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January 05, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-01

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis during a battle against ISIS

bigger

Mohammad Ali Shabani @mashabani - 16:33 UTC · Jan 4, 2020
If you don't think this is a literal dream of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis come true, you have no idea about #Iran, #Iraq or the ties that bind them.
Sam @sonofnariman - 16:31 UTC · Jan 4, 2020
Mourners in Karbala welcome the bodies of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qassem Suleimani this evening
---
Zahra Shafei 🇮🇷 @shafei_d - 16:09 UTC · Jan 4, 2020
Martyr Soleimani’s handwritten will: “My wife, I have chosen my burial place in the cemetery of the Martyrs of Kerman, Mahmoud knows it. I want my gravestone to be simple. Just write ‘Soldier Qassem Soleimani’ no more titles and phrases.”
---

Aerial videos (1, 2) of a gianormous crowd in Ahvaz, Iran, as the bodies of Soleimani and his comrades arrive. Ahvaz has a strong Sunni and Arab population which is not always supportive of the Islamic Republic. Soleimani's funeral will probably be the biggest the world has ever seen. Live TV of the mourning can be seen here.

---
Other issues:

Some dimwit of journalist at NPR let this 'U.S. officials' lie pass without any attempt to correct it:

Trump's Push For Lofty Nuclear Treaty Sparks Worry Over Current Deal
...
While it has far fewer nuclear weapons, China has been doing more testing than the rest of the world combined, U.S. officials have said.

For the record: Nuclear tests by country: U.S. 1032, USSR 727, UK 88, France 217, China 47.

Walrus is a volunteer firefighter in Australia. He writes:

The cause of these fires? Australian drought and the highly inflammable nature of the Eucalyptus tree - coupled with the forest management fantasies of inner city liberals who won't allow anything like the levels of fire reduction burning as practiced by our Aborigines for thousands of years. The greenies can't handle simple logic; Eucalyptus forests shed fuel all the time. You can have little "cool' fires every five years to clean up the fuel or a big fire every few decades, but you eventually will get a fire. You do the maths.

While I recently visited my rural home region I heard similar language about 'inner city liberals' who had voted for re-introducing wolves in that and other areas. Two local sheep breeders I know have since given up their hobby because the wolves, despite high fences, killed most of their sheep. Local hunters lament that all other game is now gone. My brother's children are told not to go into the woods in which I explored and played in throughout my own childhood. Dogs now have to be leashed during walks.

Our hundreds of years old family crest includes a wolf's hook, a strong piece of metal used to trap wolves. Wolves have no natural enemies. They kill even when they are not hungry. They leave the cadavers behind to rot without taking even one bite. There were sound reasons for my forbears to extinguished them. 'Green' city dwellers seem unable to understand that those reasons still exist.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on January 5, 2020 at 17:29 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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so the Iraqi Parliament just voted to evict the American troops from their country. It's already a win for Iran!

Posted by: Mischi | Jan 5 2020 17:32 utc | 1

@b: Könnte es nicht sein, dass auf Kosten des Lebens von Soleimani, Trump jetzt die Chance jetzt hat, die Truppen aus Iraq abzuziehen, so wie er es im Wahlkampf versprochen hat? Seine Ansage, 52 Ziele zu bombardieren, könnte doch auch nur dazu gedient haben, um die Abstimmung im irakischen Parlament zu forcieren, damit dafür gestimmt wird?

Posted by: plumps | Jan 5 2020 17:56 utc | 2

Man, what an emotional photo..

Great job b past days on the subject and visitors here,remember to spread the knowledge outside this site. Counter the warpropaganda that goes on on Twitter/Facebook.

Anyone know more about this:
"Cprus police arrest three in Israeli-owned ‘spy van’ investigation"
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/20/cyprus-police-arrest-three-in-israeli-owned-spy-van-investigation

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 5 2020 17:59 utc | 3

I am begining to wonder if Trump is an Iranian agent!!!!
Never push a drunk, he will fall on his own.
The question is: How many americans are going to fall with him?????
Very sad.

Posted by: Kurious | Jan 5 2020 18:07 utc | 4

@plumps (2)

Does it matter? Trump should not be allowed to secure his re-election by killing Iranian State Officials -- let alone in the way now becoming clear.
Iran has no business figuring out his ulterior motives behind this. The deed stands without it.
Also, it would tacitly assume Trump's re-election is in the interest of Iran.

Posted by: bjd | Jan 5 2020 18:11 utc | 5

Thank you Bernhard for your web site, all your efforts to speak truth to power in our world and the hosting of a civil forum for textual white noise sharing of barflies.

Peace to all!

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 5 2020 18:11 utc | 6

@ plumps 2

Es gibt zwei Berufe, für die ich nicht Entschuldigungen formulieren würde - Anwalt und Politiker. Trump ist ein Kriegsverbrecher, genauso wie seine Vorgänger.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Jan 5 2020 18:12 utc | 7

The cause of these fires? Australian drought and the highly inflammable nature of the Eucalyptus tree - coupled with the forest management fantasies of inner city liberals who won't allow anything like the levels of fire reduction burning as practiced by our Aborigines for thousands of years. The greenies can't handle simple logic; Eucalyptus forests shed fuel all the time. You can have little "cool' fires every five years to clean up the fuel or a big fire every few decades, but you eventually will get a fire. You do the maths.

Yes, but these "inner city liberals" have existed in Australia for decades. The key here is "Australian drought": climate change results in more extreme weather; these semi-arid ecosystems are very sensibly regulated: a few points up or down in humidity levels can either fuel up or completely eliminate the seasonal natural fires. Australia is getting drier too fast.

Accelerated drying up, combined with this new age ecophilic culture in the First World countries, had a literally explosive result in Australia.

Sure, you can still blame those "inner city liberals" because they are still part of this explosive mix, but two wrongs don't make a right: rising global temperatures are also helping the natural fires in the island-continent to reach epic proportions.

But this finger-pointing between two wrong sides in a politically polarized landscape is natural in a class-based, historically specific society. It is a classic symptom of the imbecilization process I've been describing here in this blog for some time now. Another classic symptom you'll see very often from now on is the rise of apocalyptic narratives and mood - which we've already been observing in the likes of Greta Thunberg et al, and which will only flourish for the forseeable future.

Posted by: vk | Jan 5 2020 18:16 utc | 8

@bjd: I am with you. The Killing of Soleimani was a No Go.

Posted by: plumps | Jan 5 2020 18:20 utc | 9

“Trump Threatened 52 Iranian Locations, Including Cultural Sites”

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a30402232/trump-iran-threat-52-sites-twitter/

It wasn’t just by happenstance that led Trump to come up with the number “52” to describe the number of “Iranian locations, including cultural sites” he plans to take out. As I recall, Bush also came up with the number “52” to describe something he too planned to take out. By using a deck of playing cards, he described the “52” most-wanted Iraqis he planned to take out. So far, only 6 of them, 6 of 52 playing cards, are left standing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Most-wanted_Iraqi_playing_cards

The Orange One maybe a dealmaker, b, but he is definitely a card player, and an awful one at that! Perhaps even more awful than The Shrub ever was. Hopefully, though, his poor poker playing skills will put him on losing side of the game, taking all of his Ziocon friends and masters along with him!

