MIDDLE EAST | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

MIDDLE EAST

Jan 08 10:43

U.S. Political & Military Leadership Is In Deep Crisis Over Escalation With Iran

The US military and political leadership appeared to be in a deep crisis over the ongoing escalation with Iran.

Since the very moment of the Iranian strike, the US has not really reacted to the development. The US appeared to be unprepared for such a move by the Iranian leadership.

Some sources claim that the US did not react because the Iranian missile strike was just a symbolic move: no US troops were allegedly killed and there are indications that US forces may have known in advance of the attack.

However, even if this is true, the entire situation (when some nation delivers missile strike on US forces and there is no response) is unprecedented. This demonstrates both the crisis within the US military political leadership and the weakening US position in the Middle East.

Jan 08 10:30

US Army Sustains Heavy Casualties in Iran Missile Attacks

"Early estimates indicate heavy US casualties in Iran's missile attack," an informed IRGC Intelligence Department told FNA Wednesday morning.

"According to the reports sent by our sources in the region to this moment, at least 80 US arm personnel have been killed and around 200 others wounded," he said, adding that the wounded have been evacuated from Ein Al-Assad on choppers.

He further underlined the strategic importance of Ein Al-Assad airbase to the US, and mentioned that the military center provided backup for US army drones.

Ein Al-Assad is an airbase with a 4km runway at 188m altitude from sea levels, which is the main and the largest US airbase in Iraq. Early reports said the radar systems and missile defense shields in Ein Al-Assad have failed to operate and intercept the Iranian missiles. Unofficial reports said the US army's central radar systems at Ein Al-Assad had been jammed by electronic warfare.

Jan 08 10:25

Ayatollah Khamenei: Iran’s retaliation against US only ‘a slap’

“A slap was delivered last night, but what is important is that the seditious presence of America in the region is ended,” Ayatollah Khamenei said on Wednesday.

Jan 08 10:23

Jewish community in Iran: all you need to know

Most Iranian Jews live in the capital. In Tehran, there are 13 active synagogues that hold weekly services, five Jewish schools, two Jewish kindergartens, and a 100-bed capacity Jewish hospital. Although there are active Jewish communities all around the country, Tehran’s community is the most significant.

Jan 08 01:32

The Scourge of US Hostility to World Peace and Stability

Soleimani was assassinated because of his success in combatting US-supported ISIS and other terrorists, undermining its regional imperial aims.“

(E)very indication is that he was in Iraq to work with that government seeking to regain control of the oil fields that President Trump has bragged so loudly about grabbing.”

Trump overstepped by assassinating Soleimani and Iraqi deputy PMU head Muhandis, connected to the country’s military.

His action backfired, uniting tens of millions of Iranians, Iraqis, others in the region and elsewhere against the menace that the US poses.

Jan 08 01:26

Lies, the Bethlehem Doctrine, and the Illegal Murder of SoleimanI

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.

Jan 07 21:24

WATCH 1st videos of ‘Iranian revenge’ strikes on US bases in Iraq

The US base is getting plastered(video)

Video footage has emerged purporting to show the first moments of an alleged Iranian retaliatory strike on an American base in Iraq, which comes days after a US assassination of a top Iranian general.

“‘Hard revenge’ begins / Army's heavy missile attacks on US base in [Ayn al-Asad],” wrote the semi-official Fars News Agency amid reports of a heavy missile attack on an American airbase in Iraq.

Jan 07 20:51

News / Iraq Iraq PM confirms receiving ‘signed’ US pullout letter

Amid confusion over a reported US letter to Iraq announcing the steps its military would take to move out of Iraq, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi confirms that Baghdad has actually received "signed and translated" copies from the US Army concerning the withdrawal.

Jan 07 20:38

Marandi: Iranians and Iraqis united against U.S.

Iranian academic, Mohammad Marandi claims that, in killing Qasem Soleimani, Donald Trump has turned the Iranian and the Iraqi people against the U.S.

Jan 07 20:23

Iran Launches Missile Strikes Against US Airbase in Western Iraq

7:40 PM ET: US F-35 planes took off from a base in UAE. Iran reportedly warns the UAE will be attacked if American aircraft from there strike Iran.

Jan 07 20:01

'Hard Revenge': Iran's IRGC Bombards Al-Asad, Other US Bases in Iraq

"We warn all allied countries of the US that if attacks are launched from bases in their countries on Iran, they will be a target of military retaliation," the IRGC said in a statement obtained by the New York Times' Farnaz Fassihi.

The IRGC warned both the US and regional allies against retaliation following the January 8 strikes in Iraq.

Jan 07 19:43

Iran launches 'SECOND WAVE' of retaliation strikes against US assets in Iraq – reports

Iran has launched another volley of missile strikes on a number of American facilities in Iraq, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency. The new round of missiles follows the first by just over an hour.

“A few minutes ago [3:30 am local time] the second wave of Iranian missile attacks on the US base is launched,” the news outlet reported.

Jan 07 19:26

Iran fires TENS of ballistic missiles at US bases in Iraq in operation 'Martyr Soleimani' after promising 'crushing revenge' for Trump's decision to kill the top general in drone strike ping that round

Tehran has tonight launched missile attack on two US bases in Iraq housing US and coalition troops, defense sources have revealed.

The Al Asad airbase in western Iraq - where Trump visited in December 2018 - was reported to have been hit by 35 missiles fired from inside Iran.

And a US site in Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, which provides facilities and services to at least hundreds of coalition personnel and CIA operatives, was also hit.

Iranian state TV said 'tens' of surface-to-surface missiles were launched Tuesday by the Revolutionary Guard's aerospace division that controls the country's missile program.

They reported the operation's name was 'Martyr Soleimani' - named after the general killed in a US drone strike.

