PATRICK LAWRENCE: Brighter US-Iran Prospects – Consortiumnews

Iran Sends Diplomatic Signals

Hassan Rouhani and Mohammad Javad Zarif, respectively Iran’s president and foreign minister, both signaled last week that Tehran is open to new talks under certain conditions. On the U.S. side, Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did roughly the same. “We are not looking for regime change. We are not looking for that at all,” Trump said Tuesday. “We’ll see what happens. But a lot of progress has been made.”

Two days after those remarks, Politico reported that Trump had accepted Sen. Rand Paul’s proposal, advanced during a round of golf the previous weekend, to represent the White House in talks with Iranian officials. The Kentucky senator is noted for his vigorous opposition to military adventures — a position in keeping with the president’s ostensible views. It is not clear who Paul might meet, or where and when any such encounter could take place. But Trump’s decision to accept Paul as his emissary is a savvy move to circumvent the hawks among his foreign policy advisers, chief among them National Security Advisor John Bolton, who has in the past called for regime change in Iran.

Bolton, often (but not always) with Pompeo’s support, has pressed for a highly confrontational Iran policy since he joined the administration last year. It now emerges that he played a leading role in conjuring the Gibraltar incident out of thin air, effectively using Britain as an unwitting tool to advance his hyper-hawkish Iran agenda.

The marked drift toward diplomacy last week represents an important, potentially decisive setback for Bolton and the White House’s hawkish factions. Washington’s hawks sustained another blow Saturday, when The New York Times published the astonishing remarks of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s former fire-breathing, often objectionable president who preceded Hassan Rouhani. “He is a businessman and therefore he is capable of calculating cost-benefits and making a decision,” the hardline Ahmadinejad said of Trump in an hour-long telephone interview with the Times. “We say to him, let’s calculate the long-term cost-benefit of our two nations and not be shortsighted.”

Read more: PATRICK LAWRENCE: Brighter US-Iran Prospects – Consortiumnews

British Marines Seize Oil Tanker Headed For Syria In “Aggressive” Operation | Zero Hedge


Reports say Gibraltar authorities (Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory) acted on EU sanctions that have been in place for years against Syria; however one EU sanctions and legal expert told Reuters: “This is the first time that the EU has done something so public and so aggressive. I imagine it was also coordinated in some manner with the U.S. given that NATO member forces have been involved.”

 

Read More: British Marines Seize Oil Tanker Headed For Syria In “Aggressive” Operation | Zero Hedge

Target Iran! – Consortiumnews

Francis Boyle positions sabre-rattling at Iran squarely inside the catastrophic saga of U.S. imperialism.    By Francis Boyle

The author delivered this speech at the Perdana Global Peace Forum 2006 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on June 22, 2006. That year the U.S. had deployed aircraft carriers to the Persian Gulf and tensions then, as now, were high.

Read more: Target Iran! – Consortiumnews

Michael C. Ruppert on Occupy, Peak Oil, Environment and The Shift

submitted by Gabrielle Price

12/17/11 – Occupy Fear and Loathing Media Tour:

The Refreshment Center’s Gabrielle Price interviews Michael C. Ruppert at his home in Sebastopol, California.  We talk about Occupy and how the collapse of industrial civilization is coinciding with the most dynamic protest movement since the 60’s.  Mike touches upon geopolitics, energy depletion and environmental issues that humanity faces and the spiritual awakening that is taking place globally.  He also shares his experience of the Occupy camps, the women of Occupy and the many veterans who support the movement. [We also verify that no animals were harmed during the making of this film…].

For more information about Michael Ruppert and Collapsenet, please visit http://www.collapsenet.com and make a connection in the Lighthouse Directory.  You can also tune in every Sunday night to hear Mike’s radio show, The Lifeboat Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

For Samuel

The War Prayer
by Mark Twain
It was a time of exalting excitement.
The country was up in arms,
the war was on,
in every breast
burned the holy fire of patriotism;
the drums were playing,
the toy pistols popping,
the bunched firecrackers
hissing and spluttering;
on every hand and far down
the receding and fading spread
of roofs and balconies
a fluttering wilderness of flags
flashed in the sun;
daily the young volunteers marched
down the wide avenue
gay and fine in their new uniforms,
the proud fathers and mothers
and sisters and sweethearts
cheering them with voices
choked with happy emotion
as they swung by;
nightly the packed mass meetings
listened, panting, to patriot oratory
which stirred the deepest deeps
of their hearts
and which they interrupted
at the briefest intervals
with cyclones of applause,
the tears running down their cheeks
the while;
in the churches the pastors preached
devotion to flag and country
and invoked the God of Battles,
beseeching His aid in our good cause
in outpouring of fervid eloquence
which moved every listener.
It was indeed a glad and gracious time,
and the half-dozen rash spirits
that ventured to disapprove of the war
and cast a doubt upon its righteousness
straightway got such a stern
and angry warning
that for their personal safety’s sake
they quickly shrank out of sight
and offended no more in that way.
Sunday morning came –
next day the battalions would leave
for the front’
the church was filled;
the volunteers were there,
their young faces
alight with martial dreams –
visions of stern advance,
the gathering momentum,
the rushing charge, the flashing sabers,
the flight of the foe, the tumult,
the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit,
the surrender! –
then home from the war,
bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored,
submerged in golden seas of glory!
With the volunteers sat their dear ones,
proud, happy, and envied
by the neighbors and friends
who had no sons and brothers
to send forth to the field of honor,
there to win for the flag or failing,
die the noblest of noble deaths.
The service proceeded; a war chapter
from the Old Testament was read;
the first prayer was said;
it was followed by an organ burst
that shook the building,
and with one impulse the house rose,
with glowing eyes and beating hearts,
and poured out
that tremendous invocation –
 
