Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 04, 2020

The Revenge For The Assassination Of Qassem Soleimani

The Trump administration is telling fairytales about its murder of Major General Qassem Soleimani. He was not planing any "imminent attacks" on the U.S. or its interests in Iraq. Reports which claim that while calling Katyusha rockets "sophisticated weapons" can obviously be ignored. In no way was Soleimani a legitimate target for a U.S. attack. No Orwellian State Department briefing can change that.

Fact is that Trump is following the plan of the Foundation of the Defense of Democracy (FDD) which was originally founded as EMET (Hebrew for "truth"), "to provide education to enhance Israel’s image in North America." Undercover video from Al Jazeerah caught the Israeli ex-intel official Sima Vakhnin-Gil in 2017 saying "We have FDD" when she was asked how Israel lobbies for its interests.

Dan Cohen @dancohen3000 - 5:23 UTC · Jan 4, 2020
FDD is an Israeli government front group. Trump mega donor Bernard “Iran is the devil” Marcus pays 1/3 of its budget. FDD advisor Richard Goldberg was appointed to National Security Council to push for attacking Iran. FDD continued to pay his salary.

FDD was tasked by Israel to instigate a U.S. war on Iran. Following FDD's plans Trump and his advisors are trying to provoke Iran to retaliate in a way that allows them to launch such a war.

There is a historic example of how Iran reacts to such U.S. provocations.

The U.S. attack:

Iran Air Flight 655 was a scheduled passenger flight from Tehran to Dubai via Bandar Abbas, that was shot down on 3 July 1988 by an SM-2MR surface-to-air missile fired from USS Vincennes, a guided missile cruiser of the United States Navy. The aircraft, an Airbus A300, was destroyed and all 290 people on board, including 66 children, were killed.

The Iranian retribution:

Pan Am Flight 103 was a regularly scheduled Pan Am transatlantic flight from Frankfurt to Detroit via London and New York. On 21 December 1988, N739PA, the aircraft operating the transatlantic leg of the route was destroyed by a bomb, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew in what became known as the Lockerbie bombing.

The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) claimed to be responsible for the bombing of the plane. It had used a Palestinian cutout in Lebanon to plant the bomb. But for political reasons the official investigation was manipulated and the blame for the Lockerbie bombing was put on Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi who had absolutely nothing to do with it.

The murder of the passengers and crew of Iran Air Flight 655 and the retribution for it were five and a half month apart. This gives us a hint of how long it might take for Iran to prepare the retribution for the U.S. assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani. There is also the political calender that has to be considered. If an Iranian revenge act is of a kind that could help Trump to get reelected it must wait until after the U.S. election. If the revenge act is of a kind that could hurt Trump's poll numbers it must come during the last few months of the campaign.

We will know that it has happened when this flag comes down:

video - bigger
SIFFAT ZAHRA @SiffatZahra - 10:52 UTC · Jan 4, 2020
First Time In The History, Red Flag Unfurled Over The Holy Dome Of Jamkarān Mosque, Qom Iran.
Red Flag: A Symbol Of Severe Battle To Come.
Barzan Sadiq @BarzanSadiq - 12:32 UTC · Jan 4, 2020
A red flag unfurled above the minarets of a Mosque in the #Qom. in Arabic were the words: "Those who want to avenge the blood of #Hussein." Red flags in Shiite tradition symbolize both blood spilled unjustly and serve as a call to avenge a person who is slain.
Sara_Haj 🇱🇧 @Sara_Haj - 12:45 UTC · Jan 4, 2020
It is a #Shia thing for those who understand our ideology & history, thus our commitment, patience & persistence!
The red flag was raised over Jamkaran mosque in #Qom yesterday & it won't be taken down until revenge is fulfilled. #Soleimani

Iran has to take revenge for the outrageous assassination of Soleimani to prevent future assassinations of a similar kind. The U.S. broke the rules when it killed an active commander of another country outside of a declared war. New rules must now be established to regain a balance.

Iran will likely prepare multiple venues and methods for retribution. It might execute only one or several of those. The targets will be of at least equal size and symbolic importance (slow loading but excellent) as Soleimani. The head of the CIA or Vice President Pence would probably be adequate targets. But they are likely too well protected to be accessible. The sinking of a large U.S. combat ship will also be considered. There are a number of other possibilities for sufficient 'surprises'.

The murder of Soleimani was not the only message Trump sent to Tehran:

Hala Jaber @HalaJaber- 21:13 UTC · Jan 3, 2020
.31/ #Trump’s letter to #Iran, delivered earlier today via the #Swiss embassy in #Tehran (the representative of #US interests in Iran) included a call for calm & non-escalation & offered incentives, a former Iranian diplomat told @AlMayadeenLive
.32/ #Tehran regarded #Trump’s requests as “childish behaviour.” An appropriate written response, to the American message, was sent back via the Swiss embassy.
.33/ #Tehran apparently refused to receive a second letter, also from #Trump & sent with an Arab mediator who arrived to Iran this morning, Musawi told @AlMayadeenLive
.34/ The former Iranian diplomat, Amir Musawi, also told @AlMayadeenLive that the ”surprises” will become apparent in “Iran’s deterrent reprisals.” “Americans should prepare for surprises, in response to the assassination of General #Soleimani & #AlMohandis.”

Trump himself offered up targets:

Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai - 14:33 UTC · Jan 4, 2020
#US asked #Iran, according to sources in #Tehran, to limit its response to the assassination of Brigadier General #QassemSoleimani to a "similar response".
This means when confirmed, @realDonaldTrump is offering to Iran the life of a US four-star general.

#US asked #Qatar to mediate w/ #Iran over the retaliation to the assassination of #QassemSoleimani. Deputy PM/ FM Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani met with his counterpart Javad Zarif and offered "nuclear deal" and lifting sanctions in exchange of no response.

For Donald Trump everything is just a deal. But it is obvious that Iran will reject all such offers. It can not ideologically justify abstaining from revenge for its most prominent martyr in exchange for some material benefit. Trump will not get this but for Iran it is simply unthinkable and impossible.

Iran's revenge act can not be done within U.S. borders. That would be interpreted as a direct attack and could be used as a pretext for war. Iran will also want to have some plausible deniability for whatever happens. It must therefore exclude incidents in the Persian Gulf or near its shore. East Asia would be the preferable venue. Like it did in the Lockerbie case Iran is likely to use cutouts to execute its plans.

Soleimani's main task was to build and support external groups that are able to resist their local enemies as well as able to act on behalf of Iran. He excelled in his job for over 20 years. Iran has now many friends who it can ask to execute whatever it decides should be done.

Soleimani was also a commander who could restrict the actions of the groups he supervised through his personal relations with them. That he is no longer able to do so increases the risk that some of those groups and fighters will take their own measures to exact revenge for his death. It could create problems if any such act is falsely attributed to Iran.

The U.S. did not murder only Qassem Soleimani. On December 29 it also killed 31 Iraqi government forces. Five days later it killed Soleimani and the Deputy Commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF/PMU/Hashed al-Shabi) and leader of Kata'ib Hizbollah Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. There were also four IRGC and four Kata'ib Hizbollah men who were killed while accompanying their leaders. The PMU are under direct command of the Iraqi Prime Minister. They are official Iraqi defense forces who defeated ISIS after a bloody war. Their murder demands that their government acts against the perpetrators.

Several of the Shia PMU groups have already declared that they will do whatever they can to evict the U.S. military from Iraqi soil. Some 5,000 U.S. and other NATO forces are in Iraq to train Iraqi government troops. They live on the same bases as Iraqi army troops and PMU groups who their commander in chief calls Iran supported terrorists while he is killing their leaders.

Today they finally recognized that this might be a problem. This morning their U.S. command ordered a halt of all training activities. The Iraqi government also issued an order that, for the time being, no further U.S. operation may take place in Iraq. Tomorrow the Iraqi parliament will meet to consult over a law that would evict all U.S. troops. There is currently some disunity within the Shia majority in the parliament. Should it fail to evict the U.S. the Shia PMU groups will act on their own. Not because of Soleimani or Iran, but because their comrades and leaders were killed. They will attack the U.S. military wherever they can. The situation for the U.S. in Iraq would then soon become untenable. 

Iraq will continue to need capable foreign troops to train its still feeble army. It should ask Russia and China to provide them.

The removal of U.S. forces from Iraq will be the first act of revenge for Qassem Soleimani's death. More will follow in due time and with the appropriate severity.

Posted by b on January 4, 2020 at 17:30 UTC | Permalink

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James @ 49:

Asymmetrical warfare is more Iran's style.

Better to hold the Satanyahus while they are PM and First Lady in prison in Moscow where they can be used as bargaining chips. Satanyahu himself will probably also be holding a major portfolio like Foreign Affairs.

With the head of the snake in an incommunicado state, what can Israel do? If Israel tries to retaliate against Russia for the arrests of the Satanyahus, the Iranians can always threaten to ask Moscow to hand them over.

At the same time, how does Israel function while the Satanyahus are in prison?

Posted by: Jen | Jan 4 2020 23:30 utc | 101

It was the US/British who toppled its gov in '53
A secular, parliamentary government in Iran.
They wanted to keep their oil- the US and the UK wanted it.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Jan 4 2020 23:34 utc | 102

Still lots of silence. Putin's reported to be very busy with his annual speech to the Federal Assembly on 15 January; otherwise, there's nothing. Oh, a report that Lavrov and Zarif conversed and condolences extended. Same with China. Interesting speculations on the various signals being sent by Iraqi religious luminaries in Najaf to both Iraqis and Pompeo are all over Twitter. But then we have Trump threatening to nuke Iran:

"Trump is threatening to target Iranian cultural sites.

