Thursday 2nd of April 2020

official assassinations...

assassinations   

The assassination of Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani could be a Trump's triumph of catastrophic Pyrrhic dimension, to our detriment and that of the planet...

 


America has forced Iran's hand to defend itself, and Iran may potentially manage to get American troops out of Iraq. Thus the effects of the US strike on Iran's top military figure may not be what the White House had hoped for… Already, the Iraqi parliament has demanded the scrapping of all agreements for foreign troops, including US troops, on its soil. Most Iranian people show support for Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei and Iran will no longer abide to the limits set out in the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA), despite calls from Germany, France and Britain to maintain the accord — presently moribund because of the silly petulance of Trump’s USA.



Tehran will continue though to cooperate with the United Nations nuclear watchdog (IAEA), but will free itself from the restrictions of the deal, according to a statement from the Iranian government.

Six nations, including the US, had agreed to the landmark nuclear deal. Now, Iran says there is no limit on their uranium enrichment capacity.

US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Tehran, and, with the assassination of the General, the deal is falling apart, though the Iranian government said the change could be reversed if the US lifts sanctions.

So we will see the hypocrites in Washington announcing that Tehran cannot be trusted with its nuclear bizos… We know who has been selling the biggest lies… Should we be grateful for the recent Freudian slip of Netanyahu that told us “Israel was a Nuclear Power"...?” Was this deliberate as a warning to Iran?

So, Trump promised the US would "hit very fast and very hard" some 52 Iranian sites — including those important to "the Iranian culture" — if Tehran were to retaliate to the assassination of General Soleimani. Does this mean that the USA would hit Mosques and other religious buildings? Or other site where peace is venerated through gardens and harmonious buildings for children and families?

"God the almighty has promised to get his revenge, and God is the main avenger. Certainly, actions will be taken," General Soleimani's replacement, general Esmail Ghaani, has declared.

God is often the idiot called in vain in these affairs, but it’s a way to galvanise the vengeance and anger in people.

Pompeo is a righteous idiot. Pompeo is also a god fearing dude of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, who also praised the right of the CIA to lie overtly and covertly. Pompeo served as a local church deacon and taught Sunday school. Pompeo once told a church group that Christians needed to "know that Jesus Christ as our savior is truly the only solution for our world”. In another speech, Pompeo told the congregation that "politics is a never-ending struggle ... until the Rapture.” What a dickhead. Jesus would freak!

And all these mad righteous insane guys are people who lead you and me, because they use the most despicable psychopathic tricks. They are people who believe in their rights to do despicable things, in the name of faith. I am often told that such people who believe such crap, cannot be called liars, because, even if they are WRONG — which they are — they cannot held responsible for the crap they do because of their “beliefs". Yes, right. It’s most likely, these psychos use faith, with the greatest of hypocrisy — as their dark devious soul known the depth of their smirking hell designed to fool us.

The take of the Murdoch media is the most — or least, if you know how the monkeys who work there operate — surprising one. The New York Post for example concentrates on the value of the ring worn by General Qassem Soleimani, “that was used to identify him”... This loony media spends a whole article with expert jewellers who deem the ring to be of little value — as if to belittle the guy himself. I know the subconscious trick. It’s not new, but it works in the eyes of the unawares readers. 

So is the world on the brink of war? A war between the USA and Iran? A war that could degenerate into a much broader conflict? Is Trump-the-Mad bluffing, one day not wanting war, one day warning of one?

Is the government of Iraq going to throw out all foreign armies on its soil? Is the USA going to revive Daesh (and all the Al something terrorist groups) in Iraq to punish this country for throwing them out? Or give them a reason to stay? Why is the US embassy in Baghdad  the biggest embassading/military outpost in the world, with about 10,000 US "diplomats”?

General Qassem Soleimani was the second most powerful man in the Islamic Republic of Iran, right behind Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
His strategic ability as a commander allowed the expansion of Iran's influence in the region to an important degree for the leaders of the Islamic Revolution of 1979. But the removal/destruction of Saddam Hussein by the US in 2003, hastened the power of Iran in the region far more

Iraq and Iran had been at war in the 1980s, fighting each other and losing about one million men each. This war was encouraged by the US/Europeans to last as long as possible in order to weaken both countries and make a buck by selling armament and other nasties, such as chemicals to make killer “gas". 

The US always get too “greedy”… they want too much, including “democratise” Iraq, without understanding any of the sectarianism that made up this country. It’s possible the USA are full of idiots who think that all people in the world aspire to be fat Americans — or should think like MacAmericans. It does not work this way. But it’s possible the USA understood the sectarianism and that they could fudge through chaos to reacquire the oilfields as they have done in Syria recently… Throw shit on the world to collect flowers...


GL

more of the same...

The gaudy red ring that helped initially identify the corpse of Iran’s Major Gen. Qassem Soleimani is no Hope Diamond, according to local jewelers.

Dealers believe the distinctive ring worn by Soleimani is either a red carnelian stone — believed by some Middle East Muslims as able to bestow “blessings”– or possibly an inexpensive ruby that would cost a few hundred bucks.

 

Read more:

https://nypost.com/2020/01/04/its-no-hope-diamond-nyc-jewelers-not-impre...

MEANWHILE:

 

From Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

 

 

January 1 started off well, with a threat from the President of the USA against Iran because the US Embassy is experiencing hostility in... Iraq.

Is it just me or is everyone else also getting tired of bellicose gestures, threats, invasions, arrogance, sabre rattling, hatred, venom and a generalised unpleasantness around the world, centered without fail on the USA and its officials and allies? Perhaps if the USA had not interfered in Iraq in the first place back in 2003, the Middle East would be far more stable, ISIS would not have appeared and Iraq, Syria and the entire region would be more balanced? Nuns would not have been decapitated and raped, not necessarily in that order but also, by western-backed terrorists, Syrian families would not have been destroyed.



