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Why you should be intensely skeptical of everything

... you hear about Iran protests

Every few weeks I switch from being accused by pro-establishment Democrats of writing propaganda for Putin and Assad to being accused by pro-Trump Republicans of writing propaganda for the Iranian government, all because I am opposed to US-led regime change intervention in both Syria or Iran. Whichever country the US war machine is roaring loudest at on a given day, that’s the country I’m writing propaganda for, because somehow the social engineers have succeeded in turning regime change interventionism in Iran vs. regime change interventionism in Syria into a partisan wedge issue.

Couldn’t possibly just be that I know the US intelligence community lies constantly about such things. 992w" sizes="100vw" /">

Today there are reports being triumphantly bandied about by neoconservative pundits everywhere (often hilariously using pictures of the MEK terror cult) that some Iranian protesters have been recorded chanting “Death to Palestine” and “Death to the dictator” and carrying signs which admonish the Iranian government to pull its troops out of Syria. All of which just so happens to play nicely into the pro-regime change narratives of America’s defense and intelligence agencies.

“To reporters everywhere: Please pay attention to what is happening in Iran now,” said the Bush administration’s Press Secretary Ari Fleischer in a viral tweet about the new reports. “I know foreign bureaus are almost non-existent these days, but keep a close eye on this story — and report it.”



So naturally I am being accused by Trump supporters on social media of being a paid propagandist for the leaders of the Iranian government. This is primarily because I’ve been using my platform to circulate an article I wrote way back in January, which begins as follows:

Back in June the Wall Street Journal published a report saying that America’s Central Intelligence Agency had set up a new organization whose sole task would be to focus on Iran under the direction of “Ayatollah Mike” D’andrea, an aggressive Iran hawk.

“The Iran Mission Center will bring together analysts, operations personnel and specialists from across the CIA to bring to bear the range of the agency’s capabilities, including covert action,” says the report.

This alone is reason enough to be intensely skeptical of every single thing you hear about Iran. The CIA has been a consistent utilizer and developer of the science of psyops — psychological operations in which large groups of people are deceived and manipulated into thinking and feeling a certain way to advance a preferred agenda during war and during peacetime. Relatedly, the CIA also has an extensive and well-documented history of staging regime change coups to topple rival governments all around the world, including Iran. These are not conspiracy theories. These are conspiracy facts.




It has now been a year since that Wall Street Journal report. Since that time, the Iran deal has been cancelled, sanctions have been implemented, and an effective regime change policy has been put into place. And now, lo and behold, there are Iranians being recorded chanting slogans that according to New York Post headline “prove Trump is getting it right.”

There is no doubt that approval of the Iranian government is far from unanimous among Iranians. There is no doubt that there is an authentic element of legitimate discontent to the current protests. There is also no doubt that the exact same thing could have been said about Libya and Syria, two countries which have been devastated by uprisings artificially provoked by psyops and manipulations from the US intelligence community.

Is it technically possible that these protests in Iran are completely, one hundred percent organic and not in any way the product of manipulations by America’s Central Intelligence Agency or any of its allied agencies? Sure. It’s technically possible the whole thing is exactly what neoconservative pundits like George W Bush’s press secretary want us to believe it is, and since ramping up covert operations in Iran the CIA has just been sitting there twiddling its thumbs the entire time wondering what all the fuss is about. But it’s not bloody likely, is it?

Of all the groups in the world who deserve the benefit of the doubt, the depravedlying, torturingpropagandizingdrug traffickingcoup-stagingwarmongering CIA ranks dead last, especially when it comes to issues of regime change. There is no reason whatsoever for any thinking person to assume the best of that malignant agency, nor that what we’re being told to believe about Iran is true.


It’s so goddamn stupid that regime change interventionism in Iran has become a partisan issue. The fact that establishment liberals are arguing for interventionism in Syria and blind faith Trump loyalists are arguing for interventionism in Iran is the most perfect illustration you could ask for of what Noam Chomsky was talking about when he said that “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”

It’s so degrading. Like the oligarchs who run the whole bipartisan scam were sitting around one day and decided to have the riff raff fight each other over which country the war machine will steamroll next.



