Sunday 7th of June 2020

confusion on the next step abounds...

next  Behind the Scenes of U.S./Iran Relations

by Thierry Meyssan
By having Iranian General Qassem Soleimani assassinated in Iraq, President Trump nearly provoked the Third World War. At least that is the version of the US opposition and the international press. For Thierry Meyssan, what happens behind the scenes is very different from the show on stage. According to him, there is a move towards a coordinated military withdrawal of the United States and Iran from the Middle East.
President Trump’s reference to the 1979 "hostage crisis" between President Carter and Iran was a source of pride for the United States. But the story is a biased presentation by journalist Walter Cronkrite. In referring to it, he was sending a message to Iran, which had successfully negotiated a successful outcome with President Reagan.Two countries divided
Relations between the USA and Iran are all the more difficult to understand because these two states are deeply divided:
- The United States is ruled by President Donald Trump, but all experts see that the federal administration is strongly opposed to him, does not implement his instructions and is involved in the ongoing parliamentary process for his removal.
- This is not a political division between Republicans and Democrats, since President Trump is not from that party, even though he has been nominated, but from a cultural divide: that of the three Anglo-Saxon civil wars (the British Civil War, U.S. Independence and the Civil War). Today it opposes the culture of the Rednecks, heirs of the "conquest of the West", and that of the Puritans, heirs of the "Pilgrim Fathers" of the Mayflower [1].
- There are two competing powers in Iran: on the one hand the government of Sheikh Hassan Rohani and on the other the Guide of the Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Contrary to the claims of the Western media, it is not this or that group that is paralyzing the country, but the death struggle that these two groups are waging against each other.
- President Rohani represents the interests of the bourgeoisie in Tehran and Esfahan, merchants oriented toward international trade and hard hit by U.S. sanctions. Sheikh Rohani is a long-time friend of the US deep state: he was the first Iranian contact between the Reagan administration and Israel during the Iran-Contra affair in 1985. It was he who introduced Hashem Rafsanjani to Oliver North’s men, allowing him to buy arms, to become the commander-in-chief of the armies and incidentally the richest man in the country, and then the President of the Islamic Republic. Sheikh Rohani was chosen by the Obama administration and Ali-Akbar Velayati during secret negotiations in Oman in 2013 to put an end to the secular nationalism of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and restore relations between the two countries.
- On the contrary, the Guide of the Revolution is a function created by Imam Rouhollah Khomeini on the model of the sage of Plato’s Republic - there is nothing Muslim about it. Ayatollah Khamenei is supposed to ensure that political decisions do not contravene the principles of Islam and those of the anti-imperialist Revolution of 1978. He is the head of the Revolutionary Guard militia, of which General Qassem Soleimani was a member. His budget is extremely variable according to unforeseen fluctuations in oil revenues. It is therefore he - and not the Rohanian administration - that is most affected by the US sanctions. In recent years, he has tried to establish himself as a reference point within Islam in general, inviting to Tehran all the religious and political leaders of the Muslim world, including its fiercest opponents.
Most of the decisions taken by either power, both in the US and in Iran, are immediately contradicted by his competitor.
Another difficulty in understanding what is happening comes from the lies that these two powers have accumulated over the years, many of which are still very much present. We will only mention those that have been mentioned in recent days:
- There was never a hostage crisis in 1979. US diplomatic personnel who were taken prisoner were arrested in flagrante delicto for spying. The embassy in Tehran was the CIA headquarters for the entire Middle East. It was not the Iranians but the United States that violated the obligations of diplomatic status. Two Marines of the embassy guard denounced the CIA’s actions, the espionage material is still visible in the embassy premises and the top-secret documents seized there have been published in more than 80 volumes.
- The Islamic Republic of Iran has never recognized the State of Israel, but has never had the objective of annihilating the Jewish population. It advocated the principle of "one man, one vote", while persisting in considering that it also applied to all Palestinians who had emigrated and acquired foreign nationality. In 2019, it submitted a proposal for a referendum on self-determination in geographical Palestine (i.e. both Israel and political Palestine) to the UN Security Council.
- Iran and Israel are not irreducible enemies since they jointly operate the Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline, which is jointly owned by the two states [2].
- Iran stopped all research on atomic weapons in 1988 when Imam Khomeini declared weapons of mass destruction incompatible with his vision of Islam. Documents stolen by Israel and revealed by its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2018 show that subsequent research has focused only on a shock wave generator (part of an atomic bomb detonator) [3]. It is not a nuclear part, but a mechanical part that can be used for other purposes.