God the all-terrible!
Thou who ordainest,
Thunder thy clarion
and lightening thy sword!
Then came the “long” prayer.
None could remember the like of it
for passionate pleading
and moving and beautiful language.
The burden of its supplication was
that an ever-merciful and benignant
Father of us all would watch over
our noble young soldiers
and aid, comfort, and encourage them
in their patriotic work;
bless them, shield them in the day
of battle and the hour of peril,
bear them in His mighty hand,
make them strong and confident,
invincible in the bloody onset;
help them to crush the foe,
grant to them
and to their flag and country
imperishable honor and glory –
An aged stranger entered and moved
with slow and noiseless step
up the main aisle,
his eyes fixed upon the minister,
his long body clothed in a robe
that reached to his feet, his head bare,
his white hair descending
in a frothy cataract to his shoulders,
his seamy face unnaturally pale,
pale even to ghastliness.
With all eyes following him
and wondering,
he made his silent way;
without pausing, he ascended
to the preacher’s side
and stood there, waiting.
With shut lids the preacher,
unconscious of his presence,
continued his prayer,
and at last finished it with the words,
uttered in fervent appeal,
“Bless our arms,
grant us the victory.
O Lord our God,
Father and Protector
of our land and flag!”
The stranger touched his arm,
motioned for him to step aside –
which the startled minister did –
and took his place.
During some moments
he surveyed the spellbound audience
with solemn eyes in which burned
an uncanny light;
then in a deep voice he said:
“I come from the Throne –
bearing a message from Almighty God!”
The words smote the house with a shock;
if the stranger perceived it
he gave no attention.
“He has heard the prayer
of His servant your shepherd
and will grant it
if such shall be your desire
after I, His messenger,
shall have explained to you its import –
that is to say, its full import.
For it is like unto
many of the prayers of men,
in that it asks for more
than he who utters it is aware of –
except he pause and think.
“God’s servant and yours
has prayed his prayer.
Has he paused and taken thought?
Is it one prayer?
No, it is two –
one uttered, the other not.
Both have reached the ear
of Him Who heareth all supplications,
the spoken and the unspoken.
Ponder this – keep it in mind.
And ignorantly and unthinkingly?
God grant that it was so!
You heard these words:
‘Grant us the victory,
O Lord our God!’
That is sufficient.
The whole of the uttered prayer
is compact into those pregnant words.
Elaborations were not necessary.
When you have prayed for victory
you have prayed for
many unmentioned results
which follow victory – must follow it,
cannot help but follow it.
Upon the listening spirit
of God the Father fell also
the unspoken part of the prayer.
He commandeth me
to put it into words.
LISTEN!

“O Lord our Father,
our young patriots,
idols of our hearts,
go forth to battle –
be Thou near them!
With them in spirit,
we also go forth
from the sweet peace
of our beloved firesides
to smite the foe.

 

O Lord our God,
help us
to tear their soldiers
to bloody shreds
with our shells;
help us
to cover their smiling fields
with the pale forms
of their patriot dead;
help us
to drown the thunder
of the guns
with the shrieks
of their wounded,
writhing in pain;
help us
to lay waste
their humble homes
with a hurricane of fire;
help us
to wring the hearts
of their unoffending widows
with unavailing grief,
help us
to turn them out roofless
with their little children
to wander unfriended
the wastes
of their desolated land
in rags and hunger
and thirst,
sports of the sun flames
of summer
and the icy winds
of winter,
broken in spirit,
worn with travail,
imploring Thee
for the refuge of the grave
and denied it –
for our sakes
who adore Thee, Lord,
blast their hopes,
blight their lives,
protract their bitter pilgrimage,
make heavy their steps,
water their way with tears,
stain the white snow
with the blood
of their wounded feet!
We ask it,
in the spirit of love,
of Him Who is the Source of Love,
and Who is the ever-faithful
refuge and friend
of all that are sore beset
and seek His aid
with humble and contrite hearts.
AMEN.”


After a pause:
“Ye have prayed it;
if ye still desire it,
speak!
The messenger of the
Most High waits.”

 

It was believed afterward
that the man was a lunatic,
because there was no sense
in what he said.

~~~

To Dan Beard, who dropped in to see him, Clemens read the “War Prayer,” stating that he had read it to his daughter Jean, and others, who had told him he must not print it, for it would be regarded as sacrilege.
“Still, you are going to publish it, are you not?”
Clemens, pacing up and down the room in his dressing-gown and slippers, shook his head.
“No,” he said, “I have told the whole truth in that, and only dead men can tell the truth in this world.
It can be published after I am dead.”
~ from Mark Twain, A Biography by Albert Bigelow Paine, 1912