Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 07, 2020

Blowback From The Soleimani Assassination Increases As Iraq Reveals How Trump Tried To Steal Its Oil

The blowback from Trump's assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani and PMU leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis is increasing.  A scandal is developing as one consequence of Trump's evil deed after Iraq's Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi revealed the gangster methods U.S. President Trump used in his attempts to steal Iraq's oil. Below we follow today's development.

The mourning for the assassinated Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani unfortunately caused even more suffering:

A stampede broke out Tuesday at a funeral for a top Iranian general killed in a U.S. airstrike, and at least 56 people were killed and more than 200 were injured as thousands thronged the procession, Iranian news reports said.

The stampede took place in Kerman, the hometown of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, as the procession began, said the semi-official Fars and ISNA news agencies, citing Pirhossein Koulivand, head of Iran’s emergency medical services.

Helicopter video had earlier shown that the street of Kerman were densely crowded with mourners. The actual funeral has now been postponed.

A U.S. paid anti-Iranian propagandist has turned out to claim that Qassem Soleimani was not really popular in Iran. It is easy to debunk such nonsense by pointing to the University of Maryland which does regular polls in Iran. In October 2019 it found:

General Soleimani remains the most popular Iranian public figure among those tested, with eight in ten viewing him favorably. Second is Foreign Minister Zarif, viewed favorably by two thirds. ...

Also this from Professor Abukhalil:

asad abukhalil أسعد أبو خليل @asadabukhalil - 17:29 UTC · Jan 6, 2020
This is the most stunning aspect of the rise of Iranian nationalism due to Trump’s decision to kill Suleimani. This would have been most unimaginable for many decades. The law of unintended consequences.
Quoted Tweet:
Roham Alvandi رهام الوندی @RohamAlvandiLSE -10:11 UTC · Jan 5, 2020
Ardeshir Zahedi, the foreign minister of Iran from 1966 to 1971 and the former son-in-law of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, describes Soleimani as a "patriotic and honourable soldier who was a son of Iran" and compares him to De Gaulle, Montgomery, MacArthur, and Eisenhower. Link to video.

This video from 2017 shows Soleimani consoling the daughter of a slain comrade at his funeral. Such scenes explain why Soleimani was so beloved.

The U.S. has denied Iran's Foreign Minister Jahvad Zarif a visa for a long planned visit to the UN in New York. Zarif responded by saying that he can talk to the U.S. people from Tehran. Today he proved that by giving a CNN interview:

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called US President Donald Trump's decision to order the drone strike that killed the country's top military commander an act of "state terrorism" in an interview with CNN Tuesday.
"This is an act of aggression against Iran and amounts to an armed attack against Iran, and we will respond. But we will respond proportionally not disproportionally," he said. "We will respond lawfully, we are not lawless people like President Trump."
The interview came as Iran's parliament voted unanimously for a motion declaring all US forces as "terrorists" on Tuesday, according to Iran's state-news agency IRNA. The vote took place during the country's parliamentary session Tuesday, IRNA reported. After the plan was approved, delegates chanted, "Death to America."

More death will come:

According to a report on Tuesday by the semi-official Tasnim news agency, Iran has worked up 13 sets of plans for revenge for Soleimani’s killing. The report quoted Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, as saying that even the weakest among them would be a “historic nightmare” for the U.S. He declined to elaborate,

“If the U.S. troops do not leave our region voluntarily and upright, we will do something to carry their bodies horizontally out,” Shamkhani said.

The Quds force, the external action arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp, received an additional budget of 200 million Euros. It will put that money to good use.

There are some 60 to 70.000 U.S. soldiers designated foreign terrorists on some 19 bases near Iran and on ships in nearby waters. That is  quite a lot of fish in just a few barrels.

Their commander in chief should ask himself if it is wise to keep them there.

The leader of a number of Iraqi Popular Militia Forces will meet in the next 48 hours to plan for the eviction of U.S. forces from Iraq should they not leave voluntarily. For security reasons the meeting was moved from Baghdad to Tehran.

North-Yemen held a quite large public mourning for Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. A Houthi minister held a speech during which he said:

"Soleimani's blood .. will turn into intercontinental missiles .. to destroy US warships and end US regional presence"

U.S. war ships will certainly have to avoid Yemen's coast.

The removal of U.S. troops from the region was also the theme of Sunday's speech by Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon. It seems clear that the Resistance Axis will work on the project in a coordinated manner.

Trump said he would ask Iraq to pay for the bases the U.S. has built should the U.S. troops be kicked out of Iraq. The U.S. already has binding legal agreements with Iraq which stipulate that the bases, and all fixed installations the U.S. has built there, are the property of Iraq.

Trump had already asked Iraqi Prime Ministers -twice- if the U.S. could get Iraq's oil as reward for invading and destroying their country. The requests were rejected. Now we learn that Trump also uses gangster methods (ar) to get the oil of Iraq. The talk by the Iraqi Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi happened during the recent parliament session in Iraq (machine translation):

Al-Halbousi, Speaker of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, blocked the speech of Mr. Abdul Mahdi in the scheduled session to discuss the decision to remove American forces from Iraq.

At the beginning of the session, Al-Halbousi left the presidential seat and sat next to Mr. Abdul-Mahdi, after his request to cut off the live broadcast of the session, a public conversation took place between the two parties. The voice of Adel Abdul Mahdi was raised.

Mr. Abdul Mahdi spoke with an angry tone, saying:

"The Americans are the ones who destroyed the country and wreaked havoc on it. They are those who refuse to complete building the electrical system and infrastructure projects. They have bargained for the reconstruction of Iraq in exchange for giving up 50% of Iraqi oil imports, so I refused and decided to go to China and concluded an important and strategic agreement with it, and today Trump is trying to cancel this important agreement."

The American President's threatened the Iraqi Prime Minister to liquidate him directly with the Minister of Defense. The Marines are the third party that sniped the demonstrators and the security men:

Abdul Mahdi continued:

"After my return from China, Trump called me and asked me to cancel the agreement, so I also refused, and he threatened me with massive demonstrations that would topple me. Indeed, the demonstrations started and then Trump called, threatening to escalate in the event of non-cooperation and responding to his wishes, so that the third party (Marines snipers) would target the demonstrators and security forces and kill them from the highest structures and the US embassy in an attempt to pressure me and submit to his wishes and cancel the China agreement, so I did not respond and submitted my resignation and the Americans still insist to this day on canceling the China agreement and when the defense minister said that who kills the demonstrators is a third party, Trump called me immediately and physically threatened me and defense minister in the event of talk about the third party."

