It is currently Sat May 30, 2020 9:08 am

All times are UTC+01:00




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 253 posts ]  Go to page 1 2 3 4 511 Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:11 am 
Offline
Holyman
Holyman
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 18634
Location: Earth
Since the action has bumped up a bit, but mostly 'cos I'd like to keep Patrick Cockburn's thread mostly for Patrick Cockburn.

So all Armageddon-related posts in here from now on, please.

>:D<

_________________
Image

“We are moving into an era where authority cannot be The Truth. Only the Truth shall be the Authority in coming times, as sanctity of all authorities will be questioned."- Sadhguru


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:15 am 
Offline
Holyman
Holyman
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 18634
Location: Earth
Tue 7 Jan 2020 18.11 GMTLast modified on Tue 7 Jan 2020 18.55 GMT

By killing Qassem Suleimani, Trump has achieved the impossible: uniting Iran

Dina Esfandiary


For Iranians, the assassination of Qassem Suleimani, the head of Iran’s notorious Quds force, was a profound upset. Suleimani was one of the most influential and powerful men in the Islamic Republic of Iran. He had more sway than the president, spoke to all the various factions, and had a direct line to the supreme leader. Most importantly, he was popular with the general public. One poll, taken as the fight against Islamic State raged, found that 73% of Iranians had a favourable opinion of him. Even so, the large crowds that have turned out on the streets of cities across the country have exceeded predictions. In a sense, though, the formidable show of unity is no surprise. Iran – like any other country – is proud, patriotic, and its people tend to put their differences aisde when faced with an outside enemy.

Suleimani oversaw Iran’s regional policy, and as a result is regarded as having spent his lifetime defending his country. When Isis approached the Iranian border after taking over swaths of territory in neighbouring Iraq in 2014, the Quds force were at the forefront, representing the only country willing to commit boots on the ground in the fight to destroy the group. While many in the region viewed Suleimani as a deeply controversial figure, to put it mildly, a significant number of Iranians, Kurds and Iraqis saw him as having been pivotal in stopping Islamic State.

At home, this popularity cut across political lines. Becoming a battle hero is one way to win broad legitimacy, and so it has proved in death as in life. The killing of one of their country’s most senior officials is perceived by Iranians as a violation of sovereignty, and the rally-around-the-flag effect has been notable.

That doesn’t mean all Iranians condoned Suleimani’s actions abroad. In fact, for years people have been complaining about the extent to which the government has seemed to be occupied elsewhere, even as the internal situation deteriorated. In 2018, chants of “no to Gaza, no to Lebanon, I give my life for Iran” and “Leave Syria and think of us” echoed (not for the first time) at protests around the country. When economic times have been hard due to sanctions, both prior to the 2015 nuclear deal and today, Iranians find it difficult to understand why their rulers pour money into the region rather than using it in Iran.

Ordinary people continue to be squeezed by Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign, with no prospects for improvement. This, along with general discontent, led to significant protests in November 2019. These caught the government off guard, but didn’t prevent it swiftly crushing the demonstrations and enacting a nationwide ban on the internet that lasted five days. That response, unsurprisingly, further entrenched the discontent. Trump’s killing of Suleimani, however, has put those concerns on the back burner. Instead, Iranians have adopted a “better the devil you know” approach: unifying across the spectrum, even to the point of standing behind their government, in order to resist increasing US aggression.

And this means that, while Suleimani’s loss is a significant blow for Iran, the strike by the US was in one sense a gift to the Iranian government. It could never have dreamed of achieving such unity in difficult times otherwise.

The assassination has also had the effect of bringing together a divided elite, at least for the time being. Leading figures from the conservative and reformist camps spoke in unison, from the supreme leader, who vowed “revenge”, to the former presidential candidate and leader of the Green movement, Mehdi Karroubi, still under house arrest, who reportedly expressed his condolences. Even the former foreign minister of Iran under the shah, Ardeshir Zahedi, described Suleimani as a “patriotic and honorable soldier who was a son of Iran”.

The US withdrawal from the nuclear deal already meant that moderates had been forced to harden their positions. The Rouhani administration, for example, could no longer actively support dialogue with the US, instead cautiously calling for discussions on the condition that all sanctions were lifted beforehand. Today, even that position has become difficult. Who in the political establishment can expend political capital suggesting rapprochement with the US after what it has done and, importantly, after the level of public mourning? The answer is easy: no one.

With the killing of Suleimani, Trump has accomplished what no one in the Iranian elite thought possible: he has united a fractured, exhausted and desperate Iranian public in a show of unity.

And while these scenes are very far from an equivocal statement of support for the Islamic Republic, they are a resounding message to the world: Iranians will stand with their government in the face of external threats.

• Dina Esfandiary is a fellow at the Century Foundation and co-author of Triple-Axis: Iran’s Relations with Russia and China

_________________
Image

“We are moving into an era where authority cannot be The Truth. Only the Truth shall be the Authority in coming times, as sanctity of all authorities will be questioned."- Sadhguru


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:18 am 
Offline
Holyman
Holyman
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 18634
Location: Earth
SomeGuy wrote:
barcelona wrote:
Pretty sure you started the act of war by killing him in the first place you oaf.


Actually Iran is 100% the aggressor here. This started about two weeks ago when Soleimani directed the Hezbollah militia under his wing to fire rockets on the US base at Kirkuk killing one contractor and wounding a number of US soldiers. We went against the Hezbollah element in Iraq responsible for it shortly after with airstrikes. Soleimani getting all huffy that how dare we don't roll over and die, organized a mass mob riot on the US Embassy in Baghdad to try and repeat Benghazi only to be turned away by US Army attack helicopters overhead and US Marine Corps reinforcements arriving shortly after they start.

In case you haven't paid attention, Soleimani's attack on an official diplomatic office that is an embassy is by all standards a definitive act of war. This is regardless of the structural or human damage caused.

Us going after Soleimani himself is to end a clear and persistent threat in the area, regardless of his standing in Iran. That Iran endorsed and approved of the embassy attack and gets outraged that like Soleimani we don't roll over and die for them is just tacit acknowledgement that they are being the aggressor and they have committed an act of war against the United States vis-a-vis the embassy attack.

Now it's two they've done.


Can’t say I’m wholly surprised by the position you’ve taken SG… Didn’t imagine you’d find any fault with the actions of your own government. But was fairly confident you’d be able to blame the victim for their own murder.

But here’s the thing SG: have you noticed how, in this Election and Impeachment Year, very few Americans, and even fewer American politicians are supporting their embattled President’s decision.

That’s unusual, because in more normal times, taking a country to War was a sure-fire method of uniting Populace, Politicians and Policy. And that has always been doubly-so for the U.S.

But this time around, even Fox News might have found a War it doesn’t like or want.

Internationally…

Only a single leader of just one nation has expressed support for Trump’s assassination of Soleimani.

And that would be Benjamin Netanyahu.

Who is only still Prime Minister of Israel because no Governing Coalition has been formed since the last election; and who is only not in jail because he is still Prime Minister.

All-out War with Iran will allow Bibi to keep his job as Israeli PM, and stay out of prison.

And it is a matter-of-record that Netanyahu has been trying to push the U.S. Government into attacking Iran since… Well, actually, since Netanyahu’s legal problems first surfaced.

