Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 08, 2020

Iran's Missile Launch Against Two U.S. Bases in Iraq Calls Trump's Bluff - Updated

Updated below

Last night Iran fired 22 Qiam missiles towards two U.S. bases in Iraq. Between 1:45 and 2:15 local time (~22:00 UTC) seventeen missiles hit the Ain al Assad airbase west of Ramadi. Five missiles were aimed at Erbil airport in the northern Kurdish region of Iraq. There were no casualties.

The Swiss embassy in Tehran, which represents the U.S., was warned at least one hour before the attack happened. Around 0:00 UTC the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) which prohibited civil U.S. flights over Iraq, Iran, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

This attack was the "open" and "proportional" response for the U.S. assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani which Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had promised. It will certainly not be the only response but represents the opening shot of a long and much more silent campaign to kick the U.S. out of the Middle East.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who had threatened to destroy 52 targets in Iran including cultural sites if Iran would take any revenge, seems to have understood that this attack was intentionally limited to avoid a larger war:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump - 2:45 UTC · Jan 8, 2020
All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.

The Qiam missiles Iran launched are a derivative of the Soviet Scud type. They are liquid fueled with a warhead of about 700 kilogram. They have a range of some 800 kilometer. Iran has more capable and precise solid fueled missiles it could have used.

The Ain al Assad airbase which was hit is where the drones that killed Soleimani and the Iraqi leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were launched from. Erbil airport is the logistic center for the U.S. forces in Syria.

Videos show the launch and the impact of the missiles.

No U.S. air or missile defense against the incoming projectiles was observed.

The message from Iran is thus: "We can attack all your bases and you can do nothing to prevent that."

Iran's leader said that the attack was "slap in the face" for the U.S. and that this military reaction to the U.S. crime is not the only one that will happen:

Ayatollah Khamenei addressed the nation live on TV in a meeting with a large group of people from Qom, in commemoration of the 42nd anniversary of the January 9, 1978 uprising in Qom against the Pahlavi regime.

The live address also took place hours after the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) targeted the US airbase of Ain al-Assad in Anbar province in western Iraq after launching a wave of attacks in early hours of Wednesday to retaliate the US assassination of IRGC Quds Force commander, Lt. Gen. Qasem Soleimani.
“What is important in addition to retaliation is that military operations do not suffice. It is important to end the US corrupting presence in the region,” the Leader stressed.

“Americans are insisting on bringing corruption and destruction into our dear Iran. Talks of sitting down at the negotiating table is a preface to interventions, which must end. Regional nations do not accept the US presence and its meddling measures,” he added.

“The US enmity toward Iran is not temporary; it’s inherent. It is a ‘gross mistake’ to think if we took a step back and comprised, the US would stop its enmity,” he stressed.

Hours after Iran had launched the missiles a Ukrainian airliner crashed three minutes after it had taken off from Tehran airport. All 176 people on board died. The passengers were mostly from Iran, Canada and the Ukraine. The airplane was a three years old Boeing 737-800 NG operated by Ukrainian International Airlines, the country's flag carrier. Video shows the burning airliner coming down on a glide path. Photos from the crash site show shrapnel like impacts on the fuselage. The evidence is consistent with an uncontained turbine disc rupture but other potential causes can not be ruled out. The incident will be investigated like all other airliner crashes.

The Iranian military revenge was less intensive then I had expected. But it was also a clear sign that Iran is capable and willing to openly attack U.S. bases in the larger area. The missile attack came despite Donald Trump's threats to Iran. It called his bluff.

Further reactions will depend on the U.S. reactions to the demand of the Iraqi parliament that all foreign forces leave Iraq. Should the U.S. leave Iraq peacefully all will be well. Should it insist on staying U.S. soldiers will die.

Update - 17:00 UTC

Additional information has come in which corrects or adds to some of the above made claims.

The 17 missiles launched against Ain al Assad airbase were of the Qiam-2 type which is an updated version of the original Qiam with a guided warhead and much better accuracy. The missiles launched towards Erbil airport were solid fueled Fateh 313 missiles which have a 500 kilometer range and additional anti-interception devices.

Damage pictures of Ain al-Assad airbase show that the hits were well targeted and extremely precise.

Source: ArmsControlWonk - bigger

Source: ArmsControlWonk - bigger

Trump confirmed that there were no U.S. casualties. The situation is thereby de-escalating as the U.S. will now stand down. Trump called the damage on the base "minimal" even while several airplane/drone hangers were obviously hit and completely destroyed with everything they contained. Iran must have had very good intelligence about the site. Trump also lauded an early warning system that, he said, prevented casualties. The Swiss embassy in Tehran will have a good laugh at that comment.

Higher quality daylight pictures of the crashed Ukrainian plane show that at least some of the "shrapnel impact holes" are not holes at all but are debris or dirt lying on top of the aircraft pieces. Additional pictures also show no evidence of an externally induced event.

The Flight Data Recorders of the airplane were found. Iran will download the data from them or, if it does not have that capability, will ask some other country (France?, Germany?) to do so. A preliminary accident report will be published after one month.

Posted by b on January 8, 2020 at 11:45 UTC | Permalink

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Noirette #135

Thanks for that clarity. I am fully with that interpretation.

I might add that it appears that the USA is being kicked out of the Middle East and that Iran and all the Resistance fighters have now launched a relentless PUSH to ensure that end. Perhaps a week may now pass but then the IED's will be emerging from the shadows again (or something like that). Trump is in his very own Dien Bien Phu.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 8 2020 21:52 utc | 301


Gateway pundit

" That site is ridiculous but extremely funny for a cynic like me."

It's often referenced as a source @ trump fluffer site Zerohedge.

Where the trolls gather.

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 8 2020 21:53 utc | 302

Passer by

Some parties and groups do support the americans thats the thing, these parties were not in support of the call for americans to leave Iraq. Other than that I agree what you wrote.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 8 2020 21:58 utc | 303

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 8 2020 21:03 utc | 266

I don't need a lecture, I'm fully aware of the warts in the US political system. What's more important is when is this great patriotic movement I keep hearing about actually going to do something positive for themselves and their country other than brandishing their guns and hugging their bibles?

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 8 2020 22:05 utc | 304

@268 jr.. i think we are in agreement in that usa-israel are not going to stop warmongering or making war here.. and i think you are correct in one of the stages we are in now - decapitate the leadership by selectively taking out qassem and etc..

@ lone wolf.. i knew you were ignorant, i just didn't know by how much.. thanks for clarifying that for everyone..

@ 300 jen... the passenger list gives you a good idea of who has died from canada...they are all iranian type names..

@259 tedo01.. i agreed with a lot of what you had to say in your post, but didn't mention it til now..

and with @135 noirette from even much earlier... lots of insightful posters here fortunately..

Posted by: james | Jan 8 2020 22:06 utc | 305

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 8 2020 21:58 utc | 306

20 % of Shia MPs.

Posted by: Passer by | Jan 8 2020 22:07 utc | 306

Clueless Joe | Jan 8 2020 21:43 utc | 296

They simply lie about how the man was killed. Often they have helicopter accidents and the poor guy dies twice.

You've not been in the US military. It;s pencil-whipping.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 8 2020 22:07 utc | 307

Arby @ 28:

Further to my comment @ 300, the more prosaic explanation is that most of those Canadians on that Ukrainian Boeing 737 were Iranian Canadians visiting family for Christmas / New Year holidays and using that jet to fly back to Canada because it offered cheap fares.

A note found at the site of the crash contained an appeal to Allah for help with upcoming school exams:
(You'll have to use Google Translate if you don't know Russian or Ukrainian.)

Posted by: Jen | Jan 8 2020 22:07 utc | 308

James @ 308:

Thanks for that passenger list, James ... a lot of those names are of young people so it looks like a lot of them are university students. Using a cheap flight alternative to visit family in Iran would have appealed to them.

Kiev was then a transit point for these students and the plane most likely would have continued on to North America.

Now that I know the details, I regret having made the flippant comment @ 300.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 8 2020 22:15 utc | 309

DFC #198

i) Trump has now the full enthusiastic support of the AIPAC and all the others powerful Israeli lobby he will have more money than required for the election. He has demonstrated he is the best possible POTUS for Israel

There is of course the electorate and its choices in the matter. And regardless of all the 'certainty' in propaganda posing as news or poll analysis, it remains propaganda in the USA. 2020 could be a surprise for many.

You may think Trump and his allies at AIPAC have won but Israel is waist deep in the big sandy and has been since its creation 70 years ago. Israel is a broken state with its budget wasted on defence and belligerence (as is the USA).

