The Trump administration’s story on the Soleimani assassination keep shifting and changing, which is often an indication that the story-shifter is lying. From Andrew Napolitano at antiwar.com:
When witnesses testify in a courtroom and offer varying, contradictory or even unlawful explanations of the events under scrutiny, juries tend not to believe them. The same is now happening with the Trump administration’s defense of its killing Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani by the use of an unmanned drone while he was being driven peacefully along a public highway in Iraq two weeks ago. Why the shifting justifications?
Here is the backstory.
The general was the commander of Iran’s elite military and intelligence forces. He was a fierce opponent of ISIS and the American military presence in Iraq. Iraq and Iran were belligerents for generations owing to, among other factors, ancient disputes between the two main branches of Islam, Shiite and Sunni. For generations, Iran’s elites were predominantly Shiite and Iraq’s were predominantly Sunni.
When the U.S., under President George W. Bush, invaded Iraq in 2002, pursuant to a congressional Authorization for Use of Military Force, the government did so by deceiving the American public and Congress into believing it was searching for weapons of mass destruction. Since none was there, none was found.
Once the Soviet Union dissolved, NATO had to branch out if it was to survive, and it has, into things like the Global War on Terror. From Philip Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:
Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance commits all members to participate in the defense of any single member that is attacked. An attack on one is an attack on all. Forged in the early stages of the cold war, the alliance originally included most of the leading non-communist states in Western Europe, as well as Turkey. It was intended to deter any attacks orchestrated by the Soviet Union and was defensive in nature.
Currently NATO is an anachronism as the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, but the desire to continue to play soldier on an international stage has granted it a measure of life support. Indeed, the alliance is regularly auditioning for new members. Its latest addition is Montenegro, which has a military consisting of 2,000 men and women, roughly one brigade. If Montenegro should be attacked, the United States is obligated to come to its assistance.
Qassem Soleimani’s assassination is graphic illustration of the US escalation of drone murder. From Allegra Harpootlian at antiwar.com:
We’re only a few days into the new decade and it’s somehow already a bigger dumpster fire than the last. On January 2nd, President Trump decided to order what one expert called “the most important decapitation strike America has ever launched.” This one took out not some nameless terrorist in a distant land or a group of civilians who happened to get in the way, but Major General Qassem Suleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force and the mastermind of its military operations across the Middle East.
Among the thousands of ignored American drone strikes since the 9/11 attacks, this was not one of them. In the wake of the assassination, we’ve seen: the Iraqi parliament vote to expel American forces from their country; all the Democratic presidential candidates make statements condemning the strike; thousands of protesters around the world take to the streets; and both chambers of Congress introduce resolutions aimed at curbing the president’s expanding war powers. Even though there is still so much we don’t know, one thing is for sure. Everything we thought we knew about drone warfare – and America’s wars more broadly – is about to be thrown out the window.
Pithy but perceptive comments from Caitlin Johnstone at medium.com:
The greatest asset of the propagandists is your belief that you haven’t been propagandized.
Hi my name’s Maga McBootlick. I fight the establishment by cheerleading for the US President, I oppose war by supporting the same Middle East agendas as Dick Cheney, John Bolton and Bill Kristol, and I love the Iranian people so much I want to kill them with starvation sanctions.
I can’t believe I’ve spent a week and a half arguing with Republicans who insist that assassinating a nation’s top general is perfectly sane and normal and fine. No, idiots. No.
Trump supporters keep telling me how upset they are that I’m dedicating so much time and energy to criticizing his Iran warmongering. The mental irritation you experience when I criticize your president is called cognitive dissonance. It’s what being wrong feels like.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Government, Intelligence, Media, Military, Money, Politics, Psychology, War
Tagged Iran, Propaganda, Trump supporters
For the Trump administration the best Syria is a zombie Syria. From Edward Hunt at antiwar.com:
The Trump administration is doing its best to keep Syria dismembered and near death
The Syrian civil war, which has been raging since 2011, is one of the worst tragedies of the early twenty-first century. Approximately half a million people have died, about six million people have fled the country, and another six million people remain internally displaced. Much of the country lies in ruins, perhaps never again to recover.
The war is also far from over. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been gaining momentum, but his regime has failed to recapture many parts of the country. Multiple foreign powers remain active in Syria, including Iran, Russia, Turkey, Israel, and the United States. In the northwest, Idlib Province is dominated by tens of thousands of Islamist militants, many of whom are active in al-Qaeda-style terrorist organizations.
“It’s a kind of conflict where the kindling is sufficient for it to burn for decade after decade and continue to be an engine of jihadism and instability for the entire region and beyond,” a senior State Department official said early last year.
What kind of arrogant assholes insists that the US stay in Iraq, a putative ally, when that nation doesn’t want us there? From Steven Sahiounie at mintpressnews.com:
Even amongst Iraq’s more pro-US factions, the calls for “Yankee go home” have grown increasingly louder.
Iranian forces launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against two military bases housing US troops in Iraq early hours of Wednesday morning. The al-Assad airbase in western Iraq was hit by 17 missiles, and 5 targeted at a base in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil. No US casualties were immediately reported.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called the attack a “slap in the face” of the US, and observers seem to question whether the attack was designed to kill or inflict casualties, or was it carefully orchestrated to produce closure to a situation which could have escalated into a regional or perhaps world war. Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said he was informed of the attack by Iran ahead of time, which acted as a safety valve after he, in turn, informed US commanders.
Iraqi militias may now begin attacks of revenge for the US assassination of the Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who died alongside Soleimani in the drone strike on Friday. Iraqi militia leader Qais al-Khazali said today his group’s retaliation should be “no less than the size of the Iranian response.”
War never builds, it only destroys, notwithstanding the claims of its many proponents. From Bill Bonner at bonnerandpartners.com:
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – Iran seems to have taken the bait. It couldn’t resist having its revenge on the avenger.
But what’s this…? Is that giggling noise coming from the graveyard…?
Today we return to our study of the two disastrous, society-destroying mistakes of the 21st century. (Catch up on the first here and the second here.)
We remind Dear Readers that what is at stake is not just losing wars… or losing money… or a crash in the stock and bond markets… or a depression…
…we’re talking about a hellish collapse of American society itself…
Two Colossal Mistakes
In 2001, George W. Bush put the empire in a state of perpetual war. That was Mistake No. 1.
In 2008, Ben Bernanke et al. began a policy of perpetual fake-money inflation. That was Mistake No. 2.
And how the dead generations must have laughed!
Would stocks go up? What industry would new technology disrupt? Who would win the next election? They didn’t know any more than we did.
But when nations sought revenge on one another? When empires launched forever wars? When people spent money they didn’t have… and printed up pieces of paper to cover their deficits?
These were their favorite songs. The dead knew every verse. And chuckle every time.
Posted in Debt, Economy, Financial markets, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Imperialism, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Defense contractors, Fake money