Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 03, 2020

U.S. Will Come To Regret Its Assassination of Qassim Soleimani

Today the U.S. declared war on Iran and Iraq.

War is what it will get.

Earlier today a U.S. drone or helicopter killed Major General Qassim Soleimani, the famous commander of the Iranian Quds ('Jerusalem') force, while he left the airport of Baghdad where he had just arrived. He had planned to attend the funeral of the 31 Iraqi soldiers the U.S. had killed on December 29 at the Syrian-Iraqi border near Al-Qaim.


The Quds force is the external arm of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. Soleiman was responsible for all relations between Iran and political and militant movements outside of Iran. Hajji Qassim advised the Lebanese Hisbullah during the 2006 war against Israel. His support for Iraqi groups enabled them to kick the U.S. invaders out of Iraq. He was the man responsible for, and successful in, defeating the Islamic State in iraq and Syria. In 2015 Soleimani traveled to Moscow and convinced Russia to intervene in Syria. His support for the Houthi in Yemen enabled them to withstand the Saudi attackers.


Soleimani had arrived in Baghdad on a normal flight from Lebanon. He did not travel in secret. He was picked up at the airport by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes, the deputy commander of the al-Hashd al-Shaabi, an official Iraqi security force under the command of the Iraqi Prime Minister. The two cars they traveled in were destroyed in the U.S. attack. Both men and their drivers and guards died.


The U.S. created two martyrs who will now become the models and idols for tens of millions of youth in the Middle East.


The Houthi in Yemen, Hizbullah in Lebanon, Islamic Jihad in Palestine, the paramilitary forces in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere have all benefited from Soleimani's advice and support. They will all take actions to revenge him.

Moqtada al-Sadr, the unruly Shia cleric who commands millions of followers in Iraq, has given orders to reactivate his military branch 'Jaish al-Imam al-Mahdi'. Between 2004 and 2008 the Mahdi forces fought the U.S. occupation of Iraq. They will do so again.

The outright assassination of a commander of Soleimani's weight demands an Iranian reaction of at least a similar size. All U.S. generals or high politicians traveling in the Middle East or elsewhere will now have to watch their back. There will be no safety for them anywhere.

No Iraqi politician will be able to argue for keeping U.S. forces in the country. The Iraqi Prime Minister Abdel Mahdi has called for a parliament emergency meeting to ask for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops:

"The targeted assassination of an Iraqi commander is a violation of the agreement. It can trigger a war in Iraq and the region. It is a clear violation of the conditions of the U.S. presence in Iraq. I call on the parliament to take the necessary steps."

The National Security Council of Iran is meeting with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to "study the options of response". There are many such options. The U.S. has forces stationed in many countries around Iran. From now on none of them will be safe.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a statement calling for three days of public mourning and then retaliation.

“His departure to God does not end his path or his mission,” the statement said, “but a forceful revenge awaits the criminals who have his blood and the blood of the other martyrs last night on their hands.”

Iran will tie its response to the political calender. U.S. President Donald Trump will go into his reelection campaign with U.S. troops under threat everywhere. We can expect incidents like the Beirut barracks bombing to repeat themselves when he is most vulnerable.

Trump will learn that killing the enemy is the easy part of a war. The difficulties come after that happened.

In 2018 Soleimani publicly responded to a tweet in which Trump had threatened Iran:

“Mr. Trump, the gambler! […] You are well aware of our power and capabilities in the region. You know how powerful we are in asymmetrical warfare. Come, we are waiting for you. We are the real men on the scene, as far as you are concerned. You know that a war would mean the loss of all your capabilities. You may start the war, but we will be the ones to determine its end.

Since May 2019 the U.S. deployed at least 14,800 additional soldiers to the Middle East. Over the last three days airborne elements and special forces followed. The U.S.has clearly planned for an escalation.

Soleimani will be replaced by Brigadier General Ismail Ghani, a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war who has for decades been active in the Quds Force and has fought against ISIS in Syria. He is an officer of equal stature and capability.

Iran's policies and support for foreign groups will intensify. The U.S. has won nothing with its attack but will feel the consequences for decades to come. From now on its position in the Middle East will be severely constrained. Others will move in to take its place.

Posted by b on January 3, 2020 at 9:05 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Come on Iran,Iraq,bomb DC to oblivionand all fucking americans with it!

Posted by: willie | Jan 3 2020 9:18 utc | 1

If Iran is smart they would ask Tulsi Gabbard to come to Tehran and try to make peace with Trump. Israel and the neocons in the Trump orbit want an excuse to attack Iran. Don't give them one. Take the high road.

Posted by: Kali | Jan 3 2020 9:18 utc | 2

A man elected by telling his followers he will stop all wars overseas and bring the soldiers home. How do you like them apples now?

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Jan 3 2020 9:19 utc | 3

Oh, it was certainly a grave miscalculation by the US. The NeoCons must have been pushing for it for years, and it wasn't the first assassination attempt. But I don't think the reprisal will be immediate. Retaliation needs to be carefully thought out, in order to avoid an exchange mounting in tension leading to outright war (certainly part of the US plan).

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 3 2020 9:29 utc | 4

I was wondering, seeing as Netanyahu has suddenly dropped his Greek visit, and run back home, whether the retaliation won't be against Israel. Netanyahu certainly fears it.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 3 2020 9:33 utc | 5

Excuse Me *b'.
I'm a bonafide *american*, with roots there from 300 years ago.
I left the States permanently 40+ years ago.

Fuck these zionazi scumbags.
A pest on all of them.

Buckle-Up People.
WWIII courtesy of these evil phariseés, coming up soon.

