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Chris Hedges: War with Iran

The United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel, responsible for military fiascos, hundreds of thousands of deaths and innumerable war crimes in the Middle East, are now plotting to attack Iran.
Illustration by Mr. Fish — “Biden at Bat”

By Chris Hedges / Original to ScheerPost

The United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia are plotting a war with Iran. The 2015 Iranian nuclear arms accord, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which Donald Trump sabotaged, does not look like it will be revived.  U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) is reviewing options to attack if Teheran looks poised to obtain a nuclear weapon and Israel, which opposes U.S.-Iran nuclear negotiations, carries out military strikes.

During his visit to Israel, Biden assured Prime Minister Yair Lapid that the U.S. is “prepared to use all elements of its national power,” including military force, to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon. 

Saudi Arabia, Israel and the U.S. function as a troika in the Middle East. The Israeli government has built a close alliance with Saudi Arabia, which produced 15 of the 19 hijackers in the September 11 attacks and has been a prolific sponsor of international terrorism, supporting Salafi jihadism, the basis of al-Qaeda, and such groups as the Afghanistan Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Al-Nusra Front.  

The three countries worked in tandem to back the 2013 military coup in Egypt, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who overthrew its first democratically elected government. He has imprisoned tens of thousands of government critics, including journalists and human rights defenders, on politically motivated charges. The Sisi regime collaborates with Israel by keeping its common border with Gaza closed to Palestinians, trapping them in the Gaza strip, one of the most densely populated and impoverished places on earth. 

Israel, the only nuclear power in the Middle East, has conducted an ongoing campaign of covert attacks on Iranian nuclear sites and nuclear scientists. Four Iranian nuclear scientists were assassinated, presumably by Israel, between 2010 and 2012. In July 2020, a fire, attributed to an Israeli bomb, damaged Iran’s Natanz nuclear site. In November 2020, Israel used remote control machine guns to assassinate Iran’s top nuclear scientist.  In January 2020, the United States assassinated Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, along with nine other people including a key figure in the anti-ISIS coalition, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. It used an MQ-9 Reaper to fire missiles into his convoy, near Baghdad’s airport. 

If similar attacks had been carried out by Iranian operatives inside Israel, it would have triggered a war. Only Iran’s decision not to retaliate, beyond lobbing about a dozen ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq, prevented a conflagration. 

On July 7, Iran informed The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that  it is using IR-6 centrifuges with “modified subheaders.” The declared purpose of the enrichment process at its underground facility at Fordow is to create uranium isotope enriched up to 20 percent—far below the 90 percent enrichment levels necessary to create weapons-grade uranium. Under the JCPOA agreement, enrichment levels were capped at 3.67 percent.

Israel has allocated $1.5 billion for a potential strike against Iran and, during the first week of June, held large-scale military exercises, including one over the Mediterranean and in the Red Sea, in preparation to attack Iranian nuclear sites using dozens of fighter aircraft, including Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets.  

The 2016 Memorandum of Understanding  signed by President Barack Obama provides a 10-year, $38 billion military package for Israel. 

Israel and its lobby in the U.S. are working to scuttle  negotiations with Iran to monitor its nuclear program. The preparation for war mirrors the Israeli pressure on the U.S. to invade Iraq, one of the worst strategic decisions in U.S. history. 

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in testimony before the British Iraq war commission, offered this account of his discussions with George W. Bush in Crawford, Texas in April 2002:

As I recall that discussion, it was less to do with specifics about what we were going to do on Iraq or, indeed, the Middle East, because the Israel issue was a big, big issue at the time. I think, in fact, I remember, actually, there may have been conversations that we had even with Israelis, the two of us, whilst we were there. So that was a major part of all this.    

Saudi Arabia, which seeks to dominate the Arab world, severed ties with Iran in 2016 after its embassy in Tehran was stormed by protesters following Riyadh’s execution of Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. Saudi Arabia, with Chinese help, has built a plant to process uranium ore and acquired ballistic missiles. Saudi Arabia signed a series of letters in 2017 with the U.S. to purchase weapons totaling $110 billion immediately, and $ 350 billion over the next decade.

A war with Iran would be a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions.  It would spread swiftly throughout the region. The Shiites across the Middle East would see an attack on Iran as a religious war against Shiism. The two million Shiites in Saudi Arabia, concentrated in the oil-rich Eastern province; the Shiite majority in Iraq; and the Shiite communities in Bahrain, Pakistan and Turkey would join the fight against the U.S. and Israel. 

