Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 06, 2020

Axis Of Resistance Says How It Will Avenge Qassem Soleimani

The media continue to tell fairytales about Qassem Soleimani and about Trump's decision to assassinate him and PMU leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Meanwhile the Resistance Axis announced how it will avenge their deaths.

In their descriptions of Qassem Soleimani U.S. media fail to mention that Soleimani and the U.S. fought on the same side. In 2001 Iran supported the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. It used its good relations with the Hazara Militia and the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, which both the CIA and Iran had supplied for years, to support the U.S. operation. The Wikipedia entry for the 2001 uprising in Herat lists U.S. General Tommy Franks and General Qassem Soleimani as allied commanders.

The collaboration ended in 2002 after George W. Bush named Iran as a member of his "Axis of Evil".

In 2015 the U.S. and Iran again collaborated. This time to defeat ISIS in Iraq. During the battle to liberate Tikrit the U.S. air force flew in support of General Soleimani's ground forces. Newsweek reported at that time:

While western nations, including the U.S., were slow to react to ISIS's march across northern Iraq, Soleimani was quick to play a more public role in Tehran's efforts to tackle the terror group. For example, the commander was seen in pictures with militiamen in the northern Iraqi town of Amerli when it was recaptured from ISIS last September.
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Top U.S. general Martin Dempsey has said that the involvement of Iran in the fight against ISIS in Iraq could be a positive step, as long as the situation does not descend into sectarianism, because of fears surrounding how Shia militias may treat the remaining Sunni population of Tikrit if it is recaptured. The military chief also claimed that almost two thirds of the 30,000 offensive were Iranian-backed militiamen, meaning that without Iranian assistance and Soleimani's guidance, the offensive on Tikrit may not have been possible.

It is deplorable that U.S. media and politicians blame Soleimani for U.S. casualties during the invasion of Iraq. Shia groups caused only 17% of all U.S. casualties and fought, like the Sadr Brigades, without support from Iran. There are also revived claims that Iran provided the Iraqi resistance with Explosive Formed Penetrators used in roadside bombs. But that claim had been proven to be was false more than 12 years ago. The "EFP from Iran" story was part of a U.S. PSYOPS campaign to explain away the real reason why it was losing the war. There were dozens of reports which proved that the EFPs were manufactured in Iraq and there never was any evidence that Iran delivered weapons or anything else to the Iraqi resistance:

Britain, whose forces have had responsibility for security in southeastern Iraq since the war began, has found nothing to support the Americans' contention that Iran is providing weapons and training in Iraq, several senior military officials said.

"I have not myself seen any evidence -- and I don't think any evidence exists -- of government-supported or instigated" armed support on Iran's part in Iraq, British Defense Secretary Des Browne said in an interview in Baghdad in late August.

Iran is not responsible for the U.S. casualties in Iraq. George W. Bush is. What made Soleimani "bad" in the eyes of the U.S. was his support for the resistance against the Zionist occupation of Palestine. It was Israel that wanted him 'removed'. The media explanations for Trump's decision fail to explain that point.

The New York Times reported yesterday that Trump picked the 'wrong' item from a list of possible courses of action that the military had presented him. That sounded like bullshit invented to take blame away from Trump and to put it onto the military.

The Washington Post reports today that the idea to kill Soleimani came from Secretary of State Pompeo:

Pompeo first spoke with Trump about killing Soleimani months ago, said a senior U.S. official, but neither the president nor Pentagon officials were willing to countenance such an operation.
...
[This time o]ne significant factor was the “lockstep” coordination for the operation between Pompeo and Esper, both graduates in the same class at the U.S. Military Academy, who deliberated ahead of the briefing with Trump, senior U.S. officials said. Pence also endorsed the decision, but he did not attend the meeting in Florida.

It is possible that the report is correct but it sounds more like an arranged story to blame Pompeo for the bad consequences Trump's decision will have.

During his election campaign Trump did not even know (vid) who Soleimani was. Someone indoctrinated him. The idea to assassinate Soleimani came most likely from Netanyahoo and must have been planted into Trump's head quite a while ago. Israel could have killed Soleimani several times while he was openly traveling in Syria. It shied away from doing that as it (rightly) feared the consequences. Now the U.S. will have to endure them.

The consequences continue to pile up.

The decision by the Iraqi government and parliament to kick all foreign troops out of the country leaves some flexibility in the timeline. The U.S. and other military are in Iraq under simple agreements that were exchanged between the Iraqi Foreign Ministry and the other sides. The ministry can fulfill the parliament decision by simply writing letters that declare that the agreements end next week. It could also choose to wait until the end of the year. But Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has publicly declared that he can no longer guarantee the security of foreign troops on Iraqi ground. That makes the issue urgent and it is likely that the troops will leave rather soon.

Trump did not like the idea and threatened Iraq with sanctions:

Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, the U.S. president said: “If they do ask us to leave, if we don’t do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”

“We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. Long before my time. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it,” Trump said.

The president added that “If there’s any hostility, that they do anything we think is inappropriate, we are going to put sanctions on Iraq, very big sanctions on Iraq.”

There are also some 2,900 Twitter bots who try to let the parliament decision look illegitimate by tweeting "I am Iraqi and parliament doesn't represent me". It is not known if these are Saudi or U.S. bots but their behavior is inauthentic.

There is nothing Trump can do to keep the troops in Iraq. If the Iraqi government does not tell them to leave the Popular Militia Forces will attack the U.S. bases and evict the U.S. military by force. When the U.S. assassinated Soleimani and PMU leader al-Muhandis it made that step inevitable.

Yesterday Iran took a decision to exceed the number of centrifuges that are allowed to run under the JCPOA nuclear agreement which the U.S. has left. The decision had been expected and the Soleimani assassination only accelerated it. Iran took the step under §36 of the agreement which allows Iran to exceed the limits if the other sides of the JCPOA do not stick to their commitments. That means that Iran is still within the JCPOA and that the step is reversible. The IAEA will continue to have access to Iran's sites and will continue to report regularly about Iran's civil nuclear program.

The JCPOA co-signers France, the UK and Germany issued a very unhelpful statement today that puts all blame on Iran and does not even mention the U.S. assassinations of Soleimani.

Iran has not announced what kind of operation it will use to avenge the death of its national hero Qassem Soleimani. It will likely be some asymmetrical operation against the U.S. military somewhere around the globe. It will certainly be a big one.

Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah, a dear friend of Soleimani, announced yesterday that the Resistance Axis will take its own, separate  revenge.


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Here are edited excerpts from Nasrallah's rather long speech (which is worth reading in full):

Today we commemorate Soleimani and al-Muhandis, two great commanders, and their Iraqi and Iranian companions who were martyred in this recent crime. The date of Soleimani's assassination is an inflection point in the history of the region, not just for Iran or Iraq. It is a new beginning.
...
Soleimani's assassination isn't an isolated incident. It's the beginning of new American approach to the region. The U.S. carefully weighed what move they could take to reverse all their previous failures. But this wasn't war with Iran. Trump knows war with Iran would be difficult and dangerous. So, what could they do that wouldn't lead to war with Iran? They settled on killing Qassem Soleimani, a central figure in the Resistance Axis.
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Qassem Soleimani was the glue that held the Resistance Axis together, and so they decided to kill him, and to kill him openly, which would also have its psychological impact.
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Our responsibility in the Resistance Axis is divided into three points.
  1. Trump's goal was to terrify us all, and subjugate us. The leadership of Resistance will not waver or back down at all. To the contrary, the martyrdom of Soleimani and Muhandis will only drive us forward.
  2. Resistance must coordinate and become closer, to strengthen itself and its capabilities, because the region is heading toward a new phase.
  3. In terms of response, we have to consider just punishment. In terms of this crime, the one who committed it is known, and must be punished.

Soleimani isn't just an Iranian matter, he is all of the Resistance Axis - Palestine, Lebanon Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and every country which has supporter and lover of Resistance. The umma. This isn't an Iranian issue alone. Iran can also respond as it pleases, but that response doesn't exempt the Resistance Axis from also responding. Iran won't ask you to do anything - to act or not to act. But Resistance Axis forces must decide how to deal with Soleimani's death.

