The Week’s Best Cartoons ⚡ 1/11

I hadn’t done a ‘toon post for a while, as events of the past week or so kept me busy, but last night I came across this one by our friend TokyoSand, and it seemed a perfect recap of recent events. Thank you, TS, for this collection of some of the amazing talent that helps put the events of our time into visual satire!

Political⚡Charge

By Graeme MacKay, Hamilton Spectator

Alarming. Insightful. Devastating.

The best editorial cartoons express a strong opinion, and in so doing, make us feel something emotionally. This week, these were the cartoons that made me stand up and take notice. Which ones grab you the most?

Iran

ByJimmy Margulies, King Features

By Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Walt Handelsman,The Advocate

By John Cole, The Times-Tribune

By Kevin Kal Kallaugher,Kaltoons

By Ed Hall

By Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer

By Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

ByDavid Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Daily Star

By Ed Wexler

By Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

By Ed Hall

By Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Christopher Weyant

Impeachment

By Lalo Alcaraz

By Matt Wuerker, Politico

By Steve Sack, Star Tribune

By Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer

By Scott Stantis, Chicago Tribune

View original post 54 more words

The Stuff Nightmares Are Made Of …

I thought I had said all I wanted to say, for the moment, in yesterday afternoon’s post regarding Trump’s ignorant decision to assassinate Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.  I was wrong.  This is one that may occupy any number of posts here on Filosofa’s Word in the coming weeks/months.  Sigh.

Every time there is new “breaking news” on the topic, my growling escalates just a bit.  The latest?

“Trump says Iranian military leader was killed by drone strike ‘to stop a war,’ warns Iran not to retaliate”

Seriously???  The way to ‘stop a war’, especially one that doesn’t exist, is to kill people??? Is this more of that alternative facts stuff that Kellyanne so likes to spout?  He ‘warns’ Iran not to retaliate???  WTF???  Who does he think he is that he can shake his short finger, while saying “unh unh unh” and The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will just sit down, hang his head, and slink quietly away?  Not a chance, Donnie Boy!  Do you even remember 1979??? Go back to Georgia or Mar-a-Lago or wherever you came from, for you are so far out of your league that you don’t even merit the position of water boy!

Whew … puffa puffa puffa … this has been happening all day long …

So, Iran will retaliate … it isn’t a matter of “if”, but “where, when and how”.  Trump is an ignorant slob if he believes that him ‘warning’ them not to retaliate will phase the powers that be in Iran.  And nobody else thinks so, either, for cities around the U.S. are on high alert tonight, as are embassies around the globe. What then, once Iran retaliates?  Two choices … war, or back down.  I vote we opt, just for once, to put all human life ahead of the egos in Washington, tuck our tails between our legs, and go home peacefully.  But will Trump?  Not unless cooler heads prevail and tell him in no uncertain terms that they do not support any further action against Iran on our behalf.  Even then, he isn’t likely to listen, for remember … he claims to have “great and unmatched wisdom”.

So, what are the ramifications here?  Many.  For starters, lives will be lost, and soon, unless I miss my guess.  And those lives are on Trump’s shoulders, whether they are the lives of U.S. citizens, Iraqis, Iranians, or the people on the island of Gullah Gullah!

Next up … our allies have lost whatever little faith they still had in this nation, for we have put them in the line of fire, through no fault of their own.  And when I say “we”, make no mistake, I blame Trump first and foremost, but after him I blame all the jackasses in Congress who have been licking his boots, such as YOU, Warren Davidson, and Mitchell McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, and many others.  YOU ALL have blood on your hands!  And I also blame all those average Joe’s in this nation who continue to support the megalomaniac in the Oval Office who has brought all this down on us.  That means YOU, Kitty Cline, and YOU, Lisa Connelly or whatever your name is now, and YOU Janet Klar!

Our allies have been struggling to keep the Iran nuclear agreement intact since Trump pulled out of it for no other reason than President Obama’s signature was on it.  They have worked hard to ensure that Iran would agree not to develop nuclear weapons that would make the world a lot less safe.  The agreement was working and by all reports from independent inspectors, Iran was keeping their end of the deal.  And then along came the bastard who couldn’t stand the fact that his predecessor had accomplished something remarkably good, and he tore it up and threw it in the trash, saying that he could get a ‘better deal’.  Only … he never even tried.  He left our friends – France, the United Kingdom, and the European Union – hanging out to dry, struggling to keep the deal afloat without the U.S.