Seen from the West, President Trump has just added Qassem Soleimani to his list of murdered terrorists. But seen from the Middle East, he has just changed sides: after having shot Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, he has killed Daesh’s main enemy, Qassem Soleimani.The assassination of the hero
With these foundations in place, let us look at the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani and the crisis it provoked.
General Soleimani was an exceptional soldier. He launched his military carreer during the war imposed by Iraq (1980-88). His Special Forces, the Al-Quods section (i.e. Jerusalem in Arabic and Persian), came to the rescue of all the peoples of the Middle East who were victims of imperialism. For example, he was present alongside Lebanese Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Syrian General Hassan Turkmani in Beirut in the face of the Israeli attack in 2006. He distinguished between imperialism and the United States and negotiated many times with Washington, even proposing detailed alliances, for example in 2001 with President George Bush Jr. against the Afghan Taliban. However, from May 2018, he was only allowed to fight alongside the Shiite communities. Violating the ceasefire of the 1973 war, he launched attacks against Israel from Syrian territory, placing Damascus in the greatest embarrassment.
Although President Trump understood the military role he played under Ayatollah Khamenei, he did not understand the symbol he had become and the admiration he enjoyed in almost every military academy in the world. He took a major risk in allowing his elimination and damaged his own reputation in the Middle East. Indeed, while as US president he had consistently opposed his country’s support for al-Qaeda and Daesh, he was responsible for the death of a man who embodied that fight in many theatres of operation through his blood. There is no need to dwell on the illegality of this assassination. This has not changed much in the behaviour of the United States since its inception.
The assassination of Qassem Suleimani followed Washington’s designation of the Revolutionary Guards as a "terrorist organization" (sic). Iranians share a strong sense of being a people, a civilization. His death therefore temporarily reunited the two political powers in a single emotion. Millions of people took to the streets for his funeral.

The conflagration will not take place
All Western media have reported on Iran’s response plans over the past several years. But it is not on the basis of these plans that President Rohani and Guide Khamenei have reflected. The Iranians are not kids fighting in a schoolyard. They are a nation. So both leaders have reacted according to the best interests of their country, as they see it. Therefore, thunderous statements calling for revenge should not be taken seriously. There will be no Iranian revenge, just as there was no revenge from Hizbollah for the illegal Israeli assassination of Imad Moughniyah in Damascus in 2008.
For Sheikh Rohani, regardless of General Soleimani’s death, it is essential to renew contact with Washington. Until now, he has considered that the Obama administration was the interlocutor that allowed him to come to power. Donald Trump was only a hitch in his career, destined to be removed from office at the beginning of his presidency (Russiagate and now Ukrainegate). He had therefore rejected his many calls for negotiations. However, President Trump is still there and is expected to remain there for the next four years. Affected by his illegal sanctions, the Iranian economy is sunk. The reaction of international empathy to the illegal assassination of General Soleimani therefore allows him to approach these negotiations not from a position of inferiority, but from a position of strength.
For Ayatollah Khamenei, not only has the United States been a predator for Iran for a century, but Donald Trump is not a man of his word. Not because he did not keep his promises, but because he did not keep the promises of his predecessor. The 5+1 agreement had been approved by the UN Security Council. Iran regarded it as a law set in stone. Donald Trump tore it up, which he had every right to do. In addition to this public agreement, there was a secret agreement on the distribution of influence in the Middle East. This second text was also cancelled by President Trump and it is he who intends to renegotiate it bilaterally.
Iran quickly announced that it no longer respected the 5+1 agreement, while pro-Iranian Iraqi MPs demanded the departure of US troops from their country. Contrary to what the Western media were led to believe, these two decisions were not competitive bids, but offers of peace. The 5+1 agreement no longer exists since the US withdrawal. Iran acknowledged this after having tried in vain to save it. The departure of US troops not only from Iraq, but from the entire Middle East is a commitment made by Donald Trump during his presidential campaign. He could not make it come true given the opposition of his administration. Iran sided with him.
The powerful US oil lobby has given its support to President Trump by questioning the "Carter Doctrine". In 1980, President Jimmy Carter had stated that oil from the Gulf was indispensable to the US economy. As a result, the CentCom was created by his successor and the Pentagon guaranteed US companies access to oil from the Gulf. But today, the United States is independent when it comes to energy. It no longer needs this oil and therefore no longer needs to deploy its troops in the region. For them, the stakes have shifted. It is no longer a question of appropriating Arab-Persian oil, but of controlling world oil trade.
The political leaders have not been able to adapt to the development of the means of communication. They talk too much and too fast. They hold postures and no longer know how to backtrack. Having uttered unbelievable calls for revenge, the Guardians of the Revolution had to react. But they had to be responsible and not make things worse. So they chose to bomb two US military bases in Iraq without causing casualties. Just as France, the United States and the United Kingdom had condemned Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons. Then, in the end, they bombed a military base without causing any casualties (but they did cause a fire that burned down the area around the base).
It goes without saying that the US will not give up anything without compensation. Its military withdrawal will only be done in coordination with the Iranian military withdrawal. General Qassem Soleimani embodied precisely the Iranian military deployment. It is this double withdrawal that is currently being negotiated. We are already seeing a US withdrawal from Syria and Iraq to Kuwait. The episode of the letter sent, then cancelled, by General William Sheely III announcing the departure of US troops from Iraq is proof that these negotiations are indeed underway.
Qassem Soleimani would surely be proud of his life, if his death would help to establish regional peace.
Thierry MeyssanTranslation Roger Lagassé

