death of the west

Pindo propaganda machine justifies the assassination of Qassem Suleimani
Andre Damon, David North, WSWS, Jan 7 2020

Over the past two days, millions of people have marched in cities throughout Iran and Iraq to condemn the killing of Qassem Suleimani. The response to the assassination contradicts the narrative constructed by the Trump administration, the Demagog Party and the media to legitimize an illegal act of war. Within hours of the assassination, the vast Pindo propaganda machine began churning its latest update of its never-ending “bad man” theory of politics. Yet another anti-Pindo evildoer had received his just deserts. Trump’s inane and sadistic chortlings have found their inevitable chorus. In statements echoed hundreds of times on TV networks, Margaret Brennan declared on CBS Face the Nation:

Qassem Suleimani directed mass murder. He killed thousands of people in the region.

This script was incorporated into the responses of countless politicians, including Trump’s supposed opponents in the Demagog Party. Elizabeth Warren intoned:

Suleimani was a murderer, responsible for the deaths of thousands.

Joe Biden added:

He deserved to be brought to justice for his crimes against Pindo troops and thousands of innocents throughout the region.

While reservations and concerns have been expressed about the tactical consequences of the action, and over Trump’s failure to consult with the appropriate security-cleared congressional leaders and provide proof that Pindostan was confronted with any sort of imminent danger, there has been no protest against the brazen criminality of the murder, let alone any denunciation of the targeting of Suleimani. The underlying moral legitimization of the assassination is the critical element of the political narrative that is left unchallenged. The reason for this is that to present with any degree of honesty the life of Maj-Gen Qassem Suleimani would require acknowledging the politically criminal and morally filthy role that Pindostan and successive presidential administrations have played in subverting the interests of the people of Iran and the entire Middle East for upwards of 70 years. First, some basic facts. Qassem Suleimani was not a terrorist or a murder. He was a senior military officer and a political leader, traveling to Iraq in an official capacity as a diplomatic representative of a state of 82 million people. He had just arrived in Iraq to meet with the Iraqi prime minister to discuss peace talks between Iran and the Toads. Iraqi PM Adil Abd’ul-Mahdi told the country’s parliament Sunday:

I was supposed to meet Suleimani at the morning the day he was killed. He came to deliver me a message.

Abdul-Mahdi said Trump had personally thanked him for his diplomatic efforts, giving the impression that Suleimani was not threatened with harm, and yet the Iranian general was dead within hours in what Abd’ul-Mahdi condemned as a grave violation of Iraqi sovereignty. Suleimani was born into a farming family on Mar 11 1957. With his father facing bankruptcy and imprisonment for failing to meet payments on a loan from the government, Suleimani went to work on construction sites at the age of 13 to help pay his family’s debts. In 1953, four years before Suleimani was born, Pindostan overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran and installed the dictatorship of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, in one of the most notorious coups ever organized by the CIA. After removing the nationalist leader Mohammed Mossadegh from power, Pindostan insisted upon and instigated a reign of terror against the Communist Tudeh Party, which had a mass following. Countless thousands of Iranian workers, intellectuals and youth were consigned to the prisons and torture chambers of the SAVAK secret police. According to the Federation of American Scientists:

SAVAK was implicated in the torture and execution of thousands of political prisoners. Its methods included electric shock, whipping, beating, inserting broken glass and pouring boiling water into the rectum, tying weights to the testicles, and the extraction of teeth and nails.

Iran, allied with Israel, served as Pindostan’s “gendarme of the Persian Gulf.” Under the so-called “Nixon Doctrine,” Pindostan funneled vast quantities of arms to the Shah’s regime, which was seen, with that of the Toads, as being one of the “twin pillars” of Pindo domination over the Middle East. Pindo arms transfers to Iran increased from $103.6m in 1970 to $552.7m in 1972. Pindostan was confident that the Shah’s terror regime was impregnable. In Dec 1977, Carter 39 personally toasted the Shah with the following words:

Iran is an island of stability in one of the most troubled areas of the world.

This was the Iran in which Suleimani grew up and came of age. But in the course of 1978, a massive popular movement swept across the country. The Shah’s attempt to hang onto power with mass killings, egged on by Pindostan, failed. The key role in the destruction of the Shah’s regime was played by the working class, particularly through strikes that crippled the critical oil sector of the Iranian economy. Due to the betrayals of the Stalinist Tudeh party, the leadership of the revolution passed into the hands of the clerical nationalists under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. But there was no question that the revolution was fueled by hatred of the neocolonial suppression of Iran by Pindostan. Following the overthrow of the Shah and the Ayatollah Khomeini’s accession to power on Feb 11 1979, the 22-year-old Suleimani joined the IRGC. In Sep 1980, allying itself with the regime of Saddam Hussein, Pindostan encouraged Iraq to attack Iran, producing a devastating eight-year war that led to over one million deaths. Tens of thousands of Iranians were killed, including through Iraq’s widespread use of CW deployed with the assistance of Pindostan. It was during that war that Suleimani emerged as a significant military figure. Determined to prevent the defeat of Iraq, Reagan 40 provided Iraq with weapons, logistical support and critical information. Pindostan’s most infamous intervention against Iran came on Jul 3 1988. The Pindo navy deliberately targeted a civilian aircraft, Iran Air Flight 655, killing all 290 people on board, including 66 children. The war came to an end one month later.

