Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 13, 2020

The Long Planned U.S. Assassinations In Iraq Will Increase Its Political Chaos

The Trump administration has given various justification for its assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani and commander Abu Mahdi al Muhandis. It claimed that there was an 'imminent threat' of an incident, even while not knowing what, where or when it would happen, that made the assassination necessary. Trump later said the threat was a planned bombing of four U.S. embassies. His defense secretary denied that.

Soleimani and Muhandis during a battle against ISIS

That has raised the suspicion that the decision to kill Soleimani had little to do with current events but was a long planned operation. NBC News now reports that this is exactly the case:

President Donald Trump authorized the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani seven months ago if Iran's increased aggression resulted in the death of an American, according to five current and former senior administration officials.

The presidential directive in June came with the condition that Trump would have final signoff on any specific operation to kill Soleimani, officials said.

The idea to kill Soleimani, a regular General in an army with which the U.S. is not at war, came like many other bad ideas from John Bolton.

After Iran shot down a U.S. drone in June, John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser at the time, urged Trump to retaliate by signing off on an operation to kill Soleimani, officials said. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also wanted Trump to authorize the assassination, officials said.

But Trump rejected the idea, saying he'd take that step only if Iran crossed his red line: killing an American. The president's message was "that's only on the table if they hit Americans," according to a person briefed on the discussion.

Then unknown forces fired 30 short range missiles into a U.S. base near Kirkuk. The salvo was not intended to kill or wound anyone:

The rockets landed in a place and at a time when American and Iraqi personnel normally were not there and it was only by unlucky chance that Mr. Hamid was killed, American officials said.

Without presenting any evidence the U.S. accused Katib Hizbullah, an Iraqi Popular Militia Unit, of having launched the missiles. It launched airstrikes against a number of Katib Hizbullah positions near the Syrian border, hundreds of miles away from Kirkuk, and killed over 30 Iraqi security forces.

This led to demonstrations in Baghdad during which a crowd breached the outer wall of the U.S. embassy but soon retreated. Trump, who had attacked Hillary Clinton over the raid on the consulate/CIA station in Benghazi, did not want to get embarrassed with a full embassy breach.

The media claim that it was the embassy breach that the led to the activation of an operation that had already been planned for a year before Trump signed off on it seven months ago. As the New York Times describes it:

For the past 18 months, officials said, there had been discussions about whether to target General Suleimani. Figuring that it would be too difficult to hit him in Iran, officials contemplated going after him during one of his frequent visits to Syria or Iraq and focused on developing agents in seven different entities to report on his movements — the Syrian Army, the Quds Force in Damascus, Hezbollah in Damascus, the Damascus and Baghdad airports and the Kataib Hezbollah and Popular Mobilization forces in Iraq.

It was the embassy breach and a war-industry lobbyist who convinced Trump to finally pull the symbolical trigger:

Defense Secretary Mark Esper presented a series of response options to the president two weeks ago, including killing Soleimani. Esper presented the pros and cons of such an operation but made it clear that he was in favor of taking out Soleimani, officials said.

Trump signed off and it further developed from there.

There was no intelligence of any 'imminent threat' or anything like that.

This was an operation that had been worked on for 18 months. Trump signed off on it more than half a year ago. Those who had planned it just waited for a chance to execute it.

We can not even be sure that the embassy bombing had caused Trump to give the final go. It might have been that the CIA and Pentagon were just waiting for a chance to kill Soleimani and Muhandis, the leader of Katib Hizbullah, at the same time. Their meeting at Baghdad airport was not secret and provided the convenient opportunity they had been waiting for.

Together Soleimani and Muhandis were the glue that kept the many Shia factions in Iraq together. The armed ones as well as the political ones. Soleimani's replacement as Quds brigade leader, Brigadier General Ismail Qaani, is certainly a capable man. But his previous field of work was mainly east of Iran in Afghanistan and Pakistan and it will be difficult for him to fill Soleimani's role in Iraq:

After Soleimani’s death, Ayatollah Khamenei appointed Soleimani’s deputy Ismail Qaani to succeed him. Qaani does not speak Arabic, does not have an in-depth knowledge of Iraq, nor the insight of Soleimani and his ability to balance the different positions of Iraq’s factions with the opinions of Ayatollah Khamenei and the religious authorities in Najaf.

The question is how the successor of Soleimani will manage his new responsibility including the thorny issues in Iraq. The escalation of the Iranian-American conflict is, according to many, an escalation towards war and the destabilization of the region in which the rules of engagement have changed. The question remains how, and not whether all of this will impact the situation in Iraq.

Today the Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who has his own militia, and Iraqi PMU leaders met in Qom, Iran, to discuss how the foreign troops can be expelled from Iraq. Gen. Qaani will likely be there to give them advice.

Yesterday Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Lebanese Hizbullah, gave another speech. In it he called on the Kurds in Iraq to pay back their debt to Soleimani and Hizbullah, which is owed for their fight against ISIS, and to help to evict the foreign soldiers from Iraq:

85-Nasrallah: Now, the rest of the path. 1) Iraq: Iraq is the first country concerned w/responding to this crime, because it happened in Iraq, and because it targeted Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a great Iraqi commander, and because Soleimani defended Iraq.

86-Nasrallah: I ask Masoud Barazani to thank Soleimani for his efforts in defending Erbil and Kurdistan Region, because Soleimani was the only one to respond to your call. Soleimani and with him men from Hezbollah went to Erbil.

87-Nasrallah: Barazani was shaking from fear, but Soleimani and the brothers from Hezbollah helped you repulse this unprecedented threat; and now you must repay this good by being part of the effort to expel the Americans from Iraq and the region.

The Barzani family, which governs the Kurdish part of Iraq, has sold out to the Zionists and the United States a long time ago. It will certainly not support the resistance effort. But Nasrallah's request is highly embarrassing to the clan and to Masoud Barzani personally.

So far I only found this rather confusing response from him:

Nihad N. Arafat @NihadArafat - 7:44 UTC · Jan 13, 2020

The Kurdistan Regional Government’s response to the immoral speech uttered by Hassan Nasrallah through the anti-terror apparatus is a clear message from the regional government to those terrorists that the response to the terrorists must be through the anti-terror apparatus.

As military leader both Soleimani and Muhandis are certainly replaceable. The militia groups they created and led will continue to function.

But both men also played important political roles in Iraq and it will take some time to find adequate people to replace them in that. That makes it likely that the already simmering political situation in Iraq will soon boil over as the Shia factions will start to fight each other over the selection of a new Prime Minister and government.

The U.S. will welcome that as it will try do install a candidate that will reject the Iraqi parliament decision to remove the foreign forces from Iraqi territory.

Posted by b on January 13, 2020 at 17:32 UTC | Permalink

next page »

As expected, war against Iran is the focus for west.

Ukraine, Canada, Germany, Sweden seeks to punish Iran, call iranian claims of what happend "nonsense"

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 13 2020 17:43 utc | 1

The United States has truly become a rogue state. John Helmer pointed out that when Putin visited Damascus recently to meet with Assad, he did so at a Russian military facility as a safety precaution because you can no longer put it by the USA that it won't target people of such hierarchy.

Posted by: Maracatu | Jan 13 2020 17:48 utc | 2

Was there not anyone in all of those previous discussions and planning sessions objecting and explaining the importance of Qassem Suleiman in the Iran hierachy of government????

Was there not anyone in all of those previous discussions and planning sessions objecting and explaining the illegality of assassinating such a leader when he was traveling openly to discuss matters of defense on a mission of diplomacy???????????

Was there not anyone in all of those previous discussions and planning sessions objecting and resigning or going public to attempt to stop this infamy????????????