Posted by: Cynthia | Jan 5 2020 18:24 utc | 10

Cynthia

No no no, it was relating to "52" hostages.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_hostage_crisis

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 5 2020 18:31 utc | 11

"The strike was a reckless move by Trump — no one is remotely prepared for this kind of escalation with Iran. Fat Orange has unilaterally taken action that will result in war, almost certainly to distract from being impeached. Now Cadet Bone Spurs will anoint himself a "wartime president™." How long before he wears a field marshal's uniform?"

Having a sociopathic greed head as a "leader" is troublesome---

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Jan 5 2020 18:31 utc | 12

@Nathan Mulcahy: Natürlich sind es alle Kriegsverbrecher. Sonst würden sie gar nicht im dieser Position sein. Das Ziel des (tiefen) Staates und seiner Representanten ist es, mit allen Mitteln die Ziele zu erreichen.

Posted by: plumps | Jan 5 2020 18:31 utc | 13

Not sure why so many are missing the obvious. The over riding strategic imperative for the U.S. is keeping it's dollar hegemony operational.

EVERY foreign policy decision is driven by that imperative.

Posted by: pohzzer | Jan 5 2020 18:32 utc | 14

Soldier Qassem Soleimani...Rest in Peace.

*****************************************************************
To think that this Warrior of the Resistance, veteran and survivor of a terrible war, who will live on as a Legend for millions of resisters, and whose leadership would have brought Iran to great heights in the future, was murdered in the basest most cowardly way by that yellow-belly piece of scum, Trump, just turns my stomach to pure bile! Hell awaits.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 5 2020 18:37 utc | 15

"Who is going to rushing to enlist to fight a war for Iranian oil? Hard to imagine even a generation of red state deplorables tearing themselves away from game consoles and meth pipes to do that."

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Jan 5 2020 18:40 utc | 16

thanks b.... coyotes in vancouver sound similar to wolves in germany.. they need to be culled.. thanks for your posts this week on everything... great site.. thank you...

@ bjd.. i agree... i like your posts..

Posted by: james | Jan 5 2020 18:43 utc | 17

@vk #8
The problem with the climate change meme is that Australia has had more rain in the past generation than the previous.
Yes, there’s a drought now but it isn’t unusual.
This makes it much more likely that it is exactly what the firefighter wrote: poor fuel management/controlled burn practices than anything else.
That, and people building in high risk areas because they think fires aren’t a risk any more.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 5 2020 18:52 utc | 18

@2 / plumps: Ich bin zwar nicht Bernhard, aber dieses ganze Gerede von Trump als 4D-Chess Spieler ist doch mittlerweile einfach nur lächerlich.
Trumps einzige Aussenpolitische Konstante ist sein Hass und Feindbild Iran. Dem und den Ratschlägen aus Tel Aviv ist er immer gefolgt, und so auch hier.
Damit er diesen Ausgang von langer Hand geplant hat, müsste er ein echtes Verstädnis haben von Geopolitik und vom Nahen Osten, und eben das hat er nicht einmal ansatzweise.
Selbst die besten Analysten haben nicht mal gestern sicher gewusst, ob das Parlament im Iraq so entscheided.
Trump hat keine Werte oder Überzeugungen die seine Politik wirklich bestimmen und tragen; Er will vor allem nicht mehr Geld im Ausland ausgeben.. Das war auch die einzige politische Botschaft, die er in den Jahren vor seiner Wahlkampagne überhaut kommuniziert hat.
Aber selbst diese mininalen Überzeugungen sind für ihn relevent, wenn die Interessen seiner Radikal-Zionistischen Geldgeber ins Spiel kommen, und DIESE bestimmen seine Aussenpolitik.
Und für die brauchte Trump den Irak. Er wollte bei der Wahl den minimalen Abzug aus Syrien verkaufen, den Irak aber sicher NICHT verlieren, weil dies diametral den Interessen Israels entgegensteht.
Er kann sicher behaupten, dass er das alles so geplant hat. Aber das wird ihm ausser ein paar seiner Twitter-Trolle und Q-Anon Idioten kaum einer mehr glauben.
Im Gegenteil: Seine Zionistischen Hauptfinanzierer dürften gerade schäumen vor Wut, und die braucht er dringend in diesen entscheidenen Jahr 2020.
PS: Ich habe seit seiner Wahlkampagne vor 4 Jahren auch geglaubt, dass Trump seine Wahlversprechen wie weniger Empire wahr machen würde, und bin immer noch der Meinung, das Clinton schlimmer gewesen wäre.
Aber nach all den Jahren kann man doch wirklich nicht mehr an diese 4D-Chess Scheisse glauben.. Alles positive was Trump Aussenpolitisch erreicht hat in meinen Augen, waren Unfälle, die bei seiner Weltfremden Art, mit Aussenpolitik wie mit Real-Estate umzugehen als Abfallprodukte heraus gekommen sind.
Und über seine sonstigen Fehler kann man mittlerweile sich wohl kaum noch täuschen.
Trump ist mittlerweile enthüllt als ein Aussenpolitischer Elefant im Porzellanladen. Und das einzig Gute, was dabei herauskommt, dass dieser Elefant mit seinem fetten Arsch das Empire ungewollt in Stücke schlägt..
Grüße

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Jan 5 2020 18:52 utc | 19

As someone who lives in a rural region in Canada with wolves their not much of a problem they avoid people and even pets and mostly stay in the deep woods They actually do some good work clearing out feral dogs and coyotes Coyotes however are a plague they kill pets all the time break into chicken coops and will even attack small children

Posted by: Kadath | Jan 5 2020 18:55 utc | 20

Syrian Girl twitter says, claims, (not unreasonably)
" Epstein was exposed as a Mossad agent recently. --> Israel have #Trump blackmailed with footage of underage girls. --> They asked him to lure #Soleimani into #Iraq with promises of de-escalation, then assassinate him." She says.

E. Magnier says> "The information that #Iran Qassem Soleimani had an appointment with the PM in Baghdad and came to #Iraq to meet him the next day with established appointment, following a request of Trump for mediation, has been read to all MPs today by the #Iraq/i PM himself."

That's a classic mafia hit. Sucker the guy into the trap. You only get to do that once... After that it's you that's hunted...well that's the way the mafia works...the clown, all mobbed up and probably delusional, should a known he was a chump.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 5 2020 18:58 utc | 21

Common Dreams reports that the Iraq PM Abdul-Mahdi says Soleimani was in Baghdad to meet him to talk about ways to reduce tensions in the region. So much for that.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 5 2020 19:02 utc | 22

@Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Jan 5 2020 18:40 utc | 16

In fact, I read over there in Twitter that the US recruitment office web page had fallen due the huge number of requests by people wanting to know their status since the first sparks of thes confllict started, imagine now, along with people publishing memes on how they will free themselves from the call on shift...