So, if any Resistance Axis faction avenges his death, that their decision, and Iran isn't behind that. Iran won't ask anything. It's up to us how to respond. Do we content ourselves with mourning and eulogizing? We must all head towards just punishment.

What do we mean by just punishment? Some are saying this must be someone of the same level as Qassem Soleimani - like Chairman of Joint Chiefs, head of @CENTCOM, but there is no one on Soleimani or Muhandis' level. Soleimani's shoe is worth more than Trump's head, so there's no one I can point to to say this is the person we can target.

Just punishment therefore means American military presence in the region, U.S. military bases, U.S. military ships, every American officer and soldier in our countries and regions. The U.S. military is the one who killed Soleimani and Muhandis, and they will pay the price. This is the equation.

I want to be very clear, we do not mean American citizens or nationals. There are many Americans in our region. We don't mean to attack them, and it is wrong to harm them. Attacking US civilians anywhere serves Trump's interests.

The American military institution put itself in the midst of battle by carrying out the assassination.

There are those who will say I'm blowing things out of proportion. I'm not. I'm seeing it as it is. We won't accept our region, its holy places, and natural resources to be handed over to the Zionists.

If the resistance axis heads in this direction, the Americans will leave our region, humiliated, defeated, and terrified. The suicide martyrs who forced the US out of the region before remain. If our region's peoples head in this direction - when the coffins of of U.S. soldiers and officers - they arrived vertically, and will return horizontally - Trump and his admin will know they lost the region, and will lose the elections.

The response to the blood of Soleimani and Al-Muhandis must be expulsion of all U.S, forces from the region. When we accomplish this goal, the liberation of Palestine will become imminent. When US forces leave the region, these Zionists will pack their bags and leave, and might not need a battle with Israel.

General Esmail Qaani, Soleimani's replacement as commander of the Quds Brigade, endorsed Nasrallah's proposal:

Going Underground on RT @Underground_RT - 00:14 UTC · Jan 6, 2020

Esmail Qaani, the new leader of Iran's IRGC Quds Force:
"Our promise is to continue the path of martyr Soleimani. Due to the martyrdom of #Soleimani, our promise will be the expulsion of the US from the region in different steps."

These are not empty threats but a military project that will play out over the next years. I would not bet on the U.S. as the winner of that war.

There were millions of Iranians in the streets of Tehran today to mourn Qassem Soleimani. The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei shed tears while reciting the funeral prayer (vid). As Ayatollah Khomeini once said: “They call us a nation of tears, but with these tears we overthrew an empire.”

Fereshteh Sadeghi فرشته صادقی @fresh_sadegh - 5:15 UTC · Jan 6, 2020
I was given this poster tonight by 2 young men next to a stand that offered tea and dates to motorists (dates as a sign of mourning in Iran), I want to stick it on my car’s rear window. It reads: A world will avenge you, with hashtag #crushing_response

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There will be hundreds of thousands of volunteers should Iran need them to avenge Soleimani. That is why we predicted that the U.S. will come to regret its evil deed.

And while the situation can be reasonably compared to the build up to the war on Iraq I do not see a war happening. Wars are very risky as the enemy gets a vote. Any war with Iran would likely cost ten thousands of U.S. casualties. Trump is probably not stupid enough to launch such a war and certainly not during an election year.

During his campaign Trump said he wanted the U.S. military out of the Middle East. Iran and its allies will help him to keep that promise.

Posted by b on January 6, 2020 at 18:56 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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I am a huge fan and long time reader, and am sort of mystified by the tone in coverage. Do people really believe that Soleimani and Quds weren’t involved with the Shia militias that were nipping at the us occpation forces in Iraq? Heck, iran would have been negligent not to be engaged.

He appeared to be one of the main protagonists of an aggressive, ambitious country who has been personally responsible for lighting numerous fires in the region. The killing was a very provocative and risky move politically, but I can’t imagine shedding a tear for this guy nor condemning the us too hard for its move.

Posted by: Dan | Jan 6 2020 19:12 utc | 1

Infowar on twitter now!

American intelligence created a hashtag #IraniansDetestSoleimani completely controlled by perfect English speaking bots and disinfo agents trying to push for war. It is now artificially trending as #NoWarWithIran is being pushed away.

Please ignore and speak against the war!


https://twitter.com/YourMarkLubbers/status/1214243376595439618

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 6 2020 19:25 utc | 2

Elias Magnier also reported in his latest tweet that Soleimani encouraged Muqtada El Sadr to cooperate with the Americans in order to achieve stability in Iraq. And the Americans (on the orders of the Israelis) kill him in the most violent fashion possible.

Posted by: Mischi | Jan 6 2020 19:25 utc | 3

Hey D*head @Dan, if US wasn't in the region to destabilize it there wouldn't be any need for Shia militias in the first place. Besides no one expects from the likes of you to shed a tear, respectfully GTFO!

Posted by: BB8 | Jan 6 2020 19:26 utc | 4

If (as I suspect) British and other NATO troops, and troops from other US-allied nations as well, are commingled with US forces in Iraq, then they are fair game for vengeance and they must pull out as well.

Likewise US and foreign airforces illegally using Iraqi airspace to launch attacks on Iranian nuclear plants and other installations must stop.

Some politicians' heads must roll too. Mike Pompeo and Binyamin Netanyahu (if he becomes Israeli PM again, and he is likely to want US assistance in the March elections, to the extent of subverting and destroying what remains of "democracy" in Israel, as a reward for pushing Soleymani's assassination) must consider themselves targets for revenge.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 6 2020 19:28 utc | 5

Dan @1
You have been consuming too much MSM. Do some research. Start here https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=168&v=1vCuBQaPT8o&feature=emb_logo

CN Live!’s second season premiered on Saturday night with an in-depth discussion on the Crisis with Iran, with Scott Ritter and Giorgio Cafiero.

After the illegal U.S. assassination of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Commander Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani on Friday morning the region is on edge, fearing for the worst. Join our discussion with Scott Ritter, a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, and Middle East analyst Giorgio Cafiero on the reasons for the assassination, its timing and its possible consequences. Ritter predicts that the killing will set off a chain of events that will lead to the U.S. military leaving the region.

Posted by: lgfocus | Jan 6 2020 19:34 utc | 6

Trump is probably not stupid enough to launch such a war and certainly not during an election year.

During his campaign Trump said he wanted the U.S. military out of the Middle East. Iran and its allies will help him to keep that promise.

Hasnt Trump proved he is stupid enough by now? How much more evidence is needed to drop him? Trump start wars to get another election win, I think that is obvious? And allies keeping him back? Which allieshave even remotely criticized his threats and murder? People need to realize that there is nothing stopping Trump, he and Israel will keep bombing and unfortunately its not much Iran could do.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 6 2020 19:37 utc | 7

Dan: The guy fought the Talibans and ISIS, and has always been opposed to them; that's good enough for me, and that's definitely more than any of the coward and treacherous Western leaders that pussy-foot instead of calling out the US for what tantamounts to a declaration of war on both Iraq and Iran.

As for trying to put the blame on Pentagon staffers, even if they chose such weird options for Trump to choose, at the end of the day, it's the President himself who chose - as another one said decades ago, "the buck stops here" and the guy in the Oval Office has to bear the full responsibility.

Col. Lang is once again warning that Trump trying to keep the troops in Iraq would be a terrible mistake with bad consequences, and that it's just not realistic. He probably prefers not to say it that way when stating it's a long road from Kuwait to Baghdad, but if shit hits the fan and Iraqis decide to go after the US troops, then those who can't evacuate fast enough will end up in a position similar to that of the British in Kabul, in the very first days of 1842.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jan 6 2020 19:37 utc | 8

Aghast at your words, dan. I am an aging homemaker from usa midwest and I have yet to stop weeping for Qassem Soleimani, his poor widow, and the rest of his family. I feel I owe him a personal debt for fighting zionists/terrorists/imperialists, for if they are not defeated once and for all, my captive government will continue in perpetuity to serve their horridmurderousthieving agenda, enslaving my every descendent and robbing humanity of any chance for peace on this pretty garden harbor planet. May justice be done to give peace a chance.