Posted by: juliania | Jan 13 2020 17:57 utc | 3

So were the Saudis genuine in their "peace attempt" or were they simply working with CIA/Mossad to lure Soleimani and Muhandis into a situation where they could be droned?

If the Saudis were genuine, they would be much more vocal in their opposition to these murders, which completely derail any potential Iraq-brokered peace process.

Posted by: A P | Jan 13 2020 18:00 utc | 4

To the best of my recollection, Elijah Magnier, on a recent appearance with Joanne Leon on the Around the Empire Podcast, says it is erroneous to identify Muhandis as the leader of Katib Hizbullah. Actually, he was the highest military official of the PMU (excepting only its nominal head, a civilian), the umbrella organization of the (mainly) Shia militia which are part of the Iraqi military.

Posted by: Norumbega | Jan 13 2020 18:01 utc | 5

US biz persons in NY RE, in Florida, (etc.) as well as tv ‘moguls’ - do transactional power-play interactions, not Int'l diplomacy. (Whatever that is, pretty worthless actually, but = other topic.)

Obviously, Trump’s order to murder Soleimani was partly due to impeachment pressure, as he has said himself.

Plus, Soleimani insulted him gravely. From tabloids and women's mags, which I read on occasion.

NK (Kim + spokespersons) called Trump a heedless and erratic old man. Also a dotard iirc, but all this was in an exchange of insults which could be taken as mimicking that between equals, Trump calling Kim Rocket Man, etc. (Everyone knew nothing would happen.) There was also that kerfuffle when Trudeau (sleazy hypocrite) and others were caught open-mick gossiping about Trump taking too long for his pressers or whatever. No doubt others… and Dem public insults are politically calibrated in a known landscape and Trump of course initiates and has no problem with riposte.

2018. Soleimani speech. The Sun: vid. eng subs.

Very demeaning: gambler - bartender - casino manager… that hits hard.

When much is hung on ‘identity politics’ and ‘personalia’ - ppls identity, character, beliefs, personal interaction with others, etc. take up too much air (like in Hollywood movies), institutional or other long-worked out arrangements (like Int’l law based on upholding the existence of Wilsonian Nation-States..) are simply scuttered.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 13 2020 18:01 utc | 6

Thanks for the reporting b and I am not surprised about the background behind the assassination of Soleimani and Muhandis

I would also not be surprised to read that my country was complicit to some degree in the Ukraine plane shoot down by Iran.

The West is a very sick world run by the dictators that own global private finance. Those dictators have managed to even brainwash the public into not understanding their illness and believing it is a good force in our world.

I am glad to read less of the belief that Trump is being played by the system and not an active actor within it. I continue to hope that other groups of our species continue to stand up to the anti-humanistic social contract of the West and end its centuries old reign of terror.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 13 2020 18:05 utc | 7

Before Putin left for Damascus he already mentioned something about he wont be so easily removed without any consequence.. most likely meaning Russia would probably neutralize all US bases in close proximity and get on the stick to fire strategic nukes for any US response.. But we know the US has hit a lot of Russian assets without seeing any Russian response. So who knows..

Posted by: Igor Bundy | Jan 13 2020 18:08 utc | 8

The idea to kill Soleimani, a regular General in an army with which the U.S. is not war ...

The US has been at war with Iran for 40 yrs ...(hybrid war) (Christopher Black)

War without limits: using all domains (pol, fin, econ, media, com, legal inst) to subvert and destroy an enemy, where the objective is to obliterate the state itself as a political entity

Aside from genocide, what greater crime can there be than the complete annihilation of the state itself, as we saw happening in the NATO-attack on Libya and the state’s total destruction and re-invention in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the NATO-attack against Yugoslavia and now Ukraine and Syria.

.. a complete negation of the concept of state sovereignty and self-determination of peoples enshrined in the UN-Charta. It is a form of aggression of the worst kind and the type of total war that the Nazis waged against the SU. (obliterate state, people, social & econ system and culture).

...So the term HW first appears in American military literature and as practised by NATO means the commission of multiple war-crimes against the people of the targeted state. In Libya we saw conventional military style ops by NATO (massive bombing over many months) simultaneous with unconventional operations (local and imported proxy forces, subversion, assassinations, terrorism against civilians, use of social and mass-media to distribute false information about the regime, criminal actions, cyberattacks to shut down communication and the use of quasi legal bodies (ICC) to criminalize the leadersip, to accuse Gadhafi of being a war-criminal; use of mercenaries, destruction of infrastructure to break the will of the people to resist.

The subject is one of immediate concern because the Americans have begun using the term hybrid warfare in their propaganda accusing Russia of engaging in it in Ukraine and now raising the alarm that (they believe) Russia will engage in HW in the Baltic. Therefore the Americans argue, they have to react to prepare for this eventuality which they claim to be inevitable. And that indicates to me where we can expect the next operations against Russia to take place (and it may explain the exercises NATO has been running all summer, landing of airborne troops, combined sea-operations, etc.)

But the American claim of Russia using HW is in fact a mirror of their own image as we see these methods being used by them as a matter of routine.

(... used in the Indian wars, in 19th century, starvation, prop and other techniques to destroy their cultures, in Mexico, Philipines, Korea and Vietnam, in Central America (i.e. Nicaragua) and in Ruanda....

All the accusations against Iran ("greatest sponsor of terrorism", aligning Iran with AQ, etc.) are a projection of their own crimes ..

Posted by: Pandora | Jan 13 2020 18:10 utc | 9

It was explained by Craig Murray in his blog (replicated in a few websites) that the usage of "imminent" adjective is created by a certain lawyer who first worked for Netanyahu, then for Blair etc. The usage does not convey ANY information about the nature of a "danger", but the attitude, judgement if you will, of the institution that commissioned the opinion.

And "immanent" or "eminent" (Trumpian tweet) would fit equally well, but legalistically, the confusion raised by "imminent" is more useful.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 13 2020 18:27 utc | 10

Noirette @ 6, it is my belief that an irrational US president, under the constant pressure of attack from the Russiagate and Ukraingate instigators (you know who you are) from the instant he became president and took on those responsibilities, volatile and insecure as he was from the getgo, has finally cracked and is now very much in need of retirement from the highpressure stage of politics in a time of potential war. It would be in the interests of everyone in the world for his family to ask him, for his doctors to require of him, that he resign. Certainly the alternatives to his remaining in office are grim, but not as grim as having a president who is mentally incapacitated.

It would seem that an entire warmaking apparatus of government is similarly dysfunctional. I don't know how that can be remedied, but it must.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 13 2020 18:29 utc | 11

Muqtada al-Sadr, who has his on militia

whose militia is "on", active, rather than "off"? In any case, separating this guy from microphones would require an Amored Personal Carrier or something heavier.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 13 2020 18:34 utc | 12

The answer to your questions lies in the reality that for years a sure means of not being promoted or even being fired from a government job in the US is to know anything about the Arab or Islamic world. Or to act as if knowing anything about such inferior beings is necessary for making judgements.
This idea, that ignorance is bliss, has spread from Israel, not because the Israelis practise it-they don't- but because they want DC to be entirely reliant on them for intelligence and direction in the Middle East.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 13 2020 18:35 utc | 13

consistent from trump, he appointed bolton, this is all very characteristic.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 13 2020 18:42 utc | 14

Although only one battle in what will be a longer war, Trump has won that round. More confusion and disarray in Iraq, bad PR for Iran after the Uki plane shootdown. Bad PR allows western vassals to move closer to the US side of the fence, and also provides fuel for US regime change operations within Iran.
The two generals that were assassinated - there will be others that can plan military strategy, but a big part, perhaps more important than strategy, is the personality to be able to hold disparate groups together so they act as one and all tactics by separate groups fit into a larger strategy.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 13 2020 18:46 utc | 15

Thank you, bevin. That is a sad explanation, though to me it doesn't obviate what should be inherent in any normal human person, as I myself know very little about the Middle East, relying indeed upon b's excellent and nearly objective (as objective as any human can be) reporting on the facts and his interpretation of them. That which ought to be inherent is the human desire not to inflict pain on another human if that can be avoided. Those who are in government service ought to have that moral incentive front and center. We see it in the great leaders, and surely in this country there are some among the elite who haven't lost this natural instinct? It is very problematic if that has been thoroughly weeded out in those now occupying powerful positions.

