Will Rouhani Bring a Tectonic Shift to Iran’s Political Landscape?

Nile Bowie discusses the challenges and controversies of recent Iranian political developments with award-winning journalist Kourosh Ziabari

NB: Hassan Rouhani, a reform-minded moderate cleric and former nuclear negotiator under President Khatami, will be Iran's new president. There is talk in Washington of direct US-Iran talks in light of Rouhani coming to power. Rouhani campaigned on a platform of trying to “normalize” relations with the West, and he even made statements like, “It is good to have centrifuges running, provided people's lives and livelihoods are also running." Given Rouhani’s stance, did the Iranian public treat these elections as a public referendum on the nuclear issue? And how did Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei interpret the results? [Read more...]

Boiling Frogs Post: It Boils Down to ‘Us’ vs. ‘Them’- Let’s Not Let Them Win

First things first: We want to thank all our supporters for their kind and generous contributions during these tough times. We know who you are. You are not ‘the’ 1% with deep pockets and big devious agendas who feed and sustain the mainstream and pseudo-alternative misinformation mediums. On the other hand you are the ‘other’ 1%: The irate and tireless minority fed up with deception and propaganda, keen to set brush fires in people’s minds. I know it is tiring to be the tireless irate minority. Sometimes it feels like being on the set of David vs. Goliath. I know because I have been in this exact position for twelve years counting. But look at the bright side, together, we are still standing-our ground.

Fundraising ThermometerYou have helped us raise $4800. We are half way there, but we still have a ways to go before reaching our minimum goal necessary to sustain us for another quarter. Without your subscriptions we won’t be able to create and produce the original and independent multimedia shows. Without your donations we won’t be able to research and present to you the crucial news and developments night after night…Without your support this truth source cannot exist. Without your support the obscurers of the truth will win. After all, it boils down to ‘Us’ vs. ‘Them’- So please, let’s Not let ‘them’ win.

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It Takes an Entire Village … of Irate Minority Members

We Need Your Help to Raise Awareness & Continue Operating This Home of the Irate Minority

I want to thank every single one of you for your continuing support- subscriptions and contributions. Your support and contributions have made this independent website, the home of irate minority, possible. With your support we have thrived and grown. Through your contributions we have expanded our base and our partnerships with distinguished reporters and producers who share our vision and goals: to present independent and nonpartisan truth, cut through the propaganda and spins, and help see the macro realities long-obscured by smoke and mirrors created by the establishment and its tentacles- mainstream and pseudo-alternative media, foundations and puppet NGOs.

Fundraising ThermometerThanks to you we have gone from a simple one-woman blogspot.com to a site offering several weekly podcast shows, an unmatched weekly video report, weeknight noteworthy news and editorials, original political cartoons, and daily editorials by distinguished, independent-minded and critical-thinking authors and analysts:

The EyeOpener Video Report with James Corbett

The Reality Principle with Eric Draitser

Empire, Power & People Podcast with Andrew Gavin Marshall

The Boiling Frogs Show with Peter B Collins & Sibel Edmonds

Jamiol Presents Editorial Cartoons by Paul Jamiol

BFP Select Nightly News & Editorials by Sibel Edmonds

The New Great Game Weekly Round Up

Today, among others, Boiling Frogs Post contributing columnists and advisors include: Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, Dr. James Petras, William Engdahl, Rick Rozoff, Stephen Lendman, William Blum, Nile Bowie, Christoph Germann and Bill Bergman.

We have ‘you’ to thank for this growth and success. We have made it, and done so without a single penny from corporates or corporate-foundations, without a single dime from corporate advertisers and sponsors, and without any backing from partisan agenda machines. Because of ‘you.’

We can only exist with the support of our irate minority members and supporters. Without your subscriptions we won’t be able to create and produce original and independent multimedia shows. Without your donations we won’t be able to research, verify, select and present to you crucial news and developments night after night…Without your support this truth source cannot exist. Without your support the obscurers of the truth will win. Without your support there will not be a true alternative to the poisoned wells

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Boiling Frogs Post: A True Alternative to the Establishment’s Many Poisoned Wells

Help Us Counter the Establishment’s Poisoned Wells & the Poisoned-Water-Bearing Media

This morning I woke up to yet another discouraging report re-affirming the sorry state of our country due to the even sorrier state of our majority. Despite being the worst president this nation has ever had when it comes to secrecy, persecution and prosecution of whistleblowers, civil liberties abuses, many-fronted wars, furthering police-state practices, and numerous current scandals surpassing even those of President Nixon, 50% of our nation’s people approve and support Barack Obama. That’s right- Our uninformed majority is still defending the indefensible.

As I read and listen to case after case illustrating the ever-growing public ignorance and apathy I can’t help but think of one of my favorite stories-analogies. This is how the story goes: [Read more...]

