The US can’t take a hint, but a message coming from 2.5 million people is pretty unmistakeable. From Alan Macleod at mintpressnews.com:
An estimated 2.5 million Iraqis descended on Baghdad to stage a “Million Man March” calling for an end to the nearly 17 year-long U.S. occupation of their country.
People from all over Iraq have descended upon its capital Baghdad, heeding the call from influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr for a “million man march” calling for an end to the nearly 17 year-long U.S. occupation of the country. Images from the event show seas of peaceful crowds walking together through the city center. Sayed Sadiq al-Hashemi, the director of the Iraqi Center for Studies, estimated that more than 2.5 million took part in the demonstrations. While there are many divisions in Iraqi society, marchers hope to send a united message against American imperialism.
“Pompeo keeps going on about respecting Iraqi sovereignty. Well Iraqis want you out of their country,” said Lebanese-American journalist Rania Khalek, adding that the recent U.S. assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has seriously backfired, leading to a huge show of anti-American sentiment. She also took aim at the media coverage; “Whenever a couple hundred people protest against Iran, ittrends on twitter. Yet when hundreds of thousands in Iraq protest against the US? No trending,” she said.
By now it’s an article of faith that Yemen’s Houthis are Iranian proxies, but that’s more a convenient fiction to justify the US’s efforts to help Saudi Arabia in its war against the Houthis. From Joziah Thayer at antiwar.com:
The death toll in Yemen has reached 102,000 according to data released by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project in October of 2019. Since the war started in 2015, the United States government has maintained one steadfast talking point. The Houthis are an Iranian proxy in Yemen. Government officials and those in mainstream media have repeatedly regurgitated this talking point without ever providing evidence to back up this claim.
By repeatedly claiming that the Houthis are an Iranian proxy, it allows the United States government to try and justify what is happening in Yemen daily. All the United States has to do whenever a government official has to answer a question about the war in Yemen, is mention Iran. No matter how undefendable America’s involvement in the war in Yemen has become the excuse to justify the atrocities in Yemen never falter, its Iran’s fault.
For the warfare state, peace is the worst possible prospect. From Ted Snider at antiwar.com:
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement with Iran was working. Iran was consistently in compliance, the US and Iran were talking and diplomacy was working. Then Trump turned his back on peace, shattered the diplomacy and resuscitated the hostile relation with Iran.
This pass that Trump took on peace was not the first time the US had been offered peace by Iran and passed it up. In 2003, Iranian president Seyyed Mohammad Khatami and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei approved a comprehensive nuclear proposal that they offered to President George W. Bush. Bush ignored the overture and refused to respond.
Illegally pulling out of the JCPOA was not only not the first time the US took a pass on an Iranian offer of peace, it was also not the last. Iranian general Qassem Suleimani went to Baghdad to deliver Iran’s response to a Saudi de-escalation overture. A de-escalation of violence between the leaders of the Sunni and Shi’ite worlds might go a long way toward potentially calming the middle east. So, the US assassinated him.
Having the world’s reserve currency means you can create all sorts of mischief and never say you’re sorry. From Jim Rickards at dailyreckoning.com:
I’ve been documenting financial warfare in my articles for years, but it still doesn’t get the mainstream attention it deserves.
Because as you’ll see below, it can directly impact your wealth.
Financial warfare tools include account seizures and freezes, expulsion from global payment systems, secondary fines and penalties on banks that do business with targeted entities, embargoes, tariffs and many other impositions.
These tools are amplified by the unique role of the U.S. dollar, which is the currency behind 60% of global reserves, 80% of global payments and almost 100% of transactions in oil.
The U.S. controls the banks and payments systems that process dollar transactions. This leaves the U.S. well positioned to impose dollar-related sanctions.
Much has been made of the recent killing of Iranian terrorist mastermind Qasem Soleimani. Many say it was an act of war. But guess what, folks?
We’ve been in a full-scale war with Iran for two years now. It’s just that most people don’t realize it.
There have been two different Americas, and the big split came in 1913. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:
There have been two completely different Americas in U.S. history. Let’s examine twelve ways in which they differ.
1. For more than a century after the United States came into existence, there was no income taxation or IRS. People were free to keep everything they earned and decide for themselves what to do with it.
Today, income taxation and the IRS are a core feature of American life. The government essentially owns everyone’s income and decides how much people will be permitted to keep, much as a parent permits his children to have an allowance.
2. No Social Security. Earlier Americans rejected the concept of mandatory charity. People were left free to decide for themselves whether to help out their parents and others.
Today, Social Security is a core feature of American life. The federal government forces younger people to help out seniors by forcibly taking their money from them and giving it to seniors. Social Security is a classic example of a socialist program, one in which the government forcibly takes money from people to whom it belongs and gives it to people to whom it does not belong.
Adam Schiff’s Senate speech, a part of the impeachment charade, encapsulates the Washington’s ginned-up Russia hysteria. From Daniel Lazare at antiwar.com:
All the usual suspects are praising Adam Schiff’s marathon two-and-a-half-hour Senate speech on Wednesday to the skies. Neocon columnist Jennifer Rubin calls it “a grand slam” in the Washington Post. Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin describes it as “dazzling” on CNN. New York Times columnist Gail Collins says it was “a great job” and that Schiff is “a rock star” for pulling it off.
But in fact it was the opposite – a fear-mongering, sword-rattling harangue that will not only raise tensions with Russia for no good reason, but sends a chilling message to dissidents at home that if they deviate from Russiagate orthodoxy by one iota, they’ll be driven from the fold.
What is that orthodoxy? It’s that Russia invaded poor innocent Ukraine in 2014, that it interfered in the US presidential election in 2016 in order to hurt Hillary Clinton and propel Donald Trump into the White House, and that it’s now trying to smear Joe Biden merely because he had allowed his son to take a high-paying job with a notorious Ukrainian oligarch at a time when he was supposedly heading up the Ukrainian anti-corruption effort.
It is inevitable, given the trend towards decentralized violence, that any attempt at centralized violence such as the US’s many invasions would result only in chaos. From Danny Sjursen at tomdispatch.com:
U.S. Foreign Policy Goes Off the Rails
In March 1906, on the heels of the U.S. Army’s massacre of some 1,000 men, women, and children in the crater of a volcano in the American-occupied Philippines, humorist Mark Twain took his criticism public. A long-time anti-imperialist, he flippantly suggested that Old Glory should be redesigned “with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the skull and cross-bones.”
I got to thinking about that recently, five years after I became an antiwar dissenter (while still a major in the U.S. Army), and in the wake of another near-war, this time with Iran. I was struck yet again by the way every single U.S. military intervention in the Greater Middle East since 9/11 has backfiredin wildly counterproductive ways, destabilizing a vast expanse of the planet stretching from West Africa to South Asia.
Chaos, it seems, is now Washington’s stock-in-trade. Perhaps, then, it’s time to resurrect Twain’s comment — only today maybe those stars on our flag should be replaced with the universal symbol for chaos.After all, our present administration, however unhinged, hardly launched this madness. President Trump’s rash, risky, and repugnant decision to assassinate Iranian Major General Qassem Suleimani on the sovereign soil of Iraq was only the latest version of what has proven to be a pervasive state of affairs. Still, that and Trump’s other recent escalations in the region do illustrate an American chaos machine that’s gone off the rails. And the very manner — I’m loathe to call it a “process” — by which it’s happened just demonstrates the way this president has taken American chaos to its dark but logical conclusion.