This country has been fortunate in the past to select persons of high moral compass as our heroes. We the people still want to do that, I am convinced. Perhaps there is still time, and we can re-order our own hierarchy now that what has been done is this terrible, an enormous reductio ad absurdum, front and center.

This is not going away.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 13 2020 18:47 utc | 16

@ Piotr Berman #10

yes, the Bethlehem Doctrine made this reTweet from john steppling even more outrageous a psyop:

'Israelis: Soleimani Intercept Sparked Drone Strike; US Reinforces Region', jan. 3, 2020, breaking defense

"TEL AVIV: Five days ago, an undisclosed intelligence agency intercepted a telephone call made by the head of Iran’s Quds Force, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, in which he was heard ordering his proxies in Iraq to attack the US embassy in Baghdad, as well as other Israeli and American targets, with the aim of taking hostages, Israeli sources say.

It’s unclear whether this was a lapse in tradecraft on the part of the usually savvy Soleimani or whether the notorious Iranian military leader’s phone calls were being routinely intercepted. Nor is it clear whether it was the US or another foe of Iran that made the intercept. Regardless, the intelligence seems to have led directly to Soleimani’s killing yesterday, which has thrown the Mideast into uproar."

Posted by: wendy davis | Jan 13 2020 18:48 utc | 17

psychohistorian @7--

In the chain of cause & effect, the Outlaw US Empire is definitely responsible for the airliner shootdown; that must be seen as 100% irrefutable. The Outlaw US Empire has executed numerous high ranking political and military people beginning with Yamamoto in 1943, although I'll admit he was a legitimate target; yet, the seed was planted then. I recall Diem being killed with the approval of JFK just weeks prior to his own execution. As I wrote at Escobar's Facebook over the weekend, the Great Evil in the world resides within the Outlaw US Empire and must be expunged even if Nukes must be used. Yes, that conclusion was painful to arrive at and write, but the horrors have lasted for 3,000+ years now. The crop of Current Oligarchs are the most aggressive ever and won't stop their rampage until they Own Everything. In the overall scheme of things, getting Imperial forces ousted from Southwest Asia will be a good thing but only a small portion of what must occur.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 13 2020 18:48 utc | 18

What does a single word of Nihad N. Arafat's response even mean? How is Nasrallah's speech immoral by any stretch of the imagination? Do the Kurd's have no gratitude for Hezbollah and Qud's laying down their lives to save them from mass rape and genocide? What is the "anti-terror apparatus", does he mean fighting terrorism in Iraq and Syria must be done only by US supported forces like the SDF? The Kurds siding with the US occupiers and Israel is one of the most disgusting developments in recent history, its no wonder these people have been so distrusted and abused for so long, their power hungry leadership betrays their allies like snakes.

Posted by: Jase | Jan 13 2020 18:53 utc | 19

Apologies, karlof1; you know I value your input. But that is one very crazy post.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 13 2020 18:57 utc | 20

@8, Igor Bundy

Russia takes its vengeance cold, often with no flair or notoriety. They often take in multiples for their losses.

In Syria, a Russian missile into a mountain cave where US, Israeli, Saudi and AQ Intel leaders were meeting cost over 50 high value lives. It was Russian payback for when some Colonels and a General were hit by Coalition air strikes. Auslander, on the Saker blog, has written about this. 2016, as I recall.

In Donbass, there have been many paybacks by Russia for Ukie and NATO acts. Some even taken inside Russia.
A number of the culprits who killed over a hundred people and set fire to the Trade Union building in Odessa have met Russian justice. Same with some of the criminal SBU who tortured Berkut who came from Crimea. And others have been liquidated for murders done by Ukies in Mariupol.

People who know and need to know are aware that Russia always more than evens the score.

They just recently eliminated the head Turkmen who was responsible for shooting the pilot of the jet the Turks shot down as he parachuted. It wasn't enough that when they rescued the co-pilot navigator of the jet (rescue led by General Soleimani), the Aerospace forces bombed the hell out of the area the Turkmen populated. They got the names and tracked for years the commander.

Never assume because you don't know, it hasn't happened. And if it hasn't yet, it will.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jan 13 2020 18:58 utc | 21

Dear juliania,

Perhaps there is still time, and we can re-order our own hierarchy

Seems highly unlikely.

Posted by: DM | Jan 13 2020 19:06 utc | 22

I don't like to say it but b's article doesn't support his headline. And I don't like to repeat myself, but I've already commented this subject earlier today @ open thread 55, but he doesn't seem to have taken it into account. We should not expect a powerful Iraqi reaction to the events.

Firstly remember that Abd ul-Mahdi is a weak leader, only there because the US agreed to him. The US has made sure that the Iraqi leadership is not strong. Secondly, there was always going to be a time necessary for a new militia leader to emerge. Instant reaction was just about impossible.

However in the long term, the prospects are good. The Shi'a are in power in Iraq without question. The Sunnis are out of it, the Kurds no longer intervene outside KRG. All the cr*p about civil war is nonsense. The Shi'a factions all have basically the same interest, and conflict is only between different leaders of the same grouping. Things could turn around in an instant.

The anti-US movement is popular sentiment, not govt led. The more the US offends that sentiment, as will inevitably happen, the stronger the movement will be. We already have seen the way things will go. US bases are being sprayed with rockets. That will make life difficult for the US. The more they punish the culprits, the more resentment there will be. There's no way things can work out well for the US.

b has been reading the instant reaction, breast-beating, woe-is-me, articles like Salhy in Middle East Eye, without looking further.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 13 2020 19:06 utc | 23

juliania 20

US aggression is at the stage of Nazi Germany and imperial Japan around the start of WWII.
Rather than seeing that their unipolar world is ending, the US is prepared to use military power to hold its position in the world.
The exceptionalist mindset is not just one small faction in the US hierarchy, it is the mindset of the hierarchy plus a good proportion of the population.
Throughout history, countries or nations like that always end up destroyed as they fight for their position until the very end rather than step down.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 13 2020 19:10 utc | 24

What does a single word of Nihad N. Arafat's response even mean?

Posted by: Jase | Jan 13 2020 18:53 utc | 19

Upon quick inspection, N.N. Arafat is not a real person. For few months he (it?) only retweeted, mostly a pro-Kurdish US senator, and now produced a test of his (its?) own. The text is weird, which may corroborate the purported education -- radiologist who graduated in Dohuk (the capital of one of the three provinces of Kurdistan autonomous area in Iraq). Actual on-line Kurdish publication have a rather sketchy English, although not as bad.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 13 2020 19:24 utc | 25

thank you b.. check @ 23 laguerres comment...

barzani is a kleptomaniac who shares the same ideology as usa-israel... it is not surprise he would show no gratitude..

@ juliania.. the usa got taken over by the military complex many years ago.. bolton, pompeo, esper - all the rest of the rot are either military brats, or cia types who come out of the brainwashing school west point... it is bred into them to view other cultures beside the exceptional usa as heathen and worse..or you have an exceptional person like trump who as @ noirette highlights "US biz persons in NY RE, in Florida, (etc.) as well as tv ‘moguls’ and inferior crap like that... i am afraid karlof1 is correct.. this rot is so bad it is not easy to turn it all around... and as @ bevin notes having the usa reliant on israel for anything to do with the middle east has been an ongoing recipe for disaster, but the usa is incapable of separating from israel's folly..

