US Politics in Trump era Public date: 19.09.2019 21:40:40

17 Sep 2019

Who are the Houthis and how closely linked are they to Iran?

The relationship between Iran and the Houthis is not simple and has long been clouded by accusations and denials and amplified by rumors and propaganda from all sides. Iranian backing of the Houthis appears to have increased over time. But experts on Iran’s network of proxies say the Houthis are among the least dependent on Tehran for financial and military support and decision-making.
The relationship between Iran and the Houthis is not simple and has long been clouded by accusations and denials and...
16 Sep 2019

Iran denies role in crippling attacks on Saudi oil facilities; Trump says U.S. ‘locked and loaded’

President Trump said Sunday the United States was prepared to respond to the devastating attacks on two oil installations in Saudi Arabia that cut the state oil company’s production output by half, while Iran rejected U.S. accusations that it was responsible. Trump did not name Iran, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had on Saturday, nor specify whether he was contemplating a military response.
President Trump said Sunday the United States was prepared to respond to the devastating attacks on two oil...

Publisher: NYTimes

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5 Aug 2019

Iran Says It Has Seized Another Oil Tanker in Persian Gulf

Iran seized a foreign oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, state television reported on Sunday, the third time Tehran has reported detaining a tanker in the last month as the United States applies its campaign of “maximum pressure,” sanctions and diplomatic isolation against the country.
Iran seized a foreign oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, state television reported on Sunday, the third time Tehran has...
3 Aug 2019

U.S. Formally Withdraws From 1987 Nuclear Pact With Russia

The United States formally withdrew from a landmark nuclear missile pact with Russia on Friday after determining that Moscow was in violation of the treaty and had no plans to come into compliance with it. U.S. President Donald Trump made the determination that the United States would terminate adherence to the 1987 arms control accord, known as the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), senior administration officials told reporters.
The United States formally withdrew from a landmark nuclear missile pact with Russia on Friday after...

Publisher: The Guardian

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26 Jul 2019

Donald Trump vetoes bills prohibiting arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Donald Trump has vetoed a trio of congressional resolutions aimed at blocking his administration from selling billions of dollars of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, last month cited threats from Iran as a reason to approve the $8.1bn arms sale to the two US allies in the Gulf.
Donald Trump has vetoed a trio of congressional resolutions aimed at blocking his administration from selling billions...
19 Jul 2019

Trump Says Navy Ship Shot Down Iranian Drone

The American military shot down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, President Trump said during a ceremony at the White House.Mr. Trump said the unmanned aircraft threatened the Boxer, an amphibious assault ship that can launch attack jets and helicopters from its landing deck.
The American military shot down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, President Trump said during a...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

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28 Jun 2019

Iran warns US against ‘repeating mistake’ of violating borders

Iran's parliamentary speaker has warned the United States against violating the country's borders, cautioning such a move would draw a "stronger" reaction than the downing of a US drone a week ago. In comments carried by Iran's semiofficial Tasnim news agency on Thursday, Speaker Ali Larijani said the shootdown of the unmanned aerial vehicle was "a good experience for them to avoid any aggression".
Iran's parliamentary speaker has warned the United States against violating the country's borders, cautioning such a...
26 Jun 2019

Trump Threatens ‘Obliteration’ of Iran, as Sanctions Dispute Escalates

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran on Tuesday called the White House “mentally retarded” and vowed that Tehran would not be intimidated by American sanctions — drawing a blistering threat of “obliteration” from President Trump.“Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, calling Mr. Rouhani’s comments “ignorant and insulting.”
President Hassan Rouhani of Iran on Tuesday called the White House “mentally retarded” and vowed that Tehran would...

Publisher: NYTimes

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22 Jun 2019

Trump Stopped Strike on Iran Because It Was ‘Not Proportionate’

President Trump said Friday morning that the United States military had been “cocked and loaded” for a strike against Iran on Thursday night, but that he called it off with 10 minutes to spare when a general told him that 150 people would probably die in the attack.
President Trump said Friday morning that the United States military had been “cocked and loaded” for a strike...
21 Jun 2019

Iran Shoots Down a U.S. Drone, Escalating Tensions

Iran shot down a United States surveillance drone early Thursday, both nations said, but they differed on the crucial issue of whether the aircraft had violated Iranian airspace, in the latest escalation in tensions that have raised fears of war between the two countries.Iranian officials said that the drone was over Iran, which the American military denied — an important distinction in determining who was at fault — and each side accused the other of being the aggressor.
Iran shot down a United States surveillance drone early Thursday, both nations said, but they differed on the crucial...

Publisher: NYTimes

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20 Jun 2019

Iran Has Ties to Al Qaeda, Trump Officials Tell Skeptical Congress

Administration officials are briefing Congress on what they say are ties between Iran and Al Qaeda, prompting skeptical reactions and concern on Capitol Hill that the White House could invoke the war authorization passed in 2001 as legal cover for military action against Tehran.
Administration officials are briefing Congress on what they say are ties between Iran and Al Qaeda, prompting skeptical...

Publisher: NYTimes

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14 Jun 2019

Pompeo Says Intelligence Points to Iran in Tanker Attack in Gulf of Oman

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that intelligence reviewed by American officials showed that Iran was responsible for attacks earlier in the day on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, a critical waterway for the transit of much of the world’s oil.Mr. Pompeo did not present any evidence to back up the assessment of Iran’s involvement.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that intelligence reviewed by American officials showed that Iran was...
2 Jun 2019

The Most Powerful Arab Ruler Isn’t M.B.S. It’s M.B.Z.

