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

« previous page | next page »

Trump and his despicable team of cretins think all is well, but missile tweets won't cut it against Iranian resolve. Deplorables and neo-confederates can attempt spinning this all they want, but Chump has now doomed the United states to death by a thousand cuts... Make no mistake about it, adversaries of the hegemon now taste BLOOD IN THE WATER, other strategic tests will come closer to november elections.

Posted by: Augustin L | Jan 8 2020 4:08 utc | 301

Apologies for the mistake in the HTML in the last post.

Posted by: Cynica | Jan 8 2020 4:11 utc | 302

"ben--Iranians are PERSIANS"

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 8 2020 1:06 utc | 149

No duh karlof1, but, most Americans don't make that distinction, for them, and probably DJT, they're just more "rag-heads", and not real people.

Posted by: ben | Jan 8 2020 1:50 utc | 192


Ben, that is a pathetic effort to cover your own mistake by saying it was intentional, to reflect Americans' ignorance.
I am an American and I am not that ignorant.
Just admit it with "oops" and move on.

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 8 2020 4:11 utc | 303

@287 cynica.. thanks... yes- i can't see this as kabuki..

Posted by: james | Jan 8 2020 4:11 utc | 304


Perhaps 'en passant' is the chess phrase you seek, although that doesn't quite bear close scrutiny.

Ps. Great to see some rain fall in Sydney last night, quite the lightning show here (betwixt Bankstown and Hurstville.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 8 2020 4:13 utc | 305

@Uncle T 291 I agree with every word you wrote. I think my "brilliant" comment has been interpreted as my condoning ongoing charades, when in fact I do not... unless they are going to stave off a war between Iran and the US, in which case bring on the malarkey. It isn't going to save the dying empire, but it could save tens of thousands, even millions of lives. Anyone arguing here for Iran to actually invite an open war by the US is IMHO an armchair general/revolutionary/Internet Tough Guy who doesn't understand what Iranians suffered during the Iran-Iraq War or how much they love their beautiful country, historic, and religious sites. Iran is playing the long game... weaving a carpet...totally different time table. As per Soleimani's guidance...

Posted by: HD | Jan 8 2020 4:18 utc | 306


It was probably full of the 'Azov-brigade' freaks that the Deep-State seem to like using to foment colour-revolutions (as in Hong Kong).

Azov goons: "Screw the US$3000 a week, we're outta here"

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 8 2020 4:19 utc | 307

Sorry but all this seems like Iran played to US hand or even followed US orders. They attacked their neighbor Iraq, which is a violation of sovereignty. Now Iraqi opposition can easily say Iran needs to respect their airspace and sovereignty. And for what? Best case scenario is they bombed a mostly empty base and destroyed a few airplanes. That's best case scenario. That's sad.

Sure they attacked the US frontally on paper. Gotta give them credit for that I guess. But in reality its like US showed their chin and they softly tapped it.

This smells like a show. And Trump not addressing the nation and only tweeting all is well? They are just toying with all of us. They ALL have agreed on a world order (all of them US, China, Russia, Iran, etc) and they are just toying with us.

Posted by: Comandante | Jan 8 2020 4:20 utc | 308

Ukrainian airplane goes down in flames in Tehran. I think this will be blamed on Iran.

Posted by: paul | Jan 8 2020 4:21 utc | 309

That's some pretty decent sativa you got there, C @ 305.

Posted by: spudski | Jan 8 2020 4:22 utc | 310

@291 uncle tungsten

Meanwhile I mourn the murder of a brilliant diplomat and tactician that protected Iran and its neighbouring states to the best of his ability.

Vale Qasem Soleimani, Prince of Princes, protector of people, believer.


Posted by: Circe | Jan 8 2020 4:23 utc | 311

Nothing significant is gonna happen in the short term. Unless Iran wants Tehran in rubble. Whatever action they take will have to have substantial plausible deniability. These missiles fired were like Trump firing a few missiles into Syria. PR exercise

Posted by: ab initio | Jan 8 2020 4:23 utc | 312

@307 it's actually just a few shots of Suntory but trust me. All this is 99% show.

Posted by: Comandante | Jan 8 2020 4:26 utc | 313

A Ukrainian passenger plane crashes shortly after take off from Teheran's Ali Khomeini airport on route to Kiev. Videos show it being alight with fire shortly before crashing. More here.

Will this be blamed on Iran? Would be hard to proof. Coincidence in a night like this seems far fetched. Some Twitter users already see a link to Rohani's threat about the Iranian passenger jet that was shot down by the US, but this to me seems non-sensical. Any thoughts?

Posted by: Alexander P | Jan 8 2020 4:27 utc | 314

Video of the Ukrainian plane crash

Posted by: Alpi | Jan 8 2020 4:27 utc | 315

Wholeheartedly agree, HD. I want the US empire to collapse, for everyone in the world's sake including mine (a US citizen), but I want it to be bloodless. The Iranians are some of the last people who deserve to be harmed hamstringing the imperial monstrosity.

On a different note, I've read for years about how the Persians were brave and proud warriors. Tonight they proved that again, for better or worse.

Posted by: Sorghum | Jan 8 2020 4:31 utc | 316

This was not kabuki. More than 50 people paid with their lives as they honored the life and very real death of their hero in his home town. To be as flippant as some are being discredits the human lives that have already, we know been lost. Others will be discovered, and the mothers and other relatives of those will mourn. We are far from these events, but they will eventually touch our lives.

I don't want to talk about the man who made, evidently, this horrible mistake. In fact I vow not to mention his name ever again.

Even though I never knew Qasem Soleimani, never thought of such a crime as this, his brutal murder remains on my conscience as an American citizen. We do need to measure his worth and acclaim the care with which the country of Iran has responded to this tragedy. They have apparently caused a bully to retreat, and that is something as a mother and grandmother I am exceedingly grateful for. And those who have been in harm's way, be aware that this could have been far, far worse.