Posted by: Veritas X- | Jan 3 2020 9:36 utc | 6

Do not retaliate immediately to suit your enemies .
Let the world see how a civilised Iran responds to utter provocation by an uncivilised bully.
They used to call it Buck Braking.
The world (except the usual arselickers) will understand that retaliation is justified and the cost of defending every USA and Israel target will be huge.
When a threat is carried out it is weakened.
Go to World opinion.

Posted by: Boindub | Jan 3 2020 9:38 utc | 7

Hope al-Sadr has got sore balls from sitting on the fence. Small minded prick trying to use US for his small minded shenanigans. But whatever, if he mobilize his forces against the US, we might be able to cheer a few US bodybags on there way home. With no defences, Iraqi's will pay a high price, but bodybags have a major influence on US public.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 3 2020 9:38 utc | 8

Soleimani will be replaced by an officer of equal stature.
I'm not sure I'd agree with that. Sulaimani was a figure of exceptional stature, and skill. But, as you say, he may yet be worth more dead than alive, as a martyr.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 3 2020 9:39 utc | 9

There have been all kinds of threats of retaliation for so long. Nothing materializes. Israel has been bombing targets in Syria with impunity. They’ve even bombed in Iraq.

There’s all kinds of strong words and rhetoric. Let’s see what if anything Khamanei does? Let’s see if the Iraqi parliament does anything? How are they going to force the US military to exit?

Posted by: ab initio | Jan 3 2020 9:40 utc | 10

thanks b, gruesome news but great article!

Posted by: mary-lou | Jan 3 2020 9:44 utc | 11

The world will remember Qassim Soleimani as a pivotal figure in the struggle against US domination in the Middle East. Rest in peace Major General.

This surely must be the single most stupid thing Trump could do entering the election year.

How ironic that the warmongering Democrats will use the consequences of the targeted killing of an Iranian official as ammunition to kill this presidency.

Iran is not looking for an all out war, the response will be asymmetric and appropriate.

Straining US-Israeli relations and poisoning the political well in the US to accelerate the decline of the American Empire would be the ultimate revenge.

Trump repaid Sheldon Adelson, but more people will pay the ultimate price.

Posted by: Peter | Jan 3 2020 9:48 utc | 12

Though I fully believe Trump is capable of ordering a hit one of the highest ranking generals in the Iranian military, I'm not necessarily convinced that is the case. My first thoughts on hearing news of the assassination were as follows: when the Pentagon and its corporate bullhorns make such a special point of telling us that Trump gave the order to kill such a high ranking military figure why do I harbor suspicions that might not have been the case? I don't need telling in capital letters that Trump did it, as I would assume the order would have to have come from the president without having to be told. Normally, Trump does the bragging bit himself. If it is to be done at all. That Trump ordering the hit gets such a special mention suggests that the Pentagon more often than not carries out similar operations irrespective of what the president might want. Well, my might musings may amount to what some what label a conspiracy theory but might a military coup just taken place in the US? After all, would the president have enough courage to tell the American people he had not given the order if that were the case? When we can't trust our leaders and we can't trust the media, who can we trust? And who is to be believed? Apart from that, the way the news is being released has a few unsubtle hints of dumping blame on Trump. A lot of people in the Pentagon, might either regret the operation, or were never given an inkling of what was about to happen.

Posted by: Bryan Hemming | Jan 3 2020 9:53 utc | 13

"The U.S. has won nothing with its attack but will feel the consequences for decades to come. Others will move in to take its place."

Wait for awhile on that one. Iraq will have to take some major hits if it tries moving to the Russia China sphere. And it will have to deal with the fith column which are strong. Iraq will have to go through the fire - like Donbass, Syria ect until it is distilled to a solid core and then they will get support that will drive back the yanks.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 3 2020 9:53 utc | 14

To summarize b: The US doesn't gain anything, and potentially loses everything they sought out to do in Iraq (and by extension; Syria), from the killing of Soleimani.

So why do it? Was Soleimani really the target? Who benifits by drawing the US and Iran closer war?

I wouldn't be surprised if an article about 'bad intel received from a 3rd party' pops up in the NYT in a few months time.

Posted by: never mind | Jan 3 2020 9:54 utc | 15

Iranians have to do nothing, every rocket, bullett or treeleave which falls in the vicinity of an American will be labeled a counter attack of tthe iranians. And thus striking fear, they will live their own nightmare.
The tweet of khamenie yesterday provoked trump, ttrump did exactly as aspected when sulieman made his public trip to iraq. Maybe he is as dead as Epstein or he did underestimatte the american stupiditty.

Posted by: Gary | Jan 3 2020 9:55 utc | 16

Posted by: ab initio | Jan 3 2020 9:40 utc | 10

There’s all kinds of strong words and rhetoric. Let’s see what if anything Khamanei does?
You underestimate the gravity of the crisis. It's much more profound than that, not far off 9/11 level. But there won't be instant retaliation. That would be foolish.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 3 2020 9:59 utc | 17

Nice one, b, thanks...

I've been following Elijah M. and several others on twitter, as well as more mainstream sources for several hours after learning of these assassinations.

the absolute stupidity, maliciousness and wickedness of the US Political and Military Elites is truly astonishing. They have misjudged every single thing in that part of the world since 9/11 and the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and then Iraq - and spent/wasted well over $5 trillion. not to mention the horrific loss of life everywhere from Syria to Iraq and Yemen. And we are now looking at another even more catastrophic war.
it is unbelievable

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jan 3 2020 9:59 utc | 18

The price of crude oil has jumped over $2 USD on the world markets since the news

I expect the US to fully resist being booted out of Iraq (which would also make it's two major positions in Syria highly untenable). who could now believe that US troops in Iraq and Syria won't come under sustained attack now, by the many allies Iran has in the area?

Elijah gives breaking news

Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Sistani considers "the #US attack against the #BaghdadAirport is a clear violation of #Iraq sovereignty".

That is clear support for the US withdrawal from #Iraq.


