Thursday, July 25, 2019

CRITIQUES OF IRAN REPORTING, US IMPERIALISM, 7-25-19


MEDIA/ADG REPORTS IRAN
CRITICISM OF US EMPIRE
COMPILED BY DICK BENNETT FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE, JUSTICE, and ECOLOGY
 (#11 Oct. 8, 2011; #12 Jan. 31, 2012; #13 Feb. 22, 2012; #14 Feb. 26, 2012; #15 March 17, 2012; #16 April 12, 2012; #17 May 21, 2012; #18, July 9, 2012; #19 August 13, 2012; #20 Sept. 10, 2012; #21, Dec. 14, 2012; #22 March 5, 2013; #23 Nov. 12, 2013; #24 March 5, 2014; #25 January 17, 2015; #26, July 28, 2015; #27, June 3, 2018; #28, June 21, 2019; #29, July 11, 2019; #30, July 19, 2019; #31, July 25, 2019)
(Local action in Fayetteville, Arkansas: Toward stopping Iran war and imperialism, we are currently holding weekly peace protests every Saturday at 11 A.M. in front of Washington County Courthouse. Please join us.  If temp. in 90s drink water before, during, and after.)

CONTENTS: OMNI’S IRAN NEWSLETTER #31, July 25, 2019
Continuation of Analysis of Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Reporting Iran by Dick Bennett
Published Commentary on US Imperialism
Contents of #30


TEXTS
Analysis of NADG Reporting of US Aggression Against Iran July 19-23, with assistance from Inside Iran by Medea Benjamin
D-G Staff.  “US. Warship in Gulf Downs Iranian Drone.  Trump Calls U.S. Response –Self-Defense.”  NADG (7-19-19). [ Imagine an Iranian warship in Tampa Bay shooting down a US surveillance drone.  Imagine too the warship was an amphibious assault vessel like the USS Boxer.  And imagine the ship was accompanied outside the Bay by the full complement of a Carrier Strike Force (like the one led by the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln presently in the Arabian Sea).   Now can you imagine US Central Command not sending out a surveillance drone?  And imagine Iranian news media describing the incident as part of the US “raising tensions” by threatening Iranian forces and interests in the Gulf of Mexico.  And throw in imagining four Iranian B-52 long-range bombers and Patriot air defense missiles to Cuba and Venezuela.  And, no imagining now, remember how close to violent war the two nations came when on June 20, Trump ordered a retaliatory military strike in retaliation for Iran shooting down a US Navy drone, but called it off at the last moment.  The authors of the report, the D-G Staff, do not imagine how all of this might look to the Iranians.] 

D-G Staff.  “Iran Claims to Seize Now-silent U.K. Ship.  Incident Adds to Tensions in Persian Gulf”  7-20-19.  [During the 19th c., Russia, Britain, and France were rivals in taking over various Iranian resources.  “…one with monumental consequences, came in 1901, when Iranian rulers signed over the exclusive rights to drill for oil” to a British businessman….the first step in what became the U.K. takeover of Iran’s oil resources.”  From this time forward, dislike of “foreign concessions” and of Iran’s rulers’ failure to defend the nation’s sovereignty grew among the populace.   Medea Benjamin, Inside Iran (2018).]


The UK’s dubious role in the new tanker war with Iran.  Mronline.org (7-20-19).   There are signs of a new tanker war in the Persian Gulf, with Britain joining a coalition that wants a war with Iran.    Source  share on Twitter Like The UK’s dubious role in the new tanker war with Iran on Facebook

Stan Choe and Damian Troise (AP).  “Iran Tensions, Fed Rate Worries Send Stocks Lower.”  7-20-19.   2D.  [ “Iran Tensions” is a common US mainstream media (MM) coverup of the causation agency chain.  The “tensions” didn’t just appear, but began when the US/CIA overthrew the democratically elected Iranian government under Mossadegh.  A tit for tat relationship ensued, which was reinforced when Pres. Trump arbitrarily and unilaterally canceled the nuclear agreement between the countries.  More recently, the UK seized an Iranian vessel, the US shot down an Iranian drone, and the Iranians seized a British and a Liberian vessel.] 
D-G Staff.  “Britain Puts Iran on Notice.”  7-21-19.
The 3rd paragraph includes two important reminders: in June the US came “to within minutes of a military strike against targets in Iran,” and “a fifth of the world’s crude oil supply is shipped from the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz off the coast of Iran.” Tough talk from Britain regarding “further measures”—a freeze on Iranian assets, pushing the EU and UN to reimpose sanctions.”  Britain’s Foreign Secretary also defended “British-assisted” seizure of Iran’s supertanker earlier this month as “legal” because vessel suspected of breaching EU sanctions on oil shipments to Syria.   In contrast, Iran’s Foreign Minister labeled the seizure “piracy,” and its Guardian Council justified its seizure of a British tanker as “reciprocal action.”  Other Iranian agencies explained the seizure differently, which we have seen before resulting from the three main sources of power in Iran.  Trump, France, Germany sided with Britain.  “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said…that the U.S. isn’t willing to talk with Iran until it acts like a normal country.”  [This statement seems so hypocritical or ignorant, given US’s own history, that one wonders if Pompeo even attended high school, though of course the true history of imperial US in the Middle East is not taught there.]  Pompeo also said “Iran has shown ‘no signs’ it wants to change direction on its nuclear and missile programs.”  [Maybe he suffers from short-term memory loss.  Iran did change direction under the deal signed under the Obama administration by accepting strict, verifiable limits on its uranium enrichment program.]  To add to the extremely heavy force being gathered surrounding Iran [the Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, etc.], “the U.S. Central command” began “putting in place ‘a multinational maritime effort’ called Operation  Sentinel that would ‘increase surveillance of and security in key waterways in the Middle East to ensure freedom  of navigation in light of recent events in the Arabian Gulf region” [British marines seizing the Iran tanker at Gibraltar July 4?!). 
Robert Burns (AP).  “Wary of Iran, U.S. Dusting Off 1990s Saudi base, Shoring Up Defenses.”  7-21-19.  More quotations followed by comment.  [The first is the term “defenses.”  Iran is on the defense, not the US, which has surrounded Iran with a dozen military bases and nuclear armed submarines and planes, enabling the US to have already programmed for annihilation all of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s bases.   One of the best acts for peace for all of us would be the total replacement of the word “defense,” repeated endlessly in the official Orwellian vocabulary of  war, and its replacement by the word offense. 
 “Tensions with Iran have spiked since May when President Donald Trump’s
administration said it had detected increased Iranian preparations for possible attacks on U.S. forces and interests in the Persian Gulf area. . . .This movement of forces provides an additional deterrent, and ensures our ability to defend our forces and interests in the region (translation:  oil) from emergent credible threats,’ Central Command said.“   “With Iranian military threats in mind, the United States is sending American forces” to a Saudi air base—al-Kharj, now the Prince Sultan air base-- that was a hub of US air power in the ME in the 1990s.  [It was this US presence in SA that caused SA citizen bin Laden to hate the US and to mastermind flying US planes into the Trade Towers in 2001.]  [George Orwell would have enjoyed citing much of this report on the massive US armed squeeze of Iran presented as defense: war is peace.]
D-G Staff.  “In Recording, U.K. Warship Urges Iran to Let Tanker Go.”   7-22-19.
Details of the seizure, some historical events leading to the seizure, and “U.K. Response” are crowded into this report derived from AP, Bloomberg News, and NYT sources.  Benjamin in chapter 1 of Inside Iran recounts the long struggle by the Iranian people to regain Iranian sovereignty.  A momentous episode in this history is the coup that overthrew Mossadegh in 1953 engineered by the CIA and UK spy agency M16.  Mossadegh’s National Front Party had created the National Iranian Oil Company to negotiate with the British to purchase the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. (precursor to BP).  When the British refused, Mossadegh nationalized the company.  (A big deal; the British had profited by hundreds of millions of dollars each year, and the British Navy depended on Iran’s oil for 85 percent of its fuel.)  The larger issue was control of Iran’s oil by Western powers.  In June of 1953, US Secretary of State John foster Dulles unveiled the plot to overthrow Mossadegh.  The actual British and US arranged coup occurred on August 19 when a mob paid for the by the US took over the streets and Sherman tanks surrounded key buildings.
     “Relations between Iran and the United States were permanently damaged, as the U.S. government was now seen as yet another duplicitous power, in cahoots with the perfidious British who had constrained and thwarted Iran’s independence and sovereignty for 150 years.
 By contrast, Mohammad Mossadegh is remembered by his people as a national leader in the mold of India’s Gandhi….”)  (p. 27).
     Given such a history, not the Supreme Leader, the Revolutionary Guard, nor the Parliament and Prime Minister were prepared to listen to any UK warship.
D-G Staff.  “Britain Seeking Mission in Gulf.  Goal to Protect Ships from Iran.”   7-23-19, 1A. 2A.
     Let’s see it from the other side’s pov. 
Tehran Republican Guard Democrat-Gazette.   “Iran Seeking Mission in Gulf of Mexico.  Goal to Protect Ships from US.”  (7-23-19).    
    Middle Eastern governments plan to develop and deploy a “maritime protection mission” to safe-guard shipping in the Gulf of Mexico following US seizure of an Iranian-flagged tanker as it approached the Port of Texas City, a major deepwater port at Galveston Bay.  Its location on the bay, which is used by the Port of Houston and the Port of Galveston, puts Texas City in the heart of one of the world's most important shipping hubs.
     Briefing Iran’s Parliament, Iran’s President accused the US of “’an act of state piracy’ that must be met with a coordinated international reaction.”  The US Secretary of the Department of War suggested the Iranian New Century was seized and taken to the Port of Galveston in response to Iran’s role in seizing a US oil tanker, the Deep Driller, in the Gulf of Ormuz.  Iran’s President countered that under international law, the US had no right to stop the Deep Driller or to board it.  The President said Iran’s allies will play a major role in keeping shipping lanes open, for one-fifth of all global crude exports pass through the Gulf of Mexico from both US and Mexican ports. . . .  [I have barely begun.  Will one of you satirists carry on?]
 What “terrorism” looks like from Tehran:
Apr 23, 2019 - TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian lawmakers on Tuesday overwhelmingly ... Iranian parliament labels entire US military as terrorist ... meets with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Tehran, Iran, Monday, April 22, 2019. ... 