It seemed that few were willing to fight the determined seaking martyrdom Shia...

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 5 2020 19:04 utc | 23

B, your absurd claims about wolves are hard to believe. This is the 'knowledge' of a hundred years ago. The wolf is no more a murderous beast than Soleimani was. And the shepherd who lost his entire flock because of wolves has yet to be born. Embarrassing.

The quoted Australian is certainly right about the racist arrogance, which led the white immigrants to do ecologically literally everything wrong that can only be done wrong - especially with regard to forest management. But he 'forgets' to mention the climate crisis which is responsible for making this year's fire season by far the worst Australia has ever experienced.

Posted by: Pnyx | Jan 5 2020 19:09 utc | 24

pohzzer | Jan 5 2020 18:32 utc | 14

Indeed! The dollar as the world's reserve currency is a fundamental assumption of US economics, and to support that is the reliance on the Petro-Dollar as the other part of that equation.

This is particularly damaging for any assistance from the US to ever act seriously regarding the Climate Crisis, as to do so requires the US to abandon the Petro-Dollar and with it its Reserve Currency privilege. Imo it's a perfect storm of destruction for everyone on the planet.

Posted by: Michael | Jan 5 2020 19:14 utc | 25

A look at how rich people create memes: How 2 billionaires changed the way climate change is reported, even by scientists
Seems like there plenty of money on the panic-mongering side as well...

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 5 2020 19:16 utc | 26

The verdict is in: Self driving kills both drivers and pedestrians. Tesla Autopilot has killed 3 people just last month

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 5 2020 19:17 utc | 27

@ Posted by: c1ue | Jan 5 2020 18:52 utc | 18

The problem with your argument is that Australia exists for millions of years - much time before even the Aborigen peoples first arrived. And its biosphere has, overall, expanded during that period.

Droughts are natural, but its intensity varies. Ecosystems which are dependent on seasonal fires to keep its equilibrium are very fragile: they need an exact level of humidity variation in an year in order to function properly. Too much or too little humidity is enough to disrupt it.

It is very possible that climate change caused a more polarized weather. This resulted both more rains and more intense droughts in Australia. When the extra rain came, it didn't make any difference because Australia's ecosystem is prepared for that. But when the drought came, it wasn't. In other ecosystems, it is possible that the excess rains would cause massive deluges, the extra-dried droughts not being such a difference - who knows.

Global warming doesn't immediately result in uniform, overall temperature rises around the globe. That is because the Earth has a massive water body (the oceans). If the Earth didn't have the oceans, then global warming would be a linear rise in temperatures.

Posted by: vk | Jan 5 2020 19:26 utc | 28

@ Cynthia 10

The number 52 refers to the hostages in Iran at the beginning of the revolution. Trump has always used that to rally his idiotic base and sell any lemon he can think of in that context. How dare they take “Americans” as hostages, is the attitude of this moron? And in his childish brain he wants revenge for what happened 40 hears ago.

When the Iranian students took them hostage, it was a tense and chaotic time and nobody knew who was in charge, including “the people in charge”. But they kept them, they housed them and fed them in a house arrest setting. Pretty much treated them as a guests, albeit unwanted guests. Youtube is full of videos of ordinary Iranians bringing them food and books and pleading with the guards to treat them well.

Unlike us, who we have a different take on hostages and “guests”. We send them to the Caribbean, give them orange jump suits, water board them, play loud heavy metal music 16 hours a day and keep them without food., without charge and without trial.

And in the end, these so called 52 hostages were used as a political pun by Jim Baker and his team for the election of Reagan and he made sure they were not released until Carter had been defeated and released on the day of inauguration. How convenient and coincidental.

Unfortunately, the sheep who comprise the bulk of the 30% Trump base, and perhaps many more on the democratic side, will always buy this lemon with their warped sense of patriotism.

Posted by: Alpi | Jan 5 2020 19:27 utc | 29

Did Trump just pull off a genius move?

He now has bulletproof cover to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq and Syria and did it by eliminating the most powerful and capable anti-US strategist in the ME.

If that pull out happens Iran will limit their retaliation to a single token target and take their win while not inviting a massive air strike.

Israel will not be happy.

Posted by: pohzzer | Jan 5 2020 19:34 utc | 30

@vk | Jan 5 2020 19:26 utc | 28

I agree. Another example of this are the massive wildfires in Western North America. Not only has drought and deluge via broken jet streams (wildly oscillating) contributed, but also overall milder winters, which have allowed the bark beetle to survive the winter and kill more trees. A native Oregonian pointed this out to me in 1978, while driving around Mt Hood. Currently there are 1.1 billion dead trees in California, fueling each longer and longer fire season.

Posted by: Miles | Jan 5 2020 19:45 utc | 31

I follow Bernhardt's journalism with great enjoyment. It is always excellent and informative. This thread, from another rural Australian, seems to me worth posting as it provides an alternative view to that of Walrus - and clarifies a few terms that have been used without much differentiation in the media. https://twitter.com/criprights/status/1213695525238661120

Posted by: Justin Glyn | Jan 5 2020 19:50 utc | 32

The US Reich I so much advanced you will arrive with Trump over this long year has just started...I fear...Apartheid measures and harsh censure for starters...no wonder Pat Lang has removed the comments section ( as spook someone in USGov have surely warned him...) Babak Makkinejad, whos used to praise the goodies of Franco´s dictatorship there soon may have the opportunity to taste the same delicacies...

Via Mark Sleboda Twitter..

Apartheid measures against Iranian-American citizens...

After killing Iran’s top anti-ISIS general, the paranoid xenophobic Trump administration is rounding up Iranian-American citizens entering the country. This is a blatantly racist act that harkens back to the days of Japanese concentration camps.

https://twitter.com/dancohen3000/status/1213893657654439936

Shut down of Morgan Artykhina´s Twitter account...This is the girls who were calling for the anti-war demonstrations organized by @codepink and @answercoalition...

https://twitter.com/LavenderNRed/status/1213888156258447361

Read past hours here a guy advicing here going preparing a reserve library and net files...

Comrades, good luck, and in case you may feel at danger, go underground asap..beware with mobile phones...

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 5 2020 19:54 utc | 33

Via Dan Cohen Twitter...

Thread on the Apartheid measures started already yesterday in the US/Canada border...

https://twitter.com/hodakatebi/status/1213883793435586560

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 5 2020 19:57 utc | 34

@pohzzer (30)

Your suggestion was posted here before, in German, in (2) and answered in (5).
I fear said suggestion, ludicrous and vile though it is, to start living a life of its own.

Posted by: bjd | Jan 5 2020 20:01 utc | 35

It is now 15 hours since Trumps last tweet.

Posted by: TJ | Jan 5 2020 20:02 utc | 36

I wonder whether the Us will go totally rogue and will go on to hold hostages its own double nationality citizens against Iran as Hail Mary....

