Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 05, 2020

Iraqi Parliament Expels Foreign Militaries From Iraq

Updated throughout - 16:06 UTC

As predicted here, here and here:

The National @TheNationalUAE - 14:34 UTC · 5 Jan 2020
Iraqi Parliament has voted for ending the presence of foreign troops in Iraq, limiting arms to the Iraqi states and to lodge an official complaint against the US at the UN.

From the National report:

Parliament voted on a five-point action plan that would require the Iraqi government to end the presence of foreign troops in the country, and withdraw its request for assistance from the anti-ISIS global coalition. This would require new legislation to cancel the existing agreement.

Parliament also called on the government to ban the use of Iraqi airspace by any foreign power.

The Iraqi foreign minister has been directed to head to the UN to lodge an official complaint against the US strike.

The Iraqi Prime Minister and the whole cabinet supported the resolution.

Before the vote Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi told the parliament that he was scheduled to meet with Soleimani a day after his arrival to receive a letter from Iran to Iraq in response to a de-escalation offer Saudi Arabia had made. The U.S. assassinated Soleimani before the letter could be delivered by him. Abdul-Mahdi also said that Trump had asked him to mediate between the U.S. and Iran. Did he do that to trap Soleimani? It is no wonder then that Abdul-Mahdi is fuming.

The Prime Minister's letter to the General Secretary of the UN and the Secretary of the UNSC is here.

Foreign troops in Iraq included about 5,000 from the U.S. as well as a number of other NATO countries engaged in training Iraqi troops. There are also Turkish troops in north Iraq who fight against the PKK. Those will also have to leave but may not do so voluntarily.

Without any bases in Iraq the U.S. position in Syria will become untenable.

Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai - 14:40 UTC · Jan 5, 2020
#Iran #IRGC commander #QassemSoleimani managed to reach with his death what he couldn't reach when he was alive. That is his last spectacular act for Iran and for the "Axis of the Resistance": legislation forcing the US to withdraw and cease all kind of collaboration.

It is somehow ironic that the U.S. has spent lots of lives and money to "spread democracy" in Iraq only to be kicked out through an Iraqi  parliament vote.

There is a clear danger in this act. The Trump administration is now likely to see Iraq as completely in the Iranian camp. That never was and never will be true but that is how it will be seen. The U.S. may therefore again start to pay (with Saudi money?) Sunni extremists, i.e. ISIS, to change the current situation to its advantage.

That is one reason why I recommend to Iraq to invite Russia to train its army.

Posted by b on January 5, 2020 at 15:09 UTC | Permalink

« previous page | next page »

One can speculate on and debate all kinds of alternative actions and outcomes for Iraq to take if the US refuses to leave, or more importantly, ignores any “no-fly” orders. As I think most of the readers of this blog put a very low probability on US compliance with whatever Iraq officially requests.

Without an ally with the clout to get the US's attention and respect Iraq's wishes will be swatted aside like a pesky mosquito.

There is exactly one – and only one – military opponent at this moment that can credibly challenge the US if Iraq were to ask for help with enforcing the will of its government. A showdown between the old hegemon and a new multipolar power constellation has been on the cards as a future event for some time, with “future” being the operative word.. The current series of events creates the potential to accelerate this transition. I would not be at all surprised if the phone lines between Moscow, Beijing and Teheran have been buzzing fulltime for the past 24 hours. President Putin is essential in this potential team, having the military means, Iran is a given as they are the ultimate US target here, which leaves China. China also knows that at some time it will have to face and defeat the US – but would prefer a time and cause of its choosing. It may be sufficient to get the US out of Iraq if all three together declare their support for Iraq and its decisions.

I knew 2020 would bring interesting times.

Posted by: augrr | Jan 5 2020 20:23 utc | 101

Zanon @ 97:

Why shouldn't the Iraqi parliament call for all foreign troops to leave Iraq? There are at least British forces in Iraq and we can be sure they contribute significantly to the mayhem and instability there. Plus "US forces" may also include actual US gtroops commingled with troops from other NATO forces and US allies such as Georgia, Japan and Australia.

To insist that only actual US forces should leave would be ineffective since they can be replaced with British and other Western forces who are at least if not more brutal than US troops.

Also the Iraqi clampdown on the use of Iraqi airspace by foreign forces without prior Iraqi authorisation is a clear slap in the face to Israel.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 5 2020 20:27 utc | 102

I find it very strange and very suspicious that a simple word of caution - in this case to wait for confirmation - gets such strong push-back.

Geez ... all that's required is a simple link to another source (a source that doesn't also rely on Magnier).

<> <> <> <> <> <>

Most readers of MoA know that Bevin, Lozion, and Wm Gruff and I have had strong disagreements in the past.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 5 2020 20:31 utc | 103

A slew of Mike Pompeo propaganda - he's actually very, very, good at it - on January 5th:

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo With Margaret Brennan of CBS Face the Nation
Michael R. Pompeo January 5, 2020

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo With Chuck Todd of NBC Meet the Press
Michael R. Pompeo January 5, 2020

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo’s Call with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister al-Thani
January 5, 2020

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo With Maria Bartiromo of Fox Sunday Morning Futures
Michael R. Pompeo January 5, 2020

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo With Jake Tapper of CNN State of the Union
Michael R. Pompeo January 5, 2020

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo With George Stephanopoulos of ABC This Week
Michael R. Pompeo January 5, 2020

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo With Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday
Michael R. Pompeo January 5, 2020

All available at

Many lies (of course) and disinformation, but also clear policy.

Example: "Frankly, this war kicked off – people talk about the war. This war kicked off when the JCPOA was entered into. It told the Iranians that they had free rein to develop a Shia crescent that extended from Yemen to Iraq to Syria and into Lebanon, surrounding our ally, Israel, and threatening American lives as well."

Pompeo refers to being at war with Iran. There has been no declaration of war by either side.

The so-called Shia crescent is a major regional country developing regional allies, regardless of the religous makeup of the various countries referred to. The implication is that USA government will dictate the foreign policy of Middle East countries from Romes headquarters 7,000 miles away.

It underscore that the policy is based on fear that Israel will be under military pressure once regional countries have advanced missile systems, presuming that the foreign policy of Iran is to militarily attack Israel.

USA knows this won't happen, but the occupied territories may well be sent arms by Iran. Taking, in other words, a page from the USA government playbook, as it does exactly the same thing. Evidence exhibit #1 = arms to so-called 'opposition' and to religous criminals in Syria.

Israel is reaching a demographic (and water) crisis. It has no choice but to obey International law and settle with the Arab population. It has been intransigent, confrontational and obstructive for years. Now, it will be forcede to negotiate by the realities of passing time.

Israel would do well to play fair and enter a genuine negotiation on fair terms (not a one-sided diktat).

Iran would do well to abandon its 'maximum pressure' policy on Israel, recognize its right to exist behind the Security Council agreed borders, and actively work diplomatically to arrive at a fair solution.

Another example:
"In October of this year, George, the JCPOA, that nuclear deal, will permit arms trade with Iran. That’s crazy. That’s crazy – have missiles and systems – high-end systems, from China and Russia in Iran lawfully in October."

Pompeo is playing the definition game: 'our missiles = good. Your missiles = bad'.

Every country has a right to defend itself, no exceptions.

Which country has illegally invaded a sovereign country in the Middle East?

Which country illegally bombed the most developed country of the Middle East to a state of infrastructural destitution?

So the USA foreign policy, it seems, is to prohibit sovereign Iran from developing any means of defending itself with modern weaponry. Perhaps they will be 'allowed' to have slingshots to defend themselves against USA government aggression.

The USA will have to change its foreign policy to accomodate new realities in the Middle East. It's so-called allies, its Middle East NATO is a big fail. No suprise.

If it doesn't want to embrace the Iranian plan for all Gulf members to unites to police the Gulf, maybe it should join the long-standing Russian effort for a multi-sided consensus-driven Gulf peace plan.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Jan 5 2020 20:33 utc | 104

Give thanks to God for the true will of the Iraqi People to have been spoken.

Posted by: Joshua | Jan 5 2020 20:38 utc | 105

Traveling openly as a peace envoy or betrayed?

Iran Is Investigating Possibility Of Mole Behind Soleimani Assassination


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 5 2020 20:45 utc | 106

Trump just managed to tweet support for US members of IS and AQ, thus supporting enemies of the US and committing Treason as per the US Constitution-

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner. Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!

Posted by: TJ | Jan 5 2020 20:46 utc | 107

No surprise to find America's Zio-friendly Canadian satrapy supporting the US strikes. Global Affairs Canada and Foreign Minister Champagne issued the following release:

"Canada has long been concerned by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force, led by Qasem Soleimani whose aggressive actions have had a destabilizing effect in the region and beyond."

One wonders what the implications of this will be upon CF forces in Iraq? Hopefully the USraeli puppets will be forced to leave.