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Jan 6 2020 19:37 utc | 9


Barak Ravid
‏Verified account @BarakRavid

BREAKING: Netanyahu told security cabinet that Israel wasn't involved in the killing of Soleimani and stressed "it is a U.S. event and we should stay out of it", according to 2 cabinet ministers who attended the meeting


Iraqi PM Mahdi sat with the Chinese Ambassador today and China offered Iraq military assistance. If China gains relations with Iraq like they have with Iran then KSA is in a world of hurt because China can decide to buy or not buy Saudi oil at any time. Switching to the Yuan for oil trading would be much more likley.

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Jan 6 2020 19:38 utc | 10

Moqtada Al-Sadr to Trump
"We are demanders of peace if you surrender and war if you fight. Do you threaten us? How dare you"

read from Elijah Magnier's thread on Al-Sadr's letter.

Posted by: lgfocus | Jan 6 2020 19:40 utc | 11

I have noticed that initially, up to yesterday evening, the EU countries were not supportive and were called out as non supportive by Pompeo.

Today I read that Merkel is on record as supporting late empire perfidy.

If the American economy does not crash soon then empire will maintain the jackboot on the Axis of Fear a bit longer.....when does Putin turn off the gas to EU countries?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 6 2020 19:43 utc | 12

And China should pay the US for their bases in Iraq and exchange for Iraqi oil. And China should pay with US Treasuries. And Russia should offer Iraq some Russian diplomacy (S400 and related defense systems)

Posted by: linda gentsch | Jan 6 2020 19:45 utc | 13

Nasrallah: "Soleimani's shoe is worth more than Trump's head, so there's no one I can point to to say this is the person we can target."

100% eviction of Evil Outlaw US Empire forces is quite sensible but clashes directly with the very longstanding policy Hudson described, so what happens next and so forth we'll need to await.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 6 2020 19:46 utc | 14

Forgot Magnier thread reader link. here it is
https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1214215013126299651.html

Posted by: lgfocus | Jan 6 2020 19:46 utc | 15

What Iran Russia,China Turkey and other like minded countries need to do is to form their own version of NATO,if one country is attacked then its as if all the countries were attacked.!!!

Posted by: bluedogg | Jan 6 2020 19:48 utc | 16

@ Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Jan 6 2020 19:38 utc | 11 who wrote
"
Iraqi PM Mahdi sat with the Chinese Ambassador today and China offered Iraq military assistance. If China gains relations with Iraq like they have with Iran then KSA is in a world of hurt because China can decide to buy or not buy Saudi oil at any time. Switching to the Yuan for oil trading would be much more likley.
"

Thanks for that. It gives credence to the wedge of Reserve Currency failure theory. If China would do a dramitic sell of some of their trillion in US Treasuries the world would notice and more clarity would evolve for those still under the jackboot Axis of private finance Fear.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 6 2020 19:49 utc | 17

Funny how Nuttyyahoo's Corruption Trial has slipped off the MSM radar...

Get rid of Nutty and 3/4 of the immediate problems in the ME disappear. Few will want the Zionist PM job if they know they are near the top of the hit list of the pro-Iran/Iraq militias. The US just destroyed what little diplomatic immunity their CIA/black-ops "ambassador staff" had left. Not that it will happen quickly. We can also expect that US' mercenaries (sorry, contractors) will be eliminated as they become exposed throughout the ME.

The Zionist/NATO/US crowd better hope Russia and China help calm the hotter heads sure to be involved.

Posted by: A P | Jan 6 2020 19:49 utc | 18

b writes:

The New York Times reported yesterday that Trump picked the 'wrong' item from a list of possible courses of action that the military had presented him. That sounded like bullshit invented to take blame away from Trump and to put it onto the military.
To me it looks more like the opposite: the Times’s Pentagon sources pinning it on loose cannon Trump’s going with the extreme option that the military hadn’t intended him to. But whatever. The U.S. is facing the same harsh new reality regardless.

Posted by: David G | Jan 6 2020 19:57 utc | 19

I just read where China and Russia, in the recent UN security Council meeting, shut down the release of a US screed condemning the recent protest against the US Baghdad embassy.

I see there being pressure to keep all the Axis of fear in line or the US will abandon the UN like they have with the WTO.....more back to the slow train wreck moves but a probable eventuality.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 6 2020 20:02 utc | 20

The Times in London ran with a front page "We Will Kill UK Troops, warns Iran" (here's the Guardian summary). Despite initial reports that the UK and EU were distancing themselves from the assassination, the MSM have clearly been given their orders to begin banging the drum for war. The scramble for a casus belli reminds me of WMD, so I think a war of some scope is strongly desired and Boris Johnson has been brought on board. France will stay out and Germany will look first at Russia's position.

It is clear to me after watching that extraordinary video of Trump's ignorance and stupidity that he is the idiot piper leading the West into the abyss. There could be no better epitome of the neoliberal sociopathy that drives our collapsing phase of late-capitalism. Putin's wet dream: a narcissist half-wit driving the western bus.

Posted by: Patroklos | Jan 6 2020 20:03 utc | 21

Something I haven’t seen mentioned yet (not to say no one has): Last year the Russians declined to sell Iran S-400 air defense because they didn’t want to escalate tensions. I could see that assessment now changing.

Posted by: David G | Jan 6 2020 20:03 utc | 22


Reuters
‏@Reuters

U.S.-led coalition tells Iraqi military it will withdraw from Iraq out of respect for the nation's sovereignty

Posted by: somebody | Jan 6 2020 20:08 utc | 23

Great reporting b!

But I'm not sure how war can be avoided. USA is unlikely to leave and Trump has made any attack on USA installations or personnel into a 'red line' that triggers WAR if Iran retaliates or bad actors (ISIS, Israel) execute a false-flag.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 6 2020 20:10 utc | 24

@linda #14: This was my thought last night...what might Russia and China (and other nations?) be doing with their holdings right now?

Posted by: Dr Wellington Yueh | Jan 6 2020 20:14 utc | 25

linda gentsch @14--

Yes! That's a ploy I've advocated awhile and would constitute an exquisite irony atop humiliation! It should also be noted that China signals today that there's no need to "rush":

"However, as trade negotiators continue to finalize the agreement, a speedy signing is not of the essence, but the actual content of the deal and its implementation are.

"Given the potential significance of the phase one deal for ending the costly trade tussle and even for the future of the world's most consequential bilateral relationship, it is imperative for both sides to get the deal done right, rather than in a rush."

IMO, it appears the Chinese are reassessing helping Trump by making the trade deal; and in light of recent events, that looks like a very wise decision.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 6 2020 20:16 utc | 26

From RT:

Citing the vote in the Iraqi parliament, the head of US forces in Iraq has informed the government in Baghdad that the US-led coalition will indeed be leaving the country, contrary to public remarks by President Donald Trump.
“In due deference to the sovereignty” of Iraq, the Combined Joint Task Force Iraq will be “repositioning forces over the course of the coming days and weeks to prepare for onward movement,” Marine General William H. Seely III wrote in a letter to the Iraqi Defense Ministry on Monday.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 6 2020 20:16 utc | 27

Further "We respect your sovereign decision to order our departure,” Seely wrote, explaining that the process will involve increased helicopter traffic into and out of Baghdad’s “green zone,” mainly during the night-time, with the Coalition seeking to “minimize and mitigate” disturbances to civilians."

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 6 2020 20:18 utc | 28

Another thing I haven’t seen yet, but I almost guarantee will appear sooner or later on U.S. media such as MSNBC: As the ramifications become clear, if the U.S. footprint in SW Asia becomes untenable, it will be explained that Trump was obediently playing his part in Putin’s master plan. That narrative left basic rationality behind long ago, so why not?