IT has all the face that we still have not seen the lowest this admnistration is able to arrive...but, one couldeasily imagine when all the Charlotesville and other similar events were building...I saw it, clearly, if not by familiarity with what was lived here, but here all of you were praising the 12D chess of The Donald...

Prepare for that after the Iranian-Americans they will for sure go for another group, and then for another, only collaborationists and delators will remain...This should be the Nazi play book all the way..

BTW, where are the prolific regulars here?

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 5 2020 20:02 utc | 37

b, sorry to hear you are so anti-wolf.

Wolves do have a natural enemy -- other wolves. Even before hunting was allowed near the borders of Yellowstone park, the population of park wolves had stabilized because wolves turned on each other. I have a few wolves in my neighborhood but I still walk the woods, and ranchers still graze cattle. Ranchers -- nearly all of whom are millionaires -- are compensated for the occasional lost cow and not a single millionaire rancher has gone bankrupt due to wolves.

Regarding fires, perhaps Australia's ecology is different but here in the Western U.S. forest fires are natural and healthy, though the frequency and intensity is increasing due to climate change. All sorts of thinning and burning has been tried in alleged efforts to reduce mega-fires but there is no evidence that it makes an iota of difference. When the weather is hot, dry, and windy there will be mega-fires. When the weather is cool and moist there are zero megafires. It's the climate. I suspect the same applies to Oz.

Posted by: Dan Lynch | Jan 5 2020 20:16 utc | 38

This summary by sputniknews (RIA novosti) of the US in Iraq since about 2011 is very concise but decent and could be perfect for anyone in the US and elsewhere who doesn't know or understand the situation.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jan 5 2020 20:18 utc | 39

Impressive! Mate, it´s almost scary!

Soleimani arrvies in Holy City of Mashhad! To meet Imam Reza!

https://twitter.com/shokrinia/status/1213750672644038658

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 5 2020 20:20 utc | 40

Companions of fitigues in Syria from the Russian Army arrived at Iran Embassy in Moscow to pay respect..

https://twitter.com/RisboLensky/status/1213848126496358401

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 5 2020 20:24 utc | 41

The next reality on the ground might involve Israel whacking
Jordan
:

"Right-wing Israelis believe that annexing the Jordan Valley is a tactical operation aimed at hitting two Israeli birds with one stone: the first is to work to annex the West Bank and cancel the peace agreement with Jordan, and the second is to topple the Hashemite royal family and to embody the dream of Jordan being Palestine.

It is interesting that this dream is shared by all the Israeli right, with all its components and currents, because they are enthusiastic supporters of the idea that Jordan is Palestine. The ruling Israeli right has begun to detest King Abdullah II.

When King Abdullah is shamefully toppled, Israel will be able to complete its annexation of the West Bank and establish a confederation between the Palestinian Authority and “Palestinian Jordan”.

Posted by: evilempire | Jan 5 2020 20:24 utc | 42

I realize this is a contrary view but hear me out. So SA was working on a deal to end hostilities between US and Iran and the General was to meet with Iraq giving Iranian response to the SA proposal.
My thought is this SA effort was a Trump back channel (much like Giuliani in Ukraine) and the hit on the General was done by those in the govt who oppose Trump and are not going to give up on a war with Iran.
I don't think Trump had anything to do with the death of the General and he certainly wasn't aware of the attack on the five bases until after the fact.
What he is doing now is trying to save face and Pompeo will see to it that he can't.
All of these recent US moves are blindingly stupid and shortsighted, I don't see Trump's hand in any of them. Hate him you may but he is not stupid.

Posted by: frances | Jan 5 2020 20:29 utc | 43

@frances (43)

"... but he is not stupid."

I wonder though if you are.

Posted by: bjd | Jan 5 2020 20:36 utc | 44

@vk #28
What you say is true, however, the possibility of climate change having contributed to the recent fires is not the same thing as unquestionable attribution.
Also, what you wrote is purely speculative: that the ecosystem could handle more water but not more drought? The historical record does not show any trend of drought or flood, either short or long term, in Australia.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 5 2020 20:38 utc | 45

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

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

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

Posted by: TJ | Jan 5 2020 20:47 utc | 46

@Miles #31
The fires in California are very clearly a function of the recent rains plus very poor utility maintenance. The San Luis reservoir - which was scraping bottom for many years post 2000, is now very full. The Sierra ice pack today is 90% of normal for this time of year.
North America, overall, has been reforesting in the last century - after the adoption of fossil fuel for energy.
The bark beetle and other diseases/pests have contributed to specific species dying, but the overall volume of forest in the US is unquestionably higher today than it was in 1907 (the nadir of forestation in the US). Here's a graph showing the total estimated volume of trees in the US - doesn't support the idea that forests are dying at all Tree volume in US
As for the meme of milder winters - I certainly don't see that. Winters during the drought - there was almost no fog in SF along with little or no rain. Many newcomers bought houses in the Sunset district thinking the sunny days during the drought would be typical - mordor is back.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 5 2020 20:51 utc | 47

The US created Daesh terror group and killed the commander who defeated Daesh in #Iraq and #Syria. (Parts 1 and 2 )

https://twitter.com/PressTV/status/1213902578792239105

https://twitter.com/PressTV/status/1213903753675493376


Posted by: Sasha | Jan 5 2020 20:52 utc | 48

@TJ (46)

Clearly bluster meant to impress Iran, which they will see through.
If Trump wanted to inform Congress, he wouldn't need to have tweeted.
He's a chimpansee thumping his chest like a gorilla.

Posted by: bjd | Jan 5 2020 20:55 utc | 49

@49 bjd

The point still stands though it is Treason under the Constitution and it would be legal for some Designated Marksman to do his duty and protect the US from all enemies foreign or in this instance domestic.

Posted by: TJ | Jan 5 2020 21:01 utc | 50

Canada, second largest country on the planet with a human population of about 12? No problem with wolves, I would imagine. Suburban Germany with a population density twice that of China? Maybe large predators could be a problem there.


Germany Can Reach 2% Wilderness

"The German government and several environmental organisations are working on an ambitious goal for 2020. They aim to have Wilderness areas cover 2% of their land..."

Wolves in Germany? Maybe not a great idea until most of Europe's human population is moved into arcologies or something like that.


Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 5 2020 21:03 utc | 51

@43 frances

You have absolutely ZERO credibility and minus ZERO fact. The truth means squat to you! You are a tool; but really, have you no shame at all posting garbage like that??? Or do you suffer from an irreversible CULT fascination with Trump? Cause there's no other way to perceive what you just wrote there. Maybe you're a Zionist; that would really explain it!

To think that I who reveres the truth can no longer post now from my device and the likes of you gets away with this, this absolute rubbish is beyond me!

This is why I'll walk on shards of glass if necessary to defend the truth, precisely to stop people like you from mangling and obscuring it this way! No one is that much of a fool to fall for that tripe you just unloaded, especially with what were witnessing. Sorry dearie, but you can't call pitch black, white and get away with it. The gall!