01/03: First US terrorist strike of the year

Now already on January 3, the USA has launched a terrorist strike at Baghdad International airport murdering General Qasem Suleimani, head of the elite Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and according to early reports, at least five others, in retaliation for what Washington says were plans to attack US forces in the area and for the deaths of what Washington claims are "hundreds" of US casualties. The reply: What were they doing there?  The question: How can such a terrorist strike be justified when identical strikes by other forces are classified as terrorist acts? The second question: How to justify a mass murder like this when the target was General Sumeimani? The third question: Was it not General Suleimani who was one of the leading figures eliminating ISIS? The President of the United States of America is just that, the President of the USA, and his jurisdiction begins and ends on the USA's frontiers. We can therefore conclude that either Donald Trump is a bullshitter and his claims to keep US forces at home are bullshit, or else it is not him pulling the strings.



UK commits suicide with Boris Johnson's Flying Circus

Speaking of the USA, let us take a look and see what its chief yapping chihuahua is going to do this year. Why, at a time when everybody else is coming together in large trading blocks, the United Kingdom is set to go it alone and leave the EU, along with Gibraltar, which voted to remain in the EU, dragging Scotland and Northern Ireland out of the EU when they voted to remain inside, when more people voted for non-Leave parties in the December election than for the Conservative Party of Boris Johnson and his clique of Brexiteers and the Brexit Party combined.

It is obvious that things will not run well for the UK because economic trends rule the way things work, not governments or pie-in-the-sky cloud cuckoo land ideas about pink fairies, unicorns and the UK doing its own trade deals when everyone else is queueing up to do deals with the EU of 450 million people against the UK's 66 million. Watch this space in one year's time and I predict massive unemployment, loss of income, less money available for public services, a decrease in the value of the Pound and a slow slide towards a second-rate, peripherical nobody on the edge of Europe, on the fringe of its deals without any say whatsoever in what happens, back to the middle of nowhere, an island of sheep, shepherds, underqualified imperialist dreamers. Europe has already paved the way for them to come crawling back in five years' time, if indeed anyone will have them back.

Until then, pull up your chairs and get ready for a few years of Boris Johnson's Flying Circus, starting on January 3 when the chief advisor to Number Ten, one Dominic Cummings, de facto the unelected Prime Minister of the UK, called for "wierdos and misfits" to apply for government posts. What, more of them?



Climate Change

The complete lack of direction and agreement on serious policy issues are the two reasons why this immensely and critically important issue refuses to get off the ground because until all nations agree on a direction and implementation of policy, especially the main polluters, such as who else? the USA of course, the task remains at square one, or in this case, zero.

If politicians for once listened to experts, and if these experts spoke their minds and not what they are taught to say, perhaps we would be nearer to success but the fact is that when you talk to experts, they themselves do not agree on fundamental issues, such as the quantity of carbon emissions regarded as a required starting point or the accepted level of increased temperature above which climate change would spiral out of control.

Some say the 2 degrees Celsius temperature rise is far too high, others claim 1.5C is better, others that anything above 1C is too much, others that any of these figures are a shot in the dark and they are merely a political figure to start discussions.

Oceans have risen and fallen over the years - the first inhabitants of the UK walked across, not from Calais but from what is now The Netherlands, and sea shell fossils can be found over a hundred kilometres inland around Europe's coastline. The Milankovic cycles theory (ocean currents and winds affecting climate being directly related to the cyclical changes in the Earth's tilt) is borne out by registers of temperature rise and fall over 400,000 years which appear to fit perfectly into the Serbian mathematician's cycles. This all works very well with those who claim that climate change is cyclical and so, no worries, be happy. However, and here it comes - there is an exponential spike starting at the Industrial Revolution and steepening as time goes on, especially in the last decade. What is alarming is not the cycles of change but the rate of change, in which flows which took place over tens of thousands of years are now happening in a decade. So it is worrying.



Australia's horrific bush fires

Extreme weather events bear out the theory that rising temperatures caused by Greenhouse Effect Gas (GEG) emissions have been rife in the recent years, currently so evident in Australia's horrific forest and bush fires which to date have wiped out half a billion animals, exterminating entire species, quite apart from the human cost in life, injuries and lost possessions. Let us spare a thought for the tremendous heroism of the Australian firefighters, professionals and volunteers, risking life and limb to save humans, their possessions and animals. A forest fire is a terrifying and overwhelming event to behold, as those of us who have been involved in one first-hand will understand.



Planet Earth 2020, where money rules the roost

Once again, money speaks louder than words. It is not the effect on forests and animals and families which dictates policy, it is the bottom line of the accounts. We recall what happened to the Roman billionaire Marcus Licinius Crassus whose dream of conquering Parthia ended at the battle of Carrhae in 53 BC with the defeat of his legions and his own capture, his greed being paid for by pouring liquid gold down his throat, according to the gossip of the time. The human loss was the destruction of seven legions (42,000 infantry, of which 20,000 died and 10,000 were taken prisoner) and the sight of the head of his own son, Publius Crassus, on a spear.

Sometimes people in power only realize the horrors of their policies when it is too late.



Sport: UEFA, Copa America and a lame duck Olympics

On a lighter note, this is the first time the UEFA Soccer Championship is held in cities, not countries, once again while Europe comes together, the UK drifts apart but the final will be at Wembley Stadium on July 12, bringing to an end a month of soccer. Copa America takes place at the same time in Argentina and Colombia. This is followed up in Japan between July 21 and August 9 with the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. This will be a hollow event not worth following because once again the main challenger for medals, the Russian Federation, has been the victim of another blanket ban whether or not athletes were guilty of doping or not, and as if western athletes have never been involved in identical scandals. Politics and sport? No thanks. I have crossed the Olympic off my Summer watch list and frankly I could not care less what happens there. Not interested.

