Should we chalk it up to coincidence theory that just days after Trump gives John Bolton the boot as his National Security Adviser, Iran is blamed for an attack on a Saudi oil facility, forcing Washington to forego any hope of peace with Tehran?
One day before Bolton’s abrupt departure from the White House, Trump had reportedly discussed with his security advisers the possibility of easing sanctions on Tehran in an effort to create the “right conditions” for a possible meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations later this month.
“We’ll see what happens,”Trump told reporters last week. “I do believe they’d like to make a deal.”
Now we may never know how things may have turned out because one week later that comment looks like a page torn from ancient history.
On Saturday, Yemen Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for sophisticated drone attacks on the Saudi Aramco oil factory, which is situated deep inside the country, more than 1,000 kilometers away from the Yemen border. If the claims are true, it would mark a serious turning point in the four-year military ‘intervention’, which has seen US– and British-backed Saudi forces take a heavy-handed approach to extricating the rebels from the capital, Sanaa.
Yemeni military spokesman Yahya Sari said the attack involved an “accurate intelligence operation” that was assisted by “honorable and free” men working inside of the Kingdom. That televised confession, however, wasn’t going to stop the United States and its regional allies from believing what they wanted to believe, which was that Iran was solely responsible for the incident.
#Yemen Yahya Sari’: “10 UAVs Targeted the Aramco’s Refineries in Buqayq and Khurais“
He said: This operation took place after accurate intelligence operation with help of honorable and free mans within the Kingdom.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whose pugilistic presence in the Trump administration makes Bolton’s absence seem almost imperceptible, proclaimed in a tweet that Iran is responsible for launching “an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.”
Pompeo went on to say there was “no evidence the attacks came from Yemen,” while never proving evidence the attack originated from Iran either. In other words, Trump is being pushed into a situation where he has no choice but to fight. Not the best situation for an incumbent president heading into the election season. And it certainly doesn’t help his situation when members of his own party shake the pompoms for war, as Senator Lindsey Graham did when he called for attacks on Iran’s oil refineries.
Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy. Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.
Thus, in a matter of hours, Trump has gone from being open to the idea of talking to Iran to saying the US is “locked and loaded” and just waiting to “hear from the Kingdom” before the White House takes some kind of action against the suspected perpetrator.
Incidentally, although that ominous tweet certainly got the attention of Iranian officials, it is worth noting that just over two years ago, as the war rhetoric between Pyongyang and Washington was hitting its crescendo, Trump used exactly the same threatening phrase “locked and loaded.” Yet today relations between the two countries have calmed considerably and Trump even went on to become the first US leader to enter North Korea. Was Trump sending a message to Tehran? Will the maverick from Manhattan soon be strolling down the streets of Tehran, shaking hands with imams as he did Kim Jong-un? Nothing would enrage the US deep state more.
With regards to the idea that Iran was behind the attacks on the Saudi oil factory that claim sounds highly dubious. Once again, we are expected to accept the narrative that sovereign states have some sort of suicide wish, and would happily submit to a mortal self-inflicted wound at the most incongruous time (as was the case with Syria, by the way, which, as the media desperately wanted everyone to believe, decided to carry out chemical attacks against the rebels, thereby risking a full-blown attack by the US military and half of NATO).
Iranian supported Houthi rebels who attacked Saudi oil refineries is yet another example of how Iran is wreaking havoc in the Middle East. The Iranian regime is not interested in peace — they’re pursuing nuclear weapons and regional dominance. https://t.co/RElvTDFYb2
Indeed, why would Iran, even through the use of proxy forces, risk an attack on Saudi Arabia that could set the entire Middle East alight?The idea becomes all the more preposterous when we remember that just several weeks ago, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, made a surprise visit to the G7 summit, hosted by France, where world leaders, including US President Donald Trump, were gathered. Trump, alongside French President Emmanuel Macron during a post-summit press conference, agreed to the possibility of meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani.
Trump even seemed open to the idea of backing away from current US policy of “maximum pressure” on Tehran, saying he would consider providing Iran with an emergency credit line backed by its oil production.
Why would Tehran risk igniting World War III when the prospect for peace – not to mention financial relief – seems to be near at hand?
Iran’s active diplomacy in pursuit of constructive engagement continues.
The circumstantial evidence points to the fact that Iran, as it has vociferously declared, had nothing to do with the brazen assault on Saudi Arabia.Trump, I would imagine, is probably also very wary of the accusations, spouted by none other than his own Secretary of State, since he is very familiar with such underhanded tactics due to his experience in Syria.
Thus far in his presidency, Donald Trump has been able to avoid full-blown war despite serious efforts by a consortium of concerns to trigger such an event. Despite the hawks he gathers around himself, probably in an effort to “keep his enemies closer,” as Sun Tsu recommended, Trump is clearly not enamored of the battlefield as are so many others in Washington. Trump is a businessman, and sees much more advantage in walking away from a hard-won contract than walking away from an obliterated landscape, the worst imaginable thing for a real estate developer. Nevertheless, it is a nerve-racking experience watching the author of the ‘Art of the Deal’ bluster and bluff his way against rivals right up to precipice of disaster before retreating back again to stable ground.