Jan 07 19:14

'Hard Revenge': Iran's IRGC Bombards Al-Asad, Other US Bases in Iraq

Ayn al-Asad Air Base in western Iraq, which houses a large US air base, has been struck with several rockets following a strike carried out by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) as "revenge" for the killing of Iranian Quds Force commander Gen. Qasem Soleimani, reported Press TV.

The IRGC confirmed early Wednesday morning to Press TV that Ayn al-Asad Air Base was hit after tens of missiles were fired toward the facility, which contains US forces.

Jan 07 16:18

Iranian MPs Pass Bill Labeling All US Military Personnel "Terrorist Entities"

Lawmakers of the Islamic Consultative Assembly on Tuesday have labeled the Pentagon and its affiliates as terrorist entities under a new law, according to Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

Iran’s new legislation was overwhelmingly approved by 223 lawmakers, according to IRNA. The law comes in response to the US' assassination of top Iranian general Qasim Suleimani last Friday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This... is about to get nasty, and very quickly.

Jan 07 16:13

"We're Going To War, Bro": Elite 82nd Airborne In Largest 'Fast Deployment' In A Decade

“We’re going to war, bro” — declared a young US soldier from the US Army's celebrated 82nd Airborne Division. He gave reporters a confident two thumbs up as his unit moved out on its largest “fast deployment” in a decade at a moment Iran has promised to inflict a "historic nightmare" on the US in retaliation for the killing of Qasem Soleimani.

Reuters provided a detailed account of the uneasy yet somewhat jovial calm before the storm atmosphere that prevailed on the airport tarmac at Fort Bragg, North Carolina as 600 soldiers and many hundreds more support crew flew out.

While Kuwait is expected to be the first stop for most of the some 3,500 total paratroopers ordered to the region, the final destination is classified, and the Army is concerned over information leaks. For this reason the US Army confiscated the cell phones and any personal communication devices of those deploying on the transport planes.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Of all the possible ways with which to break the US/Iranian impasse, there may have been a more volatile, and risk-laden response than what appears will be happening very soon, but I am having a hard time imagining just how.

and where, please, is the absolute, incontrovertible proof that an Iranian agent actually killed that American contractor?!? From what I have seen so far, there doesn't appear to be any factual basis; the timing is simply "convenient" to explain away the American extrajudicial assassination of Soulemani.

Jan 07 15:05

Trey Yingst: 'Shocking lack of understanding' from defense secretary on what's happening in Iraq

Jan. 07, 2020 - 2:04 - Fox News correspondent Trey Yingst reports from Baghdad after Defense Secretary Mark Esper's remarks on the U.S. presence in Iraq after the death of Gen. Soleimani.

Jan 07 13:41

Putin makes surprise visit to Syria, discusses security situation with Assad

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a surprise visit to Syria, holding talks with his counterpart, Bashar Assad, at the Russian military command center.

Putin “rode through the streets of Damascus” on his way to the command center, where he headed after landing at the city’s airport, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

Jan 07 13:37

Mike Pompeo threatens to assassinate more Iranian leaders if they retaliate against US

Iran has already complained that the US breached international laws with the targeted killing of General Soleimani. The US Secretary of State said any US military strikes inside Iran would be legal.

Jan 07 12:35

Trump Administration Blocks Iran’s Top Diplomat From Addressing the U.N. Security Council

The Trump administration is barring Iran’s top diplomat from entering the United States this week to address the United Nations Security Council about the U.S. assassination of Iran’s top military official in Baghdad, violating the terms of a 1947 headquarters agreement requiring Washington to permit foreign officials into the country to conduct U.N. business, according to three diplomatic sources.

Jan 07 12:32

VIPS MEMO: Doubling Down Into Yet Another ‘March of Folly,’ This Time on Iran

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.

Jan 07 12:20

Chevron pulls American oil workers from Iraq

America's second largest oil company has evacuated all of its American oil workers from Iraq following last week's U.S. airstrike in Baghdad.

Jan 07 12:14

America is keen to protect ISIS so they killed Qasem Soleimani: Syrian Ambassador

New Delhi, Jan 04 (ANI): Speaking on US strike on Iran where Iran’s top commander General Qasem Soleimani was killed, Ambassador of Syria to India, Daniel Chuburu said, “This process will make danger escalation in the region. It proves that how America is keen to protect terrorism in the ground because America killed the leader who was against the terror groups. The leader Qasem Soleimani was the leader of military group and defeated ISIS in the ground of Iraq and Syria. ISIS is created by CIA, which is Central Intelligence Agency of America. Because America is keen to protect ISIS so, they killed Mr. Qasem Soleimani.”

Jan 07 11:54

Killing Iran’s Qassim Soleimani: Rule of law or rule of the jungle?

James Dorsey warns that adopting the principle of might is right and abandoning international law “risks creating a global jungle in which wars, political violence, marginalisation of ethnic and religious groups, and destabilising mass migration contribute to rule of the jungle rather than rule of law”.>>

Jan 07 11:49

Iranian Parliament Votes to Designate US Armed Forces and Pentagon as ‘Terrorist Entities’

Iran’s parliament on Tuesday passed a bill labelling the entire US military a terrorist organisation in response to last week’s assassination of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani by the United States.

The Iranian parliament’s presiding board earlier called the drone hit on Soleimani an act of ‘state-sponsored terrorism’.

The motion, which was approved unanimously by the Majlis, also allocated over $220 million to the Quds force, an elite unit responsible for clandestine military and intelligence operations abroad

Gen. Soleimani had been the Quds Force long-time commander; he was widely credited with helping Iraq defeat Daesh* and was considered to be one of Iran’s most prominent political figures, so his killing was interpreted by many in Iran as the de-facto declaration of war.