Conclusion: Same old, same old....

Looking back at my piece...same old, same old. It makes me feel sick and tired of the way this planet is managed, I am sick and tired of the insult to nature by the very existence of humankind, I am sick and tired of the impotence of forces of Good against the powers of Evil which appear to have our destruction as their ultimate goal.

Take a look at the world around us. It is a world of symbolic power and control mechanisms, dominated by flags and frontiers and passports, dictating a person's lot before (s)he is born. Is everyone equal as a fundamental birthright? Does every child have the same opportunities? And NATO countries continue to spend one point two trillion dollars each and every year on weapons systems to murder people and the world spends tens of millions of dollars on firework displays each and every year, pointless reiterations of prehistoric rituals to scare away the Devil when it is dark.

Food for thought?


Читайте больше на https://www.pravdareport.com/opinion/144187-new_year/

 

the trump trap...

 

Opinion: Trump has Europeans caught in a trap


Once again, Europe is suffering under the way Donald Trump makes political decisions on the fly. The only option left is to appeal to Iran's interest in self-preservation, says DW's Barbara Wesel.


It was a dramatic start to a year that threatens to become a wild political rollercoaster ride. The Europeans, whose holiday peace was upset by the news of the unexpected killing of Iran's second-most powerful man, must now suffer the consequences. Uninformed and powerless as usual, they once again face the fallout from the US president's spontaneous unilateral decisions. They are caught in the Trump trap and cannot free themselves on their own.

Read more: Germany split on path forward in US-Iran conflict

 No illusions

 Any illusions about the possibility of an even partially rational cooperation on foreign policy with the government in Washington have long been shattered. Cynical remarks by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who accuses the Europeans of not giving enough support in the Middle East, underline their helplessness. What might he be thinking of after Soleimani's death — troops for a US-led war in the Middle East? It is that hint of madness in his and President Trump's statements that makes the dangerous situation even more disturbing.


The US president had actually promised to end endless wars in the Middle East and bring American soldiers home. Even experienced observers of US Middle East policy have been unable to explain how this fits in with the strike against Soleimani. They fear there is no strategy to follow up on the current blind flurry of activity, including the drone attack at Baghdad airport.

This is not even about "America first," Trump's declared goal when it comes to economic relations. The Europeans find themselves in the trap of a kind of US foreign policy that is marked by the emotional eruptions of an unpredictable president and his power-drunk neocon supporters, who have returned to power in Washington. Basically, their only explanation for killing Suleimani is: "Because we can."

Read more: How the Soleimani assassination was reported in Germany

Europe has nothing but diplomacy

Granted, Europe looks weak and helpless when, in joint statements, Europeans call for de-escalation after their presumed partner, the US, has just done everything it can to escalate the situation. But there may be a window for diplomatic attempts to prevent matters from worsening. What is clear is that Tehran is planning a counterstrike; the nature of that strike will decide whether the situation will escalate even further. Possibly, that decision has not yet been made. EU chief diplomat Josep Borell has contacted the Iranian foreign minister, hoping to influence him at a European crisis meeting.


Tehran has declared an end to its obligations concerning the non-enrichment of fuel rods under the nuclear agreement that Britain, France and Germany had struggled to keep alive last year. But even this door is not closed for good as long as inspectors are still allowed into the country. There are still a few signs that the Iranian government might talk to the Europeans.

What is clear is that no one in Europe has shed a tear for Ghassem Soleimani. He is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths, especially in Syria and Yemen; he was the patron of the very wars and militias that aim to cement Iran's dominance in the region. The bloody suppression of all resistance was part of his program. But his unexpected killing caused a shock wave nevertheless.

Read more: US and Iran: Decades of enmity

View of the abyss

The Europeans must now use whatever contacts remain with the Iranian government to appeal to the regime's will to survive. Tehran knows that it would lose any direct military confrontation with the US. The economic situation in the country is already tense, as the latest wave of protests has shown.

Is there still room for a political solution? The European negotiators have virtually no chance but must make use of the little they have. The threat of an open war could boost diplomatic efforts. On the other hand, the new year will quickly show how strong the current tendency to suicide is among all those involved. One would have liked to have waited a few more months before peering into this political abyss.

 

Read more:

https://www.dw.com/en/opinion-trump-has-europeans-caught-in-a-trap/a-519...

 

See also:

https://www.dw.com/en/putin-invites-merkel-to-russia-over-iran-crisis/a-...

 

a covert change...

Am I reading this right?

 

In 2017, USAID spent $3.7 billions on Iraq... Now, one must consider where the money goes to and how it is used to influence politics, goes to NGOs programmes and is spend on US personnel sent as "advisors" to the said country. This could be a sore point in regard to the 10,000 US "ambassadors" in Baghdad as well as to the US troops withdrawal. Usually the expenditure of the military is not included in the USAID budget, but the CIA operatives are.

 

In the same year, USAID spent $477,000 in Iran. Am I guessing that this expenditure is going to grow in order to influence the 2020 political opposition in that country through "charitable enterprises"? For example Qatar, one of the richest country on the planet, though in dispute with other Gulf states then, got a $78,000 USAID handout, possibly to account for the lone US CIA employee there, while hosting one of the biggest US military base in the region.

 

What is remarkable, is that Tuvalu got a minus $222,000 handout in 2017. Does this mean that this one of the poorest country on earth, about to go under the seas, due to global warming, had to fork out some cash back to the USA?... 

 

Pleas explain...

washington becomes a sewer feeding a smelly swamp...

Washington has refused to issue a visa to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, even though, as the host of the United Nations headquarters, the US is obliged to allow foreign officials into the country.