Anyhoo… Main point being that no other National Leader (not even Saudi Arabia’s MBS!) has voiced support for Trump’s assassination of the second most powerful and important Iranian leader.

Because it was so brazenly illegal; and because to support the action would be to repudiate the International Legal Framework that has prevented an all-out Global Conflict since 1945.

But, let’s talk about: Who Started It.

First thing to point out is that the assassination took place in Iraq, where Soleimani had been diplomatically invited by the Iraqi Government to attend what appears to have been a high-level discussion on diffusing tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia. (Because MBS has shot his bolt now, and the rest of the Saudi Royal Family would like a return to a state of affairs that is less likely to lead to Saudi Arabia’s bankruptcy.)

And also to point out that Iran’s retaliation targeted U.S. facilities that are also in Iraq (just a couple of days after the Iraqi Government approved a resolution requiring all U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq.

Point being that this conflict is playing out in the State bordering Iran; not in Idaho (for example).

It’s important to keep that in mind as we apportion blame, because there surely has to be some sort of weighting for “Home Advantage”.

The Iranian Government and People feel like they are facing an existential threat from the United States of America. Does anyone want to dispute that, or the reasons for it?

I know you struggle with hypotheticals SG, and you’re likely to try and dispute the basis of this hypothesis, but try and press through, because I’m just trying to illustrate the Iranian perspective for you.

*IF* (and yes, I know it is both implausible and impossible in Reality) the situation was reversed…

*IF* Iran was more militarily dominant than the United States, and had been trying for the last 40 years to overturn the 1979 “Christian Revolution” that removed the U.S., its people and its oil from under Iranian control…

And *IF* the Iranian Government had just assassinated David Petraeus or Colin Powell, or some other top-ranking U.S. military official that was held in similar regard to Soleimani by Americans…

How would *YOU* SG feel, as an American, right now?

Are you going to say that you would take an “objective view”? That you would recognise that the Iranian Government was just trying to bring Peace and Stability to the North-West?

That really, if Americans hadn’t spent the last 40 years:

Fighting a bloody War with Canada, that the Canadians started at Iran’s behest; being included in an “Axis of Evil”, along with the Wales and the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan; having American nuclear power research facilities bombed by the Cubans, with the Iranian UN veto protected Cuba from International Legal consequences; being dicked about by Iran with regards to American nuclear capability; and being subject to years of sanctions that hurt the poorest Americans, without impacting the richest and most powerful of the U.S.’s citizens…

Then Iran would leave the people of the United States to get on with their lives and outgrow their Fundamentalist-attachment to Christianity?

Who *DID* start all of this SG?

If we’re really looking for the Root Cause/Prime Suspect…

It has to be the British.

It was the British who imposed the restoration of the Persian Monarchy on the People of Iran, just after World War One. Because the British wanted control of Iranian oil.

When the British Empire collapsed after WWII, Iranians(/Persians) decided they’d have another go at forming a secular democracy, and elected themselves a new, secular Head of State.

Whose first action was to nationalise Iranian oil production, denying both British and U.S. oil corporations the ability to profit from Iranian oil.

And the U.S. and U.K.’s reaction was to immediately topple the newly-elected Prime Minister, and replace him with a brutal dictator.

That dictator then ruled Iran from 1953 to 1979, relying on his Israeli-trained secret police force, SAVAK, to crush any form of dissent.

And that eventually catalysed the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.

That is:

A majority of Iranians decided they would rather be governed by Iranian Shia Clerics, than dictated to by an American puppet.

And the U.S.’s response to that was to commission Saddam Hussein to start an 8-year war against Iran that killed more than a million Iranians.

That War ended 32 years ago. Well within the lifetimes of middle-aged Iranians.

A particular highlight of that campaign was when the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian civilian flight, killing all 290 people on board.

The United States never apologised; and awarded the captain of the USS Vincennes the “Legion of Merit” medal.

And then in 1990, the U.S. henchman in Iraq went “Rogue”, and for the next 13 years, took most of the U.S. heat off Iran.

Subsequently – and I’m sure entirely coincidentally – Iranian Society began to “moderate” (relatively speaking). With the U.S. focussed on Iraq, and not feeling any need to weaken Iran any more than necessary whilst Saddam Hussein was still a problematic feature, Iranians elected a “Reformist” President, and gradually started to experience greater freedom.

Right up to the moment that George W. Bush included Iran in his “Axis of Evil”, and the Iranians opted to elect the hard-line conservative mayor of Tehran to the Presidency: and we *ALL* had a lot of fun watching President Ahmadinejad doing his thing! :)

With Iraq then helpfully transformed into a Shia-dominated state, Iranians then had to deal with the horrors of Sunni Islamists trying to instigate a Caliphate in Iraq and Syria, which if it had taken root, would have been a very unpleasant neighbour for Shia Iranians to have to put up with.

So as is very well-documented, Iranian troops and Shia militias were responsible for most of the hand-to-hand fighting that saw ISIS neutralised.

Less well-documented in the West is how Iranians – like any other informed person actually living in the Middle East – considered ISIS (& co.) to be the “Shock Troops” of a U.S.-Saudi Alliance.

Then there was the whole business of the nuclear deal, and Trump’s unilateral abrogation of it.

Oh, and on-going attacks on Iran by both the Israeli and U.S. Governments.

And then President Trump decided to extra-judicially murder General Soleimani, claiming it has evidence of an imminent attack that had been planned by Soleimani, and which definitely wouldn’t take place if he was assassinated….

And here we are.

So SG:

What do you think?

Who *REALLY* started this?

:-?

_________________
Image

“We are moving into an era where authority cannot be The Truth. Only the Truth shall be the Authority in coming times, as sanctity of all authorities will be questioned."- Sadhguru


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:55 am 
Offline
Sergeant-Major
Sergeant-Major
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 11:59 am
Posts: 8949
Death to Iran

_________________
If gay marriage was OK ... then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men; or indeed three men and a dog.

- Boris Johnson


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:41 pm 
Offline
Holyman
Holyman
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 18634
Location: Earth
JANUARY 8, 2020

Opposing War With Iran: Three Reasons

by ANTHONY DIMAGGIO


The U.S. stands at the precipice of war. President Trump’s rhetorical efforts to sell himself as the “anti-war” president have been exposed as a fraud via his assault on Iran. Most Orwellian of all is Trump’s claim that the assassination of Iranian General Qassam Soleimani was necessary to avert war, following the New Year’s Eve attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. In reality the U.S. hit on Soleimani represents a criminal escalation of the conflict between these two countries. The general’s assassination was rightly seen as an act of war, so the claim that the strike is a step toward peace is absurd on its face. We should be perfectly clear about the fundamental threat to peace posed by the Trump administration. Iran has already promised “harsh retaliation” following the assassination, and announced it is pulling out of the 2015 multi-national agreement prohibiting the nation from developing nuclear weapons. Trump’s escalation has dramatically increased the threat of all-out war. Recognizing this threat, I sketch out an argument here based on my initial thoughts of this conflict, providing three reasons for why Americans need to oppose war.

#1: No Agreement about an Iranian Threat

Soleimani was the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – the Quds Force – a clandestine military intelligence organization that specializes in paramilitary-style operations throughout the Middle East, and which is described as seeking to further Iranian political influence throughout the region. Trump celebrated the assassination as necessary to bringing Soleimani’s “reign of terror” to an end. The strike, he claimed, was vital after the U.S. caught Iran “in the act” of planning “imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel.”