If the remainder of 2020 sees a vigorous guerrilla war in the occupied states that the USA is bullying around then the citizens of the USA might see unpleasant news and remember the debacle of the USA defeat in Vietnam. They may vote accordingly. But then I am a realist. Plus if one can accept the sincerity of Iran's statements and the Red Flag of Vengeance, then killing US soldiers and war machines is the next step.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 8 2020 22:16 utc | 310

Posted by: Jen | Jan 8 2020 21:44 utc | 300

Ukrainian is the cheapest way to get to Tehran. It's advertised on all the web-pages. All the dead were likely Iranian, whatever the the passports.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 8 2020 22:17 utc | 311

I thought I read from numerous sources, that the response calculus to a major US strike, included threats by both Iran and Hezbollah to direct missile attacks on Israel's major cities (nothing regarding Dimona) and the Houthis threatened not only US ships near their coast but also additional attacks on Saudi oil facilities. It would appear that the Iranian missiles were augmented by Iraqi militia missiles. Given that these additional attacks and threats appear to have stopped at the same time as the completion of the Iranian attacks would suggest possible coordination. The larger picture would suggest that the Axis of Resistance including Lebanon (Hezbollah),Syria (Soviet command plane in place), Iran, Iraq and Yemen can integrate their efforts very effectively to pressure the US to stand down by collectively threatening these two US allies (who both appear to drive our foreign policy in directions against US national interest) rather than the US itself: The conclusion - the price too high to pay is severe collateral damage for those two allies. A pressure point which one could expect to be repeated in upcoming months and skirmishes.

Posted by: abierno | Jan 8 2020 22:19 utc | 312

>Debating the accuracy of body count reminds me of
>America's / Westmoreland's measure of success in Vietnam.
>Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 8 2020 21:20 utc | 281

Yes, my thoughts exactly. I noticed the body count was whispered by an unnamed source to a friendly journalist, then another journalist uncritically repeated the claim and Voila! "Everybody Knows" the Iranians killed 80 US GIs. Where have we seen this before? Oh yeah, from every establishment media everywhere. *Everyone* does propaganda -- are we surprised?

It will be difficult to hide 80 steel boxes, 80 funerals, 80 graves, 80 funeral notices in local papers mostly in small towns. It may take a while, but the truth about these things usually gets revealed.

Meanwhile, it ain't over til the fat lady sings, and she's still in the dressing room. I expect more fireworks and dead bodies before the last act which ends with Uncle Sam slinking offstage with his tail between his legs. The alternate ending is a very big bang. I hope not.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jan 8 2020 22:19 utc | 313

According to PM Abdul-Mahdi the attacks on Iraqi military leaders and armed forces and Iran’s leading military leader was all about trying to keep Iraq from joining up with the new and improved version of Dubya Bush’s “Axis of Evil” coalition. That coalition of nations led by China and Russia are trying to create a financial system free from the control of the dollar dominated financial world order (Pax Americana) which has dominated the world since the 1970s. That system gives American finance lopsided power over the economies of the rest of the world. See Pax Americana: Between Iraq and A Hard Place

Posted by: Kali | Jan 8 2020 22:21 utc | 314

Ok, I've got to bring a moment of levity in here, because despite the fact that apparently WW3 is being postponed, the announcement was done in such an amateur way as to embarrass every American. Even if Trump did the right thing for who knows what reasons, he can't help but look like a damn fool. That ridiculous "address to the nation", man, what a freakish and childish stunt. I waited for the lard-ass, who was late, natch. And if you haven't seen it, you've got to find a video and watch what kind of nonsense we get now. I called my brother, who had not watched it, and described it to him thusly:

First, a bunch of stony-faced guys come out and flank the podium, right and left. There they stand, all severe, unsmiling, eyes vacant, all in black. Behind them, the door opens. No-one has closed the drapes in the room behind them, so the sun is blinding as it shines through the now open door. Emerging from the light, you can finally make out a blurry figure. It's DONALD TRUMP! He comes into focus as he approaches the podium. The men on the right and left do not look at him. They stare out into the cameras and wait.

Okay, right here I am now thinking, "What kind of bullshit is this? Does he think he is some rock star emerging onto the stage? Yeah, coming out of the light like a rock star GOD or some such. " And he leans into the mic and what pops into my head is...and here my brother interrupts me with, "Oh, my God! The Robert Palmer girls!"

Exactly, I say, laughing my ass off now. Because that is JUST what I was thinking of. I really expected to see those black-clad, somber men start shaking their hips as an opening chord was struck.

I think there is some weird stuff going on here, and I wouldn't even begin to hazard a guess as to what it is, but the US had better find someone less ludicrous and juvenile to lead us; this guy is just a total embarrassment.

Anyway, here are the opening lyrics, and a link to a video. I think I am going to spend the rest of my afternoon listening to music and try to flush the image of that imbecilic buffoon out of my mind.

Your lights are on, but you're not home
Your mind is not your own
Your heart sweats, your body shakes
Another kiss is what it takes
You can't sleep, you can't eat
There's no doubt, you're in deep

[...] You see the signs, but you can't read
You're running at a different speed
Your heart beats in double time
Another kiss and you'll be mine, a one track mind
You can't be saved
Oblivion is all you crave [...]

Posted by: teri | Jan 8 2020 22:24 utc | 315

Simple explanations for recent events:
#1. Bibi Netanyahu is about to go down for the third time on March 2nd. He's already under indictment, and he has no intention of going to prison like some of his predecessors.
#2. Bibi orders the hit on the Iranian hero general to instigate a war between the US and Iran, a long time goal of the Israeli government and an excuse to get Israeli voters to rally around the flag and vote for Bibi for continuity/stability.
#3. Trump takes the fall for the hit and pretends that he did it. The Iranians pretend to believe him and launch a pretend "attack" on a couple of US facilities in Iraq in which no one is killed and little damage is done. "All is well" and it's a done deal. Neither Iran or the US wants war now.
#4. Bibi orders his agents to shoot down the civilian airliner two minutes out of Teheran. The Iranians stay mum and pretend that they shot it down by accident. Trump pretends to believe this and does nothing. All is well.
#5. (100% conjecture) Bibi goes all in and sinks/damages a major US warship in the middle east. Writ

Posted by: Donnie | Jan 8 2020 22:24 utc | 316

karlof1 @ 277

Ok - curiosity got the better of me and a quick google search revealed all.

How very American of you.

So how would you suggest this be accomplished?

Drone strike on my residence? Are my wife & children acceptable collateral damage? What about my dear old mum?
How about a SEAL team? All the children in the street will enjoy the helicopters coming in.
Targeted assassination by a CIA sponsored death squad?

Peace out baby!

Posted by: ted01 | Jan 8 2020 22:36 utc | 317

israeli's discovered that soleimani was about to stage a coup to overthrow the ayatollahs. They, and us, thought he'd be far worse ruling they told the ayatollah's and they sent him to iraq and gave us permission to wack him . In return , the iranians fired off a few ballistic missiles that didn't kill a soul, to save face, and the press is saying americans got advanced warning , although iranian tv is saying 80 dead gringos. And then trump announces it's over. Iran backed down. How does a country launch ballistic missiles and then back down ? Although that leaves all the dead from the ukrainian jet. It was supposedly carrying most of soleimani's co-conspirators trying to flee Iran.

Posted by: paul | Jan 8 2020 22:38 utc | 318

Walter @ 226

Velocity is in one direction with zero force applied and zero friction. If input power is applied V increases in the same unaltered direction.
If drag, velocity decreases in the same direction.

This is unnecessarily complicated verbiage. The difference is simple. A velocity is a speed plus a direction. Its that simple. No need to call in forces, nor friction, nor "input power".

You are inserting the specifics (i.e., input power) of a powered object (i.e., a missile) into the abstract definition of velocity - and making a muddle of it.

Speed occurs independent of velocity, sorta. Say a motorcycle rounding the dirt track going 80 km. The velocity changes, the speed does not. In a circle track it's sinusoidal.

Speed occurs? Is that like "shit happens"? Speed is assigned to objects; it doesn't float free in a grammar space. The correct way to say it might be "object A has speed X." Speed is not "independent, sorta" from velocity. Speed is one component of velocity.

TIFFY: Every moving object has a speed (scalar quantity) and a direction (vector quantity). A velocity is a vector quantity made up of a speed and a direction. A cycle on a circular track has constant speed (the absolute value of the velocity is constant) and a constantly changing direction.