Iran would use its Chinese-supplied anti-ship missiles, rocket and bomb-equipped speedboats and submarines, mines, drones and coastal artillery to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, the corridor for 20 percent of the world’s oil and liquified gas supply. Oil production facilities in the Persian Gulf would be sabotaged. Iranian oil, which makes up 13 percent of the world’s energy supply, would be taken off the market. Oil would jump to over $500 a barrel and perhaps, as the conflict drags on, to over $750 a barrel. Our petroleum-based economy, already reeling under rising prices because of the sanctions on Russia, would grind to a halt.

Israel would be hit by Iranian Shahab-3 ballistic missiles. Hezbollah’s store of Iranian-supplied rockets that allegedly can reach any part of Israel, including Israel’s nuclear plant at Dimona, would also be deployed. Strikes by Iran and its allies on Israel, as well as on American military installations in the region, would leave hundreds, maybe thousands, dead.

In 2002, the U.S. military conducted its “most elaborate war game” ever, costing over $ 250 million. Known as the Millennium Challenge, the exercise was between a Blue Force (the U.S.) and the Red Force (widely considered as a stand-in for Iran). It was meant to validate America’s “modern, joint-service war-fighting concepts.” It did the opposite. The Red Force, led by retired Marine lieutenant general Paul Van Riper, conducted a swarm of kamikaze suicide boat attacks and destroyed 16 U.S. warships in under 20 minutes.

When the war game was reset, it was rigged in favor of the Blue Force. The Blue Force was given access to experimental technology – including that which doesn’t exist such as airborne laser weapons. Meanwhile, the Red Force was told they weren’t allowed to shoot down the Blue Team’s aircraft, had to keep their offensive weapons in the open and could not use chemical weapons. Even then, the Blue Force could not achieve all of its objectives as Riper unleashed a guerrilla insurgency on the occupying forces.

Why shouldn’t Joe Biden be feted by the murderous regime of Saudi Arabia and the apartheid state of Israel? He and the U.S. have as much blood on their hands as they do. Yes, in 2018 the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, ordered the assassination and dismemberment of my friend and colleague Jamal Khashoggi. Yes, Israel assassinated Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. But Washington has more than matched the crimes carried out by Israel and the Saudis, including against journalists. 

The imprisonment of Julian Assange – who released the collateral murder videoshowing U.S. helicopter pilots laughing as they shot to death two Reuters journalists and a group of civilians in Iraq in 2007 – is designed to destroy Assange psychologically and physically. The corpses of civilians, including children, piled up by Israel and Saudi Arabia, who do much of their killing in Gaza and Yemen with U.S. weapons, don’t come close to the hundreds of thousands of dead we have left behind in the two decades of warfare we have perpetrated in the Middle East. 

In 1991, a U.S.-led coalition destroyed much of Iraq’s civilian infrastructure, including water treatment facilities resulting in sewage contaminating the country’s drinking water. Then followed years of U.S., U.K. and French airstrikes enforcing a “No Fly Zone” along with crushing sanctions they imposed via the U.N. From 1991 to 1998, these sanctions alone were estimated to have killed 100,000 to 227,000 Iraqi children under the age of five, although the exact figures have been the subject of much dispute. The U.S. “Shock and Awe” bombing campaign of Iraqi urban centers during its subsequent invasion of Iraq in 2003 dropped  3,000 bombs on civilian areas, killing over 7,000 noncombatants in the first two months of the war. 

By one estimate, the U.S. has been responsible for directly or indirectly killing nearly 20 million people since the end of the Second World War. 

Israel and Saudi Arabia are gangster states. But so is the United States.

“There are few of them,” Biden, reacting to Democratic lawmakers who have criticized Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, told Israel’s Channel 12 news. “I think they’re wrong. I think they’re making a mistake. Israel is a democracy. Israel is our ally. Israel is a friend and I make no apologies.”

The angst about Biden’s not holding the Saudis and the Israelis to account on this visit is risible, as if we have any credibility left that allows us to arbitrate between right and wrong. The idea that Biden and the U.S. are brokers for peace was eviscerated long ago. The U.S. offers shameless support for Israel’s right-wing government, including vetoing U.N. resolutions that censor Israel. It refuses to condition aid on a respect for human rights even as Israel launches repeated murderous assaults against the civilian population in Gaza, labels Palestinian NGOs as terror groups, expands illegal Jewish-only settlements, carries out aggressive housing evictions of Palestinian families and mistreats Palestinian and Arab-American citizens at points of entry and within the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The idea that we represent and promote virtue illustrates the self-delusion that accompanies our moral and physical degeneration. The rest of the world, which recoils in repugnance at whom we have become, does not take us seriously. They fear our bombs. But fear is not respect. They no longer envy our hedonistic mass culture, tarnished by mass shootings, social inequality, the decay of our infrastructure, dysfunction and a Grand Guignol-style of politics that has turned civil and political discourse into a tawdry burlesque. America is a grim joke, one about to be made worse when the Christian fascists, bigots and conspiracy theorists take control of the Congress in the fall, and I expect, the presidency two years later.