"Something ISIS and Al Qaeda successfully achieved when they wiped out and vandalized historic sites in Iraq and Syria.

"Is Trump finishing what Soleimani stopped ISIS from doing in the rest of the Middle East?"

Trump: "We targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!"

IMO, the retweeter is onto something.

Then there's the jabbering speculation by another branch of lunatics about a private jet heading to Florida that took off from Moscow. IMO, not much to do until the Iraqi Parliament meets tomorrow, as what they decide will forge a new path.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 4 2020 23:35 utc | 103

@100 alpine

Tha is for that link. So much for the Trump apologists insisting he wants to de-escalate because that's what he said before he said he'd obliterate Iran for any response. So much for the trap of "just keep it reciprocal and its OK".
Drop the excuses and pretense people. War is clearly the goal, all the rest is feints and a fog of BS designed to confuse you, not Iran. Today our minds are the battlefield and TrumpCorp is trying very hard to befuddle us.

Posted by: Sorghum | Jan 4 2020 23:37 utc | 104

"CNN is desperately pushing the trope that 'Trump and his military commanders hastily assembled a situation room at Mar-a-Lago.' "

Leibowitz # 32

Why would they do this *after* the strike?
That sounds kind of silly. And "hastily" sounds as though they were taken unawares . . . They were surprised to hear that Solameini had been taken out?????

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 4 2020 23:39 utc | 105

After reading what Magnier has to say, a reasonable guess is that although emotions are running high currently, Irans leadership will likely concentrate omn the work that must be done during such a period, which is to (attempt to) influence the Iraqi parliamentry vote on the continued presence of United States forces. As some have pointed out, this may lead to a US retreat to the Kurdish areas, but even that can only be considered a victory, with consequent practically free movement of Iranian military supplies to their allies in Syria and Lebanon. With this development hopefully secured there is then plenty of time to precisely calibrate any further responce to a level where dignity is preserved, without necessarily bringing the wider ME area into further strife. Any waiting period is also useful in further building up capability where needed, specifically in the case where US aggression continues as it has done so far. US leaders seem not to appreciate that their showy applications of force don't win them friends locally, and could eventually succeed in unifying Iraq in a way Iran never could on its own.

Posted by: tspoon | Jan 4 2020 23:45 utc | 106

NOTE TO DEMOCRATS: Obama Launched 2,800 Strikes On Iraq, Syria Without Congressional Approval

Posted by: themistakenpresident | Jan 4 2020 23:46 utc | 107

@ Hal Duell 23
"But can we please stop underestimating him? He has straddled the world for four years now. His only peers are Putin and Xi."

"Straddled the world", you say? Beshitting the world with toxic narcissism is the truth. Trump is using US power to advance his own brand, his cult of personality and pursuit of emoluments. World leaders cringe when he is among them. He has intensified conflict with Iran by refusing to honor a hard won treaty that promised to stabilize relations in the region, just as he has rebuked nuclear arms agreements with Russia, and created unnecessary conflict with China. This unilateral scofflaw approach to international relations is extremely dangerous. Trump is a bully and a fool. When he claims the fat North Korean dictator "likes him", he broadcasts what a dope he really is. He has no vision for the future other than the failed free market, small government Koch Brothers claptrap preached by the extreme right since Calvin Coolidge.

And you admire this man and think he measures up to a Xi or Putin? Trump is a coward and a bully and his supporters confuse his mindless aggression with strength as they pretend he's playing 3 or 4 dimensional chess when what he's really doing is playing them for the chumps they are. It won't be long now before you seriously regret any positive opinion to have had of this "world straddling" horse's ass.

Posted by: jadan | Jan 4 2020 23:48 utc | 108

tspoon @110

"As some have pointed out, this may lead to a US retreat to the Kurdish areas, but even that can only be considered a victory, with consequent practically free movement of Iranian military supplies to their allies in Syria and Lebanon. " I don't think so since our bases in Syria could accomplish that objective fairly well. With the help of drone strikes, if necessary.

Posted by: Schmoe | Jan 4 2020 23:54 utc | 109

Two min twitter vid:

"Mourners in Karbala welcome the bodies of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qassem Suleimani this evening."

Many thousands; very impressive and moving!

Vid of Baghdad protests:

"Hundreds of thousands of #Iraqis attend the #martyrs last farewell in #Baghdad and protest against the US military presence in #Iraq."

And here's Zarif's tweet and photo montage:

"24 hrs ago, an arrogant clown— masquerading as a diplomat— claimed people were dancing in the cities of Iraq.

"Today, hundreds of thousands of our proud Iraqi brothers and sisters offered him their response across their soil.

"End of US malign presence in West Asia has begun."

The idiots at the helm of the Evil Outlaw US Empire really have absolutely no clue as their short term thinking has destroyed what mental capacities they once had and has reduced them to imbeciles.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 5 2020 0:03 utc | 110

This may have been referenced before, and b's previous post begins with a description of the importance of Soleimani, but here is a further link for those who are still in doubt as to his significance for everyone in the region:


I will also add from a post by Active Patriot at the Saker site: "...if Iran is a friend and ally to Iraq and Syria they would not craft a response which drags either of those 2 countries deeper into more war and hardship."

Posted by: juliania | Jan 5 2020 0:05 utc | 111

@ 105 jen.. netanyahu is just a small tip of the iceberg as i see it..

@107 karlof1... that is the problem with american culture.. they have no concept of world culture, and instead mimic isis as you note with threats like that.. complete ignorance on display from the president of the usa... this is what everyone has come to expect.. as old hippie says - americans are more focused on football scores then on the shit their country is doing on the world stage 24-7... truly pathetic..

Posted by: james | Jan 5 2020 0:06 utc | 112

I have to apologize - please either erase or do not use the above link. I will no longer make such attempts as this went somewhere entirely different! Again, please erase!! (I will see if I can just cut and paste from now on)

Posted by: juliania | Jan 5 2020 0:09 utc | 113

Here is the text of the article I was attempting to post above. The link did not go to it.

Qasem Soleimani was an Absolute Hero and His Death is Both a Travesty and a Tragedy
Andrew Anglin
Daily Stormer
January 3, 2020

Qasem Soleimani
Let’s look at a few facts about Qasem Soleimani, the hero who Donald Trump just assassinated.

Soleimani came from a peasant family, worked in construction in his youth to pay off his dad’s debts and lifted weights in his spare time.
He joined the Revolutionary Guard briefly after the revolution, to serve his country.
When his country was at war with Iraq, he rose up quickly through the ranks, took part in every major operation.
He described Operation Fath ol-Mobin as the best battle of his life, due to the odds being against his people and yet triumphing despite that.
When he was working close to opium fields in Afghanistan, he fought against the drug trade.
In 1998, he was put in charge of the Quds Force, Iran’s extraterritorial intelligence and military body.
During the 1999 student revolt, he signed a letter to the president saying that if he did not put down the revolution, the military would overthrow the government and do it themselves.
After 9/11, he briefly worked with Americans and captured or killed high-ranking al-Qaeda members, but the collaboration ended when George Bush declared Iran “evil” in a 2002 speech.
He is considered a principal figure in the development of Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia, and he was in Lebanon during Hezbollah’s war with Israel and oversaw the conflict.
He was the leading figure behind the destruction of ISIS by Syria and friends.
He was the definition of a hero, and a kind of idealized form of the New Man.

He was probably the single most respected military man in the Shiite world, and was considered one of the most powerful. He has been universally recognized as one of the most influential military commanders in the region for decades.

Assassinating a man of such honor using a missile strike is about the most cowardly thing I’ve ever heard of in my entire life.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 5 2020 0:14 utc | 114

Circe #72

Solameini's martyrdom is surely recognized as such by all in the ME who have suffered and are suffering the century-long occupation/meddling/manipulating/lying that Western powers have inflicted on the whole ME since before the Great War---now with the USA in the lead. (One of Churchill's war aims in WW1 was to destroy the Ottoman Empire and grab as much of it as Britain could grab. Then of course there was the Balfour Declaration crime.)

What is the "purpose" of martyrdom if it is not to galvanize action of some kind? To galvanize a dramatic quantum leap in consciousness of the meaning of the martyr's sacrifice---of his martyrdom. Surely Solameini will be seen to have died *for* something. For what?

Perhaps to inspire a new setting aside of existing local conflicts to form an effective front to *eject* the foreign virus from the body of the whole ME? To create a new coalition among all citizens of all faiths in all of the besieged ME countries to oust the "crusaders"? Didn't Nasser aspire to take charge of his region via the United *Arab* Republics? What about United Sovereign Nations from the Levant to the Hindu Kush. And, make things uncomfortable for Erdogan if he continues to host American Air Force?

Just wondering.

Also, what is Kurdish reaction to this murder? Kurds seem to be an element standing in the way of unity of purpose in the ME.

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 5 2020 0:19 utc | 115

OT but I think timely:

1) Get a list of your favorite sites, then do a DNS lookup on their names, and put those IP addresses in a HOSTS file. If a site appears to go offline, try the IP address. If that doesn't work either, well...

2) I have an old laptop that has wifi and an ethernet port, and it runs an older version of Linux Mint. I wish I had an older version, and I may start looking. The more recent the operating system (any!), the more likely it will have backdoors or some other 'critter' running about and working against you.

3) If you have the hardware and some friends nearby, start an out-of-band neighborhood network. This, as I envision it (with limited oracular ability, mind you), can be like the Little Free Library - just an accumulation of stuff each person has saved over the years, or whatever can be obtained, and scanned if necessary. Wifi can work for this short-term, but plan to bury multiple cables eventually. DO NOT EVER (knowingly) CONNECT THIS NETWORK TO THE INTERNET!!!