Posted by: Circe | Jan 5 2020 21:06 utc | 52

frances @43

Christ on a bike!?!?!?

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 5 2020 21:22 utc | 53

TJ @46: ... should Iran strike any U.S. person or target ...

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

Expect an ISIS or Israeli false-flag attack on US facility or personnel very soon.

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

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

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 5 2020 21:28 utc | 54

I wonder if the 'red line' escalation was planned or if USA Deep State was surprised by the reaction to the killing of Soleimani and have accelerated their plans before things go haywire.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 5 2020 21:32 utc | 55

@TJ (50)

On that point I lack expertise. Is it releated to this: Legislation Blocking Funding for War With Iran?

Posted by: bjd | Jan 5 2020 21:32 utc | 56

@TJ (50)

On that point I lack expertise. Is it releated to this: Legislation Blocking Funding for War With Iran?

Posted by: bjd | Jan 5 2020 21:35 utc | 57

Truly tiresome when a view that differs is met with personal attacks. Grow up.

Posted by: frances | Jan 5 2020 21:38 utc | 58

no need to try to shit on frances.. he is a poster who has been around here for a long time and offers his insights freely in a detached manner.. i wish more folks would approach moa this way...

regarding the wolf - coyote conversation.. thanks @ 51 wg for stating that... context is everything.. i have really enjoyed reading all of peter wohlleben books.. he lives in germany and writes on nature, trees, animals and etc. etc... he's a forester.. if you are unfamiliar with his work, you would enjoy reading his work.. latest book is called 'the secret wisdom of nature'..the other 2 were the hidden life of trees and the inner life of animals.. he is a very thoughtful and insightful writer..

Posted by: james | Jan 5 2020 21:40 utc | 59

@frances (58)

That your view "differs" is an understatement.

Read your post, full of supposition, which to a large extent is based and founded on you being possible to look into Trump's mind & heart.

Small wonder people question the sanity of the poster.
The "grow up" game is lame.

Posted by: bjd | Jan 5 2020 21:46 utc | 60

pohzzer | Jan 5 2020 19:34 utc | 30 Did Trump just pull off a genius move?

Genius? Who are you kidding. Trump has never had an original thought. His mind occupies an area somewhere between the curb and the road.

What Trump has done is add to Pompus ass “We lie. We cheat. We steal. LOL” with We murder too. All the world knows it and knows the American people are scum. 20 years three presidents have lied, cheated, stole, murdered and gone to illegal war. Americans are soulless, morally debased people trapped in a nightmare they are not smart enough to get better leaders and live in shit stained cities on the hill.

Look at the photo B supplies of millions of supporters of Soleimani and the photo of him in the truck. Never has the American people had such emotions for any of their leaders.

Go to any federal building today for any purpose in American and find it the same as boarding a plane. Off with the shoes belts and empty pockets go through the X-ray machine. Why such a program on your own people who wish to visit the social security office or other government agency. It is in fact not unlike the plantation owners who feared the slaves revolt.

Posted by: diveshopingoa | Jan 5 2020 21:49 utc | 61

I've only read of one child who was ever threatened by a wolf, and that was Little Red Riding Hood. I think your brother's children are safe to play in the woods as you once did.

If you're worried about attacks on sheep, dogs are a far bigger danger. Those innocent-looking Labradors are amongst the worst.

Posted by: Brendan | Jan 5 2020 21:49 utc | 62

@56 bjd

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articleiii

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.

Posted by: TJ | Jan 5 2020 21:52 utc | 63

Thanks James, much appreciated.

Posted by: frances | Jan 5 2020 21:57 utc | 64

I raised a wold-dog pup and re-homed her to a place where there were two wolves, quite old, and we all met and chatted on the floor. Let me tell you, wolves are wolf-people. Not civilized, but essentially people, and smart. It was a real treat. Wolfie was bigger than I am.

But they are not dogs. Way not dogs. And I think in the forest a child, a small child, might be at rick, particularly if the pack elders have died, been shot, so that the young grow hungry since their education stopped.

Being social creatures, naturally they hunt the other tribes, and tey have a taste for coyote puppies. Muuummmm.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 5 2020 22:06 utc | 65

There have been a lot of posts about the killing of Qassim Soleimani on MoA over the last couple of days. Occasionally, a big swinging dick of a poster writes that America is just gearing up to nuke the ragheads in Iran and will do if the ragheads even think of dissing the great mighty loveable righteous America.

These people are possibly unaware of how close the northern border of Iran is to the southern border of Russia. I invite them to look at a map, assuming they can read one. It has been written, I don’t know on whose authority, that Russia would regard a nuclear attack on Iran in the same way as it would an attack on its own territory. I imagine this is true, given how close Russia is to Iran.

I am sure Russia has quietly and repeatedly warned the swivel-eyed eyed idiots in Washington of the consequences to them of nuking Iran. I have no doubt that the Kremlin recognises that Russia would HAVE to react if Washington were mad enough to do so. For obvious reasons, they would have no choice.

So I would recommend the above mentioned posters, if they really believe what they have written, to move to a remote part of North America, just in case they are right.

Posted by: Montreal | Jan 5 2020 22:12 utc | 66

Jesus, b, Walrus is a dickhead. (And you might have done some research here, as a journalist. I mean, come on!)

Posted by: witters | Jan 5 2020 22:26 utc | 67

William Gruff @ 51

"The German government and several environmental organizations are working on an ambitious goal for 2020. They aim to have Wilderness areas cover 2% of their land..."

In the early '90's some German officials visited an Internationally recognized park service that has land scattered throughout the SF
Bay Area. All the parkland is intermingled with houses and it stretches throughout a multi county area and it is almost all contiguous.

The Germans were amazed at the amount of wildlife running around in the daytime. They asked, "when do you put all these animals back in their cages".

The Parliament in Iraq voted on a Resolution not a law so its pretty meaningless at this point. Even if they did ban US/NATO forces they would simple move into Kurdistan and continue operations with an even greater reckless abandon.

It looks like we have moved into an eye for eye tooth for tooth phase. With every strike at the US bases the US is going to instantly strike back. This will go one until the Shiites side winds down through sheer fatigue. A few more bags of loot will be passed around to keep the elders on the right path and contain their more aggressive followers.

Until they come up with some way to neutralize our aviation advantage this will go on for many decades no matter who is in office. I am sure that will suit the policy makers just fine.

Posted by: dltravers | Jan 5 2020 22:26 utc | 68

@c1ue | Jan 5 2020 20:51 utc | 47

I stand corrected..sort of.

I did some digging and have to correct myself. The number of standing dead trees in California and Colorado is approximately 1 billion. In 2117 the USFS estimated from surveys that there are approximately 6.3 billion dead trees in 11 Western States, up in 5 years from 5.8 billion.

"About 17 percent of all standing trees in 11 Western states are dead, roughly double the proportion in the 1990s ? but that was a time of above-normal precipitation."