The U.S., along with Israel, makes war on Muslims who, with an estimated 1.9 billion adherents, comprise nearly 25 percent of the world population. We have turned many in the Muslim world into our enemies. The Muslim world does not hate us for our values. It hates our hypocrisy. It hates our racism, our refusal to honor their political aspirations, our lethal attacks and military occupations and our crippling sanctions. Muslims express the rage felt by Guatemalans, Cubans, Congolese, Brazilians, Argentines, Indonesians, Panamanians, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Filipinos, North and South Koreans, Chileans, Nicaraguans and Salvadorans – those Frantz Fanon called “the wretched of the earth.” They too were slaughtered by our high-tech military machine and subjugated, humiliated, forced to accept U.S. hegemony and killed in our clandestine torture centers or by CIA-backed assassins. 

No one is held accountable. The CIA blocked all investigations into its torture program, including destroying videotape evidence of interrogations involving torture and classifying nearly all of the 6,900-page report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that examined the CIA’s post-9/11 program of detention, torture and other abuse of detainees. 

Biden goes to Saudi Arabia and Israel as a supplicant. As a presidential candidate, he called Saudi Arabia a “pariah” and vowed to make it “pay the price” for Khashoggi’s murder. But with the rising price of oil, Biden is whitewashing the murder, along with the humanitarian disaster the Saudis have caused in Yemen, imploring the Saudis to increase output, a plea Prince Salman has rejected. Similarly, Biden is weak in Israel, powerless against the expansion of Jewish settlements and assaults on Palestinians, and unwilling to move the U.S. Embassy back to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem, a move by the Trump administration that violates international law. Biden’s staff was reduced to pleading with the Israelis not to embarrass him as they did during his 2010 visit as vice president. During his 2010 visit, Israel announced it was building 1,600 new Jewish-only houses in illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem. The Obama White House angrily condemned “the substance and timing of the announcement.”

How can the U.S. bar Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela from a summit of the Americas in Los Angeles and embrace the Saudi regime and the Israeli aparatheid state? How can it decry the war crimes of Russia and unleash industrial violence on the Mulism world? How can it plead for the 12 million Uyghurs, mostly Muslim, living in Xinjiang, and ignore the Palestinians? How can it justify another “preemptive war,” this time against Iran? The duplicity is not lost on most of the world. They know who we are. They know that in our eyes they are unworthy. Our inevitable demise on the world stage is cheered by the majority of the planet. The tragedy is that, as we go down, we are determined to take so many others down with us.


NOTE TO SCHEERPOST READERS FROM CHRIS HEDGES: There is now no way left for me to continue to write a weekly column for ScheerPost and produce my weekly television show without your help. The walls are closing in, with startling rapidity, on independent journalism, with the elites, including the Democratic Party elites, clamoring for more and more censorship. Bob Scheer, who runs ScheerPost on a shoestring budget, and I will not waver in our commitment to independent and honest journalism, and we will never put ScheerPost behind a paywall, charge a subscription for it, sell your data or accept advertising. Please, if you can, sign up at chrishedges.substack.com so I can continue to post my now weekly Monday column on ScheerPost and produce my weekly television show, The Chris Hedges Report.

Chris Hedges
Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East Bureau Chief and Balkan Bureau Chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning NewsThe Christian Science Monitor, and NPR. He is the host of show The Chris Hedges Report.

61 comments

  1. Once again Chris right on point! Please be sure to include Canada and its clown Prime Minister Trudeau who loves to preen a NATO’s summits and on the world stage hobnobbing with mass murderers like Biden, Obama, and Netanyahu when he was PM in Israel. Canada too has now become just a satellite of the American Empire and is headed down the same path of endless war, greed, violence perpetrated against our own Indigenous People as the planet burns and we build pipelines. Canadian military spending now up to 70% and endorsed by all political parties not one dissenting voice in the country. War, War, War, that is the cry as we rush to our collective doom!

  2. Our mis-leader shits will eventually succeed in killing every last one of us. In the meantime, they will urge us to vote for Democrats. How many times do we have to hear this same empty crap before we catch on? Remember – the other guise are worse? Nothing will change until TPTB succeed in destroying all we hold dear. I am not one for the cruelty of false hope of optimism – been there done that.

  3. For the denizens of the Deep State, now is the time for war, with Russia, with Iran, and with China, while they have the perfect scapegoat for when it all goes belly up.

    The question of our age is, is everything that is happening some deeply Machiavellian plan for world domination, or just the sum of historic amounts of arrogance, incompetence and greed. Only time will tell and future historians, if there are any, will have much to say on the subject.