But Trump’s justification for war comes from a country with a long history of distorting and fabricating evidence of an Iranian threat. American leaders have disingenuously and propagandistically portrayed Iran as on the brink of developing nuclear weapons for decades. Presidents Bush and Obama were both rebuked, however, by domestic intelligence and international weapons inspectors, which failed to uncover evidence that Iran was developing these weapons, or that it was a threat to the U.S.

Outside of previous exaggerations, evidence is emerging that the Trump administration and the intelligence community are not of one mind regarding Iran’s alleged threat. Shortly after Soleimani’s assassination, the Department of Homeland Security declared there was “no specific, credible threat” from Iran within U.S. borders. And U.S. military officials disagree regarding Trump’s military escalation. As the New York Times reports:

“In the chaotic days leading to the death of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s most powerful commander, top American military officials put the option of killing him — which they viewed as the most extreme response to recent Iranian-led violence in Iraq — on the menu they presented to President Trump. They didn’t think he would take it. In the wars waged since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Pentagon officials have often offered improbable options to presidents to make other possibilities appear more palatable.”

“Top pentagon officials,” the Times reports, “were stunned” by the President’s order. Furthermore, the paper reported that “the intelligence” supposedly confirming Iranian plans to attack U.S. diplomats was “thin,” in the words of at least one U.S. military official who was privy to the administration’s deliberations. According to that source, there is no evidence of an “imminent” attack in the foreseeable future against American targets outside U.S. borders.

U.S. leaders have always obscured facts, distorted intelligence, and fabricated information to stoke public fears and build support for war. So it should come as no surprise that this president is politicizing intelligence. He certainly has reason to – in order to draw attention away from his Senate impeachment trial, and considering Trump’s increasingly desperate efforts to demonstrate that he is a serious President, not a tin-pot authoritarian who ignores the rule of law, while shamelessly coercing and extorting foreign leaders in pursuit of domestic electoral advantage.

Independent of the corruption charges against Trump, it is unwise for Americans to take the President at his word, considering the blatant lies employed in the post-9/11 era to justify war in the Middle East. Not so long ago the American public was sold a bill of goods regarding Iraq’s alleged WMDs and ties to terrorism. Neither of those claims was remotely true, and Americans were left footing the bill for a war that cost trillions, based on the lies of an opportunistic president who was dead-set on exploiting public fears of terrorism in a time of crisis. The Bush administration sold war based on intelligence they knew was fraudulent, manipulating the nation into on a decade-long war that led to the murder of more than 1 million Iraqis and more than 5,000 American servicemen, resulting in a failed Iraqi state, and paving the way for the rise of ISIS. All of this is to say that the risks of beginning another war in the Middle East are incredibly high, and Americans would do well to seriously consider the consequences of entering a war based (yet again) on questionable intelligence.

#2: The “War on Terrorism” as a Red Herring

U.S. leaders have long used the rhetoric of terrorism to justify war. But this strategy represents a serious distortion of reality, via the conflation of terrorism – understood as premeditated acts of violence to intimidate civilians – with acts of war. Trump fed into this misrepresentation when he described Soleimani’s “reign of terror” as encompassing not only the alleged targeting of U.S. diplomats, but attacks on “U.S. military personnel.” The effort to link the deaths of U.S. soldiers in wartime to terrorism echoes the State Department’s 2019 statement, which designated Iran’s Quds Force a “terrorist” organization, citing its responsibility “for the deaths of at least 603 American service members in Iraq” from “2003 to 2011” via its support for Iraqi militias that were engaging in attacks on U.S. forces.

As propaganda goes, the attempt to link these acts of war to “terrorism” is quite perverse. U.S. military personnel killed in Iraq were participating in a criminal, illegal occupation, which was widely condemned by the international community. The U.S. war in Iraq was a crime of aggression under the Nuremberg Charter, and it violated the United Nations Charter’s prohibition on the use of force, which is only allowed via Security Council authorization (which the U.S. did not have), or in the case of military acts undertaken in self-defense against an ongoing attack (Iraq was not at war with the U.S. prior to the 2003 invasion). Contrary to Trump’s and the State Department’s propaganda, there are no grounds to classify the deaths of military personnel in an illegal war as terrorism. Instead, one could argue that domestic Iraqi political actors (of which Iraqi militias are included, regardless of their ties to Iran) were within their legal rights under international law to engage in acts of self-defense against American troops acting on behalf of a belligerent foreign power, which was conducting an illegal occupation.

#3: More War = Further Destabilization of the Middle East

The largest takeaway from recent events should be to recognize the tremendous danger that escalation of war poses to the U.S. and the region. The legacy of U.S. militarism in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, is one of death, destruction, and instability. Every major war involving the U.S. has produced humanitarian devastation and mass destruction, while fueling instability and terrorism. With the 1979 Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, U.S. support for Mujahedeen radicals led to the breakdown of social order, and the rise of the radical Taliban regime, which housed al Qaeda fundamentalists in the years prior to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. The 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan contributed to the further deterioration of Afghan society, and was accompanied by the return of the Taliban, ensuing in a civil war that has persisted over the last two decades.

With Iraq, the U.S. invasion produced a massive security vacuum following the collapse of the Iraqi government, which made possible the rise of al Qaeda in Iraq. The U.S. fueled numerous civil wars, in Iraq during the 2000s and Syria in the 2010s, creating mass instability, and giving rise to ISIS, which became a mini-state of its own operating across both countries. And then there was the 2011 U.S.-NATO supported rebellion against Muammar Gaddafi, which not only resulted in the dictator’s overthrow, but in the rise of another ISIS affiliate within Libya’s border. Even Obama, the biggest cheerleader for the war, subsequently admitted the intervention was his “worst mistake,” due to the civil war that emerged after Gaddafi’s overthrow, which opened the door for the rise of ISIS.

All of these conflicts have one thing in common. They brought tremendous devastation to the countries under assault, via scorched-earth military campaigns, which left death, misery, and destruction in their wake. The U.S. is adept at destroying countries, but shows little interest in, or ability to reconstruct them. These wars provided fertile ground for Islamist radicals, who took advantage of the resulting chaos and instability.

The primary lesson of the “War on Terror” should be clear to rationally minded observers: U.S. wars breed not only instability, but desperation, as the people victimized by war become increasingly tolerant of domestic extremist movements. Repressive states are widely reviled by the people they subjugate. But the only thing worse than a dictatorship is no order at all, when societies collapse into civil war, anarchy, and genocide. The story of ISIS’s rise is one of citizens suffering under war and instability, and becoming increasingly tolerant of extremist political actors, so long as they are able to provide order in times of crisis. This point is consistently neglected in U.S. political and media discourse – a sign of how propagandistic “debates” over war have become, nearly 20 years into the U.S. “War on Terrorism.”

Where Do We Go From Here?

Trump followed up the Soleimani assassination with a Twitter announcement that the U.S. has “targeted” 52 additional “Iranian sites,” which will be attacked “if Iran strikes any Americans or American assets.” There’s no reason in light of recent events to chalk this announcement up to typical Trump-Twitter bluster. This President is desperate to begin a war with Iran, as Trump has courted confrontation with the Islamic republic since the early days of his presidency. War will allow Trump to claim the mantle of “national” wartime leader, while diverting attention away from his impeachment trial. And in light of the intensification of belligerent rhetoric from this administration, war appears to be increasingly likely.