Jan 07 11:43

Iraqi prime minister says Qassem Soleimani was in Iraq to 'discuss de-escalating tensions between Iran and Saudis' when he was killed - and claims Trump had asked for help mediating talks after embassy attack

Iraq's caretaker prime minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, told his parliament in Baghdad on Sunday that US strike on Soleimani was a 'political assassination'
Abdul Mahdi claimed that Soleimani was due to meet with him on the same day that he was killed by a US drone near the Baghdad airport early on Friday
The outgoing Iraqi leader says that Soleimani was supposed to bring him Iran's response to a Saudi proposal for de-escalating regional tensions
Saudi Arabia, a regional rival, blames Iran for an attack on the kingdom's oil facilities in September
Abdul Mahdi also claims that President Trump called him and asked him to mediate talks with Iran after the US embassy in Baghdad was nearly overrun
Supporters of the Shiite group Kataib Hezbollah scaled the walls and barreled through security at the US embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday
Abdul Mahdi said he personally intervened to defuse the embassy crisis and that the American president thanked him for doing so

Jan 07 11:38

Gen Soleimani Was On Official Saudi Iranian Peace Trip

According to the Iraqi Prime Minister Iran and the Saudi Kingdom were in Peace Negotiations that were being hosted by Iraq

Jan 07 11:35

Iranian Presidential Adviser Posted A List Showing Locations For All Trump’s Properties

Over the weekend, an adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reportedly hinted at striking Donald Trump’s properties in response to the targeted airstrikes that took out the high ranking military commander Qassem Soleimani.

Hesameddin Ashena, one of the top advisers to the Iranian President, made a post on Twitter linking to a Forbes article which listed all the properties in the Trump real estate empire, including his hotels in New York, Las Vegas, Chicago and his resorts and golf courses that are spread out across the US and Britain.

Jan 07 11:30

Russia offers Iraq S-400 air defense system to protect airspace

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:00 A.M.) – Russia has offered Iraq their S-400 air defense system to protect their airspace, RIA Novosti reported this week, citing the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Jan 07 11:15

US-led coalition temporarily relocates headquarters from Iraq to Kuwait: Report

The beginning of the end for US Forces in the Middle East. I hope they get them out before a bunch of US service men and women get killed. But that is probably wishful thinking on my part. Neither Trump or Pompus ass or Esper give a fuck about the lives of anyone under them. In 2 letters the Swiss envoy delivered to Iran,Trump asked Iran to not massively retaliate against US Forces. He asked for a proportional response,ie,kill one of our generals and we can call it even. I don't think the military is too happy with this pack of neocons.

The the US-led military coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh terrorist group has reportedly relocated its headquarters in Iraq to Kuwait in the wake of recent assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and the second-in-command of Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and public rage over the targeted killings.

Jan 07 11:07

Millions pack Tehran streets to pay homage to Gen. Soleimani

Millions of Iranians have packed the streets of Tehran to pay homage to the Middle East's most prominent anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani who was assassinated on US President Donald Trump's order Friday.

A huge sea of mourners, streaming from all the adjoining streets in freezing temperatures, descended on the iconic Engelab Square in central Tehran Monday morning before rallying to Azadi Tower in the capital's west.

Chanting "Death to America" and "Death to Israel," they carried portraits of their national hero whose assassination in a US airstrike at Baghdad airport has generated an outpouring of anger and patriotism across Iran and elsewhere, with vociferous calls for revenge.

Jan 07 11:00

Iran Designates Pentagon as Terrorist Organization

Tehran (Basirat) :Iranian MPs on Tuesday voted for a triple-urgency motion, dubbed the Harsh Revenge Motion, which designates Pentagon and those involved in the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani as terrorists and adds them to the list of Iran’s sanctions.

Jan 07 10:56

Impeach Trump for Acts of War on Iraq, Iran and Elsewhere

Articles of impeachment by House Dems against Trump with no legitimate standing seek political advantage in November’s presidential and congressional elections.

That’s what this is all about, ignoring serious Trump wrongdoing, just cause for impeachment and removal from office. More on this below.

Under the Constitution’s Article II, Section 4, impeachment and conviction require proving “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

”No legitimacy exists to impeach Trump for abuse of power on grounds of seeking interference from Ukraine to aid his 2020 presidential reelection and obstruction of Congress for defying House subpoenas.

Clear just cause exists to impeach and remove him from office for crimes of war, against humanity, and betraying the public trust by serving monied interests exclusively at the expense of ordinary people he greatly harmed at home and abroad.

Jan 07 10:52

After Soleimani Killing Suddenly the U.S. is Alone

But now he’s just a madman with nukes, being pulled by betrayal, frustration, anger and fear towards making even more dangerous decisions than the ones he’s already made.

Because, when you realize that Soleimani was in Baghdad to deliver Iran’s opening terms for a negotiated peace with Saudi Arabia, this attack was a blunder.

When you further realize that Soleimani was there at Trump’s behest with Iraqi Prime Minister Mahdi as broker, this attack looks like patently insane.

Jan 07 00:54

America, An Empire on its Last Leg: To be Kicked Out from the Middle East?

America’s hegemonic military agenda in the Middle East has reached a dangerous threshold.

The assassination of IRGC General Soleimani ordered by the President of the United States on January 3, 2020 is tantamount to an Act of War against Iran.

What the media has failed to acknowledge is General Soleimani’s central role in countering ISIS-Daesh and Al Qaeda terrorists in both Iraq and Syria.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force (IRGC) under the helm of General Soleimani consisted in waging a real counter-terrorism campaign against ISIS-Daesh mercenaries, who from the outset were funded, trained and recruited by the US and its allies.

Trump’s action plan to “stop a war” consists in “protecting” America’s ISIS and Al Qaeda affiliated foot-soldiers.

Jan 07 00:38

Influential cleric: Iraq will turn into new Vietnam for US if its forces stay

Iraq’s influential cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, has released a statement saying that if US troops do not leave the country, Iraq will turn into a new Vietnam for Washington.