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driving the narrative of a conflict with Iran...

From the Real News Network

We spoke to Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin after Thursday's War Powers resolution vote. Whose interests are driving the narrative around conflict with Iran?

TAYA GRAHAM: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m investigative reporter Taya Graham.

Are progressive Democrats just as responsible for the current warmongering as their Republican counterparts? Well, that’s what the mainstream media seems to keep avoiding in their coverage of a possible war in Iran. But the truth is a much more nuanced and ugly conversation. The House Representatives just passed a resolution that would limit President Trump’s ability to order military action in Iran without Congress’s approval. It’s been described as a sharp rebuke to the President from the majority of the House. However, critics see it as an impotent, symbolic attempt to atone for past complicity.

In December of 2019, Democrats and Republicans alike voted for a $1.4 trillion spending bill that included a Pentagon budget increase. But why are Democrats voting for increasing the military budget while they criticize Donald Trump’s aggression towards Iran? Why are even isolationist Republicans turning the other cheek as more monies are appropriated for military expansion?

Well, I’m speaking with Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, to better understand U.S.-Iran Relations and to understand if there’s a possibility for peace in our time. Benjamin has been part of a worldwide antiwar movement for over 30 years and has written books on Iran, Saudi Arabia, and drone warfare. Medea, thank you so much for joining us.

MEDEA BENJAMIN: Thank you for having me on, Taya.

TAYA GRAHAM: We really appreciate it. So let’s get started. Can you help explain to us exactly what it was that both Democrats and Republicans voted for with this War Powers Resolution? And maybe tell us a little bit about how it’s different than the similar resolution that Congress voted on in April regarding Yemen.

MEDEA BENJAMIN: Well, this is a resolution that says that the president does not have the authority to go to war in Iran, that he has to go to the Congress and get authorization first. There is another bill that Bernie Sanders has introduced that would cut off the funding for going to war, but that is not what’s called a Privilege Resolution, so it’s not clear that, that will even get a vote. They used this War Powers Act before in the case of Yemen, which is a very important thing to use. It’s something that hadn’t been used since the Vietnam War in 1973. But as will probably happen in this case, when it got to the desk of Donald Trump, it was vetoed. Now, the bill that just passed yesterday does have to go to the Senate.


MEDEA BENJAMIN: And we have no idea if we can get enough Republicans to vote along with the Democrats to get it passed. In any case, it will go to the President’s desk. If it gets that far, he will veto it, and then unfortunately we’re not going to have a majority number of Congress people to allow us to override his veto. In any case, it’s still important to do this. Anything we can do to show opposition to the President, a war with Iran, is part of building up a groundswell of opposition to try to avoid an all out war.

TAYA GRAHAM: So as we discussed, Democrats and Republicans alike voted for a $1.4 trillion spending bill, but it also affected an amendment from Representative Ro Khanna and Matt Gaetz that could have blocked Trump from attacking Iran without approval from Congress. Now, Representative Khanna pointed out that some people have a vested interest in not restricting the President’s ability to go to war. Let me read you a tweet from Representative Khanna and then I’m going to give you a chance to respond. “If you were wondering who benefits from endless wars, take a look at how stocks for weapons manufacturers began to rise as soon as Soleimani was killed. Defense contractors spent $84 million lobbying Congress last year and it certainly wasn’t to promote diplomacy and restraint.” So how do you respond to this essential indictment of this system of profiteering that’s become part of our system surrounding our military?