S Sistani condemns the "attack against Iraqi (not Iranian-militia) position on the borders killing our Iraqi sons to the hateful attack on #BaghdadAirport is a violation and internationally unlawful (US) act against anti-#ISIS hero(s) leading to difficult times for #Iraq".

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jan 3 2020 10:05 utc | 19

Really, the ball is in Iraq's court. This is an attack on Iraqi sovereignty as much as an act of war on Iran. We will now see what the Iraqi are made of.

Posted by: bluedotterel | Jan 3 2020 10:07 utc | 20

@never mind "Soleimani really the target?"

Trump was personally responsible for having the organisation Soleimani led declared a terrorist organisation. Time to quit the "Trump is a dumbfuck led by others" Trump is around 70 and has been his own boss all his life. He is now commander in chief of the US military. He gives the orders, nobody else. He doesn't give a shit about the cold war and Europe, hence people thinking he is a peacenik. What he does care about is enemies of Israel and control of energy.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 3 2020 10:07 utc | 21

I am left wondering to what extent the events were pre-planned.

Seems very possible that Trump will never actually be impeached. As a war President, his legacy will be guarded. Was impeachment ever anything but a distraction prior to a false-flag and escalation?

IMO Trump's Presidential contract with the Deep State likely includes NO IMPEACHMENT and NO RELEASE OF HIS TAXES. Both to guard his "good name" because Trump see the the "Trump" brand as his biggest asset.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 3 2020 10:07 utc | 22

We need to re-evaluate a few things.

Was Erdogan's recent move to send Troops to Libya just a cover for general mobilization?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 3 2020 10:09 utc | 23

The best revenge the Iraninans could have would be the expulsion of US troops from Iraq and Syria, which by the way was also the overarching goal of Soleimani...

No blood but his work completed..

Russianstyle revenge.

Posted by: Bjørn Holmgaard | Jan 3 2020 10:11 utc | 24

thanks b. horrifying news indeed, a major step towards war which will galvanize iranian public opinion.

Posted by: laughlyn | Jan 3 2020 10:15 utc | 25


If the Iraqi politician had anything resembling balls, they would have kicked the US out the moment Trump proclaimed he had 'secured' the Syrian oil. Will have to do some research on whether Iraqi politicians can produce kids.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 3 2020 10:17 utc | 26

Bryan Hemming@13

You (far more elaborately) illustrated my take.
I personally think he gets 'strongly advised' on which course to take, and even if he disagrees goes along anyways. Maybe it's just plain selfish expediency, or one of many other reasons.

Makes one wonder if the raids on Epstein's residences landed the deep-state some very incriminating footage.
Perhaps they 'own' him outright now.

I'll be surprised if the next election doesn't bring major civil unrest to the USA.
Then 'they' will have something to really worry about, directly in their own laps, for a change.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 3 2020 10:20 utc | 27

@Peter AU1

Then the US is willfully shooting itself in the foot and I have a hard time believing that.

Posted by: never mind | Jan 3 2020 10:22 utc | 28

Trump doesn't give a shit about soft power. He believes in hard power. Iraq has no defence against the US, and Trump intends to attack Iran. He needs a 9 11 to take the American population with him.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 3 2020 10:29 utc | 29

Bjørn Holmgaard @24:

The best revenge the Iraninans could have would be the expulsion of US troops from Iraq and Syria ...

UN resolution 2249 (2015):
Calls upon Member States that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular with the United Nations Charter, as well as international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, on the territory under the control of ISIL also known as Da’esh, in Syria and Iraq, to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL also known as Da’esh as well as ANF, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the United Nations Security Council, and as may further be agreed by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and endorsed by the UN Security Council, pursuant to the Statement of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) of 14 November, and to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria;

USA have made it very clear that they are not leaving Syria and the same thinking/excuses likely applies to Iraq.

Some will argue that using UN2249 as justification for over-staying and virtual occupation is wrong-headed. Nevertheless, USA claims to remain to ensure against a resurgence of ISIS. Clearly they intend to stay until their goals are met or they are forced out militarily.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 3 2020 10:30 utc | 30

I suspect I'm not the only MoA barfly who thinks the assassination of Hossein Soleymani could have been planned with Mossad or other organisations and individuals in Israeli society.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 3 2020 10:34 utc | 31

I have the impression that Israel is taking responsibility for management of Iraq/Iran situation.

Suspect Trump is delegating and is along for ride. No dought in control in his own mind.

It appears that president is obliged to accept intelligence and guidance of security state effectively tying his hands

Posted by: jared | Jan 3 2020 10:35 utc | 32

The Iraqis are certainly capable of making life for the US very uncomfortable in Iraq and Syria, even if not force withdrawal. The present US structure and numbers depend on Iraqi acquiescence, and that's about shot, even before the assassination. If the position is to be maintained without Iraqi acquiescence, then thousands more troops would be required, and that wouldn't go down well back home in the States. That's one of the reasons why the act was a grave miscalculation.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 3 2020 10:35 utc | 33

Prayers for *Qassim Soleimani* and the 'engineer' *Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes*.

WE who respect Life & Freedom have, a huge debt, to Qassim Soleimani.
It was Qassim Soleimani who was in Moscow many times, BEFORE the Russian Federation went 'all-in' in Syria September 2015.
He was a brilliant military strategist, who after these meetings had convinced V.Putin & Russian Military of a....very very effective 'game plan' to free the Syrian People of the wahhabbi-terrorists & jizzreali-mercenaries.
Yes. Brilliant Man.
Besides this characteristic, Qassim Soleimani was a man of faith.
Unafraid to travel openly, knowing Our God would be with him both in Life & Death.


Posted by: Veritas X- | Jan 3 2020 10:38 utc | 34

#5 Logically he would be the exact equivalent of Suleymani, and since these cavemen that claim to be politicians still believe in the Talion law...