The reliable Based Cat in Iraq seems to confirm the timeline:

TØM CΛT @TomtheBasedCat - 4:00 UTC · Jan 7, 2020
Yes a 50-person delegation visited China in 2019 and then the protests started on October 1st until the Arbaeen dates, then picked up again on Oct 25th. I'm skeptical about the 3rd party but the timing itself was interesting. The flames were fanned by Gulf media and Al-Hurra.

Al-Hurra is a U.S. government financed Arab language TV outlet.

Southfront has a similar report, seemingly from a different source, with some additional context.

While this talk has not yet been confirmed it does sounds highly plausible.

The chicken-hawks of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, who have all lobbied the U.S. for war on Iran, now fear the consequences:

Gulf Arab states, potential targets for retaliation after the U.S. assassinated Iran’s top general, are working on multiple tracks to try to keep tensions between Tehran and Washington from building into a military confrontation.

Earlier today Russia's President Vladimir Putin arrived in Damascus for talks with the Syria's President Assad. Could there also be a meeting between Putin and Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah? Putin will next go to Turkey to inaugurate the gas pipeline between Russia and Turkey.

Posted by b on January 7, 2020 at 17:40 UTC | Permalink

next page »

...and a very good essay by Michael Hudson as appeared on the Saker blog, a fine compliment to this work being done here by B.

Posted by: Taffyboy | Jan 7 2020 17:55 utc | 1

Thanks for the reporting b

I would not be surprised to see attempts made to kill Putin and Xi as well as other Axis of Resistance leaders.

I keep hoping that China backs out of the Phase I trade deal with the US as well as start cashing in some of their trillion dollars of US treasuries.

IMO, the finance jackboot/punchbowl needs to be taken away from the elite in the West and only then will the world start to change.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 7 2020 18:03 utc | 2

Great work b! This may sound naive, but I hope Putin has sufficient security for his travel arrangements.

Posted by: spudski | Jan 7 2020 18:04 utc | 3

b. you fall for propaganda. It is very likely that US put pressure on Iraq not to deal with China and Russia - I am sure they did - as they are doing world wide including Germany.

It is also sure that US tried to get Iraq to toe the sanctions line towards Iran (that is presumably what broke the camels back).

It is also safe to assume that Saudi et al tried to ride on the back of inter-Shiite and inter-Iranian dispute.

I am prepared to believe that Souleimani for some reason had extremely good PR in Iran (and the reason for this is interesting).

The rest is fiction.

Abdul Mahdi seems to have resigned after Sistani withdrew his support.

I have to trust Deutsche Welle on this but consider it likely

Al-Sistani, the 88-year-old spiritual leader of Iraqi Shiites, warned in his sermon of civil war after a deadly day of violence, in which security forces shot dead 40 people in the capital and southern provinces.

The latest deaths brought the number killed since October 1 to more than 400 people, while thousands more have been wounded.

In his sermon, al-Sistani said that parliament should act in Iraq's interest and ">avoid seeing the country slip into a vortex of violence, chaos and havoc."

Iraq tried to keep equidistance between US and Iranian demands - as this being its best interest - and failed.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 7 2020 18:16 utc | 4

Putin is in no need of a strong security detail. He's made a statement by his traveling to Damascus on short notice - an extremely strong statement at that. If anyone dared to only think about attacking him and his entourage all hell would brake loose - the freaks are aware of this.

Posted by: Hmpf | Jan 7 2020 18:20 utc | 5

add to 4
I am not even sure the US targeted Souleimani. In the ladder of escalation it would make much more sense if they had targeted the leader of the Shiite military group they had been doing tit for tat with all along. They are so disfunctional that they may not have know whom he was in the car with. Trump was playing golf, remember.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 7 2020 18:20 utc | 6

“ The American President's threatened the Iraqi Prime Minister to liquidate him directly with the Minister of Defense. The Marines are the third party that sniped the demonstrators and the security men:”

If “they” really wanted him removed from office You’d think this would already have been leaked to US media by his enemies inside the Gov. We know 100’s of USG personnel from various depts/agencies listen to, record and transcribe every call he makes to foreign leaders. Or maybe it’s being used as leverage by War, Inc to get what they want? Deep State must be working OT to keep this under wraps in the US.

Posted by: Joe | Jan 7 2020 18:27 utc | 7

somebody @ 4
You do understand that that DW article was dated 29/11/2019?

Perhaps Sistani will reconsider his views now that Mahdi has revealed that the protesters were probably a CIA rent-a-mob.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 7 2020 18:35 utc | 8

DFT=designated foreign terrorist? As a USA citizen I wonder if we should send those responsible to Iran & Iraq for prosecution. We can tell them they should take one for the team.

Posted by: par4 | Jan 7 2020 18:37 utc | 9

- Whenever US troops are stationed in country a socalled "SOFA" (Status Of Forces Agreement) is signed. In 2007/2008 the iraqi government only wanted to grant the US a SOFA for 4 years. The US has been pushing hard to get a new SOFA but the iraqis refused to sign a new SOFA. That meant that Obama had no choice but to withdraw (80% ??, 90 % of) all US troops from Iraq in 2011. Only by moving a significant amount of those troops to Aghanistan Obama was able push this withdrawal trhough Congress.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 7 2020 18:40 utc | 10

"The U.S. has denied Iran's Foreign Minister Jahvad Zarif a visa for a long planned visit to the UN in New York."

If this disgraceful conduct by the Full Spectrum Dumbinence Yankees doesn't breach International Law it's only because the so-called United Nations is hostage to the psychotic whims of Christian Colonialism's thieves, murderers, liars & looters.

At least it explains why "UN spokespersons" so frequently speak like US puppets. Under these circumstances the UN is little more than a US lap-dog and about as "international" as ZATO.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 7 2020 18:42 utc | 11

spudski @ 3
A Russian missile cruiser, the Admiral Ustinov, has appeared off Syria.

Wikipedia reports its weapons as follows:

16 (8 x 2) P-1000 Vulcan (SS-N-12 Sandbox) anti-ship missiles
64 (8 x 8) S-300F Fort (SA-N-6 Grumble) long-range surface-to-air missiles
40 (2 × 20) OSA-M (SA-N-4 Gecko) SR SAM
1 twin AK-130 130mm/L70 dual purpose guns
6 × 1 AK-630 close-in weapons systems

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 7 2020 18:43 utc | 12

I hope Iran really does have a plan/plans in place and is ready for a US attack. I'm seeing lots of reports of US moving forces towards Iran/Iraq. They could be unreliable click-bait headlines, and I don't like the source (zero hedge). But that's not comfort enough.

