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Posts Tagged ‘Qassem Soleimani’

To Know You Don’t Know, by Robert Gore | STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC

Posted by M. C. on January 14, 2020

…it’s always been impossible for anyone, even the inhabitants of the region, to know exactly what goes on there.

https://straightlinelogic.com/2020/01/12/to-know-you-dont-know-by-robert-gore/

 

  • Robert Gore

We’re all ignorant; few recognize it.

Aubrey’s deployment order came a week later. A conflict had waxed and waned in Syria and Iraq for the better part of three years. It was the typical Middle Eastern fracas: hapless governments and their armies; not-so-hapless sectarian brigades with colorful names waging guerrilla war, detonating bombs, promoting mayhem; shifting alliances; endless intrigue; diabolical duplicity; rampant disinformation; appearances masking antipodal realities; and machinations by outside string pullers, money honeys, and intelligence agencies who never seemed to realize—or if they did, never acknowledged—that they were the puppets, not the puppeteers. Despite the seeming complexity, the war boiled down to the usual two issues: oil and the centuries-old question of Muhammad’s rightful heir.

Governments couldn’t resist throwing matches on the gasoline. Sunni nations—Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the rich little monarchies scattered around the Persian Gulf—as well as a variety of sectarian brigades with colorful names, launched massive and coordinated maneuvers to “restore order” (Middle Eastern–speak for replacing a government with one more to your liking) to Shiite Syria and Iraq. The Shiite governments were not without friends. Russia, Iran, and various sectarian brigades with colorful names would not let them go down without a fight. So in a very short time, the corner of the world with the highest per capita concentrations of troops, terrorism, weapons, and warfare saw exponential increases in all four.

The US government urged all parties to come to the negotiating table. No parties came to the negotiating table. The US government consulted with its European allies. A resolution was submitted at the United Nations. The war intensified. The war lobby screamed: this was World War III, and the United States was not there! It was like missing your senior prom! The Europeans screamed. Refugees were streaming to Europe. Despite welcoming gestures, the only assimilating they seemed to be doing was slurping up government benefits. It was getting expensive. Some Europeans didn’t like their new guests. Some of their new guests didn’t like the Europeans, but they did like blowing people up. Voters were getting mad. Something had to be done!

The US government ultimately did what the US government does best: came up with a catchy name (Operation Restoration of Peace, Freedom, Hope, Democracy, and Dignity in the Middle East), parked aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf, dropped bombs, and deployed thousands of troops to “advise and assist” without a clear idea of whom they would be advising and assisting. It implored the Europeans to join its efforts, to staunch the refugee flow by making war, blowing things up, and creating more refugees. Back in the States, the groups that reflexively cheered every war distributed more Support Our Troops bumper stickers.

Prime Deceit, Robert Gore, 2016

This is satire, although not obviously so. Prime Deceit is dedicated To all those grown bone weary of the bulls**t. The novel’s main shortcoming is that it isn’t satirical enough. Only brutally savage satire is within field goal range of capturing the reality of the Middle East. Almost all of the mountain of journalism and propaganda focused on or emanating from that part of the world is pure twaddle, bulls**t that bone wearied most of us long ago. You can instantly recognize those who don’t have the first clue about the Middle East by their claims to understand it, especially if they claim they’re experts.

Since the death of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, the theories as to what he was doing in Iraq, why he and his companions were murdered, what the Iranians and Iraqis will do in response, and the future implications for the Middle East, the US, and the world are well into double digits if they haven’t already hit triple digits. (The above seems to be the most prevalent spelling of Qassem Soleimani’s name. It’s emblematic of the Middle East that there’s always more than one spelling for proper names of individuals and organizations.)

It’s ludicrous that American and European media figures, mainstream and alternative, presume to offer authoritative opinions within a few days after such an event. It is even more ludicrous that millions of people, most of whom can’t find Iran, Iraq, or any other country in the Middle East on an unmarked map, will believe one or the other purported explanations based solely on their firmly held misconceptions, prejudices, and pure ignorance. Read the rest of this entry »

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Imperialism 101 – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 11, 2020

Never in the past half-century have we seen the Arab states so pathetically feeble. Never have we seen Israel so strongly guiding US Mideast policy, including the murder of Gen. Soleimani.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/01/eric-margolis/imperialism-101/

By

Special for 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.

Its Shia are confusingly allied to the US and Iran. The killing of Maj. Gen. Soleimani by the Americans has thrown this alliance of convenience into confusion. Iraqi Kurds are close to the CIA and Israel’s Mossad intelligence. The Sunnis are left adrift, without any foreign patrons except for other feeble Arab states.

The US maintains a modest garrison of 5,000 infantry in Iraq and 3-5 air bases, as well as the gigantic fortified US Embassy in Baghdad’s heavily guarded Green Zone which contains one of the world’s largest CIA bases. Angry mobs demonstrating in front of the embassy triggered off the chain of events that led to Trump’s murder of Gen. Soleimani. That an impeached president should be murdering foreign figures is a question that Congress must ask.