If the mass moves in a gravitational field that's not aligned with the path of the object, then there is lateral motion too, and an acceleration toward that mass.

You have turned mechanics 101 into Heidiggerian gibberish. Here's the straightforward version of that:

TIFFY: An object launched in a gravitational field (with no other forces acting) will follow a parabolic curve that depends on the angle of launch (i.e., the initial velocity). If air friction causes drag, the velocity will decrease and the curve will become non-parabolic. If the object is powered, its velocity can increase after launch. If the trajectory is long enough, Coriolis forces of the rotating earth will deflect it. Coriolis forces only become significant relative to drag or wind at the scale of miles.

These, for cannon shot, have drag, gravitational acceleration, and Coriolis effect. We call that science ballistics.

No one who hasn't had a course in mechanics would recognize those terms from your vague description

This stuff was programmable (hard ROM in bronze) in the naval battleships' mechanical computers of the 1930's

Mechanical analog computers are still in use in the highly respected Soviet ZSU-23 Shilka SP-AA gun, used by the Syrian government right up to today. (The ZSU-23 is nicknamed the "sewing machine" (Shilka) for the noises it makes.)


After all that hot air, you never addressed how the difference between speed and velocity is relevant to the issue of terminal guidance of a missile.

Please don't bother. I already have a headache.

Posted by: john brewster | Jan 8 2020 22:39 utc | 319

Kali @ 318; Thanks for the link, it explains why the empire is scared shit-less of a Multi-polar world, and it's fear of other nations coming alliances to challenge the dollars global hegemony..

Posted by: ben | Jan 8 2020 22:48 utc | 320

teri @ 319; Now, you've got it in my mind. ROFLMFAO!!!

Posted by: ben | Jan 8 2020 22:53 utc | 321

Perimetr, Karlofi - As far as I know, the US does not have a Patriot in Iraq and hasn't in years. Why would we? ISIS and al Qaeda have no air force, and they're on our side anyway. Iraqis have a few pieces of old soviet air defense equipment, but I don't think it's even functional or used. And they have no reason to 'protect' American bases anyway.

We didn't shoot down the Iranian ballistic missiles because we had nothing that could do that in Iraq. I think that was kind of the message Iran wanted to send the US. If we do stay there, we'll have to consolidate US and Coalition of Evil troops into a few bases that can be protected by Patriots. Careful for the occasional boomerang PAC-2 attacking the Patriot batteries - those things are dangerous as hell.

The US could probably see the missiles at some point - we have plenty of SPY-1 radars 'watching' Iran from Turkey, GCC and probably Iraqi 'Kurdistan'. But the only nearby Patriots would have to be fired from Kuwait, Bahrain or Israel - useless against a much closer Iranian cross border missile attack on Ain Al Assad or Erbil even if they could be intercepted. PAC-2/3 range ~70 km or 45 miles. They would have to be at the bases hit to be of any use in an Iranian missile attack.

We might have SHORAD or other short-range small-caliber rocket defense at Iraqi bases (don't know), but nothing that would have protected them from a ballistic missile.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 8 2020 22:55 utc | 322

even though the Iranians gave advance warning of their missile attack, and though they used only old Scud derivative missiles, not one was intercepted by the Amerikastani war criminals
They seem to be in damage-control mode (literally and figuratively), which strongly implies that the attack was not theater.

Of course, anything is possible. But I would lean toward Kabuki theatre - as someone said, Iran is giving the US an off ramp. My guess: Trump got duped by the usual suspects to go after Soleimani; no doubt after some reflection and scouring the reactions realized it was a political mistake (among other things); having received a warning of the attack, no need to intercept - let Iran have its demonstration, spin as no casualties/minimal damage (after all who is going to contradict that?), and then hit that blinker to exit the off ramp. At least, that is what I hope happens.

Posted by: c matt | Jan 8 2020 22:55 utc | 323

Peter AU1 | Jan 8 2020 18:32 utc | 176

That is really not such a great problem. They could ament the legislation to ad “without permission” or make the allies “temporary honorary Iraqis, like the CITES added mammoths to the list of endangered species, so as to be able to clamp down on the trading in mammoth ivory!

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jan 8 2020 22:57 utc | 324

Why is it that when I try to post I am told that I have taken too long, howevewr quickly I do it?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jan 8 2020 22:58 utc | 325

@ 329; Try preview before you post..

Posted by: ben | Jan 8 2020 23:00 utc | 326

teri @319:

I really expected to see those black-clad, somber men start shaking their hips as an opening chord was struck.



Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8 2020 23:02 utc | 327

fyi Re Ukraine's Boeing aircrash:

Canadian news broadcast interview with Ukraine's ambassador. "Shevchenko said he would advocate on behalf of Canada to ensure the government gets access to the black boxes..."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Jan 8 2020 23:03 utc | 328

ted01 @321:

How very American of you... Drone strike on my residence?


Full disclosure: I too have been FOADed by karlof1.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8 2020 23:05 utc | 329

Re PavewayIV | Jan 8 2020 22:55 utc | 326

Many thanks, very helpful.

Posted by: Perimetr | Jan 8 2020 23:14 utc | 330

Paveway IV @326--

Thanks for your reply! In my comments yesterday, I worked on the assumption that the only air defense present in Iraq was AAA. Today after reading many reports saying the vaunted air defense systems had failed, I began writing they were present for some odd reason. I see Saker has his own BDA thread going and left a comment there about the lack of info on Ebril and the PMU attacks as I've also said here.

Given energy requirements, how large a platform would be required to mount an airborne laser weapon presumably powered by a mini-nuke? Do you think Russia's ground-based system's powered that way?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 8 2020 23:20 utc | 331

Paveway IV @326: the US does not have a Patriot in Iraq and hasn't in years.

Well at least that's cleared up.

What do you think about the lack of casualties? Does that make sense to you?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8 2020 23:23 utc | 332

And for good, legitimate reasons recognized by all barflies at the time--just like now with the previously 86'ed troll.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 8 2020 23:24 utc | 333

"What do you think about the lack of casualties? Does that make sense to you?" I reiterate my post @322 which adequetely explains all conundrums.

Posted by: paul | Jan 8 2020 23:31 utc | 334

Shout out to JR @227 in reply to mine @ 219
I don't think USA is leaving Iraq any time soon. In fact, they are now saying that the Iraqi government (different than Parliament) haven't asked USA to leave.

For those born after 1975 who missed the sight of Saigon 1975, it was from the roof tops of the embassy. FAST FORWARD, There will be another.

"He's also calling for NATO engagement. That likely means Turkey's troops (mostly) entering Iraq."

Oh really, NATO!!? hehe. Is that why the coalition have moved out of harms way in Iraq?

Turkey!!? Today, January 8, Erdo and Putin inaugurated TurkStream, much to the fury of little u.s.a.

See the second follow up this evening rockets falling in the Green Zone

And back in D.C: US Lawmakers 'Deeply Skeptical' of 'Imminent Threat' Posed by Soleimani Following Intel Briefing

utterly unpersuaded about any evidence about the imminence of a threat that was new or compelling," he said in reference to details laid out by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, CIA director Gina Haspel and Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley, according to the Washington Post.

The congress people have taken to Twitter. That bunch could not sell a clunker.

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 8 2020 23:33 utc | 335

Laguerre's guess seems to have been borne out: the passengers were almost all Iranians.
As to what happened to the airplane, if it was not an accident the obvious question to ask is "who benefits?"
The answer is equally clear: "those wishing to isolate Iran, make travel and trade with it difficult and deter the fainthearted from going there."
Which is to say the "west" with the US and Israel at the top of the list.
The question then arises " Which agencies are known to have engaged in sabotage and terrorism in Iran?"
We all know the answer to that, adding to Mossad, CIA/MI6 and other state services, MEK.
Finally: Apart from Iran and its connections with its exiled 'diaspora' who else suffered?
Again, the answer is easy, Ukraine and, in particular, the President thereof and Kolomoisky his sponsor, a major investor in the airline, and currently in bad odour with the "west" for sending out feelers to Moscow and negotiating with the Russians.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 8 2020 23:36 utc | 336

my conclusion as well bevin... it will be spun 180 % opposite our view however...