Let this be the beginning of a brave new world. Persians, I salute you!

Posted by: juliania | Jan 8 2020 4:31 utc | 317

@ 310, All right, then cheers and best wishes. You might be right.

Posted by: spusdski | Jan 8 2020 4:31 utc | 318

Gaius Valerias Catullus AVE ATQUE VALE

Through many countries and over many seas
I have come, Brother, to these melancholy rites,
to show this final honour to the dead,
and speak (to what purpose?) to your silent ashes,
since now fate takes you, even you, from me.
Oh, Brother, ripped away from me so cruelly,
now at least take these last offerings, blessed
by the tradition of our parents, gifts to the dead.
Accept, by custom, what a brother’s tears drown,
and, for eternity, Brother, ‘Hail and Farewell’.

Posted by: Copeland | Jan 8 2020 4:37 utc | 319

Brilliant maneuver by USA/Trump?

Pretending the attack was arranged as a ploy by weak/scared/compromised Iranian leadership will turn the people's anger from USA to Iranian leadership.

Maybe it was arranged. Maybe not. But Trump MUST KNOW that his "All is well" response to Zarif's "concluded proportionate measures" tweet - along with declaring no US casualties tomorrow - will cause Iranians to believe that the attack was arranged. USA will be sure to distribute this message: Soleimani was not avenged, he was betrayed - just as your hopes and aspirations as a people have been betrayed.

I'm thinking that Trump chose this path over retaliation and that's why he canceled the address to the nation (in which he would have announced retaliation).


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8 2020 4:39 utc | 320

Ukrainian Boeing 737 with at least 170 aboard crashes in Iran

DUBAI (Reuters) - A Ukrainian airliner with at least 170 people on board crashed on Wednesday due to technical problems soon after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport, Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported.


So two major themes of MoonOfAlabama are combined in one event, Boeing 737 crashes due to technical problems, and the war that was coveted by Trumpians, Trumpettes and Trumpeteers for year, and which came about due to their indefatigable efforts. So how can we sort our discussions by threads? That said, assuming that passengers were Mossad related is unworthy, we should think kindly about the victims of technology, and ponder that major accidents can be more bloody than short wars.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 8 2020 4:41 utc | 321

Is it within US capability to hide a significant number of US casualties? I mean, soldiers have families who will notice they are missing. And since there are a lot of US policy makers who *want* escalation with Iran would have every incentive to play up any casualties the US suffers and demand vengeance.

Posted by: Lysander | Jan 8 2020 4:45 utc | 322

Lysander @319

IMO there are limits to their ability to hide casualties but if the number is not too large, then I think they have the ability to do so.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8 2020 4:52 utc | 323

While watching WW3 Updates on twitter this evening, I found this tweet interesting describing how Iran successfully hit US air base.

Iran media: US air radar failed to accurately detect incoming missiles which employed heavy electronic warfare. The radar was destroyed in the first lobby, then the air defence, then the base within a span of a few seconds.

Electronic warfare again,

Posted by: lgfocus | Jan 8 2020 4:55 utc | 324

USA may argued for a "proportionate retaliation" and may have threatened terrible things if Iran's response wasn't proportionate, but now they can use Iran's willingness to be reasonable into a propaganda narrative.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8 2020 4:57 utc | 325

@317 Jackrabbit

Disgusting. You dishonor Soleimani's memory calling Trump's tweet brilliant! Trump is a murderer!

You think Iranians are that ignorant??? These strikes were designed to send a message: GET THE HELL OUT OF IRAQ AND THE MIDDLE EAST! GET THE HELL OUT OR WE'LL SEND YOU HOME IN CASKETS!

Posted by: Circe | Jan 8 2020 4:59 utc | 326

I'm not saying that Iran shouldn't have been reasonable, but Zarif's tweet ("concluded proportionate measures") played into the narrative of a "revenge attack" that was arranged.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8 2020 5:02 utc | 327

"Democracy is coming to the USA"
(The late Leonard Cohen, may he rest in peace)
Had another listen to this ironically prophetic song tonight and this time it was crystal.
Thanks go out to you all for your perseverance and dedication to the truth.
Living in the foothills of Mordor (Canada). The CBC (Canadian Bullshit Corporation) was interviewing their talking heads, you know the type, educated suits, calm and smug. Spouting the same Washington lies that got us in this mess in the first place. They just don't get it. I hope one day, if we survive, there be a reckoning for those guilty of misleading the public to foster war.

Posted by: Mandrau | Jan 8 2020 5:04 utc | 328

Circe @323

Calm down Circe. I'm talking about a strategy, not a tweet.

And it's a strategy that would not have come from the reflexive, dim-witted Trump.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8 2020 5:05 utc | 329

@Piotr Berman

and a Ukrainian airplane bound for Kiev? Maybe all threads are converging—Boeing, Impeachment, ME policy... It is indeed sobering to think that 170 people may all be dead, many more times than the victims in this present 'crisis'. A random tragedy. As the poet said, there are two kinds of people on the good earth: those who have blessings mixed with woes, and those who have only woes.

I'm going to tune out for a while. It's impossible to see all ends (that's Gandalf I think...).

Posted by: Patroklos | Jan 8 2020 5:13 utc | 330

Given that Saturn and Pluto are less than a week out from an exact conjunction, and that the Saturn Pluto cycle coincides closely with war, terrorist events and genocide, I'm afraid that there is little hope that this was a "for show" retaliation. WWI began just as these two planets were 4 degrees from conjunct. WWII began as they were less than 1 degree from a square aspect (90 degrees apart). 9/11 happened when they were 2 degrees from exact opposition. This is a cycle that will play out similarly.