Posted by: Mina | Jan 3 2020 10:42 utc | 35

People like Soleimani and Zahreddine had their religion, but they were also secular in their world veiw - not religious nutcases. Not good when the yanks kill them. But then there's all - to us - the unknowns the US has killed. Perhaps unknown to us, like the SAA soldiers on the hills out of Dier Ezzor killed in the US Australian and other assorted rabble strike. 100 or so SAA, unknown to us but known to family and friends. Sooner the yank frankenstein made up of assorted so called dissidents and genuine zionists is wiped off the earth the better.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 3 2020 10:47 utc | 36

I figure Iran will have to retaliate and thus this will likely escalate. The Saker initially thinks war is 80% certain, I think it’s probably a bit higher than that.

Posted by: TEP | Jan 3 2020 10:49 utc | 37

This was not Trump`s decision. Trump had to take responsibilty to show he is in command. He will soon realize that he was played by the CIA and the Israelis. By then it is too late.
The US and its vassals are speeding up confrontation with the Axis because they know that the showdown is inevitable. However, It will not happen according to the US timetable.
Keep a good supply of popcorn on hand. The pandora box has plenty of surprises. The question remains,

Will the state of Israel survives?

God help us.

Posted by: Kurious | Jan 3 2020 10:51 utc | 38

Sasha in the previous thread was enquiring about what Elijah Magnier had to say about the goings on in Iraq.

FYI, just found his excellent twitter thread on the Soleimani assassination (fresh off the press)

The lad seems to know what he's talking about.

Posted by: El Sid | Jan 3 2020 10:53 utc | 39

Veritas X- "He was a brilliant military strategist"

That's why Trump hit him. And I say hit because Trump has very much a US mob or movie style mafia mentality.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 3 2020 10:55 utc | 40

I figure Iran will have to retaliate and thus this will likely escalate. The Saker initially thinks war is 80% certain, I think it’s probably a bit higher than that.

Posted by: TEP | Jan 3 2020 10:49 utc | 36

The Iranians would be foolish to allow themselves to be goaded like that.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 3 2020 11:04 utc | 41

Putin has warned Trump against attacking Iran. Trump needs an excuse. I may be wrong but I doubt an Iranian response to the US killing will cut it. This will be interesting to see. Trump may have to wear the Iranian response or bear the same consequence as if he had attacked Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 3 2020 11:05 utc | 42

War with Islam is inevitable. Or you could submit. Their plan is global sharia and return to the dark ages

Posted by: Kirk | Jan 3 2020 11:12 utc | 43


Iran has a choice. It can suffer hit like this one left right and center, at least until the end of the Trump regime, or it can strike back and initiate ware. Unless Iran strikes back, which will intimate war, Trump will up the the game to where he is hitting Iran at will and Iran is taking major losses. Like Putin says, 'when a fight is inevitable, hit first'. Iran is better off kicking things off now rather than after they have taken big losses.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 3 2020 11:18 utc | 44


"This was not Trump`s decision. Trump had to take responsibilty to show he is in command. He will soon realize that he was played by the CIA and the Israelis."

Dont exempt Trump
but that Trump is getting fooled by Israel is obvious:
Tillerson says Netanyahu skillfully ‘played’ Trump using misinformation

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 3 2020 11:21 utc | 45


You are an odd person. I've not seen any sharia-based empire building around here, perhaps it is all in your mind.

I am wary of overly-religious types, but Islam is no threat to me.

Happy-clappy, neo-conservative, rapture-ready, war-mongering psychopaths on the other hand scare the willies outta me.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 3 2020 11:23 utc | 46

I too look to twitter. I see claims that Iran has dispersed fighter aircraft to fields near the borders. I see that "out bound heavies" are flying out of the US...calls for people to pack and bugout...signs here and there of this conflict becoming very destructive and impossible to control. The Iranian 3 day pause makes sense, but no one should assume that the aggressor will wait 3 not looking like simple attack, but like a campaign. If so, then it's a red hot fight. S. Mohamad Marandi and Mark Sleboda often have interesting tweets.

If this is a campaign, yes of course there was/is a plan. However no plan survives first contact with the enemy. Persia has been there a long time, Yankee fatboy...something the fine gentlemen perhaps may not have known, since they're barking insane and know zero history. The US history is merely the blink of history's eye, so far. Education by war is a harsh process, and expensive.

If state a is attacked, then internal mechanism of state a tends to force leadership of a to "reply". similarly if state b attacks state a, it's because of the internal calculus of state b that this occurs. all war may be seen as domestic in origin.

Maybe I ought to fill the car with gas... That's my internal calculus.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 3 2020 11:24 utc | 47

Does anyone here follow Trump's Twitter posts (I don't)? If so, please link his tweet in which he claims responsibility. The vile narcissist that we are led to believe him to be would want to brag loud and first if he ordered the assassination, regardless of the time it happened.

No Twitter post? Then I doubt Trump was in the loop.

The neocons are "making history" again and Trump will have to choose to go along with it rather than fight it, but it is clear to me now that he is not even being briefed on these operations until after the fact.

In fact, Trump being holed up in his Florida compound and not even in Washington as this war is launched suggests to me that he may have been threatened with being Kennedy-ed. "Shut up and go along or an Iranian will snuff you... and we know it will be an Iranian because we already have his passport ready to be found at the scene of the crime."

Insanity? Yes, America has collectively gone insane, as has its population individually. It could be that Trump tried to fight it, but fighting mass insanity is like trying to hold back a hurricane. Even a President cannot do that.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 3 2020 11:24 utc | 48

Look's like the *hasbara brigade* has decided to de-rail the discussion here.

Don't feed-these-trolls!
Zionism is a mental disorder.
Please Ignore them.
Let this post be the last 1 regarding them.

Ignore them!