As US Airstrikes Ramp Up Threat of War, About 500 Canadian Forces Personnel Are Serving in Iraq

"Hundreds of CF personnel are in the country on two major missions..."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Jan 5 2020 20:46 utc | 108

Jackrabbit says:

I'm concerned that there may be disinfo ops intended to stoke tensions and start a war

oh deary me.

have you noticed the elation on the streets in the Middle East as we yammer?

has a whole different timbre than there in jewy New York.

Posted by: john | Jan 5 2020 20:47 utc | 109

@ Posted by: TJ | Jan 5 2020 20:46 utc | 108 with the Trump tweet about bullying Iran/Iraq

I continue to hope that China and Russia step into the middle of this international bullying. I still think China not signing the latest trade deal would hurt the US more than China and reducing their trillion in US Treasuries.

I am ashamed of what America has become and the way it is contributing to international fear with the military threats.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 5 2020 21:00 utc | 110

The UK sub "story" was written by someone without any comprehension of how ICBM subs or ICBMs operate; it's completely meaningless dross and filler.

I don't know if "the Sun" was the original source (I saw sputniknews or RT or both report on the report so to speak, sadly whoever it was didn't point out the obvious; they're nowhere near perfect themselves) but it wouldn't be surprising because most of the content of their paper is at that level. A paper which specializes in tits, mostly political ones except for on page 3 :P

Yet still better than "the Guardian" lol …the look on my face if someone had said something like that to me thirty years ago :D

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jan 5 2020 21:00 utc | 111

Posted by: juliania | Jan 5 2020 19:53 utc | 96

Lets face it. The US government is captured. Voting will not undo what has been done since at least 1963, assassination of John F. Kennedy. He was the last clear headed US President we had (Carter was not bad) which did not save him from the killing team in Dallas. From that point on we have been on a slow (so as to keep the sheep asleep) downward trajectory. At a minimum we would need to reverse this graph to give any hope of waking up the populace before it is too late.
MSM has people's minds completely frozen to the narrative coming out of DC while Hollywood sends out subtle signals "We are watching and listening to you" with movies like "The Conversation". Perhaps I am wrong and they are awake. Perhaps they are simply too afraid to express what they think. I don't know. I'm just one soul behind a keyboard.

and reassert the need for Trump and his administration to be impeached on treasonous grounds.

"The Buck Stops Here" always operates. Trump is behind the Big Desk because he wanted to be there so he must take the responsibility. But I remind everyone that in the case of Syria Trump initially signaled pulling out all US troops. Then suddenly he stayed "For the Oil". That reversal I interpret as him being on an Israeli leash. He got a Bibi offer he could not refuse and he had to stay under the excuse of Oil, as befitting a business guy. Shallow, stupid for sure but no one would argue.

So Trump is not enough. Clinton (Yugoslavia), Bush Jr., Cheney, Rumsfeld, Colon Powell, ..... did more of the damage to get us where we are today. Later facts came out showing them to be lying to the Nation and what happened ? -----> NOTHING. Trump impeachment was a Show from the word GO. Clinton was played the same way. To play nice at the end of his term he pardoned a poor guy named Mark Rich. That's how the game is played. What's funny, all this information is out there !!!!

Posted by: Tom_LX | Jan 5 2020 21:00 utc | 112

john @110

I guess further explanation is needed.

Sure, emotions are running high and there are calls for war from both sides but the Iranian government has been measured and deliberate in responding to provocations in the past. What we are possibly seeing now is a manufacturing of reasons for Iran to strike out in an reckless way that draws a devastating response from USA. This may be the set-up to a false flag.

So, IMO, some caution is advisable. Especially when key info comes from a single source and or works in a way that could show Iranian belligerence (rejecting ovatures for peace) or might justify a 'hot headed' response from Iran (Soleimani as peace envoy).



Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 5 2020 21:04 utc | 113

abierno @ 87

With reference to Iran's defense capability, it has been noted elsewhere that Iran purchased the Russian S500 system which is currently being rolled out. Inquiring minds would predict that delivery is accelerated.

Iran has not purchased the S-500, it purchased the S-300. The S-500 has not been rolled out even to the Russians themselves, it is still in development. The Russians announced 10 days ago that the S-500 was going to enter testing in 2020 and that the military didn't expect to get production units until 2025.

In Russian

Posted by: JohninMK | Jan 5 2020 21:13 utc | 114

I should correct myself in case no one else does: SLBM not ICBM, that is: Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile not Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jan 5 2020 21:16 utc | 115

Rocket attacks reported against Baghdad Green zone.

Posted by: Trisha | Jan 5 2020 21:18 utc | 116

I am sure it has been discussed here before but I missed it. It would seem to me that there has never been a better time for Izzreal or Saudi for that matter to stage a false flag and get Iran dealt with once and for all. The opportunity may never be this ripe again.

Posted by: jef | Jan 5 2020 15:26 utc | 5
it is only logical. An attack on iran will lead to a nuclear holocaust. A total occupation of iraq, with help of isis and wahabist money, is a more humanic solution and keep the power$ in control. Trump and Bibi will walk away as the big winners and the middle east stays a mess. If china, russia or pakistan would give the iranians a atomic bomb there could be peace.

Posted by: Gary | Jan 5 2020 21:19 utc | 117

TJ @108: ... should Iran strike any U.S. person or target ...

It's Obama's 'red line' all over again!

Expect an ISIS or Israeli attack very soon.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

This is a strong indication that the intention is to bomb Iran, not just start an Iraqi Civil War.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 5 2020 21:23 utc | 118

@119 clarification

That is, an ISIS or Israeli false-flag attack on US facility or personnel.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 5 2020 21:24 utc | 119

us got now 2 options - leave or have a war... "mic" wont leave and trump needs a reelection.

but iran should do something very unexpected without worsening the immanent us-bombing.
imho us will do desert storm on iranian soil without boots on the ground - iraq 1991 playbook...

then, the iranian target should be the HOUSE of SAUDS - this would be desastrous for the us-israel-axis.

Posted by: peter.n | Jan 5 2020 21:24 utc | 120


Soleimani is a man of peace? According to PressTV, the voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Soleimani was the Che Guevara of Iran, Instead of fomenting communists uprisings, Soleimani was fomenting Islamic Revolutions. Although based on their policies, the EU wants Islamic revolutions in their member states, Russia and China definitely do not want Islamic Revolutions and have gone to great lengths to suppress their muslim minorities.

To suggest that Russia or China is upset about the killing of Soleimani or that this will lead to WWIII is the height of fear mongering and silliness. Just like the killing of Che Guevara resulted in the end of communist activities in Bolivia, the killing of Soleimani will curtail or end Islamic Revolution activities in the Middle East.

Trump already made an offer, which was refused, to withdraw all US troops from Syria if Iran agrees to withdraw theirs. Trump would be happy to leave Iraq if Iran does as well. With Soleimani gone, the chances for such an agreement have increased.

Posted by: Cognitive Dossonance | Jan 5 2020 21:30 utc | 121

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 5 2020 20:04 utc | 98
As I expected, Iraq cant even name the US, but call on ALL foreign foces from using Iraq against another country: Adding to the idea of a new civil war. Shia vs Sunni, Israel, Saudi, Nato.

I wonder if they start with the iranian forces to expel. The iraqi politician can be bought and protesters shot down and blamed on iran. Suicide bombings and occasional air attacks will keep the locals submissive.

Posted by: Gary | Jan 5 2020 21:43 utc | 122

I've been skipping over Jackrabbit's posts unread for some time. I recommend it. Once you identify a mischief-maker on a site where they're not swiftly banned, it's the best way to deal with such bad-faith posters. Apart from anything else, you can follow the discussions of the good-faith posters without constant distraction and confusion.

I call it 'DR. DADE's medicinal compound: Don't Read. Don't Answer Don't Engage. Judicious dading is a sterling cure for troll infestations!

Does need an initial exposure to the infestation, though, for long enough to get a certain identification that it is a troll, and not just a sincere contrarian who might have a valid viewpoint (which you don't happen to like). But once you're sure, dading is an excellent cure...

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwiym | Jan 5 2020 21:44 utc | 123

Tom_LX @ 113 Yes you are wrong, Tom. Look at these two elections: 2008 - overwhelming anti-Bush election of Barack Obama who misrepresented himself and betrayed the young population who canvassed and voted FOR his unadulterated betrayal. Slick, wasn't it? And then, 2016 - after a barrage of anti-trump propaganda from the media and in the face of an obviously corrupted voting machinery, this time people voted for Trump. Why? Because Hillary was worse, and because he represented an independent, maybe kooky but claiming to be more peaceful program internationally. Hillary scared everyone and she ran a pitiful campaign after showing that Bernie was ready to kowtow to her even when his candidacy was thrown in the toilet by the bigwigs.

Now, it would have been nice if everyone like me had voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, since she was advocating New Deal policies that would have helped the growing lower income folk. I think that would have been great; I voted for her and would again. BUT pragmatism won out - you go with one of the two because they own the place.