"Since 2000, two dozen species of beetles have killed trees on nearly 85,000 square miles (220,000 square kilometers) in the Western U.S. That's an area about the size of Utah. Beetles have killed nearly 80,000 square miles (206,000 square kilometers) of forest in Western Canada.

The outbreak stems from a combination of factors, including crowded, aging forests, drought-stressed trees and warmer temperatures that allow the pests to survive the winters, researchers say."

https://phys.org/news/2017-09-billions-dead-trees-crews-shift.html


... "aerial surveys conducted by the U.S. Forest Service estimated that over 147 million trees have died in California since 2010.

2019 map predictions of bark beetle infestation can also be seen on that link.

"The forecast is based on history of drought (amount of precipitation) and bark beetle attacks in each 2.5’ (6.5 square mile) grid cell from 1993 to 2018 for California and 1966 to 2018 for Oregon and Washington. Cells with similar histories of bark beetle activity and precipitation were then grouped together into ten risk (color) groups. These risk groups (R) forecast a range of the likely number of trees expected to die from bark beetles by the end of summer 2019."

https://usfs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=7b78c5c7a67748808ce298efefceaa46

As of 2017 there were 834 million standing dead trees in Colorado alone.

"Highlights from this year’s report include:

- Colorado’s decades-long mountain pine beetle epidemic resulted in almost 3.4 million acres with some degree of tree mortality; an ongoing spruce beetle epidemic has thus far resulted in 1.7 million impacted acres.

- Approximately 80 percent of the state’s population relies on forested watersheds for municipal water supplies.

- Risks ranging from severe wildfires and insect infestations to long-term droughts are likely to be amplified in the future, as climate model projections predict statewide warming between 2.5 F and 6.5 F by 2050."


https://csfs.colostate.edu/2017/02/15/800-million-standing-dead-trees-colorado/

Posted by: Miles | Jan 5 2020 22:26 utc | 69

@ frances | Jan 5 2020 20:29 utc | 43

Sorry you attracted flak from the über-righteous spittle-flecked ranters, frances, but they're on a groupthink high since they reflexively seek triumphant vindication that they were absolutely right from the beginning about the Abominable Usurper Trump, and are ecstatic at the possibility that a long-anticipated politically-lethal "bombshell" has arrived in the form of Trump being hoist on his own petard.

That said, I too disagree with your argument, at least insofar as believing that if Trump were effectively duped or steamrollered, and presented with an unanticipated and undesirable fait accompli, the response of "saving face" as you envision is stupid.

If you're right, Trump only rushed to the head of the warmonger procession with his signature inane and offensive belligerent bumptiousness and bluster because of the machinations of treacherous subordinates and opponents. If so, his "face-saving" amounts to both appeasing and empowering such internecine opponents; they can now proceed to override other Trump policies and wishes, such as they are, in the serene knowledge that Trump will feel compelled to go along.

That's going out on a limb that will grow faster than Trump can trim, or withdraw from. If Trump was utterly blindsided in the first place, and responds in a way that tells his opponents that they've got him right where they want him-- how is that not stupid?

Put slightly differently, it is arguably stupid to save face at the expense of bending over and exposing one's unprotected posterior.

Posted by: Ort | Jan 5 2020 22:29 utc | 70

@ Miles | January 05, 2020 at 22:26

One conclusion: When you add dead standing Spruce into an alread dry forest you will increase the probability of more intense wildfires.

Posted by: Miles | Jan 5 2020 22:31 utc | 71

Even though green parties are uniformly liberal bullshit and the whole green NGO movement is effectively a bunch of liberal b/millionaires and sometimes MI6 utilising naive hippies, youngsters and middle class liberals, this whole meme in so called "realist" circles like here that climate change is not apocalyptic is fundamentally wrong.
In fact, it will be worse: unlike the green liberal movement's crying about how we need a "green new deal" (read: "green" corporate capitalism) or else the world will end, the hard truth is that the world won't end: it will continue, but everything will get worse. In fact, even their proposals are wholly insufficient and too little, too late.

Desertification will increase. Sea levels will rise. Extreme weather conditions will get more and more frequent. Food prices will increase enormously. The (very recent!) ability to purchase many different kinds of fruit and vegetables will become a luxury reserved only for the rich and upper middle class. Massive migratory waves will cause unheard of social unrest all over the world. Neither walls nor frontex will stop them. Even if they do, all current modern appliances and the entire modern economy depend on materials extracted from exactly those places where climate change will hit hardest and social strife will be worst. Expect many wars in Africa and Latin America, and don't expect the Euro-American ability to remain essentially untouched by their foreign adventures to last: long distance rockets and drones are becoming ever cheaper and ever easier to acquire.

The world is changing, and politics is divided between those who don't want to acknowledge it and those who want to fight against the tide. Nobody is actually preparing for what is to come, let alone act to stop it. Our globalised system of production and enormously wasteful use of energy is the problem and nobody has to courage to say that we need to end it, not even the environmentalists, not really, because this implies too radical a change. And yet it will change, no matter what people want.

Even if our generation might still get away with our current lifestyle, energy used is transformed, but a part is always lost forever. Oil burned will never return. The world is finite, but we pretend it isn't. You would do well to listen a bit more attentively to more radical environmentalist voices, even though they might not be your kind of people. Local production, local generation of energy, more rational and energy-efficient use of that energy will become necessary in the future.

Posted by: A Stranger | Jan 5 2020 22:37 utc | 72

@b
With all due respect to your otherwise excellent observations, the 'inner-city liberals' schtick is a canard. I have lived in far western Sydney for 30 years (and have posted recently in this forum over the past few days about the fires here). Inner-city liberals may be clueless in other respects but they can't be blamed for this as they have zero involvement in the decision-making. What we are seeing here is a much longer-term causation and a widespread blindness to a land mismanagement that has been happening for 200 years. It is the height of hypocrisy to align that mismanagement with the practices of the indigenous population. Hazard reduction is the reduction of hazard to private property, farmland, power stations, local businesses and mines. None of these existed before white settlement; indigenous practice had other symbolic and material ends, irreducible to this dumb western rationalization. If we want to understand why this country can no longer resist bushfires we have to look to a total lack of rainfall, catastrophic drought, unprecedented early fire seasons—all brought about by the extraordinary vandalism wreaked on this continent by two centuries of European colonial looting which has imposed land degradation, monocultures (cotton), irresponsible open-cut mining, terrible erosion, rising salt levels, massive river systems running dry. To implicate the practices of an indigenous population we have deracinated, murdered and oppress daily is the cruellest insult. Australia is a dry country prone to fire, drought and flood. The indigenous people were part of the immune system that once allowed it to regenerate after each event. European settlement is the cancer that has destroyed that immune system.

Posted by: Patroklos | Jan 5 2020 22:39 utc | 73

Posted by: Alpi | Jan 5 2020 22:50 utc | 74

What can Iran do??

Killing US soldiers invites a bombing campaign, and furthur escalation.