MEDEA BENJAMIN: It’s amazing how quickly the stock market reacts and the weapons companies’ stocks go up as soon as there is a threat of a new conflict. There was a very good article that Sarah Anderson from the Institute for Policy Studies did that show it how the CEOs of the top weapons companies became a hell of a lot richer just in a couple of days because their pay is tied to stock options.


MEDEA BENJAMIN: So there certainly is a whole industry out there that loves war, that loves conflict, and that profits tremendously from it. And we should also say that it’s the media, the mainstream media, not the Real News, but the mainstream media that profits from war as well because more people watch the news when they sensationalize the issues and their ratings go up as well. So they’re part of the industry that benefits from war.

TAYA GRAHAM: That’s an excellent point. And I’m sure it’s one that the mainstream media is not going to be bringing up anytime soon. So let me ask you this. Do you think that this is all part of a distraction from impeachment or do you think it’s a continuation of the hawkish policies towards that region?

MEDEA BENJAMIN: Well Taya, I think it’s both. The timing, one has to question why it’s done at the exact same time that the impeachment process is going to the Senate. And certainly it has taken impeachment off the front and center of the news.


MEDEA BENJAMIN: But it is also a continuation because Donald Trump campaigned saying that this nuclear deal was awful, and he said he was going to rip it up when he got in.


MEDEA BENJAMIN: He has done the bidding of his friends in Israel and in Saudi Arabia and some of the big donors like Sheldon Adelson. He has gone even further, not only withdrawing from the deal, but imposing the most stringent sanctions that you can imagine that not only say that U.S. companies can’t do business with Iran, but wants the rest of the world not to do business with Iran, wants to make it so Iran is not able to sell one drop of oil in the international markets. And so this squeezing of the Iranian economy is a form of warfare. It’s an economic warfare. So for the Iranians, the war has been going on for almost two years now. And that’s why it’s important to recognize that the aggressor in all of this is Donald Trump from the minute that he withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal.

TAYA GRAHAM: Now, there is criticism coming from Congress, but is it coming from Congress about doing war the right way, or is there actually an anti-war movement in Congress? I mean, are there any real anti-war politicians present in either party?

MEDEA BENJAMIN: Yes, there are. I think there are people like Ilhan Omar. There are people like Jim McGovern, the two co-chairs of the Progressive Caucus Ro Khanna and Pramila Jayapal, they are anti-war. Pramila Jayapal was an ant-war activist before she became a Congresswoman. So there are certainly people and I could name more of them, Barbara Lee, Jan Schakowsky. But then you look at the majority of the party and you look at the voices that are being lifted up right now in the party and unfortunately, many of them are the voices of people who just want to be consulted. And so it is always a gamble when you say that Donald Trump has to go to Congress first before he’s allowed to wage war. I think we should say Donald Trump is not allowed to wage war. The American people don’t want it.

It’s terrible for Iran. It’s terrible for the world community, period. And we have to get the voices in Congress to not just be saying you don’t have authorization, but to also be saying, no war with Iran, period. Lift the economic sanctions, period, and bring all of the troops home from the Middle East. The Iraqi government is calling for our troops to go home. We should listen to them. They are after all a government that we helped put in place. And the rest of the region, we’d be better off with the troops coming home. So we have to move these demands forward.

TAYA GRAHAM: And it seems almost redundant to say this but President Trump did of course promise to bring these troops home and has actually added more troops to the region. But let me focus on something different. Where did the escalation with Iran actually begin when the U.S. pulled out of the Iran deal? Can you recount kind of a recent history of moments where the U.S. began to destabilize its relationship with Iran?

MEDEA BENJAMIN: Well, let’s recognize that you really should go back to 1953 if you want to look at how the U.S. has de-stabilized Iran by overthrowing their democratically elected government because it wanted to nationalize its oil. And then fast forward to the 1979 Revolution, which was really a direct response from that decades later, and the animosity with United States that resulted from the U.S. interference in their internal affairs continues to this day. Economic sanctions were imposed since 1979 but they’ve gone up and they’ve gone down. And the real breakthrough was the Iran nuclear deal that was signed in 2015 when it wasn’t just the U.S. and Iran. It was the world community. It’s important to recognize that, that was a given an approval from the entire U.N. Security Council as well as the entire European Union.