Prince Mohammed bin Zayed grew the U.A.E.’s power by following America’s lead. He now has an increasingly bellicose agenda of his own. At times, the prince has contradicted American policy and destabilized neighbors. Rights groups have criticized him for jailing dissidents at home, for his role in creating a humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and for backing the Saudi prince whose agents killed the dissident writer Jamal Khashoggi.
Prince Mohammed bin Zayed grew the U.A.E.’s power by following America’s lead. He now has an increasingly bellicose...

Publisher: NYTimes

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29 May 2019

Trump Undercuts John Bolton on North Korea and Iran

President Trump publicly undercut John R. Bolton, his national security adviser, on Iran and North Korea in recent days, raising questions about the administration’s policy and personnel in the middle of confrontations with both long-term American adversaries.
President Trump publicly undercut John R. Bolton, his national security adviser, on Iran and North Korea in recent days,...

Publisher: Reuters

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27 May 2019

U.S. deploys more troops to Middle East, blames Iran for tanker attacks

The United States on Friday announced the deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East, describing it as an effort to bolster defenses against Iran as it accused the country’s Revolutionary Guards of direct responsibility for this month’s tanker attacks.
The United States on Friday announced the deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East, describing it as an effort to...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

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26 May 2019

US troop move to Middle East ‘extremely dangerous’: Zarif

A US move to send more troops to the Middle East after accusing Tehran of being behind attacks on tankers in the region is "extremely dangerous ... [for] international peace", Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying. "Increased US presence in our region is extremely dangerous and it threatens international peace and security, and this should be addressed," state news agency IRNA quoted Zarif as saying on Saturday.
A US move to send more troops to the Middle East after accusing Tehran of being behind attacks on tankers in the region...
25 May 2019

Trump approves sending more forces to the Middle East amid tensions with Iran

The Trump administration, facing rising tensions with Iran, plans to reinforce its military presence in the Middle East by sending another few thousand forces to the region to step up missile defense and surveillance, according to U.S. officials.
The Trump administration, facing rising tensions with Iran, plans to reinforce its military presence in the Middle East...
24 May 2019

Facing U.S. sanctions, Iran abandons restraint but seeks to avoid war

Iran has made a dramatic shift in how it confronts the United States, abandoning a policy of restraint in recent weeks for a series of offensive actions aimed at pushing the White House to rethink its efforts at isolating Tehran, say diplomats and analysts. With the Trump administration tightening economic sanctions and intensifying military pressure, Iran is now seeking to highlight the costs it could also impose on the United States — for instance, by disrupting the world’s oil supply — without taking actions likely to trigger an all-out war.
Iran has made a dramatic shift in how it confronts the United States, abandoning a policy of restraint in recent weeks...
21 May 2019

A Path to War With Iran

That the Trump administration’s approach to Iran could lead the United States into an inadvertent conflict should come as a surprise to no one. Indeed, from the day Trump took office, many feared that his impulsive behavior, blustering rhetoric, inability to think ahead, disrespect for policy process, and determination to “win” could lead to war. In a spring 2017 essay for this magazine, I raised concerns about his potential to stumble into conflict with Iran, China, or North Korea.
That the Trump administration’s approach to Iran could lead the United States into an inadvertent conflict should come...
21 May 2019

Iran hits back at Trump for tweeting ‘genocidal taunts’

The Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, has hit back at Donald Trump’s “genocidal taunts” after a strongly worded warning from Trump that Tehran should not think of attacking the US. “Goaded by #B_Team,” Zarif wrote on Twitter, in an apparent reference to Trump advisers such as John Bolton, “@realdonaldTrump hopes to achieve what Alexander, Genghis & other aggressors failed to do. Iranians have stood tall for millennia while aggressors all gone. #EconomicTerrorism & genocidal taunts won’t ‘end Iran’.” He added: “#NeverThreatenAnIranian. Try respect – it works!”
The Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, has hit back at Donald Trump’s “genocidal taunts” after a strongly...

Publisher: NYTimes

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18 May 2019

War With Iran? Count Us Out, Europe Says

With strong memories of the last catastrophic war in Iraq, Europeans are united in opposing what many consider the United States’ effort to provoke Iran into a shooting war. Yet, despite the strains in trans-Atlantic relations in the Trump years, flat-out opposition to Washington remains an uncomfortable place for European nations.
With strong memories of the last catastrophic war in Iraq, Europeans are united in opposing what many consider the...
16 May 2019

As U.S. pulls some workers from Iraq, allies challenge claim of rising threat from Iran

The State Department on Wednesday ordered all “non-emergency U.S. government employees” to leave Iraq amid soaring tensions with Iran, which backs proxy forces there.  It said in a statement that the announcement affects both the U.S. Embassy in the capital, Baghdad, and a consulate in the northern city of Irbil.
The State Department on Wednesday ordered all “non-emergency U.S. government employees” to leave Iraq amid...