Posted by: David G | Jan 6 2020 20:22 utc | 29

What I wonder is who is the genius in the chain of command who brought this "opportunity" to Trump's attention and who vetted the decision? Trump made a large error when he surrounded himself with neocons (Abrahams, Bolton, Pompeo, Haspel, Esper). Anyway it's a tangle and it's pretty clear he (Trump) is in over his head. When he paniks he talks tough and he's making threats. It's also no wonder he has not received any support on his decision to murder Soleimani. From anywhere. Not even Israel is publicly supporting the decision. I think that surprised him. For 350 years there has been an unwritten rule that you don't go after generals or ambassadors or visiting politicians unless they are actively engaged in a combat zone. Remember the outrage when the barbarian Libyans killed a mere station chief? How outraged we were? Well, Trump overtly and with malice of forethought broke the rule. If I were the Iranian's and I could get to any U.S. generals or high ranking officials (working or visiting overseas) that's what I would do. Create animus within his own military and cabinet departments. Get them at the supermarket, speaking engagements, on vacation, at home, wherever. Doesn't matter. Wherever you can get them. Shitty thing to do no doubt but he started it and something the American and other populations would instinctively understand. Blood for blood retribution. No need to explain it to people.

Posted by: Paul Bogdanich | Jan 6 2020 20:25 utc | 30

@somebody

Reuters is wrong. The document telling that is quite obvious fake. A mealy mouthed and rather weird plan signed by some Marine Brigade General is not the way U.S. will announce that it will leave Iraq.

Posted by: b | Jan 6 2020 20:26 utc | 31

It could be that the US military includes a lot of soldiers, mid level officers and high level officers who have had it. Tired of lying and destroying and killing and being killed for what? Israel, and assorted demonic financial and ideological agendas, while two dozen military commit suicide per day and the feces piles up on the streets of San Francisco?

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 6 2020 20:27 utc | 32

@Jackrabbit

Great reporting b!

But I'm not sure how war can be avoided. USA is unlikely to leave and Trump has made any attack on USA installations or personnel into a 'red line' that triggers WAR if Iran retaliates or bad actors (ISIS, Israel) execute a false-flag.

Thanks.

There will be a war. But IMHO not a U.S. war against Iran. The war will be by the Resistance against the U.S. presence in the Middle East.

Posted by: b | Jan 6 2020 20:30 utc | 33

b 31

US repositioned its forces in Syria a few months ago. They may well be doing a similar repositioning in Iraq.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 6 2020 20:30 utc | 34

Censored Photo Shocker: Gen. Soleimani walk about with American troops in Iraq....wtf!
https://www.veteranstoday.com/2020/01/06/censored-photo-shocker-general-soleimani-with-american-troops-in-iraq/

Posted by: HannibL | Jan 6 2020 20:31 utc | 35

@ b in #33 who wrote
"
There will be a war. But IMHO not a U.S. war against Iran. The war will be by the Resistance against the U.S. presence in the Middle East.
"

A lot left unsaid there b. While I agree, the implications of the US leaving the ME are huge for Occupied Palestine and Israel will either need to learn to live with its neighbors or go find another space to despoil.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 6 2020 20:35 utc | 36

It's very interesting to learn that Soleimani worked alongside US generals. So far none of them have resigned their commissions; that tells me they have no balls and are fine with following orders to go over the cliff with Trump, Pompous, and the rest of the DC Dunces.

The Axis of Resistance will be shouting "MAGA!" as they drive out US killers:
Make
America
Go
Away

I think Trump read the first few chapters of "Dune" and decided he wanted to play Emperor. Too bad he didn't read to the end where the Emperor's landing party is captured and the Empire gets kicked hard.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jan 6 2020 20:35 utc | 37

@Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 6 2020 20:18 utc | 28

All that sudden commitment to respect Iraq´s sovereignty sounds quite fake, becuase of so sudden, and because Pentagon was in the sauce with Milley and Esper in the close team who decide this terrorist attack.

As Iraqi government has cut all the liberties to use its air space for the US coalition, i would forbid the movements at night since, that way there is no possible to control whether the US forces are really witthdrawing or reinforcing the Grren Zone, all the more when at those hours it will be the most disturbant for the Iraqi citizenry, sinceh ours of sleep. Has no sense, if not for another trap/trick.

IMO, they are trying to gain time to not go but "reposition" their forces, as they clearly said, why they would use that word otherwise? Why to trust them anyway?

Were they to be allowed to fly during the night during days/weeks, you have for sure that they will be bringing in all that (2nd Airborne which left from Fort Bragg so as to, in the case of have defintely to leave, at least go leaving the most Iraqi or resitance casualties possiblem as it is the custom in the US Army. We recall Vietnam. The US aim is always in case they can not conquer and loot, to destroy and exterminate their opponent.

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 6 2020 20:38 utc | 38

NATO’s response today holds that “Iran must refrain from further violence and provocations.”

Given that this assassination places NATO’s plans for a permanent force presence in Iraq in doubt, I had initially thought there would be a move to declare it a rogue operation and create distance from the proponents. Obviously that will not be the case. From news coverage of the NATO meeting, it is apparent that no hard questions were asked. Mediocrity and mendacity abounds.

Posted by: jayc | Jan 6 2020 20:39 utc | 39

I hadn’t seen the term “Resistance Axis” before. It’s clear from context what is meant, but if people like Nasrallah are explicitly identifying themselves as part of it, I’d be interested in seeing an official definition.

Posted by: David G | Jan 6 2020 20:40 utc | 40

.......” Trump is probably not stupid enough to launch such a war and certainly not during an election year.”

b,

you are assuming that you are dealing with someone with a full deck of cards. If He was stupid enough to kill a sovereign nation’s top general, he will be stupid enough to start a war. In fact that is his biggest wish. Elections be damned. Maybe the military would put on the breaks but not this stupid sick man.

Posted by: Alpi | Jan 6 2020 20:43 utc | 41

lgfocus @ 6 says:

Ritter predicts that the killing will set off a chain of events that will lead to the U.S. military leaving the region

or alternatively, dropping a modified B-61 nuclear bomb on the hardened underground facility located near the town of Fordow.

Posted by: john | Jan 6 2020 20:45 utc | 42

john @42:

Ritter isn’t quite predicting the U.S. will go nuclear against Iran, but he explains how plausible that outcome is.

What’s even more terrifying is that that could be the early, small version of what the U.S. may do globally as it sees hegemony slipping away, with its nuclear arsenal standing out ever more starkly as its sole remaining trump card.

Posted by: David G | Jan 6 2020 20:57 utc | 43

I see the original reference to Scott Ritter was to a video, which I haven’t seen, but he did write this on the topic: https://www.rt.com/op-ed/477558-iran-trump-nuclear-fordow/

Posted by: David G | Jan 6 2020 21:02 utc | 44

@Dan I wholeheartedly agree. I'm surprised by the tone of coverage for this whole situation. I fully support Trump's decision to take out Soleimani. He was the organiser of the Embassy attack, and that comes after a hand full of Iranian provocations over the past year or so. They pushed it too far and Trump sent them a very firm message.

It's completely irrelevant if Soleimani had worked with the US in the past when their goals may have temporarily aligned. Should the US now just give him a free pass to attack it's embassies because they both fought against ISIS? That's ridiculous. Iran has been screaming out "death to America" for as long as I've been alive. They are the world biggest state sponsor of terrorism, are they not? Soleimani got everything he deserved. In the bigger picture, does anyone here really think the world will be a safer place if/when Iran has nuclear weapons?

Posted by: Ian Dobbs | Jan 6 2020 21:04 utc | 45

Bibi was distance himself from the murder too. per @BarakRavid

BREAKING: Netanyahu told security cabinet that Israel wasn't involved in the killing of Soleimani and stressed "it is a U.S. event and we should stay out of it", according to 2 cabinet ministers who attended the meeting

Posted by: Heath | Jan 6 2020 21:07 utc | 46

>>Trump is probably not stupid enough to launch such a war and certainly not during an election year.
During his campaign Trump said he wanted the U.S. military out of the Middle East. <<
Hasnt Trump proved he is stupid enough by now? How much more evidence is needed to drop him? Trump start wars to get another election win, I think that is obvious? And allies keeping him back? Which allieshave even remotely criticized his threats and murder? People need to realize that there is nothing stopping Trump, he and Israel will keep bombing and unfortunately its not much Iran could do.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 6 2020 19:37 utc | 7

In a way, Trump was criticized by NATO allies and Israel, although quite remotely indeed. But those are the ways of vassals. After the NATO meeting today (yesterday), the secretary of NATO explain the opinion of other NATO members "It was an American decision". Pompeo called that disappointing. Then Israel announced that it has nothing to do with the assassination, Pompeo let it pass.

