Selected articles (November 22, 2019)

PDF-Version: selected 22.11.2019


Selected articles (November 22, 2019)




Now That Assange Is Safely Locked Up, Sweden Drops Its ‘Investigation’

By Catilin Johnstone

November 21, 2019



Craig Murray on Assange: „Swedes should be ashamed of the way they’ve been played by the CIA“

November 19, 2019




U.S. Weakness and the Struggle for Hegemony

By Immanuel Wallerstein

Monthly Review, Volume 71, Issue 06 (November 2019)

First published 2003




Human Cost of Post-9/11 Wars: Direct War Deaths in Major War Zones, Afghanistan and Pakistan (October 2001 – October 2019) Iraq (March 2003 – October 2019); Syria (September 2014-October 2019); Yemen (October 2002-October 2019); and Other

By Neta C. Crawford and Catherine Lutz

November 13, 2019




China – Bolivia – a Lithium Deal – No More?

By Peter Koenig

November 20, 2019

“China has by far the largest lithium market. China produces already today the most electric cars, about 1 million in 2018, and will at least triplicate their production by 2025 – and in the following decade or two, demand is expected to increase exponentially.

Bolivia has the world’s largest – by far – known lithium reserves. A long-term win-win contract between China and Bolivia was under preparation since early 2019 and being negotiated as a 51% Bolivia – 49% China share arrangement, with manufacturing of batteries and other lithium-related products foreseen in Bolivia – added value, job creation in Bolivia – with an initial investment of US$ 2.3 billion – was about to be signed, when the US-initiated Bolivian military coup occurred. It was immediately followed with the usual US-style intimidating, violent and murderous oppression, particularly directed at protests by indigenous people.[…]”



The Rise of Militant Religious Right in Latin America

By Wayne Madsen

November 20, 2019

“The recent coup d’état in Bolivia that overthrew President Evo Morales was not merely a standard right-wing putsch aided and abetted by the US Central Intelligence Agency but also placed into power politicians affiliated with a rising fundamentalist Protestant movement in Latin America that can be termed “Christo-fascist.” Many of the far-right and out-of-the-mainstream Protestant sects that have gained power in Guatemala, Colombia, Brazil, and, now, Bolivia have decried traditional Roman Catholicism in Latin America as heretical to their religious ideology and even pro-Communist. As for mainstream Protestant religions, the fundamentalist sects view them as hopelessly liberal, as well as heretical.[…]”



The clear U.S. role in Bolivia’s tragic hard-right coup

By Fiona Edwards

November 18, 2019

With the backing of the U.S. government, a highly sophisticated and well-resourced coup has succeeded in overthrowing Bolivia’s legitimate and democratically elected president Evo Morales. This massive blow against democracy and social progress comes after more than a decade of U.S. intervention aimed at destabilising Bolivia and overthrowing its successful socialist government.[…]”




OPCW Whistleblowers: Management Manipulated Reports – Douma ‚Chemical Weapon Attack‘ Was Staged

Moon of Alabama

November 16, 2019


“[…] In May 2019 one OPCW inspector came forward and said that the OPCW management had suppressed an internal engineering assessment that contradicted the claim that the gas cylinder fell from the air. OPCW management had used external expertise of unknown provenance that had come to the wrong conclusion. The cylinders must have been positioned by hand. The incident was staged.

Now a second OPCW whistleblower has come forward with additional claims that the OPCW management manipulated the findings of its own inspectors after it had come under pressure from U.S. officials.[…]”




Hezbollah And The Basket Of Liberators

By Ghassan Kadi

November 21, 2019

“[…]But to put things into the right and proper perspective, Soros-type colour revolutions like those in Syria are one thing and genuine revolutions are something else.

There was neither a revolution nor a civil war in Syria. The Western media plus its cohorts concocted it and their henchmen executed it. The same can be said about Ukraine and perhaps some other places. But the situation in Lebanon is quite different, and those who do not know this, simply do not understand Lebanon.

Everything in Lebanon calls for a revolution. There are many more than a hundred reasons to protest about. The economy is in total ruin. Basic services like water, electricity and garbage collection are almost non-existent. Unemployment and state debt are sky rocketing. Corruption is in every sector. But yet, the country is sitting on huge untapped oil/gas resources, it is very rich in fresh water, human resources, and literally millions of well-to-do expats who are potential huge investors. This is not to mention Lebanon’s amazing natural beauty, rich history and huge potential for tourism.[…]”



Is the Middle East Beginning a Self-Correction?

By Alastair Crooke

November 18, 2019

“[…]It makes sense: At one level, an arrangement with Moscow might untie a number of ‘knots’: It could lead to a re-opening of trade, through Syria, into Iraq for Lebanon’s agricultural produce; it could lead to a return of Syrian refugees out from Lebanon, back to their homes; China could shoulder the Economic Development plan, at a fraction of its projected $20 billion cost – and, above all it could avoid the ‘poison pill’ of a wholesale privatisation of Lebanese state assets on which the French are insisting. In the longer term, Lebanon could participate in the trade and ‘energy corridor’ plans that Russia and China have in mind for the norther tier of the Middle East and Turkey. At least, this alternative seems to offer a real ‘vision’ for the future. Of course, America is threatening Lebanon with horrible consequences – for even thinking of ‘looking East’.