4) Start planning for long-term storage of important books. Niven's novel Lucifer's Hammer describes one character's efforts in this direction - he sunk a huge library of important 'civilization cranking' books in a cesspool on a neighbor's property.

There's more, but we've a broad spectrum of things to consider at the moment, so I'll not hog the thread.

As a matter of standing up and showing some jackasses in this thread that US citizens aren't all Rambo...

I, Thomas James Kenney, hereby publicly state that it is my opinion the only way out of this mess (and the only chance to save some semblance of a country) is to very publicly try and imprison these vermin for high treason. They have committed an act that runs counter to every attempted description of civilized behavior ever written.

It is also my considered opinion that it is not necessary for Iran to do anything at all. Simply stay the course. We are almost bled out in this disintegrating 'republic', and people around me are conversing about ways to disconnect from some of the toxic facets of this society. There is not much support for a war, despite what the 'required 20%' continue to scream.

Posted by: Dr Wellington Yueh | Jan 5 2020 0:22 utc | 116

The United States launched a war of aggression, the supreme crime, upon Iraq in 2003, based on blatant lies, and are still there. Prior to that, they helped foment the war between Iraq and Iran, then attacked Iraq in 1991, and on top of the overt warfare there was the economic sanctions warfare. The death and maiming and poisoning of millions of Iraqis has been the American contribution to Iraq, over the last several decades. What for? How has this helped the United States? Or Europe? The main advocates for this supreme criminality has been the Israel lobby, Israel, and the supporters of Israel.

The American Apache helicopters are still buzzing around over Baghdad, dealing out terror and intimidation and death. The murder by the United States of yet more Iraqi soldiers and officials recently has been largely absent from the propaganda narratives. But could those be 'the final straw'?

As far as Trump's 52 target threat, this comes after the apparent please don't escalate and we'll make a deal - good cop-bad cop routine.

The 52 number was used to remind mind-controlled Americans that the evil Iranians outrageously took 52 Americans hostage. American's don't just take people hostage; they give them orange suits and torture them, unless they kill them. Apart from murdering and maiming by the millions, they even stage fictional killings, like Osama bin laden, to entertain the zombies, and stick out their chests, hand out medals and the like.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 5 2020 0:22 utc | 117

@107 karlof1

> Still lots of silence.

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."

Posted by: Abe | Jan 5 2020 0:24 utc | 118

bevin | Jan 4 2020 23:17 utc | 97
The only new thing about this is that the victim was a person of power and eminence."

Ghadaffi was not person of power and eminence?

Posted by: chu teh | Jan 5 2020 0:26 utc | 119

Juliania #95

Just a reminder: Iran is not an Arabic country.
And many non-Arabs and non-Muslims live in ME countries (I am not counting Is as an ME country in this context).
Which is why I express hope of perhaps a broader regional coalition.

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 5 2020 0:28 utc | 120

Has this link been posted?

It's from the Intercept and it's by Scahill but it is still worth looking at.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 5 2020 0:28 utc | 121

Yellow-belly bone-spurs Trump wants to play at tough commander of the U.S. military just threatened Iran on twitter stating that the U.S. has identified 52 Iranian sites as targets and he wrote in CAPS Iran itself WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD.

Put the yellow-belly on the front lines with Hezbollah and IRGC. He'll run squealing like a little girl!

#REAL Asshat chickenhawk.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 5 2020 0:28 utc | 122

@ 116 James

American Culture?

Oliver Stone asked Putin: American Culture ...?
Putin replied: Is there any American Culture?

Posted by: arata | Jan 5 2020 0:29 utc | 123

@127 arata... jazz music for 1..

Posted by: james | Jan 5 2020 0:31 utc | 124

you could call it black culture, as it started in new orleans, which is like the black peoples capital of the usa and which is why it got so fucked over during katrina..

Posted by: james | Jan 5 2020 0:32 utc | 125

On the Lockerbie bomb, Robert Fisk has pointed to the finger of suspicion immeditaely falling on the Syrians acting as agents of Tehran, as an act of retribution for the actions of the USS Vincennes.

However, after Saddam invaded Kuwait, the US needed Syria as part of its coalition of the willing, and so the finger of blame began to point at Libya. Read Fisk's book, "The Great War for Civilization."

Posted by: Tsar Nicholas | Jan 5 2020 0:33 utc | 126

The shooting down of flight 655 was a criminal act of manslaughter that should've brought charges against the people responsible. But does b really consider destroying another plane of civilians a justified retribution?

I wonder if Putin will force Trump to stop the escalation and show remorse to Iran before any revenge happens.

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Jan 5 2020 0:35 utc | 127

Trump threatens to bomb Iran.

So what happened to the naive people who were putting their peace hopes in Trump? He just said he will strike important sites in Iran, including cultural sites.

It is time b and the others admit that they made a mistake. b has been supportive of keeping Trump in power and his reelection. This is a mistake. karlo1 also expressed some support for Trump, which is naive, and inexcusable, for such an intelligent person.

Let's make a bet that all of those who somehow supported Trump here will eat their words this year.

It is time for people to think very carefully and deeply about things. Do not be naive. Think very carefully. Get your brains working, please.

Posted by: Passer by | Jan 5 2020 0:36 utc | 128

Asymmetrical warfare may come from China.

If I were China at this point, watching the schoolyard bully beating up on a fellow citizen, I might just want to take the Bully's focus off the fellow citizen and, with Russia's backing, tell the bully to pick on someone their own size.

Given the brazenness of the threats and provoking going on to start some military conflict, maybe China needs to play the "I won't sign the trade deal and I want to cash in my US Treasuries." cards to redirect the narrative and focus.

I like the silence of nations watching the bully trying to goad the world into military war.
It speaks volumes that Trump is being the biggest bully he can to incite military warfare which they would lose if they don't go nuclear.

I find it saddening that so many commenters here don't seem to grasp that asymmetrical warfare that is needed now is not the eye for eye type. Military warfare is the problem, not the solution.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 5 2020 0:44 utc | 129

"Trump: "We targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!"

I.e., Trump to Iran: If you don't let us off the hook for what we did to you, you will be sorry!!

Wouldn't this also be a war crime per . . . Geneva? Nuernberg?
Destruction of cultural sites?
The man is really a terrifying nutter who thinks nothing of destroying ancient cultures while sitting in his gauge, glitzy digs in the Trump Tower or Mar-a Lago.

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 5 2020 0:47 utc | 130

Son of Daddy Warbucks
Raised by liars
Surrounded by minders
His spark a prisoner

Posted by: chu teh | Jan 5 2020 0:48 utc | 131

What is martyrdom?
That is difficult to explain in words, then it is more difficult to put it in word in English language that is alien to this culture. “ You should be the martyr to be a martyr” said Solaimani in one of his speeches, long time ago.
Martyrdom is very pleasant and joyful feeling, when you are alive.

Posted by: arata | Jan 5 2020 0:53 utc | 132

Come Monday, Iran can wait a day, a week, 10 months. Meanwhile Trump will wither away of fear.

Posted by: bjd | Jan 5 2020 0:55 utc | 133

Thanks to Really @ 124 - Yes, I do know that Iran is not Arabic - the interview I was remembering was in Qatar in October after a meeting that Zahir had addressed concerning his HOPE initiative, and that interview had been posted on twitter - I could not find it in my search just now, but my confusion was due to, I believe, his mentioning Arabic countries at one point. Apologies for the misstatement. You are correct that the initiative is aimed more widely than that.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 5 2020 0:57 utc | 134

Lozion@62 - Re: Your Magnier quote, "The US did not plan to kill the vice commander of the Iraqi Hashd al-Shaabi brigade Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes when it assassinated Iranian Brigadier General Qassem Soleiman"

The light bulb above my chimpanzee brain just flickered (briefly). Somewhere on SST (maybe Lang?): something to the effect of 'Never underestimate US gov/mil incompetence'. Maybe it was the opposite of what Magnier thought really took place.

Treasonous, dual-citizen chickenhawks of the US possibly targeted Hashd al-Shaabi vice-commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes. They were trying to kill him because they found out from some snitch that he just showed up at the airport for some reason. The all-seeing US didn't realize Soleimani was even there. I guess because the sneaky Soleimani flew commercial into Baghdad and probably carried his bags to the waiting SUVs. Who would have expected that? How devious!

This seems entirely plausible to me. Soleimani was too expensive a target - end of the State of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE and all. But whacking a vice-commander of Hashd al-Shaabi with a quarter-million dollar JAGM? Hell YEAH! We live for this kind of preventative assassination heroism in the US. Especially if accompanied by colorful graphics.

The awkward and delayed response of the usual US mil/gov mouthpieces makes this ridiculous scenario even more believable. I have thoroughly convinced myself that this was a US screw-up of EPIC proportions. In case the US government is reading MoA, this was all Lozion's doing. I'm an innocent conspiracy primate.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 5 2020 1:00 utc | 135

Really?? 134
"gauge, glitzy digs"

Uh, that was supposed to be "gauche."

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 5 2020 1:05 utc | 136

I don't trust Magnier's reporting about an offer made by USA to Iran and his speculation that Trump "offering the life of a 4-star general" is as nonsensical as it is irresponsible.

In the past I've found Magnier to be unreliable - like when he has lauded Israel and hinted that Iran was behind the tanker attacks. It sometimes seems to me that Magnier relishes the possibility of a war with Iran.

Magnier's reporting is inconsistent with Trump Administration actions now and in the past. Trump was "locked and loaded" for war with Iran in September! So why would Trump offer to lift sanctions and strike a nuclear deal now EXCEPT AS A RUSE.