Publisher: NYTimes

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16 May 2019

Iran Threat Debate Is Set Off by Images of Missiles at Sea

The photographs fueled fears that Iran would fire missiles at U.S. naval ships in the Persian Gulf. The Pentagon has not released the photograph. On its own, two American officials said, the photograph was not compelling enough to convince the American public and lawmakers, or foreign allies, of the new Iranian threat. But releasing other supporting images could compromise secret sources and methods of collecting intelligence, the officials said.
The photographs fueled fears that Iran would fire missiles at U.S. naval ships in the Persian Gulf. The Pentagon has not...
15 May 2019

No increased Iran threat in Syria or Iraq, top British officer says, contradicting US

The top British general in the US-led coalition against Isis has said there is no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq or Syria, directly contradicting US assertions used to justify a military buildup in the region. Hours later however, his assessment was disowned by US Central Command in an extraordinary rebuke of an allied senior officer.
The top British general in the US-led coalition against Isis has said there is no increased threat from Iranian-backed...

Publisher: BBC News

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15 May 2019

US ‘blames Iran’ for damage to tankers in Gulf of Oman

US investigators believe Iran or groups it supports used explosives to damage four ships off the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, media reports say. Military experts were reportedly sent to investigate the incident and found a large hole in each of the tankers. No evidence has emerged to show that Iran was involved. The affected countries are yet to assign blame.
US investigators believe Iran or groups it supports used explosives to damage four ships off the United Arab Emirates on...

Publisher: Washington Post

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14 May 2019

Two Saudi oil tankers, Norwegian ship apparently attacked near the Persian Gulf amid rising Iran tensions

Two Saudi Arabian oil tankers and a Norwegian ship were damaged over the weekend near the Persian Gulf in what Saudi Arabia claimed Monday was an “act of sabotage,” further heightening regional tensions with Iran.
Two Saudi Arabian oil tankers and a Norwegian ship were damaged over the weekend near the Persian Gulf in what Saudi...
14 May 2019

Pompeo crashes Brussels meeting of E.U. diplomats for Iran talks

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Brussels on Monday for an unplanned visit with European foreign ministers who fear that the United States and Iran are inching toward war. The last-minute decision, announced as he boarded a plane from the United States, set up a confrontation between Pompeo and European diplomats who have been scrambling to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Brussels on Monday for an unplanned visit with European foreign ministers who...

Publisher: NYTimes

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14 May 2019

White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran, in Echoes of Iraq War

At a meeting of President Trump’s top national security aides last Thursday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated military plan that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons, administration officials said.
At a meeting of President Trump’s top national security aides last Thursday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan...
4 May 2019

The Improbable Comeback of Erik Prince

When Erik Prince arrived at the Four Seasons resort in the Seychelles in January 2017 for his now-famous meetings with a Russian banker and UAE ruler Mohammed bin Zayed, he was in the middle of an unexpected comeback. The election of Donald Trump had given the disgraced Blackwater founder a new opportunity to prove himself. After years of trying and failing to peddle a sweeping vision of mercenary warfare around the world, Erik Prince was back in the game.
When Erik Prince arrived at the Four Seasons resort in the Seychelles in January 2017 for his now-famous meetings...
22 Apr 2019

Amid Push for New Oil Sanctions, Pompeo Reportedly Jokes About Secret Coup Plot Against Iran

With the Trump administration moving ahead Monday with punishing new sanctions against Iran with the goal of completely halting the country's oil exports, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly joked about a secret White House plot to overthrow the Iranian government during a private meeting with Iranian-American "community leaders."
With the Trump administration moving ahead Monday with punishing new sanctions against Iran with the goal of completely...

Publisher: NYTimes

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17 Apr 2019

Trump Vetoes Measure to Force End to U.S. Involvement in Yemen War

President Trump vetoed a bipartisan resolution on Tuesday that would have forced an end to American military involvement in Saudi Arabia’s civil war in Yemen, rejecting an appeal by lawmakers to his own deeply rooted instincts to withdraw the United States from bloody foreign conflicts.
President Trump vetoed a bipartisan resolution on Tuesday that would have forced an end to American military involvement...

Publisher: LA Times

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9 Apr 2019

Netanyahu says Trump named Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group at his request

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, facing a hotly contested bid for a fourth term, tweeted on the eve of the election that the Trump administration designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization at his request.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, facing a hotly contested bid for a fourth term, tweeted on the eve of the...
22 Mar 2019

Trump says US will recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights

Donald Trump has announced that the US will recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, captured from Syria in 1967, in a dramatic move likely to bolster Benjamin Netanyahu’s hopes to win re-election, but which will also provoke international opposition. Previous US administrations have treated Golan Heights as occupied Syrian territory, in line with UN security council resolutions. Trump declared his break with that policy in a tweet.
Donald Trump has announced that the US will recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, captured from Syria...

Publisher: Asia Times

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14 Mar 2019

Did RAND get it right in its war game exercise?

The RAND Corporation with Pentagon support has carried out a war game simulation in which the United States loses to both Russia and China. The US and NATO are unable to stop an attack in the Balkans by the Russians, and the United States and its allies are unable to prevent the takeover of Taiwan by China. These are the claims made by RAND. But is RAND right?
The RAND Corporation with Pentagon support has carried out a war game simulation in which the United...

