Tag Archives: Qassam Solemaini assassination

Answering War Hysteria, by the Zman

The Zman is more sanguine about what happens in the Middle East with Iran than most observers, including SLL. From the Zman at theburningplatform.com:

According to just about everyone, we are either at war with Iran or about to go to war with Iran. The droning of the Iranian general at the Baghdad airport has unleashed a lot of pent up war hysteria, as well as anti-war hysteria. The neocons are dreaming of another pointless war in the Middle East. The paleocons are warning about how the Iranians will enact vengeance. The anti-Zionists are completely off their leash, making the usual claims about who is really behind all of this.

The truth is, we are not at war with Iran, at least not a conventional war. We have been in a cold war with them since the 1970’s. The temperature rises and falls as domestic politics requires, but it never gets too hot. The main reason for that is Iran is run by fairly competent people. Iran is also much more cohesive than the neighboring countries in the region. Persians have a strong sense of identity that transcends the tribal alliances that dominate in the rest of the Middle East.

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Putin’s Hour Is At Hand, by Paul Craig Roberts

Vladimir Putin may have to prevent World War III. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

Vladimir Putin is the most impressive leader on the world stage.  He survived and arose from a Russia corrupted by Washington and Israel during the Yeltsin years and reestablished Russia as a world power.  He dealt successfully with American/Israeli aggression against South Ossetia and against Ukraine, incorporating at Crimea’s request the Russian province back into Mother Russia.  He has tolerated endless insults and provocations from Washington and its empire without responding in kind.  He is conciliatory and a peacemaker from a position of strength.

He knows that the American empire based as it is on arrogance and lies is failing economically, socially, politically, and militarily.  He understands that war serves no Russian interest.  

Washington’s murder of Qasem Soleimani, a great Iranian leader, indeed, one of the rare leaders in world history, has dimmed Trump’s leadership and placed the limelight on Putin. The stage is set for Putin and Russia to assume the leadership of the world.  

Washington’s murder of Soleimani is a criminal act that could start World War 3 just as the Serbian murder of the Austrian Archduke set World War 1 in motion.  Only Putin and Russia with China’s help can stop this war that Washington has set in motion.

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Lies, the Bethlehem Doctrine, and the Illegal Murder of Soleimani, by Craig Murray

Craig Murray parses US pronouncements and justifications for the Soleimani assassination. From Murray at craigmurray.org.uk:

In one of the series of blatant lies the USA has told to justify the assassination of Soleimani, Mike Pompeo said that Soleimani was killed because he was planning “Imminent attacks” on US citizens. It is a careful choice of word. Pompeo is specifically referring to the Bethlehem Doctrine of Pre-Emptive Self Defence.

Developed by Daniel Bethlehem when Legal Adviser to first Netanyahu’s government and then Blair’s, the Bethlehem Doctrine is that states have a right of “pre-emptive self-defence” against “imminent” attack. That is something most people, and most international law experts and judges, would accept. Including me.

What very few people, and almost no international lawyers, accept is the key to the Bethlehem Doctrine – that here “Imminent” – the word used so carefully by Pompeo – does not need to have its normal meanings of either “soon” or “about to happen”. An attack may be deemed “imminent”, according to the Bethlehem Doctrine, even if you know no details of it or when it might occur. So you may be assassinated by a drone or bomb strike – and the doctrine was specifically developed to justify such strikes – because of “intelligence” you are engaged in a plot, when that intelligence neither says what the plot is nor when it might occur. Or even more tenuous, because there is intelligence you have engaged in a plot before, so it is reasonable to kill you in case you do so again.

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Suleimani’s death is a huge blow to Iran’s plans for regional domination, by Hassan Hassan

Suleimani had laid the groundwork for the extension of Iranian influence into Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. Now that work is threatened. From Hassan Hassan at theguardian.com:

His experience was invaluable in Tehran’s effort to extend its reach into Lebanon and Yemen. So, for many, there are few tears to be shed
The funeral ceremony in Baghdad for Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by US strike near Baghdad International Airport.
The funeral ceremony in Baghdad for Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by US strike near Baghdad International Airport. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The killing of the Iranian general Qassem Suleimani could prove to be the most consequential US slaying of an enemy operative in recent memory. It will eclipse in its significance the killing of Osama bin Laden almost a decade ago or Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in October. Not because it might spark another Middle East war, as many have warned, or merely because Suleimani was irreplaceable. Rather, his killing came at a time when the project he had led – to create an Iranian hegemony in the region – is facing unprecedented challenges in Iraq and Lebanon, through cross-sectarian and grassroots protests, while in Syria the project is still in its infancy. One can add to this picture a more aggressive policy adopted by the US.