Posted by: james | Jan 8 2020 23:42 utc | 337

@ Posted by: foolisholdman | Jan 8 2020 22:58 utc | 329 who asked
Why is it that when I try to post I am told that I have taken too long, howevewr quickly I do it?
When that happens to me, I carefully select and copy my/the still available comment text and then do a refresh of the page before entering my personal and then pasting my comment and doing preview/post

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 8 2020 23:43 utc | 338

#Iranians react to country's #missile attacks against two #US military bases in #Iraq #DecisiveResponse

Video shows missiles being prepared in an unknown Iranian underground missile city before their launch against U.S. military bases in #Iraq.

#DecisiveResponse #Iran

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 9 2020 0:06 utc | 339

foolisholdman | Jan 8 2020 22:58 utc | 329:

It's not time based but the number of comments already posted. So, if your post would be #5 (if posted) but there are many people posting their comments bringing the post count to, say 15, then you've lost your spot. Follow what psychohistorian at @342 stated and you're back in business.

Posted by: Ian2 | Jan 9 2020 0:06 utc | 340

An interesting line of speculation (for a Canadian at least), regarding the passenger jet crash, are the openings this might present to restage this sickening tragedy as a reprise of the MH-17 downing, in which Canada takes over the Netherlands' role as aggrieved NATO member, Iran plays Russia (if the globalist Borg is willing to leave Russia out of it), and the role of Malaysia goes to Ukraine, who will surrender their role as pre-cleared non-suspect host with a veto over information disclosures. The veto should not be necessary, with Chrystia Freeland on the Canadian end, and experienced Ukranian crash investigators on the other....

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Jan 9 2020 0:11 utc | 341

The problem with the supposed mutual "de-escalation" between US-Iran is that there is no centralized control over resistance to the U.S. occupation, as witnessed by the latest rocket attacks against the U.S. fortress (aka embassy) in Baghdad. When more uncontrolled actors chime in against U.S. military occupation bases it will be exceedingly difficult for Trump et. al. to avoid escalation.

Posted by: Trisha | Jan 9 2020 0:16 utc | 342

I think the earthquake reported yesterday around Bushehr was an underground nuclear test, conducted by Iran at this time because of the extreme risk of the US/Israel doing something stupid by escalating after the missiles hit the US assets in Iraq.

Regardless of the religious fatwa against nuclear weapons, Iran would have been foolish not to have developed to 99% the ability to make one, given Israel's nuclear arsenal.

These recent events would have catalysed them to prepare, just in case, for the unthinkable.

My guess is that in combination with the precision strikes last night, the detonation, if my theory is correct, would have really sobered up both the Americans and the Israelis fast, resulting in the sudden media silence, the walking back of tensions etc, while they reassess the change in calculus for a war of choice against a suddenly proven nuclear armed Iran.

Posted by: The Q | Jan 9 2020 0:18 utc | 343

According to ICAO regulations, Iran can pass the black boxes on to any ICAO accredited laboratory of its chosing. Does Iran have one? Probably not? The nearest neutral nation would be? Certainly not USUK, Ukraine, Netherlands. Irrespective, anywhere outside the corrupticon will have the warmongers claiming manipulation.

Posted by: AndrewB | Jan 9 2020 0:23 utc | 344

Tyler over at The Drive War Zone found 3 more hits on the al Asad airbase in a high res satellite image.

They have a link to the full resolution image

Posted by: Wvw | Jan 9 2020 0:26 utc | 345

@348 andrew... send them to Malaysia*.. they are also a *Council Member State..

Posted by: james | Jan 9 2020 0:27 utc | 346

Forget about Iran, the real crisis is that somebody stole Paul Krugman's IP address and downloaded a bunch of kiddie porn to his computer. I know this because he announced the fact on twitter. Which is obviously the first thing any of us would do upon unexpectedly discovering predatory images of the sexual violation of minors on our computer, right?

Posted by: Wj | Jan 9 2020 0:32 utc | 347

Laguerre @ 315:

Thanks for the info. James @ 308 found the passenger list. The majority have Iranian names. The passengers surnamed Lindberg look like a family who could have been visiting the wife's relatives in Iran.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 9 2020 0:35 utc | 348

We disintegrated their queen piece, they don't even dare scratch a pawn in response....and we get comment after comment taunting the US forces and Iran's ability to chase them out.

Guess what - the US didn't even bother attempting to defend from the rockets. Lots of missile defenses standing down. They let Iran make a big show, brushed it off, and hopefully we move on from a dangerous showdown.

I don't doubt there will be a lot of stray rockets and mortar shots taken at the US because of this over time, Suleimani had a lot of friends in a lot of places, some of them dangerous people.

Posted by: Daniel Lennon | Jan 9 2020 0:40 utc | 349

Re: 80 fatalities

Training accidents, helicopter accidents (particularly around Hawaii, for some reason), maybe a boat accident or two, some accidents/murders while on leave, and probably a mass shooting or two by some convenient crazies at bases somewhere will account for dozens of bodies and nobody in the US will question it. The US will then only have to explain a handful of corpses and the couple hundred that were injured but unfortunately didn't die. Unfortunate because it will be impossible to get all of them to never reveal where they were injured.

In any case, everyone should expect the captive corporate mass media to begin hinting that there were some injuries in a few days, and then start easing in the notion that some people died. At first it will be suggested that the fatalities were Iraqi, but then it will be hinted that they may have been American of Iraqi descent, and once people start getting accustomed to the idea they will start leaking out a bit at a time that the dead are regular American troops. Since nobody will bother to remember their names everyone out in TV land will just assume that it was only a couple Americans killed. It isn't as if either FOX, CNN, or the New York Langley Times will come out and say anything like "That brings the total of US troops killed in the missile strike up to thirty-seven!" That would be unpatriotic and bad for the war effort. Instead they will be extremely careful to keep the count completely ambiguous.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 9 2020 0:41 utc | 350

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 8 2020 20:25 utc | @233

speed is a scalar, velocity is a vector. usually when assessing velocity, the direction is a given either as an assumption or a measured orientation around the axis-system, so that it effectively becomes a scalar, i.e. is the same as speed. for the discussions on this board its a moot point.

Posted by: trind | Jan 9 2020 0:51 utc | 351

Series of tweets from McClatchy Military Affairs Reporter (about 2 hours ago):

Chairman Milley and Defense Secretary @EsperDoD just briefed us again - new: They believe #Iran was targeting US lives at the #alasad base, not intending to miss . Early warning saved those lives, they said (more)

16 missiles were launched, 12 struck. They hit tents, taxiways, a parking lot and damaged a helicopter

correcting above -- 11 hit #AlAsadAirbase - the other hit #Erbil, fired from three locations within #Iran

Importantly on #RedLine #Iran as reports of additional attacks on #GreenZone come in, Defense Secretary @EsperDoD said "I think we need to make the distinction between Iran on one hand and the militia groups on the other." (more)

There is a clear relationship between the two still, Esper said, and he and @thejointstaff Chairman Milley expect additional attacks both directed by #Iran and "non-directed" where the militias go it alone (more)

"Our challenge will be to sort through that, to understand who's doing it, who is motivating it. React forcefully, act forcefully, to make sure that we keep that level of deterrence raised high" @EsperDod said (more)

@thejointstaff Chairman Milley said "I always think public discussions of red lines are not particularly helpful, and I oftentimes think they often prove untrue." BUT ... (more)

@thejointstaff Milley continued "I and those of us in uniform and those in theater fully expect Shia militia groups to conduct terrorist operations against US forces and coalition forces in #Iraq and perhaps even elsewhere, #Syria ... that's a very real possibility (More)

@thejointstaff Chairman Milley continued, "are they under the control of Iran? We believe that these Shia militia groups have very, very substantial links to the Iranian special operations forces, Quds Force." With Soleimani's death, "that command and control has been disrupted."

My comments:

1) After yesterday's attack, Iran said that their "defensive" attack was done. I wouldn't expect that they will launch any further attacks unless they are attacked directly.

2) The battle becomes the "Resistance Axis" vs USA. Exactly what support the "Resistance Axis" may get directly, or indirectly, from Iran is unknown. USA talks as though they are direct cut-outs instead of independent organizations that coordinate with each other and Iran. USA probably won't attack Iran unless these groups mount an attack that does severe damage.

3) This update has no mention of any plans to pull troops out of Iraq or replace them with NATO troops (aside: As USA is a NATO country, they would be likely to stay under as part of any NATO deployment - just supplemented with other troops).

4) The Generals are now (finally) acknowledging that Iran tried to hit troops. This is typical. State one thing for propaganda purposes, then acknowledge the truth later. There are now plenty of press reports that can be pointed to as "proof!" that the "just for Show" attack is affront to the martyr and Shia honor.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 9 2020 0:54 utc | 352

Posted by: Jen | Jan 9 2020 0:35 utc | 352

Yes, lots of students returning to school and university in Canada.