The American people have a moral responsibility to question not only Trump’s motives, but to consider the humanitarian disaster that inevitably accompanies war. War with Iran will only make the Middle East more unstable, further fueling anti-American radicalism, and increasing the terror threat to the U.S. This conclusion isn’t based on speculation, but on two decades of experience with a “War on Terror” that’s done little but destroy nations and increase terror threats. The American people can reduce the dangers of war by protesting Trump’s latest provocation, and by pressuring Congress to pass legislation condemning any future attack on Iran as a violation of national and international law.

To contact your Representative or Senator, use the following links:

https://www.house.gov/representatives/f ... esentative

http://www.senate.gov/senators/leadership.htm

Anthony DiMaggio is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Lehigh University. He holds a PhD in political communication, and is the author of the newly released: The Politics of Persuasion: Economic Policy and Media Bias in the Modern Era (Paperback, 2018), and Selling War, Selling Hope: Presidential Rhetoric, the News Media, and U.S. Foreign Policy After 9/11 (Paperback: 2016). He can be reached at: anthonydimaggio612@gmail.com

_________________
Image

“We are moving into an era where authority cannot be The Truth. Only the Truth shall be the Authority in coming times, as sanctity of all authorities will be questioned."- Sadhguru


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:24 pm 
Offline
Holyman
Holyman
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 18634
Location: Earth
phpBB [video]

_________________
Image

“We are moving into an era where authority cannot be The Truth. Only the Truth shall be the Authority in coming times, as sanctity of all authorities will be questioned."- Sadhguru


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:44 pm 
Offline
Colonel
Colonel
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2003 12:00 pm
Posts: 23549
Location: teh internet
I await the techno remix. :D


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:56 pm 
Offline
Lieutenant-Colonel
Lieutenant-Colonel
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:40 pm
Posts: 18406
Quote:
Iran and America Are Suddenly Both Naked
By taking decisive action against Soleimani, Trump showed that Iran’s power is an illusion generated by D.C.’s willingness to look the other way

By Lee Smith

It’s no coincidence that in the wake of the targeted killing of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s most important military proxy has begun taking credit for terror attacks committed nearly four decades ago. For example, Hezbollah-affiliated media and activists are laying public claim to the organization’s responsibility for bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in October 1983, which killed 241 Marines. So why now?

The answer is, to scare Americans now that Donald Trump has thrown the regime in Tehran off balance by changing the 40-year-old rules of the game. The United States always knew that Hezbollah was responsible for the Marine barracks attack and that the Lebanese militia was armed, trained, funded and directed by Iran. President Reagan’s decision not to respond directly to the attack was part of a tacit agreement that America and the Islamic Republic entered into during the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover in Tehran. It mirrored similar arrangements with the Soviet Union in which neither superpower held the other directly accountable for the actions of proxies in order to reduce the likelihood of a nuclear cataclysm.

Yet, unlike the Soviet Union, the Islamic Republic was hardly a globe-spanning nuclear superpower. It was merely a hostile local power that threatened the American regional security order through terror attacks. Washington’s response was to look away, under the theory that it was beneficial to the larger order to pretend, in public, that rules still existed. In turn, Iran was happy to play make-believe and accumulate prestige and leverage.

The terms of this weird deal held fast for the next four decades, through the end of the Cold War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the First and Second Gulf Wars, Bush’s occupation of Iraq, Obama’s Iran deal, and other local and global milestones. Washington wouldn’t hold the clerical regime accountable for the violent proxies that it funded, armed, trained, and directed. In exchange, Iran and its partners would refrain from embarrassing the Americans by boasting about the murders they committed. The founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini, famously said that America couldn’t do a damn thing. It is more accurate to say our elected officials wouldn’t do a damn thing.

Donald Trump put an end to that arrangement by commingling the dust of Soleimani together with that of one of his chief Arab lieutenants, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, head of one of Iran’s Iraqi terror proxies. Now that Trump is holding Iran accountable for the actions its proxies take in its name, the leverage gained by helping America play make-believe is gone. Iran and its allies now feel liberated to bathe publicly in the blood of Americans and warn that more violence is coming their way.

The problem for Iran is that it isn’t actually all that powerful. For all the concern over retaliation, Trump’s trashing of the old rulebook has stripped Iran of the most important instruments in its arsenal—“plausible deniability.”

Iran’s ability to respond to the U.S. was already limited by the fact that its conventional military forces are old and rusting away. Yes, IRGC speedboats can harass, and target, the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf. But it can’t move large land forces into Iraq, never mind drop them into Florida or Alaska.

A good measure of Iran’s military weakness is that Qassem Soleimani was commander not of its regular army but rather the Quds Force, the expeditionary unit of Iran’s parallel military structure, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The Quds Force is relatively small, with estimates ranging from 3,000 to 15,000 fighters–i.e., a force the size of Hezbollah. For protracted campaigns like the Syria war, the Quds Force relies on what Israeli analyst Shimon Shapira calls the Shiite International—paid militias drawn from Middle East and Central Asian countries with Shiite populations, like Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

The threat that Iran poses to a superpower America is “asymmetric”—kidnappings, embassy attacks, hijackings, bombings, etc., typically conducted by Iranian proxies. The military experts and political scientists who coined the term usually fail to note that the ability to wage “asymmetric” warfare is wholly dependent on an adversary’s willed blindness. If Iran’s targets decide to unsubscribe to the fiction that the Islamic Republic is not directly responsible for the actions of its proxies, Iran is rendered virtually powerless–with terror attacks being met with direct military hits on Iranian bases, airfields, ports, power plants, dams, and other infrastructure.

It is only because Americans and other Western powers have declined to call out Iran and have instead appeased it, that an obscurantist regime whose major exports are energy, pistachios—and terror, of course—appears like a formidable adversary.

In making Iran accountable, Trump has knocked Iran down to its natural size—and likely made Americans safer from Iranian aggression than they have in fact been at any point in the last 40 years, during which Iranian proxies have repeatedly killed large numbers of Americans. Killing Soleimani is a much more important operation than those targeting ISIS leader al-Baghdadi and even bin Laden, since it will likely shape the future actions of a state, not the leadership rotation of terror groups.

Iranian-backed terror isn’t a stubborn, unchanging fact of the international landscape, except to the degree that we made it so. The policy of appeasement that began in 1979, with the embassy takeover, culminated in the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) when the Obama administration flooded Soleimani’s war chests with hundreds of billions of dollars and legitimized Iran’s “right” to a large-scale nuclear weapons program. In line with the decadeslong U.S. policy of augmenting the Iranian threat in order to avoid taking action against it, Obama said the only alternative to giving Iran the bomb was war.

Donald Trump was vilified when he exited the Iran deal in May. But in the eyes of the foreign policy establishment, he committed an even graver sin by exposing the 40-year-old lie that U.S. policymakers, right and left, had cultivated to rationalize their collective unwillingness to protect Americans from Iranian terror.