Posted by: Larocque | Jan 8 2020 5:22 utc | 331

Piotr @178

Thanks for the correction, that was a lazy statement on my behalf. Regretted it the second I hit the Post button.

Posted by: J-Dogg | Jan 8 2020 5:23 utc | 332

1. Ukrainian pilot is a hero. Flightradar24 flight track data shows that he diverted the plane from a residential area at the last moment.

2. The plane was Boeing 737-800, i.e. 737NG. Therefore, the crash couldn't happen due to 737 MAX's MCAS problems, but could potentially be caused by 737NG's problems that were also highlighted on this site.

3. The plane belonged to Ukrainian airline UIA. UIA is owned by Kolomoyskiy and has been in deep financial troubles for many years. (Kolomoyskiy's previous airline, AeroSvit, went bankrupt in early 2013.) Therefore, the technical condition of the plane could be very poor.

4. Even though points (2) and (3) are valid, the fact that the crash happened mere hours after Iranian missile strike just can't be a mere coincidence.

I see three possible explanations:

(A) Iranians hit the plane accidentally (but why a Ukrainian plane and why did it happen several hours after the strike?).

(B) Ukrainian Nazis in Ukrainian security services, who have demonstrated their complete lack of empathy towards their own citizens and their total subservience to the Empire (see Maidan massacre false flag), could have placed a bomb on the plane in Kiev to create a new narrative of "Iranians downing a plane". The outrage against the U.S. for assassinating Soleimani can be now replaced by an outrage against Iran for murdering innocent civilians.

(C) Insurance fraud by Kolomoyskiy, who is in desperate financial straits (not only with UIA, but his other companies as well).

Posted by: S | Jan 8 2020 5:31 utc | 333

If there was damage at the US bases, there should be leaked pics soon as the sun is coming up.

Posted by: Sorghum | Jan 8 2020 5:37 utc | 334

Hard to know what’s going on, but American officials and media are going out of their way to downplay whatever it is that happened. Fox News is describing the targeted air force bases as “Iraqi facilities” while CNN offers the fiction that damage is only now being assessed with the coming of daylight. Previous activity such as the downed drone produced frenzied coverage demanding immediate escalation. Now, direct attacks on US bases get rationalized. Strange.

Posted by: jayc | Jan 8 2020 5:41 utc | 335

@326 Jackrabbit

You think the Iranians wouldn't want to blow Americans sky-high out of Iraq after what Trump did??? And then what?

That tweet isn't brilliant at all! Iran wants the U.S. out of Iraq. That's the goal! If the U.S. set up a base in Ukraine, you think even Putin would crater it! If the U.S. killed a Russian General, you think Putin would rain down ballistic missiles on the heads of U.S. soldiers? And then what??? WWWIII? Do you think push to shove he'd risk that even with nukes in his arsenal???

Iran had no choice but to send a wake up call to Trump and the American people. We want you out of our back yard! We can kill you all at once in your bases. We will never accept your occupation here; we will continue to fight you and force you out by every means until you leave. This is a warning; don't push us further; start packing!

That's what this strike was about. Everyone was scared, you, me, on every site I checked online. Everyone. No one wants war with Iran! Trump is a fcking maniac moron! Everyone is breathing a sigh of relief. Don't turn it into a sick game of chicken, propaganda or betrayal. Everyone is relieved. Trump was shitting his pants! Even he's relieved; pun intended!

Trump is FINISHED after this! Finished.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 8 2020 5:46 utc | 336

The way the western media is acting is strange: Very subdued. I expected rabid calls for retaliation while missiles were still flying. I'm headed to bed soon, but this gives me a little hope. It also makes me wonder how bad the damage really is. The silence says its serious, but not in lives, just equipment? Maybe?

Posted by: Sorghum | Jan 8 2020 5:51 utc | 337

There is nothing brilliant about Donald Trump; he has succeeded insofar as he has been made out to be more than he is. Endless excuses have been made for him, his crudest comments have been overlooked, his indifference to the suffering of children held in detention has been winked at, his gross threats to destroy nations with overwhelming violence have all been glossed over as if they were the tantrums of a child.

And there is no strategy that can undo the wrong that has been done. The assassination of Soleimani combined with the character assassination of him in the depraved American media is not something that can be fixed. The assault against the sovereignty of nations is going to come to an end, one way or another.

Posted by: Copeland | Jan 8 2020 5:54 utc | 338

I suspect that Putin brokered Iran's subdued "retaliation attack," allowing Trump and Rouhani to save face and step back from the brink. His visit to Damascus today was no coincidence.

Posted by: Carson | Jan 8 2020 6:03 utc | 339

It would be pointless and crazy for Iran to sabotage a plane leaving from their own airport, which means it is either a coincidence, which lets face it, the odds of that happening at the sametime as Iran's alleged payback scheme are so long it is ridiculous, or someone else, say the zionists, have gotten up to something. As we all know Iran is one of the few ME nations which still has substantial numbers of Jews in its population as most other ME nations with sephardic communities, acquiesced decades ago to the invaders of palestine's insistence that their jew communities be driven out of their homes and into Occupied Palestine. Most of the jews living in Iran are contented members of Iran's community, but there are always gonna be some quislings left behind, so they coulda done the dirty on the Ukrainian plane.

The larger concern is whether the amerikan thugs will leave all the payback alone & just accept it - not just today but from here on out.

I have no doubt that even if the red flag is lowered, that orangey, Pence, Esper, Plumpeo, plus joint chiefs chair Milley won't be dying in bed.
The act they committed was so treacherous & heinous that there can never be forgiveness.

That is gonna leave orange-whip in a quandary, he will want to believe that a dozen or so missiles is the square up even as rethug morons try to convince him to retaliate.