Hitting Saudia Arabia, who set up Soleimani as he carried a response to a supposed peace initiative, God rest his soul, would be appropriate but would not hurt the US, would spike oil prices,( which actually help the US economy), hurt the Europeans and bring the EU in on the US side.

THE SOLUTION, sanction the use of the US dollar in oil trade, and impose a contract inspection on ships transiting Iranian waters - Hormuz.

In so doing, they have not blocked the straights, but are hitting the petrodollar. The EU gets its oil, the US takes the hit, Iranian sovereignty is affirmed and extended, the Saudis are humiliated, the gulf must comply ( Oman, Emirates, and Iraq would readily agree to EU pricing

Hit the US where by their values, it hurts. In the $.

Posted by: Les7 | Jan 5 2020 23:02 utc | 75

Did anyone hear anything from the United nations in regard to the barberic killings of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis?
Is the UN still in business?
Perhaps António Guterres is in Portugal eating bacalao.

Posted by: Kurious | Jan 5 2020 23:02 utc | 76

Did anyone hear anything from the United nations in regard to the barberic killings of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis?
Is the UN still in business?
Perhaps António Guterres is in Portugal eating bacalao.

Posted by: Kurious | Jan 5 2020 23:02 utc | 77

Such a strategy may not feel like revenge for the Iranians, but to a strategic thinking and acting man like Soleimani, it is a fitting final blow

Posted by: Les7 | Jan 5 2020 23:08 utc | 78

@ Posted by: c1ue | Jan 5 2020 20:38 utc | 45

If an ecosystem has a problem with fires but not with floods, then it is expected that it will "suffer" more with a lowering humidity levels than with raising humitidy levels (at least on the surface, to the human eye, since we're talking about natural calamities here).

Drier air favors fires in every way (starting them, spreading them, making them more intense). This is just plain physics.

Now, of course, once human civilization becomes a reality in the ecosystem, it would be smart to make some other artificial measures capable of compensating for the disturbance previously generated (such as what the aboriginals did). It doesn't change the fact that more extreme weather will generate both more floods (more rain) and more fires (drier droughts) - this is pretty much self-evident (e.g. you know that it is easier to start a fire with drier firewood than with wet firewood).

Posted by: vk | Jan 5 2020 23:10 utc | 79

Over the last few years I've started to suspect that the US MIC / Neoliberal economic order is secretly bankrolling the climate change panic as a way to undermine the Anti-war movement in the Western world. There's only so many hours in a day, so taking the most energized people and whipping them into a frenzy over the environment means that there will be less energy available for an successful, popular anti-war movement. I'm old enough to remember the anti-nuke movement in Germany and France that was a constant headache for Regan back in the 80s. Nowadays the only protests we hear reported about in Europe are the Climate emergency protests (the Yellow vest protests are entering the 50th week, but we still don't hear anything about them). interestingly, the solutions for the climate crisis, all boil down to increasing taxes, more regulations and government centralization all the usual neo-liberal economic talking points, whereas the Anti-war movements in the 80s called for reduced government spending (cuts to the military) and more sovereign independence among allies (i.e. states pursuing their own national interests, not moving in lockstep) .

Posted by: Kadath | Jan 5 2020 23:15 utc | 80

Sheep are just sheep. And hobbyists are just hobbyists. If anyone was that worried about animals that killed sheep even when not hungry, they'd also have to wipe out pet dogs. And other apex predators that kill when they don't need to.

Posted by: tspoon | Jan 5 2020 23:23 utc | 81

Interesting read and now we know how Amerika knew were he was at.

https://www.fort-russ.com/2020/01/major-soleimani-had-diplomatic-immunity-making-his-assassination-a-far-graver-crime/

Posted by: jo6pac | Jan 5 2020 23:40 utc | 82

About wolves: when ecosystems are altered, people may experience adverse consequences. For example, human hunters eliminated carnivorous competition, more game, good. But as newest generations are less inclined to hunt, the numbers of deer, wild boars etc. rises, and vehicle collisions and even attacks on humans (boars did it in Germany) rise, plus damage to crops, backyard gardens etc. In that situation, a controlled population of wolves (rules for the hunting season) can help.

One cannot generalize about carnivores being harmless or not, they are relatively intelligent, learn from experience (unlike groundhogs or neocons), and they will pray on domestic animals or even humans if they can get away with it. Where I live, there are no wolves but there are black bears that have a hunting season so are cautious about humans. But they are not particularly afraid! One behavior I observed few times is that the encountered bear runs away, but quickly stops and looks back from behind a bush or a tree. Still, a hiker or a bicyclist feels a relief.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 5 2020 23:50 utc | 83

I should think that one factor contributing to the frequency and severity of bushfires in Australia, and especially in the state of Victoria, is the privatisation of the electricity network to raise monies that make State government budgets look good in the short term but in the long term leads to poor maintenance of power stations and power lines in urban and rural areas alike.

Electricity was privatised by the Liberal-National govt led by Jeff Kennett in Victoria in the 1980s or early 1990s and since then most parts of that state have suffered severe bushfires.

Poorly maintained power stations and lines will suffer more spikes in electricity generation and supply leading to situations where power lines running through fire-prone eucalyptus forests, when air is hot and dry as during prolonged drought, will spark and ignite leaves in the forest canopy.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 5 2020 23:53 utc | 84

Les7 @78

There will be an attack on the US and British Bases in Bahrain which will coincide with an uprising (Shi-ites are the majority in Bahrain). Soon after there will be a Shi-ite uprising in Saudi Arabia, the Houthis will take advantage to invade Saudi Arabia along the South-West mountains that lead all the way to Mecca (there will be a mass panic and retreat of Saudis).

Hezbollah will take advantage and move into Isreal, Hamas will breach the Gaza perimeter and Syria will take back the Golen Heights.

Multiple fronts and multiple actions.

The US will be unable to reinforce. Turkey will not allow the use of Incirlik. US will rely on Akrotiri on Cyprus. Akrotiri will be destroyed.

Russia and China will make clear they will not permit use of nuclear weapons.

The US/western financial system will collapse.

...and that is just the beginning!

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 5 2020 23:53 utc | 85

@ADKC 85

....only if. It would be grand.

In case anyone wondering if Europe has a spine or has found its long lost testicles:

https://sputniknews.com/europe/202001061077954796-merkel-macron-johnson-urge-iran-to-refrain-from-actions-violating-nuclear-deal/

Posted by: Alpi | Jan 6 2020 0:00 utc | 86

Over the last few years I've started to suspect that the US MIC / Neoliberal economic order is secretly bankrolling the climate change panic as a way to undermine the Anti-war movement in the Western world. There's only so many hours in a day, so taking the most energized people and whipping them into a frenzy ...
Posted by: Kadath | Jan 5 2020 23:15 utc | 80

I favor explanations that are more "natural" than meticulous secret plans. Contrary to frequent beliefs, billionaires are human too, and they have more opportunities to follow their personal inclinations. Thus phenomena like "bipartisan consensus" that catalogs issues on which there is a wide consensus (among billionaires), and the residual diversity of opinion. For example, just because you are rich and care only little about problems like unaffordable shelter or medical care does not mean that you are homophobic or not homophobic. So they bankroll left and right, not being particularly secret about it.

