Three successive US presidents have erected, through the force of precedent, an incontestable power to kill whomever the president pleases, and a power to wage war wherever the president chooses. From Philip Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:
Once upon a time there was a Constitution of the United States. In Article II, Section 2 it stipulated that only the U.S. Congress has the power to declare war, which means the American president has to go to the legislative body and make a case for going to war against an enemy or enemies. If there is a vote in favor of war, the president is empowered as commander-in-chief to direct the available resources against the enemy.
There is also something called international law. Under international law there are situations in which a head of state or head of government can use military force defensively or even preemptively if there is a substantial threat that is imminent. But normally, a country has to go through a procedure similar to that in the U.S. Constitution, which means making a case that the war is justified before declaring war. The Nuremberg Tribunals ruled that starting a war of aggression is the ultimate crime.
The US government runs Iraq and Trump and company are not about to give that up. From Eric Margolis at lewrockwell.com:
What ever happened to Iraq? Is it not an independent country with a democratic government thanks to the 2003 US invasion? So says Washington.
The murder of senior Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani suddenly shone a strobe light on ‘independent’ Iraq, and what we saw was not pretty.
Welcome to the new Imperialism 101.
Iraq’s population is estimated around 39 million. The pre-war Iraq of 2003 was broken into three parts by the US-British invasion: the Shia majority; Kurds in the north; and Sunnis, with scatterings of other ethnicities. Iraq remains fragmented into hostile groups.
The response to the American assassination of Qassem Soleimani from the Sunni Arab nations is undoubtedly not what Trump and company had expected. From John R. Bradley at spectator.co.uk:
The unified Sunni Arab response to Soleimani’s killing is not what Washington envisaged
A blood-red flag was raised over the Jamkaran mosque in the Iranian holy city of Qom last week, one normally reserved to commemorate the death of martyrs. This time, it was intended as a call to arms. ‘We have unfurled this flag so that all [Shia] believers in the world gather around it to avenge Qassem Soleimani’s blood unjustly shed,’ said the mosque’s leader. In Tehran, there were calls for bloody retribution for the air strike that killed Iranian general Soleimani — and everywhere, talk of all-out war. If it was also intended to strike the fear of Allah into the hearts of Iran’s Sunni Arab enemies, it certainly succeeded.
In Riyadh, there was panic. The Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, hastily sent an anti-war delegation to Washington and London. At home, his officials emphasised that the kingdom had not been consulted beforehand about the drone strike. ‘Please don’t blame us,’ was the message to Tehran. The Emirati foreign minister likewise called for restraint, warning of the devastating consequences for the Persian Gulf if war between the US and Iran were to break out.
This article has one of the better What’s Going On With Iran hypotheses because it looks a multiplicity of factors instead of one or two, and the hypothesis is consistent with those factors. From Joaquin Flores at strategic-culture.org:
Just like that, it was over. General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff called it ‘a kerfuffle’. A letter was sent to their Iraqi peers that the U.S was repositioning troops out of Iraq in accordance with legislation from Iraq ending the U.S military presence in the war-torn country, and suddenly then it was retracted by higher-ups. Running interference, Mark Esper backed Milley and said it was ‘an honest mistake’. It all went down within a day of the irrational assassination of Iran’s Soleimani.
The immediate termination of Chewning and Sweeney, at the same time as the assassination of Soleimani and Iran’s response raises some big questions. In the near future it will be of critical importance to get to the bottom of any possible relationship that Esper and his subordinates Chewning and Sweeney – who both served as Defense Secretary Esper’s Chiefs of Staff – had to the assassination of Soleimani. The assassination and any number of possible Iranian responses, can push the U.S into a broad and open military conflict with Iran. Such a war would also be Trump’s undoing.
As usual it was the less powerful nation who exercised restraint, with Iran skillfully targeting the bases’ military capabilities but taking measures to successfully avoid any casualties. The two nations de-escalated back down to their previous high level of dangerous hostilities with an understanding between them that neither side wants a full-scale war. Both sides played “chicken” and both sides swerved, and they know that about each other now.
So that was a relief. We were all forced to hold our breath and hope against hope that cooler heads would prevail after the senseless assassination of a sovereign nation’s top military official, and they did. A full-scale war that would have dwarfed Iraq and Vietnam in terms of death, destruction and destabilization was averted.
Tom Luongo is in desperate need of a copy editor. As a writer who not always correctly edits my own stuff, I sympathize. But whatever his writing miscues, he always has a unique and provocative viewpoint. From Luongo at tomluongo.me:
he future of the U.S.’s involvement in the Middle East is in Iraq. The exchange of hostilities between the U.S. and Iran occurred wholly on Iraqi soil and it has become the site on which that war will continue.
Israel continues to up the ante on Iran, following President Trump’s lead by bombing Shia militias stationed near the Al Bukumai border crossing between Syria and Iraq.
The U.S. and Israel are determined this border crossing remains closed and have demonstrated just how far they are willing to go to prevent the free flow of goods and people across this border.
The regional allies of Iran are to be kept weak, divided and constantly under harassment.
Iraq is the battleground because the U.S. lost in Syria. Despite the presence of U.S. troops squatting on Syrian oil fields in Deir Ezzor province or the troops sitting in the desert protecting the Syrian border with Jordan, the Russians, Hezbollah and the Iranian Quds forces continue to reclaim territory previously lost to the Syrian government.
If the globalists have their way, a ramped-up war in the Middle East is on tap. From Brandon Smith at alt-market.com:
In 2016 during the election campaign of Donald Trump one of the primary factors of his popularity among conservatives was that he was one of the first candidates since Ron Paul to argue for bringing US troops home and ending American involvement in the various elitist fabricated wars in the Middle East. From Iraq, to Afghanistan, to Syria and Yemen and beyond, the Neo-Cons and Neo-Libs at the behest of their globalist masters had been waging war oversees unabated for over 15 years. The time was ripe for a change and people felt certain that if Hillary Clinton entered the White House, another 4-8 years of war were guaranteed.
There was nothing to be gained from these wars. They were only dragging the US down socially and economically, and even the idea of “getting the oil” had turned into a farce as the majority of Iraqi oil has been going to China, not the US. General estimates on the costs of the wars stand at $5 trillion US tax dollars and over 4500 American dead along with around 40,000 wounded. The only people that were benefiting from the situation were globalists and banking elites, who had been clamoring to destabilize the Middle East since the day they launched their “Project For A New American Century” (PNAC). Truly, all wars are banker wars.
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