We should also be mindful that the Iranians have refused to negotiate while sanctions are in place. This has been Iran's position for quite some time. Reporting about an rebuffed offer without noting this is irresponsible and a disservice to readers.

PS Why does Magnier's site track users via graph.facebook?

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

I find it highly doubtful that Iran brought down PanAm 103.

Such speculation only plays into USA's depiction of Iran as a terrorist state.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 5 2020 1:10 utc | 137

I know we are not to feed the trolls, but this is a meme worth commenting on:

"...So what happened to the naive people who were putting their peace hopes in Trump?..."

Many here are emphasizing this doubtful implication (even Circe, whom I praised for a stellar observation on the subject of Iran - and it even crept into my own cut and paste of Suilimani's attributes.

We do not know (and I'm grateful to Pepe for entering this into his recent article) how much of this is being orchestrated by Trump of his own unadulterated initiative. We agree it's a mafia operating. Is he the boss of it? That's speculation. What is important is that those (and we've seen how they operate) in 'power' are calling the shots.

So I'm viewing with suspicion any post (including mine) that accidentally or not inserts this meme.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 5 2020 1:10 utc | 138

Posted by: bevin | Jan 4 2020 23:17 utc | 97

Bin Laden, Al Baghdadi, etc were not beloved state officials or state actors of any kind. Qaddafi, like Saddam, was toppled in actions that were designed to look like regime change from below—but I agree to some extent that his death comes close, but was Qaddafi singled out by a precision hit in the precise fashion we are seeing here. But my point is that a bridge has been crossed here in terms of scale, brazenness, and the extent to which no attempt was made to conceal that it was a hit ordered directly by POTUS. It is an unprecedented shift in international relations where a host of other covert tactics were fully available and would have achieved the same outcome.

Posted by: Patroklos | Jan 5 2020 1:12 utc | 139

I guess I'm the only human round here who finds the child like refusal by so many to believe that Iran played a payback card with Lockerbie, a very small stunt that didn't require much at all in the way of participants, while they lap up lurid (& frequently white supremacist at heart) nonsense conspiracies such as that 911 was a deliberate strategy (one that would have required a cast of hundreds if not thousands, all staying schtum for evermore) - f++king ludicrous.
The Iranians had to teach amerika that shooting down a passenger jet had major consequences. They did that while benefiting from real world politics where amerika needed to have Iran & Syria (who had assisted) onside for gulf war 1. Libya got stitched up because they were convenient mugs who lacked friends in the ME because the colonel had no time for pretty much every other ME leader - his interest had always been Africa.
This is pretty typical of people who have a need to see everything in black or white. Don't say anything bad about Iran or Syria because they are enemies of fukasi eh. What use are nations such as Iran or Syria if they are not prepared to get their hands dirty once in a while? No use.
The fact that Iran got just the right payback in a just way then stopped is something people should be proud of Iran for, rather than squealing "No No they wouldn't they couldn't do that."
I can remember celebrating down the workers' club on the day news of the Lockerbie bombing came out. What had occurred was obvious, sure a few innocents died, that happens in war, the war amerika had kicked off and if that plane hadn't gone down most of the passengers would have been sitting in a coffee shop today with half a chubbie in their pants at the thought amerika had showed that 'Sullymanny' who was the boss.

b is correct to bring up that action because it encapsulates exactly how Iran is, truth and justice are at the heart of everything Iran's leadership believes & does. It wasn't Iran who fitted up Libya - amerika & england did that. Iran had merely insisted that the entire plane saga be buried if amerika wanted any assistance with Saddam Hussein, who let's face as far as Iran was concerned deserved everything he got. George H Bush showed himself to be at least as silly as his son - neither had any comprehension of what would happen should Ba'ath be removed from power in Iraq, that Iran would be the major beneficiary.
That I reckon is a major part of why amerikan leaders & their zionist proxies get so hot on Iran. Iran played them like a bitch and now they know it.

Posted by: A User | Jan 5 2020 1:15 utc | 140


If Lockerbie incident substantiated with Rober Fisk stories or world powers intelligence evidences, Iran definitely would be sanctioned and would pay very high price, would be tried in international criminal court.
Why they did not brought Gadhafy to the court? Because they did not have clear evidence.
Look other works of Robert Fisk, how is Independent now? What color is it now?

Posted by: arata | Jan 5 2020 1:22 utc | 141

Posted by: juliania | Jan 5 2020 1:10 utc | 142

My view about Trump is based on my psychological portrait of Trump. He is a US supremacist, plus a military (see their presence around him and the large increase in mil budgets) and a zionist (see his family) puppet.

I see him as an aggressive animal. He will start a war if he can get away with it. He also likes to grandstand, so he hates the US decline in the world. He wants to brag how great he (and by proxy the US) is. It is also known that he does not like muslims. No way for him to have good relations with Iran.

He is a gambler. He will push and push, as long as he could get away with it. In international relations though, especially in the relations with some countries, who have strong grievances against the US, this could lead to war.

Trump said that he could nuke Afghanistan is necessary. Sorry, but i do not see in this talk his advisors behind him, but only his own animalistic nature.

Truth is, i was supportive of Trump in the past, but with time i changed my opinion. After careful observation. And i'm glad i did. It shows that my mind is still flexible, and will accept even the unpleasant truth, as long as it is the truth.

If i'm calling now a person that i was relatively supportive in the past "an animal" you can imagine my disappointment.

Posted by: Passer by | Jan 5 2020 1:25 utc | 142

Addendum to @143
Unless of course the lack of concealment was a deliberate provocation to incite a real war. In which case Iran must choose asymmetry. Hit KSA and close the Gulf. The world will sideline the US in a panicked scramble to quieten everything down. But I don't see evidence that the markets believe this will happen. Oil not really moving up that much. A good analysis of the financial markets' view on this would shed some light.

Also, does anybody have an accurate summary of the current structure of the Iraqi parliament, someone who can crunch the numbers? The US would surely have been preparing well in advance to prevent a spill to evict them, but is it in the bag or is it fluid? I wonder what the bookies are offering...

Posted by: Patroklos | Jan 5 2020 1:27 utc | 143

Paveway IV 139

An "Oh, shit" moment, big-time.

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 5 2020 1:33 utc | 144

Too much noise from the US, as usual, threats blah blah, there are simply not enough fire power in the Gulf to go to war against Iran, just recall what took from many countries to invade Iraq, so no WWIII, no major confrontation is expected. The Orange Man is clearly agitated, his few TV appearances, are showing a very disturbed person, not the usual Trumpest we know about.
The backstage is intense, Iran has to retaliate, the US gets that, but it is trying to reduce the impact, this is definitively what is being dealt in the Swiss, Oman and Qatar meetings in the past 24 hrs. There will be more contacts until this whole mess is done.
Iranians and Iraqis are not afraid, they want confrontation, it will be hard for their leaders to hold them at bay, but I believe the payback is coming slowly, in pieces, not once, but in several blows, a masterpiece could be against American allies in the region, since the US will have hard time re retaliate, and the damage to the US will be done as it was with the tankers, agains KSA etc... We should also expect IEDs to kill many soldiers and US mercenaries, the later will be focused for sure, and that means in Iraq and Syria.

Would like to share with the SyrPers visiting MoA, that until the site is not back on line, we are trying to gather at, at Taxi's place, so far we managed to some Syrpers there and get out comment section back to live in a different address, at least for while. See you there SyrPers.

Posted by: Canthama | Jan 5 2020 1:37 utc | 145

Have we missed an obvious explanation for shocking behavior?

That control of Iran is needed to enable the Crown to do Brexit and flourish? That middle-east oil/gas and the politics of global availability are crucial to the Crown's survival as elitist Royalty.

The has acted as the Crown's proxy for a very long time, knowingly or unknowingly.

Look at a global map of Planet Earth. Look at England [if you can find it]. And don't confuse it with Japan, which also knows something about needing/wanting proxies...knowingly or not.

Now, go do Brexit without guaranteed [under control] sources of energy and other plunder.

Posted by: chu teh | Jan 5 2020 1:41 utc | 146

People have lost their fear of Nuclear weapons. If the U.S. use Nukes against Iran, the radioactive cloud will be blown across the Atlantic Ocean and land where?
Quite apart from the fact that if the U.S. use Nukes without a serious retaliation, nowhere is safe. Putin has been quoted that any form of nuclear weapon used on any of it’s allies will be considered as a nuclear attack on Russia itself and will be responded to by a full scale retaliatory strike.
As the U.S. has no defense against the latest Russian weaponry, they will realize that indeed, the living will envy the dead.
I have no idea as to what the attack strategy of Russia will be but I doubt it will be to kill millions of people. Far more effective Is to wipe out major infrastructure, transport, water and energy systems and then see what 340 million people do to survive.

Posted by: Beibdnn | Jan 5 2020 1:49 utc | 147

jadan | Jan 4 2020 23:48 utc | 112

Well put. We in Australia have a mini-Trump for PM (an embarrassing fawning dog licking Trump's balls on his recent visit to the US) who is currently mismanaging our bushfire catastrophe due to a total lack of empathy. A former marketing manager, Scott Morrison is a sociopath who makes bullies look like Mother Teresa. The combination of self-righteous evangelism with fanatical neoliberal ideology, when wedded to a lust for power at all costs and the crushing of any dissent (usually through awful marketing-school cynicism), makes for extreme social and political toxicity. He adores Trump and actually took notes at an Ohio rally (I kid you not). As the east coast burns like never before (a region the size of Texas gone, 1500 homes, 20+ lives lost) he went on holiday to Hawaii (staying in a Trump hotel). When he returned he was greeted by visceral hostility (enormously satisfying to watch here). His instinct was to make an ad explaining how great his leadership is(n't). His position is owed to his commitment to Australia's only three sources of wealth: selling coal and iron ore to China, real estate (ponzi scheme), banking (even bigger ponzi scheme). I would drone strike him and Trump in a New York minute

Posted by: Patroklos | Jan 5 2020 1:53 utc | 148

@ Helmut | Jan 4 2020 20:30 utc | 65

"A new California law fines you $1,000 if you shower and do 1 load of laundry in the same day. And if the Gov declares a drought, the fine goes up to *$10,000*."