The visa request was filed several weeks ago, before the latest escalation, and would give the top Iranian diplomat a stage to speak out following last Thursday’s drone strike assassination of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Qassem Soleimani, along with senior Iraqi militia leaders.

“They fear that someone comes to the US and reveals realities,” Zarif said after being denied a visa. He vowed to communicate with the American people from Tehran, noting that “the world is not limited to New York.”

The US State Department has declined to comment on the Iranian diplomat’s visa troubles.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/477610-zarif-denied-visa-un-iran/

good cop/bad cop routine?...

The US military has announced by letter to Iraq a future withdrawal of its troops. The Pentagon denied the decision of this process. The letter, authentic, could have been "sent in error"...


The United States announced on Monday "in error" to prepare its withdrawal from Iraq after the Iraqi Parliament called for the expulsion of foreign soldiers in response to the assassination in Baghdad of General Qassem Soleimani, mourned by millions of Iranians in Tehran. The commander of the American forces in Iraq has delivered — by hand, according to a US military official in Baghdad — a letter to the number two of the Iraqi army telling him he would respect the "sovereign decision (of the Iraqi Parliament) which orders (the US ) departure".

 

Read more:

https://www.sudouest.fr/2020/01/06/l-armee-americaine-annonce-a-l-irak-u...

 

 

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Translation by Jules Letambour...

bad boys...

All US military forces are now officially considered by Tehran as a terrorist entity after Washington's elimination of Qassem Soleimani and several other soldiers in an air strike in Baghdad. This January 7, the Iranian Parliament adopted a law officially classifying the whole of the American armed forces under the heading of "terrorist organizations". The emergency adoption of this law after a meeting of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, comes four days after the assassination by an American strike of General Qassem Soleimani, of al-Quds Force, elite unit of the body of the Guardians of the Islamic revolution. Abou Mehdi al-Mouhandis, number two in the Hachd al-Chaabi, a coalition of pro-Iranian paramilitaries and a leading figure in the fight against Daesh in Iraq, also died alongside several other soldiers in the American strike.

 

Find out more about RT France: https://francais.rt.com/international/69877-iran-declare-armee-americain...

 

Translation by Jules Letambour

the view from the christians...

Early on Friday morning, Iraqi time, a U.S. drone strike at the Baghdad airport killed Iran’s top military leader, Qassem Soleimani. For decades, Soleimani has been the mastermind behind Iran’s involvement in armed conflicts and acts of terror across the Middle East, from supplying the terrorist organization Hezbollah, to attacking Saudi oil fields and international shipping, to targeting U. S. forces in the region. In fact, the Pentagon lays the deaths of over 600 U.  S. military personnel directly at Soleimani’s feet.

At the time of his death, Soleimani was just 15 miles away from the U. S. Embassy in Iraq, which, last week, was stormed by militants thanks to Soleimani.

Writing in the New York Times, the Hudson Institute’s Michael Doran asserts, “Taking out the architect of the Islamic Republic’s decades-long active campaign of violence against the United States and its allies, especially Israel, represents a tectonic shift in Middle Eastern politics.”

And, despite not knowing what those tectonic shifts might bring, Doran concludes, “The world to which we wake up today, rid of its most accomplished and deadly terrorist, is a better place.”

Of course, the U. S. attack on Soleimani raises a whole host of questions. How will Iran respond? Will it expand its “proxy war” through Shi’ite militias? Will it dare take on the U. S. military directly? Will it unleash terrorist cells in the Middle East and even here in America? Is this a decisive step toward a wider, bloodier war in the Middle East and maybe even beyond?

It is impossible to see the future, especially in such a volatile region that features such volatile actors. But we can evaluate whether this decision, and any decision leading to hostile action, is justified according to what is called “Just War Theory.” Over the centuries, Christian thinkers from Augustine to Aquinas to the Reformers—seeking to reconcile Christian teaching on the sanctity of human life with the Christian responsibility to love our neighbors by protecting them from evil—have proposed a set of conditions by which a violent act can be considered justified. These conditions deal with both whether war ought to be waged, as well as how war should be waged.

First, the cause for going to war and the intention behind it must be just. Second, the war must be waged by a legitimate authority. Third, force must be used as a last resort. Fourth, force used in war must be proportionate to the threat. Fifth, force must not target non-combatants, and finally, there must be a reasonable chance of success.

Obviously, these conditions deal with very precarious details, including some that we, as the watching public, may or may not have access to or assurances of. If we measure the killing of Soleimani against these conditions, we can conclude that given Soleimani’s long resume of terrorism and evil, and his targeting of America and America’s allies (including civilians), there was just cause.

Whether the act was performed by a legitimate authority is a tougher question, since a formal, declared state of war does not exist between Iran and the U. S. However, our forces are in Iraq legally, with Congressional mandate and the approval of the Iraqi government. Soleimani was instigating hostile acts against the U.S. and the Iraqi government with, according to the Pentagon, plans to do even more. (David French offers a helpful explanation in this Twitter thread).

The attack, a precise drone strike, did not target civilians, which also addresses the questions of proportionality and probability of success. Was the attack a last resort? That’s difficult to know. Clearly, sanctions against the Iranian regime weren’t affecting Soleimani’s activities around the region.

The most difficult question, in my view, is whether the evils prevented are greater than the potential consequences. Will this bold, new posture cause Iran to curtail its activities, or will it ignite a wider war? We’ll only be able to answer this question in hindsight.

Of course, we are dealing with limited information. But, we’ll need to keep these just war conditions in mind in the days and weeks ahead. As Mindy Belz told me in a special episode about Soleimani and Iran available on the BreakPoint Podcast: While America has been focused on impeachment, the Middle East has been exploding all over again.

Most importantly, let’s pray to the God of History, for wisdom for the President and Congress, for the safety of our men and women in uniform as well as the many other lives at stake, and for peace in the Middle East.