Before he was murdered, Osama bin Laden called this monster Baghdad embassy and its twin in Kabul, `crusader fortresses.’ That is indeed their role, and to serve as the nerve center for all Mideast operations by the US. Iraq enjoys some of the world’s largest oil reserves. Where the profit from Iraq’s mammoth oil exports go remains a closely guarded secret.

Combined with Saudi Arabia – also controlled by the US – Iraq gives Washington control of the bulk of Mideast oil. The US no longer relies on oil from the Mideast, being self-sufficient – at least for now. But dominating the Mideast gives the US huge influence over China, Japan, India, and Europe, all of whom import oil from there. This is the main pillar of US world power and the supremacy of the dollar.

Returning to Iraq, Washington has imposed an air exclusivity zone there. Real control of flat, largely barren Iraq comes from the air. US war planes based there and in Qatar can blast anything that moves in Mesopotamia. Imperial Britain ruled Iraq the same way, using the RAF to smash all opposition to the British-installed puppet ruler in Baghdad. In the 1920’s Churchill even authorized the RAF to use poison gas against rebellious Iraqi Kurds (as well as Afghan Pashtun tribes).

US-ruled Iraq is not allowed to have a real air force, only a handful of light aircraft. The same ban applies to Afghanistan. Iraq’s so-called army, a mob of unruly militias of the type the Ottomans used to call ‘bashi-bazouks,’ is of little military value though partly equipped by US weapons. They are increasingly being attacked by US warplanes.

The US really runs Iraq from three large air bases that were the target of the recent bloodless Iranian missile attacks. Iraq’s current US-approved prime minister Abdul-Mahdi and its feeble parliament have voted for the ouster of all US forces from Iraq. Good luck to them. Washington will likely ignore Iraq’s supposedly ‘democratic’ government and continue to act as the sultan of Iraq.

Iraq has become the central military base and inexhaustible oil reservoir for the US that was envisaged by the Bush administration and its neocons. That is a major step in the total US domination of the Mideast and its energy resources.

Israel has achieved its long sought goal of removing Iraq from the confrontation over Palestine. With Egypt under a US-imposed dictator, that leaves only demolished Syria to stand up to Israel. The Saudis are gleefully stabbing their ‘brother’ Arabs in the back, as they always have done.

Never in the past half-century have we seen the Arab states so pathetically feeble. Never have we seen Israel so strongly guiding US Mideast policy, including the murder of Gen. Soleimani.

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aipac

 

 

 

 

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After Soleimani Killing Suddenly the U.S. is Alone

Posted by M. C. on January 8, 2020

Remember what both Vladimir Putin and his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov have said about the U.S. It is ‘not agreement capable.’ Any deal made with the U.S. government or military will be broken at the earliest possible opportunity to further its goals.

https://tomluongo.me/2020/01/06/after-soleimani-killing-suddenly-us-alone/

The silence is deafening. The lack of response from U.S. allies around the world to President Trump’s assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani tells you things have fundamentally changed.

Normally when something like this happens the U.S. has all of its allies lined up with statements at the ready. A gaggle of the usual suspects behind lecterns pledging support replete with the requisite hand-wringing and virtue signaling.

That didn’t happen this time. Only arm-twisting by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cajoled a few lukewarm responses from European allies stunned by Trump’s violations of International Law and escalation of hostilities.

It’s clear Trump stunned them into silence.

Because they know the world is more dangerous today than it was a week ago.

Pompeo’s whining that no one believed the White House’s ludicrous talking point that this strike was done to prevent a war rather than start one, betray epic levels of fatuousness.

But, make no mistake, Miracle Whip Mike got everything he wanted here.

The strategic errors the Trump Administration has piled up over the past twenty months since abandoning the JCPOA have reached a breaking point, especially with Europe.

Europe has taken the brunt of Trump’s belligerence with Iran and Russia.

Their businesses have suffered. Their energy security is threatened. The neocons have humiliated them and treated them like chattle. And to this point Europe’s leadership has been up to the task playing the part. Read the rest of this entry »

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US Assassination Of Top Iranian Military Official May Ignite World War – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on January 4, 2020

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/01/03/us-assassination-of-top-iranian-military-official-may-ignite-world-war/

The US has admitted to assassinating Iran’s most beloved military leader, General Qassem Soleimani, in a drone strike which seems very likely to ignite a full-scale war. Six others are also reported killed, including Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

According to the Pentagon, Trump personally ordered the assassination. I’ll keep following this hugely important story and will probably be writing a lot about it as it unfolds. I encourage everyone who values peace and humanity to follow it as well.

“Spoke to a very knowledgeable person about what Iran’s response to Soleimani’s assassination might be,” The Quincy Institute’s Trita Parsi tweeted regarding this developing story. “This would be the equivalent of Iran assassinating Petreus or Mattis, I argued. No, he responded, this is much bigger than that.”