Now, all bets are off. I don't know what is going to happen. I'm praying hard for peace and a return to normalcy. We haven't been normal this century - and Bill Clinton saw to that! That's when greed finally took the podium and shredded decency for good and all.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 5 2020 21:47 utc | 124


Another proof of how america have corrupted iraqi politicians is that the parliament have 320 seats, today only 170 showed up to vote.
Kurdish and alot of sunni parties did not show up...

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 5 2020 21:52 utc | 125

"There is a clear danger in this act. The Trump administration is now likely to see Iraq as completely in the Iranian camp. That never was and never will be true but that is how it will be seen. The U.S. may therefore again start to pay (with Saudi money?) Sunni extremists, i.e. ISIS, to change the current situation to its advantage."


Expect America to reactivate its ISIS/Daesh or other "pro-democracy" terrorists to wage a proxy terror war against Iraq--much like how the USA has been inflicting on Syria for the past several years--to name but one example of this US terror strategy.

Posted by: ak74 | Jan 5 2020 22:06 utc | 126

Rhisiart Gwiym @124: mischief-maker


I've been here for years. I've commented on many different topics. Many have agreed with me, some have not.

When I get the most static is when I call out trolls that are pushing pro-establishment or pro-Empire talking points. Some think I'm being unfair. They may think that I'm too quick to judge. But I've seen the tell-tale signs of trolling too many times. When people finally start to see that the troll I called out weeks or months before really is a troll, I LOL.

Jeffery Epstein is a case in point. After Epstein's demise (likely extracted), moa had many comments that were pro-Epstein - but in a sly, underhanded way. He was helping the girls .. he was no worse than any other rich guy .. the parents are to blame .. etc. Some attacked ME for refuting such nonsense.

Along those lines, I don't bow to any sacred cows. I've questioned some things that b has written as well as Max B./Greyzone and Magnier. And I point out how Sanders and Gabbard play a part in the illusion of democracy that we call the US electoral system. Many don't like their sacred cows to be questioned.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 5 2020 22:07 utc | 127

@124 Great advice. I much prefer Dr DADE's than Kool-Aid..

Posted by: Lozion | Jan 5 2020 22:07 utc | 128

I cannot see either a civil war kicked up by the anti-Iranian faction or ISIS being very successful this time around.
The 'rebels' won't be chocka with guns and gold from oblamblam's fake 'surge' either this time.

Iraq government has been careful to limit the number of amerikan & coalition troops as well as those arseholes' ability to move about the country dispensing largess to Iraq administration enemies.
After the syria debacle, I doubt Saudi or any of the gulf states are keen on paying for another failure. Saudi has too many of its own problems with Yemen, plus now amerika has implicated it in this assassination, without even considering saudi's screwed economy.

Turkey is putting all its eggs in the Libya basket, therefore not able to lend a hand either.

amerika wants to crank up Iraq civil war sure, but it doesn't have the means. Maybe they can reconvince Barzani (nudge, wink brown paper bag) but somehow I doubt the potential cannon-fodder, Iraqi kurds, will agree to go along with it.
amerika did this because they're aware that the solidarity of 'our allies' has broken down and although the pentagon or foggy bottom drongos who put this together imagined it would get the band back together, it hasn't, it has done the opposite.
Sure there will be some low level car bombing etc, but Iraqi security infrastructure has improved since amerika took a wrecking ball to it back in '03, so they will succeed in rolling up the derps rather quicker than suits amerika.

As for retaliation, well to a certain extent the hundreds of thousands of martyr mourners will feel assuaged for a while, the exercise wasn't just about scaring the sh1t outta orangey, Iran can be patient and wait for the moment.

When orange whip is racing around amerika chasing votes, any sort of accident could occur, especially if he has to use party funded transportation for campaigning.

I realise some of the more obtuse types need Iran to shout "yeah we did it!"

That just isn't Persian style & by november this year amnesiac amerikans will forget whether the "whole Iran thing" actually happened or was just from season one of "Messiah"

So the whitefella elites will decide that this is an issue better left unsaid cos full on war is bad for bizness - something every half-arsed amerikan street gangster takes in with his mother's milk.

Then one day someone will notice that the red flag isn't flying anymore.

Posted by: A User | Jan 5 2020 22:07 utc | 129

Posted by: Cognitive Dossonance | Jan 5 2020 21:30 utc | 122

He was an Iranian official on an official visit to Iraq. He happened be part of the Middle East alliance "hostile to NATO" though there had been cooperation in Iraq and there was cooperation in the fight against ISIL - like Russia-Syria-Iran-Iraq and NATO-Iraq.

Iran - and Russia - are in Syria by invitation of the existing Syrian government - there is no other. The US (and Turkey) are not.

Pompeio is now making the rounds on TV threatening to kill an Iranian official for every US soldier that gets killed by any group maybe linked to Iran. That is what the mighty US empire has been reduced to - fighting eye for an eye for its soldiers to be able to be stationed outside of US borders. Never mind those soldiers achieving anything.

This is not how empire works. Empire needs protection by natives.

Iran does not have to do anything now just wait. All the damage has been done. Europe will definitively not stay in Iraq after the Iraqi parliamentary vote. If the US stays all they will do is protecting themselves or withdraw to a soon independent Kurdistan.

Trump would be happy to leave Iraq if Iran does as well. With Soleimani gone, the chances for such an agreement have increased.

Chances for any agreement are now nil. Trump needs to appear strong for the election season and has been stupidly threatening to destroy Iranian cultural sites. That is the equivalent of 9/11. Remember what happed after 9/11 in the US? People rally around the flag when something happens like this and hardliners take over. No Iraqi politician will dare to suggest negotiations in a climate like this. No sane Iranian would think negotiations possible after Trump has torn up the existing deal. What would prevent him from doing this as he pleases?

Iran is a neighbor of Iraq with lots of historical and cultural is not. The US is not. Souleimani was in Iraq on invitation by the Iraqi government. US troups used to be there on the same basis. They are no longer welcome. Iran will stay where it always has been.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 5 2020 22:08 utc | 130

>Now, all bets are off. I don't know what is going to happen.
>I'm praying hard for peace and a return to normalcy.
>Posted by: juliania | Jan 5 2020 21:47 utc | 125

Killing is Uncle Sam's "normalcy", ever since the Europeans showed up and started wrecking the place. There won't be peace until the Empire self-destructs. Unfortunately that is not an overnight process. The latest attack on Iran is speeding up the sled to Hell, but it is still a long rough ride to the bottom. Ding! Fasten Your Seat Belt!

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jan 5 2020 22:11 utc | 131

Rob #43. To clarify what I said the evangelicals wont be able to save him when his support starts to abandon him. There aren't enough of them. I know that right wing religious nutbars all to well. I was brought up a Baptist, and still have the scars. They love the Zionists and have a common goal of a new Jewish Temple built on the site of Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Zionists go along with it for the money. They don't believe the fables from the Book of Revelations. They are in it to control the US and get oodles of cash and attain their goal of a greater Israel.

Posted by: Tom | Jan 5 2020 22:25 utc | 132

I find it curious how much flak JR takes from mostly just having a contrary opinion to the herd. Personally, his analysis tends to be similar to mine rather than the fawning/excuses for Trump or just plain wishful thinking.

Anyone disagreeing about the goal being war with Iran isn't looking at the facts from a broad enough perspective. That has been the goal since long before Trump sat in the Oral Office. Empires do not willingly shrink until they have had a major military conflict, usually ending in defeat.

Posted by: Sorghum | Jan 5 2020 22:26 utc | 133

Trailer Trash 132
According to Prez DJT, Soleimani was responsible directly or indirectly for a million deaths.
But to reach that scale usually takes a much bigger country and forces or a cluster.

Posted by: Curtis | Jan 5 2020 22:41 utc | 134

Posted by: juliania | Jan 5 2020 21:47 utc | 125
Here is my score card.

Bush Jr. was in office TWO TERMS !!! One of the dumbest people I saw in that office.

After Bush Jr. I knew it would be a steep dive down as "intelligence failure" did not convince me in 2001. So from this point on I saw no hope in Presidents. Obama was presented to us because he represented the "fresh" image of a minority as a President. Message to the Masses, anything is possible in a Democracy. Now things will be great. Neh, I didn't buy it.

Next up was "You got to elect Hillary". Now the strategy was "Will you give a women the chance to reach the highest office in the Land". Neh, I won't and I didn't buy that one.

But I was fooled by Trump. I was fooled only because I was convinced that Hillary was a psychopath so I went for the lesser of two evil. Trump might be a bit loose , I thought, but at least he could do above average math and understood risk management. That view seemed solid as I observed how from the very start he was attacked from all directions.

Now what is my opinion of Trump ? Well, up until till the assassination I had the impression that the guy is under extreme pressure but is doing what he can to keep us out of WW III.