My heart broke this evening when I read a comment from one of my dearest friends in the UK that read, in part …

“I had not long finished reading about this before I saw your Snarky post. I was horrified. While the rest of your ‘allies’ are trying to keep the Nuclear Agreement alive, Trump does this and doesn’t even have the courtesy to inform us. I no longer consider America a friend to my country as long as this lunatic is in charge.”

I know he did not mean me or my readers, but our nation as a whole … still, it breaks my heart to think that some 40% of the people in this nation, some of whom I once called “friend”, have brought us to this point, the point at which we are no longer trusted, no longer respected.  And deservedly so.  It is not only our politicians who have brought the wrath down on us, but the average Joe who thinks Trump is “telling it like it is”, who says, “he’s one of us”.  He is NOT telling the truth about anything on any day!  And he is NOT “one of us”!  He is a spoiled brat jerk who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, whose daddy bought his way out of trouble more than once, out of the military, and bought his worthless business degree from Wharton.  He has NEVER in his life been held accountable, has never missed a meal (obviously), and has a complete lack of conscience.

As it became clear that Trump would and should be impeached, I warned that if he felt trapped, he would respond like a trapped animal, he would do something so horrendous that it would take all eyes away from impeachment, away from his crimes.

The world now stands at a precipice … even the experts are not sure what will happen next, but the one certainty is that Donald’s taking matters into his own hands without consulting Middle East experts, without consulting our allies, and without notifying Congress has put every man, woman and child on this planet in danger.  My best idea yet is to send Trump Sr., Junior, Eric, and Ivanka all to fight on the front lines when war breaks out … they are more expendable than John Doe!

Thus concludes my rant for tonight … I shall go take a shower now.  My sincere apologies to Keith, for I could not stop the rant, no matter how I tried.  Stay tuned, for I’m fairly certain there will be more.  And my apologies that there is no Saturday Surprise this week … I think you can understand.

The Price For Ignorance …

It is a well-known fact that Donald Trump does not understand the Middle East.  It is an equally well-known fact that diplomacy is not Trump’s strong suit … in fact, I rather doubt the word ‘diplomacy’ is in his vocabulary.  He is a bully who thinks that “might equals right”, and that has not changed simply because he is now in a position where it matters more than ever.

There are a number of people who have dedicated much of their lives studying the Middle East, who understand the dynamics in play, but those people are not in Donald Trump’s administration.  However, those experts have something to say about Trump’s ignorant ‘maximum pressure’ policy toward Iran.

The fight began in May 2018, when Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal, leaving our allies scrambling trying to keep the deal intact, for by all accounts the Iranians were upholding their part of the deal.  The tensions intensified last spring, when the U.S. designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization and moved to shut off Iran’s ability to export oil. Middle East experts warned that Iran would meet America’s escalation with escalation of its own. The Revolutionary Guard Corps designation was opposed by even some top Trump administration national security officials who said it could incite retaliation by Tehran against American troops and intelligence officers.

These predictions have proved correct. In May, the United States accused Iran of attacking oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. Then, in June, Iran shot down an American drone.

Then last week an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia, Kataib Hezbollah, fired on an Iraqi military base, wounding four American servicemen and killing an American contractor. Trump foolishly responded with force: On Sunday, the U.S. military launched air strikes against the militia’s forces in Iraq and Syria, killing 24 people and wounding 50.

Iran-2On Tuesday, thousands of supporters of Kataib Hezbollah and other pro-Iranian militias stormed the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, shouting “Death to America”, a chant reminiscent of the Iran hostage crisis in 1979, 40 years ago. Outraged by the U.S. attacks, many of Iraq’s top clerics and politicians are now demanding the withdrawal of all American troops.  So, what does Trump do now?  Just what Trump always does when he doesn’t know what else to do, he threatens and bullies.

“Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities. They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat.”

He seems to be ignorant of the fact that he does not have the power to force other nations to act according to his will … remember the “Mexico will pay for the wall” statement that he screeched over and over?  How well did that work out?  Former U.S. officials who are experts in Middle Eastern foreign policy are critical of Trump’s “maximum pressure” initiative, saying it is far too heavy on economic sanctions and military deterrence, far too light on serious diplomatic outreach, and not focused enough on the other countries caught in the middle.