Posted by: timbers | Jan 7 2020 18:49 utc | 13

Hello Ghost ship @12.

Marshal Ustinov is anchored at the Bosphorus in Turkey where Putin will visit Erdogan tomorrow for the inauguration of Turkstream.

Posted by: BG | Jan 7 2020 18:50 utc | 14

"U.S. war ships will certainly have to avoid Yemen's coast."

The USS Mason was attacked by several volleys of anti-ship missiles in 2016. It's defenses worked. It looks like the technology to defend ships from the lowest end missiles is proven.

Posted by: usurper | Jan 7 2020 18:51 utc | 15

@12 Ghost Ship

P-1000 Vulcans can have a nuclear warheads.

Posted by: TJ | Jan 7 2020 18:55 utc | 16

I'm suspended from Twitter for saying that Americans are sick of dying in wars for Israel.
Soleimani was hated because he longed for the freedom of the Palestinian people from the clutches of fascist, apartheid Israhell.
This conversation had with Al Mahdi, is not only plausible but entirely believable as this has been played out in other regime change such as Ukrainian Maidan and Syria.
God bless General Soleimani. The hero of the resistance. He will accomplish more in Martyrdom than when he was alive. He would be so happy. Maybe this is why he so sought his Martyrdom...

Posted by: Annie | Jan 7 2020 18:58 utc | 17

as usual, the warmongers are pushing the horsecrap that this if for peace and freedom and democracy, with the help of the msm.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 7 2020 19:01 utc | 18

@pretzelattack | Jan 7 2020 19:01 utc | 18

Well, it is all about their freedom to steal anything they want in peace, after all.

Posted by: eponymous | Jan 7 2020 19:06 utc | 19

This is how a MAFIA BOSS operates. Trump made an offer Abdul Mahdi couldn't refuse. Trump is a GODFATHER and his clique is literally a gangster MAFIA using extortion and OPERATING A PROTECTION RACKET.

Posted by: Kali | Jan 7 2020 19:07 utc | 20

A scandal is developing as one consequence of Trump's evil deed after Iraq's Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi revealed the gangster methods U.S. President Trump used in his attempts to steal Iraq's oil.

Well well well, looks like Trump has been studying Cheney's map lately now that he is not fixated on Kim and accusations of being Putin's Puddle.

What is described by the PM is typical behavior of a gangster threatening a weaker opponent. Trump had better get some LSD to get him back in touch with Reality.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Jan 7 2020 19:20 utc | 21

the bases, and all fixed installations the U.S. has built there, are the property of Iraq.

Well then, since Iraq is the owner, it should just lease them to Iran.

Posted by: sleepy | Jan 7 2020 19:26 utc | 22

Maybe a good time to remember that the Greek courts found proof of an American assassination plot to kill a former Prime Minister of Greece, Costas Karamanlis. It is widely believed it was the threat of death that caused him to suddenly "resign" from political life. The Judge in his findings believed the reason for the plot was Karamanlis' desire to improve the country's relations with Russia, although it could just as easily have been the agreement he made when Prime Minister with the Chinese to administer the Ports at Piraeus, which were subsequently purchased by China as part of the One Belt One Road initiative.

The claims by the Iraqis of similar death threats need to be taken seriously.

Posted by: Castellio | Jan 7 2020 19:28 utc | 23

MoA has done great reporting but this report is astounding.
It is stunning.

But it is the standard operating procedure of US elites. Trump is nothing unusual except for his persona. He gives away the game. Clinton/Bush/Obama/Trump, they are all power mad, vindictive, and vile. The elites that run the two major parties are together in pushing forward to war behind their political posturing.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Jan 7 2020 19:30 utc | 24

thanks b for highlighting all this.. petri was talking about the comments of abdul mahdi on the tail end of the last thread..

i wonder how much of it is true? it sure sounds true!! as peter au likes to say - it is all about the oil and as psychohistorian also likes to say - private finance - keeping the us$ strong...

i mean this quote sure sounds legit - ""After my return from China, Trump called me and asked me to cancel the agreement, so I also refused, and he threatened me with massive demonstrations that would topple me." @20 kalis comment about mafia boss does seem to ring true with trump.. i can see that..

but as another poster said on the previous thread - you get rid of trump and you still don't get rid of the problem... it is ongoing.. the usa is a gangster state run by all the wrong parties and it becoming very apparent for even the average person to see this...

Posted by: james | Jan 7 2020 19:32 utc | 25

@13 Was at Charlotte airport last Friday (near Fort Bragg NC) and saw hundreds of young US soldiers dressed in desert style uniforms.
Assume they are headed to ME. Wanted to tell them they should head for Canada instead but guess will need to learn the hard way.

Posted by: Joe | Jan 7 2020 19:36 utc | 26

I agree Joe @26

It is possible for military personal to fill out a conscientious objectors form and if submitted they cannot deploy you while under review.

Considering going AWOL, becoming a conscientious objector, or withdrawing your consent in some other way--GI Rights Hotline is run by civilians, offers free, confidential counseling & info.

Posted by: Stever | Jan 7 2020 19:40 utc | 27

Iranians will die to expose the truth and obtain justice. This is what Americans don't seem to understand. We're past the point of no return, barring only the US announcing a unilateral withdrawal from Iraq and Syria.

Posted by: ebolax | Jan 7 2020 19:42 utc | 28

Posted by: Joe | Jan 7 2020 19:36 utc | 26

Assume they are headed to ME. Wanted to tell them they should head for Canada instead but guess will need to learn the hard way.

Won't work. Canada has changed and not for the better. They will send the individual back.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Jan 7 2020 19:59 utc | 29

Report on Putin's visit to Syria. Note in the photo that Shoigu accompanied him. On Christmas Eve, Putin attended services in St. Petersburg where he only conveyed greetings and well wishes in his words to those attending. Nice pics!

An interesting article illustrating political polarization within Occupied Palestine was made public today along with an results from an interesting survey that found "More than four out of every five Israelis consider their leaders to be corrupt." The comparison between the overwhelming solidarity of Iranian and Iraqi polities and the clear dysfunction of Zionistan is quite something.

And lastly for the moment, BigLie Media narrative being challenged:

"MSM is catching up with independent reporting in that it now admits Soleimani was on Saudi backed peace mission in Baghdad when US assassinated him."