D-G Staff.  “Iran Claims 17 Arrests of Spies Linked to U.S.”  7-23-19.1A, 2A.
Quotations followed by my comments:
    “Iran said”:   [Media around the world far too frequently over-generalizes, making agency difficult to impossible to identify.  Let’s remember that Iran has 3 tiers of gov: at the top religion, the Supreme Leader and Guardian Council; under the Supreme Leader the military Revolutionary Guard; below the Supreme Leader the government bureaucracy performing all aspects familiar to gov responsibility, with a parliament (Iranian National Assembly) and a prime minister (recently I noticed that the government and the guard each had its own navy).   Any time an article says that “a nation” said something, I register the writer’s obfuscating laziness.]
    After labeling the accusation of spying “’another lie’ from Iran,” Pres. Trump added “that his interest in negotiating with the country is waning.”  [I expect that anyone who is reading this newsletter would reply that it’s incomprehensible for Trump to repudiate the lengthily negotiated treaty between the US/Pres. Obama and the gov of Iran and then to declare his interest in negotiating “is waning.”]
    Trump…called the Iranian claim about the spies ‘totally false.’”  [But why should we believe such an accusation, when Trump has been repeatedly exposed as a pathological liar?  (Google Donald Trump liar lies to find an “avalanche of lies”.)]  And he supported his accusation by describing Iran as “’a Religious Regime that is Badly Failing and has no idea what to do.’” [But how do these derogations support the accusations?  And who caused it to be “Badly Failing”?  (See Inside Iran, chapter 7, “The Iranian Economy After Decades of Sanctions.”) ]
     Trump also said he was waiting for “Tehran” “to agree to negotiate new limits on its nuclear program and other activities.”   [By “new” we must assume he meant more restrictive (or why would he have blamed Pres. Obama for allowing the “disastrous” 2015 nuclear accord?), yet the accord restricted Iran to enriching its uranium to below 4% (far from weapons grade) and to a stockpile of 661, both of which limits the UN Inspection Commission has repeatedly verified were performed and maintained.
     I have covered Trump’s questionable comments in the first 14 paragraphs in a sizeable report of 39.   Will one of you take over?]
    Suddenly on the 24th the NADG stopped reporting on the Iran War, so I will break off too.

Criticism of US Global Aggression
Contents:
Iran’s right to have a nuclear energy program.
The US invasion of Afghanistan brought not peace but death and starvation.
David Vine’s book, Base Nation.
“Stop Imperialist Warfare” by Abel Tomlinson.

The U.S. objection to Iran is not based on international law, but merely based on its political objectives. This is clearly illustrated by open U.S. support for nuclear energy and nuclear weapon development in India; and nuclear weapon stockpiling in Israel, which the U.S. has always fully backed.
Source  share on Twitter Like The U.S.-Iran standoff can only end when the U.S. accepts Iran’s right to have a nuclear energy program on Facebook

mronline.org (6-14-19)
The war on Afghanistan has been ugly. Death is one consequence of war—2019 has been the deadliest year for civilians since the United States first began to bomb Afghanistan in 2001. Starvation is another—according to the UN, half of the population will need food assistance over the course of this year.    Source  

Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World by David Vine.
From Italy to the Indian Ocean, from Japan to Honduras, a far-reaching examination of the perils of American military bases overseas
American military bases encircle the globe. More than two decades after the end of the Cold War, the U.S. still stations its troops at nearly a thousand locations in foreign lands. These bases are usually taken for granted or overlooked entirely, a little-noticed part of the Pentagon’s vast operations. But in an eye-opening account, Base Nation shows that the worldwide network of bases brings with it a panoply of ills—and actually makes the nation less safe in the long run.
As David Vine demonstrates, the overseas bases raise geopolitical tensions and provoke widespread antipathy towards the United States. They also undermine American democratic ideals, pushing the U.S. into partnerships with dictators and perpetuating a system of second-class citizenship in territories like Guam. They breed sexual violence, destroy the environment, and damage local economies. And their financial cost is staggering: though the Pentagon underplays the numbers, Vine’s accounting proves that the bill approaches $100 billion per year.
U.S. MILITARY BASES ABROAD, 2015
As of 2015, the United States controlled approximately 800 bases outside the fifty U.S. states and Washington, D.C. The sheer number of bases as well as the secrecy and lack of transparency of the overseas base network make any graphic depiction challenging.
Notes:
Department of Defense, “Base Structure Report Fiscal Year 2014 Baseline”; Robert E. Harkavy, Strategic Basing and the Great Powers, 1200-2000; Michael J. Lostumbo et al., “Overseas Basing of U.S. Military Forces”; Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire; Nick Turse, TomDispatch.com; Craig Whitlock, Washington Post, GlobalSecurity.org; news reports.
Praise for Base Nation
 “U.S. national security policy rests on the assertion that 'forward presence' contributes directly to global peace and security. In this powerful book, David Vine examines, dismantles, and disproves that claim. He demonstrates that America's sprawling network of overseas bases imposes costs—not only financial but also political, environmental, and moral—that far exceed what the Pentagon is prepared to acknowledge. Base Nation offers a devastating critique, and no doubt Washington will try to ignore it. Citizens should refuse to let that happen.”
Stop Imperialist Warfare by Abel Tomlinson, July 21, 2019
We must stop lying to ourselves and our children. Dozens of U.S. wars and coups were not in honest self- defense, or to spread “freedom” and “democracy.” These lies are made obvious when one studies history, and knows the U.S. has overthrown several democracies, and installed, supported and armed numerous dictators. The coups are overwhelmingly waged for corporate imperialist interests, for profits for the richest few.
Perhaps the most persuasive voice in describing U.S. imperialism is the highly decorated General Smedley Butler. Way back in 1933, Butler blew the whistle on corporate empire:
“I spent 33 years (in the) Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I (was) a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street… I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism...I helped make Mexico (safe) for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys…I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street….I helped purify Nicaragua for (Brown Brothers banking) in 1909-1912…I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.”
Fast forward to recent history, and see the U.S. empire has grown to over 800 foreign military bases in over 80 nations, and has neared total world domination. Most governments, whether democracy or dictatorship, have become subservient to U.S.-enforced corporate imperialist interests. When a given government stands up too strongly, like nationalizing key resources, that is the cue for regime change.
Imperialist warfare is not only military assault or CIA covert operations, but also economic warfare such as sanctions. We know sanctions often prove deadly to civilian populations. Just recently, sanctions were found to have killed over 40,000 civilians in Venezuela. In the 1990s, the New York Times reported Bush-Clinton sanctions killed 500,000 Iraqi children.
On national television, Lesley Stahl interviewed Secretary of State Madeleine Albright about these sanctions. Stahl asked, “We have heard that a half million children have died…that’s more children than died in Hiroshima…is the price worth it?” Albright calmly replied, “We think the price is worth it.” Her statement displays an utter lack of conscience, and brings to mind a choice psychological term.
My political awakening was triggered by 935 documented lies about Iraq’s nonexistent WMD and connections to 9-11. These lies led to a textbook definition of not just a war crime, but the “supreme international crime,” which killed over a million humans, wasted trillions of taxpayer dollars, and other ongoing horrors. That war had nothing to do with freedom, and everything to do with imperialism and oil.
Since Iraq, imperialist coups or attempted coups have been waged on several more nations, including LibyaHondurasUkraineVenezuelaSyria, etc. The most catastrophic coup du jour on the menu is Iran. General Anthony Zinni warned, “If you liked Iraq…you will love Iran.” The “best” case scenario is, like Iraq, killing another million people and wasting trillions more. The worst case scenarios are unspeakable.
We must stop the lies and imperialism. Most people correctly see slavery was deeply immoral, and we must now realize imperialism is equally evil. What is imperialism but a love of money so extreme that it demands killing people?
About 75 percent of Americans consider themselves Christians. Perhaps it is time to re-read Matthew, “No one can serve two masters…You cannot serve both God and money,” and Timothy, ” For the love of money is the root of all evil.
 (Local action in Fayetteville, Arkansas: Toward stopping Iran war and imperialism, we are currently holding weekly peace protests every Saturday at 11 A.M. in front of Washington County Courthouse. Please join us.)
CONTENTS: OMNI’S IRAN NEWSLETTER #30, July 19, 2019
I.  Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Reporting Iran: Analyzed April-July 2019 by Dick
II.  National Newspapers Examined by FAIR: Shupak and Cho
III.  General Criticism of US Aggressions against Iran
LTE from ARKie Reg Edwards
Veterans Against War Petition to Congress
Essay Against Sanctions by Dan Cohen
History of Iran, the 1950s by Heather Gray
IV.  Dick’s Newsletters on Iran 2011-Present

END IRAN REPORTING BY ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE, JULY 2019, and additional published criticism of US Imperialism, July 25, 2019

Friday, July 19, 2019

OMNI: IRAN NEWSLETTER #30, JULY 19, 2019


TOMORROW PROTEST THE ECONOMIC WAR AGAINST IRAN AND THE THREATENED VIOLENT WAR
SATURDAY, JULY 20 (AND 27TH), COURT HOUSE, COLLEGE AND DICKSON, 11 A.M.  Contact Abel Tomlinson.

OMNI

IRAN NEWSLETTERS, JULY 19, 2019

COMPILED BY DICK BENNETT FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE, JUSTICE, and ECOLOGY
 (#11 Oct. 8, 2011; #12 Jan. 31, 2012; #13 Feb. 22, 2012; #14 Feb. 26, 2012; #15 March 17, 2012; #16 April 12, 2012; #17 May 21, 2012; #18, July 9, 2012; #19 August 13, 2012; #20 Sept. 10, 2012; #21, Dec. 14, 2012; #22 March 5, 2013; #23 Nov. 12, 2013; #24 March 5, 2014; #25 January 17, 2015; #26, July 28, 2015; #27, June 3, 2018; #28, June 21, 2019; #29, July 11, 2019; #30, July 19, 2019.)

CONTENTS: IRAN NEWSLETTER #30, July 19, 2019
I.  Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Reporting Iran: Analyzed April-July 2019 by Dick
II.  National Newspapers Examined by FAIR: Shupak and Cho
III.  General Criticism of US Aggressions against Iran
LTE from ARKie Reg Edwards
Veterans Against War Petition to Congress
Essay Against Sanctions by Dan Cohen
History of Iran, the 1950s by Heather Gray
IV.  Dick’s Newsletters on Iran 2011-Present

TEXTS






I.  NADG Reports on Iran April 7--

APRIL
NYT’S BRET STEPHENS-- WARMONGER
Bret Stephens. NYT. “The fiasco that wasn’t”. 4-7-19.   A FAIR article  analyzes a Bret Stephens argument to “sink Iran’s navy”:  New York Times Bret Stephens (6/14/19) contended, “If Iran won’t change its behavior, we should sink its navy.” The word “behavior” telegraphs how Stephens presents Iran is a nation of children that needs to be disciplined by its masters in the civilized world. He writes that “allowing Iran to go unpunished isn’t an option. What is appropriate is a new set of rules — with swift consequences if Iran chooses to break them. The Trump administration ought to declare new rules of engagement to allow the Navy to engage and destroy Iranian ships or fast boats that harass or threaten any ship, military or commercial, operating in international waters. If Tehran fails to comply, the US should threaten to sink any Iranian naval ship that leaves port.  If after that Iran still fails to comply, we would be right to sink its navy, in port or at sea. The world cannot tolerate freelance Somali pirates. Much less should it tolerate a pirate state seeking to hold the global economy hostage through multiplying acts of economic terrorism.” 
In Stephens’ estimation, the US has the right to issue “a new set of rules” and, in the event that Iran doesn’t “comply” with the US’s imperial fiats about the waters off Iran’s shores, employ gunboat diplomacy to enforce them. Notice how quickly he slides from “the US” in the first of these paragraphs to “the world” in the second, as though these are one and the same. Interestingly, his definition of “economic terrorism” seems only to include actions that Iran is accused of taking but hasn’t been proven to have done, and not the full-scale destruction of the Iranian economy that the US has embarked on in plain sight.
D-G staff.  “Iranian bill labels US forces terrorists” 4-17-19.  Well aren’t they?  The headline should be? Iranian Bill Recognizes US Terrorism.   What would Trump, Bolton, Pompeo, Pence say if the Iranians had an aircraft carrier attack group in the Gulf of Mexico? (Google search US carrier attack force, and read about each of the ships.)  Or if a U.S. cruiser in the Strait of Hormuz shot down an Iranian civilian airliner and killed all 200-plus people on board, as happened?  See LTE from Reg Edwards at end: thank you Reg..
Matthew Lee. AP. “US adds wiggle room to Iran Guard pressure. 4-25-19.  IG pressure?!  Take a look at the graphic of Iran surrounded by US military bases?  And the US has some 800 bases.