    But as to the consequences for us all, the answer is quite academic because we are immensely screwed either way. Again I declare, the center cannot hold and our civilization is on the brink of social, economic, political, military and environmental collapse, with madmen and psychopaths at the helm.

    I look for moderating influences, any social or political forces that might counter balance the insanity and I see none. None at all, and that is how I know we are truly screwed.

    1. My suspicion all along is that these “conflicts” are fixed wrestling matches, since the BIS/central bankers/super elite have no problems with either Russia or China. This is a controlled demolition not only of the global economy, but an attempted rollback of the Enlightenment (i.e. individual rights, freedom of speech, democracy, etc.) The real war is against most of the people of the planet. Some people are organizing their communities to be self-reliant regarding food, energy, establishing local currencies, etc. It’s a quiet pushback. I forget who said, “they can’t kill us all.” Eh, I wouldn’t be so sure of that, but I admire those who are creating communities of mutual aid and resistance. I wish I could.

  4. Mr Hedges, I admire your world stage analyses so much but how can you ridicule your work by persisting with the gross lie that 9/11 was the work of ‘untrained hi-jackers with box-cutters’?

    1. Alas Tony, on that uncomfortable topic, the eloquent Hedges will continue to bend his surname into a verb.

      1. I quit paying attention to those subscribing to the psy-op of 9-11 long ago. From JFK to now, the populace is too fearful and beaten to object to obvious crime. Busy work takes the place of substance.

  5. A discouraging but accurate list of mortal sins. But is the world safer or more dangerous with Iran as a nuclear power.

    If more dangerous, how can a nuclear free Iran be accomplished. Obama was on the right track but Trump could countenance no accomplishment by his predecessor. Now we are in a real pickLe.

    One point of clarification. At 20% enrichment, you are almost there in terms of getting to 90% U-235 purity for weapons grade.

    The process is not linear and getting to the 20% is the hard part.

    1. I can’t say about for the world, but history shows it would be a lot more safer for Iran. Look at the abuse, aggression and disrespect they get not having any. You don’t see South Korea indiscriminately assassinating North Korean generals now do you…..

    2. To WDD. Why do you think Iran having a nuclear bomb will make the world more unsafe as it really is?
      Gareth Porter’s book “Manufactured Crisis” is a very detailed indictment of U.S and Israeli lies about that perceived threat . What do you think Iran will blow up when it has a bomb? Answer–Nothing. You should read this book and understand. Mr. Obama to his discredit pronounced that the U.S. will not allow Iran to have a nuclear bomb. This is nonsence. Who is he to tell a sovereign nation what they should and should not have? Before Mr. Trump pulled out of the agreement Iran had stuck to the agreement and the IAEA had verified this. Israel wants to realize greater Israel which means annexing land. The Golan Heights in Syria is part of the plan as is the West Bank of the Jordan River. Hezbulla stands in its way and Hezbulla is funded by Iran.

      1. Exactly. Who are we, the USA, to tell any other sovereign nation what they cannot possess, while we possess that same thing?

      2. An obvious point, Iran would say if you can have it why can’t we, which is why Obama assembled a six power coalition to negotiate a treaty.

        So, we did not command Iran not to have a bomb, we negotiated a complicated agreement to kick the can down the road for a substantial number of years in exchange for lifting some and easing other trade restrictions.

        The basic hope, as with all negotiated settlements, is that each side becomes invested in a new status quo, that things change, leadership changes, thinking changes and 15 years from now, Iran will not be desirous of having a bomb.

        The greatest danger of an Iranian breakout is Israel, acting on its own, engages in a peremptory attack to take out their facilities.

        Put yourself in Israel’s shoes and that is a completely rational response, although it carries the risk of a WW 3.

        Trump was delusional and reckless on this issue. Did he really think that China, Russia, Germany, Britain and France and the U.S. would enter an agreement that was not in their best interests? It must have been a good agreement, Israel hated it.

  6. As always Chris is deadly accurate as he remembers.the US past,analyzes the present and predicts the horrible future we all.face if things do.not change dramatically and damn soonm

  7. There is some Tuterborg Forest disaster awaiting the US Empire — could be war with Iran.

    No one lusts for the conflagration Hedges describes — but like California climate-caused wildfires — it may erupt either because Israel decides to “goose” the US by attacking on its own or there’s some unanticipated incident that goes uncontrollable.

    If there’s a upside to all of this, it’s that Biden cannot maximize Obama’s “pivot” to Asia as long as this situation festers. He’s already pinned some of his forces in NATO, thank you Zelensky. That’s why he wants to re-enter JCPOA: of course he could/should have simply restored it and dropped the sanctions, but he’s Bozo-ed by the usual political sludge America calls “democracy.”