If intentional its an attack on Iran's international ties.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 9 2020 0:54 utc | 353

@356 link: Tara Copp


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 9 2020 0:56 utc | 354

Re vk:

Well, you've definitely been drawn out of the closet. A trump fluffer without doubt.

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 8 2020 19:43 utc | 218

vk is kind of a know-it-all. I think he lives in Brazil but fancies himself the ultimate expert on all things American. For example, this (vk 197):
"After Soleimani, Americans all over the country are wishing Clinton had won in 2016, for the simple fact at least the illusion of a thousand-year empire would be kept alive."

I don't know where he gets this stuff.
You have to just smile at his earnestness and bear in mind that it is all second and third hand.

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 9 2020 1:04 utc | 355


"The Trump administration provided 'no justification whatsoever for this illegal and unconstitutional act of war that President Trump took,' presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard tells @jaketapper after she attended an intelligence briefing about the strike on Qasem Soleimani."

Other Reps interviewed said the presentation was woeful and "utterly unconvincing". I find it curious that despite her many tiffs with CNN, Gabbard gets quite a bit of airtime from it.

Meanwhile, 180+ Anti-war events scheduled across the USA on Thursday.

How far the above information gets disseminated is the question since BigLie Media still seems to be pushing the War Narrative.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 9 2020 1:05 utc | 356

Also complicating matters was parliament attendance. While the Iraqi parliament voted 170-0 to approve the bill, more than 150 members weren’t in attendance
Iraq is more than shia parties. Unfortunately.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 8 2020 18:28 utc | 172

1. US has made it clear to disrespect Iraqis and their country as a whole. Those who support the US can show up and vote against but they don't. Such position after US bombing Iraqis and then Soleimani assassination is extremely unpopular.
2. Two of the largest political factions that has the largest armed wings the PMF and Mahdi Army of Moqtada al Sadr has make their position of US forces eviction. Of course they're not the only militias on Iraq and other group friendly to US exist but those pale in comparison to the two sizes.

There would be hot proxy war in Iraq of course and US would start bombing targets in Iraq but their enemy isn't only there. Right next to them is Iran and Syria. Think of having the Iraq war 2.0 with Iran acting as their industrial base and airforce.

Posted by: Lucci | Jan 9 2020 1:06 utc | 357

craig murrays thoughts on this...

A Window for Peace 231

Posted by: james | Jan 9 2020 1:08 utc | 358

Part of the widespread misconception that the Patriot system was deployed in Iraq are due to tweets like this:

"they can't give in that they are shocked how and why so many Iranian missiles got through...
Iran has shown it can hit what where and when she wants.
It was perfect."

And there are thousands of such tweets and retweets.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 9 2020 1:12 utc | 359

Jackrabbit @356,

A couple more observations:

1. Esper's report of damage to bases easily belied by imagery already reported here and elsewhere.
2. If Iran intentionally aimed at air hangars etc. then Esper line intended to deflect from Iran's restraint and precision, both of which serve domestic purpose.
3. All of a sudden the Pentagon is saying we must make a distinction between Shi'a militias in Iraq and Iran: the very thing they spent the last few weeks denying or obfuscating.
4. The refusal to state public Red Lines means (a) the US expects further attacks and (b) wants to be able to plausibly avoid striking Iran in response to such attacks.

The above tell me that the Iranian attack did serve as an effective measure of deterrence for the time being, regardless of the casualty question.

Posted by: WJ | Jan 9 2020 1:16 utc | 360

I stand corrected, Magnier has just posted, now b has a source to copy and paste.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Jan 8 2020 20:47 utc | 254

Pretty catty for a lone wolf.
Why don't you piss off to a blog that is good enough for you.

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 9 2020 1:17 utc | 361

Now I am a devoted fan of "B" but like all in America you fail to understand a "Kilometre" is not a KILOMETER? A "Meter" is what is used to measure your electricity, and a METRE is the METRIC measure of distance. The US may believe it's EXCEPTIONAL but its spelling is shit outside its Borders?

Posted by: William Kierath | Jan 9 2020 1:25 utc | 362

" #3. Trump takes the fall for the hit and pretends that he did it. The Iranians pretend to believe him and launch a pretend "attack" on a couple of US facilities in Iraq in which no one is killed and little damage is done. "All is well" and it's a done deal. Neither Iran or the US wants war now.
#4. Bibi orders his agents to shoot down the civilian airliner two minutes out of Teheran. The Iranians stay mum and pretend that they shot it down by accident. Trump pretends to believe this and does nothing. All is well.
#5. (100% conjecture) Bibi goes all in and sinks/damages a major US warship in the middle east. Writ "

If true, why would all the parties go out of their way to shield Israhell ? What powers does it yield to get such protection ? Why not just take it out with all the evidence available ?

Posted by: Fog of War | Jan 9 2020 1:28 utc | 363

karlof1@335 - Thy can make reactors pretty small, but the boiler, turbine and generator? Er, I would have to see it to believe it. Russians are crazy like that though (nuke-powered cruise missile and all) so I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to make one. They have the expertise.

On the other hand, a semi-trailer mounted diesel genset on a flatbed is way more economical and works fine for their insanely-powerful jammers and radar. I think they would just keep it simple like that rather than fork over tens of millions for a mini-nuke generator. In fact, I doubt they would waste the money on a fantasy ground laser AD. The S-400 and Pantsir layered air defense seems pretty damn adequate.

The treasonous US Department of Defense (and our little Israeli parasite buddies) seem to be the only ones willing to soak US taxpayers (me) for stupid, overpriced unproven junk like that. Can you guys hold the next salvo of ballistic missiles you're using on us? We have to recharge...

Jackrabbit@336 - Lack of casualties? Sure. Iran wouldn't send a message through the Swiss Embassy (or Iraq or wherever) to the US to clear out the base first if they intended to kill a bunch of nobody US soldiers, would they?

The video of the impacts seem to be from Iraqis well outside the base waiting for the attack. The US would be fools to ignore such a warning, and our snooper satellites and long-distance surveillance radars would have picked up the launch, flight and potential impact points. Some Israeli-firster CENTCOM commander was freaking out at the actual launch and filling his depends while screaming at the base commanders to get the hell out of those bases or into their bunkers if they were not, already.

US lies to us little people about the attack, and Iran lies to its little people about the attack. Boo hoo, but WWIII averted and no little people died. I'll begrudgingly accept 'the usual lies' from my government if it leads to that outcome.

I don't think Iran is quite done with us yet. I have my fingers crossed that they'll still consider taking out Ras Tanura, Gawar and all the desalination plants in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Israel. See how infectious psychopathy can be?

Excuse me... I must have opioids and whiskey. Oh, you know why.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 9 2020 1:31 utc | 364

@ DL 353

[.]"Guess what - the US didn't even bother attempting to defend from the rockets. Lots of missile defenses standing down. They let Iran make a big show, brushed it off, and hopefully we move on from a dangerous showdown."

So is this why Trump imposed more harsh sanctions when offering Iran,,"let's get along" !!!?

"the u.s. allowed Iran to make a big show by standing down their missile defenses." !!!?

Pepe Escobar:

[A] top U.S. intel source sent me this analysis in response to a detailed question:

“It is most unlikely Trump will escalate at this point, and this could provide him with the opportunity to leave the Middle East except for the Gulf States. Trump wants to get out. The fact that Israel would be hit next by Iran [as promised, among others, by the IRGC as well as Hezbollah’s secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah] will probably cause them to pull back, and not order Trump to bomb Iran itself.

“DEBKA-Mossad acknowledged that Iran’s offensive missiles cannot be defended against. Its secret is that it hugs the ground going underneath the radar screens.” [the source is referring to the Hoveizeh cruise missile, with a range of 1,350 km, already tested by Tehran.] [.]

According to my source, who is very close to the Qatari royal family, Trump actually sent a message to Tehran via the emir. The message has two layers. Trump promised sanctions would be cancelled if there were no retaliation from Tehran (something that Trump simply wouldn’t have the means to assure, considering the opposition from Capitol Hill) ; and there would be de-escalation if Tehran came up with a “proportional” response.

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif described the Iranian missile strikes as a “proportional response”.


So today, having imposed harsher economic sanctions on Iran, little trumpy once again proves the u.s. has no credibility.

Take it to the bank, the u.s. will leave either standing upright or laying horizontal on slats of glued and stapled lumber.