UN Arms Trade Treaty’s Deadly Loophole

Foundation fellows and diplomats have lauded the overwhelming approval of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) by the General Assembly of the United Nations, with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon describing it as a means to obstruct the illicit arms flow to warlords, pirates, terrorists, criminals and the like. Many who have critically monitored the situation in Syria and the ramifications of foreign intervention in Libya may have difficulty swallowing Ban’s words, as some would argue that the UN has itself been complicit in these crises for turning a blind eye to arms and funding going to al-Qaeda-linked rebels in various countries. Twenty-three countries abstained from the vote (representing half the world’s population), including Russia, China, India, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Egypt, while three – Syria, Iran, and North Korea – voted no. Iran’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Gholam-Hossein Dehqani called the treaty a political document disguised as an Arms Trade Treaty, and with highly legitimate reasons for doing so.

“The right to acquire and import arms for their (importer states’) security needs is subject to the discretionary judgment and extremely subjective assessment of the exporting states. That is why this text is highly abusable and susceptible to politicization, manipulation and discrimination,” said Dehghani, referring to conditions that arms exporting states would be able to impose on importing states. The pact prohibits the export of conventional arms to countries deemed guilty of violating international human rights laws and committing crimes against humanity – sure, this appears to be ethical and just at first glance, but more careful reflection is required. If we assume that the United Nations makes the call on which states qualify as human rights abusers and which states do not, then Israel would not be hindered from purchasing conventional weapons, but a country like Syria would be barred from purchasing arms to defend itself and its territorial sovereignty. [Read more...]

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Corporate Power-Tool of The 1%

TPP – Wall Street’s Wet Dream & Washington’s Answer to its Own Dwindling Economic Performance

One of the least discussed and least reported issues is the Obama administration’s effort to bring the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement to the forefront, an oppressive plurilateral US-led free trade agreement currently being negotiated with several Pacific Rim countries. Six hundred US corporate advisors have negotiated and had input into the TPP, and the proposed draft text has not been made available to the public, the press or policymakers. The level of secrecy surrounding the agreements is unparalleled – paramilitary teams scatter outside the premise of each round of discussions while helicopters loom overhead – media outlets impose a near-total blackout of reportage on the subject and US Senator Ron Wyden, the Chair of the Congressional Committee with jurisdiction over TPP, was denied access to the negotiation texts. “The majority of Congress is being kept in the dark as to the substance of the TPP negotiations, while representatives of U.S. corporations — like Halliburton, Chevron, PhaRMA, Comcast and the Motion Picture Association of America — are being consulted and made privy to details of the agreement,” said Wyden, in a floor statement to Congress.

In addition to the United States, the countries participating in the negotiations include Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Japan has expressed its desire to become a negotiating partner, but not yet joined negotiation, partly due to public pressure to steer-clear. The TPP would impose punishing regulations that give multinational corporations unprecedented rights to demand taxpayer compensation for policies they think will undermine their expected future profits straight from the treasuries of participating nations – it would push the agenda of Big PhaRMA in the developing world to impose longer monopoly controls on drugs, drastically limiting access to affordable generic medications that people depend on. The TPP would undermine food safety by limiting labeling and forcing countries like the United States to import food that fails to meet its national safety standards, in addition to banning Buy America or Buy Local preferences. [Read more...]

Korean War 2.0: Deescalate Now

Recent warnings of instability on the Korean peninsula by Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov come at a most appropriate time – and indeed, there is a frightening possibility that the situation could spin out of control. Since the North was heavily penalized by UN sanctions following its recent satellite launch and nuclear test, Pyongyang has embarked on a near-daily onslaught of belligerent threats, some of which include its invalidation of the 1953 armistice agreement that ended the Korean War, threats to nuke the United States, and threats to occupy South Korea and subsequently take all Americans in the country hostage. Military analysts claim that North Korea is at least several years from building a nuclear warhead or a missile capable of reaching the US mainland – but there is no doubt that if the Kim regime oversteps their approach, it could certainly have severe repercussions for civilians in South Korea and Japan, both in range of North Korea’s rockets.

Despite regular threats of destruction and Pyongyang’s recent proclamation that the two Korean states are officially in a state of war, day-to-day life has retained its normality according to sources on the ground. Needless to say, there is no doubt that civilians on both sides are feeling tense in the current scenario, especially those on disputed South Korean islands in the West sea, just a stones throw away from the North Korean maritime border. The four thousands residents of the South’s Baengnyeong Island, which Kim Jong-un personally threatened to “wipe out” in early March, have been severely hindered from carrying out their day-to-day activities such as fishing due to the joint US-ROK military exercises in the area. Despite inter-Korean relations reaching their lowest point in recent times with the entire South on high alert, most South Koreans are adept at brushing off the North’s rhetoric, but they’re still proceeding with caution. [Read more...]

Syria Teeters on Obama’s “Red Line”

The pages of history tell us that beautiful civilizations emerged and prospered in the ancient cities of Damascus and Aleppo, some of the oldest continually inhabited cities on earth. The harrowing circus of brutality that is the Syrian conflict, now in its third year, will soil and blacken those pages indefinitely. No matter the political outcome of this horrible war, a once tolerant and diverse state has been shattered and terror itself has eaten into the destiny of Syria’s people, inexorably changing the courses of their lives forever. Children have been orphaned; parents have faced the loss of their children – and by uncompromising means. Infants have been beheaded, the fates of innocent men and women have been sealed through summary executions, and families have been torn apart or destroyed all together. Recent developments in Syria are alarming.