BTW, how will be the booking at Trump hotels and resorts? I can see the ads "The Few. The brave. The guests of Trump hotels."

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 6 2020 21:09 utc | 47

Back in February and March of 2007, the New York Times was pushing the explosively formed penetrator fable.


But the NY Times' "reporting" couldn't cite any evidence that such weapons came from Iran and the NYT treated the Iraqis as too stupid to make such--as if early 20th century machining techniques weren't something they could have mastered. Nor of course, in the NYT's way of "thinking" would anyone in Iraq have ever thought to make quantities of these weapons over the last 2 decades of the 20th century. Needless to say, much of this garbage reporting was by Michael Gordon--of the fall 2002 WMDs in Iraq lies.

However, I didn't know Seymour Hersh had proven the EFPs from Iran claims a complete fable in the New Yorker in late 2007. Needless to say, the New Yorker doesn't publish him any longer.

But of course in early 2020, the NY Times is just treating the claim that Iranian supplied EFPs killed hundreds of Americans [illegally occupying Iraq] as established fact.

Posted by: Jay | Jan 6 2020 21:10 utc | 48

Denying responsibility is Israel's specialty, just like they did with 9/11. And "Dan" and "Ian Dobbs", a.k.a. Moshe and Schlomo: nice try guys. We know who the real state sponsor of terrorism is. See: Israeli Secret Intelligence Service.

Posted by: Information_Agent | Jan 6 2020 21:11 utc | 49

Survey show americns narrow support Trump on Soleimani,

A new poll shows the public is narrowly in favor of the airstrike that killed Qassem Soleimani, but has less faith in President Donald Trump’s overall Iran strategy.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/iran-soleimani-airstrike-poll_n_5e12c040e4b0b2520d23f372?g

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 6 2020 21:11 utc | 50

@Ian Dobbs {45}

I, for one, Ian, do very much believe that the world would be a safer place if either USA/Israel gave up their nuclear weapons or Iran had them.

Have a nice day.

Posted by: Das Kommentariat | Jan 6 2020 21:12 utc | 51

@Ian Dobbs I fully support Trump's decision to take out Soleimani. He was the organiser of the Embassy attack, and that comes after a hand full of Iranian provocations over the past year or so. They pushed it too far and Trump sent them a very firm message.

And your evidence for that is?

Thought so.

The U.S. killed 31 official Iraqi security forces more that 500 kilometers (300m) away from the place where some random ISIS rocket killed a U.S. mercenary.

Lots of Iraqis were pissed off by that and retaliated by breaching the outer wall of the U.S. embassy.

Soleimani or Iran had exactly zero to do with that.

What would you say if Iran kills a U.S. general visiting Mexico because some butterfly in China had a hick up?


Posted by: b | Jan 6 2020 21:15 utc | 52

No Sunni's or kurds at the Iraqi meeting that voted to kick out all foreign forces. Iraq is headed for a war in which the anti US groups will be fighting pro US groups which includes ISIS and similar plus the US. They will need outside help. Trump will 'secure the oil' as he did in Syria.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 6 2020 21:18 utc | 53

Assuming that the exit memo from the General is genuine, it would seem that the CIA/Pentagon/White House upper management are on a different page than the career military. Perhaps there was some hurried backroom deals made on the ground in Iraq that will ease the US/ZATO exit, as in the Iraq and Iran gov'ts holding back the various militias... Otherwise, a potentially bloodier repeat of the US' embarrassing exit from Vietnam comes to mind.

There is the distinct possibility that the US military was not fully informed or involved in the actual planning/attack... it smacks of Mossad and CIA, with Trumpty Dumbdy being fed similar BS via Kushner et.al. to the idiocy that Ivanka cried over the "children gassed in Ghouta" which led to the multi-Tomahawk attack in Syria... which we now know was as true as the "Kuwati babies thrown from incubators" lie.

Posted by: A P | Jan 6 2020 21:18 utc | 54

No, the US army is not retreating from Iraq and has not any plan to do so:

https://www.rt.com/usa/477603-esper-no-plans-leave-iraq/

Posted by: DFC | Jan 6 2020 21:22 utc | 55

McClatchy Military Affairs Reporter: No pull out from Iraq

Tara Copp @TaraCopp

@EsperDoD says memo on withdrawal is not accurate “there’s been no decision whatsoever to leave Iraq.”

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 6 2020 21:24 utc | 56

“Should the US now just give him a free pass to attack it's embassies because they both fought against ISIS? That's ridiculous.”

And if ISIS has been a Shia militia rather than a Sunni one, Soleimani and crew would have been arming them, not fighting them. It’s pure power politics, great game stuff and Iran loves those games as much as the us does. We have to take an amazingly narrow view of he and Iran’s actions to portray them in a good or even neutral light. This is one of the main guys responsible for Middle East strife over a 40 year period.

Posted by: Dan | Jan 6 2020 21:24 utc | 57

Best comment I've seen anywhere?

Trump is unintentionally working on MAGA in Iraq...

Make America Go Away

Posted by: A P | Jan 6 2020 21:28 utc | 58

So the Israelis are expressly denying any involvement whatsoever? I can't locate the Pentagon statement, but I could swear it stated, to paraphrase, that intelligence and targeting information was provided by a friendly intelligence service. That is no one but Israel. Trump has seemed to have proudly done Israel's bidding several times in the past, but this is the first time I recall them blatantly back-stabbing him. I'm curious how he'll react.

Posted by: J Swift | Jan 6 2020 21:28 utc | 59

Ian Dobbs and Dan:

If I were you guys I would pack up and leave Tel Aviv tonight. Not that your safety margin will increase anywhere else. People of the world are on to you. (You does not mean you two clowns)

General Soleimani was a military figure of a sovereign nation coming to Iraq on an open channel without hiding. He was not in a combat theatre. US government official stance, by law, is that they do not carry out torture and do not perform political assassinations. Of course we know that is baloney but this has never ever happened before to actually do it, take credit for it and then boast about it. This can only ve the work of a sick demented president and the sicker people around him.

Israel and US will and must pay for this at the highest level. Even if it means dire consequences.

So, are you packed yet?

Posted by: Alpi | Jan 6 2020 21:28 utc | 60

Re: Posted by: David G | Jan 6 2020 20:22 utc | 29
The shills and bots on Reddit's news subreddits are already trying to shoehorn Putin and Russia into their narrative. The best explanation they could come up with is that starting a war with Iran will benefit Russia by giving Russia a better market for arms sales. But another shill claimed that anything that's bad for the US is good for Russia, so there's that. No, seriously.

I think the chance that Netanyahu and his fascistic friends had no effect on Trump's decision is near zero. Trump has proved himself unwilling to deny the Israeli right anything, and the biggest beneficiary of Suleimani's death is Israel, in my opinion. Also, Trump's associations with the "Kosher Nostra," the Russian/Israeli mafia, are longstanding.

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | Jan 6 2020 21:29 utc | 61

From RT: "There was initially some confusion about the letter's authenticity, with the Pentagon declining to confirm it was real However, US Army public affairs officer Rick Dickson stated shortly after the news broke that the letter is "official and accurate.""

However, from Esper: "The US has no plans to pull out of Iraq, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters after a letter to the government in Baghdad informing them of redeployment plans was published online.
"There's been no decision to leave Iraq. Period,” Esper told reporters at the Pentagon on Monday, in what appears to have been an off-camera briefing.

He was referring to the reports that the head of Combined Joint Task Force Iraq, General William H. Seely III, had informed the Iraqi government of preparations to reposition the coalition forces “in due deference to the sovereignty” of Iraq.