Posted by: Veritas X- | Jan 3 2020 11:29 utc | 49

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 3 2020 11:18 utc | 43

I'd expect the Iranians to be more subtle than that. I don't think there's any advantage for the Iranians to directly attack the US position in the ME.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 3 2020 11:35 utc | 50

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 3 2020 11:35 utc | 49
Of course if the US bombers are already on their way, that would be different.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 3 2020 11:41 utc | 51

I suppose Iran will (and is well-advised to) be restrained with retaliation for the time being.

An immediate consequence of the terrorist attack committed by the US military within Iraq will probably be that hardly any political force in Iraq - even those critical of Iran - can support the further presence of US troops in Iraq any more.

A likely consequence is that the US military will soon be asked to leave Iraq after it has so blatantly violated the term of its troop presence there.

That hardly means that the US will really leave, but it means that the US will become a hostile occupying force without any basis in a treaty again, which will weaken its position severely and also endanger the supply lines to the smaller US occupying forces in Syria.

Therefore, there are likely to be changes in the situation in the Middle East that are favorable to Iran and unfavorable to the US. Killing a high-ranking US military official in retaliation may be considered by Iran, but for the time being, getting the US officially thrown out of Iraq probably has priority.

Posted by: Adrian E. | Jan 3 2020 11:41 utc | 52

Tweet from John Bolton:

"Congratulations to all involved in eliminating Qassem Soleimani. Long in the making, this was a decisive blow against Iran's malign Quds Force activities worldwide. Hope this is the first step to regime change in Tehran."


Posted by: NoName | Jan 3 2020 11:45 utc | 53

William Gruff Trump ia a pragmatic business man full of american exceptionalism and a hatred of Iran rather than a narcissist. Being president of the US means there is no law, nobody to hold the US to account, no court to be dragged to for the US.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 3 2020 11:45 utc | 54

I dont see any military response by Iran.
Remember US have attacked the whole middle east past years, nothing has happend, no one has responded.
Trump is dumb enough to do this he is dumb enough to escalate it by bombing groups of soldiers in Iran, even Khameini if it comes to that.

Give it a few days. In the end Republicans, Democrats, EU, Media will back Trump, especially if Iran would respond.

US killing of Iranian commander on Iraqi soil violates terms of US stationing troops in the country – Iraqi PM
Well tell the US to move the f*ck out then already!?

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 3 2020 11:46 utc | 55

@Laguerre 4

But I don't think the reprisal will be immediate. Retaliation needs to be carefully thought out, in order to avoid an exchange mounting in tension leading to outright war (certainly part of the US plan).

Yes, Iran is too smart and experienced to let loose wildly and play into the hands of its scheming and plotting enemies. But the chain of events set into motion by the United States makes an all out war a real possibility. Both recent attacks by the US military were blatantly provocative and disproportionately vicious.

By killing two dozen PMU members in bases hundreds of miles away from the site of an alleged missile attack in which one American “contractor” was killed and days later assassinating Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s top military strategist and a leader with almost mythical status there, in retaliation for angry Iraqis upset at the PMU killings shouting slogans and setting superficial fires around the American embassy in Baghdad, the United States is practically begging Iran to retaliate hard. These are not the actions of a regime that wants to avoid a shooting war. Quite the opposite.

Putting Iran into a position where it has to respond with significant force or risk losing face are actions that make an escalation leading to all out war far more likely. The neocons in Trump’s inner circle know exactly how important Soleimani was to Iran and that killing him is practically a declaration of war.

Posted by: Daniel | Jan 3 2020 11:52 utc | 56
"According to the Pentagon, the assassination was at the direct command of President Trump."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 3 2020 11:57 utc | 57

French State radio (there ain't no other) says there's a crowd cheering Sulaymani's death on place Tahrir in Bagdad.I just can't believe this.

Posted by: willie | Jan 3 2020 11:57 utc | 58


Alot of desinformation in the west now to justify the killing, if it is true the cheering crowd are probably ISIL supporters or sunni extremists.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 3 2020 12:00 utc | 59

willie | Jan 3 2020 11:57 utc | 57

They said so this morning on the BBC4 Today radio programme.
I don't believe it either.
Anyone with more info on this one?

Posted by: Alex_Gorsky | Jan 3 2020 12:01 utc | 60

In our time we have seen a president who bucked the system assassinated, the next one refused to run again, the next one resigned in disgrace... We have seen a general manipulated in front of the UN. Is this president being manipulated just like others? The public and Congress have been told lies. The congress has been bugged. At some point folks in general will come to expect our presidents to be manipulated by the stories and information they are provided by their advisers. But, nothing will have changed, as we can see from the history of our time. The private agenda will likely succeed barring a great shakeup, draining.

Posted by: UnionHorse | Jan 3 2020 12:02 utc | 61

"If Iran is smart they would ask Tulsi Gabbard to come to Tehran…" - or may be ask JANE FONDA!
Thanks again also for this great article.
But Trump may very well calculate that a war with Iran may help him in the coming election. During a war people tend to gather behind their 'leader'. Goebbels knew exactly why he shouted into the crowd below him: "What do you want: Butter or Cannons?"!

Posted by: Joerg | Jan 3 2020 12:05 utc | 62

RE: Peter AU1 | Jan 3 2020 10:55 utc @ 39

"That's why Trump hit him. And I say hit because Trump has very much a US mob or movie style mafia mentality".

Brother Peter.
Let me expand on this.

I'm born & raised in NJ-new jersey, ca 25km from Manhattan, from the 1950's onward.
My grandfather grew-up with & knew personally many of the Italian *Cosa Nostra*-bosses.
They were the 2nd-tier.