“It’s not working because the administration has no idea why it’s applying pressure or what it wants.” — Ilan Goldenberg, a former Pentagon and State Department official

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has reportedly cancelled a trip to the Ukraine in order to closely monitor the situation.  I can imagine he is chewing his fingernails, for he was one of the biggest critics, blaming Hillary Clinton almost exclusively for her handling of the 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including a U.S. ambassador.  Secretary Clinton was absolved of any wrongdoing.

When you play a game without understanding the rules, you will almost inevitably lose.  That is what Donald Trump is doing in the Middle East … the only difference between this and a game of Battleship is that real lives are at stake.  This is likely to end in one of two ways … war or loss of face.  War is unthinkable, but to Trump, loss of face is even worse.  His ego trumps human lives, at least in his mind.

As often happens, Jeff from On the Fence Voters and I were on the same page tonight, and he reminds us that this is an election year, Trump has just been impeached, and Kim Jong-un is rattling his saber once again, all of which adds up to … sigh.  So I would ask you to hop over and take a look at his post, too!

Trump’s “Saudi Arabia First” Policy

Donald Trump likes ‘tough’ talk, and apparently thinks it is becoming to sound like a B-grade actor trying out for the role of one of Don Corleone’s sons in The Godfather.  This could be forgiven or overlooked if he were a teenager still trying to impress girls despite his pimply face and false bravado.  But no, he is 73 years of age, and more importantly, holds the highest office in the government of a nation of 330 million people.  We don’t need a mafioso-sounding idiot running the nation … we need intellect and compassion, neither of which Trump possesses.

“Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!”

On Saturday, Trump actually called Crown Prince bin Salman to offer U.S. military support.  Besides the aforementioned Cagney-style speech, there is much wrong with this entire scenario.  The first, and most obvious, is that Saudi Arabia is not a member of NATO and thus we have no obligation to come to their defense.

Second, although the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are strategic allies, Saudi Arabia are by no means our friends.  Remember how Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the brutal slaying of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi last October?  That was not an act of friendship.

Third, Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for the attacks on the Saudi oil facilities last weekend, and yet, out of his posterior Trump pulls the idea that he thinks Iran is to blame.  The Saudis have also claimed that they believe it was Iranian weapons that attacked, but with no proof whatsoever.  Within hours of the attack, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, despite the fact that Yemen’s Houthis had claimed responsibility, and with not a single shred of evidence, said …

“Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.”

Fourth, it is not up to Donald Trump, even as president, to start a war all by himself.  It requires an act of Congress.  The U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 8, clauses 11–16 give Congress the authority to declare war.  The framers of the Constitution were reluctant to concentrate too much influence in the hands of too few, and thus denied the office of the President the authority to go to war unilaterally. If America was going to survive as a republic, they reasoned, declarations of war required careful debate in open forums among the public’s representatives.

Under the War Powers Resolution of 1973, the U.S. President can send the Armed Forces into action abroad only by declaration of war by Congress, “statutory authorization,” or in case of “a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.”  It requires the President to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30-day withdrawal period.

When Trump won the presidency in 2016, few countries were as happy as Saudi Arabia. The Saudis had felt neglected and dismissed under Trump’s Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, who had prioritized reaching out to Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional arch-rival.

They hoped Trump would be friendlier to their interests, and in many ways, he has delivered: signing off on weapons deals, abandoning the Iran nuclear deal and downplaying the Saudi state’s human rights abuses. Trump even made Saudi Arabia the first foreign country he visited, famously posing in front of a glowing orb with Saudi royals during a conference on fighting terrorism.  And then, there was Jamal Khashoggi.  Though U.S. intelligence services confirmed that bin Salman had ordered the killing, Trump said he doesn’t care if the Saudi crown prince played a role because Saudi Arabia is an important ally, one that buys a lot of U.S. weapons and is a key global oil producer.  And if all that isn’t enough, keep in mind that 15 of the 19 hijackers on 11 September 2001 were Saudi nationals.

The implication that the royal family in Riyadh will dictate U.S. actions has many up in arms.