Esper would neither confirm nor deny the letter’s authenticity, though US Army public relations officials said earlier it was real. Instead, he reiterated the position staked out earlier by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, that the Iraqi people “want the US to stay,” and cited the rise in attacks by Iranian “proxy groups.”

There could be some serious disagreements between US military and US officials.... It could be that the assassinations were a major WTF! psycho 'nuclear' bomb for any remotely sensible military brass.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 6 2020 21:29 utc | 62

Dan, how is Suleimani responsible for strife over the past 40 years? When did Suleimani start strife, as opposed to respond to Israeli/US aggression? Give us links too!

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | Jan 6 2020 21:33 utc | 63

“We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. Long before my time. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it,” Trump said.

The Iraqis should demand that Trump show them the blue-ink copy of the contract. No signed contract, no payment due.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jan 6 2020 21:37 utc | 64

@ 63

Dan and Ian Dobbs are hasbara trolls. They are not here to reason or give information.

Posted by: Alpi | Jan 6 2020 21:39 utc | 65

"There is nothing Trump can do to keep the troops in Iraq. If the Iraqi government does not tell them to leave the Popular Militia Forces will attack the U.S. bases and evict the U.S. military by force."

Yes, there is something Trump can do. He can simply send tens of thousands and scores of thousands more US troops into Iraq.

You can't have a war with Iran without a hundred thousand US troops in Iraq. It's just not possible, even if one thinks the US could "win" an Iran war by air power alone (which it can't.)

Plus, if US troops are sent to Iraq to "protect" the *existing* US forces in Iraq against a new Iraqi insurgency, the US can then blame *Iran* for the insurgency and for any US deaths caused by the insurgency. This provides the neocons with yet another path to starting a war with Iran. As noted, the US tried this in the past with the IED claim, but that was weak sauce which was disputed by experts.

This time it will work.

US troops are *not* going to leave Iraq - and if Trump does do that, he will be out-maneuvered by the neocons and the CIA and troops will be sent back in response to some incident. The neocons want a war with Iran and they are going to get it - and you can't have that war without US troops in Iraq. It's that simple.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jan 6 2020 21:41 utc | 66

Robert Snefjella @62

"There could be some serious disagreements between US military and US officials.... It could be that the assassinations were a major WTF! psycho 'nuclear' bomb for any remotely sensible military brass."

Well hopefully the sensible military brass will refuse to obey dumbass, illegal orders from our US Officials! I feel for our troops put in this position by our psycho leaders.

Posted by: lgfocus | Jan 6 2020 21:41 utc | 67

Nooneyouknow, what right did Iran have to be in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq? We can criticize us imperialism while still recognizing that other parties are just as meddlesome and destructive. Iran has had its militias, clients and proxies very busy over the past couple of decades.

Beyond that it’s definitely weird, but more so amusing to see accusation after accusation that I am some Israeli plant. America is such an absolute mess of our own sectarian hatred and mistrust.....don’t take me wrong, I used to do all the same things. Instant mistrust of motives runs rampant, people can’t have different opinions, perspectives.

Posted by: Dan | Jan 6 2020 21:41 utc | 68

Dan

Iran have those militias just because of the american wars in Syria, Iraq, and israeli meddling in Lebanon. Didnt you know this obvious fact?

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 6 2020 21:45 utc | 69

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 6 2020 21:09 utc | 47

Dialectics of Master and Slave

In the end, it is the slave who owns the master.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 6 2020 21:45 utc | 70

Mark Esper is noiw contradicting William H. Seeley.
Are we witnessing the total meltdown of the US command structure?

Posted by: bjd | Jan 6 2020 21:47 utc | 71

@Zanon
"84% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents approve of the strike"

Further evidence trump supporters are the same tribe that supported Bush and Cheney

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 6 2020 21:47 utc | 72

Ian Dobbs and Dan...

Welcome to the jungle!

Wait, let me grab some popcorn, this is gonna be good...

Sorry, you were saying?

Posted by: xLemming | Jan 6 2020 21:47 utc | 73

Resistance axis should be targeting the likes of Adelson and those behind FDD. By taking out the machine that drives the policy and propaganda for wars in the middle east, they would be doing the american public (and the world) a huge service.

Attacks on formal USA targets are too easy to be spun into merkin redneck outrage. But elimination of the evildoer billionaires, whose priority and loyalty is not at all aligned with the average american, cannot be whipped into a jingoistic outrage narrative that is free from obvious plotholes.

Posted by: Lurk | Jan 6 2020 21:47 utc | 74

Few points: (1) Thanks to Trump, Pompeo and Esper every American soldier everywhere now wears a bulls eye;
(2) Any soldier -including Americans - might find a great deal to admire in Soliemani, a guy with a humble background who accomplished an extraordinary track record, a legendary strategist';

(3) Has the US military's 'faith' in the sanity and competence of the civilian authority been stretched near to some breaking point?

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 6 2020 21:49 utc | 75

@Dan {68}

You're not an Israeli plant - they are usually a bit more sophisticated than you.

I'd suggest you first get your facts right and then utter opinions.

Just sayin' ...

Posted by: Das Kommentariat | Jan 6 2020 21:49 utc | 76

b writes:

" The New York Times reported yesterday that Trump picked the 'wrong' item from a list of possible courses of action that the military had presented him. That sounded like bullshit invented to take blame away from Trump and to put it onto the military."

To me it looks more like the opposite: the Times’s Pentagon sources pinning it on loose cannon Trump’s going with the extreme option that the military hadn’t intended him to. But whatever. The U.S. is facing the same harsh new reality regardless.

Posted by: David G | Jan 6 2020 19:57 utc | 19
++++++++++++

I read it the same as David G. Reads like putting the blame on Trump. I put blame 50-50. The military should never have presented Trump with an option that is essentially a third rail and totally against American interests. Doing so is akin to treason. That is not an "Option."

Now, having presented the poison pill and watched Trump take it, they are trying to put it all on him. They were all in the room together. The generals brought in the menu, which they had put together among themselves. One of the items was poison. When Trump chose the poison item, the horrified innocent generals were aghast!!!

Oh, come on.

Furthermore, then, knowing this and in spite of their aghastness, they went ahead and executed the third rail option. Their protestations of aghastness show that they knew this was in effect an illegal order. Per Nuernberg laws they would have been justified in not carrying out the orders that flowed from Option 3. Or 2, or whatever the poison option was.

Whoever presented the poisonous option carries 50% of the responsibility.


Posted by: Really?? | Jan 6 2020 21:51 utc | 77

@ Lurk

Have been advocating that in the last three threads. They are the real problem., along with Israel. Your social take is also spot on. People are sick of these vermin deep down inside.

Posted by: Alpi | Jan 6 2020 21:52 utc | 78

I suppose all the marines and military in Iraq are scared to death because they know they are the trap to start the war, so they are trying to scape the onslaught approaching to them.

Right now there must be very interesting phone conversations between the FUBARDED officers and soldiers in Iraq and their bosses in the Pentagon

Posted by: DFC | Jan 6 2020 21:53 utc | 79

@Posted by: Ian Dobbs | Jan 6 2020 21:04 utc | 45

and Dan too...

The biggest sponsor of terrorism is and always have been the US, not only in the Middle East but also thorughout the whole world, especially Europe through the network GLADIO.
Another great sponsor of terrorism through target assasiantion and fals flag is Mossad.

And it is not that I say it, but even US TV spectators...not need to e a MoA barfly...

https://twitter.com/CullenYossarian/status/1213956625909866496

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 6 2020 21:54 utc | 80

I am sick and tired of NATO, of countries endorsing the assassination of a military and political envoy of s sovereign Nation. Hear that France, Germany and UK slashed Iran on the JCPOA because of what the US did and for what they actually didn't do it after the US left the deal, is sickening. I believe there is time in life that a response must be given, a hard one, even if shit hits the fan broadly, and this is the right time to tame the crazy dog, time to place the US rogue regime and its allies at bay, time to shift gears from defense to offensive, and it does not mean a wider war, it means a daily war, low figures of dead NATO military every day, at the end of the year will pile up to thousands, this is the only language the neocon morons understand. Starting with the backstabbers GCCs.
May Qassen Suleimani & Issam Zahreddine guide their warriors from heaven on this final battle.