This strategy keeps the Deep State constantly off guard as to his real intentions, which is not about triggering World War III. How long the Deep State will tolerate such a relative atmosphere of global peace is another question, but they will certainly be doing everything in their power to ensure he does not secure another four years in the White House. And that is the tragic reality of Donald Trump’s real war.
The End Is Near: US House Flipping Returns Plunge To 8 Year Low
ATTOM Data Solutions has published its Q22019 U.S. Home Flipping Report, which states revenue from home flipping has plunged to an eight-year low.
According to Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM, diminishing returns on home flips could be a sign that the real estate market is nearing a crisis.
“Home flipping keeps getting less and less profitable, which is another marker that the post-recession housing boom is softening or may be coming to an end. Flipping houses is still a good business to be in and profits are healthy in most parts of the country. But push-and-pull forces in the housing market appear to be working less and less in investors’ favor. That’s leading to declining profits and a business that is nowhere near as good as it was a few years ago.”
The report shows that 59,876 homes and condos were flipped in 2Q, up 12.4% QoQ, but down 5.2% YoY.
Homes flipped in the quarter represented 5.9% of all home sales, down from 7.2% in 1Q.
In the quarter, homes flipped generated a gross profit of $62,700, up 2% QoQ, but down 2% YoY. The $62,700 in 2Q translated into a 39.9% ROI, down from 40.9% ROI in 1Q.
Returns on home flips have fallen for six consecutive quarters and eight of the last ten, now reaching levels not seen since 4Q11.
But with returns at eight-year lows, investors, especially the mom-and-pop ones watching too much HGTV, were the ones flipping like crazy in 2Q. Flipping rates increased in 2Q YoY in 104 of 149 metropolitan statistical areas analyzed by ATTOM.
Many of these so-called investors, not conscious whatsoever about a housing slowdown, nevertheless an economic downturn, are financing their flips at a record clip. The total dollar volume of financed home flips in 2Q was $8.4 billion, up 31.3% from $6.4 billion in 2Q18, to the highest level since 3Q06.
Forty-one percent of homes flipped in 2Q were financed, marginally higher QoQ, but down from 45.9% in 2Q18.
The hottest metropolitan statistical areas analyzed in the report with at least a million people were Salt Lake City, UT; Austin, TX; Dallas-Fort Worth, TX; San Antonio, TX, and Kansas City, MO.
Homes flipped in 2Q19 sold for an average of $220,000, with a gross flipping profit of $62,700. The 2Q figure was up from a gross flipping profit of $61,500 in 1Q, but down from $64,000 in 2Q18. These homes are staying on the market much longer than ever before, which is leading to margin compression of the flipper as buyers negotiate lower prices.
House flipping returns are plunging at a time when Robert Shiller sat down with Bloomberg earlier this month and dropped a bombshell that might have every flipper wetting their pants: “I wouldn’t be surprised if home prices started falling, and it could be accompanied by a recession.”
Most human suffering is due to believed mental stories, from the psychological suffering of the individual to the large-scale suffering caused by international power structures who advance violence and oppression via propaganda. We must evolve a new relationship with narrative.
Most people’s lives are dominated by mental story, so whoever can control those stories controls the people.The good news is that all we need to do to reclaim our world from the controllers is to reclaim our stories. The barrier between us and freedom is as thin as a fairy tale.
I talk about fighting establishment narrative control a lot, not because it’s the best way to change things, but because it’s the only way. The public will never, ever use the power of their numbers to change things so long as they’re being successfully propagandized not to.
We are bulldozing a paradise while praying we go to Heaven when we die. We are killing off giant-brained leviathans in our own oceans whose mental lives we know little about while searching the stars for intelligent life. We are burning our home in our search for a sense of home.
The most condescending sound in the known universe is Bill Maher’s voice.
Joe Biden could slip into a coma tomorrow and they’d still wheel him out to the debates with the words “NOTTRUMP” scribbled on his forehead in sharpie. And he’d continue to poll in the mid-to-high twenties.
We are about three years from watching President Biden say he’s working with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to win the Cold War, soiling himself at the podium, and then CNN pundits earnestly discussing his similarities and differences to President Obama.
It feels like we’re overdue for another media tour by Steven Pinker to tell us that things are better than ever and our discontent is just imaginary.
“Why doesn’t the left look at Israel exactly the same as every other country, hmmmmmmm???” Because it isn’t exactly the same as every other country. It plays a crucial role in the empire’s geostrategic maneuverings in the Middle East. It’s not about Jews or Judaism, it’s about imperialism.
One of the absolute stupidest things about US politics is how they made regime change in Iran vs regime change in Syria a partisan wedge issue, and partisans only question possible false flags based on which of those agendas their team cheers for.
If the political/media class wants to treat “proxy forces” and “Iran” like they mean the same thing, then they should have also been saying things like “USA fires rockets into Damascus” and “American troops sodomize Gaddafi with bayonet”.