I give him about 0.2 probability that it was not HIS INTENTION to murder Soleimani. In this scenario I envision him being told that an important Iranian commander was landing in Baghdad preparing to escalate the attack on the embassy. They wake him and tell him, "We need to act now." and he OK's it. How this all played out in Reality we may never know because what they are telling us is all scripted. Only a CNN viewer would believe that it is not so.

What I find funny is the level of hysteria that has been generated around Trump in the US Public when people such as Bush Jr., Rumsfled, Colon Powell and others before have clearly lied and killed hundreds of thousands of people based on those lies. THERE IS NO OUTRAGE. ZERO.

Trump is nowhere close on this score board yet he is portrayed as Devil himself. SNL skits and constant news cycle of his womanizing has completely blinded people to think that he is The Worst out there. Well up until the assassination he was NOT in my opinion. Now I am not so sure.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Jan 5 2020 22:46 utc | 135

Analysis of the situation with beautiful images on Mashhad Imam Reza Holy Mosque, where the funeral ceremony was delayed because of the great afluence of mourners still arriving..and demonstrations around the world, including Europe, on support of Gen. Soleimani and against war.

<>Spanish geopolitical analyst Juan Antonio Aguilar:

Irak could have done more, but we must understand its situation, Iraq now is in a state of shock, occupied, with a delicate economy and political situation, and then this happens. The escalation of tension could give place to clashes inside the Iraqi territory. The first reaction of lawmakers has been getting rid of this people, they have seen this as the most urgent issue by now. Beware that what the US will try to provoke clashes amongst Sunni and Shia communities, but this is not any more a problem of relgious creeds or ideology, this is a problem of national liberation. there is time, and it could be the legislative power or Iraqi government who starts the procedures to prosecute those in the US responsibles for this, eventhough US is not part of ICC, nor submitted to its jurisdiction, but so as to gets record in front of the whole world of the terrorist action of a criminal gang who is ruling the most powerful country on Earth. We must be patient, since Iraq will go reacting to events which will go developing. What the Axis of Resistance should do? To think what Gen. Qassem Soleimani would had done. But the US will try to target the main figures of the Axis of Resistance. The only way to face this problem is ousting Western and US troops from the ME so as to avoid they can create more mayhem.

Beware of false flags to devoid attention from and try to blurr this shameful episode.

Foreign Policy decleared Soleimani the best strategist at global level

They have created a legend, and having a legend in sight is very inspiring for the people, no wonder the US is scared now, but beware that they do not use this fear through psychologic and info war against its own population to achieve legitimation for new belic adventures and outrages.

The labor of Soleimani was not for Iran, but for the International Community, the world, and the world should be very grateful to him.

Donald Trump has crossed the red line and the stature of Soleimani is such that even trying hard to paint him as terrorist, they have not achieved polluting his image.

This spiral of violence Trump is carrying the world to will affect mainly the European countries, as it was already affecting the sanctions regime. There has not been unity to face the US, thus it is time that Europe puts a stop at this by avoiding being drained in a conflict which would terminate not only Iran but also Europe, with which the US would end achieving killing two birds with one shot.

Europe must be aware that it has been responsible for this situation, because it has been coward to unsuspected limits in no aplying the Agreement 5+1 and has continued trying to gain time, avoiding its responsability without committing to this treaty which implied commerce with Iran, two years have passed since the US broke the agreement and the EU has done nothing.

Spanish journalist Asier Amo Izarra:

Iraq starts to be aware that it has sovereignty over its territory, It´s normal that until past months and even last moments it had no such awareness because hasl ived under the yoke, under the boot of the US. We have seen how through decades has managed this country to its will. US and its coalition forces have never guaranteed neither peace, nor security, nor democracy, and we must remember these are occupation forces. It has been this crime of Gen Soleimani which has awaken the Iraqi people on the reality that they are occupation forces which must be ousted. this is the great battle and great victory of Gen. Soleimani, and I am sure more great victories are to come.

We are witnessing the stronger reactions taken palce, and not only iraq has been awaken but the world, who is seeing Donald Trump carries us to a dead end.
The condemanation by both Russia and China on the breaking of the 5+1 agreement and the behavior of the US altely have been quite mild. Now we see that this could happen in Russian or Chinese territory whenever it places Donald Trump.

I was kinda justifying the lack of response by Russia in terms of that they are on Christmas holidays, or fro the fact that China usually plans in the long term, but they both are clearly neglecting their responsability as world superpowers with veto at the UNSC as the block opposed to the US.
Everybody, especially countries which do not have such weight or power, thinks it is enough and it is time to exert pressure on the US and take a united and firm position to put Donald Trump in his place, mainly because the world is in the need of a leadership who takes a position to counter these strategic measures the US is taking when we are seeing the world spiralling towards great violence.

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 5 2020 22:56 utc | 136

@Posted by: Lozion | Jan 5 2020 20:12 utc | 99

I was going to post that he is like a , but then deicde it was not worth the effort.
It´s obvious he is shill.

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 5 2020 22:59 utc | 137

@Posted by: Sasha | Jan 5 2020 22:59 utc | 138

Like a..mosca cojoners...was trying to mean

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 5 2020 23:00 utc | 138

To take a speech from FDR and do a bit of editing.

"Yesterday, January 3, 2020 — a date which will live in infamy — the nation of Iran was suddenly and deliberately attacked with the murder of Qasem Soleiman a peace envoy by the air forces of the Great Satan. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated murder, the Iranian people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory.

Posted by: Tom | Jan 5 2020 23:03 utc | 139

@ JackRabbit

Just so you know...

I think your request for confirmation was reasonable and that other bar patrons are overreacting.

I appreciate that your responses to critics are more polite and measured than their opening salvos. You’re keeping it classy (better than I could).

Posted by: oglalla | Jan 5 2020 23:25 utc | 140

Graham Readfern's assessment is pretty much right. The spectre of 'greenies' is lazy populism pandering to alt-right prejudice masking (and exculpating) long-term systemic land mismanagement. I mean we've been trying to run Australian agriculture on the model of Europe for 200 years, a bizarre historical madness. When the first settlers in 1788 were starving because wheat wouldn't grow around Sydney Cove (well, duh...) the local indigenous people were bewildered—there was a garden around them full of food! Why weren't they eating it??? Nothing has changed. The history of Australia is summed up in the motto of the country's oldest university, the University of Sydney: sidere mens eadem mutato: the motto is an astonishing admission of a colonial groupthink trying constantly to force the square block of this continent into the round hole of European practice ("Though the stars may change the mind is the same"!). Christmas in Australia consists of pretending it's winter, replete with sleighs, fake snow, Christmas trees, baking hot food in sweltering heat, and holly. Talk about repressed colonial nostalgia.

How long will it take to grow out of the colonial settler pioneer cognitive malaise here? Australia is an adolescent nation in every respect—psychologically, economically, environmentally, politically, socially...

Posted by: Patroklos | Jan 5 2020 23:30 utc | 141

I was surprised the great Soleimani survived as long as he did. He seemed to be everywhere, in Syria, in Iraq, back to Iran, again and again and again. The reason he was not dealt with before is perhaps because he was a real hero, a man who was fearless, who was charismatic and with a nobility in his face, and a brilliant strategist from all I have read over the years. In short he was too big to kill.

The similarity with Che Guevara mentioned before in the thread has a certain resonance but Che had engaged in a totally foolhardy endeavour in the Bolivian jungle with a handful of people when he should have been in Cuba defending the revolution. He and Castro had fallen out over the direction of the revolution. Che was a Maoist and pure communist whereas Fidel was pragmatic. For example, Fidel wanted to pay the more productive sugar workers more which infuriated Che. But Cuba and Fidel survived and Che didn’t.

I have always been impressed by the Irish and the Iranians I have met. They can talk politics, literature , art, history, philosophy and poetry all in the space of a few minutes. For me Soleimani was a great Iranian and I deeply mourn his passing.

Posted by: Lochearn | Jan 5 2020 23:42 utc | 142

Are there any Plugins that can filter out comments from specific posters? There are a lot of valuable posts in the comments here, but an equal amount of noise. Especially in times like these It would be incredibly useful not to have to waste mindshare on the counterproductive.

Posted by: Roy G | Jan 5 2020 23:45 utc | 143

@ Cognitive Dossonance | Jan 5 2020 21:30 utc | 122

Are you the same person from ZeroHedge? Just wondering.

Posted by: oglalla | Jan 5 2020 23:52 utc | 144

Now USA can stop Nord Stream militarily, destroying ships or German business leaders giving a string of economic provocations with security implications.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 5 2020 15:48 utc | 14

Why do you say that?

I must be missing a dot . . .

How does this assassination affect Nord Stream 2?

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 5 2020 23:53 utc | 145

@ Posted by: powerandpeople | Jan 5 2020 20:33 utc | 105 with the list of all the MSM appearances that Pompeo was going to have today.