* * *

So why did U.S. officials treat Iran differently than any other country, even at the expense of thousands of American lives? There is the U.S. investment in maintaining the appearance of a rules-based order led by America, of course. On a deeper, less strategic level, there was the guilt and self-pity of America’s ruling elites, and the habits of magical thinking that resulted.

Power makes people vain. When it is handed down to them, it often makes them resentful, too. In 1979, when Iranian students took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, the Western intelligentsia saw it as the righteous revenge of the wretched of the earth—and confirmation of their own political exertions spent on college campuses from Berkeley to Paris the previous decade. The Iranian revolution was evidence to our ruling class of how much their fathers had gotten wrong—and thus proof of their own virtue.

It required no national security acumen or regional expertise to see that the “students” were a ruse. Khomeini was clearly in charge—he was, after all, the supreme leader. No one seized the U.S. Embassy, kidnapped 52 Americans in the center of Tehran, and held them for over a year, without his approval.

The hostage crisis showed the regime in Tehran that so long as it didn’t pierce the veil and take direct, unmistakable, on-the-record responsibility for its actions, Washington would stick with the cover story. And even though the hostage crisis crippled Jimmy Carter, it was his successor, Ronald Reagan, who not only failed to retaliate after the hostages were freed, but then also granted the Iranians impunity when under cover of Hezbollah, they bombed the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon in April 1983. Six months later, they bombed the Marine barracks. In December of that year, the Iranians employed Lebanese and Iraqi proxies to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait. Muhandis, killed last week with Soleimani, is believed to have planned the attack.

To free the Iranian proxies apprehended by Kuwaiti authorities, Hezbollah embarked on an almost decadelong campaign of assassinations and kidnappings, taking dozens of Americans hostage in Beirut, including the president of the American University in Beirut, David Dodge, who was transferred for a time to Tehran’s infamous Evin prison. Hezbollah then assassinated Dodge’s AUB colleague Malcolm Kerr.

U.S. officials even had scholarly support to rationalize their failure to hold Iran accountable. During the 1990s, Middle East experts promoted a thesis holding that the clerical regime in fact had little to do with Hezbollah. According to the “Lebanonization” thesis, Hezbollah was a homegrown resistance movement that came into being as a local response to Israel’s 1982 occupation of Lebanon. In fact, as Tablet colleague Tony Badran has written, Hezbollah was seeded in Lebanon in the mid-’70s by “Iranian revolutionary factions opposed to the shah.” U.S. policymakers preferred the fiction that Hezbollah was a homegrown product because it supported both their emotional needs and their policy goals: The West had earned the righteous anger of the natives, and there was nothing to be done except atone by way of offering human sacrifices.

In 1996, Iran’s proxy in Saudi Arabia, Hezbollah al-Hijaz, bombed the Khobar Towers, killing 19 U.S. Air Force personnel. The Clinton administration’s hopes for rapprochement with Tehran under the leadership of so-called reformist President Mohammad Khatami required the U.S. to pretend Iran was not responsible.

Between 2003 and 2011, according to a State Department assessment, Iran and its Shiite allies were responsible for killing more than 600 U.S. servicemen in Iraq. The body count doesn’t include the U.S. servicemen killed by the Sunni fighters ushered from Damascus international airport to the Iraqi border by Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, Iran’s chief Arab ally. Yet George W. Bush reportedly passed up opportunities to kill Soleimani, deciding against opening a third front against Iranian terrorists that might endanger his doomed “Freedom Agenda.”

There was even less of a chance Obama would kill Soleimani, though his administration reportedly had him in the crosshairs, too. Soleimani was the key to the JCPOA, Obama’s crowning foreign policy achievement. He admired Soleimani, a hard man who got things done. Rather than stop the Quds Force commander, Obama told Arab allies that “they need to take a page out of the playbook of the Quds Force.”

The former president’s conviction was simply the result of what American officials had been saying since 1979. Therefore, Obama counted on Soleimani’s ability to control the ground in Syria and help America stabilize the region. Yet only weeks after Obama diplomats and Iran agreed to the JCPOA in July 2015, Soleimani was in Moscow petitioning Vladimir Putin for assistance in Syria. In spite of the billions of dollars in sanctions relief that Obama had granted Iran, and the $1.7 billion in cash the U.S. shipped directly to the IRGC, the Quds Force and the Shiite international were on the verge of losing the war to rebels in pick-up trucks.

Six U.S. administrations were complicit in turning Iran into a regional power. In that context, the Obama administration’s decision to flood Iranian war chests with cash and recognize its right to build a nuclear bomb was the logical culmination of the rot eating away at the Beltway for four decades. It was perhaps to be expected that an outsider who often doesn’t know when to keep quiet, and can’t stay off Twitter, would be the one to sing out like the boy in the fairy tale. It’s true, the emperor has no clothes. The rules have changed but that doesn’t mean the Iranians won’t be looking for revenge.

https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-a ... both-naked


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:59 pm 
Offline
Lieutenant-Colonel
Lieutenant-Colonel
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:40 pm
Posts: 18406
Did a nervous Iranian missile defense officer mistakenly shoot down the Ukrainian commercial airliner using Russian anti-aircraft systems?

Apparently the crash happened soon after Iran launched missiles into Iraq yesterday.


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:01 pm 
Offline
Colonel
Colonel
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2003 12:00 pm
Posts: 23549
Location: teh internet
Foota wrote:
Did a nervous Iranian missile defense officer mistakenly shoot down the Ukrainian commercial airliner using Russian anti-aircraft systems?

Apparently the crash happened soon after Iran launched missiles into Iraq yesterday.


Yeah, killing mostly Canadians. Thanks Obama!


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:57 pm 
Offline
Sergeant-Major
Sergeant-Major
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 11:59 am
Posts: 8949
mmmm
Seems that way
We'll know for sure when Boeing gets the black box
Or dosen't

_________________
If gay marriage was OK ... then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men; or indeed three men and a dog.

- Boris Johnson


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:09 pm 
Offline
Holyman
Holyman
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 18634
Location: Earth
It wasn't a 737-Max by any chance, was it?

:-?

_________________
Image

“We are moving into an era where authority cannot be The Truth. Only the Truth shall be the Authority in coming times, as sanctity of all authorities will be questioned."- Sadhguru


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:22 pm 
Offline
Sergeant-Major
Sergeant-Major
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 11:59 am
Posts: 8949
Lol no

Looks like it's their investigation
I'd at least let the Ukraine have a look at the black box
I understand if they don't trust the US

_________________
If gay marriage was OK ... then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men; or indeed three men and a dog.

- Boris Johnson


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:28 pm 
Offline
Major General
Major General
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:00 pm
Posts: 35782
Quote:
President Trump declared Wednesday that Iran “appears to be standing down,” in the wake of missile strikes on American bases in Iraq that he said resulted in “no casualties.”


Phew!

Until the next time.....

_________________
Norks


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:46 pm 
Offline
Holyman
Holyman
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 18634
Location: Earth
The only real casualty here is any remaining pretence that the United States is a force for good in this World.

No longer can the U.S. play Global Cop.

That era is now very definitely over.

At last.

Key takeaway here is that a recognised sovereign state has launched a direct military strike against the U.S., and the U.S. can't fight back.

Thanks Toto!