That said, I would not blithely dismiss "climate change panic". I am old enough to remember the cooler times of 60-ties and 70-ties. My biggest misgivings are aesthetic approach of typical greens. What is more of a threat: nuclear energy or global warming? What eliminates more carbon emissions for the same amount of money: hybrid cars or electric cars? The consensus seems to be that electric cars are cute and nuclear power stations are not.

",

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 6 2020 0:03 utc | 87

@ADKC |(85)

Listened to George Galloway, haven't we...? ;-)

Posted by: bjd | Jan 6 2020 0:03 utc | 88

@pohzzer #14

Indeed! However, your later speculation about Trump's motives for the attack would also work against keeping the dollar hegemony operational.

@jo6pac #82

The assassination was very much a crossing of the Rubicon. All evidence is pointing to the manner in which it was done having been deliberate. The only plausible reason is to signal raw strength and dominance - "We can and will do whatever we want and you will never be able to stop us." Jackboot stamping on a human face etc.

Posted by: Cynica | Jan 6 2020 0:05 utc | 89

reply to Ort 70
Thank you, what you say is feasible, it will take time to see how this plays out.

Posted by: frances | Jan 6 2020 0:08 utc | 90

@Piotr Berman #87

As a counterpoint, the "War on Drugs" in the US was set up as a stealth effort against civil-rights and anti-war activists. So what Kadath suspects does not seem far-fetched after all.

Posted by: Cynica | Jan 6 2020 0:10 utc | 91

Wolves as predators kill only what they need - killing for pleasure is counterproductive, it consumes energy that they then have to hunt for. Far more likely to be dogs, domesticated or feral. Most sheep farmers in the UK, where there are no wolves in the wild, suffer financially from domesticated and feral dogs attacking their sheep. I've seen dogs off the lead in fields where there are sheep and their owners become indignant when you point out the threat to the sheep. Domesticated dogs don't need to hunt so have energy to kill sheep without feeding on them.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 6 2020 0:11 utc | 92

Estimation for an all out military conflict between the US and Iran:

All US bases in the Middle East (2000km radius) will be leveled.
Remnants of US bases will be besieged in Afghanistan and Taliban will fully take over that country.
Big uprising against the US in Iraq.
The biggest US embassy in the world – in Iraq, will be captured, together with the US diplomats in it.
Shia Millitia Proxies will attack and capture/destroy many US embassies or objects in the region.
Lone wolf attacks by shias in many countries against local US interests.
US will target iranian oil and gas infrastructure.
Iran will target regional oil and gas infrastructure.
Persian Gulf will be heavily mined and blocked for some time.
Oil price will reach 150 – 200 $ leading to global economic crisis.
Israel will be attacked by Hizbulla and many israeli cities will be damaged. Israel will launch attacks on targets in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.
No european country will support such attack and this will lead to the EU marginalising NATO and replacing it with its own independent european military pact, moving away from the US.
Whole world will condemn the US and will start moving away from dependency on that country, as no one wants such a war in the Gulf.
50 000 americans (most in the middle east) killed and all of their objects in the Middle East destroyed.
US companies infrastructure in the Middle East and in Iraq destroyed.
China enters Taiwan.
Pro-russian forces stage take over half of Ukraine.

US economy enters recession.
Stock market collapse.
Global Recession
150 - 200 $ oil price


US is crippled by war debt. Large Money printing and inflation follows, after which the world moves away from the dollar.


The US way of fighting the war will be US long range attacks via bombers, carriers, ships and subs, who will not be very effective vs secretly russian supplied targeting data to Iran's anti-air defence. It will take a long time for Iran to be destroyed, and low yield nukes could be neccesery for hardened mountain objects. Meanwhile the global economy will enter recession until the war is over. There will be massive anti-US protests all over the world blaming it for the resulting global economic crisis and recession.

In the long run, the US will be able to destroy Iran by conventional means and low yield nukes targeting hard targets in the mountains, but the US itself will be crippled by debt and will lose its superpower status, and the dollar main reserve currency status. Probably the UN HQ as well. In other words, it will be the Suez Moment for the US.

Posted by: Passer by | Jan 6 2020 0:26 utc | 93

WOW!! Correct me if I'm wrong but it looks like the US strategy on Venezuela just crashed and burned.

https://sputniknews.com/latam/202001051077953636-venezuelas-self-proclaimed-president-guaido-removed-from-leadership-position---report/

Posted by: Eighthman | Jan 6 2020 0:46 utc | 94

They have started to harass Iranian-American citizens at the border crossings in Canada and similar reports from the airports, with detainment and questioning. Here is the CBP directive:

“ A source cited by The Daily Mail said that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a national order to the CBP to 'report' and detain anyone with Iranian heritage entering the US who is deemed potentially suspicious or acts 'adversarial', regardless of their citizenship status.” Which pretty much means anybody born in Iran on their passport.

Next internment camps. This is a fascist state by definition.

Posted by: Alpi | Jan 6 2020 0:53 utc | 95

@ 80 kadath.. i have thought that too... the whole thing seems rather put on and bizarre.. who benefits? funny enough one of the most harmful actions on the planet is making war.. one would think these people could figure that out too..

@ 94 eightman... that looks positive.. thanks!

Posted by: james | Jan 6 2020 0:54 utc | 96

@ alpi... the usa border has gotten more and more that way the past 20 years.. fascist is a good word for it..

Posted by: james | Jan 6 2020 0:56 utc | 97

All discussing the apprehension of Iranian-Americans at the US border:

I think it is just as likely that this is being used as a ruse to prepare national sentiment for the false flag that is to come. The only way the US/Israel destroy Iran without destroying Israel is massive coordinated attack using tactical nukes in Iran and along Hezbollah line in Lebanon. The only way to get US populace to accept this is via a direct attack on American civilians featuring hundreds if not thousands of fatalities--a 9/11 level event. So I think it would be very naive not to suppose that at least a few (((members))) of Trump's cabinet and the DOD and CIA/State Department have already thought this operation through. Detaining Iranians at the US border is necessary to spark fear in populace that "Iran is planning something" (and I wouldn't be surprised to see anonymous intel sources confirm the same on CNN in the coming days and weeks) so as to make the false flag plausible to as many of the sheeple ad possible.

Posted by: WJ | Jan 6 2020 0:56 utc | 98

Kurious@76

Guterres this year might just have skipped the bacalhau and gone straight to feijoada, he's been unable to release properly for days now, that would explain his being mute. Truth be told if it had been me under the circumstances I would be well advised to do so until I could conjure help from professionals.

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Jan 6 2020 1:02 utc | 99

bjd @88

I just assumed everybody listened to George Galloway's show! :)

George Galloway did a great analysis of the Iran situation. It is George's opinion about Bahrain, specifically about the vulnerability of the bases.

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 6 2020 1:03 utc | 100

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