Publisher: Newsweek

Author:

20 Feb 2019

Israel Says It Wants ‘War with Iran’ and Is Meeting with Arab Countries to ‘Advance’ It

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed his desire to go to war with Iran, and said he was meeting with dozens of foreign envoys, including those from the Arab world, in order to push the initiative forward.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed his desire to go to war with Iran, and said he was meeting with...
14 Feb 2019

Unhinged Mike Pence Warns of ‘New Holocaust’ as Team Trump Tries to Rally EU Leaders for War With Iran

Speaking at a U.S.-led conference about the Middle East in Warsaw, Poland on Thursday, Vice President piled on the potent anti-Iran sentiment surrounding the conference by demanding that European Union (EU) allies withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, which President Donald Trump ditched last year, and accused Iran of plotting a "new Holocaust."
Speaking at a U.S.-led conference about the Middle East in Warsaw, Poland on Thursday, Vice President piled on the...
8 Feb 2019

Report: U.S.-Based Plane Caught Bringing Arms into Venezuela

McClatchy is reporting Venezuelan authorities have uncovered 19 assault weapons, 118 ammunition cartridges and 90 military-grade radio antennas on board a U.S.-owned plane that had flown from Miami into Valencia, Venezuela’s third-largest city.
McClatchy is reporting Venezuelan authorities have uncovered 19 assault weapons, 118 ammunition cartridges and 90...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

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5 Feb 2019

Barham Salih: Trump did not ask Iraq’s permission to ‘watch Iran’

Iraqi President Barham Salih has said US President Donald Trump did not ask Iraq's permission for US troops stationed there to "watch Iran". Salih was responding on Monday to Trump's comments to US media in which he said American forces would remain at a US base in Iraq to keep a close eye on neighbouring Iran.
Iraqi President Barham Salih has said US President Donald Trump did not ask Iraq's permission for US troops stationed...
13 Jan 2019

‘A Reckless Advocate of Military Force’: Demands for John Bolton’s Dismissal After Reports He Asked Pentagon for Options to Strike Iran

Reminding the world that he is, as one critic put it, "a reckless advocate of military force," the Wall Street Journal revealed on Sunday that President Donald Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton "asked the Pentagon to provide the White House with military options to strike Iran last year, generating concern at the Pentagon and State Department."
Reminding the world that he is, as one critic put it, "a reckless advocate of military force," the Wall Street Journal...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

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3 Jan 2019

US and Israel formally quit UNESCO

The United States and Israel have officially quit the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day, the culmination of a process triggered more than a year ago. The withdrawal is mainly procedural yet serves a new blow to UNESCO, co-founded by the US after World War II to foster peace.
The United States and Israel have officially quit the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

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20 Dec 2018

Erdogan: New military operation in Syria to ‘start at any moment’

Turkey may launch a new military operation in northern Syria at any moment, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, adding US President Donald Trump had given a positive response to Turkey's plans. Erdogan's remarks on Monday came days after he announced Turkish forces would launch a new cross-border operation against the US-backed Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) to the east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria.
Turkey may launch a new military operation in northern Syria at any moment, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan...

Publisher: The Intercept

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22 Sep 2018

State Department Team Led by Former Raytheon Lobbyist Pushed Mike Pompeo to Support Yemen War Because of Arms Sales

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo faced internal opposition to U.S. support for the war in Yemen from State Department staff, according to a recent report. The staffers had become concerned by the rising civilian death toll in the war being carried out by Persian Gulf monarchies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — not only owing to bombings of densely populated areas, but also a humanitarian crisis exacerbated by the fighting, with up to 8.4 million people at risk of starvation.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo faced internal opposition to U.S. support for the war in Yemen from State...
27 Jul 2018

US is Ready to Strike Iran’s Nuclear Facilities in August

According to ABC, the US is going to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities. An operation may start as early as next month. The UK and Australia will participate in intelligence efforts, such as identifying targets. The US-Iran relationship took a nosedive after Iran threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz in early July. President Trump told the Iranian leadership in a tweet that he would respond with force if Tehran’s hostile anti-US rhetoric did not stop.
According to ABC, the US is going to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities. An operation may start as early as next...

Publisher: NYTimes

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23 Jul 2018

Trump Threatens Iran on Twitter, Warning of Dire ‘Consequences’

Mr. Trump, in an all-caps message on Twitter addressed to President  Hassan Rouhani of Iran, wrote that the country would face “CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED” if he continued to threaten the United States.
Mr. Trump, in an all-caps message on Twitter addressed to President  Hassan Rouhani of Iran, wrote...
5 Jul 2018

Trump Repeatedly Pushed For Venezuela Invasion, US Official Says

As a meeting last August in the Oval Office to discuss sanctions on  Venezuela was concluding, President Donald Trump turned to his top aides and asked an unsettling question: With a fast unraveling Venezuela threatening regional security, why can’t the U.S. just simply invade the troubled country?
As a meeting last August in the Oval Office to discuss sanctions on  Venezuela was concluding, President Donald...
29 Jun 2018

Jennifer Harbury: Today’s Refugee Crisis Is Blowback from U.S. Dirty Wars in Central America

The United States has everything to do with the creation of the monsters that are driving the refugees up to our border. They’re fleeing the cartels. Who are the heads of the cartels? People who were trained in the United States, worked very closely with the United States intelligence throughout the genocide. And we were, of course, severely criticized for that by the United Nations Truth Commission, and President Clinton apologized.
The United States has everything to do with the creation of the monsters that are driving the refugees up to our border....
16 Jun 2018

Attacking Hodeidah is a deliberate act of cruelty by the Trump administration

The Trump administration is guilty of many acts of deliberate cruelty, such as taking away the children of immigrant parents at the US border. But just as the world was watching the lead up to the Trump-Kim Jong-un meeting in Singapore last Monday, the US may have done something even worse by quietly announcing a decision that threatens to kill millions by starvation or disease.
The Trump administration is guilty of many acts of deliberate cruelty, such as taking away the children of immigrant...
23 May 2018

Mike Pompeo claims Iran carrying out ‘assassination operations’ in Europe

Mike Pompeo’s claim that the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is carrying out “assassination operations in the heart of Europe” has bewildered  security experts and Iranian exiles, who say they are not aware of any  evidence for the allegation.
Mike Pompeo’s claim that the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is carrying out “assassination operations in the heart of...