  • “Trump awaits instructions from his Saudi masters. Having our country act as Saudi Arabia’s bitch is not ‘America First.’” – U.S. Representative and presidential candidate, Tulsi Gabbard

  • “Under our Constitution, the power to commence war lies with Congress, not the president and certainly not Saudi Arabia. We don’t take orders from foreign powers.” – U.S. Representative Justin Amash

  • “This administration reneged on the Iran nuclear deal, put in place crippling sanctions and is now openly threatening war. We must hold this President accountable and avoid another wreckless war!” — U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar

And, there is, as there always is where Donald Trump is involved, sheer irony and contradictions run amok.  For example, in 1987, he paid nearly $100,000 for full-page ads in The Washington Post, the New York Times and Boston Globe that spotlighted Saudi Arabia as a country that was taking advantage of the United States’ patronage.

trump-ad-1987.jpgAnd then, there were these …Trump-Iran-Obama-tweets

Secretary of State Pompeo has been biding his time, waiting and hoping for the opportunity to attack Iran for most of his career.  Donald Trump is an ignorant fool.  What could possibly go wrong?  The reality is that the very last thing this country needs is to start a war with Iran.  Anyone who thinks it would be a good idea … go back to bed and wake up when you’ve become an adult.

The Question Is … WHY?

It’s a sad state of affairs that I will believe literally anybody over Trump.  The latest?  Trump claimed on Thursday that the U.S. military downed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz.  Why would he lie about that?  But, I think he did lie, for Iran denies that it happened, and has even released video they say proves that it was a lie.  If this had happened three years ago, under President Obama, I would never have questioned it, but whatever Trump says, I find there is usually at least a partial lie.

Why would Iran lie?  Tensions are high between the U.S. and Iran, and Iran would almost certainly be hopping mad and making threats if we had shot down one of their little boys’ toys.  (Needless to say, I have little respect for the use of drones). But I question the reason behind Trump’s lie, for undoubtedly there is an underlying, likely malicious reason.  You may recall that Iran did shoot down one of our drones last month.  Trump claimed it was in international airspace, but it turned out it was, in fact, in Iranian airspace and was spying on Iran.

Iranian leadership have frequently mocked Trump, and we all know that is the one thing that he cannot stand.  Back in May 2018, the speaker of the Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani, said Trump “does not have the mental capacity to deal with issues,” and added that he “only understands the language of force.”  All of which is true, but surely got under Trump’s thin skin.

Ever since, there has been a back-and-forth poking by both parties, and Trump has at times seemed determined to plunge the U.S. into a war with Iran that nobody … nobody in this nation wants.  For the most part, Trump is filled with bluster and a sense that he is the all-important player in this game-that-is-not-a-game, while Iran’s leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, taunts back, but seems to be finding humour in it all.

So, why is Trump trying so hard to provoke Iran, and why did he lie about shooting down the drone?  I don’t know the answers but have a few thoughts on the topic.

First, at the beginning of his term, Trump unconscionably withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear agreement with no reason, for even our own intelligence community agreed that Iran was upholding their end of the deal.  But … it was a deal that had been signed by President Obama, and that was the only reason Trump was so insistent on withdrawing.  He demanded that our European allies also withdraw, and when they didn’t, when they worked collectively to try to salvage the deal even without the help of the U.S., Trump made threats, as he is wont to do.  When our allies didn’t give in to his threats, but largely ignored him and continued trying to preserve the deal for the sake of world peace, he got even angrier and imposed sanctions on Iran.

Last month, then, two oil tankers, one of Japanese registry, the other Norwegian, were attacked in the Gulf of Oman.  Trump & Co. claimed to have video footage showing that Iran was behind the attacks, but the footage was fuzzy and really showed nothing of value.  Plus, the crew of one of the tankers stated emphatically that it was not Iran.  More lies on the part of Trump, Bolton, and Pompeo.  Iran denied culpability and said that Trump was spreading disinformation and warmongering.

Then they shot down our spy drone that was in their airspace, and now Trump claims, sans evidence, to have shot down their drone.  WHY???

A few possibilities come to mind …

First, the red herring theory.  Trump is coming under a great deal of fire from the public lately … not his base, of course, but the majority of us … for a number of things:

  • Conditions at the detention camps where children are being held in captivity, separated from their parents, denied such essentials as medical care, soap, toothbrushes, beds, blankets
  • His outrageously expensive and pointless, not to mention tasteless and insulting parade and “celebration” on July 4th that nearly bankrupted the city of Washington, D.C., and cost the taxpayers a bundle that we couldn’t afford
  • His heinous racist denigration of four members of Congress, all U.S. citizens, whom he told to get out of the country and go back where they came from

No doubt, Trump is eager to stop the bleeding that is a result of all these things (and more).  So … what better way than a red herring … something to distract attention from his domestic screw-ups … than an international “incident”?  Wouldn’t be the first time.