We shall see.

Posted by: A User | Jan 8 2020 6:05 utc | 340

Alpi | Jan 8 2020 4:27 utc | 312:

The plane was already engulfed in flames while in the air. Hmmm...

Circe | Jan 8 2020 5:46 utc | 333:

Trump is FINISHED after this! Finished.

Maybe. Never underestimate human stupidity. The problem is that the Dems don't have any viable candidate and they're trying their best to suppress Bernie and Tulsi.

Posted by: Ian2 | Jan 8 2020 6:10 utc | 341

Circe @ 282 'Love this hashtag!'

Best not be too smug, love.

When you have no electricity, no water, no food and a POC is bashing down your front door - you may want to reflect on 'where is my Glock?'

It's ironic that the people you despise most are the ones that will survive and the only ones likely to help you.

You better be hoping that your orange bag of dogshit has just one moment of clarity.

Posted by: ted01 | Jan 8 2020 6:11 utc | 342

Copeland @335:

There is nothing brilliant about Donald Trump ...

As I said when responding to Circe, I'm referring to a strategy.

Deliberately conflating the hated Trump with a strategy that is provided to him to execute is just a means of deterring discussion about the strategy itself.

I used the term "USA/Trump" because Trump is part of a TEAM. He is the front man. He doesn't act on his own. I've said this MANY MANY TIMES in previous comments at MoA.

Note: Circe is very well acquainted with my understanding of Trump's role in USA government, as are many other here.

... there is no strategy that can undo the wrong that has been done.

Here you are being daft or purposely conflating again. The strategy I've described is not to undo a wrong but to deflect the anger to the Iranian regime. Trump and his neocon asshats don't really care about what is morally right, they care only about advancing their own interests.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8 2020 6:14 utc | 343

my deepest condolence go out to all the dead and their loved ones from this latest spasm of death.
I am reminded by the words of Cornelius from Planet of the Apes:
"Beware the beast Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him; drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of death."
―The Lawgiver
How pitiful that that that is what came to my little mind.
I think that Larocque @ 328 and S @ 330 have it right. I'm going to listen to some Norwegian black metal to sooth this mind while I try to enjoy the good old days.
Slayer had it right. God Hates Us All.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 8 2020 6:16 utc | 344

from the tehran timesn... i have no idea what the usa side of this story is going to be in trumps speech tomorrow...

TEHRAN – More than 80 U.S. forces have reportedly been killed during Iranian missile strikes to intended U.S. targets in Iraq on Wednesday, IRIB quoted a source close to Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

“According to the accurate reports of our sources in the field, at least 80 American troops were killed and some 200 others were wounded, who were immediately transferred out of the airbase by helicopters,” said an informed source at the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps.”

“Ain al-Assad airbase was a strategic site for the U.S. which was used to support drones,” the source added.

As many as 20 critical points of the base were hit by 15 missiles and a significant number of UAVs and helicopters were destroyed, according to the source.

“Despite the fact that Americans had been on high alert, their air defense was unable to respond.”

“As many as 104 critical U.S.-held points in the region have been targeted, which would be attacked upon the U.S.’s first mistake,” the source added.

Posted by: james | Jan 8 2020 6:18 utc | 345

It's been interesting watching people talk themselves into certain conclusions.. the most recent is kabuki.

The only thing the US system (deep state) cares for is $

The single biggest source of $ is weapons manufacture and export

To retaliate will continue expose US weapons as vulnerable and unreliable.
China backs out of trade deal over threats to their oil supplies from Ira and Iraq

Exposed, weapon sales (esp to Saudi's) will tank. China takes the lead in the trade and tech war.
The US economy stalls, Trump loses the election

The only thing Trump cares for is his own reflection in the pool

No kabuki needed. Just plain old greed.

Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by foolishness

Posted by: Les7 | Jan 8 2020 6:20 utc | 346

There is no such thing as a bad coincidence. The airline crash is bad for Iran and good for its rivals. Perhaps the reason for the downing will be discovered to be unrelated to the military crisis, but I would assume that it will result in Iranian airspace being free of commercial flights, which would remove any cover for military craft..

Posted by: aaaa | Jan 8 2020 6:21 utc | 347
Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said the bases targeted were al-Asad air base and another facility in Erbil, Iraq.

al-Asad is the main US base in Iraq so Iran went straight for the top with that one. The yanks have their own sections in these bases that can be seen on google earth. No chance the Iranians would've just fired blindly at the base. Pity they didn't fire more than fifteen missiles, but those fifteen would've cleaned up a good number of yanks, especially if they had fragmentation warheads.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 8 2020 6:24 utc | 348

Jackrabbit. Why is everything about you?

You're not going to get away with patronizing my comment.

There is no strategy conceived in the inner circle of the Pentagon, or in the minds of Esper, Pompeo, or Trump that can undo the wrongs that have been done. What don't you get about that? Why do you always say "provided to him" ( presumably by an outside agency?) It is clear that Trump relishes his power, that he glories in his cruelty. He cares only for himself and his every action is self-serving. He is not a puppet whose strings are being pulled by a clique; he is a cult monster who is drawing power from those would take refuge in his madness, --or who in their fear surrender power to him.

Posted by: Copeland | Jan 8 2020 6:35 utc | 349

Copeland @345: He is not a puppet ...

Yes, he's not a puppet. But he's not the all-powerful President that we are led to believe he is.

He's a team player and he plays on the Deep State Team that runs foreign policy.

I would say the same about Obama. Or maybe you have a different way to explain how "Change You Can Believe In" Obama served the Deep State/establishment with covert wars, drone attacks, and no prosecutions for CIA renditition and torture? I'd love to hear it.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8 2020 6:50 utc | 350

here we go, again... not sure this was a smart move by Iranians, attacking directly the demented psychopath Muricans... the hell will break loose now :(

Posted by: karlitozulu | Jan 8 2020 6:50 utc | 351

- Iran has hit back at an US airbase in western Iraq ???