TAYA GRAHAM: That’s an important point.

MEDEA BENJAMIN: So it was an international agreement. Donald Trump pulling out of that is a violation of international law. So really, we have to look to May of 2018 when Donald Trump got out of that deal and imposed these sanctions that every six months since then he has added new, more onerous sanctions.

TAYA GRAHAM: You pointed out something really interesting there and I want to dig into it. You actually went to Iran in early 2019. In 2019, can you tell us what you saw there and what it was like in Iran under U.S. sanctions?

MEDEA BENJAMIN: Yes. We saw that, on the one hand, Iran is used to dealing with sanctions because they’ve been dealing with them for over 40 years. On the other hand, this is a new level of sanctions that has made it basically an economy that functions in the global black market. And so who benefits from that?

It’s ironic that the U.S. says it’s going after the Iranian government, but not the people; but it’s the businesses that have been most hurt. And the government-owned large entities are the ones that actually benefit from the sanctions, because they have the corner on the market. It is the clerics who have large economic entities that can find ways to go around these sanctions that also benefit. But we saw that businesses after businesses were closing their doors, that young people are having a very difficult time finding jobs these days. The jobs don’t pay nearly enough to keep up with the inflation. The medicines such as cancer medicines are hard to find and so people are dying every single day because of these sanctions.

TAYA GRAHAM: That’s terrible.

MEDEA BENJAMIN: So the lives of ordinary people are the ones that are most effected. And the U.S. thinks that this is going to cause people to rise up and overthrow the government. And sure enough, there have been street protest when the Iranian government announced an increase in the price of gasoline. Those were brutally put down by the government. But now that is considered in the past because after the killing of Soleimani, the Iranian people have come together in a much more unified fashion. And now those who are protesting against their own government in Iran are now protesting against the United States.

TAYA GRAHAM: Right. So you pointed out something important there. The death, the assassination of Soleimani, has actually united the Iranian people in a way they weren’t previously. Is there any way to pull ourselves back from the break? Is there any path towards peace and maybe not even just peace, but maybe even a partnership with Iran?

MEDEA BENJAMIN: Well, that’s the important question, is how do we get this man’s man in the White House to step back? And there are a couple of things. One is that we have to get other countries to step up. We have been working with members of parliament in the European Union and telling them we need them to come out much stronger than they have so far. We need the Russians and the Chinese to intervene and try to dial this back. But we also need a movement from the grassroots to say the American people will not stand for another war. It is a positive sign that just two days after this increase in the conflict, we manage to get protests in over 80 cities around the country.


MEDEA BENJAMIN: And then just yesterday there were over 300 protests that happened around the country. We have a global day of action that we’re calling for January 25th and getting tremendous response from our friends in Europe and Latin America and other parts of Asia because they want to show that the world says no to war. But Donald Trump doesn’t care what the world thinks, but he does care about his own election coming up.

And that’s why it’s important to reflect what the polls show, which is the American people don’t want another war but have it be visible on the streets. And we also have to go to our members of Congress and push them to take further steps. We should be going to our City Councils and passing resolutions against war. We should be going to our labor unions, our faith based groups, all of these ways that we can get them to come out with statements saying they’re against a war with Iran.

This is so critical right now, Taya. I can’t tell you how important I think it is. We have a breather right now; which we didn’t think we would have. We’re not in the all-out war this moment, but we could be any day.


MEDEA BENJAMIN: So while we have a chance in these next days, weeks, and hopefully months, we have to really build this movement to show Donald Trump that it would be not in his interest to take this country to war.

TAYA GRAHAM: Medea, I think that is absolutely the perfect place to leave our conversation, but I hope our conversation will continue. And I think what you said was really going to inspire people to keep the pressure on in this anti-war movement. Because you’re right, we’re in a unique moment. We actually have a chance to prevent the war from happening. And this is a unique moment for us. Medea, I want to thank you so much for joining me today.

MEDEA BENJAMIN: Thank you. And please encourage people to go to to find out about the protests, the webinars, the teach-ins, all the other things that we’re doing. Thank you.

TAYA GRAHAM: Thank you. My name is Taya Graham. And I want to thank you so much for joining me for The Real News Network.


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the USA, the criminals...

The January 3 assassination of Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani saw Iran-US tensions soar to new heights, prompting an Iranian missile attack on US forces in Iraq and briefly sparking fears of a full-blown military conflict in the region.