 

Read more:

 

The god of history? The GoH says what are the USA doing in countries it does not own and has been a terrorist actor for more than 25 years? Nice fuken idiots... See I am getting better at reducing the level of insult... Oh and yes:

 

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Baghdad Louis Raphael Sako called on Christians and Muslims in Iraq to pray for their leaders Monday as rumors of war run rampant after a U.S. military strike killed Iran’s top security and intelligence commander, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

In his homily, Sako described the situation in Iraq and the Middle East as a “volcano about to erupt” as he called on people around the world to pray and push to avoid further escalation of the ongoing tensions surrounding the situation, noting that innocent people will be the fuel for such “fire.”

Soleimani, who was responsible for the killing of 608 American soldiers in Iraq, arming Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, was killed Friday along with several officials from Iraqi militias backed by Tehran in a drone strike at Baghdad International Airport that was authorized by President Donald Trump. An American MQ-9 Reaper drone fired missiles into a convoy that was leaving the airport.

 

Read more:

https://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-leader-in-iraq-worries-volc...

608 US troops in Iraq? My god, they'll believe anything... How many Iraqi, the US killed in the last 17 years? more than half a million?... We don't know because the US did not count the "kills"... but the iraqi people know fathers, mothers and family members, including kids who never made it back from US bombardment and drone attack... US GO HOME... GO HOME... 

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unmistakable war crimes...

by 

 

The decision to assassinate Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, the second most powerful leader in Iran, is a declaration of war against the whole of Iran.

Mealy mouthed mainstream media coverage and official Foreign Office statements like that of Dominic Rabb are pathetic and puerile in the face of an unmistakable war crime, an act of war by one nation against another without United Nations discussion, debate or support. It is yet another example of United States unrestrained lawlessness and brutal bullying on the international stage. Donald Trump has sanctioned a war crime and every bulletin should call out this calculated Drone strike as the illegal act of war it is.


Like the obedient puppet of the US we have become over the last fifty years the UK’s Foreign Office statement was an exercise in smoke and mirrors cover up of yet another US war crime with a limp and lame set of words most probably dictated directly from Washington:


“We have always recognised the aggressive threat posed by the Iranian Quds force led by Qasem Soleimani. Following his death, we urge all parties to de-escalate. Further conflict is in none of our interests.”

US Act of War Should Be Condemned by International Community


Without an iota of international authority, discussion or attempted consensus the US President Trump ordered the killing of a hugely popular Iranian General and an Iraqi military leader in Iraq. While travelling in vehicles near to Baghdad airport these individuals were blown to smithereens by a deadly airstrike and instead of international condemnation of this act of terrorism, a war crime, we have the Western media and their political stooges refusing to condemn the US while calling for restraint from Iran. What utter cowardice and hypocrisy!


No wonder the world is in such a mess when one nation is permitted to act as it pleases and ignore all international rules and conventions regarding the sovereignty of other nations, while other nations are held to account on a wholly different basis.


Imagine the international condemnation if Syria had assassinated an Israeli General on Saudi soil or Iran had eliminated a member of the Saudi royal family during a visit to Qatar? Tensions do exist between Syria and Israel, and Iran and Saudi Arabia but unilateral action by either country to take out representatives of their opponents while on another country’s soil would bring down a cascade of condemnation and calls for international sanctions and coordinated retaliation.


Yet the US carries out just such an act of unilateral warfare and Western governments and the mainstream media shirk from condemnation and instead deflect attention to Iran and their alleged involvement in incidents across the Middle East which remain contentious and subject to fierce debate.


Iraq and Iran Have Been Attacked and Insulted by an Airstrike


The response of the Iraqi military to this airstrike is instructive. They condemned the killing of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the Iraqi paramilitary leader who died alongside Qasem Soleimani.


They said it was a clear breach of the US mandate in Iraq, according to a report by Reuters.


“The Joint Operations Command mourns the hero martyr ... who was martyred last night in a cowardly and treacherous attack carried out by American aircraft near Baghdad international airport,” it said in a statement.


“We affirm that what happened is a flagrant violation of Iraqi sovereignty and a clear breach by the American forces of their mandate which is exclusively to fight Islamic State and provide advice and assistance to Iraqi security forces”.


In one deadly strike the US has taken out recognised military figures of two other sovereign nations on the soil of one of those nations. The US is not in a state of war with either of those nations but is supposed to be working alongside the fledgling Iraqi regime to help in a rebuilding exercise after its 2003 led invasion destroyed it and bombed its infrastructure to smithereens.


The US was an aggressor against Iraq in 2003 when it executed an illegal, bloody and brutal “shock and awe” missile assault and ground invasion which claimed in excess of one million civilian lives. Its role seventeen years later is supposed to be in aiding reconstruction. Yet as the Iraqi military statement above says clearly they have acted in a manner which flagrantly violates the sovereignty of Iraq.


If any other country carried out such an action they would be roundly accused of committing war crimes and made an international pariah. But not in the warped, corrupted and distorted world of US hegemony.


US Plan to Take out Seven Countries in Five Years Was Real


This latest act of US aggression should jolt everyone to recall the words of retired 4-star US General, Wesley Clark, who was at the helm as the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO in 1999 when the West chose to obliterate Yugoslavia under the auspices of humanitarian aims which now stands exposed as a flag of deceit and convenience. Speaking candidly in a 2007 interview with Democracy Now!  the General gave a rare insight into US strategic thinking and exposed the ‘rogue nation’ status which other western nations continually try to cover up. His words are worth quoting at length. Remember this is a former US General speaking, not an easily dismissed conspiracy theorist or academic of history with no hands-on experience of US military actions. This is a guy who sat round the top tables of government in Washington:


About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, “Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second.” I said, “Well, you’re too busy.” He said, “No, no.” He says, “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.” This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, “We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?” He said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” So I said, “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?” He said, “No, no.” He says, “There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.” He said, “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments.” And he said, “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.”