Did the issue of diplomatic immunity come up in any of those propaganda events? I don't own a TV and haven't for years.....TIA

Socialism or barbarism is still the question on the table, right?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 6 2020 0:07 utc | 146

Re 115. Tass report S500 as in production last summer. Earlier others report successful tests in Russia Syria. Also last summer Erdogan report additional joint manufacture with Turkey. Also reports that Pentagon not happy. This is only one of many sophisticated Russian weapons. See Martyanov (sic) Losing Military Superiority as well as his new book. Trump is whistling in the wind regarding US weapons prowess. The most frightening is that he and advisors - Pompeo Pence and Sec Defense - actually believe the fantasies of Boeing Raytheon McDonnell Douglas.

Posted by: Abierno | Jan 6 2020 0:11 utc | 147

Iraq resolution asks for all foreign troops to leave. The Green Zone is filled with three-letter diplomats, contractors, "entrepreneurs", and other plausibly-deniable talent. Contractors can fly drones just as well as troops. Drones don't even need to be flown locally any more.

Iraq resolution takes a year to take effect, and is between current Iraq gov't and US. If the Iraq gov't happens to be overthrown in the meantime, agreement becomes null and void.

As I said before, Green Zone is as big as The Vatican and serves as a Walmart for weapons for all surrounding territories. Iraq has a snowball's chance in hell of successfully getting the US to wind down operations there.

Posted by: Imagine | Jan 6 2020 0:12 utc | 148

Below is the end of a quote from Pompeo

"....and we are urging everyone in the world to get behind what the United States is trying to do to get the Islamic Republic of Iran to simply behave like a normal nation.

Just to unpack those words, a "normal nation" to Pompeo is one controlled by those that own global private finance.

I find it fascinating that as a species which has "evolved this far", we are unable to discuss frankly what the Western social contract is and how it works, let alone what might represent viable alternatives to it.....cultural imperialism to the just need to continue to have enough faith/snark

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 6 2020 0:19 utc | 149

@ 147

Socialism is a blend of public and private sector. Socialism recognizes that that the empty shop in the mall will be better and more quickly provided by an entrepreneur whereas some large scale, investment-heavy enterprises such as rail are more effectively run by the state. Utilities is another area. Unfortunately, many socialist are seduced by the Marxist argument – which is formidable. What Marx failed to give credit to was the small and mid-sized entrepreneur – someone who borrows from banks and from the family to set up and make that thing, somebody driven, somebody sort of special. For Marx they are all bosses. Jeremy Corbyn and his advisors have not grown out of that Marxist mindset that business is bad per se.

Posted by: Lochearn | Jan 6 2020 0:29 utc | 150

Remember the PNAC memo written in 2000 to formalize plans for invading and conquering 7 nations? They were:

Iraq (invaded and decimated)
Lebanon (ongoing)
Syria (foiled by Russia)
Sudan (ongoing)
Somalia (ongoing)
Yemen (ongoing)
Iran (starting)

With reference to the 52 cultural sites Trump is threatening, the sheeple are starting to us the term "War Crime."

Posted by: naiverealist | Jan 6 2020 0:39 utc | 151

@124 Rhisiart Gwiym, moa is not known for group think... it is more about thinking independently... this little ongoing spat over jackrabbit involves a few regulars that i generally appreciate, but not when they could keep there fucking mouths shut for the benefit of everyone else... sometimes it's better just to not say anything if one doesn't have anything positive to say...

Posted by: james | Jan 6 2020 0:44 utc | 152

Russia's chess-istic excrement, now turned into CIA toilet cleaner, Gary Kasparov, says "We will never know how many more innocents Qasem Soleimani would have killed. The world would be worse with such a person." USA picking up all the shit pieces of Russia

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 6 2020 0:48 utc | 153

They say the clown is now trying to blackmail Iraq, see RT. He's threatening "sanctions", whatever that means. Shakedown might be more accurate.

But to the recent murders, these must be coincidental, no?

Going Underground had a guest who addressed this method... "Murder, assassination are Israel’s specialities – senior Palestinian negotiator (E814)"

Posted by: Walter | Jan 6 2020 0:52 utc | 154

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 5 2020 15:48 utc | 14

If US policy continues Germany/continental EU will soon have to decide to join the Russia/China block, remain exclusively "transatlantic" or build its own economic and security block.

As is, German politicians go for the lowest risk. There is nothing to win by supporting Iran's position just now. How they plan to "de-escalate" by simply ignoring Iran's position is their secret.

All this will be public theater and real discussions will go on in secret. China and Russia could end Iran's economic isolation, they may have already done so.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 6 2020 0:52 utc | 155

Two interesting notes

1) Trump used the Prime Minister of Iraq to attract Soleimani as envoy to prepare for his murder. It recalls the attempt of the CIA / CNN to attract the first Yugoslav minister as a decoy to the studies of the Serbian RTV attacked in 1999 by NATO. 16 media workers were killed by US airstrike.

2) Could the US terrorist threat of attacking Iranian cultural objectives be a massive distraction maneuver for Iran to concentrate troops in those enclaves that could weaken other more strategic ones that would potentially be attacked by the US?

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 6 2020 0:53 utc | 156

I may have my time framing wrong but is this not just a resolution and condemnation with no force of Law? I threw the Haaretz link in to drive a few people crazy...

Amidst the chaos of news and information flow things are moving quickly. It seems like a dog and pony show that will last a few months. After that, if they did pass a law to evict, it will take even more time to demobilize. Even then they will just take a piece of Syria or Kurdistan to operate.

Posted by: dltravers | Jan 6 2020 0:57 utc | 157

This account has been massively reported for inciting genocide against Iran ("Let's do Tehran what we did with Dresden: light it up and burn it"). It remains active despite breaking the rules. Meanwhile, they suspend the Syrian Presidency account @Presidency_Sy.

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 6 2020 0:57 utc | 158

Congressional inquiry into the #SoleimaniAssassination and the threat of war should include whether this was a joint project of the United States and #Israel. Mossad chief Yossi Cohen said last October that the assassination of Soleimani "is possible".

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 6 2020 1:01 utc | 159

Big media are all repeating the Trump-Pompeo justification that #Soleimani was responsible for killing 600 American boys in Iraq. But as I've documented in great detail, that was a completely fabricated story Cheney was using to justify an attack on Iran.

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 6 2020 1:02 utc | 160

Over the last 24 hours it looks as though Trump realises ( or more likely the military brass around him) that this murder was a disasterous error and panicked finger pointing and false bravado has started beeing thrown around. The generals are claiming they were ahgast at Trumps orders, Pompeo is angry that the Europeans havent been more supportive and Trump is saying his advisors were fully onboard withbhis decision. The buck stops with Trump, but im furious to think that the generals who presented this plan to Trump in the first place are trying to wash their hands of the matter. A proper risk assesment of the assassination of solemani would have included the possible regional consequences. This obviously wasnt done properly or the US government wouldnt be so obviously panicking and caught flat-footed over what has happend in the past 48 hours

Posted by: Kadath | Jan 6 2020 1:13 utc | 161

If shipping is halted in the Mediterranean because of hostilities then Iran really IS China's problem. In fact, a blocked Hormuz is the main Chinese Nightmare. So China can't afford to be aloof...
Since war is a lose-lose for all, and so is halting oil shipments, then the best that China can do is obtain a pledge of restraint and forbearance from Iran.
In exchange, Iran will be admitted into the Shanghai Cooperative Organization (SCO) only upgraded, with essentially a mutual defense pact established among members.
China-Russia could also transfer top notch missile / air defense to Iran and possibly establish naval/ air force bases in the country. That would fix Washington-J'salem's wagon for good.

Posted by: posa | Jan 6 2020 1:16 utc | 162

@ Posted by: Lochearn | Jan 6 2020 0:29 utc | 150 who responded to my use of the term socialism

I have written lots here about mixed economies and agree that is a model that works. When I use the term socialism now it is socialism of finance at the core of the social contract. No more private dictatorship.

China has a goodly percentage of private enterprises both big and small and I hope we get to learn more about how their social finance experiments are doing.

Back to the posting focus.

The US led empire is not going to be able to use the "godless communism" propaganda against any countries in the ME and if/when China/Russia step in the middle, if used then, it will come out as a weak argument.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 6 2020 1:21 utc | 163

An incisive analysis of why the Americans choose to assassinate General Soleimani at this particular moment.

It has to do with maintaining American Petro Dollar Imperialism and the fact that Soleimani was working with Iraq to regain control over its own oil--and thus perhaps denominating oils sales in a currency other than the Dirty Dollar.

Indeed, this is what Saddam Hussein did when he dominated Iraqi oil sales in EUROS instead of the Dollars in 2000, which led to America's war of aggression against that nation.

Similarly, Muammar Ghadaffi push to create a pan-African Gold Dinar currency as a challenge to America's Dollar Imperialism was likely a major cause for the America-led aggression against Libya in 2011.