Indeed, Suleimani was killed while he was trying to deal with these very challenges. His successor is unlikely to be able to complete that mission and contain the spiral of events in countries where, only a year ago, Iran declared major victories – in Syria against the rebels, in Lebanon through a Hezbollah-friendly government and in Iraq and Syria against Isis.

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War With Iran, by Chris Hedges

Iran, with the aid of Russia and China, could engage in some pretty substantial retaliation for the assassination of Qassam Soleimani if it so chooses. From Chris Hedges at theburningplatform.com:

The assassination by the United States of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, near Baghdad’s airport will ignite widespread retaliatory attacks against U.S. targets from Shiites, who form the majority in Iraq. It will activate Iranian-backed militias and insurgents in Lebanon and Syria and throughout the Middle East. The existing mayhem, violence, failed states and war, the result of nearly two decades of U.S. blunders and miscalculations in the region, will become an even wider and more dangerous conflagration. The consequences are ominous. Not only will the U.S. swiftly find itself under siege in Iraq and perhaps driven out of the country—there is only a paltry force of 5,200 U.S. troops in Iraq, all U.S. citizens in Iraq have been told to leave the country “immediately” and the embassy and consular services have been closed—but the situation could also draw us into a war directly with Iran. The American Empire, it seems, will die not with a whimper but a bang.

The targeting of Soleimani, who was killed by a MQ-9 Reaper drone that fired missiles into his convoy as he was leaving the Baghdad airport, also took the life of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, along with other Iraqi Shiite militia leaders. The strike may temporarily bolster the political fortunes of the two beleaguered architects of the assassination, Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but it is an act of imperial suicide by the United States. There can be no positive outcome. It opens up the possibility of an Armageddon-type scenario relished by the lunatic fringes of the Christian right.

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Doubling Down Into Yet Another ‘March of Folly,’ This Time on Iran, by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

The US strike against Iran and the assassination of Qassam Solemaini may provide some benefit to Israel and improve the political standing of Benjamin Netanyahu. No good will come of it for the US, however. This will certainly not be the first time US intervention in the Middle East has benefited Israel to the detriment of the US. From VIPS at consortiumnews.com:

“We write with a sense of urgency suggesting you avoid doubling down on catastrophe,” VIPS tells Donald Trump in its latest memo to the president.

January 3, 2020

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Doubling Down Into Another “March of Folly”?

The drone assassination in Iraq of Iranian Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani evokes memory of the assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand in June 1914, which led to World War I. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quick to warn of “severe revenge.” That Iran will retaliate at a time and place of its choosing is a near certainty. And escalation into World War III is no longer just a remote possibility, particularly given the multitude of vulnerable targets offered by our large military footprint in the region and in nearby waters.

What your advisers may have avoided telling you is that Iran has not been isolated. Quite the contrary. One short week ago, for example, Iran launched its first joint naval exercises with Russia and China in the Gulf of Oman, in an unprecedented challenge to the U.S. in the region.

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US Kick Starts Raging ’20s Declaring War on Iran, by Pepe Escobar

The assassination of Qassem Soleimani is probably the end of the US empire, Southwest Asia branch. From Pepe Escobar at consortiumnews.com:

Iraq is the preferred battleground of a proxy war against Iran that may now metastasize into hot war, with devastating consequences.

It does not matter where the green light for the U.Stargeted assassination in Baghdad of Quds Force commander Major General Qassem Soleimani and the Hashd al-Shaabi second-in-command Abu Madhi al-Muhandis came from.

This is an act of war. Unilateral, unprovoked and illegal.

President Donald Trump may have issued the order. The U.SDeep State may have ordered him to issue the order. Or the usual suspects may have ordered them all.

According to my best Southwest Asia intel sources, “Israel gave the U.Sthe coordinates for the assassination of Qassem Soleimani as they wanted to avoid the repercussions of taking the assassination upon themselves.”

It does not matter that Trump and the Deep State are at war.

One of the very few geopolitical obsessions that unite them is non-stop confrontation with Iran – qualified by the Pentagon as one of five top threats against the U.S., almost at the level of Russia and China.

And there cannot be a more startling provocation against Iran — in a long list of sanctions and provocations — than what just happened in Baghdad. Iraq is now the preferred battleground of a proxy war against Iran that may now metastasize into hot war, with devastating consequences.

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