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 9 2020 1:42 utc | 365

From the Saker – ‘Turns out that the Iranian strikes were apparently very accurate’
See: The Iranian missile strike: an initial evaluation Jan 8, 2020; Link:

Posted by: Paul | Jan 9 2020 1:49 utc | 366

I forgot to mention that The Atlantic Council/FDD's fluffer, Bellingcat, has solved the mystery of the Ukraine Airline's crash in Tehran: Iran did it, and Bellingcat sleuths have found the Tor guidance head right there at the crash site sitting in a ditch. The warhead sits behind the cone-shaped nose guidance unit, so that tip often survives the explosion.

Glad that's solved. Eliot is my hero! And anyone notice how Bellingcat and the MSM have been yapping about faked imagery and deep fakes lately? That can't be accidental. I'm guessing that 15-year-old Bulgarian hacker (or Assange or whomever) with the 900 Epstein vids of US politicians got bored and released them somewhere on the internet. Nobody is going to buy the 'deep fake' excuse - US .gov is going down. I'm heading to the FEMA camps after the food riots. Speaking of which, I wonder how the Brits are going to react to vids of Prince Andrew raping a child? Ewww...

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 9 2020 1:53 utc | 367

I don't think Iran is quite done with us yet. I have my fingers crossed that they'll still consider taking out Ras Tanura, Gawar and all the desalination plants in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Israel. See how infectious psychopathy can be?
posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 9 2020 1:31 utc | 368

Iraqis haven't made their blows to US yet but i predict it will be sooner than later. Some clueless commander or advisor on US sides might be inclined to make another strike run to Iraqis militias office and infrastructure thinking that they should be an easier target than Iran itself but still hurt Iran. Another thing is the man taking over Qassem Soleimani task is someone who active in Iran north and east border which mean he could probably make move on Afghanistan.

Posted by: Lucci | Jan 9 2020 2:01 utc | 368

A precision missile strike on an airbase of supposedly the greatest military the world has ever seen yet no retaliation.

The emperor has no clothes.

This is from Ziad Zawi commenting here which sums it up well.

"Iran just openly launched a military retaliation against US forces, bragged about it, and said there will be plenty more to come if the US touches us again. And the US declines to touch them. This is unprecedented, at least in recent decades. Maybe China attacking US troops in Korea in 1950 is the last time such a thing happened.

People talk about the lack of casualties, 'symbolic, face saving strike.' But the last the US ever would want is to help Iran save face. They would do it only if they had to. And so the key take home point of all this, is that they had to. This give Iran an enormous amount of prestige in the region that no one else ever had. They looked them in the eye and slapped them in the face and their only response was to say "That didn't hurt at all. So no need to hit back." This from policy makers who would invent the lamest of excuses to invade a country.

The practical effects remain to be seen. Just 3 days ago it seemed like the US strategy was to murder pro-Iranian officials in Iraq until they all came running to Uncle Sam. My guess is that plan has gone back to the drawing board for some time to come.

Obviously, the US ability to intimidate Russia and China (which was rather meager to begin with) is now about as frightening as watching a bad horror movie that's more of a comedy than horror. Pretty soon, even vassal states will be losing their fear."

Posted by: evilsooty999 | Jan 9 2020 2:13 utc | 369

@ 326 PavewayIV

It is inconceivable that the main US airbase in Iraq has no missile defences and I do not believe it for a second. What exactly do you mean when you say "As far as I know..." Have you worked at the base? Given the fact that the US and Israel, certainly during Trump's tenure, have been planning the destruction of Iran, do you not think that the nearest significant US airbase would be the first to be targeted by Iran, as was proved last night, and would it not be equipped with the best the US has to offer? Perhaps you are unaware about how advanced the Iranians have become in the field of electronic engineering. The Russians, the Chinese and Iran have left the US and Israel way behind. That is what shocked them last night and in the attack on the the oil terminal some months ago. The latter was Iranian technology and managed to get past all Saudi and US defences. This is why Netanyahu had second thoughts last night. What if Hezbollah is equipped with these missiles - and the ones used last night were not the most advanced? That's why I am sure he called Trump who was already shitting himself.

As somebody who has set himself up as the resident expert in these matters perhaps you could enlighten us about how you know what you know.

Posted by: Lochearn | Jan 9 2020 2:16 utc | 370

So, let's indulge in amrchair generalship. What if the PMU decide to show up, at the same time, at the door of most US bases and around embassy and consulates all across Iraq, so that they can't reinforce each other and have to deal with that all at the same time. And while most US troops are quite pinned down at more or less known locations, Iran sends a thousand missiles on these targets? Either the US soldiers leave the defensive perimeter to bunker down or to move / evacuate planes, vehicles and the like, and then once the missile wave is over the militias can enter mostly unopposed, or they lose the bulk of their base trying to defend it, with most probably no means of evacuation left.
The tricky part is, imho, that dozens of commanders should be in the know, so there would be leaks sooner or later, unless they've been massively vetted. On the other hand, even a leak on such an operation should freak out the Pentagon and convince generals that they'd better leave Iraq soon or face massive losses - though not the nearly complete loss that such an operation could muster if complete surprise were achieved.

Now, about the plane, if it has been taken down willingly, I'd suspect MEK agents to be behind it - they seem to me to be the most likely to have access and means to operate at Tehran airport, maybe on order from Israel or the US, but I don't think those ones would send their own agents deep into Iran to do that kind of dirty work.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jan 9 2020 2:18 utc | 371

Posted by: Lochearn | Jan 9 2020 2:16 utc | 373S

US military infrastructure in Iraq would be handed over to Iraq government when they're asked to leave. Another reason probably because they don't trust Iraqi population itself since it's easy for the base to be overruned by militants or their inexpensive rockets and mortar attacks and such sophisticated sensitive equipment would simply captured or inexpensively destroyed on such case.

Posted by: Lucci | Jan 9 2020 2:23 utc | 372

PavewayIV @368--

Thanks for your reply! I presume you've seen this, Russia's Peresvet laser canon that appears to be powered by a massive generator, although the housing is big enough for a small nuclear reactor. The reactor makes more sense since it can supply an uninterrupted stream of energy for more continuous operation. And since Nature doesn't hide its secrets, such technology can be developed by any nation with the proper industrial capacity.

Thanks again for your feedback!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 9 2020 2:50 utc | 373

Fog of War @ 367: "If true, why would all the parties go out of their way to shield Israhell? What powers does it yield to get such protection? Why not just take it out with all the evidence available?" Nukes, psychopaths, and racial supremacists.
Donnie @ 320: "...Bibi goes all in and sinks/damages a major US warship in the middle east."
#5 continued: Trump and the Ayatollah look at each other (from opposite sides of the world), nod, and launch a coordinated attack on Israel which ends any more possible threats from that quarter. Peace in the middle east ensues.

Posted by: Donnie | Jan 9 2020 2:59 utc | 374

Now I am a devoted fan of "B" but like all in America you fail to understand a "Kilometre" is not a KILOMETER? A "Meter" is what is used to measure your electricity, and a METRE is the METRIC measure of distance. The US may believe it's EXCEPTIONAL but its spelling is shit outside its Borders?

Posted by: William Kierath | Jan 9 2020 1:25 utc | 366

Uh, I think B is in Germany. "Kilometer" and "kilometre" mean the same thing. "Kilometer" is correct German and US spelling (except US would be l.c.).

"Metre" is UK spelling of "meter."
"Meter/metre" = a device for measuring electricity (or, say, water, as in "water meter" [!!]; see also "postage meter"); basic unit of metric system of measurement.

1 kilometer/-metre = 1,000 meters/metres.

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 9 2020 3:12 utc | 375

Over at Sakers blog there is a posting by PCR with opinion on why Russia should formalize plan to support Iran to prevent war. And commenter there lays out with great reason while that will not and should not happen. Made this point make sense for me.

Posted by: jared | Jan 9 2020 3:15 utc | 376

@Lochearn 373

It is inconceivable that the main US airbase in Iraq has no missile defences and I do not believe it for a second.

I have to agree. On the other hand, if the choice is between ABM failing on intercept, failing on operate or being entirely absent, all three scenarios demonstrate a dangerous lack of preparedness. The latter scenario being true isn't a whole lot better than the two former ones, since a theoretically effective ABM outside of the target zone is still 0% effective. Excuses along the line of "We didn't expect..." are also 0% effective, if not punishable negligence, and should raise the question of vulnerability on all US installations in the region.