MAY
Nasser Karimi. AP. “Report: Iran to pull back from nuke deal.”  5-3-19.   Why shouldn’t they since the U.S.ripped it up already?   The other half of the nuke deal was for the U.S. to lift its crippling sanctions, its economic warfare on Iran.  So Trump tears up the agreement, increases sanctions, and denounces Iran for breaking the agreement.
From Medea Benjamin’s book Inside Iran: “It’s a wonder that the Iranian economy functions as well as it does, given the crippling restrictions it is been subjected to since the time of the 1979 revolution. Sanctions started with the U.S. embassy hostage crisis, when the Carter administration banned Iranian oil imports, froze $12 billion in Iranian government assets in the U.S., and imposed an embargo on travel to Iran….(In 1983) the Reagan administration, after the 1983 bombing of a US Marine compound in Lebanon, blocked World Bank loans to Iran and later banned all US imports from Iran.   Starting in 1995, the Clinton administration used sanctions (including a total trade and investment embargo and pressured foreign companies from investing in Iran) to punish Iran for links to groups it defined as terrorists—Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”
Lorne Cook. AP. “EU to Iran: Abide by nuclear pact.  5-10-19.  Iran did abide by the pact.  The US did not.    Does the EU tell the US to “abide by the nuclear pact”?  And what pact is there to abide by?
Jon Gambrell. AP. “Saudis: Oil tankers sabotaged near UAE. 5-13-19. 
Associated Press. “Iranian authorities shut magazine over US talks stance.”  5-13-19.  Iran presented as authoritarians attacking free press.  See Heather Gray’s history below.
Jon Gambrell. AP. “Iran suspected in ship sabotages.” 5-14-19.  Suspected by whom?  On what evidence?  (I’m writing this 7-18-19.)  What should that headline have said?
D-G Staff. “Talking down war talk”  5-15-19
D-G Staff. “Lawmakers say fill us in on Iran” 5-17-19
D-G Staff. “Airlines told of flight risk in Iran region” 5-19-19.  The flight risk warning is focused on a risk from Iranian attack.  Do we need to fear them, or the US?  Forgotten or suppressed is the U.S. shooting down an Iranian civilian aircraft, Iran Air flight 655, in 1988, killing all 290 passengers and crew.  This is paralleled by US warnings of nuclear weapons possessed by other nations, when only the US has used them and threatened to use them repeatedly. 
D-G Staff. “Will fight if Iranians start war, Saudis say” 5-20-19.  The Iranians are not starting a war and have not threatened to start a war.  But the US is engaged in an economic war against Iran and is threatening a military war.  We cannot gild the Saudis’ misleading statement with the label of sophistry (enabled by the newspaper’s headline) because it is not clever, plausible, or subtle.  The denied facts require a second exposure:   The US has engaged in economic warfare on Iran for a long time.  It is the US that is starting war.  See Cohen below on sanctions.
Richard Chapman LTE. “Actions speak loudly” 5-21-19
D-G Staff. “Iran boosts uranium production” 5-21-19.
D-G Staff. “Trump officials say US actions to deter attacks” 5-22-19.  The US is responding in “defense”. See the FAIR analysis following in Part II. 
Amir Vahdat. AP. “Iranian sets blame for deal failure: For First Time, Ayatollah Criticizes  President, Top Envoy on Pact.”   5-23-19.
David Rising. AP. “German to urge Iran to keep nuke deal” 5-24-19.  What is not emphasized is that half of the nuke deal is removing the US crippling economic sanctions (economic warfare) on Iran that have been going on since 1979.  Trump did not keep the nuke deal.  The whole world knows it, except for a minority of US populace bumfuzzled by their ideology and demagogue.  See Dan Cohen below on sanctions
AP. “[UN] Watchdog group: Iran Complying with 2015 deal”. 5-25-19.  MANY THANKS TO THE UN, but I wish it had spoken earlier and repeatedly.  Oh, perhaps it did, and was not reported.   Pres. Trump failed utterly to comply with the agreement involving a half-dozen major powers by unilaterally withdrawing from it, yet he is accusing Iran of not complying and uses this falsification to increase even more the economic warfare of sanctions, which is the central source of conflict.  See Cho below.
D-G Staff. “Iran protests US troop buildup.” 5-26-19.
Michael Kranish. WaPo. “Trump rebuffs claims he wants shakeup in Iran.”  5-28-19.
Hoyt Purvis. “Reverberations in Iran.”   5-29-19
John Gambrell. AP. “Bolton warns Iran of reprisals” 5-30-19.  They forgot to mention that Bolton is a verifiable war criminal.  Title should read “War Criminal Warns Iran of another Illegal War of Aggression.”  (Ref.: The UN Charter and subsequent writings about threatening war.  THE U N CHARTER FORBIDS, EXCEPT AS AND WHEN AUTHORIZED BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL,THE USE OF FORCE AGAINST ANOTHER STATE, EXCEPT IN CASE OF DEFENSE AGAINST ARMED ASSAULT, AND THIS OFFENSE VIOLATES A NORM PRESCRIBED BY OUR OWN CONSTITUTION.)
D-G Staff. “Saudi official calls for ‘force, firmness’ with Iran.”  5-31-19.   As if American citizens should take Saudi officials as rational, credible foreign policy advisors while they commit genocidal war crimes in Yemen.  What should this headline say?  Read the UN Charter.

JUNE
Matthew Lee. AP. “In Europe, Pompeo keys on Iran” 6-1-19
Arsalan Shahla. Bloomberg. “Pompeo: US ready to talk to Iran” 6-3-19
Mari Yamaguchi. AP. “Japan’s Abe going to Iran as mediator in conflict with US” 6-7-19
Robert Burns. AP. “US makes presence known to Iran.” 6-9-19.  The US has Iran surrounded by wars and military bases.  Its presence is constantly known. You have seen the cartoon of Iran, surrounded by US military bases, asked why it had placed itself so close to them?  
Amir Vahdat. AP. “Japans Abe warns of ‘accidental conflict’ amid US-Iran tensions” 6-13-19
D-G Staff.  “Blasts Hit Ships; U.S. Blames Iran.  Crews of Two Oil Vessels Rescued; Pompeo Sees Tehran’s Hand.”  6-14-19.  1A, 4A.
D-G Staff. “Iran did it, says Trump, ripping ‘nation of terror.’” 6-15-19.  Trump again accuses Iran of attacking two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, citing a video from US Central Command ”purporting to show Iranian vessels retrieving an unexploded [limpet]mine from one of the damaged ships.”  But the co. that owns the tanker challenged the assertion saying it was hit by a “flying object.”  It’s a long report (for the ADG) like many of them needing careful analysis.
D-G Staff. “Crew of attacked ship out of Iranian hands” 6-16-19.
D-G Staff. “Pompeo vows more proof Iran hit tankers.” 6-17-19.
D-G Staff.   “Iran to Top Uranium Limits; U.S. Ups Troops.”  6-18-19.  1A, 2A.  Iran presented as a threat for moving from 4% enriched uranium (for nuclear power) to 5%, when 90% is necessary for a bomb, when it was the US president who broke the deal of Iran remaining below 4%.  The United States Responds to the threat.  Follows pattern described in FAIR article by Joshua Cho below of Iran being presented as an aggressive threat and US responding, and not vice versa which is much more the case.  [Alex Mironoff.  LTE.  “Need to Rest After That.”  6-18-19.  A part of the letter defends Iran against Trump.]
D-G Staff.  Cartoon satirizing Gulf of Oman attack as similar to Gulf of Tonkin. 6-19-19.  The cartoon related the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Tonkin, where mistaken  identification, poor judgement, and desire for war helped to trigger the Vietnam War.
[On June 20, Iran shot down a US RQ-4 drone.]
D-G Staff.  “Iran Reports It shot Down U.S. Drone in Its Airspace.”  6-20-19. 1A, 5A.   A report mainly about the bombing of the tanker ships.  ADG also published a cartoon relating the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Tonkin, where mistaken identification, poor judgement, and desire for war started the Vietnam War.
D-G Staff.  “Trump Ok’d, Then Halted Iran [retaliatory] Strikes: Reason for Canceled Plans Unknown.”  6-21-19, 1A,5A.   Read the final 3 essential paragraphs.  There we learn that Iran’s territorial waters extend 12 nautical miles, as does Oman’s across the strait.    Iran’s foreign affairs minister “gave what he said were precise coordinates for where the U.S. drone was targeted” near Kouh-e-Mobarak, and he said sections of the drone were retrieved “in OUR territorial waters where it was shot down.”   Here is the ADG’s final paragraph: “The GPS coordinates released by [minister Zarif] would put the drone 8 miles off Iran’s coast, to inside the 12 nautical miles from shore that Iran claims as territorial waters.”  Apparently the drone was shot down over Iranian territory, which explains why Trump canceled the retaliatory strike.
D-G Staff. “Surprising News, More secrets exposed to enemy. 6-21-19
DG Staff.  “No Sign of Iran Topping Uranium Stockpile Cap.”  6-28-19. 8A.