>:D<

_________________
Image

“We are moving into an era where authority cannot be The Truth. Only the Truth shall be the Authority in coming times, as sanctity of all authorities will be questioned."- Sadhguru


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:58 pm 
Offline
Holyman
Holyman
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 18634
Location: Earth
Quote:
President Trump declared Wednesday that Iran “appears to be standing down,” in the wake of missile strikes on American bases in Iraq that he said resulted in “no casualties.”


I was a big lad as a child, and strong with it. But I wasn't aggressive, and had a good degree of self-control (even then...). I always enjoyed a friendly ruck with brothers and peers, and I never minded too much if they got carried away... I could absorb a lot of punishment before I lost my cool.

But I recall that on those occasions where I did start to lose it, how the ebullience and confidence of my reckless fellow-rucker, immediately transformed to conciliation and equanimity.

Usually expressed by saying, "Hey, shall we just call it evens?".

Or rather, pleading.

I get the whiff of that from Trump's declaration above.

He's the bully that's gone too far, and now realises he's opened up a whole can of hurt for himself.

Sadly, he's so poorly advised, that it didn't occur to him that he's basically equating whatever risible damage the Iranians may have achieved with their missile display (which has the whiff of "pre-arranged"/"notified-in-advance" about it...), with the assassination of the second most revered person in Iran, and one of the most respected individuals in the Middle East as a whole.

He's proposing that the Iranians call it "Even-Stevens", and leave it at that.

Someone should tell the President that when he is in a whole, he should stop digging.

But no rush on that.

>*^*<

_________________
Image

“We are moving into an era where authority cannot be The Truth. Only the Truth shall be the Authority in coming times, as sanctity of all authorities will be questioned."- Sadhguru


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:36 pm 
Offline
Sergeant-Major
Sergeant-Major
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 11:59 am
Posts: 8949
Iran is very lucky this is Trump's first term

_________________
If gay marriage was OK ... then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men; or indeed three men and a dog.

- Boris Johnson


Top
   
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:48 pm 
Offline
Major General
Major General
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:00 pm
Posts: 35782
Htown0666 wrote:
Iran is very lucky this is Trump's first term


This attack should help him secure a second. Remarkably useful timing.

_________________
Norks


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:49 pm 
Offline
Holyman
Holyman
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 18634
Location: Earth
Foota wrote:
Iran and America Are Suddenly Both Naked

By taking decisive action against Soleimani, Trump showed that Iran’s power is an illusion generated by D.C.’s willingness to look the other way

By Lee Smith


Hella-busy atm…

Was thinking that I ought to break this article down, because whilst it is somewhat more even-handed than your usual fare Foota, it still contains a lot of the data that is being used to keep the General Public “confused” (a.k.a. propagandised).

Was going to leave it, on account of busy-ness… But have just decided to set aside an hour in my diary to do it!

And to clarify: I’m not going to try and rebut the overall theme of the piece. Partly because I broadly agree with its premise (certainly its headline); but mostly because it is one of those classic pieces that builds its argument around assertions and “givens”.

It’s those assertions/”givens”, and especially the language used that I want to challenge.

Quote:
It’s no coincidence that in the wake of the targeted killing of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani…


Note the use of the term “targeted killing”.

Not “assassination”; not “extra-judicial murder”; and certainly not “an act of terrorism”.

If an Iranian/Afghan/Muslamic “action” led to the death of Mike Esper or Mike Pence, whilst they were visiting a U.S. outpost in Iraq/Afghanistan/Syria, would the Western Media describe that action as a “targeted killing”?

Quote:
Iran’s most important military proxy has begun taking credit for terror attacks committed nearly four decades ago. For example, Hezbollah-affiliated media and activists are laying public claim to the organization’s responsibility for bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in October 1983, which killed 241 Marines.


“There is no universal agreement on the definition of terrorism.” - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definition_of_terrorism

…Because whenever the Great and the Good sit down to try and define it, they can’t come up with a definition that doesn’t implicate themselves.

In the U.S., “Terrorism” is defined in Title 22 Chapter 38 U.S. Code 2656f as:

“premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents”.

Hezbollah is the Lebanese Militia force that (successfully) defends Southern Lebanon from Israeli incursions. Hezbollah is not just a military organisation, it is part of the fabric of Lebanese Society and is well-represented in the Lebanese parliament. Hezbollah is neither a “subnational group” or a “clandestine agency”.

And U.S. Marines are not “non-combatants”: they are military personnel.

The United States declares Hezbollah to be a terrorist organisation. The U.K. used to only list Hezbollah’s military wing as terrorist; but in May 2019 proscribed the entire organisation.

And in fact, just two days ago, the newly-appointed (by the U.S.) Government of Honduras also decided to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organisation.

I’m sure the timing is purely coincidence; but Hezbollah must now be quaking at the prospect of the Honduran Military joining forces with the Israelis!

Point being that just because the United States and its most obedient satraps have declared Hezbollah “terrorist”, doesn’t automatically make-it-so.

But the U.S. *MUST* focus on Hezbollah as “evidence” of Iranian(-sponsored) “terrorism”… Because it doesn’t have any other method of plausibly connecting the Iranian Government with “terrorism”.

This because after nearly two decades of Middle East media coverage, even the most dull-witted Americans are waking up to the fact that there is a (profound) difference between Sunni and Shia Islam.

And that in fact, *ALL* of the acts of “terrorism” that have been committed in the West by Muslamics over the last couple of decades, are exclusively the work of *SUNNI* Muslims (Al Qaeda, ISIS, and affiliated basement-dwellers).

Because the only group of people that radicalised Sunni Islamists hate more than Americans (and non-Muslims generally), are Shia Muslims.

Iranian Society had to endure an 8-year war with Iraq to the West, which killed more than a million Iranians. When that ended, it had to put up with a Sunni-dominated Iraq as a neighbour for the next 15 years; until the U.S. helpfully deposed Saddam Hussein & Co. and facilitated a Shia-dominated Iraqi Government.

And to the South-East, it gained an even-more-crazed Government in the form of the (Sunni) Taliban in Afghanistan (which is still there, despite the Most Powerful Military Force in the World having spent two decades trying to eradicate it).

And then of course, there was ISIS.

Which as the Record indisputably shows, was primarily defeated by Iranian, Iraqi and Kurdish militias.

So the Really Big Question here is:

What actual evidence is there that (Shia) Iran has been engaged in *ANY* acts of terrorism?

Or are we just supposed to take the word of the most universally-untrusted U.S. President in History?

And/or the words of all other senior officials in the National Government that is considered to be the greatest threat to World Peace and Human Survival by the human beings on this Planet? (The U.S., not Israel, in case you can’t be bothered to click the link…)

Point made?

Quote:
The terms of this weird deal held fast for the next four decades, through the end of the Cold War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the First and Second Gulf Wars, Bush’s occupation of Iraq, Obama’s Iran deal, and other local and global milestones. Washington wouldn’t hold the clerical regime accountable for the violent proxies that it funded, armed, trained, and directed. In exchange, Iran and its partners would refrain from embarrassing the Americans by boasting about the murders they committed. The founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini, famously said that America couldn’t do a damn thing. It is more accurate to say our elected officials wouldn’t do a damn thing.


Quite an interesting passage, because it gives the lie to the whole premise.

The author is asserting that the U.S. turned a blind-eye to Iran’s funding, arming, training and direction of “violent proxies”.

OK. Let’s dig into this a bit.