As shown by that NY Times piece Norton cited in his tweet I posted last night and by The Independent item linked to at the above tweet.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 7 2020 20:05 utc | 30

Is this one of the reasons the US wants to goad Iran into retaliating sooner rather than later?

S400s coming to Iraq would mean the US HAS to leave Iran's next-door neighbour... and S400s + other systems on offer will prevent the use of any air support or drones/missiles if the troops tried to stay on past the Iraq gov'ts deadline.

Posted by: A P | Jan 7 2020 20:12 utc | 31

Al Jazeera is broadcasting a lo-o-ng presser with deranged ideologue Mark Esper. Lots of 'impertinent' questions. Lots of belligerent deflection from M.E.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 7 2020 20:14 utc | 32

Canada doesn't want any US VOLUNTEER soldiers who suddenly decide they shouldn't have signed up because they may be facing battle-hardened Iraqis/militias actually shooting back at them. We have enough Americans (like Scheer) or wanna-be Americans (Harper, he's still politically active on behalf of Adelson) messing around here.


M ake
A merica
G o
A way

Posted by: A P | Jan 7 2020 20:19 utc | 33

@17 annie... i don't understand the confusion over twitter being another tool of the empire... i get people using it, but no one ought to be surprised if they speak some truth freely.. it is not allowed for the most part...

here is pompeos response to matt lees question today... it is best you see the link for the full response.. more lies and bullshit as to be expected from the usa in a state dept briefing.. link here.. )

"QUESTION: One is there continue to be questions about the nature of the intelligence that led to the strike on – that killed General Soleimani. Can you be at all more specific about how imminent this was, what exactly it was? Secondly, why not allow Foreign Minister Zarif to come to the UN to speak at the Security Council? And then lastly, did the situation in Iran have any – contribute at all to your decision not to run for the Senate from Kansas? Thanks.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you. Last one’s easy. I said the same thing yesterday that I said for months – no real news there. I’ve said that I’m going to stay serving as Secretary of State so long as President Trump shall have me. So, no, if I – you can accuse me of being inconsistent elsewise, but not on that one. "

hey AP - maga - make americans go away - maga for me, lol..

Posted by: james | Jan 7 2020 20:24 utc | 34

A P @32

Did you enjoy the last clause of that article as much as I did?

"some military experts have even said the Russian missile defense system is far superior than the US’ MIM-104 Patriot."

No shit?! Superior to the Patriot system?!? Lol.

Posted by: WJ | Jan 7 2020 20:29 utc | 35

Escobar reported on (based on his sources) US demanding control of, or a stake in Iraqi oil a year or two back. Wasn't much to back it up at the time, but based on Trump's recorded interviews and speeches where he says "we should have taken the oil, who knows, perhaps we'll get another chance' I thought Escobar's report most likely correct.

The recent protests were too much in US interests for them not to have been instigated by the US, not to mention reports of snipers shooting at both sides.
Iraq was easily sucked into that mess and now the Iraqi government has no power to kick the US out.
Sadr was a major culprit in that, easily led along by the US backing protestors to bring the government down.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 7 2020 20:29 utc | 36

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 7 2020 18:35 utc | 8

That is where I don't believe the Lebanese translation of an anonymous guy of an undocumented quote of a parliamentary discussion. Parlamentarian recordings tend to be in writing and official the world over. It is disinformation/propaganda pure and simple.
Iraqis have been quite effective in juggling competing powers. Their luck has run out.
The US/Trump have obviously lost the influence campaign in Iraq.

Steve Herman @W7VOA
“Eventually we want to be able to allow Iraq to run its own affairs," says @POTUS. "But this isn’t the right point."

Said whilst US forces are relocation to safer places. They are delusional.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 7 2020 20:31 utc | 37

"We're Going To War, Bro" seems to be the way it's going. @zerohedge.

Yeah, with 600 guys. Bushie 41 called 'em fodder units.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 7 2020 20:47 utc | 38

Here's an interesting report, from Fox News, no less -

‘A Shocking Lack of Understanding’: Fox News Foreign Correspondent Absolutely Destroys SecDef Esper After Iran Presser

In spite of all the disinfo they serve up, Fox occasionally drops a nice truth bomb, here picking apart Esper's recent disinformation initiative (see also Tucker Carlson's latest).

Posted by: farm ecologist | Jan 7 2020 21:00 utc | 39

Anyone have any words to offer as to why Russia hasn't given the S-400 system to Iran yet? Shouldn't that be on its way right now? If not what would be the hold up, since they had no issue providing it to Turkey, only a nominal "friend" of Russia, and the destruction of Iran would be a major threat to Russia's security and global peace.

Posted by: JaZ | Jan 7 2020 21:07 utc | 40

JaZ @39

I've been wondering about that too.

Posted by: spudski | Jan 7 2020 21:09 utc | 41

"There are some 60 to 70.000 U.S. soldiers designated foreign terrorists on some 19 bases near Iran and on ships in nearby waters. That are a quite a number of fish in just a few barrels." - b

What should be clear to all now, is that MO of US/Israel is the complete and utter disregard of ALL human life, including their own people (USS Liberty is but one of many such shining examples)

Even the US military personnel are expendable. One need look no further as to how veterans are treated back home, and their atrociously high suicide rate. They are lauded as heroes when enlisting & stepping on that transport, but come home as bums and cast-offs (if not in body bags). Oh that the rank & file americans could see this, and stop giving their full measures to such satanic "leadership"

Thank you for the comments & incites... truly illuminating and edifying... keep "fighting the good fight"

Posted by: xLemming | Jan 7 2020 21:09 utc | 42

It is great how these events are unveiling the US shills here and everywhere, and how deny the biggest evidence without any hint of shame...I recall having discussions with some of them here...

With respect the poor Iranian people who resulted dead in an human avalanche, yesteray night, while I was viewing at HispanTV the arrival of Soleimani coffin at Kerman airport, got very worried, since as soon as the coffin was leveled to the terrain, a crowd grew over it, with which the coffin started to fall sideways, the flag on it started to fall, the coffin was not gaining levelling and finally it was necessary to send and ambulance to rescue the coffin.

As soon as the other cities´ mourning demonstrations had gone well, eventhough the massvie afluence, I guess nobody thought this could happen in Kerman after three days of the hero travelling. But it is easy to imagine how the emotions had been growing, seeing the crowds all over Iran, being the last city for Soleimani to arrive to finally rest that which saw him being born, and how these people could be feeling, people who have seen him grow and become who he was/is.

Everybody wanted to carry and touch the saint for the last time.

Condolences to the Iranian people, you really do not deserve more pain.