“Most Americans won’t understand the gravity of this,” tweeted journalist Rania Khalek. “Qasem Soleimani is head of the Iranian IRGC’s elite Quds Force, which conducts operations outside of Iran in both Iraq and Syria. He was credited with helping turn the tide in both countries against Al-Qaeda and ISIS.”

“This is very serious,” Khalek added. “The US essentially declared war on Iran by assassinating its most revered military figure in Iraq. And by also killing the head of the PMF, the US created more enemies in Iraq. There will be regional retaliation. It’s unlikely it can be prevented.”

“If true, It is not an understatement to say this could change the entire Middle East,” tweeted Rising‘s Saagar Enjeti.

“There’s going to be that war now that people have been pushing for since tanking the Iran Deal,” tweeted The Intercept‘s Murtaza Mohammad Hussain.

“If this is true, the US has effectively declared war on Iran, which has established militarily ties with Russia and China. It’s not hyperbole to say this could start WW3. Insane,” tweeted Grayzone‘s Dan Cohen, who also highlighted the important fact that “Iran, Russia and China held joint naval drills less than a week ago.”

“Iranian sources in Iran are warning that killing Gen. Qasem Sulaimani spells war,” tweeted Farnaz Fassihi of The New York Times. “‘Official reaction will begin with a strike,’ one says.”

A proportionate retaliatory strike would necessarily entail an attack on US military targets, or the military targets of US allies. If that happens, either the empire stands down or we’re looking at an all-out war of a size that is potentially almost limitless.

Months after Donald Trump took office it was reported that the CIA had escalated covert operations in Iran, and the administration has been escalating tensions with that nation further and further ever since it announced its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 on completely false pretenses. The withdrawal was followed by waves of debilitating, civilian-starving sanctions implemented with the goal of provoking civil unrest, a goal Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has openly admitted. From there we saw increased US military presence in the region, then the Iraqi-killing airstrikes earlier this week and the resulting tense angry standoff at the US embassy in Baghdad, and now here we are with Iran planning retaliation for an unforgivable assassination on its most senior and revered military official.

Many are understandably claiming that this geostrategically pivotal confrontation was precisely what Trump was installed to facilitate all along. The largest donor to any campaign in 2016 was oligarch Sheldon Adelson, who gave $25 million to the Trump campaign, and who in 2013 said that the US should drop a nuclear bomb on Iran. After Trump’s election win, Adelson gave another $5 million to his inauguration, the largest single presidential inaugural donation ever made. Newt Gingrich, another of the billionaire’s hired politicians, has said that Adelson’s “central value” is Israel.

Make no mistake, Iran is not Iraq or Libya. A full-scale war against Iran would be many times more deadly, costly and destabilizing than those interventions; the UK’s Admiral Lord West told The Daily Star Online last year that winning such a war would require no less than a million troops, or nearly the total number of active duty US military personnel in the entire world. Even if a direct war with Iran didn’t lead to a confrontation with China, Russia and the other unabsorbed allies, it would still be worse than Vietnam and Iraq combined in terms of death, destruction, expense, and regional destabilization.

And now, as I sit as the mother of two teenagers watching what might be a third world war looming on the horizon, all I can think is about how infuriating it is that we’ve spent the last three years on Russia bullshit and sectarian political infighting instead of building an actual cohesive antiwar movement and pushing real opposition to Trump’s warmongering.

Let’s get it together, humans. We need big changes, and we need them yesterday.

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US kills Iran’s most powerful general in Baghdad airstrike

Posted by M. C. on January 3, 2020

We have been at war here for almost 20 years, we occupy the country, we occupy the capital city yet we have to bomb the capital city airport to take out an airline passenger.

It keeps the war hot, it keeps the fear alive.

If this doesn’t spell failure nothing does.

This subtlety is lost on the AP.

The dramatic attack comes at the start of a year in which Trump faces both a Senate trial following his impeachment by the U.S. House and a re-election campaign.

Mandatory, if not relevant, point.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give official statements.

Code for CIA generated propaganda.

While Iran’s conventional military has suffered under 40 years of American sanctions, the Guard has built up a ballistic missile program.

Sanctions were a failure.

Soleimani’s killing follows the New Year’s Eve attack by Iran-backed militias on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

See comment above re: occupation.

U.S. officials have suggested they were prepared to engage in further retaliatory attacks in Iraq.

Suggested! We haven’t been prepared in 18 years.

https://apnews.com/5597ff0f046a67805cc233d5933a53ed

BAGHDAD (AP) — The United States killed Iran’s top general and the architect of Tehran’s proxy wars in the Middle East in an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport early on Friday, an attack that threatens to dramatically ratchet up tensions in the region.

The targeted killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, could draw forceful Iranian retaliation against American interests in the region and spiral into a far larger conflict between the U.S. and Iran, endangering U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria and beyond.

The Defense Department said it killed Soleimani because he “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” It also accused Soleimani of approving the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad earlier this week…

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War Made Easy (2006) - " Narrated by Sean Penn. War Made ...

 

 

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