Spokesmen of the Assad government recently accused foreign-backed militants of launching scud missiles containing chemical weapons in the city of Aleppo, killing dozens. Witnesses claim to have seen powder emanate from the rocket, causing those who inhaled the substance to suffocate or require immediate medical attention. An unnamed chemical weapons expert cited by Al-Jazeera claimed that the causalities were not consistent with Syria’s reputed stockpile of chemical agents, stating, “If it’s a chemical warfare agent, it’s not working very well.” Syria’s ambassador to the UN, Bashar Ja'afari, called on the UN Secretary-General to form an independent technical mission to investigate the use of chemical weapons by terrorist groups operating in Syria. [Read more...]

The Second Iran Hostage Crisis

“The Upside-Down Logic of Washington Policy-Makers”
From talk of “red lines” and cartoon bombs to having “all options on the table”, an undeniably delusional logic emanates from leadership in Washington and Tel Aviv regarding the alleged threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program. When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu famously took to the stage of the UN General Assembly with his doodled explosive, he claimed that Iran would soon have the capability to enrich uranium to 90 percent, allowing them to construct a nuclear weapon by early-mid 2013. In his second administration, Obama, who recently said a nuclear-Iran would represent a danger to Israel and the world, appears to be seeing eye-to-eye with Netanyahu, despite previous reports of the two not being on the same page. For whatever its worth, these two world leaders have taken the conscious decision to entirely ignore evidence brought forward by the US intelligence community, as well as appeals from nuclear scientists, policy-advisers, and IAEA personnel who claim that the “threat” posed by Iran is exaggerated and politicized.

It is common knowledge that Washington’s own National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran, which reflects the intelligence assessments of America’s 16 spy agencies, confirmed that whatever nuclear weapons program Iran once had was dismantled in 2003. Mr. Netanyahu has not corrected his statements insinuating that Iran was nearing the red line of 90 percent enrichment, even when recent UN reports that show Tehran has in fact decreased its stockpiles of 20 percent fissile material, far below the enrichment level required to weaponize uranium. Hans Blix, former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has challenged previous IAEA reports on Iran’s nuclear activities, accusing the agency of relying on unverified intelligence from the US and Israel. Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett, former Washington insiders and analysts in the Clinton and Bush administrations, recently authored a book titled “Going to Tehran”, arguing that Iran is a coherent actor and that evidence for the bomb is simply not there. [Read more...]

The Mysterious Case of the Sulu Sultan

“The Sultan Has No Legitimate Legal Claims over Sabah”

Malaysia has been in the midst of an ongoing security crisis since early February, when a group of 235 rag-tag militiamen from the neighboring southern Philippines slipped into the eastern state of Sabah and began occupying several villages. While engaging police in several firefights, the insurgents beheaded and mutilated several captured Malaysian security personnel, prompting Malaysian forces to deploy fighter jets in an unprecedented air assault over the area in an operation to flush out the intruders. The gunmen call themselves the “Royal Army of the Sulu Sultanate”, representing the heirs of a long-defunct kingdom which once controlled the territory up until the late nineteenth century. The so-called Sultan of Sulu, Jamalul Kiram III, who is believed to be directing the militant incursion from Manila, insists that Sabah is rightfully part of his kingdom and has vowed not budge on his claims even if his personnel are killed in the standoff.

Malaysians, who are preparing to vote in a pivotal general election just around the corner, have been fixated on events in Sabah as they unfold. The Philippines are soon expecting congressional elections as well, and given the timing, local analysts are wondering how exactly did this elderly self-proclaimed Sultan obtained the resources needed to establish his own private army. Both the Malaysian and Philippine governments have launched official investigations into allegations that figures within Malaysia’s political opposition had a hand in aiding the Sulu gunmen. Reuters cited an anonymous Filipino military officer who claimed that Sulu rebels were “invited to Sabah by a Malaysian opposition politician”. [Read more...]

The Reality Principle -Episode 20

“The New Asia: Power and the Pivot” with Nile Bowie

RPLogoThis week, Eric chats with independent journalist and photographer Nile Bowie about some of the major issues and conflicts in the Asia-Pacific region. Eric and Nile discuss the unrest and violence in the Sabah province of Malaysia and the political context of the conflict in relation to both Malaysia and the Philippines. They also examine the current situation with North Korea and the question of whether or not the DPRK will follow the path of economic progress or hold fast to their political isolation. Additionally, Eric and Nile analyze the territorial disputes in the South China Sea and the larger geopolitical context of that issue, as well as the political transition in China and how that will impact their foreign and domestic policies. Lastly, they detail the horrific Trans-Pacific Partnership and the way in which the United States is using it to exert control over a region increasingly more reliant upon Beijing.

Nile Bowie is an independent journalist and photographer based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His work has appeared in many international news outlets including Russia Today, Asia Times, Counterpunch, Press TV, New Straits Times, and many more.

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