That is completely and utterly false. Here is the truth:

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jan 5 2020 1:56 utc | 149

@139 PWIV. My take here from before Magnier's post:

Posted by: Lozion | Jan 4 2020 2:25 utc | 363

"Killing Mohandes was not part of the plan imo. Note how he is never mentioned in Western press? The US will now have to contend with an extraordinary parliament session this Sunday and likely a vote for US troop ousting will be made. Surely that's not what the US wanted though it had to be anticipated if Mohandes got hit. Either they ignored he was present or decided it was worth the risk. Now its blowback time. Lets see what Sadr's block will vote. He will finally reveal is true colors by making or breaking the vote (53 MP's).."

You may be right though and it is the opposite but I think IL leaked the info on Soleimani going to Baghdad for the funeral of the martyred PMU soldiers and the hit was greenlighted..

Posted by: Lozion | Jan 5 2020 1:58 utc | 150

@Posted by: Really?? | Jan 5 2020 0:47 utc | 134

And this way we already can test who inspired the US/Israel sponsored terrorists in Syria and Iraq to destory all the cultural heritage there...sicne The Donals just confess this was in their strategic manuals....The Syrian government should keep a capture of that Twitt for further claims on compensations at ICC...

Obviously, nobody swallowed that was an ingenious occurence of those brutes to the eyebrows of Captagon...Someon wanted those treasure destroyed and payed to smugle those able to be so..

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 5 2020 1:59 utc | 151

Iran has already been under attack: And much lied about:

From Oct. 2019 Iran claims two explosions on board the Iranian Sabiti oil tanker were caused by a missile attack in the Red Sea

Sept 2018 At least 29 people, including children, have been killed in a terrorist attack on a military parade in south-west Iran, responsibility claimed by Islamic State and a separatist group.

Aug 2015 "Israel's defense minister hinted on Friday that the Jewish state's intelligence services were behind the rash of killings of Iranian nuclear scientists."

And then there are the false accusations: June 2019 Hours after the U.S. released video footage that 'showed' an Iranian boat removing an unexploded mine from the side of an oil tanker, the Japanese owner of that vessel said that the ship was likely damaged by a "flying object" and dismissed claims of a mine attack as "false."

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 5 2020 1:59 utc | 152

@141 Jackrabbit

The news was distorted and interpreted, hand-to-hand differently.
Swiss Ambassador in Tehran was summoned for Solaimani assassination, he went to Iran foreign ministry, yesterday morning ( Swiss is represent and protect USA affairs in Iran). At the same visit he delivered a letter from USA to Iran. What is the content of the letter is not known to public. The Sepah commander in his speech hinted that American ( through a country) has requested to set a limit ( or ceiling) for retaliation and Iran has reject the request. ( who was the third country? Nobody knows, many countries are trying to mediate every hour).
In an interview Zarif explained that Swiss ambassador was summoned, he came in the morning, in the same session he delivered an indecent letter from USA. He was summoned in the afternoon, came and received our sturdy an tough written response.
A 4 star general or like that are logical interpenetration. Why you do not look Chris Morphy’s speeches?
He ( Morphy) said equivalent to Solaimani is American secretary of defense. Would you satisfy with Morphy interpretation?

Posted by: arata | Jan 5 2020 2:09 utc | 153

Posted by: Patroklos | Jan 5 2020 1:27 utc | 147

>>Also, does anybody have an accurate summary of the current structure of the Iraqi parliament, someone who can crunch the numbers? The US would surely have been preparing well in advance to prevent a spill to evict them, but is it in the bag or is it fluid? I wonder what the bookies are offering...

In the iraqi parliament, sunnis and kurds are against expelling the US. They are a minority though. There are also two small shia factions who are against that.

But the expellers will have the majority if Muqtada al Sadr supports them. So by the coming vote, it will become clear who is a US agent in Iraq, and who is not.

My bet is a 70 % probability for a vote to expell the US from Iraq.

Posted by: Passer by | Jan 5 2020 2:09 utc | 154

Fitst, as others have pointed out, it is unclear who was responsible for the downing of Pan AM 103. Many took credit for it and ultimately it may have been the CIA itself.

Second, Iran has always been of strategic interest to great powers even before Israel existed or oil was discovered there. To suggest that the US would have no strategic interest in controlling Iran if it were not for Israel is ridiculous. The US deep state has been trying to reclaim Iran since Carter lost it. Also, note that Israel supplied weapons to the Islamic Republic of Iran during the the Iran-Iraq war.

If want to look to past history of what Iran will do, you only need to look back to the Iran-Iraq war. After the US wiped out all Iranian oil platforms and the Iranian navy in operation Praying Mantis, a ceasefire and peace was negotiated soon afterwords. Trump and Lindsey Graham have warned Iran that they will lose all their oil refineries if they attempt retaliation. Iran no longer has any doubts that Trump will make good on that threat. To suggest that Iran will act irrationally and retaliate regardless of US consequences is the height of racism.

Also to think that China or Russia will somehow defend Iran against US attacks is wishful thinking,

Posted by: CogintiveDissonance | Jan 5 2020 2:14 utc | 155

Trump is the perfect man, in the perfect position, at the perfect time, to finally get their wish and attempt to smash up Iran. He is no more than a front man. Every president is backed by some interests and competing interests back various candidates.

If he (they) think he (they) can play the "rocket man" game against the Persian he (they) are sadly mistaken. Obviously Obama took a much different tack with Iran while smashing up some of the old Arab secular countries at the same time. I would not know how to begin to think through this madness of Empire regime planning.

Posted by: dltravers | Jan 5 2020 2:16 utc | 156

Below is a Reuters article, so you know it is low balling the numbers but, admitting that not ALL Americans are on board with the Iran/Iraq attack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Groups of protesters took to the streets in Washington and other U.S. cities on Saturday to condemn the air strike in Iraq ordered by President Donald Trump that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani and Trump’s decision to send about 3,000 more troops to the Middle East.

“No justice, no peace. U.S. out of the Middle East,” hundreds of demonstrators chanted outside the White House before marching to the Trump International Hotel a few blocks away.

Similar protests were held in New York, Chicago and other cities. Organizers at Code Pink, a women-led anti-war group, said protests were scheduled on Saturday in numerous U.S. cities and towns.

Protesters in Washington held signs that read “No war or sanctions on Iran!” and “U.S. troops out of Iraq!”

Speakers at the Washington event included actress and activist Jane Fonda, who last year was arrested at a climate change protest on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

“The younger people here should know that all of the wars fought since you were born have been fought over oil,” Fonda, 82, told the crowd, adding that “we can’t anymore lose lives and kill people and ruin an environment because of oil.”

“Going to a march doesn’t do a lot, but at least I can come out and say something: that I’m opposed to this stuff,” said protestor Steve Lane of Bethesda, Maryland. “And maybe if enough people do the same thing, he (Trump) will listen.”

Soleimani, regarded as the second most powerful figure in Iran, was killed in the U.S. strike on his convoy at Baghdad airport on Friday in a dramatic escalation of hostilities in the Middle East between Iran and the United States and its allies.

Public opinion polls show Americans in general have been opposed to U.S. military interventions overseas. A survey last year by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs found 27% of Americans believe military interventions make the United States safer, and nearly half said they make the country less safe.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 5 2020 2:16 utc | 157

One point: Since Iran now knows that it will be blamed for *anything* that happens in the Middle East - witness the Houthis attack on the Saudi oil fields, it does not have much incentive to keep its retaliation "plausibly deniable." So I suspect Iran will make it clear that it is responsible for whatever retaliation it conducts. It will only keep such retaliation at a level below a direct strike against senior US officials such as Pence, Pompeo, or the Joint Chiefs.

My guess would be a strike against a division level or regional US military officer in the region - possibly via car bomb in the UAE or even Europe. Or an equivalent strike against an Israeli officer or diplomat via Hezbollah - although that might difficult due to limited access. That will make it obvious that is was Iran, but Iran may still use a cut-out such as Hezbollah or Shia elsewhere so no Quds Force operative can be identified as being involved.

"Military security" is an oxymoron, as SEAL Richard Marcinko demonstrated with his Red Cell team decades ago. Every US military member in the world is now at increased risk for assassination and every US base in the world is at risk for a serious attack similar to the Marine Barracks bombing.

I'd hate to be any US official flying into any airport in the Middle East - given that an equivalent drone strike can be done by almost every militant group in the Middle East, now that the Houthis have demonstrated how.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jan 5 2020 2:18 utc | 158

Below is another Reuters article, this one about the lying, boot licking and obfuscating UK

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain urged all parties to show restraint on Saturday after the United States killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in an air strike, but said its closest ally was entitled to defend itself against an imminent threat.

Defence minister Ben Wallace said in a statement that he had spoken to his U.S. counterpart Mark Esper, adding: “We urge all parties to engage to de-escalate the situation.

“Under international law the United States is entitled to defend itself against those posing an imminent threat to their citizens,” he added.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 5 2020 2:19 utc | 159

LYSSANDER the only suspect for the bombing of Capt William Roger's wife's van was a former family friend involved in some sort of personal dispute over a divorce.