Jan 06 21:46

‘No decision to leave Iraq’? Pentagon officials contradict each other over ‘poorly worded’ US withdrawal plan sent by ‘mistake’

Complete confusion reigned at the Pentagon after the publication of a letter about withdrawal from Iraq, with the top general describing it as a “mistake” and the Defense Secretary arguing there were no plans for the US pullout.

Jan 06 16:35

‘No decision to leave Iraq’? Pentagon chief Esper contradicts subordinates on withdrawal plans

Looks like we have a fight between the military and the executive branch.

The US has no plans to pull out of Iraq, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters after a letter to the government in Baghdad informing them of redeployment plans was published online.

"There's been no decision to leave Iraq. Period,” Esper told reporters at the Pentagon on Monday, in what appears to have been an off-camera briefing.

Jan 06 15:30

US-Led Coalition Tells Baghdad It Will 'Move Out' of Iraq - Official Letter

Following approval of a non-binding resolution by Iraq's parliament calling for US forces to leave the country, US military commanders announced they were drawing up preparatory plans for their departure.

Jan 06 15:17

US coalition to leave Iraq ‘in due deference to sovereignty’ – general

BREAKING!
The US Military appears to have turned on Trump.

Citing the vote in the Iraqi parliament, the head of US forces in Iraq has informed the government in Baghdad that the US-led coalition will indeed be leaving the country, contrary to public remarks by President Donald Trump.

“In due deference to the sovereignty” of Iraq, the Combined Joint Task Force Iraq will be “repositioning forces over the course of the coming days and weeks to prepare for onward movement,” Marine General William H. Seely III wrote in a letter to the Iraqi Defense Ministry on Monday.

Jan 06 14:52

Iraqi PM: Trump Asked Me to Mediate With Iran Then Assassinated My Guest

In the address, Abdul-Mahdi revealed that that Soleimani had traveled to Baghdad to deliver a message back from Iran to Saudi Arabia about a proposal to lower tensions in the region, that Soleimani was to meet with the Prime Minister the very morning he was assassinated, and — most crucially — that days prior Trump had asked the Iraqi Prime Minister to “play the mediator’s role” between the U.S. and Iran.

Oddly, this information is not yet a major headline in any mainstream publication and those that have mentioned it in passing do not explain its full implications.

Jan 06 14:30

Donald Trump’s belligerent threats to Iran’s cultural sites are grotesque

Donald Trump’s threat to destroy the sites of ancient Persia should send a shiver down the spine of any civilised person. How can anything justify American bombing of Persepolis or the mosques of Isfahan? Only the demented can see them as “threatening America”. It is on the same ethical plane as the Islamic State vandalism of Palmyra and Mosul.

The destruction of cultural artefacts in war is specifically outlawed under the Hague convention of 1954 and subsequent protocols. It ranks with genocide, chemical weapons and the “strategic” bombing of civilians as beyond the pale of human behaviour. The US does not recognise most of these treaties as it concedes extraterritorial sovereignty, but it normally obeys them.

Jan 06 13:56

9 Things Americans need to know about General Qasem Soleimani’s assassination and the US occupation of Iraq

After Washington’s illegal assassination of Iran’s decorated and beloved general, Qasem Soleimani, media outlets and pundits on both sides of the aisle wasted no time spewing falsehoods. These outlets and journalists rely on the ignorance of readers to peddle their lies and rewrite the narrative.

Indeed, most Americans had never heard the name “Qasem Soleimani” prior to January 2, 2020, but were suddenly instructed to hate him.

Jan 06 11:57

US Empire’s Passion For Iraqi Democracy Magically Disappears

Following a vote by the Iraqi parliament to remove foreign troops from the nation, the US president threatened to destroy Iraq’s economy in retaliation and to refuse to leave unless an expensive military base worth billions of dollars was paid for.

“If they do ask us to leave, if we don’t do it in a very friendly basis,” Trump told the press on Sunday. “We will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame. If there’s any hostility, that they do anything we think is inappropriate, we are going to put sanctions on Iraq, very big sanctions on Iraq.”

Jan 06 11:55

Donald Trump says his media posts will serve as notification to US Congress on Iran

We are governed now by a Twit who Tweets!

US President Donald Trump has told Congress to follow his Twitter posts for any action against Iran if it retaliates against the death of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in an American drone strike last week.

Trump who ordered the killing of Soleimani without giving prior information to Congressional leaders, said in the dramatic tweet on Sunday that he was not legally required to notify Congress.

Jan 06 11:51

Iraqi PM reveals Soleimani was on peace mission when assassinated, exploding Trump’s lie of ‘imminent attacks’

The Trump administration claimed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was planning “imminent attacks” on US interests when it assassinated him. That lie was just destroyed, but not before countless corporate media outlets transmitted it to the public.
By Max Blumenthal

Jan 06 11:38

FLASHBACK: Trump has properties all over the world, and they’re now major terrorism targets

Well if they weren't targets then,they sure as hell are now. What a dum@$$!

Trump, though, “creates another whole range of potential targets,” said Victor Asal, a professor and co-director of the Project on Violent Conflict at the State University of New York at Albany. Attacking a US embassy or military base is challenging, “but we can attack a Trump hotel.”

Jan 06 11:32

Axis of Resistance.The West and its Allies Support al Qaeda and ISIS Globally

The West and its allies support al Qaeda and ISIS globally. They are the proxies, the “boots on the ground” that destroy sovereign, independent countries for their Western permanent-state masters. They are the essence of barbarism and evil, shrouded in torn veils of “plausible deniability” that deceive only those who willfully choose to be deceived.

Jan 06 11:28

Trump Doubles Down On Threat to Destroy Iranian Cultural Sites (a.k.a. War Crimes)

By Chris Menahan

President Donald Trump on Sunday doubled down on his threat to destroy sites “important to Iran and Iranian culture” if Iran retaliates over the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani.

