Iran nuclear deal enters the danger zone, by Pepe Escobar

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In the end, a nuclear deal with Iran was aborted in Vienna. Is that a hopeful sign? Or should everyone start praying – and running for cover?

The players – Iran and the P5+1 (the five UN permanent members plus Germany) – not only missed the original November 24 deadline; they have now come up with two new deadlines; one on March 1 to reach a hazy “framework agreement”, and the second – in theory – on July 1 for the final deal.

The P5+1 and Iran are negotiating under the November 2103 Geneva Joint Plan of Action – which calls for a freeze of some aspects of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions, but not all sanctions. After all some of these illegal sanctions have absolutely nothing to do with the Iranian nuclear program, and must be lifted by the US Congress.

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The Only Way to Stop the Empire, by Gary Flomenhoft

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Dear friends,

The final days of US empire are fast approaching. Perhaps its end will pass slowly and gradually, or perhaps the event will unfold rapidly and catastrophically. Maybe chaos will break loose, or maybe its demise will be organized well and proceed smoothly. This nobody knows, but the end of empire is coming as surely as day follows night and sun follows rain. Overexpansion, overreach and over-indebtedness will take their toll—as all past empires have discovered. Empires are like bacteria in a Petrie dish; unthinking, unseeing, unfeeling, they expand until they run out of food or contaminate their environment with their waste, and then they die. They are automatons, and they just can’t help it: they are programmed to expand or die, expand or die, and, in the end, expand and die.

What does the empire feed on? It feeds on money and fear; your money and your fear, both obtained with your cooperation. It is bigger now than when it faced an actual adversary in the Soviet Union. Russia is no adversary; all it wants is to be a normal country, at peace with the world. But the empire won’t let it, will it? It must create enemies. Who are our enemies? According to the authors of endless war they are North Korea, Iran, Syria, and Islamic terrorists. Are any of them actually capable of threatening the US? Well, yes, but they are all quite easy to deter. But the plan of the authors of endless war is not to deter them; it is to back them into a corner with political instability and sanctions, while whipping up the population on both sides into fear-filled frenzy.

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