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 8 2020 6:51 utc | 352

Re Ukraine flight going down.. EW gone wrong?

Posted by: Maximus | Jan 8 2020 6:55 utc | 353

As to the 737, I would first suspect incompetence or malfunction on the part of the Iranian air defense system.

I would also like to see the passenger list.

But on the other hand, Boeing is already facing a bailout. The failure of another 737 for whatever reason could do a lot of financial damage to one of America's biggest defense contractors.

Posted by: Carson | Jan 8 2020 6:59 utc | 354

The kabuki theory may seem to make sense to those who closely follow all this like the group at MoA. I agree that casualty counts will be strong evidence either way. That could also explain Putin's seeming nonchalance about traveling.

That doesn't change the reality of the psychological whip-sawing that the masses must be undergoing, from day to day being summoned by the media to constant Two Minute Hates, then an actual beginning to war, then "All is well!" and a toning down of the alarmism, and then what next?

Regardless of what the berserkers at the helm think they're doing, one thing they're definitely doing is scorching all earth where any kind of sane mass psychology could try to rebuild.

So whether or not the real war toward WWIII has just de jure commenced (and it may take some hours or days before that becomes clear), this is a milestone along the ongoing vector of mass insanity in the US and its poodles. (The Australian conflagration is a similar milestone for that particular country. But as far as Earth chaos, each region will need its own particular tribulation to pass that milestone.)

Posted by: Russ Bangs | Jan 8 2020 7:01 utc | 355

Despite the casualties - which no matter what are a disgrace and a reflection of amerikan incompetence/carelessness when it comes to protecting O.R.'s.

Everyone knew an attack was likely & they also knew amerika's AA capability is antiquated and largely useless.

Meaning in turn, that since amerika knew the missiles had been posted within a minute or so of kick-off there should have been nobody at the receiving address who wasn't in an adequate shelter, yet apparently at least 80 units of cannon-fodder weren't.
I'm wondering if all the englanders plus euros plus gulf states haven't organised some sort of deal between Iran & amerika. That is one truth that would never be told if a deal whereby there would be two targets then amerika barely responds had been cut.

Iran would have insisted that some units must be killed and maimed which explains the weird letter about relocating which the Iraqis leaked as a way to wind up amerikans for giggles. Officers specialist techs and pols' offspring get moved somewhere safe and then the shitkickers get to be victims.
A couple of my kids who have been in amerika lately both said pretty much the same thing over the holiday, that a sizeable chunk of the city homeless humans in amerika they saw, are recent vets, not so recent vets (gulf war 1) and aged vets (indochina) no one cares, there is SFA in place for 'em.

So the DC bean counters could put forward a good case for killing some now rather than later after they've been a drain on taxes whose use is reserved for the elites.

Yet as I said upthread I have no no doubt that the 4 most culpable in the murder of General Suliemani will be held to account in good time.

Judging from Oblamblam's missus' account of post whitehouse life, security is not as tight as a snapper's arsehole and likely to get looser as time goes on.
The Iranians have shown themselves to be nothing if not patient - which is another reason this action feels more like something that needs to be got outta the way quickly rather than something designed to give 'closure' /sarc.

Posted by: A User | Jan 8 2020 7:07 utc | 356

Russ Bangs @351:

... milestone along the ongoing vector of mass insanity in the US and its poodles.

Yeah. I think you summed that up well.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8 2020 7:09 utc | 357

Speaking of Ukraine and civilian planes going down - it is an utter tragedy for all victims and their loved ones.
It is an evil heinous crime if done deliberately.
See this:

Posted by: PJB | Jan 8 2020 7:15 utc | 358

ADKC @254: ... credence to the view that this is all kabuki

Would the Iranians willingly engage in such kabuki with USA?

james @275 has a point when he says:

the usa-israel has been hell bent on a path of hostility for the past 40 years and it has only escalated in the past 5 with the jpoca and all the sanctions on iran... all that and trump is going to come out tomorrow and wave the peace flag?

The logical solution to this puzzle is that USA shaped the response into something "proportionate" and now seeks to use the appearance of kabuki to deflect the people's anger toward the Iranian leadership.

We will know more tomorrow when we hear Trump's statement and get casualty counts from USA Mil.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8 2020 7:21 utc | 359

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8 2020 4:39 utc | 317

"Pretending the attack was arranged as a ploy by weak/scared/compromised Iranian leadership will turn the people's anger from USA to Iranian leadership.

Maybe it was arranged. Maybe not. But Trump MUST KNOW that his "All is well" response to Zarif's "concluded proportionate measures" tweet - along with declaring no US casualties tomorrow - will cause Iranians to believe that the attack was arranged. USA will be sure to distribute this message: Soleimani was not avenged, he was betrayed - just as your hopes and aspirations as a people have been betrayed."

That sounds clever, but it never could outweigh:

1. The neocon desire for a pretext for all-out war. This attack (assuming it's real) certainly gives such a pretext.

2. Trump's "manhood" being challenged like this.

3. How a lack of response would play to the US domestic audience who have just been subjected to an acute escalation of the long-standing anti-Iran pro-war-vs.-Iran propaganda. Trump certainly would care more about handling the US mass perception than the Iranian.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 8 2020 7:22 utc | 360

2 days ago Trump had 6 B-52 bombers sent to Diego Garcia. It's been reported that fighter jets left a UAE air base and are flying over Syria and Iraq perhaps waiting for orders to strike Iran.

Iranian media is reporting 80 U.S. casualties and hundreds injured as well as military equipment severely damaged. How they know this is anybody's guess.