America Escalates its “Democratic” Oil War in the Near East

Posted by: ak74 | Jan 6 2020 1:24 utc | 164

This analysis from Michael Hudson in re the assassination

Posted by: loneplateau | Jan 6 2020 1:26 utc | 165

@78 Jackrabbit

Suleimani was not a diplomat...

We hear that he had been given a diplomatic mission and was traveling on a diplomatic visa as an envoy between two heads of state. I that is so, he was a diplomat.

Anyone who is tasked with a diplomatic mission and is appointed as an envoy is a diplomat. You don't have to have a "diploma in diplomacy" to be a diplomat!

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 6 2020 1:39 utc | 166

To play nice at the end of his term he pardoned a poor guy named Mark Rich. That's how the game is played.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Jan 5 2020 21:00 utc | 113

Whitney Webb has some interesting background and connects many dots concerning Rich. In one of her Epstein pieces---I can't recall which one. Rich was not some "poor guy."

Per Webb Rich was a Mossad operative. Webb also, actually, cites Michael Ruppert in this piece:
From “Spook Air” to the “Lolita Express”: The Genesis and Evolution of the Jeffrey Epstein-Bill Clinton Relationship

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 6 2020 1:57 utc | 167

@ Posted by: loneplateau | Jan 6 2020 1:26 utc | 165 with the Michael Hudson link...Thanks!!!

A few quotes from it
Here once again Saudi Arabia plays a critical role, through its control of Wahabi Sunnis turned into terrorist jihadis willing to sabotage, bomb, assassinate, blow up and otherwise fight any target designated as an enemy of “Islam,” the euphemism for Saudi Arabia acting as U.S. client state. (Religion really is not the key; I know of no ISIS or similar Wahabi attack on Israeli targets.) The United States needs the Saudis to supply or finance Wahabi crazies. So in addition to playing a key role in the U.S. balance of payments by recycling its oil-export earnings are into U.S. stocks, bonds and other investments, Saudi Arabia provides manpower by supporting the Wahabi members of America’s foreign legion, ISIS and Al-Nusra/Al-Qaeda. Terrorism has become the “democratic” mode of today U.S. military policy.
Congress endorsed Trump’s assassination and is fully as guilty as he is for having approved the Pentagon’s budget with the Senate’s removal of the amendment to the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act that Bernie Sanders, Tom Udall and Ro Khanna inserted an amendment in the House of Representatives version, explicitly not authorizing the Pentagon to wage war against Iran or assassinate its officials. When this budget was sent to the Senate, the White House and Pentagon (a.k.a. the military-industrial complex and neoconservatives) removed that constraint. That was a red flag announcing that the Pentagon and White House did indeed intend to wage war against Iran and/or assassinate its officials. Congress lacked the courage to argue this point at the forefront of public discussion.

The question is, how to get the world’s politicians – U.S., European and Asians – to see how America’s all-or-nothing policy is threatening new waves of war, refugees, disruption of the oil trade in the Strait of Hormuz, and ultimately global warming and neoliberal dollarization imposed on all countries. It is a sign of how little power exists in the United Nations that no countries are calling for a new Nurenberg-style war crimes trial, no threat to withdraw from NATO or even to avoid holding reserves in the form of money lent to the U.S. Treasury to fund America’s military budget.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 6 2020 2:01 utc | 168

re: Lochearn | Jan 6 2020 0:29 utc | 150 posted this nonsense:
"Jeremy Corbyn and his advisors have not grown out of that Marxist mindset that business is bad per se."

Obviously you never watched what Mr Corbyn did or listened to what he said. More likely formed your opinion on the basis of what billionaire zionists such as Margaret Hodge nee Oppenheimer told guardian hacks to write rather than observation of the man himself.
For more than 30 years Mr Corbyn was advocating that where socialist enterprises are necessary (eg railways) they should not be centralised mega public corps but smaller grass roots driven pieces of a jigsaw. Mr Corbyn understood very clearly that 'wilsonism' struggled because the entities had grown much too large and had become unresponsive to stakeholders. You see the worst problems with enterprise public or private is when they become unmanageably large.
A railway, telco, or energy provider allowed to grow so large as to become a practical monopoly behaves pretty much the same no matter who owns it.

Some state owned enterprises can deliver at a slightly lower cost if they do not have shareholders to feed, but generally that plus the ability to make decisions in the public interest is always kyboshed once a tory/conservative/liberal alleged centre right group wins power.
The change is done coincident with a tax cut so as to make it tough for a alleged left political group to change back. The consequence is citizens are so disillusioned by the entity that few object when it is privatised for pennies in the pound.

Mr Corbyn understands this as well as if not better than any other mass marketed politician. He asserts that the only way to protect socialised entities is to keep em small enough that the people most affected by the entity are involved in its control. Many smaller socialist entities like that cause huge problems for rightist administrations because any attempt to change them for the worse is met with fierce opposition from the community, aka the voters.
He has never expressed a desire to socialise anything other than large enterprises who have a natural monopoly, whist saying that they must be split up and have stakeholder input/control as well.

Ps It was just last week you told b he was a one-trick pony so you wouldn't be frequenting his site any longer, wasn't it?

Posted by: A User | Jan 6 2020 2:01 utc | 169

krollchem @67--

Thanks for that distillation of info! Much appreciated.

It occurred to me soon after his murder that Zionists were likely at the drone's controls. Given the available evidence--particularly Trump not tweeting his responsibility ASAP in his usual gloating manner which is his MO--and the fact that Esper is a bigtime Zionist traitor, IMO that accounts for the beginning. What I also read early this morning was Solemani was hand carrying a letter from the Saudi king to the Iraqi PM in what I believe was the first sign of Saudi acceptance of Iran's HOPE proposal--a proposal the Zionists cannot afford to ever see implemented: Better to expand the existing turmoil than have any possibility of peace arise.

Of course, the number of shadows amidst the fog banks make any clear analysis close to impossible. One benefit for us here at the bar was the final unveiling of a very unsavory character that ought to be ignored to death until it finally ceases to appear.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 6 2020 2:04 utc | 170

@152 In relation to Trump's threat to bomb Iranian sites of cultural significance, I would think the Iranians are remiss if they don't milk the obvious retort: Yeah, we also considered that, but the USA isn't exactly a target-rich environment when it comes to "significant culture".

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 6 2020 2:11 utc | 171

Putin has shown himself to be a stabilizing influence to counter fanatic Israel and lunatic Trump. Let Russia help Iraq. Let the US get the hell out of the region. It has conspired with Israel to create hell for everyone there. I am ashamed of my country!

Posted by: jadan | Jan 6 2020 2:14 utc | 172

"Pompeo is now making the rounds on TV threatening to kill an Iranian official for every US soldier that gets killed by any group maybe linked to Iran."

That is outrageous---basically collective punishment or close to it. Executing an innocent as a reprisal for someone else's crime. Reprisals are a descent into barbarity. Basically it is lynching. Official terror. Like the Brown Shirts.

The USA as of today has no right to be in Iraq. War has not been declared. Iraq is an "ally." You cannot go around killing innocent people as payback! That is gangsterism pure and simple. Primitive. Terrorism. Ugh. He is a graduate of Harvard law School. Like Obama. My god, these are no better than Nazi "lawyers."

Pompeo is a horror.
Not in my name, you monster!

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 6 2020 2:21 utc | 173


Alrite, time to address this little spat, as you call it, between me and JR, I've put this off for far too long. IMO JR is A- a paid agent to promote FUD or B- someone who's cynicism runs so deep that it blinds him to other perspectives than his own, accusing others of towing the party line (the famous Kool Aid line) if challenged but that doesnt matter either way, the result is the same & this is the heart of the issue: It's about disempowerment. The message put forth is that "The PTB" are always one step ahead, playing the Left Hand Vs the Right (known as a Hegelian dialectic). For example: Clinton & Trump play Kayfabe, it's all a show, you little people lose either way. Or Trump's impeachment is just a reality show in which he plays his part, as if you can't the logical fallacies behind this reasoning, ffs..

Well no. I refuse to be disempowered. Why? Because Veritas Semper Vincit and in the end, the Elites, these wrongdoers & backsliders, killing, maiming, dividing us, stealing and destroying the beauty of this world for their greed will fall from their Babel Towers and no one, least of which an anonymous bunny on a bulletin board will deter me from this utmost & deepest belief, a belief shared by the members of the Resistance to which Soleimani, Mohandes, Nasrallah, Guevara, Chavez, Assad, Arafat, Gadhafi, and so many others are proudly and righteously part of..


Posted by: Lozion | Jan 6 2020 2:26 utc | 174

loneplateau @ 165

Nice analysis by Michael Hudson.

