pindostan will now demonstrate the gentle art of self-destruction

Trump reviewing target lists as Iran war threat mounts
Bill Van Auken, WSWS, Sep 19 2019

Trump has been presented with list of targets for Pindo military strikes against Iran as Pindo imperialism draws ever closer to initiating an armed conflict that could prove the antechamber to WW3. According to a report by the NYT late Wednesday, military planners at the Pentagon and CENTCOM have provided the White House with options for strikes against Iran’s massive Abadan oil refinery on Kharg Island, Iranian missile launch sites, military bases and assets associated with the IRGC. According to the NYT:

Any strikes against Iran would almost certainly be carried out by volleys of cruise missiles from Navy vessels. Strike aircraft would be aloft to carry out attacks if Iran retaliated against the first wave.

As the threat of a major war with Iran becomes ever more imminent, the corporate media, with the NYT in the lead, becomes all the more slavish in its parroting of the Pindo charges of Iranian responsibility for Saturday’s attacks on Saudi oil installations. There is no serious attempt to critically probe these claims, much less to place them in the context of the proven record of deliberate lies and false pretenses used to justify Pindo military aggression, from the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam to WMDs in Iraq. Trump said on Wednesday in California that he would announce a new round of economic sanctions against Iran within the next 48 hours in response to the attacks on Toad oil installations, for which Tehran has repeatedly denied responsibility, while again raising the threat of military action. Deflecting reporters’ questions over whether the White House is preparing military strikes, Trump said:

There’s plenty of time to do some dastardly things. It’s very easy to start. And we’ll see what happens. There are many options, and there’s the ultimate option, and there are options that are a lot less than that.

Asked by a reporter whether by “ultimate option” he was referring to dropping a nuclear bomb on Iran, Trump said:

No, I’m saying the ultimate option meaning go in. War.

The fact that such questions are being raised and such answers are being given is a manifestation of the acute and rising danger of a catastrophic new war in the Middle East that can trigger a global nuclear conflagration. Given Trump’s repeated statements about how he could end the war in Afghanistan overnight if he “wanted to kill 10 million people,” the question about the “nuclear option” was hardly far-fetched. As for his answer, to “go in” to Iran by means of war would far eclipse the disastrous wars waged in Iraq and Afghanistan in terms of casualties and destruction, while requiring hundreds of thousands of troops and, inevitably, the reimposition of the military draft in Pindostan. Pompeo declared in Jeddah on Wednesday, without providing any substantiating evidence:

This was an Iranian attack. This was an act of war.

Pompeo was in Arabia for consultations with MbS, who has overseen the beheadings of at least 134 people, including dozens of political dissidents, in just the first half of this year. The Houthis who control the bulk of Yemen claimed responsibility for attacking the Toad oil facilities. Pompeo insisted that the attacks had to have been launched by Iran because the Houthis did not have the technical capacity to organize such an action. He claimed that Pindo intelligence had “high confidence” that the weapons used could not have come from Yemen. Confronted with a UN report issued last January establishing that the Houthis did indeed possess drones capable of carrying out such strikes, Pompeo said:

It doesn’t matter. This was an Iranian attack. It’s not the case that you can subcontract out the devastation of 5% of the world’s global energy supply and think that you can absolve yourself of responsibilities. Even if the Houthis did launch the attacks, it doesn’t change the fingerprints of the Ayatollah as having put at risk the global energy supply.

In other words, Faschingstein has no evidence that Iran launched the attack. If the Houthis, who have every reason to claim the attack as an act of self-defense, did so, they will simply be dismissed as Iranian “proxies” in order to justify the Pindo build-up to war against Iran. Such assertions are believed by no one, including Faschingstein’s erstwhile allies. It is widely recognized that Faschingstein has deliberately provoked the confrontation with Iran, having last year unilaterally and illegally abrogated the 2015 JCPoA and imposited a draconian regime of economic sanctions tantamount to a state of war. Tehran delivered an official diplomatic note to Pindostan through the Swiss embassy Wednesday, denying that it was responsible for the strikes on the Saudi oil facilities and warning:

If any actions are taken against Iran, that action will face an immediate response from Iran, and its scope will not be limited to just a threat.