Publisher: NYTimes

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9 May 2018

Chinese Tech Giant May Be First Victim of a New U.S. Cold War

One of China’s most internationally successful technology suppliers, with about $17 billion in annual revenue, ZTE is facing a death sentence. The Commerce Department has blocked its access to American-made components until 2025, saying the company failed to punish employees who violated trade controls against Iran and North Korea.
One of China’s most internationally successful technology suppliers, with about $17 billion in annual revenue,...

Publisher: NYTimes

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30 Apr 2018

Pompeo and Palestinians Have ‘Nothing to Discuss’ Amid Gaza Crisis

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came to Israel Sunday in the midst of the worst crisis in relations between Israelis and Palestinians in years, but he did not  meet a single Palestinian representative and mentioned them publicly once. Instead of discussing the Palestinian issue, Mr. Pompeo’s focused message on his sweep through the region has been a denunciation of Iran. He met with Saudi leaders on Saturday and Sunday morning, and they all agreed that Iran is a destabilizing force. He met on Sunday afternoon with Mr. Netanyahu, who blistered Iran alongside Mr. Pompeo.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came to Israel Sunday in the midst of the worst crisis in relations...

Publisher: NYTimes

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30 Apr 2018

Mike Pompeo Expresses Support for Israeli Response to Gaza Protests

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking in Jordan at the end of a four-day, four-nation tour through the Middle East, expressed support on Monday for Israel and its response to weekly protests in Gaza that have left dozens of people dead.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking in Jordan at the end of a four-day, four-nation tour through the...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

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5 Apr 2018

Is US President Trump ‘milking Gulf countries’?

US President Donald Trump is "milking Gulf countries" and exploiting tensions in the Middle East to bolster its arms sales. That's according to Al Jazeera's senior political analyst Marwan Bishara, who was commenting shortly after the US leader told Saudi Arabia it needed to pay up if it wanted the US to continue its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in Syria.
US President Donald Trump is "milking Gulf countries" and exploiting tensions in the Middle East to bolster its arms...

Publisher: NYTimes

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23 Mar 2018

McMaster to Resign as National Security Adviser, and Will Be Replaced by John Bolton

Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the battle-tested Army officer tapped as President Trump’s national security adviser last year to stabilize a turbulent foreign policy operation, will resign and be replaced by John R. Bolton, a hard-line former United States ambassador to the United Nations, White House officials said  Thursday.
Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the battle-tested Army officer tapped as President Trump’s national security...

Publisher: NYTimes

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3 Jan 2018

Trump Tweets His ‘Nuclear Button’ Is ‘Much Bigger’ Than Kim Jong-un’s

President Trump again raised the prospect of nuclear war with North  Korea, boasting in strikingly playground terms on Tuesday night that he  commands a “much bigger” and “more powerful” arsenal of devastating  weapons than the outlier government in Asia.
President Trump again raised the prospect of nuclear war with North  Korea, boasting in strikingly playground terms...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

14 Dec 2017

Trump-Connected Firm Helped Sow Chaos in Kenyan Election, Report Says

Like jeans and pickup trucks before, social media misinformation has become the latest and greatest American export. A new report by Privacy International says  that Harris Media, a Texas-based political communications firm that helped boost the Trump campaign, Benghazi paranoia, and German far-right politicians, found its most recent client in Kenya, where an October presidential election flared into deadly violence.
Like jeans and pickup trucks before, social media misinformation has become the latest and greatest American...

Publisher: NYTimes

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6 Dec 2017

U.S. to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, Trump Says, Alarming Middle East Leaders

President Trump plans to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the American Embassy there, upending nearly seven decades of  American foreign policy and potentially destroying his efforts to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
President Trump plans to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the American Embassy there,...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

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29 Nov 2017

North Korea fires ballistic missile

An initial assessment by the US Department of Defense said North  Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). This type of missile is capable of carrying nuclear warheads and could reach the mainland of the United States.  If the Pentagon's first assessment turns out to be correct, it would be the third test of an ICBM by North Korea this year.
An initial assessment by the US Department of Defense said North  Korea fired an...
16 Nov 2017

The Distraction in Chief

As the Trump/Russia reality show continues to consume endless hours of media coverage, the U.S. is backing the genocidal,  scorched-earth bombing of Yemen. Trump has granted the CIA and military  sweeping authorities to conduct lethal operations, all while laughing it  up with the murderous despot, Rodrigo Duterte.
As the Trump/Russia reality show continues to consume endless hours of media coverage, the U.S. is backing the...

Publisher: NYTimes

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11 Nov 2017

Saudi Arabia Comes for Hezbollah

Hezbollah, which was founded in the 1980s during a civil war and an Israeli invasion, is now the country’s dominant political and military force. It is unrealistic of Saudi leaders and the Trump administration to expect that it can be supplanted by a popular Lebanese groundswell  against it or removed by a foreign military force without causing catastrophic damage to Lebanon.
Hezbollah, which was founded in the 1980s during a civil war and an Israeli invasion, is now the country’s...