The United States has the legal and constitutional authority to continue attacking ‘Iranian proxies’, in Iraq or even on Iran’s home soil, in response to attacks against US troops, Defence Secretary Mark Esper has said.

“We hold Iran responsible for its proxies, and we will retain the right to exercise self-defence and take action where legally available and appropriate to hold those proxies accountable for their actions,” the Pentagon chief said, speaking to NPR.

According to Esper, President Trump is entitled to attack Iran under Article 2 of the US Constitution, which gives the president the power to unilaterally engage in military actions in the event of an ‘attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.” The president’s rights are also backed up by the Authorization for Use of Millitary Force (AUMF), the legal measure passed by Congress in 2001 following the September 11 terrorist attacks, Esper suggested. The latter document has been renewed annually for nearly two decades, and used to justify US wars and military deployments around the globe, from Afghanistan and Iraq to the Philippines, Georgia, Yemen, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea.

Esper also again defended the Trump administration’s decision to target General Soleimani, saying the Iranian commander became a “compelling target to take out” because “there was complete agreement based on what he had done and what he was planning to do.” Soleimani, Esper claimed, had “the blood of hundreds of American soldiers and Marines on his hands.”

The latter assertion, including the claim that Iran provided Iraqi militias with arms to attack the US after the 2003 invasion, remains questionable. However, there is substantive and documented evidence to suggest that Soleimani actually indirectly assisted US efforts against Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda* in Afghanistan and by targeting Wahhabi terrorists in the campaigns against Daesh (ISIS)* in Iraq and Syria.

Shifting Narrative

Senior officials at the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department have had a difficult two weeks justifying the US decision to assassinate Soleimani, with the rationale shifting from claims that he posed an “imminent” threat to US interests, to President Trump’s comments Monday that it didn’t matter whether the threat was imminent or not because of the general’s “horrible past!” In recent days, anonymous officials speaking to US media alleged that the US actually began planning to kill Soleimani as far back as July 2018, with the periods of June 2019 and September 2019 also mentioned.

Soleimani, 62, was killed on January 3 when the convoy he and a senior Baghdad-allied Shia militia leader were in was hit by a US drone strike at Baghdad International Airport. The commander’s death led tensions between Iran and the US to spike to new highs, with Iranian leaders and commanders warning that they would “avenge” Soleimani’s death. On January 8, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards launched close to a dozen missiles at US bases in Iraq, with Tehran warning Baghdad about the strikes several hours ahead of time.

On Monday, Iranian Chief Justice Ebrahim Raisi announced that the Iranian government would seek to prosecute President Trump in an international court over Soleimani’s assassination.


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Defence Secretary Mark Esper is most likely going to place his fingers where he should not...

twitchy fingers...

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday appeared to cast blame on President Trump and the US for the downing by Iran of a Ukrainian jetliner that was allowed to take off from Tehran following an Iranian airstrike on US troops in Iraq just hours earlier.

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

All 176 people – including 57 Canadians — aboard Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 were killed when the Revolutionary Guard mistakenly fired a missile at the Boeing 737 just after takeoff from Tehran.

“This is something that happens when you have conflict and war. Innocents bear the brunt of it and it is a reminder why all of us need to work so hard on de-escalation, moving forward to reduce tensions and find a pathway that doesn’t involve further conflict and killing,” Trudeau continued, appearing to reference Trump’s order of a drone strike that killed Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on Jan. 2.


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‘I wish I was dead’: Senior IRGC commander accepts responsibility for downing Ukrainian jet, says it was mistaken for missile...

A top Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officer has revealed that the Ukrainian jet was mistaken for an incoming cruise missile and that the commander of the anti-aircraft unit had only 10 seconds to make the decision.

“After hearing about the crash of the Ukrainian plane, I wished to die”, Hajizadeh said during a press conference on Saturday.

I wish I had died and not witnessed such an accident

The commander explained that the incident had occurred as the country was bracing for potential US strikes and that the “likelihood of conflict” between the two nations has been “unprecedented” since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

According to an early assessment, the Ukrainian plane was erroneously identified as an incoming cruise missile, which resulted in the tragedy. Air-defense units received a warning that cruise missiles had been fired at the country and stayed on high alert at the time of the incident, Hajizadeh stated.

The commander of the anti-aircraft unit had sought confirmation for the launch from his superiors, but experienced communication problems and had to make the decision –which turned out to be wrong– on his own. The officer only had 10 seconds to make the decision, Hajizadeh added.