JULY

D-G Staff. “Iran surpasses deal’s uranium limit. 7-2-19. 
[Art Hobson. “Another U.S. war? Perhaps it’s time to slow down and think.” 7-2-19.]
David Haltfinger. NYT. “Israeli spy chief says Iran hit tankers in Persian Gulf.”  7-2-19.
Mike Masterson. “Every Last Vessel.“  7-2-19.
Amir Vahdat. AP. “Ex-Guard Head: Take British ship.” 7-6-19
D-G Staff. “Iranian Video Issues Threat on Uranium. 7-7-19. Threat?   Rather, more fear-mongering and war threatening by US and fecklessness by European leaders, as Ali Akbar Velayati explains: “’Americans directly and Europeans indirectly violated the deal.’  European parties to the deal have yet to offer a way for Iran to avoid the sweeping economic sanctions imposed by President Donald Trump since he pulled the U.S. out of the accord a year ago, especially those targeting its crucial oil sales.”  Velayati continues by explaining Iran’s intention to meet every US additional sanction by enriching its uranium commensurately.  “’We reduce our commitments as much as they reduce’” theirs.   Remember the accord (the “deal”) arranged by the Obama administration: Iran agreed 1) to enrich uranium to no more than 3.67%, which is enough for peaceful pursuits but is far below weapons-grade levels of 90%; and 2) to limit its stockpile of uranium to 661 pounds.  Trump trashed the agreement and increased sanctions, so Iran began ratcheting up both, while appealing to Europeans to restore the accord.   Now read the scary headline again.  In contrast to the headline, the full report gives Iran’s point of view.  What is missing here, as it is absent throughout this crisis reporting, is explanation of what is behind and underneath Trump’s ferocious, vicious prejudice against Iran.   For partial answers to this complex historical and psychological question see the next section, but involved are 1) his desire to dismantle all of Pres. Obama’s achievements, which seems both personal and ideological, and 2) his commitment to Israel the nation and Netanyahu the person.
 D-G Staff. “Iran Discards Another Piece of Nuke Pact: Willing to Talk, official Says as Enrichment Levels Raised.”” 7-8-19.   Another report packed with crucial details, including plenty of space for Netanyahu to repeat his conflation of Iran and Nazi Germany and his perception of a quick leap from 3.67% uranium enrichment to 90%.
Kate Brumback. AP. “Iran scientist faces sanctions case in U.S.”  7-8-19
David Rising.  AP.  “France Steps Up Diplomacy to Save Nuclear Accord.”  NADG (7-10-2019).
D-G Staff.  “Iranians Exercising…   NADG (7-11-19).
ADG Staff.  “EU Tries to Rescue Iran Pact.  Envoys Reluctant to Push Sanctions.”  NADG (7-16-19).   Netanyahu’s fear mongering is foregrounded—that the EU’s response to “Iranian violations” reminded him “of the European appeasement of the 1930s.  There are probably some in Europe who will not wake up until Iranian missiles fall on European soil.”

Megan Specia. (NYT).   “Iran Disputes Ship-Seizure Claim.”  NADG (7-18-19).

Amir Vahdat. (AP).  “Forced to Build Missiles, Iranian Says.”  NADG (7-18-19).

D-G Staff.  “US. Warship in Gulf Downs Iranian Drone.  Trump Calls U.S. Response –Self-Defense.”  NADG (7-19-19).  Imagine an Iranian warship in Tampa Bay shooting down a US surveillance drone.  Imagine too the warship was an amphibious assault vessel like the USS Boxer.  And imagine the ship was accompanied outside the Bay by the full complement of a Carrier Strike Force (like the one led by the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln presently in the Arabian Sea).   Now can you imagine US Central Command not sending out a surveillance drone?  And imagine Iranian news media describing the incident as part of the US “raising tensions” by threatening Iranian forces and interests in the Gulf of Mexico.  And throw in imagining four Iranian B-52 long-range bombers and Patriot air defense missiles to Cuba and Venezuela’.  And, no imagining now, remember how close to violent war the two nations came when on June 20, Trump ordered a retaliatory military strike in retaliation for Iran shooting down a US Navy drone, but called it off at the last moment.  The authors of the report, the D-G Staff, do not imagine how all of this might look to the Iranians. 

ANALYSES OF MEDIA REPORTING IRAN
TWO ARTICLES FROM FAIR AND A LTE
Shupak, US mainstream media normalize imperial aggression and facilitate war by hyping a threatening Iran.
Cho, US never breaks, breaches, or violates its international agreements.



JULY 2, 2019

Creating a Climate for War With Iran

Media outlets are creating a climate for a US military attack on Iran by hyping the idea that Iran is an imminent threat to peace, by failing to offer evidence that calls the US’s accusations against Iran into question, by amplifying warmongers’ voices and by naturalizing America’s supposed right to spy on every country on earth.
Headlines are breathlessly suggesting to readers that Iranians are going to kill Americans if Americans don’t kill Iranians first.
Hill article (6/7/19) told readers “Why Congress Needs Accurate Intelligence on the Iran Threat”; Fox (6/14/19) explained “The Trump Administration’s Strategy to Meet Threat from Iran.” A New York Times article (6/17/19) by David E. Sanger called Iran one of the “nuclear crises” facing the US, even though the International Atomic Energy Agency has said that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program and hasn’t been close to having one since at least 2003, and there is reason to believe that it never has been close.
Presenting Iran as a threat, nuclear or otherwise, over and over again carries the clear message that it must be confronted. Yet it’s much more accurate to say that the US is a threat to Iran than the opposite (FAIR.org6/6/19); after all, it’s the US government that is destroying Iran’s economy through sanctions that limit Iranians’ access to food and medicine, while surrounding Iran with military bases and land, sea and air forces. Iran has done nothing remotely comparable to the US.
Media outlets also create a climate for war when they fail to offer evidence that contradicts US government narratives about Iran. Sanger’s supposedly neutral piece of reporting in the Times (6/17/19) made three references to attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman for which the US blames Iran, in one case implying that readers should believe that Iran was responsible, writing:
Even the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff, no friend of Mr. Trump’s, says the evidence is overwhelming that Iran was responsible for the attacks on the tankers.
Schiff may be “no friend of Mr. Trump’s,” but that doesn’t necessarily make him a skeptic of intelligence claims about official enemies; he voted to authorize force against Iraq in 2002 on the basis of bogus intelligence claims that that country possessed unauthorized weapons of mass destruction.
At no point did the Sanger article mention the evidence that casts doubt on the claim that Iran carried out the attacks—for instance, the owner of one of the tankers, the Kokuka Courageoussaid that it “was struck by a flying projectile, contradicting reports by U.S. officials and the military” that a mine was a source of the damage to the vessel.
Another ostensibly objective Times report (6/20/19), this one on Trump’s apparent approval and subsequent cancellation of a military attack after Iran shot down a US drone, said that
United States officials sought to bolster their case that Iran was responsible for last week’s tanker attacks, telling journalists at a briefing that fragments recovered from one of the tankers bore a “striking resemblance” to limpet mines used by Iran.
This account also leaves out that, in addition to the statement from the owner of the Kokuka Courageous, those aboard one of the other ships thought it was a torpedo that hit them.
An Associated Press story (6/20/19) on the drone affair reported:
The US has been worried about international shipping through the strategic waterway since tankers were damaged in May and June in what Washington has blamed on limpet mines from Iran, although Tehran denied involvement. On Wednesday in the United Arab Emirates, the US Navy showed fragments of mines that it said bore “a striking resemblance” to those seen in Iran.
This article, like the two from the Times, opted against noting the above-mentioned flaws in the US’s account of the June tanker attacks, or the strong political reasons for Iran to not carry out these acts. Nor does the piece mention the shortage of evidence for US government allegations that Iran damaged tankers in May.
Instead of mentioning these elements of the story, the reports exclusively gave voice to the US government’s version of events. Without the evidence that calls that account into question, US/Iran relations are presented as a series of attacks by Iran against the US and its partners—first oil tankers, and then a US drone—which encourages people to see Iran as a violent aggressor that needs to be dealt with violently. Providing readers with reasons to be skeptical about US government claims that Iran is responsible for the tanker attacks both undermines that master narrative, and can lead audiences to be suspicious about all claims Washington is making about Iran.
More directly, media outlets are creating a climate for war by giving megaphones to right-wing ghouls explicitly calling for a US military attack on Iran.
A column by the New York Times’ Bret Stephens (6/14/19) contended, “If Iran won’t change its behavior, we should sink its navy.” The word “behavior” telegraphs how Stephens presents Iran is a nation of children that needs to be disciplined by its masters in the civilized world. He writes that “allowing Iran to go unpunished isn’t an option. What is appropriate is a new set of rules — with swift consequences if Iran chooses to break them. The Trump administration ought to declare new rules of engagement to allow the Navy to engage and destroy Iranian ships or fast boats that harass or threaten any ship, military or commercial, operating in international waters. If Tehran fails to comply, the US should threaten to sink any Iranian naval ship that leaves port.
If after that Iran still fails to comply, we would be right to sink its navy, in port or at sea. The world cannot tolerate freelance Somali pirates. Much less should it tolerate a pirate state seeking to hold the global economy hostage through multiplying acts of economic terrorism.”