Iranian telecomunications minister tweeted U.S. get the hell out of our region!


So, God knows what Trump has in store if there actually are casualties, but Iran threatened to bomb Israel and UAE if U.S. strikes inside Iran.

Please someone send the men in the white coats to take Trump to the insane asylum and let's reinstate the JCPOA.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 8 2020 7:30 utc | 361

It's friggin' 10:30am in Baghdad right now, the sun has been up for 3-and-a-half hours over there---where are any photos of damage or lack thereof?

Posted by: Carson | Jan 8 2020 7:33 utc | 362

Looks like Iran shot the Ukrainian airliner out of the sky. I guess they targeted the wrong country. Lol 😂

Posted by: ab initio | Jan 8 2020 7:36 utc | 363

No Iran what are you doing?! This is not what retaliation looks like, missiles that do not even hit the target, klling no one and now the Ukranian airplane HOPEFULLY not shot down.

Iran will regret this, seems totally irrational to just throw some weak missiles like that.
That was their chance.
Now Iran will look even weaker than people assumed!

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 8 2020 7:40 utc | 364

@360 - Iran was doing the same thing that the USA does---using up the obsolete inflammables first so they can make room for the newer models.

Posted by: Carson | Jan 8 2020 7:46 utc | 365

Latest data on the victims of the Boeing crash in Tehran (Vzglyad, in Russian):

168 passengers
73 Canadians
71 Iranians
8 Swedish
6 Afghanis
4 Germans
3 British
2 Ukrainians
1 unknown

9 crew
9 Ukrainians

My sincere condolences to the families and compatriots of the victims.

Posted by: S | Jan 8 2020 7:52 utc | 366


147 of 170 were iranians according to this link:

Later, he announced that there had been 170 passengers and nine crew members on the plane. Of the 170 passengers, he said, 147 had been Iranians.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 8 2020 8:00 utc | 367

Trump will respond massively considering how irrational he is, and he will get even more support.
Military sites in Iran , will surely be taken out now killing alot of iranian soldiers.
Nuclear sites will also be targeted before this week is done I fear.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 8 2020 8:05 utc | 368

Yank FAA tells US aircraft to to fly over Iran, Persian gulf ect. Ukraine Boeing falls out of the sky in flames taking off in Iran after this. Too much coincidence.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 8 2020 8:07 utc | 369

@Zanon #363: Perhaps, the Canadians were dual passport holders (Iranian-Canadian)? The information in the Vzglyad article was sourced from an Ukrainian media outlet, which sourced it from an Ukrainian Telegram channel Ukraina 24/7.

Posted by: S | Jan 8 2020 8:08 utc | 370

"In a separate statement, Ukraine International Airlines said it was suspending flights to Tehran indefinitely and that the crashed plane had its last scheduled maintenance on Monday."

Trump doesn't recognise any rules whatsoever. This is going to get dirty.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 8 2020 8:24 utc | 371

Another video of the crash. Airport authorities say the crash was caused by an engine fire. Both videos support this. Question is, why did the engine catch fire? The aircraft is almost new (it was manufactured in 2016). Bad maintenance, perhaps, owing to UIA's financial difficulties? But why did the crash happen on the night of Iran's retaliatory missile strike? The flight departure was delayed by an hour, from 5:15 AM to 6:12 AM, so it appears the ATC waited until the strike was complete (plus, if the plane was struck by a missile, we would see it in the videos). Could it be that the maintenance crew on the ground, anxious and stressed because of the ongoing events, made a mistake when fueling the plane?

Posted by: S | Jan 8 2020 8:26 utc | 372

You-*b* are to be commended for your 100%...fair reporting.

btw, I believe it's...ok now... that I reveal 1-of-the primary targets which will be hit & seriously damaged, before the *red flag* is taken-down.
If the *red flag* is ever taken-down....

...Dimona+the u.s.a-thaad missile batallion & their jizzreali+americohen commanding generals, and all available 'secret structures' in the Negev area, are also 'planned targets'.
The blue & white 2X-triangles will become, a cobalt-blue and atomic ash-white triangulation, on Earth as it is in Heaven(2X) forbidden-zone.
It's called Armageddon.
I'm not religious, but have a pretty-good understanding who are GOD is.
But, looks like 'prophecy' is pretty damm close at the moment.

The responsibility for this eventuality now lies with the citizens of the USofAIPAC and Isnt'real.
I repeat.
USofAIPAC and Isnt'real.
Normally I'm an eternal optimist.
Let the rest of us pray & hope these 2-Peoples get-off their asses and remove their psychopathic 'leaders'.

Posted by: Veritas X- | Jan 8 2020 8:29 utc | 373

Pentagon says more than a dozen missiles 'launched from Iran' against 2 US bases, vows ‘necessary’ counter-measures

I hope the political and military leadership in Iran is in the bunker now protected.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 8 2020 8:32 utc | 374

This was all theater. Trump had nothing to do with it. He has not the intelligence nor the means. Certainly dingbats like Pompeo and Esper and Haspel were entirely out of the loop. The bureaucratic ninny branch of the Deep State is as blindsided as any. The visible crew of Trump donors and backers - Sheldon Adelson, Bernard Marcus et. al. - could not even dream what has happened. The masters are elsewhere.

We see what is on the stage. We do not see what is behind the curtain. Already empty airbases and an already empty consulate were bombed. We simply do not know how this was arranged. Arguing over who is the better actor, who played their assigned role more skillfully is quite meaningless.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jan 8 2020 8:35 utc | 375

Iraq counts 22 missile strikes 17 +5 at Erbil

Posted by: mike munk | Jan 8 2020 8:36 utc | 376

What a win for Israel and Netanyahu, he got the war against Iran he always wanted and Trump, not Bush, not Obama, was the one that was fooled enough to do it by the israelis.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 8 2020 8:38 utc | 377

It is probably a coincidence that a jet crashed leaving Tehran right after Iran's opening volley. It is probably also coincidence that the jet was Ukrainian and headed for Kiev.