And second … there is a proven theory that when a nation is so divided that it is literally eating itself from within, as the U.S. is doing today, an external threat will bring the two sides together, if only temporarily, to fight the external threat.  If that is the thinking … and it would have come from either Pompeo or Bolton, for Trump hasn’t the intelligence to think of it on his own … then he has two choices:  North Korea or Iran.  Since he still seems to hold tight to the idea that his snow job on Kim Jong-un worked and that they now love each other, despite the fact that his summit failed to produce any tangible results, that leaves Iran.  National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have both had itchy fingers for a long time … decades, in fact … to bomb Iran, to affect a regime change.  They are a well-matched pair of warmongers.

And a third possibility is financial.  War is profitable for arms manufacturers, and some of Trump’s best buddies manufacture arms.  Why do you think he’s trying so hard to sell arms to Saudi Arabia?  He has proposed often enough that we need to build up our supply of arms, but the proposal is not, overall, met with cheers of approval, for we have the largest national debt in our history, and more tanks just doesn’t seem as important to most of us as healthcare and feeding the poor.  But, if we enter a war …

Again, I don’t know what is behind Trump’s taunts, mockery and lies, but these are just the result of my sleepless nights spent thinking, spent pondering on the “why” of it all, and I think there is some thread of logic to these thoughts.  And now, I return you to your Sunday evening activities.

Humour To End The Week …

It’s Friday … finally!  The end of a loooooong week for us all.  Let’s start the weekend off on the right foot … let’s laugh at some of the stupidity of our government.  We can effect change over time, but there is no immediate solution, so that which you cannot change … you laugh at!


One of the two biggest stories of the week was Trump kicking off his 2020 campaign.  Now, I don’t understand why this is a big deal, considering he registered to run for re-election on the very day he was inaugurated after stealing his first election!  But, a big deal was made by the trumpians, so it made the news.

2020-Trump2020-Trump-22020-Trump-3Bruce Plante Cartoon: Trump launches 2020 Campaign2020-Trump-52020-Trump-6


And the democrats mostly launched their campaigns already, though with somewhat less fanfare …

2020-dems

2020-dems-2

COLOR


The second big news item was the escalation of tensions between Trump and Iran.  Note that I did not say ‘between the U.S. and Iran’, for this attempt to bully Iran into a war is solely a creation of team Trump-Pompeo-Bolton … the rest of us have no interest in starting a new war in the Middle East, especially one that is built on lies and false premises.

IranIran-2Iran-3


The immigrant situation at the southern border continues, or perhaps worsens as Trump announced that he is going to deport some 11 million immigrants … the fact that it isn’t true matters not to his base, for as long as he says it, they lap it up like a cat laps up cream …

immigrationTom Toles Editorial Cartoon - tt_c_c190517.tifimmigration-3immigration-4


The media was its own news this week, when the New York Times announced the firing of its political cartoonists (baaaad move) and when Trump announced that his primary mouthpiece, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, would be leaving at the end of June (YAY!!!)

mediamedia-2media-3


A few ‘toons about the abomination that is Trump …

miscmisc-2misc-3


Have a great weekend, my friends!

Tuesday’s ‘Toons …

I decided to hop around and see how the cartoonists are handling things this week.  Y’know, it’s odd that we can still manage to find humour in the atrocities our government is inflicting on us every day, but … I guess in order to maintain some degree of sanity, we must find something to laugh about, yes?

This week the three biggest topics were Trump’s & Bolton’s taunting of Iran and the likely fallout, the draconian anti-abortion laws being passed in many states, and Trump’s trade wars.  But first … the world lost two fabulous entertainers last week, Doris Day and Tim Conway … so let’s start there.


Doris-DayBruce Plante Cartoon: RIP Tim Conway


Alabama, Georgia, Utah, Ohio, Missouri, Mississippi and other states have recently passed highly restrictive laws banning abortion, in some cases calling for long periods of incarceration for both mother and doctor.  The ultimate goal of the far right evangelicals and Trump, of course, being to get these cases to the Supreme Court and overturn the federal law established by Roe v Wade, thus completely subjugating women to the whims of a few.  They call it “pro-life”, but it is, in fact, anti-women’s rights, nothing more.

abortion-1abortion-2Power grababortion-3abortion-4abortion-5abortion-6


Trump and his National Security advisor John Bolton have been seemingly trying to poke the beast (Iran) and start a new war in the Middle East.  Just what the world needs, eh?