In Stephens’ estimation, the US has the right to issue “a new set of rules” and, in the event that Iran doesn’t “comply” with the US’s imperial fiats about the waters off Iran’s shores, employ gunboat diplomacy to enforce them. Notice how quickly he slides from “the US” in the first of these paragraphs to “the world” in the second, as though these are one and the same. Interestingly, his definition of “economic terrorism” seems only to include actions that Iran is accused of taking but hasn’t been proven to have done, and not the full-scale destruction of the Iranian economy that the US has embarked on in plain sight.
Similarly, Eli Lake (Bloomberg6/18/19) criticized the claim that
the US is somehow responsible for Iran’s [alleged tanker attacks], a point made by…Trump critics. This kind of analysis is leading to some bizarre policy recommendations. Already, European diplomats are urging Trump to drop his campaign of maximum pressure and adopt one of “maximum restraint.”
This is asking to be blackmailed. And now that Iran is threatening to exceed the limits to uranium enrichment it agreed to in the 2015 nuclear deal, it’s more important than ever to understand that restraint and dialogue will not bring Iran to heel.
For Lake, Iranians are disobedient animals who the US should bring “to heel”—through violence, a revolting prescription even when applied to actual misbehaving animals. That the “2015 nuclear deal” is effectively null and void because the US tore it up is not the sort of detail that troubles a war propagandist like Lake.
In the Washington Post, Michael G. Vickers (6/21/19) argued that “the Trump administration should respond to [the tanker episodes and Iran’s downing of the drone] with strikes of its own on Iranian and Houthi air-defense assets, offensive missile systems and Revolutionary Guard Corps bases,” on the grounds that “by reinforcing deterrence, a short-duration US military operation may well help to prevent a wider conflict with Iran.”
In effect, his argument is that the best way to avoid a war with Iran is to have a war with Iran, as well as ratcheting up the war on Yemen, as if the US and its allies hadn’t done enough to Yemen already. What the US would be “deter[ing]”—a word that appears four times in the article, including in its headline—is Iran’s ability to interfere with the US capacity to spy on and bomb the country: Vickers called for bombing “air-defense assets,” giving away that his concern is with making Iran incapable, not merely of carrying out hypothetical and extremely unlikely offensive attacks, but of exercising its right to defend itself.
At no point does Vickers, or the Associated Press story on the downing of the drone, or the Times report (6/20/19) saying Trump approved and then called off bombing Iran over the drone incident, or any corporate media article I can find, question the assumption underlying the US government and much of the media’s fulminating over Iran shooting down the drone: If the drone was shot down in international airspace rather than over Iranian territory—and by no means has this been proven—it’s an outrage for Iran to interfere with the US’s divine right to spy on any nation it pleases, at any time and to any degree that it wishes. Even if the US is telling the truth, its claim is that it was 21 miles off the Iranian coast with a drone that has “powerful surveillance sensors to monitor ground or maritime activity in great detail.” It’s all but impossible to imagine a scenario in which US media take for granted Iran’s right to deploy powerful spy equipment 21 miles off the US coast. (That’s less than the distance from Dallas to Ft. Worth, or from Tampa to St. Petersburg.)
And treating arguments for bombing countries like those from Lake, Stephens and Vickers as though they are merely interesting ideas worthy of consideration—rather than calls to carry out war crimes—normalizes imperialist aggression. If the public is told that starting wars against other countries with no credible pretext is a reasonable action, the likely outcome is that ever more people will become inoculated against efforts to try to stop potential and ongoing slaughters.

Iran ‘Violates’ Nuclear Deal, After US ‘Withdraws’ by Joshua Cho.   view post on FAIR.org
USA Today: Iran says it will break uranium stockpile limit in 10 days
USA Today (6/17/19) describes Iran as planning to “break” an agreement that the US has already renounced.
Quick question: Does the US ever break, breach or violate its international agreements?
Apparently not, according to US coverage of Iran’s recent announcement that it intended to go beyond the limits of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in enriching uranium for its civilian nuclear program (frequentlymischaracterized as a nuclear weapons program in media coverage). Reading corporate media’s inversion of reality, it’s hard to escape the impression that while Iran betrays its international agreements, the US just leaves them behind.
An Associated Press report carried by USA Today (6/17/19) was headlined: “Iran Says It Will Break Uranium Stockpile Limit in 10 Days,” and reported that Iran’s announcement indicated its “determination to break from the landmark 2015 accord,” while noting that “tensions have spiked between Iran and the United States,” partly because the US “unilaterally withdrew” from the landmark agreement. Note that the US rejection of its obligations under the deal is referred to in neutral terms—Washington “withdrew”—while Iran’s response to US nonobservance gets negatively characterized as a “break”—a pattern that persists throughout the coverage.
There was no indication in the AP piece that Iran offered conditions under which it would continue to comply with the Iran Deal (formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), which gives the false impression that Iran’s decision to end compliance with the JCPOA is settled and unconditional.
WSJ: Iran to Breach Limits of Nuclear Pact, as U.S. to Send More Troops to Mideast
The Wall Street Journal (6/17/19) reports Iran will “breach” a pact that the US scuttled more than a year ago.
The Wall Street Journal (6/17/19) offered the same kind of misleading headline: “Iran to Breach Limits of Nuclear Pact, as US to Send More Troops to the Middle East.” Again, Iran’s potential departure from the pact whose terms the US has vitiated is portrayed as a “breach,” while the US’s actual violation of the deal is labeled a “pullout” in the accompanying piece.
The Journal, unlike the AP, did note that Iran offered conditions under which it would continue to comply with the JCPOA’s terms:
The spokesman for Iran’s atomic energy agency, Behrouz Kamalvandi, said that by June 27—10 days from Monday—the country would surpass its enriched-uranium limits. He said Iran would further increase its production in early July, but could reverse both steps if Europe provided relief from [US] sanctions.
CNN (6/17/19) went with “Iran says it will break the uranium stockpile limit agreed under nuclear deal in 10 days,” as their headline. Only people who read past the headline, which most people don’t, would’ve known that that’s not really what Iran is saying:
Iran has reiterated that it could reverse the new measures should the remaining European signatories in the nuclear deal (France, Germany and the United Kingdom) step in and make more of an effort to circumvent US sanctions.
To its credit, CNN added “withdraw” in addition to the usual “violate,” “break” and “breach” in its list of words to describe Iran’s potential departure compared with just “withdrew” to describe the US’s actions.
The New York Post (6/17/19) chose “Iran Will Violate Nuclear Deal, Boost Uranium Stockpile” as the headline to mislead readers, and kept with the pattern of describing the US’s JCPOA breach as “pulling out of the deal.” However, unlike other reports, it didn’t feature any sources skeptical of Iran’s responsibility for the recent Gulf of Oman attacks on Japanese and Norwegian commercial oil tankers, despite crew members aboard the Japanese Kokuka Courageous contradicting US allegations of an Iranian mine attack by claiming to have been hit by a “flying object ,” and European officials calling for further investigation