Posted by: Canthama | Jan 6 2020 21:55 utc | 81

lgfocus @67:

I feel for our troops put in this position by our psycho leaders.
They should just paint that on the Washington Monument in 10 ft.-high letters, on the sides facing both the White House and the Capitol: it’s generally applicable. Then we can rededicate the Lincoln Memorial to feeling for the people in the places where those troops are sent.

Posted by: David G | Jan 6 2020 21:56 utc | 82

>Nooneyouknow, what right did Iran have to be in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq?
>Posted by: Dan | Jan 6 2020 21:41 utc | 68

Iran was invited in by their internationally recognized governments.
Uncle Sam, not so much.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jan 6 2020 21:56 utc | 83

Re. Ian Dobbs #45

You are a troll, and I claim my 5 GBP.

Posted by: gaspode | Jan 6 2020 21:57 utc | 84

@Posted by: Zanon | Jan 6 2020 21:11 utc | 50


Depending on which poll yo utake nto account. See above in my previous to former SST commetariat on the poll by FoxNews...

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 6 2020 21:57 utc | 85

Sasha @ 80 "The biggest sponsor of terrorism is and always have been the US, not only in the Middle East but also thorughout the whole world, especially Europe through the network GLADIO."

Absolutely.

Posted by: spudski | Jan 6 2020 21:57 utc | 86

Sasha @ 80

Accidentally omitted this from previous post:

"Another great sponsor of terrorism through target assasiantion and fals flag is Mossad."

Yep.

Posted by: spudski | Jan 6 2020 21:59 utc | 87

David G. @40--

What was known as the Arc of Resistance--Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran--morphed into the Resistance Axis with the inclusion of Yemen's Houthis. It might also be further expanded to include the CSTO nations, and/or Turkey and Qatar. Since the overall aim is to deter Eurasian integration, the axis/alliance could easily expand to include all SCO and ASEAN nations. Seeing how this event interacts with the Big Picture is paramount, which is why reading and understanding Hudson's analysis is so important.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 6 2020 21:59 utc | 88

Trump and Pence are dumb and dumber.

Pence claimed on twitter that Suleimani assisted the 12 9/11 hijackers, for which he was instantly ridiculed.

Trump wants billions payback for airbases in Iraq that were already fully transferred upon American withdrawal in december 2011.

BTW, the trolls are obvious trolls. Could be from Tel Aviv, but perhaps from London, too (Integrity Initiative) Brits must be banging their heads against the wall over orange utan dropping a monkey wrench into the gears of the imperial machine that they too depend on. You bet that they need to spin this hard.

Posted by: Lurk | Jan 6 2020 22:00 utc | 89

media coverage in my little vassal state is as perverted as ever. subtle nonetheless. countless articles critizing "trump", but not for terrorising states overseas, only for the means and timing. overall the message is: that action was right and justified, but bad timing. All the while picturing iran as some kind of wounded hateful entity that has to be taken care of. the slightest false flag event will suffice to have everyone screaming "we warned them, now it's war!". sometimes it's hard not to be estranged from everyone around me. I don't get it, how on earth can people be so ignorant to not fear that they are the next to receive the treatment the are witnessing others receive now.

Posted by: radiator | Jan 6 2020 22:01 utc | 90

”We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. Long before my time. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it,”
Trump said

Paying us back?

Just ask the Iraqis - here is a reminder of what the bitter reality of economic violence looks like:

The Crimes of Neoliberal Rule in Occupied Iraq

The clearest statement of intent for the future of the Iraqi economy is contained in Order 39, which permitted full foreign ownership of Iraqi state-owned assets and decreed that over 200 state-owned enterprises, including electricity, telecommunications and the pharmaceuticals industry, could be dismantled. Order 39 also permitted 100 per cent foreign ownership of Iraqi banks, mines and factories; and allowed these firms to move their profits out of Iraq. It has been argued already in the British courts that Order 39 constitutes an act of ILLEGAL OCCUPATION under the terms of the Hague and Geneva treaties…: The effect of Article 55 is to outlaw privatization of a country’s assets whilst it is under occupation by a hostile military power.”

The mandate of the CPA was clear: to meet the ‘humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people’, to meet the costs of ‘reconstruction and repair of Iraq’s infrastructure’, to meet the costs of disarmament and the civil administration of the country and other purposes ‘benefiting the people of Iraq’. The terms of UNSCR 1483 are unequivocal in this regard. It was this resolution that established the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) …
• DFI revenue, … was available to the CPA immediately, in the form of $100,000 bundles of $100 bills, shrink-wrapped in $1.6 million ‘cashpaks’. Pallets of cashpaks were flown into Baghdad direct from the US Federal Reserve Bank in New York. Some of this cash was held by the CPA in the basement of its premises in Baghdad Republican Palace. It has been reported that Paul Bremer controlled a personal slush fund of $600 million (Harriman 2005). One advantage of the use of cash payments and transfers was that the CPA transactions left no paper trail and therefore they remained relatively invisible…
• The disbursal of Iraqi oil revenue by the CPA also has had profound implications for the future structure of the Iraqi economy. ..Spending (in excess of $20 billion, partly based upon projected income) had to be underwritten by US government loans….. (which) has effectively deepened the debt that was originally accumulated during the period of UN-enforced sanctions following the 1991 Gulf War (Alexander 2005).
• The right to self-determination and sovereign decision making over economic, social and cultural development is in international law a principle of jus cogens …In this regard, the CPA clearly acted beyond its remit in terms of both the spirit and the letter of the international laws of conflict. It is the anti-democratic and pre-emptive nature of Anglo-American economic restructuring that most clearly demonstrates that the CPA regime was in violation of international law.
• Similar violations arise from the CPA’s governance of Iraqi oil wealth. Article 49 of the Hague rules notes that ‘money contributions’ levied in the occupied territory ‘shall only be for the needs of the army or of the administration of the territory in question’.


The political strategy … was characteristically neo-liberal (evasion of ‘red tape’ and any obstacles that might hinder or limit the reallocation of wealth to the growing armies of private enterprises). This strategy was given momentum by the granting of formal LEGAL IMMUNITY to US personnel for activities related to the reconstruction economy. On the same day that the CPA was created by UNSCR 1483, George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13303,…2 The terms of the exemption provide immunity from prosecution for the theft or embezzlement of oil revenue, or incidentally, from any safety or environmental violations that might be committed in the course of producing Iraqi oil. Executive Order 13303 is therefore a guarantee of IMMUNITY from PROSECUTION for white-collar and corporate crimes that involve Iraqi oil. Two months later, in June 2003, Paul Bremer issued CPA Order 17. Bremer’s decree guaranteed that members of the coalition military forces, the CPA, foreign missions and contractors—and their personnel—would remain immune from the Iraqi legal process. This carte blanche provision of immunity was extended again in June 2004.

What we are beginning to trace out here is a US government policy of suspending the normal rule of law in the US and Iraq … (so much for respecting Iraqi sovereigntx...)

https://academic.oup.com/bjc/article/47/2/177/519163
https://www.globalresearch.ca/neoliberalism-and-the-killing-for-profit-in-iraq/5699525

Posted by: Antigone | Jan 6 2020 22:02 utc | 91

If I may, in a slightly OT comment... WRT to b's earlier link to Reza Marashi's twitter thread

If the US military is in such a disarray domestically, getting blind-sided like this... maybe the PTB in the US are a tad over-optimistic that the National Guard, military & police will all be on board when the try to crush the 2nd Amendment

Apologies if this is poor form
What can I say? I don't get out much...