Trump, who in the past has said he wants to leave the Middle East entirely but is only staying there for Israel, said Sunday that the US will not leave Iraq unless they “pay us back” for an expensive air base we built up to permanently occupy the region.

Jan 06 11:25

IRAN - 'We are on the brink of war'. - FULL MONOLOGUE

Where will Iran strike back? And will Trump drag us into battle. Hear this week's full monologue right here.

Jan 06 11:23

Putin’s Hour Is At Hand

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.

Jan 06 11:13

2001 uprising in Herat

Soleimani and the Quds force were comrades in arms with US Forces in 2001 and fought the Taliban together in Afghanistan!

The 2001 uprising in Herat was a coordinated insurrection and uprising in the Afghan city of Herat as part of the United States war in Afghanistan. The city was captured on November 12 by Northern Alliance forces as well as Special Forces of the United States, the United Kingdom[1] and the Islamic Republic of Iran.[2][3]

The U.S. Special Operations teams consisted of U.S. Army Rangers and Delta Force under the command of CENTCOM General Tommy Franks. Iranian forces consisted of agents of the Quds Force under the command of Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, commander of the IRGC, and Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Quds Force.[3]

Jan 06 10:50

There Will Be Blood by Larry C Johnson

America's naive belief in the miracle of the assassination fantasy, especially when applied in the Middle East, reminds me of an Alzheimer's patient who believes in magic beans but fails to remember that the beans never sprout. We keep on planting the same seed and look anxiously for a beanstalk that never sprouts.

Killing Qassem Soleimani is the latest meaningless chapter in this blood soaked narrative of revenge and retribution against a "bad" guy. Killing a "bad" guy makes us feel proud and provides the emotional equivalent of a sugar rush. But there is no compelling evidence that these killings actually advance the cause of peace or coerce the other bad guys into hiding in a cave and praying that we go away.

Let me take you for a walk down memory lane. Let's start in Beirut in 1982--that's 38 years ago. In other words, if you are younger than 45 this is likely to be new to you.

Jan 06 10:42

Has Trump set a Precedent for Killing US Personnel?

The biggest surprise came this evening. A VT source in Baghdad reported that the killing may have been a staged ambush. Soleimani was lured to Baghdad with news that Prime Minister Mahdi, who been acting as in emissary between Washington and Tehran, had received an important message for him.

As news flowed in about Iran’s response, expected to be measured as it always is, word came from one of its top generals that Iran would only consider attacking US military targets, no civilians. Then came the report that the US had passed along through the Swiss asking that Iran’s retaliation be on a similar level to what the US had done. We know this was true, as Zarif mentioned during the day that he had gotten a “silly” message from the Americans.

Jan 06 10:34

Millions pack Tehran streets to pay homage to Gen. Soleimani

Millions of Iranians have packed the streets of Tehran to pay homage to the Middle East's most prominent anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani who was assassinated on US President Donald Trump's order Friday.

Jan 06 10:31

Iran holds all the cards in coming Middle East conflict with US - unless Trump is ready to drop a tactical NUKE

Iran has promised retaliation for the assassination of Qassem Suleimani. Donald Trump said this will lead to a disproportionate response from the US. One side can deliver on its threats, the other can’t, unless it goes nuclear.
Iran means business

“Our reaction,” Iranian general Hossein Dehghan said at the weekend, “will be wise, well considered and, in time, with decisive deterrent effect.”

Dehghan also noted that Iran was not seeking a wider confrontation with the US.

“It was America that has started the war. Therefore, they should accept appropriate reactions to their actions. The only thing that can end this period of war is for the Americans to receive a blow that is equal to the blow they have inflicted.”

Jan 06 10:29

US-Led Western Contempt for the Rule of Law

The US and Western partners are contemptuous of peace, stability, equity, justice, and the rule of law — waging war on humanity by hot and other means.

US Supreme Court Justice/Chief Nuremberg Prosector Robert Jackson called aggression “the supreme international crime against peace…the greatest menace of our times.”

Time and again, I called the preemptive attack by one nation on another the highest of high crimes. All other wrongdoing pales in comparison.

Is greater Middle East war coming after Trump regime assassinations? Is this what its hardliners want?

Jan 06 10:25

Targeting Iran cultural sites will be war crime: People react to Trump

US President Donald Trump’s new threat to strike 52 important targets in Iran, including the cultural ones, has provoked a strong backlash, with many calling it a “war crime.”

Jan 06 10:22

Trump's threatened attack on Iranian cultural sites could be a war crime if carried out

Trump has given his enemies real ammunition to impeach him.

In a tweet Saturday night, Trump said that if Iran strikes any Americans or American assets, the United States has targeted 52 Iranian sites -- a reference to the number of Americans taken hostage in the 1979 revolution -- "some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture," he wrote.
Iraqi Parliament votes for government to work on plan to end US troop presence in Iraq after Soleimani killing
Iraqi Parliament votes for government to work on plan to end US troop presence in Iraq after Soleimani killing
"They attacked us, & we hit back. If they attack again, which I would strongly advise them not to do, we will hit them harder than they have ever been hit before!" Trump wrote.
Sunday, he reiterated that threat in a conversation with reporters aboard Air Force One.

Jan 06 10:17

Trump Ordered Drone Hit on Soleimani Despite Intel That General Had No Plans to Target US – Report

I don't think the military is too happy with Trump. They committed a war crime for this Israeli puppet. Reportedly Trump offered up the life of a US 4 star general in a letter delivered to Khameini by the Swiss envoy,if Iran would not massively retaliate against US Forces. They just may hang Trump out to dry. They have a real high crime now to impeach him for.