So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”.


Confirmation that US are Biggest Rogue Nation in the World


Not only this interview confirms that the decision to invade Iraq had nothing to do with links to Al Qaeda or weapons of mass destruction; it shows that the US does not merely respond to perceived threats to its interests and power across the Middle East and other regions of the world - they strategically plan their actions years in advance and implement those plans ruthlessly with the aid of pliable and billionaire controlled media who can always be counted upon to do the necessary whitewashing of events and create the convenient narratives to justify war crimes that were hatched and construed years in advance.


The US is the single biggest threat to peace and security across the planet. Their insatiable demand for power, control and cheap access to everyone else’s economic resources, primarily oil, explains its consistent military presence in the Middle East and interference in the affairs of other countries. The rogue military strike in Iraq by the US is not an exception to the rule of US engagement across the world - it is the norm, the confirmation of the rule.

Large scale ‘boots on the ground’ type engagements like Korea, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq are conventional wars with official declarations, or at least congressional authorisations for the ‘use of military force,’ but the reality of US imposed hegemony is the undeclared wars which deliver similar results in relation to instilling fear of the US and projecting power to facilitate large scale resource grabs.


A major academic study in 2013 attempted a more realistic definition of war in order to establish the real extent of US involvement across the world. Consider the definition of war put forth by Linda Bilmes (Harvard Kennedy School) and Michael Intriligator (UCLA), who defined war in their 2013 paper as:


"conflicts where the US is launching extensive military incursions, including drone attacks, but that are not officially 'declared.'"


By that definition, the United States is at war in at least six places right now: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Syria.


Then consider the rare and rather clumsy revelation of truth by Trump in relation to US presence and involvement in Syria:


“Donald Trump has insisted that the US military presence in Syria is “only for the oil”, contradicting his own officials who have insisted that the remaining forces were there to fight Isis”.

US Militarily Secretly Active in 134 Countries across the World


The US military involvement in the manner described above is not the only form of involvement. Increasing Special Operations is how the US ensures governments close to their interests or willing to do their bidding get into power or stay in power. Extensive research now reveals that the US is actually militarily involved in 70% of the world’s nations through active and aggressive Special Operations in 134 separate countries:


“In the waning days of the Bush presidency, Special Operations forces were reportedly deployed in about sixty countries around the world. By 2010, that number had swelled to seventy-five, according to Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe of The Washington Post. In 2011, Special Operations Command (SOCOM) spokesman Colonel Tim Nye told Tom Dispatch that the total would reach 120. Today, that figure has risen higher still.

In 2013, elite US forces were deployed in 134 countries around the globe, according to Major Matthew Robert Bockholt of SOCOM Public Affairs. This 123 percent increase during the Obama years demonstrates how, in addition to conventional wars and a CIA drone campaign, public diplomacy and extensive electronic spying, the US has engaged in still another significant and growing form of overseas power projection. Conducted largely in the shadows by America’s most elite troops, the vast majority of these missions take place far from prying eyes, media scrutiny, or any type of outside oversight, increasing the chances of unforeseen blowback and catastrophic consequences”.


US Should be blamed for Consequences of their Attack


This illegal, secret, brutal, bloody and deadly deployment of US power across the globe is what should be put into focus by the most recent example of US war crimes in Iraq last night.


Iran and Iraq have been the victims of US attacks on their government officials which constitute acts of war. Iran in particular has been left no option but to retaliate. It is one of the oldest nation states in the Middle East. It is a proud and patriotic nation. Its dignity and prestige has been undermined by the killing of its second in command so retaliation is inevitable. It is a case of when and how not if?


An ugly and bloody conflagration of incidents could now develop into a full scale war. The mainstream media won’t highlight them or expose them but free thinkers across the world must point the finger of blame firmly and without fear at Donald Trump and the US for whatever now ensues in response to their illegal act of war.

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

 

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https://sputniknews.com/columnists/202001041077937502-american-airstrike...

 

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blow back...

US President Donald Trump has weighed in after a series of Iranian missile strikes on American bases in Iraq, noting that a damage and casualty assessment looks “good” so far.


“All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now,” Trump said, adding that he would make a statement to the nation on Wednesday morning.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/usa/477686-trump-tweet-iranian-strike/

 

 

If Donald was trying to start WW3, he would not have it other ways... Most likely the Iranian missiles were deliberately aimed to miss, but to be a warning only. 

 

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liberationing...

From Andre Vltchek

 

There are obviously some serious linguistic issues and disagreements between the West and the rest of the world. Essential terms like “freedom”, “democracy”, “liberation”, even “terrorism”, are all mixed up and confused; they mean something absolutely different in New York, London, Berlin, and in the rest of the world.

Before we begin analyzing, let us recall that countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the United States, as well as other Western nations, have been spreading colonialist terror to basically all corners of the world.

And in the process, they developed effective terminology and propaganda, which has been justifying, even glorifying acts such as looting, torture, rape and genocides. Basically, first Europe, and later North America literally “got away with everything, including mass murder”.

The native people of Americas, Africa and Asia have been massacred, their voices silenced. Slaves were imported from Africa. Great Asian nations, such as China, what is now “India” and Indonesia, got occupied, divided and thoroughly plundered.

And all was done in the name of spreading religion, “liberating” people from themselves, as well as “civilizing them”.

Nothing has really changed.

To date, people of great nations with thousands of years of culture, are treated like infants; humiliated, and as if they were still in kindergarten, told how to behave, and how to think.

