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Max Blumenthal

Biden Iran envoy boasted of depriving civilians of food, driving up Iranian inequality in sadistic sanctions manual

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The Joseph Biden administration has named Richard Nephew as its Deputy Iran Envoy. As the former Principal Deputy Coordinator of Sanctions Policy for Barack Obama’s State Department, Nephew took personal credit for depriving Iranians of food, sabotaging their automobile industry and driving up unemployment rates. He has described the destruction of Iran’s economy as “a tremendous success,” and lamented during a visit to Russia that food was still plentiful in the country’s capital despite mounting US sanctions.

Nephew’s appointment to a senior diplomatic post suggests that rather than immediately returning to the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal, the Biden administration will finesse sanctions illegally imposed by Trump to pressure Iran into an onerous, reworked agreement that Tehran is unlikely to join.

After coordinating Obama’s sanctions regime against Iran, Nephew left the administration for a position at the energy industry-funded Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. There, he published a book outlining in blunt terms how he honed the craft of economic warfare and applied it against Iran.

Entitled “The Art of Sanctions: A View From The Field,” the book’s cover image features two Caucasian hands drawing a rope for a noose, presumably to strangle some insufficiently pliant Global South government. Its contents read like a list of criminal confessions, detailing in chillingly clinical terms how the sanctions Nephew conceived from inside an air conditioned office in Washington immiserated average Iranians.
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Acronym group that sabotaged Iowa caucus birthed by billionaire who funded Alabama disinformation campaign

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At the time of publication, the winner of the state’s Democratic Party caucuses is still unknown. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the clear winner in virtually every exit poll, is currently ahead in votes. Yet somehow Pete Buttigieg, a favorite of the party establishment who was unknown to most voters until last year, has claimed victory.
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Woke Wonk Elizabeth Warren’s Foreign Policy Team is Stacked with Pro-War Swamp Creatures

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Elizabeth Warren has promised “big, structural change” on a range of issues related to the economy. Warren has a plan for foreign policy, too, but it appears to be scarcely different from that of the last Democrat to occupy the White House.

A close examination of Warren’s newly assembled team of international advisors presents little hope of change from the military interventionism, regime change strong-arming and drone warfare that characterized the administration of President Barack Obama. 

Earlier this month, Warren foreign policy aide Sasha Baker revealed a list of 34 “friends, colleagues, and advisors” that formed the foundation of the candidate’s foreign policy team. For the first time, observers were offered a clear window into what US foreign policy might look like under a Warren presidency.

According to CNN, these self-described foreign policy professionals have worked through “group text chains and conference calls where they brainstorm responses to urgent international events, help draft campaign statements and policy papers, and flag development.”
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Iraqi PM reveals Soleimani was on peace mission when assassinated, exploding Trump’s lie of ‘imminent attacks’

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Desperate to justify the US drone assassination of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted that Washington had made an “intelligence-based assessment” that Soleimani was “actively planning in the region” to attack American interests before he was killed.

President Donald Trump justified his fateful decision to kill the Iranian general in even more explicit language, declaring that Soleimani was planning “imminent attacks” on US diplomatic facilities and personnel across the Middle East.

“We took action last night to stop a war,” Trump claimed. “We did not take action to start a war.”

Trump’s dubious rationale for an indisputably criminal assassination has been repeated widely across corporate media networks, and often without any skepticism or debate.

At a January 3 State Department briefing, where reporters finally got the chance to demand evidence for the claim of an “imminent” threat, one US official erupted in anger.
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The Insider: How National Security Mandarins Groomed Pete Buttigieg and Managed his Future

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In his quest for front-runner status in the 2020 presidential campaign, Pete Buttigieg has crafted an image for himself as a maverick running against a broken establishment. On the trail, he has invoked his distinction as the openly gay mayor of a de-industrialized Rust Belt town, as well as his experience as a Naval reserve intelligence officer who now claims to oppose “endless wars”.
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DC’s Atlantic Council raked in funding from Hunter Biden’s corruption-stained employer while courting his VP father

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With its relentless focus on corruption in Russia and Ukraine, the Atlantic Council has distinguished itself from other top-flight think tanks in Washington. Over the past several years, it has held innumerable conferences and panel discussions, issued a string of reports, and published literally hundreds of essays on Russia’s “kleptocracy” and the scourge of Kremlin disinformation.
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