Those responsible would be better served suggesting that the missiles were purposefully allowed to reach their targets, as some here have suggested, than admitting to poor strategic planning, sporadic air-defense capability and, ultimately, grave incompetence. Such claims appear especially farcical shortly after the commander-in-chief boasted about how great said base was.

As to flight 752, I've been told Ukrainian media channels have been responding to claims supposedly originating with Russian disinfo agents. Claims that a ground stop had been called for commercial air-traffic, and that the 752 was something of an exception in being allowed to depart. It would certainly be interesting to know how many other commercial flights were departing or in the air around that time.

Additionally, the 752 had been delayed for an hour before departure, which may have been due to a malfunction or concerns thereof. Perhaps that might help to explain why Iran quickly concluded it to have been a mechanical failure?

Posted by: Skiffer | Jan 9 2020 3:23 utc | 377

The agit-prop has only just begun...

Flight PS752: A Canadian Tragedy

As for the American shitshow crashing and burning in the ME, here's the proposed solution:

NATO Allies Should Do The Unthinkable And Listen To Trump

"It makes sense for NATO to become more involved in the Mideast. We don't want America continuing to muddle through on its own..."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Jan 9 2020 3:33 utc | 378

@ 381 john.. the national post was started by conrad black, the guy found guilty and stuck in prison for a long time til trump pardoned him.. you see, you don't want to have a bonafide neo con stuck rotting in jail when he can be on the lose starting media outlets like the np - purveyor of bullshit 24-7 do you?? anyone who reads that rag need their head read or like drinking neo-con juice on a regular basis..

Posted by: james | Jan 9 2020 3:57 utc | 379

June 17th, 2017. Iran launched precision surface to surface missiles with much larger warheads/payloads right into the midst of us/isis collaboration/training activities in Syria. The US knows the calabilies, why the dod forced trumpf to back down. Can you imagine the conversation?

Trumpf: take them all out change the regime.

Dod: we cant do that sir we could launch tomahawks in a few weeks, or icbms now that they'd likely intercept/jam then retaliate to resulting in us deaths and the destruction of israel.

Trumpf: we're at war damn it, for israel & democracy!

Dod: we can hit their power plants & water supply and starve them to death, but could never capture and hold any territory and would likely lose iraq & syrian bases within a few months with no resupply routes.

Trumpf: damnit how can we secure the election & continue to appear antiwar and pro-christian eganvelical to satisfy our extremist deluded voting base? We won ww2 damnit we're exceptional!

Dod: im sorry sir, that's all msm horseshit, our trillion of dollars "defense" budget only has weapons that make the mic money, they don't really harm our enemies.. Our military recruits are losers a percentage of which are undergoing sex changes, the rest are either on drugs or can't manage ship channel navigation because of our purposefully dumbed down education, media exposure, and vaccinations. Some of our ships, especially those with cranes are steam/boiler driven so.. Like ww2 planes, they require actual science,
physics, & intelligence to comprehend, maintain, and operate and not just instruction manuals for integrated-circuit based technology the dumbest retard in the homeless shelter can figure out.

Trumpf: get me netanyahu & lindsay graham & a mcdonalds sandwich right now!

Dod: yes sir, they'll certainly resolve the problem of the coming fair multipolar world based order.

This would be better received with my typical grapgics..

Posted by: NJH notjohnhelmer | Jan 9 2020 3:57 utc | 380

FWIW. As per Reuters reporting:
After close brush with Iran, Trump finds an off-ramp - for now

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump may have narrowly escaped immersing the United States in a broad war with Iran, at least for now, after his order to kill a top Iranian general sparked a crisis and prompted criticism at home and abroad.

"When Iranian missiles rained down on bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq on Tuesday night, a sense of foreboding swept the White House, with Trump and his national security aides shuttling in and out of the Situation Room to monitor developments as they unfolded."

As per Sputniknews
US Tells UN It Stands 'Ready to Engage Without Preconditions' in Negotiations With Iran - Reports

US Ambassador Kelly Craft wrote a letter to the UNSC on Wednesday, saying that the United States stands "ready to engage without preconditions in serious negotiations with Iran," media reported.

The United States stands "ready to engage without preconditions in serious negotiations with Iran, with the goal of preventing further endangerment of international peace and security or escalation by the Iranian regime," the envoy of the United States to the United Nations said, according to Reuters.[.]

So need a little help here. This offer comes with insults. Killing Soleimani is justified but we want to talk.

No pre-conditions mean exactly what? meaning don't expect us to lift sanctions or return to the bad nuclear deal. Trump thinks Iranians are wimps.

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 9 2020 4:02 utc | 381

evilsooty999 @372

A precision missile strike on an airbase of supposedly the greatest military the world has ever seen yet no retaliation.

The emperor has no clothes.

The best explanation is that USA had reason to believe that the strike would be limited. And they didn't use missile defenses because it might have limited the damage and Iran would then have to conduct another attack. They took the 'hit' and just tried to keep their people safe.

Trump scheduled a news conference at 8:45pm that was canceled. If the Iranian strike was not limited, he might have announced retaliation against Iran at that news conference. But before that news conference occurred, Trump was informed that Iran had ended the attack or soon would. At 9:32pm EST Zarif announced on twitter that the attack was over and Iran didn't want war. Trump tweeted @9:45 that "All is well." And damage was being assessed.

The appearance of a pre-arranged outcome cause some to see kabuki. The lack of USA missile defense and military retaliation cause some to think USA is a 'paper tiger'.

We have to be careful not to read into the attack what we want to see. These two perplexing things are likely related.

We've come to better understand Iran's purpose in conducting this attack, and although USA decided not to respond militarily, they have doubled down on the strategy that they are pursuing by announcing: more sanctions; more war rhetoric ("big missiles"; Iran as terrorist state, etc.); and more troops (calling on NATO to enter the ME).

Instead of admitting to taking a hit (which Iran probably thought Trump would have to do!), USA slyly used the "proportional"/limited nature of the Iranian strike to create a propaganda narrative designed to make Iranian leaders appear to be weak due to a "just for show" attack, stating that the attack did little damage, no casualties, and aimed away from anything important.

That Iran had to announce that the attack was merely a 'slap' is a climb-down for them.

USA made a strategic blunder in killing Soleimani. They paid a price. Neither side wanted a war. Each side played this smartly but USA's ability to turn the attack into an effective propaganda narrative was almost certainly something that Iran did not expect.

Based on this understanding, I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that either side is weak or lacking in determination. Such thinking leads to miscalculations like Trump's decision to murder Soleimani.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 9 2020 4:06 utc | 382

I just listened to Rick Sanchez on RT for what seems a good explanation for why Trump chose to not counterattack. Iran showed with the bombing that they could do it with precision. It was not about making a lot of damage, but of their capabilities. Iran then made it known to the US that it would bomb its allies with oil in the region such as the Saudis if the US bombed Iran. Trump talked with the Saudis after the bombing and of course knew that Iran can destroy them and destabilize the region.

I should add the Saudis depend on oil production and the US depends on the Petro Dollar as the reserve currency. Iran could easily destroy the profits of both by taking away their oil. Normally the US just wants continuous war to justify their war machine. But threaten their oil and that is even a bigger thing.

Posted by: Stever | Jan 9 2020 4:22 utc | 383

"Trudeau says Canada should take part in probe to ensure ‘proper’ investigation of Ukrainian jet crash in Tehran" (RT) --

I assume that is code for, we want to do a "MH17" just like the Malaysians Dutch/British neutral non-aligned (we don't need Russian primary data) and "you can't have the boxes back to verify" experts.

Others might think this request from 'Maple-leaf Land' is about as relevant as the Australian government wishing to take part in the seeking of British justice for their citizen and passport holder (and subject of the Queen of Australia), Mr Julian Assange.

Posted by: imo | Jan 9 2020 4:24 utc | 384

Don't let the Dutch anywhere near that investigation

Posted by: Jezabeel | Jan 9 2020 4:31 utc | 385

Adding to @385


I first suggested an information warfare strategy HERE about an hour after the Zarif and Trump tweets. And I've made several references to the possibility that USA was employing such tactics since then.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 9 2020 4:38 utc | 386

One more thing.

I've speculated that if NATO gets involved then Turkey might be a large participant in the NATO contingent.

But maybe, USA's intent is simply to re-brand their troops as "NATO" as a symbolic exit from Iraq and/or ME. That would be an attempt to diffuse the anger without actually changing much.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 9 2020 4:45 utc | 387

Any thoughts on the future air strikes on Iranian interest in Syria by Israel ?