Concerning the true/real Bosses-of-Bosses *Kosher Nostra*-Murder Inc. Meyer Lansky, and, Tronald Dump...well.
Tronald Dump BOUGHT *Resorts International* from Lansky & cia in the mid-1980's.
At the time, Tronald D was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Wilbur Ross/rotshit agent bailed the Tronald out at the same time.
The Tronald's grandfather had bordellos all over the west coast-usa....another story in itself.
Tronald's father was a super-duper financial supporter of the [j]ew York-community.

My father was...a top, I mean top+++ finance guy in NYC.
WASP 100%.
Anyway, he 'hated'/disparaged...achoo-achoo...a certain tribe, even though he was extraordinarily excellent in doing-their-bidding.
"Right"... everyone here will say.
OK. Fact friends:
Father considered 1 of his personal-merits was being able to...lift a 1970 and...'get' $100 Million within 24 hours.
Yes. $100,000,000 in 1970.
Probably somewhere about $1Billion in 2020. now.

Anyway Peter AU1, You are correct.
The Dump is a kosher nostra brother.

I've got things to do so no more comments for a few hours now.
Regards X-
btw, I live in Scandinavia since 1981.

Posted by: Veritas X- | Jan 3 2020 12:06 utc | 63

Plenty more of these headlines. Time to quit the shit about Trump being led astray by the generals or cornered by the neo-cons.
The commander of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards Corps was killed early Friday in a drone strike at Baghdad International Airport that was authorized by President Trump, American officials said.
In ordering the killing of Gen. Qassem Suleimani, one of Iran’s highest-ranking officials, President Trump has taken one of the biggest gambles of his presidency —

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 3 2020 12:07 utc | 64

Don't worry, everyone. The US doesn't want to escalate things further...

"Discussed with @DominicRaab the recent decision to take defensive action to eliminate Qassem Soleimani. Thankful that our allies recognize the continuing aggressive threats posed by the Iranian Quds Force. The U.S. remains committed to de-escalation"

Pompeo's Twitter

Posted by: evilsooty999 | Jan 3 2020 12:08 utc | 65

Trump owns this mess regardless if he was played by the usual suspects or not. Iran's response will be to kick the US out of Iraqi soil. Any reports of build up of Iranian forces on their border is purely a defensive posture.

willie @57: Nothing unusual about that report. There are those that either admire or despise him. Look at Trump for another example.

Posted by: Ian2 | Jan 3 2020 12:09 utc | 66

French State radio (there ain't no other) says there's a crowd cheering Sulaymani's death on place Tahrir in Bagdad.I just can't believe this.

Posted by: willie | Jan 3 2020 11:57 utc | 57

There are plenty of private French Radio stations. Emma Skye reported the demos in Tahrir square during an interview on the BBC this morning. No doubt they were organised by the same people who organised the demos against the regime some weeks ago.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 3 2020 12:10 utc | 67

Veritas X-
Thanks. I only had movie style cosa nostra and a few doco's to go on, but it seems Trump is the real deal.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 3 2020 12:14 utc | 68

I condemn these murders completely. I give my condolences to the families and the people of the fallen. I pray for God to bring the souls of the faithful into His peace, and his mercy, and his Light.

Posted by: Josh | Jan 3 2020 12:14 utc | 69

"Iran's Khamenei appoints Soleimani's deputy as new head of Quds Forces"

Posted by: imo | Jan 3 2020 12:18 utc | 70

ooops, this went with the previous post

"Brigadier General Esmail Ghaani was appointed to lead Iran’s elite Quds Force after its previous commander, Major General Qassem Soleimani, was killed in a US airstrike on Friday.
The unit’s program “will stay exactly the same” as it was under Soleimani, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said, as quoted by Tasnim News Agency..."

Posted by: imo | Jan 3 2020 12:20 utc | 71

Good thing we didn't elect that warmonger Hillary...

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jan 3 2020 12:21 utc | 72

Why does the Pentagram need to assert that the assassination order came from Trump when up to now Trump has been more than eager to be the first to announce his decisions over Twitter?

This, along with the announcement by that mutant psycho death walrus Bolton who is not even in the administration anymore, makes it even more unlikely that Trump was involved. This is an obvious setup to force Trump to own the assassination and back open war.

Remember Trump cancelling (by Twitter post, no less) the war preparations after America's very best and most expensive drone was shot down? If Trump were itching for war he could have easily let it start back then just by staying quiet, but he called it off. Trump's aggressive rhetoric is just posturing, mostly for the idiot psychopaths of which the entire US population is composed but also because he thinks it is good for improving his bargaining position in negotiations.

This doesn't change the fact that the US has just declared war on Iraq and Iran, but there is still value in understanding the dynamics of what is really going on, at least for Americans who might want to try and change the dead end course their country is on. I am not sure that this understanding makes any difference at this point to people outside the US. For those clear-sighted ones outside the US there is really only one rational option now.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 3 2020 12:24 utc | 73

12m12 minutes ago
The operation that killed Qassim Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis is called Blue Lightning. It's meant to be continuous.

Looks like Trump is starting his war before the election.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 3 2020 12:25 utc | 74

Yes,Laguerre,you are right.I know there are many non government stations,but globally they are regional commercial stations with no political redactions.Of course you have Europe1,RTL Radio Vatican etc,but their points of view and information channels are the same as those of state radio.This vbrings me to the point:It is god to have alternative websites,but why can't I find alternative radio or tv channels?
Tell me about Emma Skye,please,where can I find it.?

Posted by: willie | Jan 3 2020 12:25 utc | 75

Trump has accomplished the impossible. He just lost the election. Now we're going to be saddled with moron Democrat. (Which isn't a whole lot different than being saddled with a moron, orangutan Republican.)

Posted by: rcentros | Jan 3 2020 12:26 utc | 76

Not just the pentagon saying it was Trump's orders.