> Grudge, not terrorism, seen in Rogers bombing
> Joe Hughes
> Tribune Staff Writer
> 10/02/1989
> The San Diego Union-Tribune
> TRIBUNE; 1,2,3,4,5
> A-1:1,2,3,4; B-1:5
> (Copyright 1989)
> Federal investigators have turned away from
> terrorism as a motive for the
> pipe-bombing of a van driven by the wife of Navy
> Capt. Will C. Rogers III
> and are looking at an American believed to have a
> grudge against Rogers,

Posted by: Cyrus Safdari | Jan 5 2020 2:28 utc | 160

@158 Passer By

Thanks for the succinct summary. That seems to accord with the balance across the country. It's hard to tell in Iraq whether religion (Sunni v Shi'a) means more than ethnicity (Arab v Persian). Like all these artificial nations created after the collapse of the Ottoman empire the ethno-tribal, religious and class breakdown is impenetrable and mercurial. It always reminds me of Frank Herbert's masterpiece Dune. 70% eh? I like those odds.

In passing, it reached 49 degrees celsius where I live in western Sydney yesterday (a Sydney record) and the smoke haze is now so bad from multiple fire fronts on the edges of the city that driving is dangerous and motorways are closing. With heavy water restrictions in place my garden is dead. All my capsicums burnt on the stem yesterday as the road bitumen melted outside. This is the case from Queensland to South Australia, a coastline 2000km long. Plus Australia currently has the worst air quality in the world. And this is only one month into a 3 month fire season. Very depressing.

Posted by: Patroklos | Jan 5 2020 2:31 utc | 161

Patroklus 165

I am truly sorry to hear of your garden being burned---a small loss amid larger ones.
But, each garden is a small miracle to the person who plants and tends it. Can you use gray water from the house to water the plants?

I saw Morrison's video with his lame excuse of "keeping a promise to my children" when he left for his Hawaiian holiday while home burns.

What a turd. Abandoning his post. Dereliction of duty. The level of leadership in the Anglo world is remarkable for its stupidity, cupidity, cluelessness, cowardice, cravenness . . .

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 5 2020 2:43 utc | 162

Posted by: Patroklos | Jan 5 2020 2:31 utc | 165

My bet is based on Muqtada Al Sadr voting for expelling the US. He is a sort of iraqi nationalist though, and he does not like too much iranian influence in Iraq, even though he also does not like US influence too.

If Sadr's block votes for the US remaining in the country, that would mean that something is really, really wrong.

As for Australia, what are the estimates and studies about the long term impact by global warming there? What will happen to the climate there? What kind of climate will it be in the future? More rain? Or more drought?

Posted by: Passer by | Jan 5 2020 2:45 utc | 163

@ Juliana 142

“.... So I'm viewing with suspicion any post (including mine) that accidentally or not inserts this meme.”

I hope you are not suggesting that Trump is somehow an innocent party or a bystander that has no choice. At the very least, he is a manipulated bitch of the establishment and the most, he is the head of this circus. Either way, that makes him useless and/or dangerous as a president. Let me remind you and others who defend him, directly or indirectly, that he ran on non-intervention. The only thing he hasn’t intervened on so far, whether militarily, economically or socially, is who should be the next Miss Universe.

Like Passer By, I supported his presidency for the first 3-4 months until it was revealed he is just another bitch for the zionists/Jews.

I think you will find the consensus is that any post that remotely defends Trump will be looked at with suspicion. Hope I am wrong about your assertions.

Posted by: Alpi | Jan 5 2020 2:47 utc | 164

Lozion@154 - "...but I think IL leaked the info on Soleimani going to Baghdad for the funeral of the martyred PMU soldiers and the hit was greenlighted.."

Leaked info? The only problem I have with that line of reasoning is that Soleimani supposedly booked a commercial flight under his own name like he always did. I can't believe it was any secret to anybody that he flew to Baghdad for the funeral. Americans and Israelis like to project their paranoia on everyone else on earth, but it's laughable - everyone isn't a coward. Remember Assad driving around Damascus by himself in his goofy little car? Why would Soleimani be any different? In my experience, psychopaths are paranoid of their enemies 24x7 and always need bodyguards and secret bunkers. Healthy leaders with honorable intentions - not so much.

My slightly sanitized response to Jake321 on SF about using Israeli intelligence to track Soleimani:

FFS, CENTCOM probably could have just phoned Tehran and asked Soleimani, himself, before he left. It was a commercial flight. He didn't give a damn. Unlike cowardly US and Israeli military commanders, Soleimani traveled around publicly - in the open - pretty freely. No sneaking around like a ******* rat. No particular secrecy. No elaborate security or deceptions necessary. Persian pride? Who knows. At least his country didn't stoop to spineless, illegitimate assassinations of foreign leaders. Unlike some countries (Yeah, that would be YOU, Israeli, Saudi and US ******).

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 5 2020 3:07 utc | 165

@ Really #166 and Passer By #167

The ground is so dry that any water (gray or otherwise) cannot penetrate the soil. The prognosis is bleak. We have had no rain for 2 months, and no sustained rainfall (50mm over multiple days) since March 2019. This is why the fires are so bad: there is no moisture in the bush. With heat and strong hot westerlies it might as well be covered in petrol. Eucalypts are exploding from the combustion of oil under pressure. I can only water my potted herbs and vegetables but even in the shade yesterday my capsicums suffered burns on leaves and fruit. My chilies on the other hand are doing fine, a bigger than usual crop this summer, a silver lining!

There is a consensus (to stay loosely on topic with the thread) that western leadership is asleep at the wheel deliberately in the interests of sectors who profit from continuing to rape natural resources. These practices have, for 150 years, degraded the continent's ability to regenerate. Many plants need fires to seed, so the land has adapted to long-term conditions; but the problem is that over two centuries of land mismanagement by European settlers has weakened it. The result is longer droughts, poor recovery, severe fires and a vicious cycle making each year worse than the last. What little of this country has resisted becoming desert will no longer be able to resist. Proper rain not forecast until April. I foresee a time when young children in Australia will panic at the sight of water falling from the sky.

Posted by: Patroklos | Jan 5 2020 3:35 utc | 166

Just read W. Webb’s latest article. Plain shocking and sad.

In case things are not going well for Trump around election time due to a possible war with Iran, above link demonstrates plan B. And this is exactly how they orchestrated 9/11, with a simulation.

Posted by: Alpi | Jan 5 2020 3:39 utc | 167

The Craig Murray article that you link to contains a very interesting critique of the oft-repeated claim that Soleimani was directly responsible for the death of over 600 Americans.

According to him that figure comes from here:

The exact number is 603 US military deaths that occurred DURING OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM.

Colour me cynical, but I thought that soldiers are legitimate targets during combat operations, and it is in no way, shape, or form "terrorism" to shoot at them as they are carrying out their invasion.

If Soleimani was a legitimate target for assassination because some of the Iraqi forces that were shooting at invading US soldiers did so with his "backing" then Tommy Franks would be well advised to keep looking over his shoulder.

Because it seems to me that the "logic" that applied to Soleimani would also apply to him.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 5 2020 3:40 utc | 168

From Poppy Bush to Bill Clinton to GW Bush, an illusion had to be maintained, in order to smash Iraq down into despair and ruin. And Obama added to the foul work as he and Hillary brought anarchy to Libyan society. Weapons were funneled through Turkey covertly to enflame the Syrian war. It's no surprise that propaganda and deception drove this process: endless false accusations and premeditated sabotage of negotiation, leading to a coup d'etat in Ukraine. Such indifference to death and misery. Such wanton distain for the rights of nations.

And here we are: one nation living under the NDAA and Patriot Act. Republicans and Democrats will endorse this crime and collectively put their conscience in their pocket.

The demagogue speaks of 52 hostages taken when Carter was president. The Sausage-in-Chief reminds us of his freewheeling banality, his desire to be a law unto himself without any check or balance. Flesh and blood as well as cultural sites are on the chopping block.

Maybe the garrulous Sausage thinks the Iranians have forgotten all that history in the rearview mirror. Kermit Roosevelt and the satchel of dollars, the heady task of overthrowing the elected government of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran in 1953. And surely the memory of the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and his secret police, the Savak, comes back. The 52 hostages got to take of the blindfolds after their ordeal; but too many Americans are still wearing theirs.

Posted by: Copeland | Jan 5 2020 3:42 utc | 169

Extremely good interview with Scott Ritter and Georgio Cafieri over at CN Live .
Background and intelligent thoughts on going forward from the guys that know.

Posted by: lgfocus | Jan 5 2020 3:53 utc | 170

Canthama @ 149

Too much noise from the US, as usual, threats blah blah, there are simply not enough fire power in the Gulf to go to war against Iran, just recall what took from many countries to invade Iraq, so no WWIII, no major confrontation is expected. The Orange Man is clearly agitated, his few TV appearances, are showing a very disturbed person, not the usual Trumpest we know about.

I agree.

I suspect the next real systemic disaster in Jan '20 could well be a banking debacle in the EU that would shake the western hegemonic order to its financial roots and surface Germany's existential angst re its energy requirements and its export oriented future. The Sept '19 repo crisis likely reflects a shortage of liquidity in EU banks where negative yields have driven out of the EU-- to chase yield-- what liquidity these banks had to invest, while simultaneously meeting heightened BIS Basel III reserve requirements. They've been burnt badly in Turkey, which has serious economic problems. The US Fed broker dealers won't lend overnight--via repos--to the insolvent EU banks. I.e., this is a confidence issue and a vote of no confidence by very big financial houses. Counterintuitively, US equity markets could take a short term hit and then resume their climb up with a rising $US as liquidity flees negative rates into the only major market -- the US -- that could absorb that much liquidity.

Thanks for your posts over at SyrPers and here.