He sees maintenance of the petrodollar as a main motivation for the assassination.  I like his no holds barred analysis:

"The assassination was intended to escalate America’s presence in Iraq to keep control the region’s oil reserves, and to back Saudi Arabia’s Wahabi troops (Isis, Al Quaeda in Iraq, Al Nusra and other divisions of what are actually America’s foreign legion) to support U.S. control o Near Eastern oil as a buttress to the U.S. dollar. "


"Fear of this development was a major reason why the United States moved against Libya, whose foreign reserves were held in gold, not dollars, and which was urging other African countries to follow suit in order to free themselves from “Dollar Diplomacy.” Hillary and Obama invaded, grabbed their gold supplies (we still have no idea who ended up with these billions of dollars worth of gold) and destroyed Libya’s government, its public education system, its public infrastructure and other non-neoliberal policies."

Maybe even more than the dollar as reserve currency is the battle against any socialist type system that rejects the colonization effects of private banking and predatory capitalism.

But this time I think the US has run into a brick wall.

Just as Russia and Iran stopped the US cold in Syria, I think they will do the same in Iran. They have to or resort to being colonized.  It's time for the US's bluff to be called and the power is now there to do it.

Posted by: financial matters | Jan 6 2020 2:35 utc | 175

@ Posted by: financial matters | Jan 6 2020 2:35 utc | 175 who ended with
It's time for the US's bluff to be called and the power is now there to do it.

That is my belief as well.

China could use its trillion of US treasuries to pay off lots of country's debt with the funny money and laugh at the "winning" derivative holders that say they own the world when the music stops.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 6 2020 2:48 utc | 176

@152 In relation to Trump's threat to bomb Iranian sites of cultural significance, I would think the Iranians are remiss if they don't milk the obvious retort: Yeah, we also considered that, but the USA isn't exactly a target-rich environment when it comes to "significant culture".

How about some drone strikes on significant American cultural sites like Trump Towers and Mar-A-Lago?


Posted by: ak74 | Jan 6 2020 2:51 utc | 177

Financial Matters @ 175

"Fear of this development was a major reason why the United States moved against Libya, whose foreign reserves were held in gold, not dollars, and which was urging other African countries to follow suit in order to free themselves from “Dollar Diplomacy.”

In early 2003---the run-up to the Iraq Einmarsch, but some still hoped it would be headed off---I was copyediting a book by Immanuel Wallerstein. That was where I first read about the issue of the significance of Saddam's opening a euro-denominated oil exchange and that *this* was the body blow to the US economy (a chink in the petrodollar regime) that would guarantee that the USA would invade Iraq ans was the real reason for the planned invasion and the reason it was inevitable, No WMDs be damned. I went to the enormous protest march in NYC and some Dutch student video producers chose me as a vox populii and asked me whether I thought the invasion would occur. I stated with confidence that it would because the USA could not allow a breaking ranks when it came to petrodollars. Simply could not *afford* it.

In the event, practically the first order of business after the Einmarsch was to close down the euro-denominated oil exchange. Can the same gambit work again, second time around, in the same country? The Iraqis must know this game by now! Maybe the Russians and Chinese could provide some expertise in setting up alternative financial structures that by pass the dollar.

On a different topic, looking back on March 2003, I still recall my horror at news of the looting of museums and destruction of Baghdad's treasures. Now Taliban Trump is threatening this again for Iran---the intentional destruction of Persia's cultural treasures. This is also terrorism. All of these threats emanating from Trump and Pompeo are terrorism pure and simple. And war crimes. The Americans are the latter-day nihilistic smashers of all that is beautiful and timeless.

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 6 2020 2:59 utc | 178

The whole petrodollar argument is a bit of a canard. Oil constitutes about 10% of world trade and chemicals about 15%. See page 42 of this document from the WTO. I am stripping out 5% of the 15 % because oil and mining are mixed. From what I have read oil is only about 10% of world trade.

If you look at the treasury data here you will see that the biggest buyers of US bonds are in Asia. Furthermore illegal drug money laundering in the Caribbean rates a larger share than oil. You have to go way down the list to spot 12 to find the Saudis. A tiny country like Luxembourg outstrips the Saudis.

I believe, with no evidence available, that a secret deal was struck with China to build them up militarily and financially if the would pour the money back into US treasuries. Essentially that is what happened. I believe this deal was set up by Kissinger and started with Nixon and has been ongoing up to the Trump era.

We always hear about the '70's deal with the Saudis to buy US treasuries but essentially the Chinese appear to have been given the same deal at the same time.

The other canard is bitching about Trumpenburg. All this takes eyes off the real issues and problems which are too complex for any one human being to sort through. He is low hanging fruit and an easy target. Maybe it is meant to be that way and we all are falling head over heals for this BS.

Posted by: dltravers | Jan 6 2020 3:19 utc | 179

@ dltravers

First, what percent of trade is oil after you reduce the inflated value of everything else that liars count as trade? I personally don’t know. But, I’ve read enough about funny money accounting that I would question the other calculation.

Second, all the other trade, except for trade in financial services (but see first paragraph), is a pyramid built on energy. If oil customer B replaces oil customer A, then oil customer B can use at energy to make goods and services formerly made by customer A.

The extent of impact? Don’t know. But it’s worth considering.

Posted by: oglalla | Jan 6 2020 4:38 utc | 180

>> significant American cultural sites

We must protect the Eiffel Tower in Vegas!

Posted by: oglalla | Jan 6 2020 4:44 utc | 181

@ Lozion

Sigh. You bring up Clinton in one par and then actual revolutionaries in the second. Well...suit yourself.

Posted by: oglalla | Jan 6 2020 4:49 utc | 182

@174 lozion... thanks for explaining that... i would just ignore him...i doubt very much he is paid for any of this, but i get your point... and, i admire and share your position here - "I refuse to be disempowered." i must have a higher capacity for uncertainty though... i don't believe we know that much for sure a lot of the time.. just how this is going to go moving forward, i will quote magnier from the end of his dispatch today - "Iran invested 40 years building the “Axis of the Resistance”. It cannot remain idle, faced with the assassination of the Leader of this axis. Would a suitable price be the US exit from Iraq and condemnation in the Security Council? Would that, together with withdrawal from the nuclear deal, be enough for Iran to avenge its General? Will the ensuing battle be confined to the Iraqi stage? Will it be used for the victory of certain Iraqi political players?

The assassination of its leader represents the supreme test for the Axis of Resistance. All sides, friend and foe, are awaiting its response." link here

Posted by: james | Jan 6 2020 4:58 utc | 183

Really?? @166:

We hear that he had been given a diplomatic mission and was traveling on a diplomatic visa as an envoy between two heads of state.

I'm just asking for confirmation and more info. I explained why @114.

"We hear that he ..." is rather weak for such important news.

Yes, anyone can serve as a diplomat. But it's rather unusual for a General in active service to be a key person in diplomatic relations. They are generally just in an advisory role.

What we were previously told was that Soleimani was in Iraq to attend the funeral of the slain PMU soldiers.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 6 2020 5:03 utc | 184

A few hours ago, PressTV has posted this story: Soleimani was to deliver Tehran's reply to Saudi de-escalation letter when killed: Iraqi PM

PressTV only informs its readers of what Iraqi PM Abdul-Mahdi said about Soleimani's diplomatic activities.

There is no confirmation of Soleimani diplomatic role from Iranian sources. The ONLY info from Iranian sources is this:

Iran's judiciary has said that the attack took place despite Soleimani being a "formal" and "high profile" guest of the Iraqi government.

He would be a "formal" and "high profile" guest even if he were just attending the funerals of the slain PMU soldiers.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 6 2020 5:15 utc | 185

"Pompeio is now making the rounds on TV threatening to kill an Iranian official for every US soldier that gets killed by any group maybe linked to Iran. That is what the mighty US empire has been reduced to - fighting eye for an eye for its soldiers to be able to be stationed outside of US borders. Never mind those soldiers achieving anything."
Posted by: somebody | Jan 5 2020 22:08 utc | 131

This, and other noise spewing forth from the frothing maw of Trump himself, are signs that they are afraid. I have always thought this of American Militarists - especially the particularly bellicose ones - they are scared shitless.

Posted by: Activist Potato | Jan 6 2020 5:16 utc | 186

caitlin johnstones latest US Empire’s Passion For Iraqi Democracy Magically Disappears

Posted by: james | Jan 6 2020 5:17 utc | 187

Let's not all hold our collective breaths waiting for the Iraqi parliament to expel all foreign troops.

The empire STILL has the reserve currency club, to swing against the world.

Jrabbit is a plus for this site. IMO, case closed.../

Posted by: ben | Jan 6 2020 5:41 utc | 188

It appears very possible that the ongoing Hybrid Third World War will transcend its Hybrid nature and become "traditional"--that is THE threat being made by the Evil Outlaw US Empire to EVERY nation on the planet, not just Iran. Essentially, it's nuclear blackmail. Hudson suggests gutting Saudi Arabia as a way to impair the Evil Empire but notes it will take a much bigger effort to defeat it--and that sort of effort won't be quick or easy. As I noted, silence reigns from those holding the available countervailing power. They need to speak soon and with extreme force.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 6 2020 5:45 utc | 189

b just posted a link to a fantastic Twitter thread by Reza Marashi who describes comments from US officials. He's credible.