Jan 06 10:09

Joe Walsh: Trump is absolutely incompetent and unfit

Former congressman and Republican presidential candidate Joe Walsh slams President Trump for deciding to use Twitter to notify Congress of possible further actions taken against Iran

Jan 06 10:05

Top Pentagon Brass 'Stunned' By Trump Decision to Assassinate IRGC Commander Soleimani - Report

Days before Soleimani was targeted, US senior military officials reportedly offered to Trump the option of killing him. The Washington Post broke the news on Saturday, citing sources, that top Pentagon officials were "stunned" when the US president picked the most extreme option as a response to recent Iranian-led violence in Iraq.

Jan 06 10:00

The Middle East Strategic “Balance” Shredded

Soleimani was officially visiting Iraq. He arrived openly as a VIP guest from Syria, and was met on the tarmac by an equally senior Iraqi official, Al-Muhandis, who was assassinated also, (together with seven others). It was all open. General Soleimani regularly used his mobile phone as he argued that as a senior state official, if he were to be assassinated by another state, it would only be as an act of war.

This act, performed at the international airport of Baghdad, constitutes not just the sundering of red lines, but a humiliation inflicted on Iraq – its government and people. It will upend Iraq’s strategic positioning. The erstwhile Iraqi attempt at balancing between Washington and Iran will be swept away by Trump’s hubristic trampling on the country’s sovereignty. It may well mark the beginning of the end of the US presence in Iraq (and therefore Syria, too), and ultimately, of America’s footprint in the Middle East.

Jan 06 09:56

A Terrorist Attack Against Eurasian Integration

The murder of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad, in the early hours of January 3 by US forces, only highlights the extent to which US strategy in the Middle East has failed. It is likely to provoke reactions that do not benefit US interests in the region.

In the early hours of January 3, 2020, another tangle was added to the Gordian Knot that is the Middle East. Qasem Soleimani was assassinated when his convoy was attacked by a drone near Baghdad International Airport. The most effective opponents of ISIS and Wahabi jihadism in general was thus eliminated by the US in a terrorist act carried out in foreign country in a civilian area (near Baghdad International Airport). The champagne would have no doubt been flowing immediately upon receiving this news in the US Congress, the Israeli Knesset, Riyadh royal palace and in Idlib among al Nusra and al Qaeda militants.

Jan 06 09:51

Thousands march in grand funeral procession for Iranian General Soleimani

Funeral processions began in Iran on Sunday for dead Iranian General Qassim Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds force.

The first procession started in Ahvaz, after which Soleimani's body will be taken to the Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad.

The Islamic Republic has vowed revenge for the airstrike, ordered by US President Donald Trump, that killed Soleimani and several senior Iraqi militants on Friday in Baghdad.

Jan 06 09:49

Iran vows ‘severe revenge’ on the US for unprovoked act of war

I mention Israel, the more so as its name is mysteriously missing from most of these reports on the current crisis in the Middle East. Yet it is no secret that this wanton act of war has been perpetrated on behalf of Israel, much to the satisfaction of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to whom it comes as a gift from heaven. When the body bags return to the West in due course, assuming this dogfight escalates beyond control, we can be sure they will contain the mangled bodies of American and British soldiers, with not a single Israeli Jew cadaver among them.

Trump’s supporters will undoubtedly come up with some cock-and-bull story to justify their hero’s intransigent behavior. We are not concerned with these wishful thinkers. They are best left to their own devices and allowed the pleasures of idolatry.

Jan 06 09:43

The USA is now at war, de-facto and de-jure, with BOTH Iraq and Iran (UPDATED 6X)

The blowback has begun

First, let’s begin by a quick summary of what has taken place (note: this info is still coming in, so there might be corrections once the official sources make their official statements).

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdl Mahdi has now officially revealed that the US had asked him to mediate between the US and Iran and that General Qassem Soleimani to come and talk to him and give him the answer to his mediation efforts. Thus, Soleimani was on an OFFICIAL DIPLOMATIC MISSION as part of a diplomatic initiative INITIATED BY THE USA.For one thing, the US will now become an official and totally illegal military presence in Iraq. This means that whatever SOFA (Status Of Forces Agreement) the US and Iraq had until now is void.

Second, the US now has two options:

Fight and sink deep into a catastrophic quagmire or
Withdraw from Iraq and lose any possibility to keep forces in Syria

Jan 06 09:39

Trump Starts Endless War On Iran Interview With Joe Cortina - Ex Green Beret

Joe Cortina: US military officials did not “kill” these Generals, they murdered them.

We use the word “kill” only in actual war time scenarios.

This strike however was made without Congressional approval or notification, had nothing to do with “security,” and was executed in a civilian scenario.

The US military MURDERED these men, NOT “killed” them.Joe Cortina: If I wasn’t so pissed off I’d be throwing up.

Trump is too stupid, or willfully ignorant to know that Soleimani was at the forefront of the US led coalition to eradicate ISIS from Northern Iraq in March 2015.

Soleimani also, as a commander of the Iranian Quds Force, was part of the American-led coalition under US General Tommy Franks fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan in the October 2001 Battle of Herat.

Moreover, Soleimani worked to protect Eastern Christians against ISIS in both Syria and Iraq, and empowered them to defend themselves as best they could.

Jan 06 00:53

America’s New War: Let’s Not Pretend That Iraqi Paramilitaries Drew First Blood

Because “Iranian proxies” (as Americans would have it) injured a pair of Iraqi servicemen it does not follow that Americans are now entitled to kill or wound seventy-seven Kataib paramilitaries who are also Iraqi servicemen.

Thirdly, unlike the Trump gang would have it, history did not begin on December 27th. Between July 19 and September 22 Iraqi paramilitaries were hit in their Iraqi bases on at least eight different occasions. In August the Israeli PM Netanyahu confirmed that Israel was carrying out these strikes “against Iranian consolidation”. (That was also just the latest escalation on top of Israeli strikes on Iraqi paramilitaries positioned against ISIS in eastern Syria.)