Sometimes if they “misbehave”, they get slapped. Periodically they get slapped so hard, that it takes them decades, even centuries, to get back to their feet. It took China decades to recover from the period of “humiliation”. India and Indonesia are presently trying to recuperate, from the colonial barbarity, and from, in the case of Indonesia, the 1965 U.S.-administered fascist coup.

But if you go back to the archives in London, Brussels or Berlin, all the monstrous acts of colonialism, are justified by lofty terms. Western powers are always “fighting for justice”; they are “enlightening” and “liberating”. No regrets, no shame and no second thoughts. They are always correct!

Like now; precisely as it is these days.

Presently, the West is trying to overthrow governments in several independent countries, on different continents. From Bolivia (the country has been already destroyed) to Venezuela, from Iraq to Iran, to China and Russia. The more successful these countries get, the better they serve their people, the more vicious the attacks from abroad are, the tougher the embargos and sanctions imposed on them are. The happier the citizens are, the more grotesque the propaganda disseminated from the West gets.

*

In Hong Kong, some young people, out of financial interest, or out of ignorance, keep shouting: “President Trump, Please Liberate Us!” Or similar, but equally treasonous slogans. They are waving U.S., U.K. and German flags. They beat up people who try to argue with them, including their own Police Force.

So, let us see, how the United States really “liberates” countries, in various pockets of the world.

Let us visit Iran, a country which (you’d never guess it if consuming only Western mass media) is, despite the vicious embargos and sanctions, on the verge of the “highest human development index bracket” (UNDP). How is it possible? Simple. Because Iran is a socialist country (socialism with the Iranian characteristics). It is also an internationalist nation which is fighting against Western imperialism. It helps many occupied and attacked states on our planet, including Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia (before), Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq, to name just a few.

So, what is the West doing? It is trying to ruin it, by all means; ruin all good will and progress. It is starving Iran through sanctions, it finances and encourages its “opposition”, as it does in China, Russia and Latin America. It is trying to destroy it.

Then, it just bombs their convoy in neighboring Iraq, killing its brave commander, General Soleimani. And, as if it was not horrid enough, it turns the tables around, and starts threatening Teheran with more sanctions, more attacks, and even with the destruction of its cultural sites.

Iran, under attack, confused, shot down, by mistake, a Ukrainian passenger jet. It immediately apologized, in horror, offering compensation. The U.S. straightway began digging into the wound. It started to provoke (like in Hong Kong) young people. The British ambassador, too, got involved!

As if Iran and the rest of the world should suddenly forget that during its attack on Iraq, more than 3 decades ago, Washington actually shot down an Iranian wide-body passenger plane (Iran Air flight 655, an Airbus-300), on a routine flight from Bandar Abbas to Dubai. In an “accident”, 290 people, among them 66 children, lost their lives. That was considered “war collateral”.

Iranian leaders then did not demand “regime change” in Washington. They were not paying for riots in New York or Chicago.

As China is not doing anything of that nature, now.

The “Liberation” of Iraq (in fact, brutal sanctions, bombing, invasion and occupation) took more than a million Iraqi lives, most of them, those of women and children. Presently, Iraq has been plundered, broken into pieces, and on its knees.

Is this the kind of “liberation” that some of the Hong Kong youngsters really want?

No? But if not, is there any other performed by the West, in modern history?

*

Washington is getting more and more aggressive, in all parts of the world.

It also pays more and more for collaboration.

And it is not shy to inject terrorist tactics into allied troops, organizations and non-governmental organizations. Hong Kong is no exception.

Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia, China, Venezuela, but also many other countries, should be carefully watching and analyzing each and every move made by the United States. The West is perfecting tactics on how to liquidate all opposition to its dictates.

It is not called a “war”, yet. But it is. People are dying. The lives of millions are being ruined.

 

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https://off-guardian.org/2020/01/29/how-washington-liberates-free-countr...

 

 

 

 

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the reality behind the pompeo bullshittic lie...

 

by Scott Ritter

 

President Trump’s decision to assassinate Qassem Soleimani back in January took the United States to the brink of war with Iran. 

Trump and his advisors contend that Soleimani’s death was necessary to protect American lives, pointing to a continuum of events that began on December 27, when a rocket attack on an American base in Iraq killed a civilian translator. That in turn prompted U.S. airstrikes against a pro-Iranian militia, Khati’ab Hezbollah, which America blamed for the attack. Khati’ab Hezbollah then stormed the U.S. embassy in Baghdad in protest. This reportedly triggered the assassination of Soleimani and a subsequent Iranian retaliatory missile strike on an American base in Iraq. The logic of this continuum appears consistent except for one important fact—it is all predicated on a lie. 

On the night of December 27, a pickup truck modified to carry a launchpad capable of firing 36 107mm Russian-made rockets was used in an attack on a U.S. military compound located at the K-1 Airbase in Iraq’s Kirkuk Province. A total of 20 rockets were loaded onto the vehicle, but only 14 were fired. Some of the rockets struck an ammunition dump on the base, setting off a series of secondary explosions. When the smoke and dust cleared, a civilian interpreter was dead and several other personnel, including four American servicemen and two Iraqi military, were wounded. The attack appeared timed to disrupt a major Iraqi military operation targeting insurgents affiliated with ISIS.

The area around K-1 is populated by Sunni Arabs, and has long been considered a bastion of ISIS ideology, even if the organization itself was declared defeated inside Iraq back in 2017 by then-prime minister Haider al Abadi. The Iraqi counterterrorism forces based at K-1 consider the area around the base an ISIS sanctuary so dangerous that they only enter in large numbers.


For their part, the Iraqis had been warning their U.S. counterparts for more than a month that ISIS was planning attacks on K-1. One such report, delivered on November 6, using intelligence dating back to October, was quite specific: “ISIS terrorists have endeavored to target K-1 base in Kirkuk district by indirect fire (Katyusha rockets).”