    While all these events are dominating the news, of course, climate change is doing what molecules do — unmoved by human inattention or desires. And we’re staring at the likelihood of a Trump or DeSantis administration, enabled by a Christian- fascist Supreme Court majority.

    The US is THE obstacle to global collaboration on our common human problems: its removal from determinative power is the only way forward.

    And that could trigger WWIII — which will make all of this academic, or whatever you call a planet devoid of the warlike techno- primates.

    Fatalism is rational: in addition to some Varus out there, there’s also a Valerian for the USA.

    The only variable is whether he only kills himself and his military forces — or all of us.

    1. Everyone is leaving out Hindu hate for their Muslims.
      India will join in with the love/hate fest but if it involves a fight with Pakistan,( the all weather fiends) , you-know – who will protect their billions$$ of infrastructure.
      Turkey, mostly Sunni, will drag Nato into a conflict with Iran Shiites??? And Lusts for Ottoman Empire returning east to Xinjiang and west to Bulgaria. But Russia is allied with Iran– sort of.

      Of course, terrorists will be extremely active in Europe and America.
      Japan, Korea and China has never truly, fully settled their centuries long hostilities and American troops have kept the sides from warring with each other.

      So, no one will be left out of the WWW3.
      Because America always requires an enemy to justify trillions in military expenses ( China is Enemy du jour), we deliberately disregard the Middle East tinder box for world conflict.
      The public can not be fooled for spending 90 million for a F35 against desert fighters on a camel but China is an attractive excuse
      War is great for our economy and employment and morale.

    2. I like the use of the Teutoburg Forest as an analogy.

      Although it doesn’t really fit, as this is not an ambush, it is easy to picture the actions of US and NATO as that of clueless legionnaires sleepwalking into the forest of doom.

      1. I meant it not as an exact parallel, but as a giant pratfall of an over-confident Empire.
        Your comment reminded me of Hitler’s statement that “I follow my course with the precision and security of a sleepwalker.”
        He led a nation into the abyss, where America’s”leaders” are leading Pox Americana.

  8. Israel is just a part — actually the ‘border fort’ of this “Quiet American”: Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Racist Propagandist Criminal ‘Children-Killing’ and ‘War-Starting’ EMPIRE.

    A crystal-clear diagnosis is the essential element of “the disease of Republics” — which all our founders fully understood as being Empire, from their ‘deep reading’ of Roman History.

    Fortunately, we have already been presented, by Ron Suskind, and in no less source than “these ‘Times’ they are a-changing” slowly, but accurately, with that essential diagnosis of the metastasizing disease of Empire.

    As early as October of 2004, the NYT reporter, Ron Suskind, wrote and exposed the ugly truth that “We’re an Empire now” — which, because of Suskind’s hectoring of George dubya Bush’s advisor, Karl Rove, blurted out in full view and candid description of how an Empire works and totally controls over both of these dual-party Vichy-facades of faux-democracy — and which is fast becoming known by even citizen/subjects who do not have to read “these ‘Times’ they are a-changing”.

    When another of the last 12 “least worst voting cycles” since 1980, vomits out the results of faux-presidential Emperors — “all the way down” as Bertrand Russell famously said to that ‘little old lady’ — then even the distracted, dis-informed, misinformed, and “divided and (nearly) conquered” citizens of “We’re #1-world” are rapidly discovering that decadence and chaos mark the ending of this post 2nd millennial Great Power.

  9. Great article pointing out the many liabilities which the USA has incurred for so many years now. It sickens me that we have cuddle up to, and coddled, countries like Israel and Saudi Arabia. Biden is certainly the weakest of a weak group of politico’s on either side of the aisle. That is why, as Chris says, we more than likely will see a radical Evangelical right-wing demagogue (Trump, DeSantis, Cruz, Josh Hawley)become the nominee/president in 2024. DeSantis is a “DIT”=”Demagogue In Training”, and he is making great strides in filling the shoes of Trump, the sociopath in waiting. If it were possible, and it isn’t, I would seriously seek residence in another country. It has to be better than this, somewhere.

  10. The only pivot that matters now is the pivot HOME. The nation is reeling under the collapse of infrastructure, the drugging of its population, climate warming, mass shootings and a crime wave of historic proportions.
    Do we have energy and resources left for foreign adventures or the pursuit of Hegemony??

    1. I believe your basic misunderstanding, lies with the belief that on some level, they care about you.

      They don’t.

  11. The USA, the oily emirates, the West, and of course their middle eastern watchdog Israel, have already begun a great game of three card Monty, all meant to distract the rest of the planet from the fact that, the oil is starting to run out, and of course, we have made no plans to replace it.