It infuriates the empire propagandists to no end that after years of carefully crafting a very specific narrative about what’s happening in Syria, anti-imperialist journalists can just fly on over there and look around and report on the things they are seeing.
The US outsources all its ugliest aspects so that American voters don’t have to look at them. It outsources its torture, it outsources its slavery, it outsources its wars, and it outsources the the holding cells for its political prisoners.
In old-style British imperialism, they’d invade your country and replace your flag with theirs. In new-style US imperialism, your country keeps its flag, and the takeover can happen so slyly that the nation’s citizens sometimes don’t even know it’s occurred. It’s much more efficient.
All empires throughout history have had some kind of positive narrative about why it’s right that they should be conquering and dominating the world. The US-centralized empire with its bogus “freedom and democracy” schtick is no different.
If you were to combine all the very worst possible kinds of government with all the very worst possible government actions and roll them all together to create a single nation, that nation would look exactly the same as Saudi Arabia.
The maneuverings of establishment power structures are always made to protect the power they already have and/or to try and obtain more. It’s never anything more exotic or otherworldly than that: the mundane, primitive drive to try and control as many other humans as possible.
International alliances are often thought of as matters of secondary importance, as just something governments do when possible to make themselves a bit safer, wealthier, etc. Actually, uniting nations into one power structure is the goal, and it’s what alliances are really for.
I love a conspiracy enthusiast who can research with an open mind and live comfortably with the fact that there’s a lot we don’t know due to government opacity. I dislike the all-too-common other kind who pretend they know everything about everything and scoff at everyone else.
There are two kinds of people in conspiracy circles: those who have an intellectually honest relationship with what they know and don’t know, and the bullshitters who fake knowing things they don’t. It’s possible to get quite popular in conspiracy circles by faking it. Many do.
There’s an implicit default assumption among the political/media class that US government agencies have earned back the trust they lost with Iraq, despite their having made no changes whatsoever to prevent another Iraq-like horror from reoccurring, or even so much as apologizing.
I talk about Iraq all the time because that’s what everyone should be doing. It’s never been addressed, never been resolved, yet the US war machine and its propaganda apparatus have marched on as though it never happened. It’s a very large elephant in a very important room.
The Trump administration’s relentless fumbling, ham-fisted attempts to manufacture consent for a war with Iran remind me of of a really awkward loser constantly asking the prettiest girl at the office for a date again and again. Give it up, dude. She ain’t into you.
Many on the left care about domestic policy a lot more than they care about foreign policy. Meanwhile, foreign policy is the foremost priority of the establishment they’re trying to take down. This arrangement works out very nicely for the powerful.
“Peace through strength” just means “We’ll take money away from the poor and the needy and use it to beef up our already bloated military so we can bully the world into obedience.” That’s not peace, that’s tyranny.
It shouldn’t be too much to ask for one of America’s two mainstream parties to put forward at least one presidential candidate who opposes all military mass murders and has no plutocratic loyalties. That is not actually an unreasonable thing to demand. Don’t lose sight of this.
You can thank Obama for normalizing the “campaign as a progressive and govern as a Reaganite” strategy which now has Americans mostly clueless as to which Democratic primary candidate will actually represent their interests.
You are infinitely more qualified to report the news than the propagandists of the mainstream media. Even a teenager making a sloppy, amateurish first-time Youtube video about current events is superior to an MSM talking head who’s paid to lie. Be the press.
The establishment doesn’t fear Trump. It doesn’t fear Bernie, and it doesn’t fear Tulsi. It fears you. It fears the people. A single politician they can deal with. The public rising up and using the power of their numbers to force change is what keeps your rulers up at night.
Is Venezuela the next State America will invade to protect the people?
Chemical Weapons and Media Disinformation: Venezuela’s President Maduro Accused of Using “Toxic Weapons” against Protesters.
Chemical weapons kill by causing a terrible death mostly to innocent people not involved in the conflict, but just by being nearby. That inevitably includes children. Those who do not die immediately will live scarred for life physically and mentally.
There is a reason why the use of chemical weapons is banned. They kill and maim indiscriminately. Considering that nuclear weapons have a more long-lasting and wider lethal effect should make them the primary target of a total ban. Why nuclear weapons are not banned for the same reason is beyond rationale.
But, beware. Chemical weapons can also have long term and broader effects.
Nowadays our main concern is about the use of chemical weapons because they have recently caused the death of a reported 80 people including many children near the city of Homs in Syria.
The U.S. has accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons that Syria is not even possessing, as confirmed by the UN. Based on their own unproven accusation the U.S. decided to strike Syria with a reported 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles. It is important to say “unproven” because there is no evidence of responsibility.
The U.S. track record speaks loudly!
The U.S. develops and keeps chemical weapons.
The U.S. facilitates the distribution of chemical weapons.
The U.S. has used chemical weapons infamously in Vietnam.
The U.S. has the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons.
The U.S. has used nuclear weapons.
The U.S. promotes a warmongering bloody foreign policy.
And finally, we have all seen over and over how the U.S. uses disinformation to justify its own imperial interventions.