Throwing some wild speculation out...with things getting hot various CIA/Mossad and other intelligence agency folk are going to want to get out of the country. Perhaps this plane had many dual-citizen spies and whatnot looking to leave. Might have made it a pretty tempting target.

Posted by: Jason | Jan 8 2020 8:51 utc | 378

Trump still does not know what he's done. He's still tweeting taunting stuff to his MAGA base. Can someone please suspend his twitter account or at least, take his phone away before he get more US troops killed?

Years of "fighting" peasants and goat herders FROM THE AIR has created a sense of invincibility. Iran will hit back. They're not Afghanistan.

Posted by: Zico | Jan 8 2020 8:58 utc | 379

Jackrabbit @346

Obama was a vetted postmodern kind of president,--selected as the most seemingly non-threatening, soft spoken , well-spoken antidote to the PTSD inducing years of George W. Bush. He was the balm to a traumatized nation; and we could all feel good about ourselves when we voted for him. We elected a black president. Bless our hearts. He was a mascot to Wall Street and the best friend the bankers could hope for. He appeared so much nicer than Hillary during the primaries; but when was elected he installed her at State, and went on fuck up Libya and Ukraine.

Obama consolidated the surveillance state and went after whistle blowers; but unlike Trump, he never arranged for Julian Assange to be jailed and tortured. He did manage to pull back from the precipice of war with Russia over Syria. His administration responded to public pressure in the flood of letters to Congress.

There is this sinking feeling with Trump that his instincts are dangerous. No one wants this to end in a World War; but Trump is invested in a moral sickness that is evident when one watches the distorted narrative that is presented to most Americans.

Today the reality is bitter: nothing has been the same after G. W. Bush, after 9/11 and GWOT. Obama and Trump continued the destruction of nations, and the policy to cut the legs out from under any rising regional power. The unlawful, treacherous killing of Soleimani, the dismissal of Iraq as having any significance as a nation, the threat to destroy the nation's cultural treasures, the expectation that the new Caesar can just take a country's oil is hideous beyond words. God help us if Trump or any president becomes all-powerful.

All these crimes bear the stamp of Trump's personality. I guess we will have a clearer idea tomorrow of the events that happened today; but I don't believe that what was done to Iran is the result of error or blunder or trickery.

Posted by: Copeland | Jan 8 2020 8:59 utc | 380

Who's paying you, Zanon?

Posted by: spudski | Jan 8 2020 8:59 utc | 381

re: Jason | Jan 8 2020 8:51 utc @ 374

Let's just call it... a cohenincidence.
Happens alot.
One must be observant before using the term.

Posted by: Veritas X- | Jan 8 2020 9:01 utc | 382

Tragic if Iran now got its own Mh17, especially if most of the people on the plane were iranians. Pray that crash wasnt the work of a missile.

Is it a common failure by planes from this company to take fire after the start? Any history?

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 8 2020 9:04 utc | 383

I can’t believe “a technical malfunction” occured right on the night of Iran’s missile strike. It was either (1) a mistake by ground crew caused by fatigue and stress (national mourning, stampede tragedy, night-time missile strike), or (2) an engine sabotage. The latter could have been carried out during the last jet maintenance on January 6.

Posted by: S | Jan 8 2020 9:07 utc | 384

Always interesting to see which posters are predicting the worst possible outcome, the one Trump will allude to when doin' his maga theatre, even though it will be apparent to anyone who can think that his tosh is only swallowed by fools and charlatans on the basis of the number of humans who rate a one in a million chance as a dead-set certainty.
"Realism' is one thing; backing up a WarInc fantasy is quite another, 'cos it places all who assert such deceits as touters for murder who must be dealt with by the law - tho by a lower level of resister cell/investigator than the actual authors of the horror will cop.

Another thing - anyone who has talked with Iranian friends/acquaintances over the last few days will likely experience what I have from relatively new arrivals to old friends who came over in '79, they all say pretty much the same thing - that amerika's murder of Suliemani was despicable.

Over the years a lot of Iranians expats' attitudes have changed. Changed a lot. The Iran Iraq war was the beginning, but most, actually all of the emigres from the early days I know, have been home several times and have mellowed their attitude towards the Islamic Republic.
They are vocal in their support of Iran and one said to me this am that his concern was that the Iranian leadership might feel compelled to crank up a major revenge action straight away when their shouldn't be a rush.

Without mobs of embassy front men and snipers (who will stick out like dogs balls in the new post assassination security Iraq), the empire will struggle to rent-a-mob and just won't be able to drop a sniper on every elevated position.

In other words they have SFA chance of causing a new maidan in Iraq.

Sure there will be some paid protesters and tame 'representatives of the Iraqi people' who are trapped in service to the empire, but it will be much more difficult to enlist others now.

Posted by: A User | Jan 8 2020 9:09 utc | 385

It's my theory that the Marshal Ustinov was parked in the Mediterranean publicly to provide air cover for President Putin while he visited Syria and Turkey, but privately as a floating hedge against Israel going nuclear, and as a way to observe any and all aircraft/missiles launching in real time. If so, you have to hand it to Putin - that's some masterful strategy! Hats off to the Russians.

Posted by: The Q | Jan 8 2020 9:13 utc | 386

Updated data on the victims from Ukrainian MFA Vadim Pristayko (tweet):

167 passengers (contradicts earlier claim of 168 passengers)
82 Iranians
63 Canadians
10 Swedish
4 Afghanis
3 British
3 Germans
2 Ukrainians

9 crew
9 Ukrainians

Posted by: S | Jan 8 2020 9:23 utc | 387

Yup Ayatollah Khamenei made a speech after the missiles hit. the vid of it is here.