Jan 05 22:01

Commentary by Vanessa Beeley

Meeting the legendary Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Iraq November 2017 – murdered yesterday by the US/Israeli settler states :

When in #Iraq, Abu Mehdi Al-Mohandes gave us two hours of his time in between battles. Two days later his men from Hashed al Shaabi were in Al Qaim to liberate it from ISIS.

“The US did not supply a single bullet to fight ISIS” Mohandes told us.
“The US tanks had no ammunition."

When the Sinjar Mountain massacre and abduction of thousands of Yazidi men took place in August 2014, the US planes did nothing against ISIS. Only Iran, according to Al Mohandes, stepped up and prevented an even greater bloodbath, allowing Hashed forces to liberate 300,000 Yazidis.

Jan 05 21:39

Iran and Qassem Soleimani defeated ISIS, while US allies helped it

Ben Norton explains how Iran and its top General Qassem Soleimani, who was just killed in a US drone strike (a criminal act of war), were leading forces who militarily defeating ISIS. Meanwhile, Washington's allies like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey supported ISIS and al-Qaeda.

Jan 05 21:18

Trump threatens Iraq with ‘very big sanctions’ unless it pays BILLIONS back for an air base if US troops forced to withdraw

This guy is about ready to pop a cork!

As he was unleashing his fiery tirade, Trump doubled down on his threat to wipe out Iranian cultural sites in a retaliation for potential future attacks from Tehran, which vowed to avenge the assassination of its top general, Qassem Soleimani, by the US.

Trump’s statement on Saturday that the US might fire upon 52 Iranian sites, important to the Islamic Republic’s people and its culture, has courted controversy in the US with many of the Trump administration’s critics noting that Washington would mimic the methods of its declared adversary – Islamic State terrorists – notorious for damaging and destroying globally-significant cultural sites in Syria and Iraq.

Jan 05 19:53

Former intelligence officials: US drone attack on Iran motivated by Israel

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.

Jan 05 19:51

Trump’s Mass Deception on Iran

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Virtually all politicians lie, none in memory more repeatedly and egregiously than Trump.

It’s so excessively over the top it begs the question. Is he unable to distinguish between facts and fiction or is he inherently deceptive by nature?

Jan 05 19:41

Iraqi Prime Minister: Soleimani Arrived In Baghdad To Receive De-Escalation Proposal From Saudi Arabia. Trump Supported Initiative

Trump and the Saudis lured him there to murder him. What Trump did here is a high crime.

According to the available data, the Iranian commander arrived in Baghdad under an official request from Iraq. He was set to receive de-escalation proposals that Saudi Arabia sent to Iran via Iraq. US President Donald Trump allegedly supported this idea during a phone call with the Iraqi Prime Minister.

Therefore, the US supposedly used this initiative to set a trap for the Iranian military commander and assassinate him.

Jan 05 14:19

Iran Rolls Back Nuke Deal Commitments, Vows to Enrich Uranium Based On Its Tech Needs – Report

Iran announced on Sunday in a statement that it was discontinuing its remaining obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran will continue to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency and is ready to return to fulfilling its obligations if sanctions against the country are lifted, the statement added.

Jan 05 14:12

The killing of Iran’s Qassim Soleimani: US misreads the tea leaves

James Dorsey says the US killing of Iranian general Qassim Suleimani is likely to strengthen Iranian hardliners and suggests that the Trump administration has walked into a trap in which spiralling tension with Iran is likely to be played out on Iranian, not US terms.>>

Jan 05 12:47

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj6HFjkRhs0

Must See US-Iran Relations Quick Timeline From 1953- [MFV !]This video is a basic overview of U.S. imperialism toward Iran that began at the behest of the British Government and big oil interests including British Petroleum also recently known as BP.

The United States' own CIA led it's first coup to overthrow a foreign leader against Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953, The U.S. has suffered "Blowback: ever since, all the while the supposed leaders in Washington continue to demonize Iran's leaders on flimsy grounds as more pretense to continued Middle East war and occupation by the U.S.

Jan 05 12:41

Scott Horton on Trump's Assassination of Soleimani

Podcast....

Scott Horton returns to Foreign Policy Focus to cover the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Quds Force. Scott discusses the importance of Soleimani and why his killing could spark more conflict in the Middle East. He then debunks the claims coming out of the Trump admin that Soleimani killed 100s of Americans and Iran was behind 9/11. Kyle and Scott review key points of the Iraq War to explain how Iran - and Soleimani - became so influential in Iraq.

Jan 05 12:39

“We Do Not Seek War,” Says President Who Just Started A War

“We are a peace-loving nation and my administration remains firmly committed to establishing peace and harmony among the nations in the world,” Trump said in a speech at his luxury Mar-a-Lago getaway on Friday. “We do not seek war, we do not seek nation-building, we do not seek regime change, but as president I will never hesitate to defend the safety of the American people.”America is at war with Iran currently.

What that war will end up looking like is anyone’s guess right now, but there is no question that a war has been initiated. If any nation had assassinated a top US general via airstrike and then openly admitted to it, the US would immediately be at war with that nation.

Jan 05 12:30

An Eyewitness to the Horrors of the US 'Forever Wars' Speaks Out

In pediatrics wards, we saw infants and toddlers whose bodies were wasted from gastrointestinal diseases, cancers, respiratory infections and starvation. Limp, miserable, sometimes gasping for breath, they lay in the arms of their sorrowful mothers, and seemingly no one could stop the U.S. from punishing them to death. "Why?" mothers murmured. Sanctions forbade Iraq to sell its oil. Without oil revenues, how could they purchase desperately needed goods? Iraq's infrastructure continued to crumble; hospitals became surreal symbols of cruelty where doctors and nurses, bereft of medicines and supplies, couldn't heal their patients or ease their agonies.

In 1995, UN officials estimated that economic sanctions had directly contributed to the deaths of at least a half-million Iraqi children, under age 5.