We’re better than this. I don’t care who you are, you’re better than this. When pundits and politicians on either side of the aisle begin explaining to you why it’s good and desirable for the government of a rival nation to be overthrown, they are lying. Always. This isn’t the one time they’re telling you the truth after all those other times. Lucy’s never gonna let you kick that damn football, Charlie Brown.

It is the US intelligence community’s job to lie to you. I will say it again: it is the US intelligence community’s job to lie to you. The Trump supporters I’ve been arguing with about this on social media are swept up in the propaganda, apparently believing that every single person in Iran wants to overthrow their government, which is the only way a people’s uprising could possibly be peaceful. They don’t seem to think the government has any loyalists. They don’t seem to understand what happens in a country when one part of the population wants to force the overthrow of their government and the rest of the population wants the government to stay, especially after the CIA gets involved. They don’t seem to understand the CIA’s extensive history of funneling arms to groups of mutual interest, who then go on to tear apart countries like Libya and Syria. It’s just “Yay CIA! Yay neocons! Free Iran!”

This should not be a partisan issue. We are all being lied to to advance a policy which will inflict an immense amount of death, destruction, destabilization, displacement, terror, rape and slavery upon a massive region, just like always happens with these interventions. This is not different. They are lying. Turn around. Go back. Wrong way.


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After approaching two months of talk of a "full" and "immediate" US troop withdrawal from Syria, first ordered by President Trump on December 19 — which was predictably met with swift and fierce pushback from beltway hawks including in some cases his own advisers — it now appears the death knell has sounded on the prior "complete" and "rapid" draw down order.

Trump said in a CBS "Face the Nation" interview this weekend that some unspecified number of US troops will remain in the region, mostly in Iraq, with possibly some still in Syria, in order "to protect Israel" in what appears a significant backtrack from his prior insistence on an absolute withdrawal. 

“We’re going to be there and we’re going to be staying. We have to protect Israel,” he replied when pressed by CBS reporter Margaret Brennan. “We have to protect other things that we have. But we’re – yeah, they’ll be coming back in a matter of time.” He did note that “ultimately some will be coming home.”

“Look, we’re protecting the world,” he added. “We’re spending more money than anybody’s ever spent in history, by a lot.” Trump's slow drift and change in tune on the subject of a promised "rapid" exit comes after Israeli officials led by Prime Minister Netanyahu alongside neocon allies in Washington argued that some 200 US troops in Syria's southeast desert along the Iraqi border and its 55-kilometer “deconfliction zone” at al-Tanf are the last line of defense against Iranian expansion in Syria, and therefore must stay indefinitely;_ylu=X3oDM...

Run-in  With A Professional Warmonger

 Joe Giambrone / OPEDS

Aleppo, 2012. Michael Weiss with those lovable Syrian Jihadists. He’s the one in the middle.

Michael Weiss is a name you may have luckily avoided. I had until recently, not interested in the propaganda from The Daily Beast, a deceptive corporate deep-state clearinghouse. From the start of the Syrian proxy war, Weiss has banged the drum for more weapons to the “rebels” there. He even traveled to rebel-held Aleppo to be photographed with Jihadists and to sell their image to his gullible American readers. That’s strike one for Weiss.

Max Blumenthal wrote at Alternet:

It might have seemed strange for Weiss, a right-leaning political operative who had worked with hardcore Islamophobes like Pam Geller and Douglas Murray, to suddenly be seen in the middle of a war zone palling around with Islamist guerillas. But the war in Syria had created strange bedfellows.”

That’s an understatement. While writing this piece, Gadi Eisenkot, the head of the Israeli Defense Force, admitted to arming a dozen different Syrian rebel groups and even paying them salaries of $75 per man per month to attack the government forces there. We also know that a little-known state department memo unearthed in Hillary Clinton’s emails detailed how destroying Syria was in Israel’s interest.

Michael Weiss has a track record of writing articles like: “Why Arming the Rebels Isn’t Enough – We need to dismantle Assad’s air capability to really give the opposition a leg up” (June 2013). That is straight-up war propaganda urging America to commit war crimes against a sovereign nation, which never attacked us. This is a Crime Against the Peace and a blatant breach of the UN Charter. It’s also what the Nazis were hung for at the Nuremberg Tribunals.