Another report, dated December 25, warned that ISIS was attempting to seize territory to the northeast of K-1. The Iraqis were so concerned that on December 27, the day of the attack, they requested that the U.S. keep functional its tethered aerostat-based Persistent Threat Detection System (PTSD)—a high-tech reconnaissance balloon equipped with multi-mission sensors to provide long endurance intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and communications in support of U.S. and Iraqi forces. 

Instead, the U.S. took the PTSD down for maintenance, allowing the attackers to approach unobserved.

The Iraqi military officials at K-1 immediately suspected ISIS as the culprit behind the attack. Their logic was twofold. First, ISIS had been engaged in nearly daily attacks in the area for over a year, launching rockets, firing small arms, and planting roadside bombs. Second, according to the Iraqis, “The villages near here are Turkmen and Arab. There is sympathy with Daesh [i.e., ISIS] there.”

As transparent as the Iraqis had been with the U.S. about their belief that ISIS was behind the attack, the U.S. was equally opaque with the Iraqis regarding whom it believed was the culprit. The U.S. took custody of the rocket launcher, all surviving ordnance, and all warhead fragments from the scene. 

U.S. intelligence analysts viewed the attack on K-1 as part of a continuum of attacks against U.S. bases in Iraq since early November 2019. The first attack took place on November 9, against the joint U.S.-Iraqi base at Qayarrah, and was very similar to the one that occurred against K-1—some 31 107mm rockets were fired from a pickup truck modified to carry a rocket launchpad. As with K-1, the forces located in Qayarrah were engaged in ongoing operations targeting ISIS, and the territory around the base was considered sympathetic to ISIS. The Iraqi government attributed the attack to unspecified “terrorist” groups.

The U.S., however, attributed the attacks to Khati’ab Hezbollah, a Shia militia incorporated with the Popular Mobilization Organization (PMO), a pro-Iranian umbrella organization that had been incorporated into the Iraqi Ministry of Defense. The PMO blamed the U.S. for a series of drone strikes against its facilities throughout the summer of 2019. The feeling among the American analysts was that the PMO attacked the bases as a form of retaliation. 

The U.S. launched a series of airstrikes against Khati’ab Hezbollah bases and command posts in Iraq and Syria on December 29, near the Iraqi city of al-Qaim. These attacks were carried out unilaterally, without any effort to coordinate with America’s Iraqi counterparts or seek approval from the Iraqi government.

Khati’ab Hezbollah units had seized al-Qaim from ISIS in November 2017, and then crossed into Syria, where they defeated ISIS fighters dug in around the Syrian town of al-Bukamal. They were continuing to secure this strategic border crossing when they were bombed on December 29. 

Left unsaid by the U.S. was the fact that the al-Bukamal-al Qaim border crossing was seen as a crucial “land bridge,” connecting Iran with Syria via Iraq. Throughout the summer of 2019, the U.S. had been watching as Iranian engineers, working with Khati’ab Hezbollah, constructed a sprawling base that straddled both Iraq and Syria. It was this base, and not Khati’ab Hezbollah per se, that was the reason for the American airstrike. The objective in this attack was to degrade Iranian capability in the region; the K-1 attack was just an excuse, one based on the lie that Khati’ab Hezbollah, and not ISIS, had carried it out.

The U.S. had long condemned what it called Iran’s “malign intentions” when it came to its activities in Iraq and Syria. But there is a world of difference between employing tools of diplomacy to counter Iranian regional actions and going kinetic. One of the reasons the U.S. has been able to justify attacking Iranian-affiliated targets, such as the al-Bukamal-al-Qaim complex and Qassem Soleimani, is that the Iranian entity associated with both—the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC—has been designated by the U.S. as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), and as such military attacks against it are seen as an extension of the ongoing war on terror. Yet the way the IRGC came to be designated as an FTO is itself predicated on a lie.

The person responsible for this lie is President Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton, who while in that position oversaw National Security Council (NSC) interagency policy coordination meetings at the White House for the purpose of formulating a unified government position on Iran. Bolton had stacked the NSC staff with hardliners who were pushing for a strong stance. But representatives from the Department of Defense often pushed back. During such meetings, the Pentagon officials argued that the IRGC was “a state entity” (albeit a “bad” one), and that if the U.S. were to designate it as a terrorist group, there was nothing to stop Iran from responding by designating U.S. military personnel or CIA officers as terrorists. 

The memoranda on these meetings, consisting of summaries of the various positions put forward, were doctored by the NSC to make it appear as if the Pentagon agreed with its proposed policy. The Defense Department complained to the NSC that the memoranda produced from these meetings were “largely incorrect and inaccurate”—“essentially fiction,” a former Pentagon official claimed.

After the Pentagon “informally” requested that the NSC change the memoranda to accurately reflect its position, and were denied, the issue was bumped up to Undersecretary of Defense John Rood. He then formally requested that the memoranda be corrected. Such a request was unprecedented in recent memory, a former official noted. Regardless, the NSC did not budge, and the original memoranda remained as the official records of the meetings in question.

President Trump designated the IRGC a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in April 2018.

This was a direct result of the bureaucratic dishonesty of John Bolton. Such dishonesty led to a series of policy decisions that gave a green light to use military force against IRGC targets throughout the Middle East. The rocket attack against K-1 was attributed to an Iranian proxy—Khati’ab Hezbollah—even though there was reason to believe the attack was carried out by ISIS. This was a cover so IRGC-affiliated facilities in al-Bakumal and al-Qaim, which had nothing to do with the attack, could be bombed. Everything to do with Iran’s alleged “malign intent.” The U.S. embassy was then attacked. Soleimani killed. The American base at al-Assad was bombarded by Iranian missiles. America and Iran were on the brink of war.

All because of a lie.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of several books, most recently, Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West’s Road to War (2018).