Jan 05 12:24

The West Willfully Supports ISIS and Always Has

ISIS is not “blow back”. ISIS did not “fill a vacuum”. The West did not “give rise” to ISIS.

The West supports ISIS directly, sometimes covertly, sometimes overtly. The West is ISIS. It is not an accident. The West willfully supports ISIS and always did.

Sometimes the West’s support for ISIS is covert, with a view to perpetrating the doctrine of “plausible deniability”. Other times it is overt, such as the West’s intentional murder of over 100 Syria soldiers at Jabal al Tharda, on 17 September, 2016. (1)

Washington’s assassination of General Qassem Soleimani was overt support for ISIS/Daesh. ISIS/Daesh, like Washington, is benefitting from the assassination, for the moment, since Soleimani played a key role in destroying al Qaeda/ISIS terrorism in the Middle East.

Jan 05 12:07

In Redux of Iraq War Run Up, Media Cheers on Assassination of Soleimani

We seem to have some of that cheering section here. Unless you are zios you need to tag those stories from the MSM as COVER-UP/DECEPTIONS/PROPAGANDA!

Assassinating foreign leaders is a major international war crime under international law, yet across the corporate spectrum, media applauded the bombing, or “precision targeting,” as CNN described it. Unsurprisingly, many conservative media outlets supported the Trump administration’s decision to potentially spark a huge international conflict. The Washington Examiner quoted one “expert” celebrating the killing as more important than Bin Laden’s death and a “massive blow to the regime.”

Jan 05 12:01

Soleimani’s Assassination: An Act of Psychological Warfare

Mostafa Afzalzadeh: In many countries, it is the intelligence communities that actually run and control the governments. What is the role of the intelligence services, especially the CIA, in the United States?

Douglas Valentine: The US government officially spends $50 billion a year on intelligence. Much of that is on “foreign” intelligence but nowadays, it’s impossible to determine where foreign intelligence ends and domestic intelligence begins. Especially in regard to psychological warfare aimed at the American people by its own government. Psychological warfare – the shaping of beliefs, and thus political and social movements – is the most highly prized and effective of all intelligence operations.

Jan 05 11:54

Trump Says the Military Industrial Complex is Pressuring him Into a War With Iran

Excuses! Excuses! He was going to end the wars. What a liar!

With a thirty year Boeing veteran at the Pentagon, Patrick Shanahan as Acting Secretary of Defense, and with John Bolton and Mike Pompeo at the helm, war with Iran is likely says the former chief of staff to Secretary of State, Col. Larry Wilkerson

Jan 05 11:47

Iraq's Parliament calls for expulsion of U.S. troops

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's Parliament called for the expulsion of U.S. troops from the country Sunday in reaction to the American drone attack that killed a top Iranian general, raising the prospect of a withdrawal that could allow a resurgence by Islamic State extremists.

Lawmakers approved a resolution asking the Iraqi government to end the agreement under which Washington sent forces more than four years ago to help in the fight against ISIS.

Jan 05 11:37

Report: US, Israel sign secret pact to tackle Iran nuclear and missile threat

Israel and the United States have secretly signed a far-reaching joint memorandum of understanding providing for full cooperation to deal with Iran’s nuclear drive, its missile programs and its other threatening activities, an Israeli TV report said.

The document was signed on December 12 at the White House, culminating intensive talks between representatives of the major Israeli and American intelligence and defense hierarchies, headed by the US and Israeli national security advisers, H. R. McMaster and Meir Ben-Shabbat, respectively, the Channel 10 report said Thursday.

Jan 05 10:46

Reaper drone launched from Qatar fired missile that killed Soleimani

Soleimani was in Baghdad as the diplomatic representative of Iran at the Militia funerals. He flew in by commercial flight and notified the US Military that he was coming.

In a letter delivered to Iran Trump offered up the life of a US 4 star general if they promised not to escalate the situation in a massive way.

LONDON: A drone launched from Qatar fired the missile that killed Iranian warlord Qassem Soleimani, US military sources have revealed.

Jan 05 10:33

Iraqi parliament votes to expel U.S. troops over Soleimani killing

The Iraqi parliament passed a resolution Sunday calling on the government to expel U.S. troops from the country in response to the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and the leader of an Iraqi militia on its soil.

Why it matters: The legal basis for the U.S. presence in Iraq is that it comes at Iraq's invitation. This vote does not formally revoke that invitation, but is a step along that path. A U.S. exit from Iraq could ultimately be one of the most consequential results of Soleimani's killing, because it would significantly hamper the fight against ISIS and achieve a major Iranian objective.

What they're saying: Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said Iraq "cannot accept" a "political assassination" on its soil. He called the attack a grave violation of Iraqi sovereignty.

Jan 05 10:29

American Airstrike in Iraq Is a War Crime – An Illegal Act of War

Without an iota of international authority, discussion or attempted consensus the US President Trump ordered the killing of a hugely popular Iranian General and an Iraqi military leader in Iraq. While travelling in vehicles near to Baghdad airport these individuals were blown to smithereens by a deadly airstrike and instead of international condemnation of this act of terrorism, a war crime, we have the Western media and their political stooges refusing to condemn the US while calling for restraint from Iran. What utter cowardice and hypocrisy!

Jan 05 10:27

US Outlaw State

America’s lawless arrogance has gone too far with the assassination of Iran’s top military commander. The deadly airstrike against General Qasem Soleimani was carried out on the order of President Donald Trump.

Jan 05 10:25

Iran's Foreign Minister Compares Trump to Ancient ‘Barbarians’ Over Threat to Target Cultural Sites

“A reminder to those hallucinating about emulating ISIS [Daesh]* war crimes by targeting our cultural heritage: Through MILLENIA of history, barbarians have come and ravaged our cities, razed our monuments and burnt our libraries. Where are they now? We’re still here, and standing tall,” Zarif wrote, recalling his country’s status as one of the world’s oldest continuous major civilizations.

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