Coincidentally, that Weiss article about arming the rebels lionizes the terror group Tahrir Al Sham, actually calling them the “Free Syrian Army’s Tahrir al Sham brigade.” The photograph is pure Hollywood action movie PR. The US State Department finally designated Tahrir Al Sham as a terrorist branch of Al Nusrah Front. So that’s strike two for Mr. Weiss.

Just how much promoting terrorists should a “journalist” be given a free pass for, before he is considered problematic?

We know the pull of the Israeli lobby is strong in D.C. We also know that Donald Trump’s foreign policy has centered around Israel’s security.

But what we didn’t know for certain was just how far Trump is led around by the whatever AIPAC wants. Until Sunday morning...

However Trump’s invoking Iranian influence as a rationale for staying further contradicts his prior December statement that the defeat of ISIS was “the only reason” he was in Syria in the first place

MARGARET BRENNAN:How many troops are still in Syria? When are they coming home?


MARGARET BRENNAN: When are they coming home?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: They’re starting to, as we gain the remainder, the final remainder of the caliphate of the area, they’ll be going to our base in Iraq, and ultimately some will be coming home. But we’re going to be there and we’re going to be staying

MARGARET BRENNAN: So that’s a matter of months?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We have to protect Israel. We have to protect other things that we have. But we’re- yeah, they’ll be coming back in a matter of time. Look, we’re protecting the world. We’re spending more money than anybody’s ever spent in history, by a lot. We spent, over the last five years, close to 50 billion dollars a year in Afghanistan. That’s more than most countries spend for everything including education, medical, and everything else, other than a few countries. 

- CBS “Face the Nation” Feb.3 interview transcript

It seems that the panic in D.C. over Trump’s desire to pull out of Syria got everyone activated. Nothing unites the Beltway cocktail circuit and lobbying myrmidons like the threat of peace in the Middle East.

With $4 billion in aid every year and a few hundred nukes the idea that we have to occupy a border crossing between Iraq, Jordan and Syria to protect Israel against Iranian weapons is frankly, ludicrous.

Iran is a bigger threat to Israel now because after seven years of war in Syria, begun by a blatantly aggressive move by a U.S. coalition to oust President Assad, is simply blowback by another name.

Clinton and Obama put together the dream team coalition to destroy Syria — U.K., France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Turkey — by backing various head-chopping animals to wreak havoc and overthrow the government.

It failed when it caused the counter-move by Russia, China, Iran and Hezbollah. After the British parliament heroically stopped David Cameron from joining Obama’s coalition to invade in 2013 the plan was doomed to fail.

Putin stepped in, brokered a ceasefire and the removal of Assad’s chemical weapons. But we didn’t stop. To believe the U.S. media ISIS is one of the few known examples of parthenogenesis, springing up out of nowhere to take over vast stretches of the Levant.

But that was the Achilles’ heel of the entire operation. Because Putin’s military intervention made it easy to expose the whole rotten mess, including Israel’s giving aid and comfort in the Golan Heights to ISIS, while we dropped bombs in the desert because we couldn’t find them.

We can read license plates from space but we can’t find the Toyota Hilux its mounted on?

Trump inherited this mess but he’s done nothing substantial to improve it. All he’s done is empower Israel to be even more brazen in attacking Syria, killing and displacing Syrian civilians while claiming attacks on Iranian weapons depots.

It’s all nonsense and Trump looked like he’d had enough of it.

Trump’s Chaotic Mess

On the other hand, it is refreshing to see some honesty in our public officials. We’re overthrowing Maduro in Venezuela for oil and we’re staying in Syria for Israel.

Full Stop.

Maybe this is what Trump meant when he talked briefly about not lying to the American people. Or maybe that was just another ‘big ask’ from someone that has become little more than Barack Obama in bronzer.

Trump went for broke in December on two major planks of his campaign — The Wall and the Middle East. I voted for him on the basis of criticizing our foreign policy and wanted the troops out of central Asia.

The Swamp is filled by the runoff from the overseas Empire.

He shutdown the government for more than a month while simultaneously going to the mat with his cabinet over Syria. And since then he’s done nothing but backtrack and step down expectations.

In doing this he was always vulnerable to a counter-attack on both fronts. He made Syria vulnerable because he has to get a deal done on the wall in the next two weeks or he’s back to square one.