  12. Chris, I just wrote this commentary regarding the Times article, “Manchin Pulls Plug on Climate and Tax Talks, Shrinking Domestic Plan”, and posted it on your alma mater — “these ‘Times ‘they are a-changing”, but too slowly:

    As the U.S. Empire achieves the “We’re #1”, “We’re #1”, “We’re #1” world record of having the highest/worst GINI Coefficient of Wealth Inequality in the world — the arrogantly self-appointed “Masters of the Universe” must greatly appreciate the assistance of Joe Manchin III in providing the bonus of locked-in lower taxes on the billionaires of this land of opportunity for grifting and “Accumulation by Dispossession” [David Harvey].

    Our American socio-political economic engine of Empire certainly doesn’t run on any fairness doctrine or democratic socialism — of which both these dual-party Vichy-facades of faux-democracy can be justly proud — while “informing his party’s leaders that he would not support funding for climate or energy programs or raising taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations.”

    The good new is that America has used its political-economic strength to beat-out Russia as the ultimate oligarch home of low taxes and big crony capitalists posing as a people’s democracy.

    “We’re #1”, “We’re #1”, “We’re #1” in world deception of our average people, but please don’t tell anyone.

  13. The endless march to war seems unstoppable. It is profoundly disturbing, that in the face of catastrophic climate change, most of the world’s “leaders” are essentially ignoring what thousands of climate scientists and ecologists have been warning us about. Instead of confronting the real dangers that face us, countless billions of dollars are spent on destruction, so those in control can live out their fantasies, no doubt driven by deep-seated emotional disturbances, but all the while failing to realize that in the decades ahead, there won’t be much left to fight over. Perhaps evolution has left us with a collective suicide wish.

    1. gcw
      Most Americans are smarter than you think. They know in the back of their conscience that USA committed many war crimes in many unnecessary wars, but we are all stuck on the gravy train of Defense spending. Military and Defense provides employment and pensions to thousands.
      Not too many are willing to forgo this gift for the harsh grind that people in other countries have to endure.
      The Dark side of military expeditionary adventures are the Cost$$ and lingering enemies.
      It is no coincidence that the more wars we get into, the more Domestic violence erupts—Rampant drug use, mass shootings, daily gun killings, school shootings that are now common place.
      It is evident that war drives our economy, and a great provider of jobs, and unites a deeply fractured nation.
      Who is stupid to give up a comfy life??? No matter how much the Rest of the world suffers.
      None of us are innocent.

      1. You write that “Most Americans are smarter than you think.”
        Today’s NYT front page had an article about how climate change is perceived as the major issue confronting us by about One Per Cent of those polled. Very dismaying. We may cling to our comfortable lifestyles, but for how long?

      2. I think Keith nailed it pretty well on the head.
        It’s easier to avert our gaze than focus it.

        The actual comedy begins when the red half of this duopoly burlesque trots out a fat pornographic cartoon like Trump to lay their evangelical hands on; proclaiming him God’s imperfect, yet anointed vessel…. These assholes do manage to put the hilarity in Jesus H. Christ.

        No doubt about it…. Eventually, tragedy gives way to farce.

  14. USA never ratified the Iran nuke deal —rejected by congress; biden has been worse than trump, more fascist, imperialist—obama the worst….likely Iran has nukes—Israel certainly does. USA will never risk a war w Iran; the defeat would be a greater humiliation than taliban. US ruling class much more astute—they realize oil and gas prices would triple—and such and attack would produce a direct nuclear war w Russia. more hedges hysterics

    1. You have a lot of faith in the ruling elite. This is probably misplaced. If they are so astute why don’t they realize that there are bigger fish to fry in global warming? They miscalculated badly by attacking Iraq. I have faith that they will miscalculate again.

      1. How many times have the Iranians threatened to wipe out Israel from the world map? You failed to mention this in your article. This means your focus was to blame Israel indirectly.

  15. It would all look very scary and dramatic if we did not have in last 5+ months much more scary and much more dramatic direct confrontation and escalation of conflict in Europe between two greatest nuclear powers in the world.

    In such context Iran war is just a sideshow of coming almost inevitable nuclear Holocaust because US neocon elite, led by moronic Jake Sullivan, still believes in US imperial hubris.

    The situation is grave as west becomes extremely desperate as their veil of invulnerability and infallibly collapses in from of our eyes. And this veil this pretension of power and dominance turns into dust. The wounded Western imperial beast is most dangerous in its last fight before dying.

    America is going down fast primarily because petrodollar is collapsing and dollar ultimately becomes naked fiat not backed by anything but faith and credit of US. America loaded with debt inspires no faith and qualifies for no more credit.

    What’s left is guaranties of near worthless dollar by used to be all mighty American military extortion racket (as General Butler understood) that disintegrates in front of our eyes in Ukraine. US military is impotent can’t threaten or force Russians and Chinese and now even India to do anything at all.