III.   GENERAL CRITICISM OF THE US WAR ON IRAN
DESPITE THE BIASED REPORTING, MANY US CITIZENS SEE THE TRUTH AND DEMAND AN END TO US AGGRESSION AGAINST IRAN
Contents
LTE from ARKie Reg Edwards
Veterans Against War Petition to Congress
Essay Against Sanctions by Dan Cohen
History of Iran, the 1950s by Heather Gray

LTE from Arkansas: Leave Iranians alone
Firstly: Iran is surrounded by nations with nuclear weapons--Russia, Pakistan, Israel, and the U.S. fleet in the Strait of Hormuz. So who are we to say they shouldn't have their own nuclear weapons?
Secondly: What would we say if the Iranians had aircraft carriers in the Gulf of Mexico? Or possibly Long Island Sound? It wasn't many years ago that a U.S. cruiser in the Strait of Hormuz shot down an Iranian civilian airliner and killed all 200-plus people on board. Just who do we think we are?
Seriously, folks, if an Iranian cruiser 100 miles off the American shore shot down a U.S. passenger aircraft and killed everyone on board, what would we think of that? If the Iranian fleet was in the Gulf of Mexico, what would we think of that? What would we do if Iranian drones were flying close to our shore, spying on us--what would we do?
Time to stop our threats and bring the military home. Why don't we try leaving the Iranians alone and stop bullying them?
REG EDWARDS, Compton
NADG, 06/22/2019

 ABOUT FACE: VETERANS AGAINST WAR, 7-19-19
Dear Dick,
You and I both know that Iraq war architect John Bolton has been agitating for a war with Iran ever since he was appointed as National Security Advisor (and really decades before that). We also know that the Trump administration got the ball rolling when they pulled out of the Iran deal last year. The good news is that the House just managed to pass an amendment that makes it so the President has to get a seal of approval from Congress before he makes any moves to war with Iran -- and now it's going to the Senate.
This is progress, but we aren't out of the woods yet. It's critical that we step up the pressure on Congress and not let them get complacent.
You may have seen today that an Iranian drone was shot down by the Navy, increasing tensions in what has already been a tension-filled moment. As the US military runs operations off of Iran's coastline, the very real possibility exists that something worse could happen. We need every Congress member to know that their constituents stand unequivocally against war with Iran.
That's why we have joined the National Iranian American Council and the Daily Kos to demand Congress take the right measures to prevent war with Iran. We are asking you to do the same:
Thank you for doing what you can to make sure another war is not an option for this administration. As more ways for you take action come up, we will let you know.
In solidarity,

Matt Howard
Co-Director
About Face: Veterans Against the War
(formerly Iraq Veterans Against the War)

AGAINST SANCTIONS
Starvation sanctions kill people. Tens of thousands of Venezuelans have reportedly already died as a result of this administration’s relentless assault on their economy; those human beings are no less dead than they would have been if the US had killed them by dropping cluster bombs on Caracas. Yet these deaths have received virtually no mainstream media coverage, and Americans, while they strongly oppose attacking Iran militarily, have had very little to say about Trump’s attacks on the nation’s economy. The economy which people use to feed their children, to care for their elderly and their sick.
I’m titling this essay “Starvation Sanctions Are Worse Than Overt Warfare”, and I mean it. I am not saying that starvation sanctions are more destructive or deadly than overt military force in and of themselves; what I am saying is that the overall effect is worse, because there’s no public accountability for them and because they deliberately target civilians.
If the US were to launch a barrage of Tomahawk missiles into an Iranian suburb with the goal of killing civilians, there’d be international outrage and the cohesion of the US-centralized power alliance would take a major hit. Virtually everyone would recognize this as an unforgivable war crime. Yet America will be able to kill the same number of civilians with the same deliberate intention of inflicting deadly force, and it would suffer essentially no consequences at all. There’s no public or international pressure holding that form of violence at bay, because it’s invisible and poorly understood.
It reminds me of the way financial abuse gets overlooked and under-appreciated in our society. Financial abuse can be more painful and imprisoning than physical or psychological abuse (and I speak from experience), especially if you have children, yet you don’t generally see movies and TV shows getting made about it. In a society where people have been made to depend on money for survival, limiting or cutting off their access to it is the same as any other violent attack upon their personal sovereignty, and can easily be just as destructive. But as a society we haven’t yet learned to see and understand this violence, so it doesn’t attract interest and attention. That lack of interest and attention enables the empire to launch deadly campaigns targeting civilian populations unnoticed, without any public accountability.

MIDDLE EAST HISTORY: ANOTHER REA\SON WHY IRANIANS AND MIDDLE EASTERNERS MIGHT FEAR AND LOATHE THE USA: CIA OVERTHROW OF IRAN’S ELECTED GOVERNMENT
Iran vs US arrogance
Justice Initiative via uark.onmicrosoft.com 
12:07 PM (8 hours ago)
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif

 JUSTICE INITIATIVE
Note: The US just celebrated the 4th of July when, in the late 1700's, Americans fought a battle to end the British colonial rule of America. One might assume that Americans would, in turn, respect the desire of others to also acquire independence and establish democratically elected governments. This assumption of the US respecting the desire of others for independence appears not to be accurate, particularly if the American leaders and their corporate sponsors desire access to valuable raw materials in designated areas such as in, for example, Iran, the Congo, and Chile, etc.  Along this line, this article below is about Iran and what happened, in the 1950s, when the US overturned the first democratically elected Iranian government and the US desire for oil and/or to also protect Britain's oil interests.

It appears that many governments, over the years, have also appreciated the Roosevelt New Deal model and wanted similar policies to assist the masses of their people. This American model seemed to be desired in Iran in the 1950s under the first Iranian democratically elected leader, Mohammad Mosaddeq. Mosaddeq wanted to advance opportunities for the Iranian masses by, not unreasonably, using revenues from Iranian based oil that was essentially under British control.

In 2015, I sent out the article below about the history of the US overturning the Iranian government in the 1950's. Given that Iran is yet again in the news, knowing this history of the CIA orchestrated coup in Iran, after WWII, is incredibly important as the consequences have been relevant to the dynamics in the Middle East ever since. This was the also first time the CIA had dismantled a government.
 
I need to also say that regarding the contemporary relationship with Iran, notwithstanding President Trump's recent debacle and confusion about it all,  I was so appreciative of President Obama's Nuclear Deal with Iran as a move toward peace in the Middle East and the world. It was the first time a US President had bravely gone against the directive of the Israeli government and AIPAC altogether:
First time in US history, an American president dares to oppose the pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC. The crisis deepening day by day upon the Iran nuke deal between the US and its biggest ally in the Middle East  - Israel.
U.S. President Barack Obama gave a strong message to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the pro-Israel group that has been strongly opposing the Iran nuclear deal, in his meeting this week at the White House with the two executives of AIPAC. (Global Research) 

Trump, however, appears to be following the Israeli and AIPAC directive regarding Iran and virtually every other policy in the Middle East. By Trump also taking the US out of the important Obama Iran Nuclear Deal he has made the Middle East all the more vulnerable to violence. 

