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11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.15 Trump administration to cut air pollution from heavy-duty trucks [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]
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11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]
11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]
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11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
11.10 US stops refuelling of Saudi-led coalition aircraft in Yemen war [But there are a few children still alive. It's too soon!]
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11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
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11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]
11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]
The Placeman Cometh: New IAEA Chief Stokes Iran War Fever for the Bush-Obama Regime
Threat of Mutually Assured Destruction as Deterrent always worked before. Why Not Now?
First published in Empire Burlesque earlier today, 19 February 2010
Now the Bush-Obama administration has inserted its own man at the top of IAEA -- and suddenly the Agency has reversed years of a cautious, evidence-based approach in favor of, yes, palm-reading about what Iran might eventually do someday.
In an astounding development, the brand-new director of the International Atomic Energy Agency -- who was narrowly elected to the post a few months ago with the strong, one might say insistent, backing of the United States -- has just issued his very first report on Iran's nuclear program. And guess what the new, American-backed director said? Go on, you'll never guess.
Give up? Well, hold on to your hats -- the American-backed director, Yukiya Amano, has "broken with the more cautious style of his predecessor, Mohamed ElBaradei" -- you know, the man who was right about Iraq's lack of a nuclear weapons program -- to suggest (sans proof, of course) that there might be "possible military dimensions" to Iran's nuclear program, which just happens to be the most internationally inspected and regulated nuclear power program in history.
That's right; coming just days after Hillary Clinton's fresh bout of fear-mongering about Iran, the American-backed Amano echoed the talking points of the Bush-Obama Administration. (Should we not finally just give the proper name to the "continuity" of our militarist-corporatist rulership?) The Bush-Obama regime has continually proclaimed its unshakable belief that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. So unshakable is this belief that nothing on earth can alter it -- not Iran's willingness to send its uranium to other countries for enrichment, and not the acknowledgment by the White House itself that Iran lacks the technical capability of enriching uranium even to a level far below that needed for weaponization.
But yes, it is true that any nuclear program might have "possible military dimensions" somewhere down the line. That indeed is not outside the realm of possibility. Which means, of course, that the United States and its allies and clients are fully justified in taking any action against Iran they please. Because the Bush-Obama Administration -- indeed, the entire American political and media elite -- now operate entirely on Dick Cheney's "One Percent Doctrine," which was delineated by journalist Ron Suskind. As we noted here awhile back:
And make no mistake. Despite the frequent Kabuki-like displays of conflict between the current managers of the Bush-Obama regime and Dick Cheney, they remain united on the essential principles of the modern American state: projecting dominance and protecting the rich. Indeed, one reason why American politics today seems so bitter and vitriolic and personal is because there are no real policy disagreements anymore -- and hence, no real politics. There are only two corrupt factions of imperial courtiers squabbling over the perks and spoils of office. They follow the same policies, feed at the same trough; there is nothing of substance left for them to fight about. And so they spend their time in ever-more frenzied bouts of blaming each other for the disastrous results of the foul and evil principles they both embrace so avidly.
Clinton's blackly comic blather -- denouncing Iran's lack of democracy while praising Saudi Arabia and Egypt -- has been regarded in some quarters as a "shift" in U.S. policy, a move away from the "engagement" with Iran that Barack Obama has supposedly been undertaking. But as Stephen Kinzer notes, this "engagement" has been a transparent and sinister falsehood from the word go:
And in a powerful article at Antiwar.com, Peter Casey details both Barack Obama's long-standing bellicosity toward Iran -- and what's more, his administration's move beyond Cheney's One-Percent Doctrine, which, as Casey notes, did require at least the barest modicum of evidence, manufactured or otherwise:
Now the Bush-Obama administration has inserted its own man at the top of IAEA -- and suddenly the Agency has reversed years of a cautious, evidence-based approach in favor of, yes, palm-reading about what Iran might eventually do someday under optimal conditions that do not exist today and will not exist for the foreseeable future, if ever.
As I wrote here in 2008, following yet another scaremongering "scandal" about Iran's enrichment activities:
As I have noted over and over, including here, just a few weeks ago: "No one has laid out the case against attacking Iran with more depth, power, eloquence and persistence than Arthur Silber. What's more, Silber has offered practical steps that even those obsessed with retaining their 'serious' and 'politically savvy" cred could employ.' (For just one example, see this piece, whose title says it all: "So Iran Gets Nukes. So What?")
But, as noted above, no one has followed up on Silber's suggestions, or on anything remotely like them. And so the Kabuki dance of death in the imperial court goes on -- now aided, appropriately enough, by the Japanese placeman installed at the IAEA by the Bush-Obama Administration.
Chris Floyd has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years, working in the United States, Great Britain and Russia for various newspapers, magazines, the U.S. government and Oxford University. Floyd co-founded the blog Empire Burlesque, and is also chief editor of Atlantic Free Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This column is republished here with the permission of the author.
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This story was published in the Baltimore Chronicle on February 19, 2010.
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