    Russia by opening few years ago Sankt Petersburg commodity exchange and now finalizing fourth in the world, (after WTI, North Sea Brent, and Abu Dhabi) crude oil global benchmark (meaning all prices and trades are will be in rubles) dealt painful blow to dollar. Chinese will do the same soon if pressured by US belligerence.

    As far as alliance between Israel and Saudis is concerned Hedges should be careful as it is phony alliance between murderous liar and murderous cheater both extreme opportunists.

    For example until 2022 Saudis and Israelis had excellent relations with Russia and China with visits of heads of state and high ranking officials throughout worse Russia gate and anti Chinese sanction escalation. They already agreed to support Chinese future crude oil benchmark and even now selling oil for yuans.

    Moreover, Saudis continue excellent relations with Russia in 2022 as well, refused any sanctions, refused to expel Russia from OPEC+, continued negotiations of purchasing Russian air defense S400 systems as Patriot missiles failed against Iranian drones as Turkey did few years ago and got sanctioned by US for it.

    To add insult to Western injury Saudis this year imported record amount of Russian oil for blending and refineries so did UAE that with India and China abstained from condemning Russia for Ukrainian intervention at UNSC. Imagine that Saudis broke EU sanctions against Russia, Aeroflot never stopped flying from Riyadh or Tel Aviv to Moscow with no western whisper about it.

    Saudis can easily mix or switch from petrodollar to petroyuan by buying Chinese treasuries or commodities amid US economic collapse and by that finishing off dollar a sole remaining source of US might.

    As far as Israel is concerned while they picked up some of US rhetoric they refused to sanction Russia and refused to supply any weapons to Kiev regime making Zelensky mad.

    All that while Russia-Iran relations strengthened this year as Russia de facto started to ignore sanctions against Iran and reaffirmed her involvement in Iranian civilian nuclear program. Iran will be admitted to BRICS this year.

    Russia and China having quite good relations with all regional players in fact have a chance to become Saudi-Iran arbiters to prevent US provoked war in the region. In the same time they could provide security guarantees for continuing existence of state Israel in Post US imperial era.

    Few sober Israelis realized that if they stand alone their 100+ nukes won’t prevent Israeli nation from being erased from this earth rendering those weapons useless. Hedges should have recognized that.

    The assumption that US can mount such phony coalition against Iran in situation of west starving for energy is nonsense and is just a case of US post imperial blindness to its weakness.

    This visit to Saudis proves it as Biden kissed Saudi ass and got nothing for it but public humiliation.

  16. I realized several years ago that the US can attack one small country at a time and successfully beat it up, but when they join together – which they will – we will not be able to win against the coalition which, by that time, will comprise the whole world.

  17. While I agree, the U.S. is the Titanic, I doubt everything else will be dragged to the plum -anchor bottom. In fact, the re-generation of the earth will eventually take ahold, richer soil holding more carbon. There’s your headline; “Earth Defeats Man.”

  18. It’s strange that US foreign policy is completely off-limits to US democracy and everybody in the country is completely fine with this, even if they don’t like it. For example Congress just quietly passed another record-shattering defense bill where there’s zero accountability and small fractions of the appropriation could finance broad solutions to internal civic problems, but nope. And zero news regarding the outlay other than “business as usual”, with the assumption the electorate has no visibility into the matter.

    As to war on Iran, we should assume, based on the normality of Congress, that the US is at war everywhere, all the time. There’s such a total disconnection between civics and policy that calling out any specific detail seems to be an inherent red-herring.

    How can the US be on the verge of a shooting war with Iran for 75 years? Wasn’t that a secular burgeoning democracy in the 50s then we helped with a coup and wrecked their society and helped the Saudis boost radical Wahhabism, or did the news just somehow get everything wrong?

    For example, Amazon is pushing hard against unionizing. Their argument is that new unions are “untrustworthy and unproven”. No one in the press about this bothers to note that Amazon itself began as untrustworthy and unproven and that was Bezos claim to innovation, which he has since proved to be the case with systemic exploitations. But who cares, I’m getting product.

    Wasn’t the US since Budh/Cheney the largest oil producer in the world overtaking Saudi Arabia? Where’s the dividend? Why is grandpa POSTUS fist-bumping a young Saudi Prince? WTF is going on?

    Props to Hedges for calling out the hypocrisy but it’s past idiocracy: Hedges will have you believe there’s some rational order that’s betrayed… Where is that order?

    I’m suspicious of anyone who claims c to know what’s going on because

    How does the Supreme Court just walk back previous decisions? The whole point is they are the final word!

    How does Manchin single-handedly arbitrate the entire Congress?