I had to cut and paste these three particular tweets from that thread because it strikes me as the most important underlying threat by far that everyone outside the US should understand about the psychopaths driving the bus here and blood that will flow in Iraq.

Reza Marashi @rezamarashi

"So many of Trump's top advisors on Iran are military vets who served multiple tours of duty in our wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. They believe to their core that Iran is the reason why they lost those wars, and they're dead set on payback - no matter what it takes."

Reza Marashi @rezamarashi

"They've been pushing to kill Soleimani for years, and they finally baited Trump into it. They think war with Iran is long overdue, so for them, this was a means to an end. When Iran responds, they'll tell Trump to hit the Iranians harder. You see where this could go."

Reza Marashi @rezamarashi

"They know the Iraqis are gonna kick them out now, so they're gonna try to kill as many as possible on their way out. Iranians, Iraqis, whoever. Some of them are advising Trump to tell the Iraqi government to fuck off and dare them to make us leave. I shit you not. Insanity."

Do you see why arguing about what either the US, Iraq or Iran are threatening to do or guessing how they will respond IS FUTILE? It doesn't matter - The top US career generals, their butt-kissing underlings and Israeli-firster neocons in Washington are putting their own psychopathic blood lust for 'Revenge against Iran' above the national security interests of the US.

Laws and the Constitution don't matter any more here - there is nothing left to save.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 6 2020 5:45 utc | 190

The bunny. . . author of a thousand conspiracies that offer up nothing more than cui bono as evidence, now demands proof from another poster. . . hmm maybe Lozion has hit the nail on the head.

There have been a number of references in the media today to the fact that General Soleimani's purpose in visiting Iraq was as a messenger for the Iran leadership delivering a letter of response to Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi concerning an offer from Saudi which the Saudis had asked Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to pass on to Iran.

The rest is just distraction, did he carry a diplomatic passport? well it would be rather odd if Soleimani did not use a diplomatic passport on all his peripatetic journeys representing Iran's interests in other nations, but it isn't an issue, the fact remains Soleimani was involved in negotiating a truce, something the amerikans definitely would have known, and anyone on such a mission of peace has been considered to be 'untouchable' since time immemorial.

amerika has just broken rule number 1, a rule so established and accepted, no civilized nation would do as amerika did last week. IIRC even the nazis let soviet, english, & yes amerikan government representative go after war had been declared.
Amerika does have some form on this back when they first invaded Afghanistan they grabbed the Afghan foreign minister who was in Pakistan talking to the Pakistanis when amerika invaded. They threw him in Guantanamo but eventually had to free him because the guy was a highly respected cleric, even their allies such as the Saudis couldn't countenance that.

Iran will get their vengeance, for sure, up close and personal when the murderers least expect it, most likely long after the perps quit worrying as their thoughts were fully absorbed by 5 or 10 of their lower than a snake's belly antics past this one.
orange whip, plumpeo and silly Milley plus the rest of the chief perps don't have the energy much less the wit to keep themselves safe for all the remainder of their worthless lives. Maybe that has begun to sink in already, altho I doubt it, I just hope I'm around long enough to see that scum get what they deserve.

Posted by: A User | Jan 6 2020 5:46 utc | 191

A User

Trump is after Iran not only on behalf of Israel, but also the Tehran embassy drama back in 79-80 when Iran held the US diplomats or spys or whatever for some time.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 6 2020 5:56 utc | 192

Trump still at it now threatening Iraq with sanctions to pay for U.S. base.

Trump says us will not leave until iraq pays for base


Posted by: Circe | Jan 6 2020 5:57 utc | 193

Global Times 5 Jan editorial displays great naivety IMO:

"China is a third party in terms of opinion and morality. The US killing of Soleimani violates international law and impairs regional peace. This should be the Chinese public's basic understanding of this matter. China should offer sympathy to Iran as a way of balancing the regional situation. Other countries should provide condolences to Iran instead of provoking it to fulfill its vow of revenge.

"The killing has also been controversial in the US. It is hoped that US decision-makers do not go too far on Iran."

IMO, there's no way China's Politburo is ignorant of Dr. Hudson's analysis of the Evil Outlaw US Empire's methods and goals, although it may not have read his latest take after the assassination. What's published are words of appeasement, which is to say they're worse than having said nothing.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 6 2020 6:05 utc | 194

Lozion @174

I'm not paid and I'm not trying to disempower anyone.

I don't think the establishment is all-knowing and all-powerful. They have made mistakes and some of those mistakes are real clusterf*cks. But they are also very good at a few things - like propaganda and political manipulation.

MANY people at MoA and elsewhere have noted the malign activities of a US Deep State, neocons, and oligarchs. We also know that AIPAC and other lobbies have a firm grip on legislation and policy-making.

And we also know that our corporate-owned and CIA-controlled have become virtual propaganda organs of the State. In fact, in 2013, Obama repealed the ban on US military propaganda directed at Americans.

"The illusion of democracy" is maintained by what has been termed "managed democracy". This has been studied academically by Sheldon Wolin at Princeton University.

With this in mind, I've added the suggestion that the US Presidency is too powerful for the US establishment to allow a democratic choice. The US electoral system is set up to ensure that the US President is SELECTED by powerful interests, chief among these is the "Deep State" (people have differing views of what constitutes the "Deep State").

This is why "populist" Presidents break their promises. They never had any real intention of keeping them! They are selected to be a member of the Deep State team. They KNOW that is their job (not serving the American people as a whole - just a small portion of the people).

Some people don't see this or don't want to see this. They lack the proper skepticism, or the historical knowledge, or the time to closely observe current events. I've tried to convey the evidence that I see for an establishment that puts EMPIRE FIRST. And has done so for at least two decades.

An example is Trump's inviting Pelosi to the White House to discuss his Wall days before the election for Speaker of the House. This allowed Pelosi to benefit from valuable media attention before the election. Many were saying that Pelosi was too old or compromised (by having worked with GW Bush) to be Speaker again. But with the added statue of a WH meeting and her apparent 'toughness' on Trump, she was elected!

Another possible example is Russiagate. This was a bi-partisan farce (even Republicans claimed that Russia meddled in the election) whose only real effect was to initiate a new McCarthyism. Should we not wonder if McCarthyism was the goal instead of a by-product?

Furthermore, in the last several months, we have seen the Democrats give Trump easy victories on is legislative agenda and Pelosi has withheld forwarding the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. Some say that Trump is not impeached until the Articles are presented to the Senate. I have written my thoughts on this at MoA: it is very possible that Trump will never be impeached and even that Trump's "contract" with the Deep State includes provisions that preclud Impeachment or release of his tax records. These are the kinds of provisions that a businessperson like Trump would put into an employment contract. In his view, the Trump brand is his most valuable asset.

Lastly, the Democrats are generally fine with Trump's occupation of Syria oil fields, and now they seem fine with his assassination of a top official of a sovereign state. They wring their hands and make some snide remarks but they generally support Trump's Empire-building.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 6 2020 6:05 utc | 195

Has the Iraqi parliament voted to abrogate the agreement under which US forces are in Iraq? Did they issue a timetable and requirements for the withdrawal of US forces?

I don’t think so.

Until the Iraqi parliament and government pass a law prohibiting US forces in Iraq it is all moot. Even if they do take definitive action how will they compel the US to withdraw their forces?

Posted by: ab initio | Jan 6 2020 6:17 utc | 196

A User @191:

I don't think you've followed this discussion very closely.

now demands proof from another poster

I asked for confirmation. I explained my reason for doing so. It should be difficult to get confirmation for such important news.

There have been a number of references in the media today ...

And yet you provide no links.

<> <> <> <>

See my comments @184, @185, and @195.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 6 2020 6:18 utc | 197

Killing Suleimani is an act of "high crime and misdemeanour"

Tulsi Gabbard needs to initiate impeachment procedures against Trump.

Remove Trump from office and remove troops from Iraq. That should satisfy the Iranians.

Posted by: jiri | Jan 6 2020 6:20 utc | 198

Laws and the Constitution don't matter any more here - there is nothing left to save.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 6 2020 5:45 utc | 190

Sadly, I must agree. The Great Evil exists within Oceania. And the only way I see of ridding the world of that Evil and the enslavement it promises is for it to be expunged. Very Sad.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 6 2020 6:29 utc | 199

ab initio @196

This is a good point. What the Iraqi Parliament did today is just the first step. Actual legislation has to be written to give it effect and that the Parliament will have to vote on that.

So there's some amount of politicking and influencing that might be done before a demand to leave Iraq is actually made.

But Trump has already reacted angrily to the vote. Probably because it's likely that the necessary legislative steps will get done.

My understanding is that there's no formal basing agreement in place now and that makes it much easier to expel US forces.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 6 2020 6:29 utc | 200

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