It seems Thursday’s Senate rebuke of Trump’s plans in Syria was followed up by some weekend arm-twisting of the president. Trump made another one of his ‘big asks’ Art-of-the-deal style, only to be ground down to an ineffectual reorganizing of deck chairs on the foreign policy Titanic.

Don’t think that Senate rebuke wasn’t part of the Wall negotiations, because it was.

McConnell and Rubio were saying loud and clear, “If you want our support on the Wall you have to give up pulling out of Syria.”

This is why I wasn’t convinced by Trump’s tweets (here and here) after that vote on Friday, saying “Certain people must get smart!” It looks like Trump is the one who has to smarten up and realize that he cannot attack on every front all the time and think the chaos is his friend.

Israeli Overreach

I never thought for a second that Trump was pulling the troops out of Iraq or that most of the force we have in Syria wouldn’t be repositioned there. I knew that Trump was looking for a way to keep a campaign promise with his Syria announcement while not truly changing anything.

He’s been AIPAC’s best friend since he entered office. But, I also thought that the dangerous game played by Israel, France and the U.K. which led to the shooting down of the Russian IL-20 reconnaissance plane woke him up to the reality that Bibi Netanyahu will do just about anything to provoke a wider ...

I know that Putin has had enough. That’s why he sent S-300’s to Syria and won’t take Bibi’s phone calls.

What happened was obvious. France that shot down the plane, the U.K. were the coordinators and...

Putin smartly went along with this narrative because it stopped a wider conflict and led to the current relative peace we have now.

Russia, and Putin, did the one thing that makes this whole thing look like a frame job, it accepted the narrative of Israeli malfeasance in the interest of stopping a wider conflict by accusing and/or attacking a NATO member, France.

Flores (at makes the salient point that the S-200 friendly fire scenario is highly unlikely.  That, in fact, France shot down the plane, was prepared to accept blame (which it did by preemptively denying it was involved) and destroy what was left of Russian/French relations.

Now Russia can use the excuse of Israeli betrayal as justification for upgrading Syria’s air defenses. Citing the very thing that caused the tragic death of their soldiers, antiquated air defense systems which didn’t properly identify friend from foe.

This is why I think Trump fired Nikki Haley from her post as U.N. Ambassador. She was involved in some way.

And it’s also why he pushed so hard to pull our troops out of Syria three months later, after the Russians had delivered and were spinning up S-300’s stabilizing the situation near Israel.

The board state is pretty clear near Damascus. Israel has lost its safe zone of flying F-16’s over Lebanon to attack Damascus.

This gave Trump room to end the balkanization efforts of Bolton east of the Euphrates river. The Kurds will make a deal with Damascus. While Trump tacitly admits President Erdogan in Turkey isn’t going to lift one finger to help the U.S. provoke regime change in Iran.

Security After Withdrawal

Trump’s analysis of this is correct. It is his spirit that is weak. The realities in D.C. are that it can’t happen since Israel is now calling in all of its markers to prevent this from occurring.

Netanyahu needs this from Trump to assist his re-election in a few weeks. But this is incredibly short-sighted for all involved. Israel is not made safer in the long run by constantly running behind the U.S.’s skirts and crying “Get ‘im Don!”

One of the undercurrents of Trump’s election was Israel First fatigue that is more pervasive in the American electorate than anyone wants to admit. We’re tired of fighting all across central Asia for undefined goals. Israel is part of that fatigue. And no amount of screaming “Anti-Semite!” will quell it.

Without the threat of ISIS, transitioning then to “Iran, Iran the Bogeyman for Israel” isn’t going to play well in 2020.

It’s the best Alt-Right recruiting tool there is, sadly. And it does no one any good to keep the conflict locked along these lines when there is the real threat of a wider conflict occurring.

Iran will leave Syria when the U.S. does. Since Trump has made it clear that we aren’t leaving because Israel doesn’t want us to, nothing will change. But, every day our position grows weaker while opposition to it grows stronger.

Trump is right to talk about the money. $50 billion in Afghanistan a year. For what? Neocon dreams of overthrowing Putin. Playing outdated games of Risk with opponents who are rapidly changing the rules of the game and raising the costs even higher.

The war of attrition playing out in Syria continues and weakens everyone who keeps playing it out to the bitter end. Whether Trump is the architect of this or not is irrelevant. It’s obvious he’s powerless to stop it.

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