Iran-1Iran-2Iran-3Iran-4


Trump’s trade war … some time ago he said, “Trade wars are easy to win”.  Well, we know … we knew then … that he is clueless, that he doesn’t understand international trade any better than a banana does, and now he’s proven it.  He has gone tariff-crazy and it is hurting US, especially the farmers, but he’s oblivious and doesn’t care anyway.  

trade-war-1trade-war-2trade-war-3trade-war-4trade-war-5trade-war-6trade-war-7trade-war-8trade-war-9


And I close with just a few miscellaneous ‘toons …

democracyguns-1Lindsey-Grahamrepublican

Clear And Present Danger

What happens when you let a temperamental madman make uninformed and uneducated foreign policy decisions is that you end up with a heap of trouble on your plate.  We have all been so caught up in the day-to-day detritus surrounding Trump, his corruption, the Mueller report, ongoing obstruction of justice, and Mitch McConnell’s attempt to help the rise of a dictator that we may be ignoring some critical issues.  Our blogging friend Keith has recently noted that Donald Trump poses a “clear and present danger” to not only our own country, but to every nation on the globe.  He is quite right.

From the German newspaper der Spiegel

The Americans are currently escalating the conflict with Tehran — with unpredictable consequences for their allies in Europe. In Berlin political circles, worries are growing about the potential threat of war.

From the UK’s The Guardian

Donald Trump is doing everything possible to provoke a conflict with Iran while making it look like Iran’s fault.  A year ago, Trump withdrew the US from the deal that has successfully stopped Iran from getting nuclear weapons – despite the IAEA and even the Trump administration confirming Iran was abiding by the agreement. The day Trump took the US out of the deal, he lit the fuse of a potential crisis.

From Foreign Policy magazine

Before matters spin out of control, it would be wise for the administration to dial back the rhetoric, open high-level channels with Tehran, and signal a willingness to reenter the nuclear deal as a starting point for new negotiations. But there is zero prospect the administration will take this course. It is doubling down on a strategy of maximum tension, and there is growing evidence it is on a path toward war—whether Trump realizes it or not.

From The Economist

Just four years ago America and Iran were on a different path. After Barack Obama offered to extend a hand if Iran’s leaders “unclenched their fist”, the two sides came together, leading to the nuclear deal. That promised to set back the Iranian nuclear programme by more than a decade, a prize in itself, and just possibly to break the cycle of threat and counter-threat that have dogged relations since the Iranian revolution 40 years ago.

Foreign policy experts from all around the globe see Trump’s taunting of Iran as trouble.  Except, of course, our own National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.  Bolton has, in the past, advocated bombings, wars and regime change and is, in my book, a warmonger.  For two decades, he has called for military action in both Iran and North Korea. Pompeo is a bigoted Islamophobe who made it clear that he would do everything in his power to undermine the Iran nuclear agreement even before he was nominated for Secretary of State.

Just as he did with the Paris Accord, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear agreement in May 2018. The excuse was that Iran had not upheld their end of the bargain, though Trump’s own administration, as well as international sources, claimed that Iran was in full compliance with the agreement.  But that was only the beginning …

After pulling out of the Iran nuclear agreement, he immediately re-imposed economic and trade sanctions on Iran, including an embargo on dealings with the country by the U.S., and a ban on selling aircraft and repair parts to Iranian aviation companies.  The U.S. has also been responsible for targeting the country with fake news and disinformation about its past nuclear activities and present-day links to terrorism.  Iran has faced cyber-attacks, its scientists have been assassinated, its ballistic missile program sabotaged – all by the United States.  Is it any wonder, then, that Iranian revolutionary leader Ali Khamenei announced on May 1st that he was placing Iranian forces on high alert and that he views Washington’s actions as “total war”?

The Trump regime responded by sending a carrier strike group and bomber taskforce to the region, further escalating the already high tensions. Earlier this week, Secretary of State Pompeo canceled a trip to Germany to travel to Baghdad with the goal of bringing the Iraqi regime on board with the Trump’s strategy against Iran.