@ red ryder.. thanks for that... i am surprised anyone who takes russia for granted, or as some 2 bit pansy..

here's the article craig murray did discussing the bullshite with the use of the word '''imminent''..
Lies, the Bethlehem Doctrine, and the Illegal Murder of Soleimani

craigs an historian, as opposed to a west point military brat, so what the fuck would he know about this issues right? /s

Posted by: james | Jan 13 2020 19:27 utc | 26

dang, i was too long and my comment is in moderation... oh well..

Posted by: james | Jan 13 2020 19:27 utc | 27

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 13 2020 18:46 utc | 15

>>Although only one battle in what will be a longer war, Trump has won that round. More confusion and disarray in Iraq, bad PR for Iran after the Uki plane shootdown. Bad PR allows western vassals to move closer to the US side of the fence, and also provides fuel for US regime change operations within Iran.
The two generals that were assassinated - there will be others that can plan military strategy, but a big part, perhaps more important than strategy, is the personality to be able to hold disparate groups together so they act as one and all tactics by separate groups fit into a larger strategy.

Yup. Some people like to underestimate the US Empire, because it is easier to wear rose coloured glasses, rather than face unpleasant reality.

Even b changed from US will leave Iraq to there will be chaos in Iraq and the US will try to stay.

Although personally i think that the US will be kicked out because most of the Shia leaders would like to be killed by a US drone for whatever. Especially Sadr, who has the biggest political block, and whose Mahdi Army killed plenty of americans back then. He knows that he is a potential target too, so he will work to make this expulsion happen.

There was also an assasination attempt against iranian official in Yemen. This is all part of a Cold War, a hybrid war against Iran. To break it. There is no isolationism. No one will leave Iran or Syria unless they are actually kicked out.

And yes, Trump is a willing imperialist. He likes it. He can't do much on the domestic front but he is allowed to show his violent tendencies on the foreign front. As a zionist and a military puppet.

Trump loves the sanction weapons and financial-banking weapons the US possesses. He’s all in on using every coercion to strangle, starve and screw everyone, friend, foe, ally, adversary. A power-hungry guy who has all the power to dominate the globe, yet not his own country, break sovereignties, ignore laws and trample opponents to get his way.

And he likes it.

Trump has taken on the personification of the Hegemon. It is a form of Wizard of Oz syndrome. If the Deep State and MIC allows him, he is “powerful”. This suits his dysfunctionality as a man. He has big inadequacies. They manifest in his need to be big, wealthy, #1, first, triumphant in all deals.

In the Oval Office, he is powerless to get the wall built, infrastructure legislation passed, health reform, or even announce he will consider pardons for all those entrapped by Comey and the Russiagate hoax. He’s being impeached.

But as the Hegemon, when the handlers around him allow it (advise him), he gets to kill people. This is heady stuff that captivates him.

I would predict that Assad is on the top of Trump’s hit list too.

Posted by: Passer by | Jan 13 2020 19:30 utc | 28

sponsor of terrorism", aligning Iran with AQ, etc.) are a projection of their own crimes Pandora @9..<=many Domestic Americans may be at risk for elimination ..If I were an aspiring Democrat I would wear my anti-drone outfit ?

Americans used to pride themselves that their government promised those accused of wrongdoing to be treated as "innocent" until guilt was established by a due process procedure known as a fair open trial. These trials were a source of information that allowed the governed to keep somewhat honest those who were running the government. many Americans chose to become American Citizens in order to gain access to the due process procedures. Humanity in the world has a problem it needs to define and solve because death by drone is not an acceptable line item in the statistics.

Posted by: snake | Jan 13 2020 19:41 utc | 29

I gleaned this off the saker, .I don't read the language but commenter speaks of cyber attack on the uki plane.

Posted by: Red | Jan 13 2020 19:48 utc | 30

Actually, I don't think the Shi'a militias are that divided at all. Sistani's call was classic and unifying.

I was quite interested by the remarks of Ayatullah Sistani last Friday, I think it was, criticising Iran and the US equally for illegal attacks on Iraqi soil.

The context is of course that Sistani is Iranian, but has never taken a pro-Iranian position. He is aged now, and his view is expressed by his aides, so it can be taken that this is the view of the Sistani organisation, not so necessarily of the man himself. It is quite nationalistic, and not subservient to Iran, as everybody is currently claiming. Iraqi Shi'a independence from Iran has always been the policy, and its being reaffirmed. Iran remains an ally, naturally.

That doesn't mean that the Iraqi state is strong and can dictate to the US. The US ensures that doesn't happen. But the positions of Sistani, Muqtada al-Sadr and the others are all pretty similar, and concentrate on Iraqi nationalism, which equals opposition to the US, and non-dependence on Iran.

Of course Shi'a Iraqi nationalism is a little bit particular, as no concessions are made to the Sunnis. It's as though they don't exist. For the moment that doesn't matter, as the Sunnis are thoroughly defeated, and if they have rebels, they join Da'ish, who are discredited. The Kurds have had their fingers burned, and won't venture outside KRG again. If the US wants to stir them up, it won't work.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 13 2020 19:50 utc | 31

Passer by

I agree with all of that, though on Trump as trying to make up for inadequacies I would differ.
More a very aggressive, competitive mindset and very self confidant in his abilities.
He had held no political positions in the past, runs for president of the US and wins.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 13 2020 19:51 utc | 32

Laguerre 30

It looks as though much rides on whether the Shia groups can put aside domestic differences for the duration and agree on and stick to a common strategy to oust the US.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 13 2020 19:55 utc | 33

This tweet by Mike Pompeo has triggered a large response condemning USA hypocrisy.

But the murder of the Iranian General does highlight the difficulty of the militias throughout the Middle East.

Middle East is tribal, militias, as far as I understand, can be paid by Sheiks, by local religous leaders, by some arm of the relevant government, by foreign governments. And by foreign governments, I mean Turkey, USA, Iran, UK and so on.
Or a mix of all the above.

So Pompeo has a point - the sooner Middle East governments bring militias fully into the armed forces, the clearer the applicable law will be.

What caused this mess?

Lack of a robust governmental process.

Whose problem is it? At base, the national government in question.

If clear lines of control and command and full integration can't happen due to political divisions and corruption, poor popular control of politicians, then the country (and others around the region) are doomed to endless trouble, from home, from abroad.

Sad fact, IMO.

Sovereignty starts with responsive, effective, reliable, accountable, transparent, and widely accepted, clear, principles-based governance.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Jan 13 2020 19:58 utc | 34

@ Posted by: Passer by | Jan 13 2020 19:30 utc | 27
with the comment about Trump with which I agree...thanks

Trump is a very hurt human being that is not recognized as such because of a skewed view of what mental health is.....aggression, bullying, and murder have all been normalized to be acceptable mental health in top/down world that is never discussed as being the source of the Trump type of mentality.

I agree with your call out:
I would predict that Assad is on the top of Trump’s hit list too.
and want to add that I expect there are active hit list plans for all world leaders that conflict with the dictatorship of global private finance.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 13 2020 20:02 utc | 35

b's last comment is:

"...The U.S. will welcome that [the Shia factions will start to fight each other over the selection of a new Prime Minister and government] as it will try do install a candidate that will reject the Iraqi parliament decision to remove the foreign forces from Iraqi grounds."