Publisher: NYTimes

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10 Nov 2017

Case of Missing Lebanese Prime Minister Stirs Middle East Tensions

Mr. Hariri, until he announced his resignation on Saturday, had shown no signs of planning to do so. Hours later, on Saturday evening, a missile fired from Yemen came close to Riyadh before being shot down by Saudi Arabia. It then emerged that the week before, Jared Kushner, had visited Riyadh on a previously undisclosed trip and met until the early morning hours with the crown prince.
Mr. Hariri, until he announced his resignation on Saturday, had shown no signs of planning to do so. Hours later, on...
8 Nov 2017

Donald Trump’s Vow to Hit ISIS “10 Times Harder” Guarantees More Terrorism Against Americans

Bombing the shit out of ISIS has become Trump’s signature move. But here’s the problem: Trump may want to sound tough and strong yet his strategy — if you can even call a response based on bombs, bombs, and  more bombs a “strategy” — only makes the United States a much bigger ISIS target and puts many more innocent American lives at risk.
Bombing the shit out of ISIS has become Trump’s signature move. But here’s the problem:...
14 Oct 2017

Iran nuclear deal: EU condemns Donald Trump’s decision to decertify agreement

The Iran nuclear deal  is working well and continues to prevent the country from developing  atomic weapons, the European Union's foreign policy chief has said.Federica Mogherini made the comments after Donald Trump announced he had chosen not to re-certify the agreement. Ms Mogherini said no one country could terminate the deal, which was signed onto by Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union. Instead, she called for a "collective process" to preserve the historic accord.
The Iran nuclear deal  is working well and continues to prevent the country from developing  atomic...
7 Oct 2017

Trump’s decision on Iran nuclear deal could cause major breach with allies in Europe

More than any other issue that has threatened transatlantic cohesion  this year, President Trump’s decision to decertify Iranian compliance  with the nuclear deal could start a chain of events that would sharply divide the United States from its closest traditional allies in the world.
More than any other issue that has threatened transatlantic cohesion  this year, President Trump’s...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

6 Oct 2017

Trump Calls Meeting With Military Leaders ‘the Calm Before the Storm’

President Trump said late Thursday that a meeting with his military leaders was “the calm before the storm,” but what he meant by his ominous comment remained unclear. When pressed for more details, the president said, “you’ll find out,” a declaration that comes amid more turmoil in his own cabinet and several foreign policy challenges around the world.
President Trump said late Thursday that a meeting with his military leaders was “the calm before the storm,” but...
2 Oct 2017

Trump says Tillerson is ‘wasting his time’ trying to pursue negotiations with North Korea

President Trump signaled Sunday that he does not believe that attempts at direct communications with North Korea are worth the effort despite escalating tensions between Washington and Pyongyang. A day after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggested that the United  States maintains “lines of communications” with Kim Jong Un's regime, Trump wrote on Twitter that Tillerson is “wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man” — his nickname for Kim.
President Trump signaled Sunday that he does not believe that attempts at direct communications with North Korea are...
29 Sep 2017

North Korea-US war now ‘a real possibility’, warns influential Rusi think tank

The disturbing analysis, written by Rusi director general Malcolm Chalmers, says a war could be triggered by either Washington or Pyongyang, but it warns there is a growing risk action could be taken by Donald Trump to “resolve” the issue “sooner rather than later”. “War is now a real possibility,” the report states. “With North Korea making rapid progress in its missile and nuclear programmes, time is not on diplomacy's side.”
The disturbing analysis, written by Rusi director general Malcolm Chalmers, says a war could be triggered by either...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

Author:

23 Sep 2017

‘Trump looking to loosen Obama limits on drone strikes’

The New York Times, citing unnamed officials, reported on Thursday that Trump's top national security advisers have proposed relaxing two rules from administration of Barack Obama, the former US president.  The officials said the targets of kill missions by the military and the CIA would be expanded to include foot-soldier fighters with no  special skills or leadership roles. 
The New York Times, citing unnamed officials, reported on Thursday that Trump's top national...
21 Sep 2017

Donald Trump Used the United Nations to Threaten a Massive Violation of International Law

The United States has never cared much about international  law. But most U.S. presidents had at least made an effort to pretend that they  did. Based on President Donald Trump’s speech Tuesday to the United Nations General Assembly, this is yet another American tradition that he’s discarding. Trump’s overturning of this American norm came during his blusterous threats against North Korea:
The United States has never cared much about international  law. But most U.S. presidents had at...
20 Sep 2017

In U.N. speech, Trump threatens to ‘totally destroy North Korea’ and calls Kim Jong Un ‘Rocket Man’

“I will always put America first just like you, the leaders of your countries, should put your countries first,” Trump said, returning to a campaign theme and the “America First” phrase that has been criticized as isolationist and nationalistic. The president warned of growing  threats from North Korea and Iran, and he said, “The scourge of our  planet is a group of rogue regimes.” The North Korean delegation was seated, by chance, in the front row, mere feet from the U.N. podium.
“I will always put America first just like you, the leaders of your countries, should put your...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