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Read from top.



A little more than a month ago:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- A Princeton scholar held for three years in Iran on widely criticized espionage charges was freed Saturday as part of a prisoner exchange in which the United States released an Iranian scientist, a rare diplomatic breakthrough between Tehran and Washington after months of tensions.

In a trade on the tarmac of a Swiss airport, Iranian officials handed over graduate student Xiyue Wang in exchange for scientist Massoud Soleimani, who had faced a federal trial in Georgia over charges that he violated sanctions by trying to have biological material sent to Iran.

The swap, however, had clear limits. U.S. sanctions on Iran that block it from selling crude oil abroad remain in place, part of President Donald Trump's maximum-pressure campaign imposed after his unilateral withdrawal last year from Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers. Those sanctions in part fueled the anger seen in nationwide protests last month that Iranian security forces violently put down, reportedly resulting in the deaths of more than 200 people.

Meanwhile, Western detainees from the U.S. and elsewhere remain held by Tehran and likely are to be used as bargaining chips for future negotiations. At least two American families of detainees, while praising Wang's release, questioned why their loved ones didn't return home as well.

Wang's release had been rumored over recent days. One lawyer involved in his case tweeted out a Bible verse about an angel freeing the apostle Peter, just hours before Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif broke the news in his own tweet. He posted pictures of himself with Soleimani at the Zurich airport before quickly whisking him back to Tehran by jet.

Trump shortly after acknowledged Wang was free in a statement from the White House, thanking Switzerland for its help. The Swiss Embassy in Tehran looks out for America's interests in the country as the U.S. Embassy there has been closed since the 1979 student takeover and 444-day hostage crisis.

"We're very happy to have our hostage back. The whole Princeton University community is very thrilled and it was a one-on-one hostage swap," said Trump, speaking to reporters outside the White House before he left on a trip to Florida. "Actually I think it was a great thing for Iran. I think it was great to show that we can do something. It might have been a precursor as to what can be done. But we have our hostage back."

Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, accompanied Soleimani to Switzerland to make the exchange. He later posed for a photograph with Wang, who carried a folded American flag in his arms while wearing gray workout clothes.


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Meanwhile, remembering another assassination:


a couple of future dictators discuss benghazi and the death of gaddafi who was a friend of tony blair for a while...

bullies in the schoolyard...


Read from top.

USA, the godly usurpers...

Acting as gods, Americans abolish UN and international security system

World » Americas

Having killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, the United States has canceled all international laws and treaties, all personal rights of any person and entire nations. The existence of the United Nations Organization does not make any sense. It makes no sense to conclude and abide by treaties, at least with the Americans. The Americans act as if they are gods. Is God going to respond?

Inna Novikova, Pravda.Ru editor-in-chief, talked about it in an interview with Vyacheslav Polosin, doctor of philosophical sciences, candidate of political sciences, political scientist and Daria Mitina, secretary of the United Communist Party of Russia.

Consolidation of Iran and polarization in USA

"Mrs. Mitina, you say that Donald Trump has polarized the American society and consolidated the Iranian society even more. We could see it in the footage of Soleimani's funeral - there was a sea of people there."

Daria Mitina: Moreover, it is quite obvious that Qasem Soleimani, just like the Revolutionary Guards Corps, was not an authority for the Iranian society on the whole.

The political situation in Iran is very complicated now. We know that in recent months this republic has seen many anti-government protests, and many in the country were angered by the actions of the
[USA]. And there was very great bitterness in certain environments against the activities of the Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Basically, the people took to the streets to protest against domestic policies of the Iranian administration on the whole.

Qasem Soleimani is a different story. Nevertheless, it backfired at him as well. His killing made millions of Iranians rise and take to the streets. Of course, there are many of those who grieve for General Soleimani. Most likely, most of the people took to the streets to express their protest against the United States and voluntarist behavior of the Americans.

"There are massive protests in the States too."

"Indeed, but I am far from the illusion to believe that all those people who rallied in New York and in Washington, treated Qasem Soleimani with respect one way or another. I think that most of them do not even know who Soleimani is.

For most of them, it was a common anti-Trump rally. Those people mostly represent electorate of the Democratic Party. They took advantage of the crisis to protest against arbitrary actions of the Trump administration.

Trump is to blame but he is not the only one

It would be wrong to believe that it is Trump and the Republican administration, who are to blame for the crisis. The matter is not about either specific individuals or political forces. Let's see what and how was happening in the United States during the past 20 years.