If the US hopes this will happen to deflect Iraqis from their shock at US assassination on their soil of their military leader as well as Iran's, surely they are as mistaken as they were in perpetrating the atrocity. That's not what happens - we saw it first in Russia. There will be unity against a common enemy, would be my take. As has been happening all along with less important 'sanctions' than this. They always backfire.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 13 2020 20:02 utc | 36

My view is that the iraqi shia will work towards expulsion of the US and will make it happen. They will also buy capable anti-air defense from Russia, no matter the threats. Because having US drones over your head is simply unacceptable, and many leaders, including Sadr, know that they are a potential target for "misbehaving" or past grievances. This lurking theat is simply too much. That's not to mention the israeli strikes in Iraq. They also do not want Iraq to turn into US-Iran battlefield. Which will inevitably lead to killings of Shia leaders and groups.

But there will be lots of bullying coming from Trump and some US companies could get large deals as a price for the withdrawal, maybe some expensive military equipment will be sold too.

Posted by: Passer by | Jan 13 2020 20:06 utc | 37

The middle east, particularly the Arab world have always been susceptible to divide and conquer.
Clans, Tribes, Religions, Ethic groups and nations - all fault lines that the imperial countries have and still do, easily drive wedges into and turn one against another.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 13 2020 20:12 utc | 38

Putin jokes Assad should invite Trump to visit Damascus. The leaders were referring to the Straight Street, which leads to Mariamite Cathedral of Damascus, & to Apostle Paul whose life was transformed after a vision he had as he walked on that road.

Posted by: Mao | Jan 13 2020 20:15 utc | 39

Since the attack on Suleimani, Al Muhandis and that officer in Yemen, Reza Shahlai, were the result of long planning the question is what else is part of the plan, and its possible opportunistic addons. Trump was very fast in following up with new sanctions. The current demonstrations in Iran were probably(my guess) planned. I don't understand how they can get traction so close to the funeral.
Also I wonder to what extent the US/Israel are strenghtening IS near the Syrian border.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jan 13 2020 20:15 utc | 40

@21 Red Ryder - I am going to put something on the open thread to you. My question doesn't pertain to this ghastly Iraq/Iran business.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 13 2020 20:15 utc | 41

Passer by "They also do not want Iraq to turn into US-Iran battlefield."

This is the part that annoys me about the Iraqi's. Trump stated bluntly that US is in Iraq and will be staying in Iraq to watch Iran. That was at the time of the Syrian pullback and oilfield grab.

US is using Iraq to attack Iran. It killed and Iran military officer and diplomat on Iraqi soil. It is constantly striking Iraqi militia groups on Iraqi soil.
By stating Iran violated Iraqi sovereignty with its strike on the US base, Iraq is giving sanctuary to the US.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 13 2020 20:18 utc | 42

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jan 13 2020 20:15 utc | 39

>>the question is what else is part of the plan

The plan seems to be israeli one, and it will be about what will benefit Netanyahoo.

This means a continuous near war situation between the US and Iran, but without the actual large scale war. A covert war involving killings, sabotage, everything other than a large scale war. The US will be the meat-shield for Israel. Untill the elections. Then we will see.

Posted by: Passer by | Jan 13 2020 20:21 utc | 43

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 13 2020 20:18 utc | 41

I think no one believed that the US will start killing senior iraqis and iranians. Soleimani was even seen together with US troops in Iraq, and was visiting often. Iran certainly did not believe that either. But now things changed.

Posted by: Passer by | Jan 13 2020 20:26 utc | 44

@ Passer by 24; ph 34

Trump is one sick pup. He now defends that it does not matter if there was an imminent threat [his] .... "killing of Soleimani regardless of ‘imminent’ threat, says he had a ‘horrible past’

Mike Bloomberg Says He’s Spending ‘All’ His Money ‘to Get Rid of Trump’

May need to invoke the 25th Amendment. 11 months is a very long time and we may not all be here. In the previous post I linked to a Tass report Iran has declared their revenge is not over. More to come.

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 13 2020 20:26 utc | 45

"Several troops CNN spoke to said the event (al-Assad base) had shifted their view of warcraft: the US military is rarely on the receiving end of sophisticated weaponry, despite launching the most advanced attacks in the world.
"You looked around at each other and you think: Where are we going to run? How are you going to get away from that?" said Ferguson.
"I don't wish anyone to have that level of fear," he said. "No one in the world should ever have to feel something like that.""

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ....and Iran is even 5th Division compared with Russia.

Posted by: Guy THORNTON | Jan 13 2020 20:34 utc | 46

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 13 2020 19:55 utc | 32

Yeah, the way I see things going, I wouldn't call it a strategy, is that the Iraqi parliament continues to vote against any proposal the US makes, while at the same time random militias continue to fire off Katyushas against US bases, making life difficult.

US pressure on Abd ul-Mahdi can't disarm the militias, as he doesn't have the power to do so. There's no scenario where the US could agree to the appointment of a strong PM, who might master the militias, and be accepted by the parliament, and yet guarantee to stop militia attacks. The different elements are contradictory.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 13 2020 20:37 utc | 47

Yeah, Peter AU1 is right. Iran lost that round.
With the plane shot down, they fucked it totally up. Trump can (somewhat with a basis in reality) point to Iran, the "evil Regime" that prefers to shoot down 100+ civilians instead of closing airspace for "a strategic gain" (Bernards words defending this).
A PR nightmare for Iran. And sadly a deserved one in this case of not closing the airspace.

Had this catastrophe not happend, it would have been a brilliant operation, which would have turned the US standing upside down militarily.
But with shooting themselves in the foot, they managed to paint themselves as the paraiah regime that cares not about human life, as Trump and the NeoCons have painted them all along.

Now i understand why Trump did not respond that night and happily went to bed tweeting that all is well. The US knew Iran shot it down in that night, and they knew that Iran would have hurt itself more then they hurt the US from a PR and propaganda standpoint.

And with Soleimani gone, and a replacement that does not even speak Arabic (WTF?!), how can they even dream of rallying all the tribes in Syria and Iraq behind their game plan??
Personality is key in politics. And when such a person can not even speak the language of the people he should unite, then this looks futile IMHO.

All in all, a very telling development. Telling about both the US and Iran, but also about Alt Media and us readers+commenters.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Jan 13 2020 20:39 utc | 48

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Jan 13 2020 20:39 utc | 47

What does that have to do with Iraq?

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 13 2020 20:51 utc | 49

IMO, the sad truth is, that the new 4th Reich owns the globe, because of their grasp of the reserve currency system, and NO nation, at this point in time, can reverse that fact.

I've been reading people talking about the demise of the empire for years now. Until the reserve currency issue is changed,
NO NATION on earth can challenge the monstrosity of the new 4th Reich.

The empire will continue to control the world with economic and military terrorism.

To coin an old saying, "It's just business, get over it"....

Posted by: ben | Jan 13 2020 21:01 utc | 50

Suppose that the US wants to stay in Iraq, as they've said. What strategy could they follow to make it possible? I'm at a bit of a loss there. Full military occupation, with 100,000 US troops? Unacceptable in the US. Change the Iraqi PM? Would someone else be better? Another PM would still be subject to parliament votes. Impose a dictator? Dictators aren't in fact absolute rulers, but still depend on public acquiescence.

Anyone else have a better idea?

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 13 2020 21:11 utc | 51

"Now i understand why Trump did not respond that night and happily went to bed tweeting that all is well. The US knew Iran shot it down in that night, and they knew that Iran would have hurt itself more then they hurt the US from a PR and propaganda standpoint."

Except Trump's stupid tweet came 4 hours BEFORE the plane was downed. Seriously delusional stuff you are spouting.

Posted by: nemo | Jan 13 2020 21:13 utc | 52

We have been talking for about 7 days venting our anger and frustration with US empire and its puppets. Also, talking about the why’s and The Who’s and How’s.