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 7 2020 21:11 utc | 43

'... Indeed, the demonstrations started and then Trump called, threatening to escalate in the event of non-cooperation and responding to his wishes, so that the third party (Marines snipers) would target the demonstrators and security forces and kill them from the highest structures and the US embassy in an attempt to pressure me and submit to his wishes and cancel the China agreement, so I did not respond and submitted my resignation and the Americans still insist to this day on canceling the China agreement and when the defense minister said that who kills the demonstrators is a third party, Trump called me immediately and physically threatened me and defense minister in the event of talk about the third party ...'

In that one breathless sentence, a major part of the regime-change modus operandi used by the US government and its agencies has been revealed.

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych ought to be talking to his lawyers in Russia if and when he sees the Iraqi PM's parliamentary speech in Russian translation. Certainly it ought to be brought to his attention.

Maybe those who lost loved ones in the October 2017 Las Vegas music festival shooting also ought to wonder if Stephen Paddock had had any help in shooting his victims ... or if he were a convenient patsy to blame for the shootings.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 7 2020 21:14 utc | 44

Kudos to Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi for calling out US bullying in no uncertain terms. My guess is that this sort of threatening of allies/vassals goes on constantly and typically results in acquiescence. If instead the publicizing of threats became a regular occurence, it would soon become obvious to most what underlies the silence of Europe, Five Eyes, etc. when the US acts aggressively.

Of course, the US might actually carry out those threats (which is why Abdul Mahdi has cojones of steel), but eventually this "special power" would be depleted.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Jan 7 2020 21:15 utc | 45

I'm wondering what Saudi scuttlebutt is murmuring - was SA trying to talk to Iran, or was it just a ploy? Meanwhile, MEMRI had something about Saudi and Bahraini militias vowing revenge and MBS sent the SA deputy dfense minister to D.C. . . . in my mind, the big question is: is SA really ready to take on Iran? They claimed that they weren't consulted, but that seems hard to believe.

Posted by: Zee | Jan 7 2020 21:17 utc | 46

A comment with a great YT vid from a comment on the Saker Blog

Hassan Carim on January 07, 2020 · at 2:17 pm EST/EDT
Just had an email to say that someone in Iraq has apparently masterfully ‘trolled’ a certain US Colonel in a certain US base north of Bagdad, Iraq.

The message apparently contained the following short Youtube clip from the US TV series ‘The Sopranos’.

The metaphores (such as the brash, violent, and lawless biker gang for US forces, and the bar owner asking them to leave for the Iraqis, and then locking of the bar door by the owner mirroring Iran and the straights of Hormuz) are perfect.

The overall message to the US contained in this short clip is outstanding. Whoever sent it is clearly a master of the art of ‘trolling’, just hope it did not go over the head of the US officer it was sent to – enjoy:

Posted by: lgfocus | Jan 7 2020 21:19 utc | 47

somebody #6 and everywhere

How's the pay at Integrity Initiative these days?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 7 2020 21:21 utc | 48

The banning of Zarif from UN by the americans is a clear sign of their fear and impotence. I am amazed at the ability of this non-native English speaker (and similarly Russian foreign minister Lavrov) to show in their own language, the Americans and the Brits to be the bumbling amateurs they really are.

I guess he'll have to verbally kick their asses from a remote location.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Jan 7 2020 21:25 utc | 49

@40 The most likely explanation is that there is not enough S400 to go around.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 7 2020 21:27 utc | 50

Igfocus #46

That youtube clip is not from the Sopranos, but from the movie 'Bronx Tales'.

Posted by: ronnie mitchell | Jan 7 2020 21:27 utc | 51

No, Zee @ 45; even not comfortable with Saudi Arabia's relationship to the US, I cannot see them participating in an actual plot against Suleimani in this instance. It would result, surely, in the disintegration of their own state apparatus - something that they must be aware of. It is far more likely they actually were signing on to Zafari's HOPE initiative (which now seems imperative for the region.) That initiative is not for aggression but for defense - something apparrently the action of Trump was designed to obstruct. It would be to the latter's advantage to have that suspicion interrupt the process.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 7 2020 21:27 utc | 52

Hopefully when the revelations above about PM Mahdi is made public and substantiated, Iraqis have to put things in order and take matters into their own hands for their independence:

1. Enforce the Strategic Framework Agreement and ask the US military to vacate the country effective immediately.
2. Place a no fly zone to get rid of the drones, reconnaissance and otherwise.
3. Secure the oil fields by surrounding them, contemplating a US military exit
4. Put the Kurds and Sunnis on notice. Iran, Syria and Turkey will be more than happy to oblige. Leave no room for US Military migration.
5. Secure northern and western borders to keep the crazies at bay. Again, Syria and possibly Russia has to be of help here
6. Send a stern warning to Israel: any attack on Iraqi soil will be met with the strongest response.

Is this an improbable wish list? Maybe, but this is Iraqi’s moment as well. They have the goodwill of the rest of the world and the silence of the US allies which is a tacit approval of their independence movement, after US’s horrendously stupid unilateral actions.

I just hope that Sistani and Sadr can come together as a majority and unite the fractious society or at least force the minorities into silence and take the only minor support the Americans have. I couldn’t fathom the Kurds wanting to help the Americans after being shafted again and again by them.

Posted by: Alpi | Jan 7 2020 21:34 utc | 53

This won't help but we shoulda learned this lesson -from Pete Seeger:

Posted by: juliania | Jan 7 2020 21:35 utc | 54

John Pilger talks about this. It has been the US way of doing business for a long long time. If there is a difference with Trump, it's thayt Trump is like the mafia boss who just can't help making the threats personally, instead of leaving it to the jackals. As Assad and others have suggested, there is a kind of compulsive honesty about Trump. It's a quality he shares with Bolton. Compare to Obama, who used equally vile methods in Ukraine. Does anyone think Obama ever lifted a phone and made crass threats to anyone who could potentially talk about it later? Obama sent cookies. People got the message.

Re, Zarif being banned: just more lawlessness from the country that once had the world's trust (not that it ever did deserve that)...

Posted by: paul | Jan 7 2020 21:36 utc | 55

Putin goes to Syria

"After the military briefing, the Russian leader walked through Damascus and visited two major shrines of Muslims and Christians, underlining their peaceful coexistence. At the famous Umayyad Mosque, Putin presented the local community with a gift of a rare 17th-century copy of the Koran.