Both Democratic and Republican administrations behave equally. For example, the Clinton administration wiped out ф European state in the heart of Europe - Yugoslavia, they eliminated Milosevic, and many leaders of the Serbian national movement. The Bush administration destroyed Saddam Hussein and ripped Iraq into pieces.

In fact, the Americans appropriated, usurped the right of a higher international tribunal over entire nations.

Barack Obama was not warm and fuzzy either. Suffice it to recall the role of the United States in inciting inter-ethnic strife to set one ethnic group against another, to orchestrate the Arab Spring in many countries.

We all know how it all ended - look at Libya. In the United States, the elite stays united. They maintain an ideological unity of the two warring parties in America. This confrontation should not mislead anyone.

One can clearly see the aftermath of the bloody crimes of imperialism - this may be an obsolete term, but it is a very true one - but we can see that history repeats itself in Iran now. The Iranian general, an influential politician of a foreign state, was sacrificed to instantaneous interests.

It's not without reason that meticulous people found Trump's tweets from 2011, in which he was urging others not to let Barack Obama unleash World War III. He would call not to attack Iran for the sake of domestic political goals. Trump tweeted that in 2011, when Obama was also trying to gain political points in foreign.

As we all can now see, Trump is doing exactly the same thing. Less than a year is left before the election, he is facing impeachment and all other problems  are on the nose. Therefore, no matter how cynical it may seem, we see yet another confirmation to Carl von Clausewitz argument, (Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz was a Prussian general and military theorist who stressed the "moral" and political aspects of war), who said that war is a continuation of politics by other means."

Mr. Polosin, do you agree?

International security system has been canceled out

Vyacheslav Polosin: Unfortunately, all this is true, which is very sad. But you know, I would say that after the First World War there was an attempt made to create an international security system, the so-called international law. The League of Nations was established for this purpose, but the attempt failed quickly, and after World War II, the UN was organized.

This system had been functioning more or less efficiently for a long time. It did provide relative stability for years.

    By killing Soleimani, Trump has completely abolished the international security system. Donald Trump has assumed the role of world master of destines. It was not someone completely unknown who did it, like, for example, the man, who shot a Russian ambassador dead in Turkey. It was an initiative of the Trump administration.

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brain injury to the brainless...

The Pentagon says 34 service members have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury following missile strikes by Iran on a base in Iraq earlier this month, a number higher than the military had previously announced.

US President Donald Trump and other top officials initially said Iran’s attack had not killed or injured any US service members.

Last week, the US military said 11 US troops were treated for concussion symptoms after the attack on the Ain al-Asad air base in western Iraq and this week said additional troops had been moved out of Iraq for potential injuries.

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters that 17 service members diagnosed had already returned to duty in Iraq.

Eight service members who had been previously transported to Germany had been moved to the United States and would receive treatment at either Walter Reed military hospital or their home bases.

Mr Hoffman said the service members were being treated on an outpatient basis and were transported back to the United States in order to be closer to their pre-deployment bases.

Nine service members remain in Germany and are undergoing evaluations and treatment.

Mr Hoffman said the military had seen symptoms like headaches, dizziness, sensitivity to light and nausea.

On Wednesday, Mr Trump appeared to play down the injuries, saying he “heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things.”

Pentagon officials have said there had been no effort to minimise or delay information on concussive injuries, but its handling of the injuries following Tehran’s attack has renewed questions over the US military’s policy regarding how it deals with suspected brain injuries.

While the US military has to immediately report incidents threatening life, limb or eyesight, it does not have an urgent requirement to do so with suspected traumatic brain injury, or TBI, which can take time to manifest and diagnose.

Mr Hoffman said US Defense Secretary Mark Esper directed the Pentagon to review the process for tracking and reporting injuries.

Various health and medial groups for years have been trying to raise awareness about the seriousness of brain injuries, including concussions.

According to Pentagon data, about 408,000 service members have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury since 2000.


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US denial...

The Taliban claimed to have shot down a US plane and helicopter in Afghanistan. The E-11 A ABCN bombardier allegedly served as the CIA’s mobile command for Michael D’Andrea, the head of its anti-Iran operations and, as such, the person responsible for the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani [1].

According to the Arab media, the downing of the plane was overseen by elements of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

After CentCom denied losing two aircraft, photos started turning up on the Internet. A Pentagon official then also denied that the plane was carrying CIA personnel.


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