I think it is time to concentrate on the “ now what” question. What can be done to get the US out of West Asia and keep them away?

The key to all of this and the future of West Asia’s peace, IMHO, is Saudi Arabia. Iran and its allies have to concentrate and preempt in changing the Saudi regime. Time is ripe for this and they are on the defensive as well. Taking out the Saudis will:

1. Finish the Wahabi- Saud axis and weaken it tremendously (weaken ISIS, AlQueda, etc if not end them)
2. It will cut off the financial source of much of evil going on in West Asia and beyond
3. No oil, no Americans in the region and a gradual end of petrodollar and hopefully the empire(of course, easier said than done but it has to start somewhere)
4. That will also have a chain reaction in the gulf monarchies with the majority non-Sunni population. So it goes for the other West Asian fiefdoms.
5. The end of ERETZ ISRAEL
6. Realignment of North African alliances and shift away from US and the west, especially Egypt.
7. Bring OPEC under a more democratic control
8. Facilitating Belt and Road and possibly more prosperity for the region as a whole although China and Russia should be watched and dealt with very carefully. They are not the angels that they have been made to be in these forums. They are just the lesser evils, comparatively. Much less.
9. A gradual growth away fanaticism and more toward secularism. Maybe even Iran can restart the first true democracy in the region, if such a thing exists outside of books and novels.

I’m sure others can add to this list. It sounds like fantasy but like i said before it has to start somewhere and Iran is in a position to make this happen and it should be sooner than later. Once Saudis have been dealt with, comes next, Israel. 1967 lines or get the hell out of West Asia. No ifs or buts. No negotiations.

It is a nice dream anyway. I truly believe it is the only hope for the region, otherwise we are looking at 50 more years of this shit if a global war hasn’t happened in between.

Posted by: Alpi | Jan 13 2020 21:13 utc | 53

karlof1 @ 18

"...the Great Evil in the world resides within the Outlaw US Empire and must be expunged even if Nukes must be used. Yes, that conclusion was painful to arrive at and write, but the horrors have lasted for 3,000+ years now."

Is this the real karlof1? Or his alter ego Major karlof1 Kong riding the bomb.

When you say "...Nukes must be used." Would it be correct to assume you mean on yourselves? or some innocent third party in the Middle East?

I thought I despised you Americans, but there is a lot of self loathing here.

Guy THORNTON @45 - should be mandatory viewing. The American needs to feel abject fear, helplessness and loss before anything can even begin to change.

Posted by: ted01 | Jan 13 2020 21:31 utc | 54

juliania @20--

Sorry to confound you with my 18! Cause & Effect in this case began in 1953. If 1953 hadn't occurred and nothing similar in-between, then the dead would be alive. Peter AU 1's 24 explained the middle portion well enough. The 3,000+ years refers to the amount of time an oligarchy consisting of landed rich, rentiers and such have subjugated humanity in the West as seen by the numerous proofs offered in the numerous publications by the team Hudson assembled at the Peabody Museum at the same time the Berlin Wall was falling, which Hudson's trying to make more accessible via a series beginning with … and forgive them their debts... which I very much encourage you--and everyone reading this comment--to read as it really is that important. The bits and pieces provided in the related essays at Hudson's website are not a sufficient substitute for the series of books, although they ought to be enough to motivate.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 13 2020 21:34 utc | 55

@50 Laguerre

" What strategy could they follow to make it possible?"

The same strategy they use in Korea, Japan, Germany, Afghanistan, ......etc... Bribery, threats and violence.

@52 Alpi

"What can be done to get the US out of West Asia and keep them away? "

Kill a couple of few hundred American troops in a very rapid fashion or close the straits and collapse the economies.


Posted by: b4real | Jan 13 2020 21:38 utc | 56

Juliania 16
"This country has been fortunate in the past to select persons of high moral compass as our heroes."

Can you be more specific?
I am sure there are a few genuine heroes, but I am curious as to whom you mean specifically?
Anyone in the Oval Office?

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 13 2020 21:41 utc | 57

Finally a top Canadian businessman who points the finger for this tragedy to Trump: Of course there's not a single politician who has the guts to speak this truth out loud. Trump, the narcissist cum laude, demonstrates how the whole world has to count on others having more common sense than the crazy Americans who bully whoever they don't like, damn the consequences. Let's not forget that it is this ongoing verbal adolescent barrage and unnecessary hyping that almost got us into a nuclear holocaust twice (1963 and 1983) - and both times we were saved by the sound and sober Russians. What if the Russian then would have been the Iranian now?

Posted by: Josh | Jan 13 2020 21:43 utc | 58

@ ben 49

I've been reading people talking about the demise of the empire for years now. Until the reserve currency issue is changed,
NO NATION on earth can challenge the monstrosity of the new 4th Reich.

The USD$ will follow all the others that went before.

just a little more faith ben. The collapse is not one event like an explosion, "boom" it's a process over time. U.S'. 'perceived prosperity' is built on debt or by another name, printing fiat which is unsustainable.

Watch the new QE repo fail, also derivatives and prepare.
U.S. Fed is working hard to save the financial system that is leaking like a sieve. One Fed governor said it [the Repo] was a plumbing exercise. How apt. In 2006 global debt was $125 trillion now stands at $260 trillion.

I mentioned watch derivatives. These banks with the biggest derivative positions - DB, JPM, Citigroup and GS - list their official position a tad below $200 trillion. When it blows? could be another 6 years but collapse it will.

Actually, imo we are in the collapse. Why are interest rates in negative territory? It is a theft of pensioners' savings to keep the casino standing. I suspect the warmongering is a distraction.

When all else fails, they take us to war.

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 13 2020 21:54 utc | 59

DontBelieveEitherPr. 47 "A PR nightmare for Iran. And sadly a deserved one in this case of not closing the airspace."

It is not deserved. Decisions are easy to ridicule in hindsight, very difficult to make make at the time. War is all about deception. Did Iran know US had the ability to spoof what they were seeing on their radar screens. There is a good chance the US have made some deliberately failed attempts in the past to set them up for something like this. Iran is in a fight with an exceptionally dirty fighter that knows all the tricks. They will take more hits before this is over.
not understanding that and disparaging Iran when it does take hits is part of US calculations. That is human character. Everyone likes a winner type mindset. Part of human character.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 13 2020 21:56 utc | 60

Posted by: Josh | Jan 13 2020 21:43 utc | 57

Thanks Josh for that
Unfortunately your link doesn't work (due to the period included at the end)

Canada business chief lashes Trump over Iran plane crash

Posted by: xLemming | Jan 13 2020 21:58 utc | 61

"pr nightmare." the west can win the pr war, but the actual war is different.. the 2 aren't connected as some might like to think..

Posted by: james | Jan 13 2020 22:02 utc | 62

Thanks b, Elijah's newest article touches on this very subject, the situation will get hot in Iraq should the Us occupiers do not leave the country. The situation will aggravate, maybe slowly, then speed up, the US will most likely retaliate with sanctions and other usual crimes.
I do see China and Russia stepping up in Iraq and Iran, there is a clear alignment forming, backstage talks must be very busy at the moment, many countries aligning such as Qatar and Turkey, while the traditional allies of Israel and US continue to drag on their knees, such as UAE and KSA.
I do expect the war of aggression in Yemen to get hotter, since KSA is kicking the can down the road instead of true commitment to a peace deal, while in eastern Syria we may see US mercenaries being most likely killed by Syrian insurgency, lots of mercenaries there vs US soldiers.

Posted by: Canthama | Jan 13 2020 22:03 utc | 63

@61 Here is a good example of the pr war. As you can see the US army is a real nice bunch of guys and gals doing a tough job fighting ISIS.