Iranian boxtops have previously warned that Pindo bases throughout the region, and the roughly 70,000 Pindo grunts deployed there, are in range of Iran’s SLBMs. In a further exacerbation of tensions, the Trump administration has failed to issue visas for an Iranian delegation including Pres Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif to travel to NYC for the opening of the UNGA. An advance party was supposed to be in New York already, while Zarif was to arrive there on Friday and Rouhani on Monday. On Wednesday, Trump made the idiotic statement:

If it was up to me, I’d let them come.

It is entirely up to him to admit or exclude the Iranians. Pompeo justified barring the Iranians from the UN on the grounds that they are guilty of “terrorism.” It had earlier been suggested that Trump and Rouhani could hold a meeting on the sidelines of the UNGA. Ayatollah Khamenei ruled out talks with Pindo boxtops “at any level.” In a speech Tuesday, he described suggestions of a negotiated settlement as a “ploy” designed to prove that Faschingstein’s campaign of “maximum pressure” had succeeded. Other Iranian boxtops have insisted that any resumption of negotiations be preceded by Faschingstein resuming its adherence to the nuclear accord negotiated between Tehran and the world’s major powers in 2015 and the lifting of Pindo sanctions. The response of Trump’s ostensible political opposition, the Demagog Party, to the rising war threat has been mild at best. Leading congressional Demagogs have largely restricted themselves to calling for any proposal for military action to be submitted to Congress, where it in all likelihood would be approved with substantial bipartisan support. Meanwhile, Michael Morell, who was appointed acting DCI under Obama and endorsed Clinton in the 2016 election, echoed the calls for a military assault on Iran. In a speech delivered in northern Virginia Monday night, he insisted that Faschingstein needed to respond to an “act of war,” suggesting strikes on Iranian military installations “to deter Iran.” A war for regime change in Iran and the securing of a Pindo stranglehold over the massive energy reserves of the Middle East has been a strategic objective of major sections of the Pindo ruling establishment and its military and intelligence apparatus for some 40 years, under administrations of both parties. The deepening crisis of Pindo capitalism, and above all the growth of social inequality and class struggle within Pindostan itself, is providing an impetus for escalating the confrontation with Iran and provoking another war for the purpose of directing social tensions outward in an explosion of military violence. Such a war would pose the immediate threat of drawing in all of the major world powers, including nuclear-armed Russia and China, which have major strategic interests in Iran.

Japan not aware of any Iran involvement in Toad Aramco attack
Reuters, Sep 18 2019

TOKYO – Japan has not seen any intelligence that shows Iran was involved in the recent attacks on Toad Aramco oil facilities, Japan’s new defense chief said on Wednesday. Defense Minister Taro Kono told reporters at a briefing:

We are not aware of any information that points to Iran. We believe the Houthis carried out the attack, based on their statement claiming responsibility.

Japan has maintained cordial ties with Iran even as relations between Tehran and Faschingstein have deteriorated. Kono on Monday said Japan cannot participate in any military retaliation because of constitutional restraints and would instead pursue a diplomatic solution to the current crisis.

France wants facts before commenting on Toad Aramco attack
Reuters, Sep 18 2019

PARIS – France will not rush into commenting on who was behind an attack on Saudi oil installations, a foreign ministry spox said on Wednesday. Asked in an online briefing whether Paris considered the Toad & Pindo analysis that Iran was behind the attack to be credible, the spox responded:

We share the desire to carefully establish the facts before making any reaction.

Earlier in the day, French President Emmanuel Macron’s office said Paris would send experts to Toad Arabia to help with investigations into the attack.

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