Posted by: mnewyorker | Jan 9 2020 4:49 utc | 388

Lochearn@373 - "It is inconceivable that the main US airbase in Iraq has no missile defences" You're probably right. Except this is NOT the main US airbase in Iraq. It's only the main airbase in Western Iraq (Anbar).

The USAF has no presence there aside from drone boys that I know of. Its mainly a marine and army/SOF base with their related aviation helicopter support - CH-60s. 1500 troops more or less. In Pentagon terms, not worth a valuable Patriot battery. It has a long runway and can handle big cargo aircraft, but the pace of those operations is a drop in the bucket compared to those during the Iraq war. It's mostly used as a training, staging and logistics base for Anbar supporting many more deeper FOBs supposedly doing anti-ISIS ops. Why (before the Suleimani assassination) would Iran give a damn about it?

"As far as I know..." Have you worked at the base?

Well, you busted my ass there! I was trying to fool ALL MoA readers that I just got back after a ten-year deployment to Ain Al Assad and/or am privy to secret operations information kept that way by CENTCOM/OIR. I'm a fraud - how dare I offer what little I know if I can't prove it in a court of law. I should be ashamed.

Given the fact that the US and Israel, certainly during Trump's tenure, have been planning the destruction of Iran, do you not think that the nearest significant US airbase would be the first to be targeted by Iran, as was proved last night, and would it not be equipped with the best the US has to offer?

Except... it's not the nearest significant US airbase to Iran. Do you understand where it is? [link]

Regarding the US being 'shocked' at Iranian technology, you're entitled to your opinion. I distinguish between the "primitive, coal-powered Iranian technology" suggested by Washington and the MSM to mock Iran, and what I know to be closer to reality. What does the US military really think of Iranian technology? Beats me - they're psychopaths that need to belittle a demonized enemy to garner public support for their treason. Maybe they actually so stupid to believe their own lies that Iran is somehow responsible for them losing the wars in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. Whatever treasonous butt-hurt generals think is beyond my control. They're a danger to US national security. I think they should be in Gitmo being tortured out of their stupidity, then stripped of their rank and citizenship and banished from the US forever. It seems Iran understands - just like Russia understands - that they need to be treated like unstable, semi-retarded incompetent military leaders. Slice and dice that any way you want.

This is why Netanyahu had second thoughts last night.

See above.

That's why I am sure he called Trump who was already shitting himself.

See above.

As somebody who has set himself up as the resident expert in these matters, perhaps you could enlighten us about how you know what you know.

What? By my expressing my opinion about military stuff I mostly find on Google and Twitter? Is it really that offensive to you that you need to mock me and say I claim 'expertise'? I'm interested in your opinion and everyone else's here without expecting everyone's CV and fully-cited sources. FFS, calm down.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 9 2020 4:49 utc | 389

Ukraine is corrupted and run by corrupt oligarchs.
Economy is a basket case.
But the Western corrupt governments and corrupt Western Media/Press has deliberately kept all that info from the public.
If the public had been exposed of the facts about Ukraine, they would not even have looked at a stupid UKronazi flight machine.
so, why not informed of the danger?
Simple Ukraine is the friend of the stupid West, because Ukraine is the enemy of Russia . That's all.
Western governments and media/press bear complete responsibility.

Posted by: Joey | Jan 9 2020 5:10 utc | 390

responding to Bubbles @ 103 <= Bubbles Trump is the CEO of the most powerful nation state in the world<=he says. The failures are not Trumps, they are failures of the nation state system itself: The nation state system is a collection of prisons; it stinks as a system to manage human activity to make the world a better place for everyone.

As I have pointed out before the election process is rigged (really its not an election because the candidates are appointed in a closed back room environment, instead, the voting system is a choice==> voters, pic the best looking between candidate A or B, your candidate never appears on the ballot, its always their candidate. Never, ever do the citizens get a chance to have a say in what it is their nation state is doing, or not doing<=it all up to propaganda. The constitution has blocked the USA governed Americans from any kind of input into the affairs of their government, nearly everything is conducted in secret, and all activities between citizens and government are not only recorded but used to deny Americans access to their government. This nation state system is designed to allow a few to swindle the governed.

The nation state extends well beyond the USA; its a problem in England, France, Israel, Saudi Arabia and other westernized nation states.. The Actors (who call themselves politicians and military guru); animate the structures and wield the awesome powers their military forces can make available to conduct mafia exploits, to redirect domestic effort, to imperial purpose, and to do those anti-human things, they hold the vast majority of humanity in the world=> prisoners in a psychologically managed cage wall papered in propaganda supported by the rule of law. the problem we are discussing (Nation state Bases in foreign places, and killing people in foreign spaces is made possible by the nation state system.

Adversary Iran ..launched a decisive and successful attack against USA air-supremacy infrastructure. last night's attack by Iran ... did such and such.. But my point is these are two nations states are playing ping pong with humanity. <=comment to what Cynica said @ 78?

Back door remote access into the software that controls the electronics of the Aircraft allows "to pull the switch from afar" to suicide the plane remotely,<= and presto more humanity disappears at the hands of nation states. recapping what Laguerre @ 100 said.

Iran may have defeated USA air defenses and destroyed expensive USA military hardware but that is just the beginning recapping what : Cynica 102 said..

at no place have i seen the governed populations of the nation states polled before these events take place.. We need a different system of governance.

Posted by: snake | Jan 9 2020 5:16 utc | 391

Below is a Strategic Culture link dated the 8th but I don't know if provided earlier by others

The Deeper Story Behind the Assassination of Soleimani

The take away quote from Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to reveal the weekslong backstory behind the terrorist attack.
I was supposed to meet him [Soleimani] later in the morning when he was killed. He came to deliver a message from Iran in response to the message we had delivered to the Iranians from the Saudis.

We have read this before and now it is coming out again which leads me to ask where is SA in the process of throwing off the US and will the US let them go without trying to do regime change in Saudi Arabia? If the US is kicked out of Iraq then perfect reason to crowd enough of themselves militarily into SA, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, etc. to take all those over in a bunch....and take the oil.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 9 2020 5:56 utc | 392

@ 383 NJH - that was funny.. thanks!

@ 384 Likklemore.. the usa is just so full is shite, it is blinding to the eyes... they say they are into negotiation, but they refuse zafir a visa to be at the UN... they say there are no pre-conditions, but they continue to add to the sanction list.. they say they are not into war but they contravene every rule in the book and knock off qassem a week ago.. that is what you call a county that is so full of shite, it is coming out of every aspect of itself... they can say up is down and the msm will run with it and all the american jack asses will too it seems...

@387 imo.. justin is a simpleton... you last sentence analogy is perfect...

Posted by: james | Jan 9 2020 6:04 utc | 393

@ 392 paveway... lochearn pulls that crap on others here from time to time... sorry to say, but it's a fact.. ignore him..

Posted by: james | Jan 9 2020 6:08 utc | 394

Going through the Panama Canal, today, the deadliest submarine on the planet. The USS Triton. Los Angeles class. Arcenal 24 nuclear missiles of 8.2 megatons. Each one equals 10 atomic bombs like Hiroshima's. Heading to Iran.

Posted by: Guest1 | Jan 9 2020 6:18 utc | 395

Except this is NOT the main US airbase in Iraq. It's only the main airbase in Western Iraq (Anbar).

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 9 2020 4:49 utc | 392

So, what is the main US airbase in Iraq these days? Asad, the old British Habbaniyya airfield, with, you say, 1500 US personnel (out of 5000 in the country) must be about as big as they get at present. It wasn't a minor target.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 9 2020 6:23 utc | 396

@398 ?? is that you dr. strangelove??

Posted by: james | Jan 9 2020 6:23 utc | 397

- Did these rockets even have explosives ? Were there explosions heard ? Or did the rockets hit things that contained explosives and/or fuel that exploded when the rockets hit them ?
- The Swiss embassy was warned one hour before the launch of the rockets occurred. Another sign that Iran had no intension of letting tensions get too far out of hand.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 9 2020 6:28 utc | 398

The incident will be investigated like all other airliner crashes.

No. The Iranian gov't said it specifically will NOT be sending the black boxes to Boeing. And you can be darn sure that the US Transportation Safety Board folks will also not be "aiding" the investigation.

Posted by: Sam | Jan 9 2020 6:30 utc | 399

some interesting thoughts should come to mind from the patents in this link
questions about synergy

Posted by: snake | Jan 9 2020 6:31 utc | 400

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