“Violent proxies”.

Who they then?

Hezbollah? (See above.)

Who else?

What other Shia “terrorist” groups are there? What acts of “terrorism” have actually been committed by Shia Muslims?

Hezbollah and Iran are focused primarily on survival. Because Israel wants to dominate and control Lebanon (again); and because the United States would like to do to Iran, what a former Iranian President suggested should happen to Israel.

Conversely: the myriad array of Sunni Islamist terror groups, want to turn the entire World Islamic, and forcibly convert Humanity to the most extreme form of Islam.

Given this, the passage above is quite cleverly worded. It claims that all the evidence for Iranian-sponsored terrorism was suppressed, because the U.S. “wouldn’t hold the clerical regime accountable”, and the Iranians would “refrain from embarrassing the Americans by boasting about the murders they committed.”

How actually likely does that sound? And how do you actually go about suppressing evidence of terrorist attacks, when by definition, they must be public acts?

Doesn’t Occam’s Razor suggest that the lack of evidence of Iranian terrorism is more likely to be due to the fact that there has been no acts of Iranian terrorism?

Quote:
Donald Trump put an end to that arrangement by commingling the dust of Soleimani together with that of one of his chief Arab lieutenants, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, head of one of Iran’s Iraqi terror proxies.


To clarify:

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was an Iraqi politician. He was also the Deputy Chief of the Popular Mobilisation Committee, which is a militia that is a recognised part of the Iraqi State. (For comparison, consider the [very-]Right Wing Ukrainian “militias” the U.S. funds and supports.)

The U.S. had no reason or need to kill Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. And in fact, it was primarily the killing of a member of the Iraqi Government and Military that resulted in the Iraqi Government immediately passing the resolution to expel all U.S. troops from Iraq.

He was killed just because he happened to be with General Soleimani when Trump ordered the latter’s assassination.

Quote:
Now that Trump is holding Iran accountable for the actions its proxies take in its name…


What actions?

And will the U.S. ever be held accountable for the actions its own proxies have taken in its name over the years?

What is the difference between Iran’s “proxies”, and the mercenary forces the U.S. Government currently relies on to do most of its dirty work?

Quote:
The threat that Iran poses to a superpower America is “asymmetric”—kidnappings, embassy attacks, hijackings, bombings, etc., typically conducted by Iranian proxies. The military experts and political scientists who coined the term usually fail to note that the ability to wage “asymmetric” warfare is wholly dependent on an adversary’s willed blindness. If Iran’s targets decide to unsubscribe to the fiction that the Islamic Republic is not directly responsible for the actions of its proxies, Iran is rendered virtually powerless–with terror attacks being met with direct military hits on Iranian bases, airfields, ports, power plants, dams, and other infrastructure.


This bit is fairly indicative of the author’s own “wilful blindness”.

Only the U.S. Government (and its bitches) chooses to see Iran in the way described above. The Rest of the World doesn’t see it that way.

Why should the IRI be held accountable for the actions of its proxies, when the U.S. isn’t?

And in that last line, the author proudly points out that the U.S. is happy to blow up airfields, ports, power plants, dams and other (civilian) infrastructure. All acts of State Terrorism that are banned by the Geneva Conventions and other International protocols.

Bit of a slip-up by the author there, methinks.

Quote:
It is only because Americans and other Western powers have declined to call out Iran and have instead appeased it…


I think this author would write better copy if they had actually been watching or reading any form of news reporting over the last 40 years.

Not sure how George W. Bush including Iran in his 2002 “Axis of Evil” speech amounts to Americans declining to “call out Iran”…

Or indeed, the more or less continuous anti-Iranian propaganda ( © Benjamin Netanyahu ) we’ve all been exposed to in the West since 1979.

Quote:
In making Iran accountable, Trump has knocked Iran down to its natural size—and likely made Americans safer from Iranian aggression than they have in fact been at any point in the last 40 years…


Do *YOU* really believe this Foota?

Quote:
Killing Soleimani is a much more important operation than those targeting ISIS leader al-Baghdadi and even bin Laden, since it will likely shape the future actions of a state, not the leadership rotation of terror groups.


I agree that this action will *CERTAINLY* shape the future actions of a state: the United States of America.

Quote:
Iranian-backed terror isn’t a stubborn, unchanging fact of the international landscape, except to the degree that we made it so.


What’s this? Candour? Honesty?

“Iranian-backed terror” is entirely the invention of the U.S. and Israeli Governments.

Quote:
The policy of appeasement that began in 1979, with the embassy takeover…


The trouble actually began in 1979 with a popular uprising against the brutal, dictatorial, 25-year rule of the U.S.-backed Shah of Iran.

Or actually, in 1953, when the U.S. overthrew the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran.

And in 1980, the U.S. got Saddam Hussein to fight a war against Iran (using U.S.-supplied chemical weapons, amongst other things), which went on for 8 years and killed 1 million Iranians.

How is that appeasement?

Quote:
…culminated in the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) when the Obama administration flooded Soleimani’s war chests with hundreds of billions of dollars…


When the Obama Administration lifted the sanctions that had been preventing Iran selling its oil for U.S. Dollars on the international market, Iranian oil revenues resumed.

Quote:
…and legitimized Iran’s “right” to a large-scale nuclear weapons program.


Unlike Israel, Iran has been a signatory member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty since 1970.

Under the terms of the NNPT, signatory members forgo the right to develop their own nuclear weapons arsenal, in exchange for the freedom to develop nuclear energy. Furthermore, those members of the NNPT that are already nuclear-armed, are required to provide assistance to non-nuclear armed countries seeking to develop nuclear energy capabilities.

The line written by the author above is therefore wholly erroneous and deliberately misleading.

Quote:
In line with the decadeslong U.S. policy of augmenting the Iranian threat in order to avoid taking action against it, Obama said the only alternative to giving Iran the bomb was war.


>&8~

Quote:
Donald Trump was vilified when he exited the Iran deal in May. But in the eyes of the foreign policy establishment, he committed an even graver sin by exposing the 40-year-old lie that U.S. policymakers, right and left, had cultivated to rationalize their collective unwillingness to protect Americans from Iranian terror.


This is fairly obviously just bullshit. But what also seems obvious, is that the author doesn’t believe it is.

The author is suggesting that the Presidential Administrations of Ronald Reagan, Bush I and Bush II, did not want to protect Americans from Iranian terror.

Do *YOU* believe that is the case Foota?

* * *

Quote:
So why did U.S. officials treat Iran differently than any other country, even at the expense of thousands of American lives?


“thousands of American lives” now is it?

Does anyone have a list?

Quote:
There is the U.S. investment in maintaining the appearance of a rules-based order led by America, of course.


:|

Quote:
Khomeini was clearly in charge—he was, after all, the supreme leader. No one seized the U.S. Embassy, kidnapped 52 Americans in the center of Tehran, and held them for over a year, without his approval.


Just as no dictatorial monarch, Israeli-trained secret police and international oil firm could hold Iran and Iranians hostage for 25 years, without the approval of the U.S. President.

Quote:
The hostage crisis showed the regime in Tehran that so long as it didn’t pierce the veil and take direct, unmistakable, on-the-record responsibility for its actions, Washington would stick with the cover story.