Posted by: pogohere | Jan 5 2020 3:54 utc | 171

We do not know (and I'm grateful to Pepe for entering this into his recent article) how much of this is being orchestrated by Trump of his own unadulterated initiative. We agree it's a mafia operating. Is he the boss of it? That's speculation. What is important is that those (and we've seen how they operate) in 'power' are calling the shots.

So I'm viewing with suspicion any post (including mine) that accidentally or not inserts this meme.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 5 2020 1:10 utc | 142

Once I was discussing cretin's paradox in this forum: "Cretins never tell the truth -- said Cretin". What does it even mean "unadulterated initiative"? Something pulled out of the ass that has no relationship with the nutritional inputs in the preceding period of time? Or from some dark recesses of the brain that never got information in the past? In this particular case, there was some "leaked" version that Trump was given a presentation with a list of options what to do in Iraq, and one option was the murder of Soleymani. And he picked that one. That says that the deep-staters surrounding Trump could easily avoid what happened, but he collected them.

In any case, in the few years before being elected, Trump showed interest in politics and policies that he did not reveal before, and it he proved to all and sundry that an old dog may learn new tricks, even if the quality is rather pitiful. For example, he spent a lot of energy propagating the claim that Obama was not legitimately elected as his birth certificate was falsified. That gave him credibility among the deplorables (all too numerous folks who believe such cretinisms). As intelligence is a multi-dimensional phenomenon, Trump excels in gulling the gullible, and is pretty deficient in devising and executing policies, be they sensible or not. "Progressive" advocacy of Trump was that he did not share belief in some sacred cows of the imperialist deep state. If one puts those unorthodox themes together, he would prefer to patch relationship with Russia and focus more on abusing lesser states like Iran. However, it is already proven that Trump's vision of what constitutes improving relations is utmost vague if not obscene. In my mother tongue he is łaskawca (dictionary meaning is "benefactor", but the usage is quite different. someone who perceives himself to be a benefactor while insulting the other party, someone like a lord who does not flog his serfs, well, who does not flog them too often, and at least part of the time, with a reason).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 5 2020 3:54 utc | 172

Regarding Trump phenomenon, with respect to those who will disagree: (TLDR - I can hardly provide one...)

I think beyond trolling there is also genuine surprise at how could apparently anti-imperialist commentary have appeared advancing Trump over Clinton in light of such position. If not on this forum, I may certainly have been one of those. What some of us might have been foreseeing, or at least, I was, in context:

- The US socio-political processes had proven to be dead with Obama
- The US financial failure and destructuring onto the world at large (2008 aftercrisis)
- The US military newfound aggressiveness onset into wars of conquest in Africa and Middle East
- The US internal power dispute unravelling

As the success role-model ceases to be you get the whole capitalist world looking elsewhere, all the while betting when it implodes it is nowhere near it. Now observe both Clinton and Trump on the following factors: socio-political, financial, industrial-military, intelligence.

For the rest of the world Trump may have more genuinely represented the most subordinate faction of power in the US, literally big capital with no intelligence, but also mostly oblivious to the ongoing US planning and its diminishing effectiveness. By introducing an anachronistic Fascist into the scheme of things, the US population would partially taste the reality they had already brought themselves in, but in an in-your-face fashion instead of being betrayed by appearances as they more likely would with Clinton, or as they were with Obama.

Laterally this would introduce a level of entropy into the Masters of Chaos Strategy of which Clinton was its direct representative which was conducive at the very least of delays in the execution, leading to internal dispute attrition and non-negligible errors in decision making. Trump would become Sand instead of Cog, Drag instead of Thrust. Not without very perilous risks of course, yet those risks were further removed from the ones which one could take for granted with Clinton given its established record. Trump would become the imperial timesink the world could use to soften the expected disturbance in stability. Call it naive, choice between evils, stupidity or even imperialist, this is an analysis not a vote! A vote was reserved to the US population, the world was at their mercy. And I'll confess I would rather see them slapping themselves into a proper democracy then dragging the world into the abyss along with them.


As Trump is domesticated, or as others would put it, reveals its true colors, so does its value as a timesink. Current events do demonstrate Trump has served its unwitting purpose. It is irrelevant to debate if Clinton would have brought the world to this circumstances in ~3 years or less as did Trump, it simply can't be materially disproved either way, who _would_ be wrong or right while we can't peek into parallel universes. We must understand when applying logic while speculating the future we are not necessarily creating a testable Theory, its predictive value decreases as much. I do take comfort in some explanatory value that it had, there is nothing more to extract from it as Trump phenomenon extinguishes itself and mutates into what we are already familiar with: US Imperialism.

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Jan 5 2020 3:57 utc | 173

@ 141 jackrabbit quote "Such speculation only plays into USA's depiction of Iran as a terrorist state." no jr... i shows that iran can respond in an asymmetric way in a tit for tat with the true terrorist state - the usa.. b is right for bringing this up in spite of those here who would prefer not to hear this..

@ 142 juliania quote "So I'm viewing with suspicion any post (including mine) that accidentally or not inserts this meme." and you would be right to do that! it is kind of tricky working around these black and white artists where everything is either black or white and the concept of colour or nuance is completely lost on them.. happy new year to you!

@ 144 a user.. good post.. i agree with the content of it too..

@ 161 psychohistorian.. thanks for that note..

@ 163 psychhistorian... the bullshit line from the uk press release - “Under international law the United States is entitled to defend itself against those posing an imminent threat to their citizens,” he added. that kind of logic can be applied anywhere at any time and it all falls back on - the usa said there was an immenent threat... jesus fucking christ.. there is an imminent threat at all times when you are a rogue nation living in another country - iraq - 24- 7... so, that is one fucking lame excuse..

@ 169 paveway quote in back and forth with lozion - " In my experience, psychopaths are paranoid of their enemies 24x7 and always need bodyguards and secret bunkers. Healthy leaders with honorable intentions - not so much." i share that view..we know what countries are being run by true psychopaths here too..

@ 172 yeah, right.. the usa logic is completely fucked up! how many innocent people has the usa killed-murdered and maimed in iraq since they got their, let alone everywhere else on the planet? some usa mercenary slime ball contractor dies in in iraq less then a week ago and the usa turns around and murders over 50 iraqi and the the head of the revolutionary guard claiming some warped sense of what? most people know what fucked up looks like and if this re-run happened of happened countless other times with the usa, it would look just as fucked up now as it did every time before...

Posted by: james | Jan 5 2020 4:01 utc | 174

Yes spectacular and symbolic and all that but Iran always acts nuisanced and only those it wants to know will know and no one else.. Iran wont assassinate anyone or attack anything that anyone would notice. But the gamer who pressed the trigger will have eaten his breakfast and fall over dead. There would be something found on him that only those that know and are looking will find a link. The rest will be iran openly ejecting US and its proxies from the ME as has been their goal and would be the biggest victory for Iran. Iran in the extreme would take out the entire basement gang of gamers to make a point and good chance but not likely.. In fact if you dont know, you will never even think of it. But those who need to know will know for sure.. It will be on something subtle like this. Not the US helicopters crashing near japan when ever there is a tussle with Russia in Syria..

Posted by: Igor Bundy | Jan 5 2020 4:02 utc | 175

hadn't - happened...

Posted by: james | Jan 5 2020 4:03 utc | 176

@ 163 psychohistorian... i am just reading craig murray now and he addresses this ''imminent'' word for anyone wondering how it is being used... good article bevin mentioned earlier..

Lies, the Bethlehem Doctrine, and the Illegal Murder of Soleimani

Posted by: james | Jan 5 2020 4:14 utc | 177

i would just add that when pompeo goes to church on sunday in kansas, he ought to choke on the fact he's responsible for murdering others... these religious hypocrites never seem to be able to figure out just how blind and ignorant they are in the extreme...

Posted by: james | Jan 5 2020 4:18 utc | 178

i am not sure who is a bigger ass and ignoramus - trump, pompeo or pence.. i am leaning towards pence being the biggest ignoramus of the bunch, but it is a close race...

Posted by: james | Jan 5 2020 4:22 utc | 179

My mother told me once that one should never romanticize evil. But this failure has become a recognizable feature in the way that Trump is constantly being mythologized; and his twists and turns, his appeal to brutish impulses, his inconsistencies, are spun so as to have some noble intention. He declares faithlessly that he has no intention of attacking Iran; only to come back at Iran with this shocking assassination of Soleimani. Then again Trump rages like a bull. The trajectory of events looks very dangerous at this point.

Posted by: Copeland | Jan 5 2020 4:26 utc | 180

"The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) claimed to be responsible for the bombing of the plane. It had used a Palestinian cutout in Lebanon to plant the bomb."

Right narrative, wrong details, as one would expect when quoting Wikipedia. Secondly, this article presents an actual case, by the hugely respected lawyer, Gareth Peirce, that the bomb was planted at Heathrow.

(Since the trial, evidence new to the defence but known from the start to the police has surfaced of a break-in at Heathrow in the hours before the disaster. The Fatal Accident Inquiry, which didn’t have this knowledge, had made a finding in 1991 that Pan Am 103 was ‘under constant guard at Heathrow’. Iran Air’s hangar at Heathrow was next to Pan Am’s.)

Posted by: jason kennedy | Jan 5 2020 4:28 utc | 181

from ttg at pat langs site.. The threat of General Soleimani - TTG relevant qoute "But he was a long term threat, not an imminent threat. And he was just one soldier.The threat is systemic and remains."