15 Sep 2017

North Korea Launches Another Missile, Escalating Crisis

North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan on Friday, a bold test that defied the new sanctions resolution  adopted by the United Nations Security Council earlier this week, as  well as repeated warnings from around the world that the country should stop raising tensions
North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan on Friday, a bold test that defied the...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

15 Sep 2017

C.I.A. Wants Authority to Conduct Drone Strikes in Afghanistan for the First Time

The  C.I.A. is pushing for expanded powers to carry out covert drone  strikes in Afghanistan and other active war zones, a proposal that the White  House appears to favor despite the misgivings of some at the Pentagon, according to current and former intelligence and military officials. If approved by President Trump, it would mark the first time the C.I.A. has had such powers in Afghanistan, expanding beyond its existing authority to carry out covert strikes against Al Qaeda and other terrorist targets across the border in Pakistan.
The  C.I.A. is pushing for expanded powers to carry out covert drone  strikes in Afghanistan and other active...
6 Sep 2017

Undercover in North Korea: “All Paths Lead to Catastrophe”

The whole thing begins with the division of Korea in 1945. People think it began with the Korean War, but the Korean War only happened because  of the 1945 division [of Korea by the U.S. and Soviet Union at the end of World War II]. What we’re seeing is Korea stuck in between. Essentially no Americans know what happened between 1945 and the start of the Korean War. And few Americans know what happened during the war. [Syngman Rhee, the U.S.-installed ultra right-wing South Korean dictator, massacred tens of thousands of South Koreans before North Korea invaded in 1950. Rhee’s government executed another 100,000 South Koreans in the war’s early months. Then the barbaric U.S. air war against North Korea killed perhaps one-fifth of its population.]
The whole thing begins with the division of Korea in 1945. People think it began with the Korean War, but...
13 Aug 2017

Chinese president speaks with Trump and urges calm over North Korea

China’s president, Xi Jinping, has told Donald Trump in a phone call that all sides should avoid rhetoric or action that would worsen tensions on the Korean peninsula, according to Chinese state media. Reports quoted Xi as saying: “At present, the relevant parties must maintain restraint and avoid words and deeds that would exacerbate the  tension on the Korean peninsula.”
China’s president, Xi Jinping, has told Donald Trump in a phone call that all sides should avoid rhetoric or...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

2 Aug 2017

Is Trump Scheming to Kill the Iran Deal?

As if the steeply rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula weren’t enough, President Trump seems determined to kill the Iran nuclear deal, against the near unanimous opinion of his closest foreign policy advisers. According to a recent article in Foreign Policy, after he grudgingly agreed to recertify the deal a few weeks ago, Mr. Trump assigned a team of White House staff members to develop a case within the next three months for declaring that Iran had violated the agreement.
As if the steeply rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula weren’t enough, President Trump seems determined to kill the...

Publisher: Asia Times

Author:

2 Aug 2017

North Korea’s new ICBMs change little about threat to the US

Much of South Korea has been within range of Pyongyang’s artillery, unguided rockets, and short-range missiles, for some time. Indeed, such threats against Seoul  and its huge metropolitan surroundings have existed for many years. As for Japan, North Korea has long had the ability to deliver some type of warhead to much of the island nation. However, without a reliable re-entry vehicle to protect a nuclear device during re-entry into the atmosphere, a missile of any longer range adds little to the threat level for Seoul or  Tokyo.
Much of South Korea has been within range of Pyongyang’s artillery, unguided rockets, and short-range missiles, for...
25 Jul 2017

Donald Trump and the Coming Fall of American Empire

Even as President Donald Trump faces ever-intensifying investigations into the alleged connections between his top aides and family members and powerful Russian figures, he serves as commander in chief over a U.S. military that is killing an astonishing and growing  number of civilians. Under Trump, the U.S. is re-escalating its war in  Afghanistan, expanding its operations in Iraq and Syria, conducting covert raids in Somalia and Yemen, and openly facilitating the Saudi’s genocidal military destruction of Yemen.
Even as President Donald Trump faces ever-intensifying investigations into the alleged connections between his...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

3 Jul 2017

Trump Warns China That He Is Willing to Pressure North Korea on His Own

President Trump, frustrated by China’s unwillingness to lean on North Korea,  has told the Chinese leader that the United States is prepared to act on its own in pressuring the nuclear-armed government in Pyongyang, according to senior administration officials. Mr. Trump’s warning, delivered in a cordial but blunt phone call on Sunday night to President Xi Jinping, came after a flurry of actions by the United States — selling weapons to Taiwan, threatening trade sanctions and branding China for human trafficking — that rankled the Chinese and left little doubt that the  honeymoon between the two leaders was over.
President Trump, frustrated by China’s unwillingness to lean on North Korea,  has told the Chinese leader...
28 Jun 2017

White House Threatened Syria While Trump Yawned, Insiders Say

Tillerson secretly warned the Russians, and Kushner and Bannon were consulted before the White House rattled its saber. All this occurred this week as President Donald Trump displayed what two White House officials characterized as relative indifference and passivity towards the subject, instead opting to focus his public and private energies towards fuming at his domestic enemies  in the Democratic Party and the “fake news.”“The president cares more about CNN and the Russia story than [Syria] at the moment,” one official observed.
Tillerson secretly warned the Russians, and Kushner and Bannon were consulted before the White House rattled its saber....
24 Jun 2017