The PressTV article on his talk says :

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said Iran’s early morning retaliation against US assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani was just “a slap”.

“A slap was delivered last night, but what is important is that the seditious presence of America in the region should be ended,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in remarks broad live on national television Wednesday. . . .

This is far from ended

Posted by: A User | Jan 8 2020 9:33 utc | 388

“Hassan Razaeifar, the head of air crash investigation committee, said it appeared the pilot couldn't communicate with air-traffic controllers in Tehran in the last moments of the flight. He did not elaborate.” (CBC)

Posted by: S | Jan 8 2020 9:41 utc | 389

twitter: Iranian Supreme Leader Says Missile Strikes On US Bases Were Only “The First Step”

Iran has a clever set-up: any host country of an attack in Iranian soil will be hit back.

And they have a clear goal: remove all American bases in the region, but perhaps it can be scaled down to Iraq and Syria. Because of Iraqi PM and parliament, that seems doable, and if done under threats, the largest lost of face Americans experienced in long long time.

A large question is, how long the mumbling, foot shuffling European vassals will cooperate with USA. France is richly rewarded right now for not disabling American sanction mechanism (threats of "crippling sanctions"). Just how stupid they can be? Is there any limit? If Europe resumes trade with Iran and counters American sanctions with European penalties on US companies, everybody can be happy (American can find a more capable leader, my dream ticket is Sanders with Gabbard for VP).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 8 2020 9:48 utc | 390

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.

Actually, paying the U.S. to leave would be a good deal, in spite of how much it would gall the Iraqis, IF AND ONLY IF:

(1) there were some way to measure Trump's sincerity, and
(2) there were some way to punish Trump should he go back on his word later.

However, I don't know how to do (1) and I see no way to enforce (2).

In that case, Rudyard Kipling's advice seems sound: "But we've proved it again and again, / That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld / You never get rid of the Dane."

His use of the word "molested" is also very appropriate now: the U.S. has definitely molested Iraq.

It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
To call upon a neighbour and to say:--
"We invaded you last night--
We are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away."

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you've only to pay 'em the Dane-geld
And then you'll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say:--
"Though we know we should defeat you,
We've not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we've proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say:--

"We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that plays it is lost!"

-- Rudyard Kipling

Posted by: Cyril | Jan 8 2020 9:49 utc | 391

@Zanon #379:

Pray that crash wasnt the work of a missile.

My understanding is that if an Iranian missile hit the plane, it would crash almost vertically, not on a gradual descent trajectory we see in the video of the crash.

Posted by: S | Jan 8 2020 9:55 utc | 392

Re: Posted by: WJ | Jan 8 2020 2:53 utc | 249

This kind of speculation of coordination between the US & Iran about a symbolic response by Iran of lobbing some missiles at an empty base inevitably leads to further speculation.

What is the whole thing was orchestrated all the way back to the rocket attack that killed a US (Iraqi born apparently) contractor?

Did Soleimaini have any internal enemies? Was he considered a strong chance to emerge as President of Iran in 2021? Does someone else have their eyes on the Iranian Presidency in 2021 - and perhaps offered Trump the fall of a lifetime?

Your take out my enemy Soleimaini and I will win the Iranian Presidency in 2021 and we can make a deal. So all together your will look tough President Trump and you will then be revealed as the master peace maker in your second term!

Sounds a bit like Ronald Reagan in the Cold War with Start Wars and the Soviet Union.

There is something indeed very odd about this Iranian non-casualty response.

Posted by: Julian | Jan 8 2020 10:11 utc | 393

*Not the fall of a lifetime. The deal of a lifetime.

Posted by: Julian | Jan 8 2020 10:12 utc | 394

Lold at Jackrabbit and Zanon breathlessly copypasting from the hasbarat playbook. Do they pay you for this garbage at least?

Posted by: WHAT | Jan 8 2020 10:13 utc | 395

According to BBC, at Al Asad base there should be around 1.500 US + coalition troops. The most populated base in Iraq and that was the reason Trump visited it and the reason Iran attacked it

After 17 heavy missiles hit this base, how in the hell anybody thinks there were no US casualties at all? Have you never heard the effect of the Houthies missiles on KSA bases? Of course these are more accurate and powerful

No this is not a Kabuki theater, western people do not understand the blow of the death of Soleimani to the Iranian people and to the IRGC; it is like if some country woud have killed W. Churchill in 1941 and expect no retaliation by the british army. If the Iranian leadership made any "theater" to make a fake attack, I think they would be hanged in lamposts

Posted by: Dave | Jan 8 2020 10:18 utc | 396

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 8 2020 9:48 utc | 386

I think they said West Asia.

There will have to be a diplomatic settlement and Iran has all the cards now. Netanyahu is already panicking.

I don't think Iran's strategic aim is dominance over the region. I think it is a regional settlement minus the US. Europeans may be able to be mediators for the US position, as Trump is incapable, Russia and China may mediate for the Iranians.

US will have to leave Iraq and I think their gulf bases have become obsolete. It will be a long shot as the only ones who have a viable plan are the Iranians (and maybe/probably Russia).

Posted by: somebody | Jan 8 2020 10:20 utc | 397

Zanon 379 etc,

It was a Boeing of the 737 unlucky number class. They have fire issues galore. Boeing = unsafe at any height. There is no need for any conspiracy theory. Besides we are watching the end of an empire in short, sharp sequences so dont get distracted. Stage two is about to unfold.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 8 2020 10:22 utc | 398

If there are no casualties this was planned in concert with the US to let both sides to save face. Theater on a global scale!

Posted by: D. | Jan 8 2020 10:22 utc | 399

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