Secretary Pompeo

Verified account

29m29 minutes ago
Spoke with @HeikoMaas about @realDonaldTrump's decision to take defensive action to eliminate Qassem Soleimani. Germany is also concerned over the Iranian regime’s continued military provocations. The U.S. remains committed to de-escalation.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 3 2020 12:39 utc | 77

Regardless of who ordered this assassination, I think it is virtually impossible to profit from it.  Russia, China and Iran are now primed for this sort of thing and won't let it escalate.  The US will swiftly be cut down to size.  It's bullying days are over and it simply doesn't have the will, power or moral authority to do anything except lose or leave.

I also think the Iran 'problem' ties in strongly with Israel and that Israel is also in its last days as a regional bully.

Posted by: financial matters | Jan 3 2020 12:48 utc | 78

Rcentros - 76
Yup, my thought as well. Trump was going to be reelected; he could've waited a year to do this, if he really wanted to and hated Iran's guts. Doing it now is close to political suicide, considering what's coming.

It would be best for any top US general, official or politician to avoid Iraq entirely from now on, because the next time someone like Pompeo or Lindsey Graham goes to Baghdad, he might not come back alive - that's the level of retaliation that Trump exposed them to.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jan 3 2020 12:53 utc | 79

Pompeo = CIA

"We lie, we cheat, we steal."

He forgot to say "murder", but we all know that about the CIA anyway. This was him doing the "lying" part that is pathological for the CIA and that he is so proud of.

How much more confirmation is forthcoming that Trump was out of the loop on this assassination?

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 3 2020 12:53 utc | 80

Could be the US calculate that when the UN Arms embargo ends shortly Iran may want the S400 system, the Russians may very well agree, if attacking Iran is difficult now it would be almost impossible if Iran had all the goodies Russia has to offer.
"As the military embargo approaches its expiration date [October 2020] Tehran has tightened military ties with powers hostile to Washington. Several high-level bilateral visits have occurred as Iran signed military agreements with Russia and China in the years since the JCPOA entered into force. The pacts cover strategic and military matters, and Iran reportedly weighs a future $10 billion deal to import Russian “T-90 tanks, artillery systems, planes and helicopters.” Just last month, Iran proclaimed that together with China and Russia, it plans to hold joint naval exercises in international waters".

Posted by: Harry law | Jan 3 2020 12:58 utc | 81

Tell me about Emma Skye,please,where can I find it.?

Posted by: willie | Jan 3 2020 12:25 utc | 75

She was on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning. There might be a replay, but I don't think so. I misspelt the name it should be Emma Sky. She, although Brit, used to be an advisor to the US occupation of Iraq.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 3 2020 13:04 utc | 82

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 3 2020 13:04 utc | 82

She said the demonstrators in Tahrir square were protesting against the regime, as they did before because of corruption and mismanagement. That means it's the same people. It was suggested by b, if I remember correctly, that they were organised by the US, in the style of Hong Kong. These new demonstrations tend to confirm b's idea.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 3 2020 13:11 utc | 83

Remember during Obamba`s presidency and just before the state of the union address, on January 12, 2016, two United States Navy riverine command boats were seized by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy after they entered Iranian territorial waters near Iran's Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf.
Obamba did not take the bait then and did not give in to the warmongering neocons. Iran played its hand well and released the brave sailors.
Tillerson was right to say: "DT is a f**kg moron".
Donald Duck has more brains than Trump. Might without brains is useless. Iran plays chess while its rivals play checkers.

Posted by: Kurios | Jan 3 2020 13:12 utc | 84

Is Trump wagging the dog in the Middle East?

“Wag the Dog was released one month before the outbreak of the Lewinsky scandal and the subsequent bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Sudan by the Clinton administration in August 1998, which prompted the media to draw comparisons between the film and reality. The comparison was also made in December 1998 when the administration initiated a bombing campaign of Iraq during Clinton’s impeachment trial over the Lewinsky scandal.” – Wikipedia

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 3 2020 13:19 utc | 85

> U.S. President Donald Trump will go into his reelection campaign with U.S. troops under threat everywhere. We can expect incidents like the Beirut barracks bombing to repeat themselves when he is most vulnerable.

Exactly. As soon as Trump inaugurated he said he is not in control of US Army and figurativrly washed his hands. Now we see it again.

However controls US Army does not give a finger about Long Tongue In Chief

Posted by: Arioch | Jan 3 2020 13:19 utc | 86

Of course Germany's foreign affairs trainee [sic] Heiko Maas is looking for a spine to grow

Posted by: Vato | Jan 3 2020 13:20 utc | 87


Posted by: librul | Jan 3 2020 13:24 utc | 88

The neocons at the helm of the US imperial state must think now is the time to do whatever they must to get the hot war going with Iran, hell or high water. That's why they're effectively declaring war simultaneously on Iran and Irak.

They are psychopaths, they are willing to perpetrate any kind of terrorist attack, they have a weak befuddled president who tends to agree with them, the balance of power in the Mideast can only get worse for the US and the Zionists, their political and therefore legally-existential position in Irak has been deteriorating and now is untenable, the Saudi regime could collapse or be overthrown any time, the financial markets and dollar as well can't keep running in mid-air forever nor continue much longer to command global hegemony, the American people are in a narcotic stupor, neither China nor Russia seems ready to do anything significant about it (short of Russia's red-line warning about nukes), Europe is still compliant or at least not resistant.

The US regime is as dead set on war as Hitler was by 1939, and they have the same sense that time is running out and the situation is not going to get better with age.

That includes the election. If the hot war is on beforehand, that pretty much forces any candidate, and whatever wins the election, to support the war and pledge to continue waging it. (Not that any of the likely contenders would need any special persuasion to be war-mongers. All of them already are. So far as I've seen this morning the Democrats hypocritically are denouncing the terrorist assassination, but as you'd expect they object not on moral or anti-imperial grounds but because Trump didn't consult congress, or similar partisan bull$hit.)