Iran nuclear chief warns US over support for Saudi Arabia

The head of Iran’s atomic energy organisation, one of the architects of the 2015 landmark nuclear deal, has warned the US to stop upsetting the regional balance of power by siding with Saudi Arabia. Writing in the Guardian, Ali Akbar Salehi said “lavish arms purchases” by regional actors – a reference to the Saudi purchase of $100bn of US arms during Donald Trump’s recent visit to Riyadh – would be seen as provocative in Tehran and that it would be unrealistic to expect Iran to remain “indifferent”.
The head of Iran’s atomic energy organisation, one of the architects of the 2015 landmark nuclear deal, has...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

21 Jun 2017

American Warplane Shoots Down Iranian-Made Drone Over Syria

An American F-15E fighter jet shot down an Iranian-made armed drone on Tuesday over southeast Syria that was flying toward American-backed Syrian fighters and their advisers, Pentagon officials said. The episode was a fresh indication that the air war between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and the American military is likely  to continue, and perhaps even escalate, even as the United States has sought to keep its focus on defeating the Islamic State militants operating in Syria and Iraq.
An American F-15E fighter jet shot down an Iranian-made armed drone on Tuesday over...

Publisher: Independent

Author:

21 Jun 2017

The US seems keener to strike at Syria’s Assad than it does to destroy Isis

The extraordinary destruction of a Syrian fighter jet by a US aircraft on Sunday has precious little to do with the Syrian plane’s target in the desert near Rasafa – but much to do with the advance of the Syrian army close to the American-backed Kurdish forces along the Euphrates. The Syrians have grown increasingly suspicious in recent months that most Kurdish forces in the north of Syria – many of them in alliance with the Assad government until recently – have thrown in their lot with the Americans.
The extraordinary destruction of a Syrian fighter jet by a US aircraft on Sunday has precious little to do with the...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

19 Jun 2017

Russia Warns U.S. After Downing of Syrian Warplane

Long-running tensions between the United States and Russia erupted publicly on Monday as Moscow condemned the American military’s downing of a Syrian warplane and threatened to target aircraft flown by  the United States and its allies west of the Euphrates. The Russians also said they had suspended their use of a hotline that the American and Russian militaries used to avoid collisions of their aircraft in Syrian airspace.
Long-running tensions between the United States and Russia erupted publicly on Monday as Moscow...
14 Jun 2017

Trump’s War To ‘Annihilate’ ISIS Is Raising Civilian Casualties

Overturning more than a decade of careful “hearts and minds” military operations, the United States has  signaled that the major U.S.-backed combat offensives against ISIS in  Iraq and Syria should proceed regardless of the cost to civilians.
Overturning more than a decade of careful “hearts and minds” military operations, the United States...

Publisher: The Times

Author:

6 Jun 2017

‘Ayatollah Mike’ D’Andrea to lead CIA’s new hardline approach on Iran

A controversial CIA operative known as the Dark Prince, who presided  over the hunt for Osama bin Laden and the killing of thousands of  Islamist militants, has been appointed to head US spy operations against Iran. The assignment of Michael D’Andrea — also known as Ayatollah Mike and immortalised in the Hollywood film Zero Dark Thirty — is one of several moves within the intelligence agency that herald a more vigorous push on Iran, in line with a campaign pledge by President Trump.
A controversial CIA operative known as the Dark Prince, who presided  over the hunt for Osama bin Laden and the...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

5 Jun 2017

5 Arab States Break Ties With Qatar, Complicating U.S. Coalition-Building

It was not immediately clear why the five countries decided to take this action now. Last month, Qatar’s state news media published comments attributed to the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, referring to  tension with Washington over Iran policy and saying Mr. Trump might not  be in power for long. Qatar denied the comments, saying it had been the victim of a “cybercrime.” But most analysts pointed to President Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia.
It was not immediately clear why the five countries decided to take this action now. Last month, Qatar’s state...
30 May 2017

Military’s clout at White House could shift U.S. foreign policy

When President Trump’s top foreign policy  advisers gathered ­recently at the White House to discuss plans to revamp the administration’s Afghanistan strategy, the makeup of those in the room was indicative of a significant turn in U.S. foreign policy. Seated front and center at the Situation Room table were four current or retired generals who dominate just about every big national security decision Trump makes.
When President Trump’s top foreign policy  advisers gathered ­recently at the...
24 May 2017

The only real way to stop atrocities like the Manchester attack is to end the wars which allow extremism to grow

President Trump leaves the Middle East today, having done his bit to make the region even more divided and mired in conflict than it was  before. At the same moment that Donald Trump was condemning the suicide bomber in Manchester as “an evil loser in life”, he was adding to the chaos in which al-Qaeda and Isis have taken root and flourished. It may be a long distance between the massacre in Manchester and the wars in the Middle East, but the connection is there.
President Trump leaves the Middle East today, having done his bit to make the region even more divided and...
23 May 2017

Donald Trump focuses fire on Iran’s support for ‘terrorists and militias’

Donald Trump,  on his first presidential visit to Israel and the West Bank, has escalated his war of words against Iran, demanding that Tehran immediately stop its financial and military support for “terrorists and militias” and reiterating that it must never be permitted to possess  nuclear weapons. Trump referred to the Iran issue repeatedly on Monday, expanding on his speech in Saudi Arabia the day before in which he blamed “Iran’s rising ambitions” for violently destabilising the Middle East.
Donald Trump,  on his first presidential visit to Israel and the West Bank, has escalated his war of words...
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