Posted by: james | Jan 5 2020 4:29 utc | 182

@DFC | Jan 4 2020 19:10 utc | 39

the countries more affected [by a shutdown of Hormuz] will be of course China (world Nº 1 oil importer)

In 2018, only 12% of China's imported oil came from Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: Cyril | Jan 5 2020 4:30 utc | 183

For Donald Trump everything is just a deal. But it is obvious that Iran will reject all such offers. It can not ideologically justify abstaining from revenge for its most prominent martyr in exchange for some material benefit [like restoration of the nuclear deal]. Trump will not get this but for Iran it is simply unthinkable and impossible.

Also, why would Iran rely on a promise from The Donald? What is such a promise worth?

Posted by: Cyril | Jan 5 2020 4:30 utc | 184

@149 "Too much noise from the US, as usual, threats blah blah, there are simply not enough fire power in the Gulf to go to war against Iran, just recall what took from many countries to invade Iraq, so no WWIII, no major confrontation is expected."

Strange, isn't it, that nobody in the USA rotates the prism to look at it from another angle.

The thinking:
a) if the USA doesn't have enough firepower in the Gulf and
b) just look at what it took to invade Iraq then
c) the USA is not in the position to carry through on a major confrontation.

Helllllloooooooooo. Earth to USA. Earth to USA.
There are two parties involved here, not just you.

If the USA's position is so precarious that a major conflict is unappealing then that ALSO makes a major confrontation more tempting for Iran, it does not make it less tempting.

USA: Nah, there'll be no big war because we're in no position to fight it.
Iran: Good to know, take this ya' bastards! [BANG] [CRASH] [BIFF] [THUMP]

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 5 2020 4:31 utc | 185

I agree with b that Iran MUST retaliate for the cowardly and unjustified murder of Soleimani. I've been reflecting upon my long standing pro-Trump stance since he took de facto ownership of this despicable act and have decided that it doesn't breach his pre-election promise of "no new wars."

My decision was influenced by events during the run-up to the Iraq Fake War. Colon Powell was initially against attacking Iraq but was blind-sided by some 11th hour "Intelligence Community" bullshit about Saddam's plans and changed his mind.

Whether you like it or not, that sets a precedent for Trump being blind-sided by his advisors. Or at least pretending to be...

Imo Trump helped the "Israelis" to ambush themselves when he "gave" them Jerusalem and Golan. Only a bunch of mental defectives/ cretins would believe enough of their own bs to imagine that those "gifts" were legal or legitimate. Predictably, the "Israelis" celebrated the "gift" by maiming and slaughtering hundreds of ineffectual protesters in Gaza - while the world looked on in horror and disgust.
That was Pratfall 1.

I don't know how to drain The Swamp of its vampires and satanists. I wouldn't know where to start. Trump thinks he does know and if he can trick The Swamp into ambushing itself as easily as he tricked the "Israelis" into acting like shameless monsters, in public, then he can do the same to The Swamp which, like the "Israelis" believes ALL of its own juvenile phantasmagorical bullshit.
There was no shortage of arrant nonsense from the pro-"Israel" crowd in Congress in the wake of this travesty.

"No new wars" is an extremely low bar and Trump was given Carte Blanche so I didn't expect his Presidency to be "nice." But this was way too Swampish for my tender naivety. On the other hand, hordes of politicians, commentators & other assholes outed themselves to The Public and, more importantly, to Trump.

It's too soon to call this Pratfall 2 but it's certainly shaping up that way. So I'm staying in wait and see mode.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 5 2020 4:54 utc | 186

@139 Paveway There are now numerous reports coming out of Washington that suggest the opposite i.e. the Pentagon briefed Trump, and as is usual practice they presented him with a Hobson's Choice

Option (1) was so wimpy that it amounted to doing nothing
Option (3) was so reckless (whack Soleimani) that they thought no-one would pick it
and smack in the middle was
Option (2) a.k.a. the obvious, sensible, practical option (further attacks on PMU units).

Trump woke from his daydream, pointed straight at Operation Whack Soleimani and said "That one. I want that one. It'll be huuuuuuuuuge!"

Apparently the Pentagon briefers were aghast but, hey, there it was right there on their very own PowerPoint slide, so what else could they do but say "Yes, sir! Right away, sir!".

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 5 2020 5:04 utc | 187

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 5 2020 3:54 utc | 176

The English word you are looking for is "patronizing".

Trump has just threatened war crimes via twitter "attacking Iranian cultural sites". He did not pull that out of his own hat. And the intention is not to "de-escalate".

The British reaction, by the way, is interesting to say the least.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 5 2020 5:18 utc | 188

RT says Trump threatens again
Trump says US to strike 52 Iranian sites 'VERY FAST and VERY HARD’ if Tehran moves to avenge general's death

the website with good access to Russia what does it mean. com is unreachable from here.. since the murder.

Posted by: snake | Jan 5 2020 5:21 utc | 189

snake 193 the site is fine.

Posted by: aNon | Jan 5 2020 5:23 utc | 190

@157 arata It would make a good topic for an online poll: who should Trump tie to a post and invite the Iranians to 'ave at 'em?

You know, eye for an eye and all that.

Pity John Bolton still isn't in the Trump Administration as he'd be the overwhelming favourite of the bookmakers.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 5 2020 5:23 utc | 191

psychohistorian@133 wrote:

Given the brazenness of the threats and provoking going on to start some military conflict, maybe China needs to play the "I won't sign the trade deal and I want to cash in my US Treasuries." cards to redirect the narrative and focus.

I've often wondered if an event similar to the ending of the Suez Crisis could be the climax of US empirical bellicosity. It sounds like the kind of forcefull but WWIII avoiding solution Putin & Xi could orchestrate. Very strange to hope for the collapse of my country but these are strange times indeed.

Posted by: Weekender823 | Jan 5 2020 5:24 utc | 192

james @178: no jr... it shows that iran can respond in an asymmetric way

The downing of PanAm 103 by Iran is largely speculation. But 99% of Americans that become aware of and accept that speculation will not see the downing as justified. They will think: USA made a terrible mistake but Iran's vengeful retaliation was terrorism. That conclusion stems largely from USA propaganda that depicts Iran as a terrorist state.

So there's no deterrent value in this speculation.

Furthermore, Iranian FM has said that a military strike should be met by a military strike. To me that means that Iran does not intend to hit civilian targets (like airliners). Wouldn't it be better to highlight Iran's civilized and rational approach instead of reinforcing American's propagandized mindset?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 5 2020 5:29 utc | 193

Vasco da Gama @177: Regarding Trump phenomenon ...

The "Trump phenomenon" was always a con. He is a faux populist just like Obama.

Some of us have been saying this for years now.

Most were too deluded to listen.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 5 2020 5:35 utc | 194

@ jr... it doesn't really matter what the braindead american public think or hear, especially from their loser leaders.. b was just pointing out the tit for tat likely with iran here.. and as someone much earlier pointed out - there is no parallel.. no one in the usa command is anywhere near the same.. the usa leaders are a bunch of chimps frankly.. so, i am not sure how this is going to play out.. i don't need to speculate on it, but that is the set up going into this and as much as americans might want to pull the covers over their brains by listening to the msm, it isn't going to change any of it here.. apologies to the intelligent americans, as i know they exist too, but just not in positions of political power...

Posted by: james | Jan 5 2020 5:40 utc | 195

Kudos to Jadan @ 112 & Anti-Spin @ 153 for those snipets of reality..There are many others, too many to respond to.

Thanks all, and b for the therapy & priceless info.....

Posted by: ben | Jan 5 2020 5:40 utc | 196

Remember that the US and the MSM can not be trusted, nor can any random person on the net (including me of course).

Humans love to make sense of things and create explanations and patterns even when there is nothing there.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jan 5 2020 5:44 utc | 197

- Never thought Iran was behind the Lockerbie "accident". But Libya being behind the attack made even much less sense. It was Always a murky situation surrounding "Lockerbie".
- I see a pattern emerging here. The US shoots down a plane and in retaliation Iran "takes out" a US plane over Lockerbie. Following the same pattern one would assume that in a few months time a high ranking US "official" will be "taken out".
- Between say 2006 and 2009 the Bush administration wanted to launch an attack on Iran but the US army opposed such an attack because the US still had A LOT OF troops in Iraq. The generals feared that - in retaliation - the iraqis (think: shiites) would cut off the (military) supply lines that ran from Kuwayt northwards into Iraq. Keep in mind: the population of Iraq consists for 60% of shiites that predominantly live in the south of Iraq.
- Although the US has reduced the amount of troops in Iraq I think it's still possible to starve those troops, to deprive those troops of their supplies by using the same method/tactic.
- In that regard the assasination of Suleiman was politically motivated but it could turn out into a military/logistical disaster for the US troops still present in Iraq. Then the question becomes: where are those US military bases located ?

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 5 2020 5:51 utc | 198

Mike Pompeo's address to the UN Security Council on 'Middle East Peace and Security' on 20 August 2019 seem prescient:

"...we are already tracking very closely the JCPOA provisions expiring in October of 2020, namely the UN arms embargo and the travel restrictions on Qasem Soleimani.

The whole world is able to track them, too. We now have a countdown clock, on the State Department’s Iran webpage. Time is drawing short to continue this activity of restricting Iran’s capacity to foment its terror regime.

The international community will have plenty of time to see how long it has until Iran is unshackled to create new turmoil, and figure out what it must do to prevent this from happening

My emphases.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Jan 5 2020 6:01 utc | 199

jackrabbit... what would be the best is if americans learned some history outside their own country, specifically the history of the usa's role in keeping a dictator propped up in iran for as long as they did prior to 1979... it wouldn't hurt if they learned about iran flight 655 either to understand just how whacked out the military leadership is too.. in fact, they can get that off the propaganda site wikipedia too fwiw..

Posted by: james | Jan 5 2020 6:04 utc | 200

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