And now, Iran has declared that it will not abide by some of its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).  This is a blow to our allies, and to add insult to injury, Iran has given our European allies who are trying to hold the deal together just 60 days to find a way to protect Iranian oil exports and financial activity from U.S. sanctions.  If they are unable to do so, which is likely, Iran says it may back out of the agreement altogether and basically resume their nuclear program.

I leave off where I began … ignorance in foreign policy is dangerous, it is stupid, and in today’s world of nuclear warfare, it could lead to a level of destruction never before seen.  General James Mattis was the last prevailing ‘cooler head’ in the Trump administration, and now that he has left, it seems that the little boys with their war toys know no limits.  Donald Trump, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo are trying to start a war that knows no bounds … and for what?  That is a question for which I can see no answer other than … power?  People will die to stroke the egos of these “men”.  Think about it.

Eight Reasons Why Ending the Iran Deal is Stupid

I have been working for two days to try to put together a post that explains why Trump’s decision to dishonour our committment on the Iran deal is such a stupid move, and I have yet to be able to manage to say what I want to say coherently. However, when it comes to anything economic, my ‘go-to’ person is Erik Hare at Barataria, and tonight I found he had successfully accomplished what I’ve struggled with for two days. Not seeing much point in re-inventing the wheel when Erik has done such a great job, I am sharing his work with you. His explanations are concise and very understandable, and I urge you to take just a few minutes to read his excellent post. Thank you, Erik, for helping us all understand the total picture, and for your generous permission (given years ago) to re-blog!

Barataria - The work of Erik Hare

The United States has withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal. It is probably the stupidest possible thing to do at this time. Why? Here are eight reasons, most of which are fairly conservative in nature.

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Wanted: Babysitters for Kid in White House

Not even two full days into the year 2018, and the fool in the White House has offended so many people, myself included, that it would seem he is determined to destroy the United States within the first week of the year!  Thus far he has gone on attack against Pakistan, Iran and North Korea.  Within the U.S., he has attacked President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Democrats, James Comey, Huma Abedin, and the New York Times.  And that was within just the first thirty-four hours of the new year!!!  Where are his handlers??? Where are the generals???

Take a look for yourself at some of his more obnoxious tweets …

The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!   7:12 AM – 1 Jan 2018


Iran is failing at every level despite the terrible deal made with them by the Obama Administration. The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They are hungry for food & for freedom. Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted. TIME FOR CHANGE!   7:44 AM – 1 Jan 2018


The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime. All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their “pockets.” The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!   7:00 AM – 2 Jan 2018


Crooked Hillary Clinton’s top aid, Huma Abedin, has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents. Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act? Also on Comey & others   7:48 AM – 2 Jan 2018


Sanctions and “other” pressures are beginning to have a big impact on North Korea. Soldiers are dangerously fleeing to South Korea. Rocket man now wants to talk to South Korea for first time. Perhaps that is good news, perhaps not – we will see!   8:00 AM – 2 Jan 2018


The Failing New York Times has a new publisher, A.G. Sulzberger. Congratulations! Here is a last chance for the Times to fulfill the vision of its Founder, Adolph Ochs, “to give the news impartially, without fear or FAVOR, regardless of party, sect, or interests involved.” Get…   9:39 AM – 2 Jan 2018

….impartial journalists of a much higher standard, lose all of your phony and non-existent “sources,” and treat the President of the United States FAIRLY, so that the next time I (and the people) win, you won’t have to write an apology to your readers for a job poorly done! GL   9:53 AM – 2 Jan 2018


Democrats are doing nothing for DACA – just interested in politics.  DACA activists and Hispanics will go hard against Dems, will start “falling in love” with Republicans and their President! We are about RESULTS.   10:16 AM – 2 Jan 2018

And he also, naturally, spent some of his time patting himself on the back …

Thank you to Brandon Judd of the National Border Patrol Council for your kind words on how well we are doing at the Border. We will be bringing in more & more of your great folks and will build the desperately needed WALL!   8:44 AM – 2 January 2018


Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation. Good news – it was just reported that there were Zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!   9:13 AM – 2 January 2018

Wow!!!  He and he alone kept planes from crashing!

I ask you, my friends … is this what we hired him to do, to stir trouble both here at home and around the globe?  I think not.  It would appear that he needs multiple keepers to slap his hands and wash his mouth out with soap several times a day.