Visiting the Holy Virgin Mary Orthodox church, the oldest Christian shrine in Syria, Putin met with Antiochian Patriarch John X. As a Christmas gift, he presented the patriarch with an icon of the Mother of God, painted in Russia. "

And many American's wonder why their adversaries are gaining ground on their Empire of exceptionalism. It's not that Putin is the 2nd coming, it's that he's very savvy and inelligent.

As opposed to their great leader who is as a popular in the world as a ham in a Kosher Deli.

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 7 2020 21:36 utc | 56

Any chance the Iraqi PM recorded any of Trump's threatening calls? The NSA would have this, but why wouldn't they record at the Iraqi end?

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Jan 7 2020 21:40 utc | 57

"The shocking lack of understanding" reported by Fox about Esper was not something like not knowing why many Iranian have name Cyrus, but simply lies about what happen one day before, like "our ambassador was not notified" when the ambassador was invited by the prime minister for the very purpose of being notified. It was more like shocking lack of attempts to be credible.

A question to the wise: I read that the resolution of Iraqi parliament was not binding. What does it mean? A meaningless vote or an authorization to PM to push foreign soldiers out, but preserving his discretion on the matter?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 7 2020 21:43 utc | 58

JaZ 39

Chatter on the net says Russia offered them already and the US pressured Iraq not to buy them. Recent chatter says the offer has been made again since Trump went off the reservation. But that's just chatter. Lot's of that out there.

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 7 2020 21:43 utc | 59

@ Piotr Berman 57

Iraqi Parliament vote being non-binding probably means that want to pacify the outraged population while they are not in direct confrontation with the Americans. But as is, it is just a symbolic gesture until it is ratified and signed into law.

Posted by: Alpi | Jan 7 2020 21:49 utc | 60

On Russia selling equipment to Iran, I had heard that during the last major threats from the Evil Empire that Russian MOD techs were in Iran updating their equipment that detects incoming missiles/rockets and auto releases defenses. Purpose was to reduce Iranian reaction time to incoming so they could get defensive and offensive missiles off faster.

Posted by: lgfocus | Jan 7 2020 21:52 utc | 61

It seems that the "protests" are being reignited in Iraq, some fires and a shooting, by now blamed on KH by the MSM...

I think that the US is being given way too much time to rethink and retaliate...they should have been expelled immediately, otherwise they would try to ignite a civil war along with the fifth column of that Halboushi....

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 7 2020 21:54 utc | 62

It´s me or Heiko Maas resembles increasinngly a nazi with that evolution in hairdo? Waht is going on here?

It seems it is not only US troops who are "repositioning"...

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 7 2020 21:59 utc | 63

To the commenters above who wondered why Russia has not sold modern air defense equipment to Iran: Iran has been under UN sanctions effecting an arms export embargo for a long time. As agreed in the JCPOA, this embargo is set to terminate on October 18 of this year.

Posted by: Lurk | Jan 7 2020 22:00 utc | 64

I do wish I had more resources! "The Myth tumbles and everything has changed" is a SitRep published while The Saker partakes of Orthodox Christmas festivities:

"The myth of the US as the self-purported savior of humankind, the tolerant and benevolent and Good Shining City upon the Hill of democracy, benevolent Uncle Sam that has your back, has now tumbled and is in the process of being exploded."

And there are a few other good points raised.

It was asked above and previously by several why Russia hasn't provided Iran with its S-400 system. IMO, it's because Iran's own product is just as good and would prefer the S-500. As with Russia, Iran has unrevealed capabilities which help provide it with its current confidence. Russia offered Iraq the S-400 because it's the nation most needing that upgrade the soonest, which is a backhanded way of confirming what I wrote above.

It should also be noted that the Outlaw Kurd Barzani is staying as far away from this affair as possible as he seems to well know who will be buttering his bread in the future.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 7 2020 22:08 utc | 65

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 7 2020 21:43 utc | 57

As the resolution was proposed by the PM, presumably an authorization to PM to push foreign soldiers out, but preserving his discretion on the matter.

De facto the PM has got cover for US/NATO troups to actually do the pulling out (it takes time and planning and no one wants to be the last one) as the Iraqi parliament could vote themselves blue in the face without US soldiers moving one inch but for the very credible threat by hardened militias accompanying the vote. I think the PM's line is "We want to remain friends but please move out for your own safety we cannot protect you".

I think no one on the US side has any idea what the policy is. There is this cringe worthy Rudaw (Kurdish) interview with a States Department Spokesperson.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 7 2020 22:10 utc | 66

Walter 37

"We're Going To War, Bro" seems to be the way it's going. @zerohedge."

Walter as one astute person pointed out if you listen to what the Bulgarian @zerohedge posts, you would have missed the entire market bull run that began in 2009.

I think that's why they have become a Trump fluffer. No credibility needed.

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 7 2020 22:15 utc | 67

@ A P | Jan 7 2020 20:19 utc | 33

The ruling class of both the US and Canada have similar interests and are globalists, not nationalists.

Posted by: sleepy | Jan 7 2020 22:18 utc | 68

This whole Soleimani story doesn't make any sense, except if one believes that Trump is a mad psychopath.
And I personally do not believe that Trump is a mad psychopath, even if that means I have to believe that what Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi says is bullshit.

Posted by: Bob | Jan 7 2020 22:22 utc | 69

Thank you b. Good reporting as usual.
To those who believe that justice shall prevail someday.
The show is about to start.
Get your popcorn ready and stop trying to predict the next move.
In 2006, the 33 day war could have been a lot worse for the "Army That Could Not Be Defeated".
For the weaklings I suggest you get your daipers ready.

Posted by: Kurious | Jan 7 2020 22:24 utc | 70

@ Bubbles | Jan 7 2020 22:15 utc | 66

Brother, you missed the's 600 fodder units, not an army. it's a joke. targets, if they actually get to the arena.

But, of course it is also a tautological delusion. War started long ago.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 7 2020 22:26 utc | 71

Igfocus #46

Apparently violence solves everything. I'm sure its an appropriate message for yanks, the rest of us not so much.

Posted by: DeQuincey | Jan 7 2020 22:28 utc | 72

@Posted by: Bobo | Jan 7 2020 22:22 utc | 68

This whole Soleimani story doesn't make any sense, except if one believes that Trump is a mad psychopath.

Trump indeed is a mad the increasing signal ratio evidence....

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 7 2020 22:33 utc | 73

Re #29,#33:

Indeed, Canada is very much into these dirty games like the good Usraeli vassal it is, and currently leads a NATO mission in Iraq. But on the bright side, perhaps for not very much longer...