Is the author really suggesting that the takeover of the embassy and resulting hostage situation, was just a spontaneous, unilateral action by Khomeini? That the Islamic Revolution that preceded (and facilitated) it, has no relevance?

Quote:
And even though the hostage crisis crippled Jimmy Carter, it was his successor, Ronald Reagan, who not only failed to retaliate after the hostages were freed, but then also granted the Iranians impunity when under cover of Hezbollah, they bombed the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon in April 1983. Six months later, they bombed the Marine barracks. In December of that year, the Iranians employed Lebanese and Iraqi proxies to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait.


Thanks Reagan!

Quote:
American and French response

In retaliation for the attacks, France launched an airstrike in the Beqaa Valley against alleged Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) positions. President Reagan assembled his national security team and planned to target the Sheik Abdullah barracks in Baalbek, Lebanon, which housed Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) believed to be training Hezbollah militants. A joint American–French air assault on the camp where the bombing was planned was also approved by Reagan and Mitterrand. U.S. Defense Secretary Weinberger lobbied successfully against the mission, because at the time it was not certain that Iran was behind the attack.


- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Beir ... h_response

And again, just to add context:

In 1983, Iran was fighting off Iraq, which had been sicced on it by the United States.

And they were U.S. military barracks that were bombed.

The Lebanese barrack bombs were delivered by truck. The U.S. delivers its (far more numerous) bombs by plane.

Actually, as a side-note, the use of Area Bombardment by conventional state forces is one of the main obstacles to establishing an “Official” definition of “terrorism”. It was for this reason that no Nazis were charged with killing hundreds of thousands of civilians (throughout the course of WWII) by aerial bombardment.

Quote:
Muhandis, killed last week with Soleimani, is believed to have planned the attack.


One of the main complaints English barons had against King John in the early 13th Century, was his (and his predecessors) use of “Executive Privilege” to arbitrarily execute anyone they didn’t like.

Subsequently, one of the principles at the heart of Magna Carta, is the right to a fair and public trial.

Afraid we’re going to need a little more here than just “believed to have planned”, for this not to qualify as Extra-Judicial Murder.

Quote:
U.S. officials even had scholarly support to rationalize their failure to hold Iran accountable. During the 1990s, Middle East experts promoted a thesis holding that the clerical regime in fact had little to do with Hezbollah. According to the “Lebanonization” thesis, Hezbollah was a homegrown resistance movement that came into being as a local response to Israel’s 1982 occupation of Lebanon.


Yeah! After all, what do Middle East experts know about the Middle East?!?

Quote:
In 1996, Iran’s proxy in Saudi Arabia, Hezbollah al-Hijaz, bombed the Khobar Towers, killing 19 U.S. Air Force personnel. The Clinton administration’s hopes for rapprochement with Tehran under the leadership of so-called reformist President Mohammad Khatami required the U.S. to pretend Iran was not responsible.


Not sure that the author really comprehends the issue here.

If the United States tries to formally and legally hold the Iranian Government to account for the action of its proxies; it must immediately be held to account for the action of its own, far more numerous proxies.

Quote:
Between 2003 and 2011, according to a State Department assessment, Iran and its Shiite allies were responsible for killing more than 600 U.S. servicemen in Iraq.


“600 U.S. servicemen…”

“…in Iraq.

Iran’s Shia allies in Iraq between 2003 and 2011, were in fact also allies of the United States, trying to deal with the Ba’athist insurgency following the Invasion. General David Petraeus utilised Iraqi Shia Militia forces (particularly those under the command of Muqtada al-Sadr).

And during the Sunni-Shia Civil War in Iraq (consequence of the U.S. Invasion), U.S. troops were often caught in the crossfire.

But they were definitely military personnel: not civilians.

Quote:
The body count doesn’t include the U.S. servicemen killed by the Sunni fighters ushered from Damascus international airport to the Iraqi border by Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, Iran’s chief Arab ally.


How many civilians and military personnel has the United States killed in the Middle East since 2003?

Oh, I forgot: the U.S. doesn’t *DO* body-counts, when it is creating the bodies…



So look, obviously the whole piece is a crazed jeremiad from an author desperately trying to rationalise President Trump’s recent ill-advised, counter-productive and criminal action.

But in that regard, it is of a piece with no end of other similar outpourings.

The key when you read this drivel is to not take anything “as read”.

I’m not saying it is all always automatically a load of old bullshit.

But I am saying that we should keep our Bullshit-Detectors fully charged and functioning when wading through this kind of tripe (if it is the sort of thing that suits your tastes and diet).

Otherwise, we won’t know *WHERE* we stand.

[-X

_________________
Image

“We are moving into an era where authority cannot be The Truth. Only the Truth shall be the Authority in coming times, as sanctity of all authorities will be questioned."- Sadhguru


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:57 pm 
Offline
Major General
Major General
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:00 pm
Posts: 35782
I'm still slightly at a loss why some are saying Iran's response was a complete joke. It clearly showed American military assets are in range and vulnerable to Iranian missiles. And they only launched a few of what is undoubtedly a large stockpile of missiles.

Murrican full retard is worse than Iranian full retard, but it certainly doesn't show a complete lack of capability.

_________________
Norks


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:01 pm 
Offline
Major General
Major General
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:00 pm
Posts: 35782
Foota wrote:
Did a nervous Iranian missile defense officer mistakenly shoot down the Ukrainian commercial airliner using Russian anti-aircraft systems?


Definitely maybe

Quote:
US officials have said they are now "confident" the passenger plane that came down in Tehran was shot down by an Iranian missile, with President Donald Trump saying "somebody could have made a mistake".

One US official said US satellites had detected the launch of two missiles shortly before the plane crashed, followed by evidence of an explosion, Reuters news agency reported.


https://news.sky.com/story/iran-plane-c ... e-11904698

I bet Obama's money paid for that AA missile.

_________________
Norks


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:21 pm 
Offline
Holyman
Holyman
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 18634
Location: Earth
Oh.

'Cos I'm hearing that one of the plane's engines was on fire as it took off, and it was circling back to the airport when it crashed.

I suppose Trump could try and suggest that the pilots were extra-nervous because they *EXPECTED* to be shot down by the Iranians retaliating...

But I guess he'd be implicated if that were the case.

>*^*<

_________________
Image

“We are moving into an era where authority cannot be The Truth. Only the Truth shall be the Authority in coming times, as sanctity of all authorities will be questioned."- Sadhguru


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:23 pm 
Offline
Holyman
Holyman
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 18634
Location: Earth
I love it when a moron falls apart so publicly.

:D

_________________
Image

“We are moving into an era where authority cannot be The Truth. Only the Truth shall be the Authority in coming times, as sanctity of all authorities will be questioned."- Sadhguru


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:54 pm 
Offline
Major General
Major General
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:00 pm
Posts: 35782
Holyman wrote:
Oh.

'Cos I'm hearing that one of the plane's engines was on fire as it took off, and it was circling back to the airport when it crashed.


You believe that because you're an Iranian terrorist sympathiser, obvs.

_________________
Norks


Top
   
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:59 pm 
Offline
Colonel
Colonel
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2003 12:00 pm
Posts: 23549
Location: teh internet
Weird how quiet Corbyn is being about all this.


Top
   
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 253 posts ]  Go to page 1 2 3 4 511 Next

All times are UTC+01:00


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 20 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Limited