    Whatevs. My point is there’s a total disconnection between civic life and how anything actually works, and this doesn’t trouble the technocrats in the least, and the last thing on our national mind is democracy. We hate that stuff!

    Get rid of voting, no one wants to hear from the people they have no idea what’s going on!

  19. What “War with Iran”?

    On June 2008, Hedges penned an article named ‘the Iran Trap’ in Truthdig, where he accused Obama of “a miscalculation that will have grave consequences”. Few years later Obama signed the Iran Nuclear Deal.

    You’d think that the humiliating experience of being so far off the mark would at least slow Hedges’ doom-and-gloom hysterics, but as the pile of demagogic, anti-liberal propaganda bile above demonstrates, we are out of luck (as we have been, regrettably, for the past 20 years of Hedges’ nonsensical prophetic delusions).

    1. Hedges was wrong many times in the past but “what war against Iran”?

      Tell me how many US generals Iran killed in last decades ? None.

      How many Iranians including Generals were killed in Syria and Iraq by US invasion force and its allies? How many were killed by US ally, Israel via air attacks or assassinations. This is war.

      The Deal with Iran was driven primarily by EU wanting to drop Russian oil dependency for strategic reasons to isolate Russia. The US Sanctions threatening EU against NordStream2 were central part of this process of cutting EU from Russia. Thre was never genuine will in US to normalize relations with Iran. US imperial political elites want revenge for 1980 hostage crisis and US humiliation.

      US only reluctantly signed in the deal despite Israeli laid opposition and from the beginning US sabotaged the deal in fact turning it into US military surveillance operation to stem development of Iranian ballistic missiles.

      It is you who are utterly ignorant pushing nonsense.

      Wake up US openly and clandestinely wages continued war against Iran located 6,000+ miles from US since 1979. Now they want to escalate it with help of Saudis.

      While everyone knows that MBS is not sharpest knife in a drawer he is not suicidal , wants to live long and prosperous life. He knows that it would be KAS that will pay with its existence for all out war with Iran.

      1. @Kalen

        Conspiratorial alt-fact, unsubstantiated nonsense.

        You make Hedges proud.

        As I said above, “what Iran war”?

  20. It’s clear there will be war with Iran, part of the move towards world war: the West facing a Sino-Russian front. Humanity managed to avoid nuclear holocaust for half a century. But eventually every empire gets the war it is trying to avoid. The warning from history that the powers do not heed.
    https://patternofhistory.wordpress.com/

      1. You’re correct. The Shah, propped up by the CIA and oil multinationals, also tortured and slaughtered thousands of leftists. Iran is a graveyard for Marxists.

    1. Looking for virtue in politics? Good luck. None of power elites are angels. But it does not justify US lies and their belligerence because, as MLK said it is US that is worse purveyor of violence in the world. The world powers are meek followers of US evil.

      1. Agreed, no virtue in politics. Power always, always corrupts.

        The sad reality is that political dialogue has degenerated to the point where we are all basically arguing that our side is somewhat less evil than the other side, our torturer is somehow less cruel than their torturer.

      2. That justifies having the biggest military budget in the world. But the American public just stays silent in the face of that obscenity.

  21. Matthew 10:29-31 says
    “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

  22. Great general insights but for over 20 years now every year we hear they’re planning an attack on Iran. Neither Israel, Prince Chainsaw or Blithering Biden have the cojones to do it.

  23. It’s like you have immature imperial street gangs spreading violence but neighborhoods around the world are getting fed up and are protecting themselves. Warring cults don’t understand that war makes everything worse.

  24. There was never any reason to believe that Iran would not be one of the targets in World War III.

    “World War” was not just a claim similar to the cries of a professional wrestling promoter. The name “World War” was applied because the War had spread around the world. A century ago, this shocked people, and even the politicians could only keep the War going by pretending that it was “The War to End All Wars.”

    And, make no doubt about it, the American Empire is embarked on World War III. The American Oligarchs see this as the only means to stave off the rise of Chinese power, and the one thing American Oligarchs do not do is to ‘share’. No one in America talks of a peaceful world with China and Russia.

    Some might want to call this next Global Nuclear War the true “War to End All Wars.” But don’t believe it, because humans in the New Stone Age would be quickly throwing stones at each other.

    The only actual way to End All Wars would be Dr. King’s Revolution of Values. If the corporate media has never taught you that phrase, try searching on it. Add the word ‘Riverside’ or the words ‘Beyond Vietnam’ if it is hard to find the speech.

    Dr. King was also right when he said that ‘hate can not drive out hate, only love can do that.’ And we all know that ‘Love’ has been banned in America ever since it stopped the Vietnam War.

  25. This stupid bearded Iranian pseudo monks have to be eliminated by all means. The state has to dominate religion not vice-versa.

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