On the other hand, at a donors’ conference at Paris in April, donors pledged to give Lebanon $11bn in loans and grants – but only if it implements certain ‘reforms’. The conditions include a commitment to direct $7 bn towards privatising government assets and state property – as well as austerity measures such as raising taxes, cutting public sector wages and reducing social services.[…]”



The Lebanese Color Revolution Is a Defining Moment for the Resistance

By Andrew Korybko

November 21, 2019

“What originally began as an expression of legitimate outrage at the Mideast country’s dysfunctional government and endemic corruption quickly transformed into a Color Revolution aimed at carrying out regime change in Lebanon through the removal of Hezbollah from its government, the threat of which makes this a defining moment for the Resistance because its supporters’ loyalty is being tested to the core.[…]”



The US and Iran in Iraq: Protestors take over the streets, demanding government reforms “or else”…

By Elijah J. Magnier

November 17, 2019

“[…) On Monday 11th of November, some Iraqis in power expressed their belief that the US had asked the UN to check the opinion of the Marjaiya in Najaf towards protestors and how it envisages a possible solution to the conflict between the protestors and the government. Jeanine Antoinette Hennis-Plasschaert, a Dutch diplomat serving as Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations assistance mission in Iraq since November 2018, visited the Grand Ayatollah Sistani at his home in Najaf. A few days later, Thursday the 14th at 20:00 pm, IRGC-Quds brigade commander Qassem Soleimani landed at Najaf airport and visited Sayyed Sistani to discuss his requests for a solution to the unrest in the country. Soleimani returned to Baghdad the same evening with clear answers: reforms are inevitable within a specific time-table, and the US and Iran should stop intervening because protestors are for the most part sincere and have justified demands. […]”




Iran Still Acting within Nuclear Deal: Envoy

November 22, 2019

“Iran tries to protect its national interest in accordance with international rules, regulations and negotiated agreements, and even the recent steps taken by Iran to cease the implementation of some of its commitments under the JCPOA not only are the continuation of its full compliance with the provisions of the deal consistent with its paragraph 36, but also do not break any of its international obligations, and Iran still is acting within the nuclear deal,” Kazem Gharibabadi said in Vienna on Thursday.

He made the remarks during a meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors on “Verification and Monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in Light of United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 (2015)”.[…]”



Iran’s ”only cime is we decided not to fold”

By Pepe Escobar

November 20, 2019

“[…] Still, “the commitments of the EU and the commitments of the United States are independent. Unfortunately the EU believed they could procrastinate. Now we are at a situation where Iran is receiving no benefit, nobody is implementing their part of the bargain, only Russia and China are fulfilling partially their commitments, because the United States even prevents them from fully fulfilling their commitments. France proposed last year to provide $15 billion to Iran for the oil we could sell from August to December. The United States prevented the European Union even from addressing this.”

The bottom line, then, is that “other members of the JCPOA are in fact not implementing their commitments.” The solution “is very easy. Go back to the non-zero sum. Go back to implementing your commitments. Iran agreed that it would negotiate from Day One.”[….]”



Backfired on Israel

Cornering and Strangulating Iran Has Backfired on Israel

By November 11, 2019

Alastair Crooke

November 11, 2019

“What if maximum pressure fails either to implode the Iranian state politically, nor brings Iran to its knees, begging for a new nuclear deal?”



Iran Is Doing Just Fine

Tehran Has Survived U.S. Sanctions. Its Nuclear Program and Regional Activities Will, Too.

By Henry Rome

November 5, 2019

“A year ago this week, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump kicked off what it called a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran. The United States had withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018. In November, it reimposed a raft of economic sanctions squeezing Iranian oil exports and curtailing the country’s access to the international financial system. Some analysts predicted that Iran’s friends in Europe and Asia would defy the United States to lend Iran economic help. Others reckoned that the sanctions would send Iran’s economy into a “death spiral,” leaving Tehran the choice to either surrender or collapse. Neither of these predictions came to pass.

Rather, Iran now enters its second year under maximum pressure strikingly confident in its economic stability and regional position. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and other hard-liners are therefore likely to continue on their current course: Iran will go on tormenting the oil market while bolstering its non-oil economy—and it will continue expanding its nuclear program while refusing to talk with Washington. […]”



The Coming Middle East Conflagration

Israel is bracing itself for war with Iranian proxies, as Tehran escalates its provocations. But what will the United States do if conflict comes?

By Michael Oren (Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States)

November 4, 2019

Michael Oren

“[…] Yet administration officials have repeatedly assured me that Israel is not Syria or Saudi Arabia, and that Israel can count on massive U.S. support if needed.

I continue to believe that is true. I recall President Obama’s comment to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office six years ago this week, on the last day of my service as Israeli ambassador. “The United States will always come to Israel’s aid in the event of a war,” he said, “because that is what the American people expect.” But I also remember that, back in 1973, Egypt and Syria saw a president preoccupied with an impeachment procedure, and concluded that Israel was vulnerable. In the subsequent war, Israel prevailed—but at an excruciating price. The next war could prove even costlier.”



Iran’s Increasing Reliance on China

By Alex Yacoubian

November 15, 2019

“Longstanding trade relations between Iran and China have deepened since the U.S. imposed punitive economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic in November 2018. Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi called the two countries “comprehensive strategic partners” during a visit by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in August 2019. […]”



Iran’s Hegemony Tested in Iraq, Lebanon

By Andrew Hanna

November 13, 2019

“In late 2019, Iran faced challenges to its influence in Iraq and Lebanon that, for the first time in a more than a decade, weakened its hold on two countries critical to its regional ambitions. Protesters in both countries criticized Tehran’s role in their domestic politics. Iran and its allies responded with heavy-handed tactics that failed to quell the protests. […]”



Protests: Overview and Timeline

November 20, 2019

“In a surprise overnight announcement on November 15, Iran hiked gas prices—by up to 300 percent—and introduced a new rationing system. The government’s goal was to raise funds to help the poor, but it backfired. Protests erupted across the country. The sudden move followed rising inflation and biting U.S. sanctions, which had already raised the prices on basic goods.[…]”