Trump Disregards Allies With Killing of Iranian General

"President Trump's decision to order the killing of a top Iranian general has elevated his disregard of Canada and other American allies to a new level, says Barack Obama's former envoy to Ottawa...The Canadian Forces announced Tuesday it was temporarily moving an unspecified number of soldiers from Iraq to Kuwait due to security concerns..."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Jan 7 2020 22:35 utc | 74

On the Iraqi Parliament's resolution, the Iraqi PM needed to be directed by the Parliament to take the requested action. There was a quorum present so the vote was legit. Since the PM had tendered his resignation, his method of going about getting done what was required may seem odd but given all the variables that method was right and proper. The next step consists of the proper documents being written and delivered for the formalities to be completed; then Esper can't say they aren't. Other nations are clearly all to happy to remove their forces from the farce in which they've been engaged. Hudson's description of Daesh/ISIS and al-Qaeda as being the Evil Outlaw US Empire's "Foreign Legion" is 100% correct and ought to be universally adopted.

Do note that BigLie Media's Narrative's been breeched but still needs to be completely sunk.

I should mention that at the end of the Sit-Rep I linked @64 is an excellent political cartoon where one can just make out Trump's Air Strip-1 ally--the only one that now remains as even the Zionists have abandoned him.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 7 2020 22:35 utc | 75

@68 Bob

So, if Trump threatens to kill people, he's a "mad psychopath". But you don't believe he is even though he already has had people killed(bombing of Syria, Yemen, Coups, etc.). You're not making sense.

Posted by: SharonM | Jan 7 2020 22:41 utc | 76

Posted by: Bob | Jan 7 2020 22:22 utc | 68

Trump's public persona is pretty crazy. Trying to apply logic to a word he says means going down the rabbit hole.
You can trace this "take the oil" back to his election campaign, there are some good cuts on twitter.
Lots of countries would like to "make a deal" with the US, it is just impossible as Trump is completely unreliable and unreasonable.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 7 2020 22:42 utc | 77


I think Russia should accelerate that date, since international law has long been devoured by the US. So let US enjoy the sting of lawlessness.

Don’t mind me. I’m just vetting.

Posted by: Alpi | Jan 7 2020 22:45 utc | 78

I wouldn't be the least bit surprised that these reports by Mahdi and others about his potential assassination are true - how could it not be possible now after what we have seen this past week!

the US and its CIA henchmen etc certainly did stoke all those 'protests', I mean riots, a few months ago in both Iraq and Iran.

"The chicken-hawks of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, who have all lobbied the U.S. for war on Iran, now fear the consequences"

boo hoo hoo!!
no one in the world deserves a few ballistic missiles more than the butchering jihadist Saudis and the war criminals in Tel Aviv - I don't expect any attacks on Tel Aviv, though, but would expect the Iranians to target the main US base in Qatar (one reason the Qatari foreign minister got together with Zarif within a day or two of the assassinations).

Glad to see that Zarif was interviewed by CNN, he's one of the more articulate foreign ministers in the world

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jan 7 2020 22:48 utc | 79

It seems that two countries moved their forces out completely, Croatia and Slovakia (14 and 7 persons respectively). A combined force of Malta, North Macedonia and Montenegro (3 people, a Maltese participates one quarter each year) plans to do it shortly. The British announced that they will withdraw if requested. So no request to UK yet? Is it because the route to their embassy passes by Slovakian and Croatian embassies (I only joked about the combined force). o they were not? Or the Britons are in the process of reading it, and the request is incredibly soporific? How the Slovakians managed to get it so quickly? Anyway, vassals mutter and are less helpful than they could be.

A modest stab at prognostication. The European troika, Johnson, Macron and Markel, will meet soon to make a joint pronouncement about Iran's lifting of agreed limits on centrifuges and "general situation". They can threaten sanctions on Iran, lift sanctions in defiance of USA, or implore not to escalate the situation and strike a sad, concerned pose. I vote for option three.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 7 2020 22:48 utc | 80

It's been clear for some time now that the Empire has departed from Westphalian Law, the Laws of Nations. By degrees the thugish and criminal nature has revealed itself...but there were warnings.

Some may wish to read and consider this essay>

Professor Ali Khan
Washburn University School of Law
JURIST Contributing Editor

Posted by: Walter | Jan 7 2020 22:52 utc | 81

"US-led coalition temporarily relocates headquarters from Iraq to Kuwait: Report"

btw, great article b:)

Posted by: SharonM | Jan 7 2020 22:55 utc | 82

How to kill the US Dollar.... any thoughts?

Posted by: Jezabeel | Jan 7 2020 22:59 utc | 83

What a disgustingly sick country.

Posted by: Alpi | Jan 7 2020 23:00 utc | 84

Walter 66

"it's 600 fodder units, not an army"

Not sure I get your point Walt, Net sources say Netanyahu's man trump has sent 17,000 US troops to the ME since he went "off the reservation".

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 7 2020 23:00 utc | 85

Sorry, but so what even if this is true. Such practices have consensus support in the US; what would this be if not classic MAGA, so Trump supporters would love it if someone would tell them about it. Iraqi parliament activity is theater, just like at home in the US--useful theater if it helps build some national purpose in Iraq, but that's about it.

This one will be decided on the battlefield, and by saying this I unfortunately assume that Iraq will once more be a battlefield--if, that is, someone there is serious about getting the orcs out. I cannot be upbeat about any of this given the very weak policies (despite plenty of tough talk) we've seen from the same actors in Syria. The Dark Throne just walked into East Syria without any SOFA, made itself comfortable in its bases, and vaporized anybody testing their self-declared red lines, very much including Russian Wagner personnel. If nobody lifts a finger against the US in Syria, why would Iraq be any different.

I mostly detest the Taliban, but they know how to get on with it. No red flags, no processions, no pleas to the UN; they deal with their American foe in the language of body bags. That has done much to silence Trump's own tough talk, and he's visibly looking for the exit door.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Jan 7 2020 23:07 utc | 86

Bob @68

See who trump's major financial backers are, it might give you some insight into why he does what he does.. Then there's his past, which the other side of US Uni party holds over his head. But always remember there are only 2 teams allowed in the US political game at end of day, and both have been compromised long ago by people who have the same goals.

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 7 2020 23:15 utc | 87

@ #1

Half way through the link post there is a global warming message. Didn't need that... These people can't get people to read a post on global warming so they sneak it in.

Posted by: Charlie Chan | Jan 7 2020 23:16 utc | 88

@ Posted by: Jezabeel | Jan 7 2020 22:59 utc | 82 who asked
How to kill the US Dollar.... any thoughts?