Posted by: xLemming | Jan 6 2020 22:05 utc | 92

Don't know if this is true but if it is I expect it will cause much snarling and fist shaking in the Land of the Free to Bomb anyone they choose

"Iraq’s Prime Minister Adil Abdul al-Mahdi receives China’s ambassador to Iraq, Zhang Tao conveyed Beijing’s readiness to provide military assistance."

https://twitter.com/RudawEnglish/status/1214170432603086853

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 6 2020 22:08 utc | 93

@ Antigone | Jan 6 2020 22:02 utc | 91

Those bases were built during the 2003-2011 occupation. They were fully transferred as of the American withdrawal. Both sides agreed already and there is nothing to claim anymore.

Trump is making even more of a fool of himself with these silly demands.

Posted by: Lurk | Jan 6 2020 22:09 utc | 94

(Part 2)

To add insult to injury … (unintended political satire - a must-read)

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/national/iraq-strategic-framework-agreement.htm


I also recommend reading the SOFA with Iraq which is a masterpiece of semantic and legalistic deception- (and they have one year to actually get out after termination of the “agreement”)

Talking about deception, James Corbett did a brilliant exposé of the “difficulties of crisis initiation” vs. Iran

https://www.corbettreport.com/iranfalseflag/

After watching this enlightening video, reading the transcript of the “special briefing on Iraq” by the State Dept. is like “stepping thru the looking glass” into a surreal world of self-delusion, (“believing six impossible things before breakfast”), here is an example: (SSD stands for senior state department official “One, Two or Three” (whose names apparently have to be kept secret …)

QUESTION: Thank you. Could you take us through the – so you – could you take us through the diplomatic strategy for DE-ESCALATION? I mean, after the strike, what are the main elements of our diplomatic plan to —

SSD OFFICIAL ONE: [SSD official Three] can both talk about this.

SSD OFFICIAL THREE: Yeah, first of all, we’re stressing that we want to stay on in Iraq. We have an important mission there, the coalition. We just spoke with most of the key coalition members this morning, making that message to them. They also took the – well, you need to de-escalate. We raised the point – and [SSD official One] can talk about this is more detail – that we are ready to talk with the Iranians. We’ve tried to do this in the past. That’s on the table.

And again, the point I took with them, and I’ll take it again here today: We cannot promise that we have BROKEN the circle of violence. What I can say from my experience with Qasem Soleimani is it is less likely that we will see this now than it was before, and if we do see an increase in violence, it probably will not be as devilishly ingenious. Other than Usama bin Ladin, he’s the only guy – with Cafe Milano – a senior terrorist leader around the Middle East who has tried to seriously plot in detail a mass casualty event on American soil. Let him rest in peace.

(!)

https://www.state.gov/senior-state-department-officials-on-the-situation-in-iraq/

Is there a way to find out who this "official no. 3 is?

And finally … regarding the “Big Picture” behind it all (from Vietnam to Iraq/Iran)

https://www.globalresearch.ca/how-america-spreads-global-chaos/5616345

“We did not wish to re-examine, condemn, and confront the violence in the extra-constitutional power structure that finally ascended to hegemony over our citizenry and over much of the world …”

„I have never declared the covert actions of the U.S. intelligence agencies to be incompetent. They are almost invariably and unerringly competent in murdering, individually and massively, in defense of U.S. military dominance and empire.”

(Vincent J. Salandria, author of The JFK Assassination: A False Mystery Concealing State Crimes )

These days the murdering takes place in “overt” action… a barbaric act sold to the world as “self-defense” …

A Final thought:

Is there a more cowardly, dastardly act (by the “best military in the world”) than to tear apart a renowned military commander who fought the real war “on terror” (against ruthless imperialism), with a drone??

Posted by: Antigone | Jan 6 2020 22:12 utc | 95

The fat that some people talk here about "the neocons" as if they were people different like them, does not mean they are not neocons too.

Why I feel all the commentariat of Pat Lang has moved to here? You notice how the old curmudgeon comes today, after several days of sounding silence, with a coverage for Trump, as he usually does, in afirming that Soleimani errants in Iraq were not only diplomatic...even when he was called for those tals by the Us itself...That is denying the greatest, that we say here...

All this talk about that Iraq won´t be able to do anything to get rid of the US and that the US troops wil stay there, want it the Iraqi government or not, along with the arguments slightly different but in the same line related to an economic disaster were Iran to retaliate by Hudson and his disciples here, is only the propaganda of the US stablishment which we seem to have to swallow even here...Well, I always suspected there were some permanent USDoS minions here...

On another venue, Netanyahu can deny whatever he wants, but, by his history of fake powerpoint at the UNGA we know he always lie, not for slight reason he is being prosvecuted for a thousand corruption cases...Not ot mention that he was the only head of state in the wordl who run to congratulate Trump and his gang for acting fast, strong, and decissive.

We know who the father of the creature is...Kushner and the Evangelists...

If you think about it, you clearly see that those are and have been the positions of the WH, first trying to disuade Iran from retaliation, then, bargainig the stay in Iraq..

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 6 2020 22:14 utc | 96

The point is: Trump is loose cannon. We can analyse back and forth but no-one knows what the narcissistic jackass decides next. No good prospects for the world.

Posted by: Cemi | Jan 6 2020 22:15 utc | 97

Inevitably the US will leave Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. The question is if Tehran will become rubble in the process? If Saudi oil installations are destroyed? And even Tel Aviv?

Posted by: ab initio | Jan 6 2020 22:18 utc | 98

I believe that Trump didn't' know anything about Suleimani, and - while playing golf at his Mar-a-Lago - he was pressed to give his ok for the assassination. And he did.

Much mote interesting is, which side pressed him - and why.
This "why" to me is the main point to understand what happened.. And I am surprised that no one asks this question. And this question can be answered very easily: Suleimani was on a diplomatic mission and was on his way to meet in Baghdad with a Saudi-Arabian diplomat in order to find a way for an approach and some 'peace agreement' between Iran and Saudi-Arabia.

And this diplomatic meeting would have been successful! This because the Saudis have always been extremely aggressive against Iran, but now the Saudis have problems without end: 1) The Saudi's economy is in deep trouble; 2) The war against Yemen goes bad for the Saudis; 3) There is a deep-rooted hostility, fought with tooth and nails, between Muslim-Bothers-Turkey (and Qatar) and the Salafist Saudis about if it is Turkey or if it is Saudi-Arabia that can call herself "MOTHERLAND OF ISLAM". It is a vigorous dogmatic fight!

Saudi-Arabia is now isolated - except for Israel and the USA.
And if the talks between Suleimani and the (unknown) Saudi diplomat had been successful (as could have been expected) - especially Israel (also the US) would have lost it's ally Saudi-Arabia on their front against Iran.
And who within in the US supports Israel more than anyone else? It's those "Evangelists", or "Fundamental Christians", which are also called "Christian Fascists" (read: https://counterinformation.wordpress.com/2020/01/01/onward-christian-fascists/ ).
And Pompeo (and others surrounding Trump) IS a "Christian Fascist"! Once he boasted that he always has an open(!!) Bible lying on a table in his office room. A real - non-fascist - Christian wouldn't need having always an open Bible lying around (if not exactly being read).
And these "Christian Fascists" in the US also belong to Trump's voters.
So when our b tells us: "that the idea to kill Suleimani came from Secretary of State Pompeo" I definitely believe it. Pompeo only had to wait until Trump (uninformed about Suleimani) was playing golf in Mar-a-Lago and could easily be pushed into giving an "ok".

Posted by: Joerg | Jan 6 2020 22:19 utc | 99

Once Again, *b* gives us a mini-masterpiece.
Thank You *b*.

I read the 1st comment here and, stopped.
Decided to thank *b* before un-dressing the ignoramus @1.

Personally, I'm soo sick-and-tired of the Western Ignoramuses that have zero understanding of what the *Warrior/Warrior Tradition* of The East is.
For you-ignoramuses, you may appreciate hearing in English, what a *Warrior* is.
Try reading & buying Stefan Verstappen's books:
http://www.chinastrategies.com/
Or try this *Way of the Warrior - Chapter One Audio Book* for starters:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pah9qQIS2jE

X-

Posted by: Veritas X- | Jan 6 2020 22:25 utc | 100

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