The Trump policies echo back to the 1950s when the US decided that Iran, or virtually any other country, could not determine its own fate, particularly when it involved the desire on the part of the US to access raw materials, such as oil, that Americans and other countries might desire. 

Also, on Monday, July 15 from 6-8PM, on WRFG-FM (Atlanta), we will produce a 2-hour special program about the United States and its dangerous policies regarding Iran.

July 9, 2019


Iran and Post WWII History
The Atlantic Charter and Iranian Independence Thwarted 

By Heather Gray 2015
******* [I urge you read the entirety of this learned articles, as an essential preparation for understanding the present conflict. –Dick]
Summary
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, there has been a wide range of sanctions against Iran imposed by the United States, the United Nations and the European Union. Click herefor a summary of the sanctions.
Both the Shah and the Ayatollah Khomeini were not democratically elected as was Mosaddeq. It is rather mind boggling to speculate as to what might have happened had the U.S. not overturned the Iranian government in 1953 and instead had assisted the Iranians in having control over their own oil resource and respected the democratic process in Iran by adhering to the Atlantic Charter and Principle Three's concept of "self-determination". Nevertheless, the Iranians have suffered from isolation and economic sanctions from the west largely because some sectors decided to take the situation into their own hands rather than serving the dictates of the United States or the West overall. As Noam Chomsky notes:
"Why the assault against Iran? ....In 1979, Iranians carried out an illegitimate act: They overthrew a tyrant that the United States had imposed and supported, and moved on an independent path, not following U.S. orders. That conflicts with the Mafia doctrine, by which the world is pretty much ruled. Credibility must be maintained. The godfather cannot permit independence and successful defiance, as in the case of Cuba. So, Iran has to be punished for that." (Democracy Now)

Hopefully with the recent acceptance of the agreement with the Iranians in the U.S. Senate and the possible projected lifting of the sanctions against Iran, opportunities for the Iranians might again be in the offing. It is an exciting prospect.

Conclusion

What had begun, in the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt as "an example of what we could do by an unselfish foreign policy" ended in ignominy that continues to this day.... the feelings and aspirations that were enshrined in the Iran Declaration seem a world away today." (ademocraticiran)

The unfortunate lesson of it all was that the United States sent a message to the Middle East and to the world at large, that the United States was not interested in democratic systems and processes.  As Stephen Kinzer noted:
"When we overthrew a democratic government in Iran, ....we sent a message, not only to Iran, but throughout the entire Middle East. That message was that the United States does not support democratic governments and the United States prefers strong-man rule that will guarantee us access to oil. And that pushed an entire generation of leaders in the Middle East away from democracy. We sent the opposite message that we should have sent. Instead of sending the message that we wanted democracy, we sent a message that we wanted dictatorship in the Middle East, and a lot of people in the Middle East got that message very clearly and that helped to lead to the political trouble we face there today." (Democracy Now)
Further, it appears that the principles of the 1941 Atlantic Charter are not something the United States and Europe are willing to adhere to particularly if it regards threats of access to capital, control of labor and control of raw materials, such as oil and/or access to seeds and control of seeds in the agricultural sector and many other examples.
The disruptive Republican members of the House of Representatives in their opposition to the Iranian agreement are yet again arrogantly displaying their disdain for a semblance of justice and respect for the other. Nor are they adhering to Roosevelt's directive of "what we could do by an unselfish foreign policy" and/or the possibility of dialogue and negotiation.  As they say in southern Africa, "A luta continua" - the struggle continues!

Heather Gray is the producer of "Just Peace" on WRFG-Atlanta 89.3 FM covering local, regional, national and international news. She has been involved in agriculture advocacy and communications for 25 years in the United States and internationally. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia and can be reached at hmcgray@earthlink.net

https://ci6.googleusercontent.com/proxy/hGrq11JG9KecB2nG0ztsJdIJsShd70PcMwlY7vDILI7Fc7SBVfbbc4wG_OUVaE6DKHnxEZLrHYsrLGiKl23tFIyxiTHqbeDSTQkpSvG9=s0-d-e1-ft#https://imgssl.constantcontact.com/letters/images/sys/S.gif
Gray & Assoicates, PO Box 8048, Atlanta, GA 31106


IV.   DICK’S NEWSLETTERS ON IRAN 2011-present

OMNI

IRAN NEWSLETTERS

COMPILED BY DICK BENNETT FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE, JUSTICE, and ECOLOGY
 (#11 Oct. 8, 2011; #12 Jan. 31, 2012; #13 Feb. 22, 2012; #14 Feb. 26, 2012; #15 March 17, 2012; #16 April 12, 2012; #17 May 21, 2012; #18, July 9, 2012; #19 August 13, 2012; #20 Sept. 10, 2012; #21, Dec. 14, 2012; #22 March 5, 2013; #23 Nov. 12, 2013; #24 March 5, 2014; #25 January 17, 2015; #26, July 28, 2015; #27, June 3, 2018; #28, June 21, 2019; #29, July 11, 2019; #30, July 19, 2019.)

CONTENTS: IRAN NEWSLETTER #29, July 11, 2019
OMNI’S NO IRAN WAR DEMONSTRATIONS SATURDAYS 11AM, COURT HOUSE (Abel Tomlinson)
Contact Congress on War Powers, Action
Support House Amendment to Curb Trump (J Street)
Cut Pentagon $$ (Peace Action)
Criticisms of US Aggression
Have We Learned Nothing from Iraq?
Jeremy Scahill, Col. Wilkerson (The Intercept)
Veterans for Peace
Against Sanctions
Take to the Streets
Congress for Peace
Representative Omar
Senator Bernie Sanders
The Iranian People Are Not Our Enemies (Larison)
Democrats (Tveten)
US Empire by Economic Siege
Johnstone, Starvation Sanctions Worse than Overt Warfare
Dan Beeton, Iran and Venezuela
Donald Trump, Crushing Iran
Iran Newsletter #28

CONTENTS, IRAN NEWSLETTER, June 21, 2019, #28
NADG Reports on Iran June 19-21
What’s at stake in Arkansas for war between US and Iran
What’s at stake in the world:  United Nations Charter
Local direct Action, Saturday June 22, Abel Tomlinson
National Actions
   Win Wthout War
   Peace Action
   Ground Zero Center
Iran No Threat, US the Threat
   British General Chris Ghika
   Media Benjamin’s Book, Inside Iran
Defending the US/Iran Nuclear Deal 2016
   John Isaacs, Council for a Liveable World
   Win Without War
     Repelling the Warmongers
From 2016 to 2019, US and Iran Peace to Threatened War
   Stephen Zunes, 5-15-19
   Peace Action, Stop Trump, 5-22-19
NADG Iran Headlines

Contents: Iran Newsletter #27, June 3, 2018
These publications prepare us to resist US malignant hostility toward Iran.  If you are short of time, I have put up front two brief essays and an easily read book:  Art’s column, Gray’s essay, and Benjamin’s book. 
History of US Aggression Against Iran and Nuclear Diplomacy
Art Hobson, Trump’s Disastrous Choice and Danger to World Peace (2018)
Heather Gray 2018, Background:  CIA Overthrow of Elected Leader
      Mosaddeq in 1953
Media Benjamin, Inside Iran (2018)
Ghamari, The Iranian Revolution
Porter, the Iranian Nuclear Program
Parsi, Obama and Iran Nuclear Deal
Tabatabai, Trump v. the Deal
The Nation, May 21, Save the Deal
 US ANTI-IRAN PROPAGANDA and MILITARY THREATENING CONTINUE in the NADG
Gore Vidal
Entekhabifard, Iranian POV
Satires by Dick Bennett

Iran is a theocracy.  Do we hear enough from US Christian leaders regarding US treatment of Iran?  Is the role of Israel and Zionism sufficiently reported in these articles of April-July 2019.
Jesus said in Matthew, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you…”  He proclaimed in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”   Readers, ask your minister to speak out against the violence of your president.

END IRAN NEWSLETTER #30, JULY 19, 2019


Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)