kim Jong-un stop threatening to launch nuclear-armed missiles at the US island of Guam, Hawaii, Japan and South Korea. That is, if the US and South Korea keep up their highly provocative annual military war games on North Korea’s borders that each year invoke North Korea’s fury.
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Escape from Aleppo

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AMMAN JORDAN – I haven’t seen many miracles in my decades of travel around the globe, particularly not in the strife-torn Mideast.

But last week I participated in a real miracle in Jordan as the splendid Four Paws International group staged a daring rescue of 13 wild animals trapped in the wartime hellhole of Aleppo, Syria.  It appeared to be a mission impossible.

Syria has been torn apart for the past six years by a bloody civil war that has killed over 400,000 people and reduced many parts of this beautiful country to ruins.  Half the population has become refugees.  The ancient northern city of Aleppo, Syria’s largest, was laid waste.

Just outside Aleppo lies a wrecked 40-acre amusement park cum zoo that once held hundreds of imprisoned wild animals to entertain children.  The animals were abandoned in their cages in the midst of constant gunfire and shelling.  Many were killed; the rest were left to starve to death or die of thirst.  Some starving Syrians shared their meager rations with the animals.

No one else cared about these abandoned creatures that included five lions, two tigers, two Asian black bears, two hyenas and two Husky dogs.
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Time to End the Lost Afghan War

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Media reports claim President Donald Trump let loose on his generals behind closed doors, blasting them royally for their startling failures in Afghanistan, America’s longest war.

The president has many faults and is a lousy judge of character. But he was absolutely right to read the riot act to the military brass for daring to ask for a very large troop and budget increase for the stalemated Afghan War that has cost $1 trillion to date.

Of course, the unfortunate generals are not really to blame. They have been forced by the last three presidents to fight a pointless war at the top of the world that lacks any strategy, reason or purpose – and with limited forces. But they can’t admit defeat by lightly-armed Muslim tribesmen.

The truth is, simply, that America blundered into the Afghan War under President George W. Bush who needed a target for revenge after the humiliating 9/11 attacks. Instead of blaming Saudi Arabia, a US protectorate which was clearly involved in the attacks, Bush went after remote but strategic Afghanistan and cooked up the Osama bin Laden bogeyman story.

Sixteen years later, the US is still chasing shadows in the Hindu Kush Mountains, rightly known to history as "Graveyard of Empires."
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The Great White Father Comes to Saudi Arabia

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The Great White Father came to Saudi Arabia last week to harangue some 50 Arab and African despots on the glories of Trumpism, democracy and the need to fight what the Americans call terrorism.

Having covered the Mideast for many decades, I cannot think of a more bizarre or comical spectacle. Here was Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s most repressive regimes, hosting the glad-handing US president who hates Islam and the Mideast with irrational passion.

I was amazed to learn that Trump’s speech to the Arab and African attendees had been written by pro-Israel ideologue Stephen Miller, a young senior White House staffer from California who is an extreme Zionist. How very bizarre.

Not only that, Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, who are also strongly pro-Israel, were with him. So too was the powerful commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, another ardent pro-Israel cabinet member with whom I spent a weekend last year. Billionaire Ross performed the traditional Saudi sword dance with skill and verve.

Listening to Trump and Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, blast Iran as the font of terrorism provided another big joke. Trump’s tirade against Tehran was delivered in Saudi Arabia, a feudal monarchy that holds no elections, cuts off the heads of some 80-90 people annually, and treats women like cattle.
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President Trump: You Can't Fight the Whole World

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Maybe the president believes he’s won a great victory over the wicked Syrians by lobbing cruise missiles at one of their underused air bases. Maybe Trump believes that he’s scared the evil Russians and the too big for their sampans Chinese into obedience.

His 22,000 lb MOAB terror bomb on Afghanistan should keep those pesky Taliban quiet for a while even though the Pentagon claimed the intended target was a group- Khorosan – that may not actually exist.<

Those major malefactors, the crazy North Koreans, could be about to feel America’s full military might if they so much as twitch.

Not content with nearly stirring up a new war with North Korea, President Donald Trump is now waving the big stick at another of Washington’s favorite bogeymen, Iran. For the Trumps, Iran is poison.

In recent days, President Trump has threatened to renounce the six-power nuclear agreement to freeze or shrink Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. This sensible pact was signed during the Obama administration by the great powers: US, Britain, France, Russia, Germany and China. Trump appears willing to abrogate the treaty and outrage the other great powers just because he hates Iran for some reason and, it appears, Muslims in general.

The Trump administration seems increasingly influenced by Israel’s far right Netanyahu government. In fact, PM Netanyahu often appears the most moderate member of his rightist coalition which is dominated by militant West Bank settlers.
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France: Will ‘La Morosite’ Win the Vote?

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I watched the final French presidential debate last Thursday night with fascination and even a measure of admiration. France has some very intelligent, well-educated politicians. They are fine until they get into office but then must begin pleasing France’s fractious voters. And they must deal with the rising tide of jihadist violence in France, as witnessed by the shooting of police officers on the Champs Elysée on Thursday. This could help far right candidate Marine Le Pen.
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Bomb the Usual Arabs

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It seems that every new US president has to prove his machismo…or make his bones, as wiseguys say…by bombing the usual Arabs.  By now, it’s almost a rite of passage.  The American public loves it.

So we just saw the US launch 59 or 60 $1.5million apiece cruise missiles at a western Syrian airfield to express President Trump’s outrage caused by seeing injured children allegedly caused by a Syrian government toxic gas attack.

But what, Mr. President, about all those Iraqi, Syrian and Afghan babies killed by US B-52 and B-1 heavy bombers?  Or the destruction of the defiant Iraqi city of Fallujah where the US used forbidden white phosphorus that burns right to the bone?

Washington claimed its radar had conclusively identified Syrian warplanes dropping chemical weapons.  This sounds to me to be unlikely.  Where was the US radar? Hundreds of miles away aboard ships? Was the info from Israel or Turkey, both with axes to grind?  Is US radar so sharp that it can tell the difference between a chemical and high explosive bomb at great distance?  Sounds highly fishy to me.
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