Posted by: dh | Jan 13 2020 22:06 utc | 64


Trump US has had problems getting vassals on board for war against Iran. With the recent incident, more have moved to Trumps side. Winning the PR war means puppet leaders are free to do as US tells them as even puppet leaders are keeping an eye on re-election and public opinion and so forth.
Trumps war on Iran will not be well publicised build up to Iraq shock and awe. It will be Trident missiles with no warning.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 13 2020 22:10 utc | 65

Piotr Berman | Jan 13 2020 18:34 utc | 12

I thought "his on militia" was a typo for "his own militia".

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jan 13 2020 22:11 utc | 66

Canthama @62--

I just read your comment at SyrPers:

"Something very odd is happening in the past 24 hours and today:

"The Qatari Emir was in Tehran yesterday, long talks with Iranian leadership.

"Also yesterday, basically all top Syrian Gov leaders (except President Assad apparently), went to Iran as well, a very rare and could say rather risky move of a large group from the Syrian leadership."

Do you have anything to add or further speculation about those events? And thanks for all your efforts!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 13 2020 22:13 utc | 67


Almasdarnews had a piece on the Syrian delegation vist.

"“Today, a high-level government delegation headed by Prime Minister Imad Khamis, began a trip to the Iranian capital, Tehran, during which they will discuss with senior officials there the current bilateral relations between the two countries and work to strengthen them at all levels, as well as accelerating developments in the regional and international arenas,” Al-Watan reported, quoting a diplomatic source.

The Al-Watan source said that consultation and coordination between the two countries at this stage is necessary because after the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, the two allies need to strengthen their alliance.

The newspaper added that the delegation will include in the foreign and defense ministers."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 13 2020 22:18 utc | 68

@ 45

I think this is the first time the American military has tasted a pushback like this. A clear feeling of defeat and demoralization among those interviewed. It is good for them to be at the receiving end and feel helpless and to know what they have been wreaking on the region for the past 16 years. Maybe they will start questioning their role in these atrocities and pass on the word to new recruits: “ Don’t join in”.

Posted by: Alpi | Jan 13 2020 22:22 utc | 69

Meanwhile, the US Pivot to Asia grand plan seems to be in a state of hiatus. Skirmishes and a potential uprising in the Provinces have disrupted the once all important thrust to confront China and curb it's expansion on all fronts.

OBOR strategy continues undeterred, drawing more and more interest and solidifying influence as the months pass. China quietly gives support to the Empire's targets on 2 continents and expands largely unopposed in a 3rd. The Empire's debts to finance it's interests and militarism grows at a never b4 seen rate. It's own military industrial complex robbing it's treasury almost at will, while it's foes grow in size and number.

Looking at it all in Grand Chess Board sort of way, it brings to mind Muhammed Ali's 'Rope a dope' strategy. Let the big dope punch himself out before taking him down was the essence of it.

Another of his most memorable quotes, "No Vietcong ever called me n****r".

No Chinese ever called people in the Provinces hadji either. But hey why go to all that bother of wining hearts and minds and investing in local economies when bribery, corruption and killing dissenters has worked so well in achieving your goals?

'We have the right to stay as a force of good.' Buffalo Wings Mike Pompeo

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 13 2020 22:27 utc | 70

Explanation #99 and counting from the US NSC:

Disclosure Mike Pompeo: Bigger Strategy of Real Deterrence

Not an imminent threat …

Posted by: Oui | Jan 13 2020 22:39 utc | 71

In my very most humble opinion, I think this whole 'episode' (starting with the USSA droning of the very high profile military officers in Iraq) must be all just theater. A very large crowd of the most knowledgeable experts in (real) economics are quite certain that the USSA is on the brink of total collapse. So the population is in dire need of distractions. I also am pretty sure that if the USSA were to attack Iran the result would be 'instant' collapse, so that won't happen unless 'they' are slightly stupider that I suspect them to be. I think the 'world' is simply death-watching the USSA. All they have to really do is to avoid being crushed when the Big Dummy goes full Humpty Dumpty.

Posted by: blues | Jan 13 2020 22:51 utc | 72

@ 63 dh.. thanks.. i guess that is similar to the link @ 45 guy thornton shared? bbc verses cnn... they are all tied at the hip..

quote from one of the men at the site - ""I don't wish anyone to have that level of fear," he said. "No one in the world should ever have to feel something like that." well holy fuck... welcome to the reality you have been putting on all of the people in middle east in what seems like forever!! maybe you want to think that thru??

@64 peter au... you're right... this war porn for the kiddies back home is all used for the same purpose.. keeping all the folks back home as braindead as possible.. and yes - when the shit hits the fan, it will be without warning.. great place to be in.. thanks trump, usa, neo con warmongering group.. great place to be here in 2020..

Posted by: james | Jan 13 2020 23:04 utc | 73

@nemo #51

Trump's "stupid tweet" coincided with UIA Flight 752 crashing.

Posted by: Cynica | Jan 13 2020 23:09 utc | 74

Tehran Plans to Take Trump to International Court for Soleimani’s Assassination – Iran’s Top Judge
Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp’s Quds Force, died in Baghdad on January 3 when the vehicle he was traveling in was struck by a missile launched by a US drone. Soleimani’s death brought relations between Iran and the US to a new low.

The Iranian government will seek to prosecute US President Donald Trump for the assassination of Maj. Gen. Soleimani, Iranian Chief Justice Ebrahim Raisi has said

Posted by: brian | Jan 13 2020 23:18 utc | 75

karlof1 @ 54

juliania - you poor confused women.
Classic gaslighting.

You should know that there are things you are not allowed say, no matter how polite you are.
Criticism will not be tolerated.

That explanation makes Masoud Barzani sound coherent.

Now we shall never talk of this again.

Posted by: ted01 | Jan 13 2020 23:24 utc | 76

@72 To be fair james the average US servicemen/women are probably pretty decent guys. They genuinely don't know why anyone would try to kill them. It never occurs to them that they are being manipulated.

Posted by: dh | Jan 13 2020 23:24 utc | 77

Assad Awarded Qassem Soleimani, the Highest Medal in Syria (Photo + Video)

5 hours ago News 809 visits

Assad awarded Qassem Soleimani, the highest honor in Syria (photo + video)

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad granted the highest honor in the Republic to the commander of the "Quds Force" Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated in an air strike carried out by the American forces, on January 3, 2020, in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

On Monday, Syrian Prime Minister, Imad Khamis, said that President al-Assad granted the commander of the “Quds Force” of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Qassem Soleimani, the highest honor in Syria.

He added, during his meeting with the first vice-president of the Iranian President, Ishaq Jahangiri, in Tehran, that "the award of the medal reveals the deep affection of Assad for Soleimani and his brothers in Iran," according to the agency "Tasnim".

RT video

Posted by: brian | Jan 13 2020 23:25 utc | 78

@ Josh 57

Minds are a changing.

Trudeau endorses Maple Leaf Foods CEO who flays the U.S on the Ukraine plane crash.

OTTAWA (Reuters) -Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday that the victims of the Ukrainian airliner shot down in Iran would still be alive if the recent escalation of tensions in the region had not happened, according to a transcript of an interview with Global News TV.

“I think if there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families,” Trudeau said in the interview.

Trudeau said Canada did not receive a heads up before the United States killed Soleimani, and that he “obviously” would have preferred one.