So while Iran may continue to proceed cautiously and not let itself be provoked into too overt an act, that likely won't matter - the US empire is running berserk and will get its war no matter what it has to do. In the early hours of September 1 1939 while the German attack was already commencing the SS staged a fake Polish attack on a German radio station near the border. They dumped some freshly killed corpses from a concentration camp, fired their weapons so the sound would be broadcast, shouted some Polish slogans over the air, and that was it - the most pathetic "false flag" ever, which convinced literally no one. Didn't matter - Hitler had his sufficient pretext to his own satisfaction, and he had his war.

If the neocons have to resort to something so ridiculous to get their MSM-amplified casus belli, they won't stop short of sinking so low.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 3 2020 13:28 utc | 89


Elijah J. Magnier
‏ @ejmalrai
16m16 minutes ago

I spoke to the person who spoke to #QassemSoleimani last before leaving to #Iraq from #Syria.

I'll share some insights tomorrow (no newspaper today) in my forthcoming article.
1 reply 0 retweets 14 likes
Show this thread

Posted by: Veritas X- | Jan 3 2020 13:30 utc | 90

The response from Iran will be asymetrical. Think, Houthi getting the Bavar-3 system or another Aramco hit. Hezbollah being re-inforced, etc. As for Irak, lets hope their MP's have the balls to oust US troops..
R.I.P. Soleimani

Posted by: Lozion | Jan 3 2020 13:35 utc | 91

@William Gruff 80

The thing about you sad sacks that can’t accept Trump is an adult who is responsible for his actions regardless of who whispers what into his ear, is that you’re only doing this because you’ve decided he’s “your” guy. There is no logic behind such delusional hero worship. If someone said, “hey there is no way Obama is responsible for bombing Libya, it was Ash Carter and Hillary Clinton that tricked him into doing so” you’d never accept that as a valid explanation and you know it. The buck stops with the president. It doesn’t matter if his name is Obama, Trump or Beelzebub, he has the last word and he gives the orders.

I’m sorry your daddy didn’t pay enough attention to you when you were young but grow up and learn some self-respect. It will help you get through life without the burden of constantly having to seek out authority figures to worship like a starry eyed little kid in awe of his big strong daddy.

Posted by: Daniel | Jan 3 2020 13:35 utc | 92

Do think they use this as distraction for the BIG problems in the Us of A
The Oil price has to go up.... fracking Usa losing only money..
You invest 9 Billion and you get only 2 Billion back....... not really a profit would you say...
What Dump has done is just like Enron and 911 , this is on the same scale of PNAC... Pearl Harbor.....

Dump started WW111 nobody can deny that anymore....

Posted by: HTG | Jan 3 2020 13:36 utc | 93

Ex-Mossad chief Meir Dagan tells CBS News Americans should fight Iran for Israel because Israel is scared to do it alone.

Israel Will Not Attack Iran Because They Fear Iran Will Retaliate - Wants US To Do It For Them.

Posted by: Mao | Jan 3 2020 13:36 utc | 94

About 3 months ago US did an exercise of Ready Reserve Fleet Activation. It is difficult to activate these old ships, many of which are steam turbine (most experienced steam turbine engine room men are retired or dead). The exercise went ok, but shows that the US has very little capacity to support its forces in the ME. The exercise was for convoy through subs and mines... gee whiz, where would one find those things? Anyway, they were able to put a few large ships to sea on short notice - but they simply do not have the crews for all the ships - they're old or dead. Big steam plants take a while to learn and until the operating rituals are comfortable the plants are unreliable and finicky. Essentially the motor can stop almost anytime until things get shaken down.

Meantime tomcat (twitter) speaks of heavy lift of 82nd airborn etc by air. He's looking at ATC maps and radar.

And of operation (campaign?) Blue Lightening - an ongoing operation. Point of definition here. A battle is fairly brief. A campaign goes on. The difference is essentially between tactic and strategy. (Liddell Hart)

Campaigns are what one does when it is war.

Attacks or battles can take place outside of war, sometimes they begin war.

I am watching the Reserves and the ATC. And I am sure Ivan and Chin and the Persian command are too.

The 3 day pause on the part of Iran ought not to be understood as an inactive time down at the shop. Any shop. Nor ought one assume that the attacking agency, presumably Imperial, will wait for the mourning to pass. Rather otherwise, I expect.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 3 2020 13:37 utc | 95

The bunker on Trump's Mar–a–Lago course

Posted by: Mao | Jan 3 2020 13:44 utc | 96

Daniel @92

The real problem is that Trump is not the assassin here.

The assassin is you.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 3 2020 13:48 utc | 97

What will Iran do? They will not go toe-to-toe and engage the US. At least not now. Expect something like blocking and mining the Strait of Hormuz. Maybe not attack US directly but taked out some Saudi oil field. Expect Putin's judo rather than Trump/Deep State drunk punching. Just listening to insta-Iran experts in American media, all they can image is a direct violent counter attack.

Posted by: Erelis | Jan 3 2020 13:49 utc | 98

The United Terrorist States of America must be wiped off the face of the earth!

Posted by: Made in Québec | Jan 3 2020 13:50 utc | 99

I wrote a few days ago that Trump is trapped(impeachment nonsense) right where the deep state in America wants him and he'll do anything they demand from now on.

This hit is also testament to how very clueless Trump is on anything. In the great game, there're unspoken rules and all side adhere to it - state level actors are off limit. Trump the rookie, just broke the rules.

I truly don't believe he understands the gravity of what he's just done. He probably still thinks it's going to improve his ratings and tiwtter likes.

American people should be very concerned with such an amature at the helm with access to a nuclear button. Worse still, any US army personnel should sleep with one eye opened at all times from now on, anywhere in the ME.

Posted by: Zico | Jan 3 2020 13:54 utc | 100

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