Stop using it.

On the global scale that looks like international trade not going through the Reserve Currency till for any transactions. That is not the reality but their exists an expanding crack in the empire requirement that all petrol transactions be US Dollar transactions. I believe growing nation to nation currency exchange exists for other commodities as well and is growing.
Further to the global scale there is the private financial tools like BIS, IMF and World Bank. and then SWIFT functions get made public utilities as well. Some progress is being made to challenge the private IMF/World Bank model with sovereign support model like the AIIB. The BIS was suppose to go away as part of the Bretton Woods agreement but there is still not a world bank of banks that is not private as the BIS is.

On the local scale, work through local Community Exchange Systems like CES, LETS and others as well as supporting local/state public banking initiatives

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 7 2020 23:21 utc | 89

@ 47 uncle tungsten... lol...

@ 56 Paul Damascene.. good question.. does anyone really think the western msm would publish any of it, if it exists?

@ 63 lurk... thanks, even though i didn't ask the question..

@ 82 Jezabeel.. good question.. i think it takes time and is directly connected to military supremacy which is why it continues.. reversing the camp bretton woods agreement agenda and what that has meant to the world is part of this.. maybe it can happen much quicker, but i kind of doubt it.. as psychohistorian says - public verses private finance, but it feels like a long ways away.. we can dream..

@85 ma loashi.. you would like direct confrontation on a regular basis.. you seem to think that would be the best - fighting fire with fire.. fortunately other leaders on the world stage don't see it the same as you.. of course you are in a hurry too, but fortunately there are leaders on the world stage that have a much higher level of patience.. i am grateful for that..

Posted by: james | Jan 7 2020 23:21 utc | 90

Breaking: "At least six" ballistic missiles have hit Ain al Assad base (American) in Al Anbar province, both Iranian and Iraqi sources report. This has been confirmed by the US military. US air defense & AWACS in the region have been unable to detect these missiles. (I've seen reports of up to 30+ rockets hitting the base).

Posted by: David | Jan 7 2020 23:21 utc | 91

interesting.. my posts are getting held up in moderation or something..

Posted by: james | Jan 7 2020 23:21 utc | 92

@ 89 david.. confirmed via rt..

Posted by: james | Jan 7 2020 23:24 utc | 93


Posted by: james | Jan 7 2020 23:25 utc | 94

Bubbles | Jan 7 2020 23:00 utc | 84

It could be a million fodder units. Would not change outcome.
The irony is in the childishness and chauvinist braggadocio. It's a long way to Tipperary, home by xmass. Idiotic. And obviously so.

In case anybody missed it, the new rule is shoot on warning and at targets of high value as opportunity provides.

There's a coordinated response rapidly being set in place. Comrade P is making rounds on this as we type.

If the US attempts a serious build up, and it will (B52's going into DG today), then those loci will be destroyed. This is a public secret, but it's Russian, and therefore more or less unitary policy. I have saved copies of policy statements and so forth. Barbarossa stuff is finished.

No, it's not perhaps on a highway bill-board. And it's not automatic, rather strategic. But they mean business. It's a show down.

The solution, obviously, is retreat. This is only possible if there is a... You tell me. How is integrity and obedience to law, and the reputations that go with them, to be regained? How would That Happen?

I do not dare to say.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 7 2020 23:25 utc | 95

Charlie Chan 87

You doubt the world is warming? How old are you Son?

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 7 2020 23:30 utc | 96

From Prof. Michel Chossudovsky's article published today at re some practical military problems for the United States.

" ... since June 2017 Qatar has been “sleeping with the enemy”. Qatar has become a staunch ally of Iran....

... US CENTCOM’s Forward Base headquarters at the al-Udeid military base [Qatar] de facto “lies in enemy territory”. And it would seem that POTUS is totally unaware of this situation....

Barely a few months ago, (October 2019), The Pentagon took the decision NOT to move USCENTCOM’s forward base at Al Udeid ....

“Qatar has always been an exceptional partner, and this base from which we are operating is a great base, and CENTCOM has no intention of moving anywhere,” said CENTCOM’s deputy commander, Chance Saltzman." ....

But "Since June 2017 Qatar has become a de facto ally of Iran." ....

Military analysts now admit that in the case of a conflict with Iran, Al-Udeid would be an immediate target. “The base’s defence system is said to be ill-equipped to defend itself against the low-flying cruise missiles and drones…”

Then there is the question of Incirlik airbase (Turkey).... what would be Turkey's 'stance' on its use as a base for attacking Iran and what about those 50 or so tactical nuclear weapons stored there?

Chossudovsky points out that another 130 US tactical weapons are stored at five other NATO countries.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 7 2020 23:32 utc | 97

This doesn't make any sense. This is good news?

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is limiting U.S. diplomats’ contact with Iranian opposition groups, according to a cable sent to all U.S. diplomatic outposts Tuesday.

Pompeo’s order says diplomats should not meet with Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) or five other groups because it could damage the United States' chances to negotiate with Iran, the cable obtained by Bloomberg said.

Posted by: anon | Jan 7 2020 23:37 utc | 98

Attack ongoing..

Posted by: Lozion | Jan 7 2020 23:37 utc | 99

@Jezabeel #82
The dollar's reserve status will be broken by US economic policies.
The US was 8th worst debt to GDP ratio in the world; most of the top 10 are 2nd or 3rd tier, small nations with the exception of Japan.
Japan's debt to GDP is amazing, but they have offset that because of enormous internal savings - relatively little of their debt is externally owned, and Japan is the largest creditor nation (Singapore, China, Russia, Germany are also creditor nations).
Here the US debt as a percentage of the entire world's GDP in 3 selected years:
_____US debt_World GDP_US debt as % World GDP
As you can see, the US debt as a percentage of the entire world's GDP has risen dramatically in the past decade. The annual trillion plus US budget deficits - there is no sign whatsoever of them turning around.
Equally, the amount of foreign buyers of US Treasuries - the flip side of the US debt - has largely been flat since 2012. A lot of people have relied on the US dollar as a stable store of value - largely because is reserve status makes it a transnational currency with the largest float anywhere, but it does not seem likely that the ongoing US budget deficits/increasing US debt can continue to grow - particularly if China is no longer playing its part in absorbing US Treasuries.
Equally, the petrodollar aspect is also under attack: the US used to be the largest buyer of imported oil - that's no longer true (it is China).
Do I need to also point out that the US is the largest debtor nation?

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 7 2020 23:37 utc | 100

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