“The U.S. makes its determinations. We attempt to work as an international community on big issues. But sometimes countries take actions without informing their allies,” he said

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 13 2020 23:33 utc | 79

@76 dh.. i agree with you and i think the same applies to the average westerner, whether american, canuck or etc. etc.. people are manipulated without much awareness of it.. however, thinking something thru would be a good exercise for many, especially those cheering for the west in it's war on iran.. that is the part i have a hard time comprehending, absent the constant pr sell... thus the pr becomes a pivotal piece in the war movement.. they have to sell it to the public.. from reading the cbc comments on the maple leaf foods ceo, it is not apparent to me that the pr act is working fully here.. in fact, some people seem to be waking up to where this is all headed and don't like what it looks like..

Posted by: james | Jan 13 2020 23:36 utc | 80

@78 Poor Justin. He has to be so careful what he says. He doesn't want the Canadian economy to get trashed.

Posted by: dh | Jan 13 2020 23:38 utc | 81

@ 78 likklemore.. thanks for that.. the maple leaf ceo is getting a lot of airplay, but that bit from trudeau is a departure from his usual acceptance of the official agenda here. thanks..

Posted by: james | Jan 13 2020 23:38 utc | 82

@ blues | Jan 13 2020 22:51 utc | 71

"A very large crowd of the most knowledgeable experts in (real) economics are quite certain that the USSA is on the brink of total collapse. So the population is in dire need of distractions. ..."

This crowd of 'economists' and their like have been sprouting this scenario for decades. Why believe any of these characters? The whole basic premise of std economics is now dated and largely BS. Obviously, they have not updated on "modern monetary theory"?

There is no market economy in 'equilibrium' run on rational basis. That ideology's shell cracked with Nixon and completely broke with blow-job Willy Clinton when he had time not playing with the kids on Epstein's Express (and Island).

It is a political economy now. Hegemony first, second and third. Vassal states (plantations) and Colony-economic all the way with LBJ (& the Fed) etc. The only place 'normal' economics applies is at the margins for the working class -- like your credit card and the local hardware store.

However, your general sentiment is on the mark if you change the key phrase from "brink of total collapse" to " brink of major reset."

Posted by: imo | Jan 13 2020 23:49 utc | 83

It has already started...The Mahdi is coming! En marche!

Soleimani´s Curse....

Floods cause millionaire damage to Israeli fighter jets in their hangars

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 13 2020 23:50 utc | 84

Damage count...

‘Pence secretly visits Ain Al-Asad base, attacked by Iran’

He is probably in the hope that someone would retaliate by killing him so as to he becomes an American hero....but to no his insignificance...

The current state of affairs in the US and for extension in the resto fo the world is a byprosuct of at least three men in the WH who feel so littel that they think they need to produce so much noise to be noticed...

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 13 2020 23:59 utc | 85

CNN interview American troops who survived attack


Posted by: b4real | Jan 14 2020 0:07 utc | 86

Do you have anything to add or further speculation about those events? And thanks for all your efforts!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 13 2020 22:13 utc | 66

RT is now reporting on the reason for the assassination. Iran and KSA were about to settle differences. the empire was not too happy about that. these meeting may well be related to regional settlements among the regional countries.

Posted by: Rd | Jan 14 2020 0:16 utc | 87

@ karlof1 (18)

JFK did not order the Diem assassinaton. The "cables" that purport to show that were long ago revealed to have been forged by the infamous EH Hunt. Kennedy's Ambassador Lodge (a Republican) conspired with CIA station chief Lucien Conein and a small group of administation officials in Washington to remove Diem when JFK was away on a weekend. I believe Lodge was on his way back to US where JFK was going to fire him to his face over this when he was himself assassinated.

Posted by: Dennis | Jan 14 2020 0:17 utc | 88

Apparently one of the issues for Iraq is that its oil revenue gets directed to an account at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York, and access to that account would be the first order of any prospective retaliatory sanctions by the U.S., and it was likely that account that Trump referred to when warning of crippling sanctions if Iraq should attempt to remove US / NATO forces.

Posted by: jayc | Jan 14 2020 0:17 utc | 89

@85, remarkable video. Damage is more extensive than I expected. Grateful none of our troops was killed or physically injured (if that report is correct). However, those soldiers certainly experienced trauma and will likely endure long-lasting mental and emotional effects.

It all makes me angry that our President so cavalierly put our young men and women in harms way. They should be home with family.

Posted by: Carson | Jan 14 2020 0:30 utc | 90

@ james 81

Quite the turn. On Saturday Trudeau wanted "clarity" asked Iran " if it [the downing of the plane] was a mistake?"
I suspect Trudeau received a lot of emails from Quebec..Trudeau's party lost out to BQ; understand a majority of Quebecois are not enamoured or impressed by the brain dead D.C. leadership.

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 14 2020 0:30 utc | 91

I hope that Iran can get the protests under control peacefully. ISTM that the Iranian protesters and the Venezuelan protesters both appear to be upper class. I don't see peasants protesting; I see a privileged class that probably stand to gain in the event there is a regime change.

Posted by: Carson | Jan 14 2020 0:33 utc | 92

Soraya Sepahpour and Finian Cunningham has a very interesting take on this. Their hypothesis fits remarkably well, in regard to motive, means, and opportunity.

Posted by: Theophrastus | Jan 14 2020 0:35 utc | 93

Really @ 56:

You're not the only one looking for genuine heroes of high moral compass.

Iran Cleric: We Have No Good Revenge Targets, Only US Heroes Are SpongeBob and Spider-Man

The learned mullah laments:

"Are we supposed to take out Spider-Man and SpongeBob? ... All of their heroes are cartoon characters."

Posted by: Jen | Jan 14 2020 0:40 utc | 94

@89 Carson

Thanks but props go to Canthama, vid purloined from his twitter feed. Recommend bookmarking his twitter, Link to Canthama's twitter feed he is one of those extraordinary persons. No twitter account necessary.


Posted by: b4real | Jan 14 2020 0:41 utc | 95

Rd @86--

Do you have a link to that info? I found nada on RT or on its Twitter, nor is there anything at Sputnik.

Dennis @87--

Outlaw US Empire assassination policy isn't 100% governed by POTUS as you show.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 14 2020 0:48 utc | 96

@90 likklemore... i think its true what you say about quebec.. ask lozion, lol! either way i commend him for putting some space in our position from the usas!

Posted by: james | Jan 14 2020 0:49 utc | 97

Not all are cartoon characters. Would be well worth Iran taking a look at who receives medals and awards in the US. Captain of a certain ship comes to mind. But forget the heroes. Pompeo would make a good 'eye for an eye'. Secretary of state and a nasty one at that. His job is somewhat similar to Soleimani's.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 14 2020 1:01 utc | 98

If Trump is not reelected, I don't give much of his head. Thousands are ready to make him pay for his crimes. He and his advisors will remain the targets of revenge for years to come

Posted by: Virgile | Jan 14 2020 1:05 utc | 99

@ Karlof1 95

I read it as well, ready to make nice - linked in this article sourced to


Writer Kim Sengupta from The Independent explains this incredible twist in the story:

Iraq’s prime minister revealed that he was due to be meeting the Iranian commander to discuss moves being made to ease the confrontation between Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia – the crux of so much of strife in the Middle East and beyond.

Adil Abdul-Mahdi was quite clear: “I was supposed to meet him in the morning the day he was killed, he came to deliver a message from Iran in response to the message we had delivered from the Saudis to Iran.”

The prime minister also disclosed that Donald Trump had called him to ask him to mediate following the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad. According to Iraqi officials contact was made with a number of militias as well as figures in Tehran. The siege of the embassy was lifted and the US president personally thanked Abdul-Mahdi for his help.

There was nothing to suggest to the Iraqis that it was unsafe for Soleimani to travel to Baghdad – quite the contrary. This suggests that Trump helped lure the Iranian commander to a place where he could be killed.

Posted by: Liklemore | Jan 14 2020 1:40 utc | 100

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