The politics of Qassem Suleimani was that of a bourgeois nationalist. But as a military officer, he was engaged in the defense of a historically-oppressed country. Suleimani’s “ruthlessness” in the conduct of his responsibilities as a military officer was a response to his experiences in war and in countering the continuous threats emanating from Pindostan and Israel. The same media mouthpieces that condemn Suleimani as a murderer are silent on the crimes committed by Pindostan since its initial invasion of Iraq in 1991, including brutal sanctions under Clinton 42 that killed hundreds of thousands. Following the second invasion of Iraq in 2003, Pindostan has been implicated in innumerable war crimes, from the sadistic torture and rape of inmates at the Abu Ghraib prison to the massacre in Fallujah to the mass slaughter in the so-called anti-Daesh campaign in Mosul in 2017 which included the rampage by Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, who stabbed a wounded teenager to death and posed with his corpse as if he were a slaughtered animal. In 2017 Trump casually observed:

We’ve got a lot of killers! What? Do you think our country’s so innocent?

Two years later, Trump tweeted in Oct 2019 that “millions of people have died” as a result of Pindo wars in the Middle East launched under “false & now disproven premise, WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.” As far as the Pindo MSM are concerned, the violent actions of the Pindo military are celebrated as when it lionized Gen Mattis, the butcher of Fallujah, as “Mad Dog” and laughed off his statement that “it’s fun to shoot” people. The media helped set the stage for Trump’s act of murder. The NYT, the WaPo and other major Pindo newspapers have repeatedly justified extra-judicial killings. There is a poem by Rudyard Kipling, which famously concludes:

We are not ruled by murderers, but only — by their friends.

Were he alive today, the poet would be compelled to change the final line to conform with the current reality:

The Pindo creeple are ruled by murderers, whose killings are sanctioned by their friends.

As millions march in Tehran, Pindostan accelerates military buildup against Iran
Patrick Martin, WSWS, Jan 7 2020

Thousands of Pindo paratroopers and marines are being deployed to positions for striking targets in Iran as the Trump administration prepares to follow up the murder of Gen Qassem Suleimani with new and greater imperialist war crimes. The Pindo military buildup comes amid extraordinary scenes of mass anger and outrage, not only in Iran but also in several other countries in the Middle East with large Shi’ite populations and religious and political links to Tehran. Millions turned out in the Iranian capital to pay tribute to Suleimani, commander of the IRGC Quds Force for the past 20 years and a leading figure in Iran’s efforts to combat Daesh, and in support of Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Assad government in Syria. The crowds were said by observers to be the largest in Tehran since the funeral of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989. Hundreds of thousands more turned out in Isfahan, Ahwaz and other Iranian cities. Suleimani is to be buried Tuesday in Kerman, the city of his birth. The Pindo troops being deployed include a battalion of the 75th Army Ranger Regiment. According to a report in the Hill:

Rangers are the Army’s elite light infantry force, specializing in raids to kill or capture enemy leaders. At the height of the Iraq War, the Rangers led a secretive unit responsible for hunting Iranian operatives and the leaders of Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite militias in the country, known as Task Force 17.

Army Times added:

Rangers are known for airfield seizures and direct action raids. During joint forcible entry operations, Rangers assault and secure airports and terminals for follow-on operations, including mass airdrops of paratroopers and equipment, until eventually aircraft can land and unload equipment and supplies on the ground. The 75th Ranger Regiment is also known for conducting direct action raids to capture or kill high value targets.

Qassem Suleimani was one such “high value” target, albeit in his case the attack was mounted by a drone-fired missile. But the troops being deployed to the Middle East could well be used to capture or assassinate pro-Iranian militants in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, or to mount cross-border operations into Iran itself. The mobilization of the Army Rangers gives substance to the comments made by Pompeo during a series of Sunday television interviews, when he directly threatened that Suleimani might not be the last Iranian leader targeted by the Pindo military. Any retaliation by Iran for the killing of Suleimani would meet a Pindo response that would “be borne by Iran and its leadership itself,” he said. Other forces dispatched in recent days include a brigade of 4,000 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division, deployed to Kuwait, and 2,000 marines on board the Bataan diverted from planned war games off the coast of Africa to take up positions in the Persian Gulf. An Army unit stationed in Italy was alerted for possible deployment to the Middle East. The Pentagon also mobilized an undisclosed number of soldiers for deployment to Kenya, where al-Shabab has staged two attacks on Pindo military targets in the past week. The mass outpouring of popular outrage over Suleimani’s murder and hatred for Pindo imperialism was indicative of a growing wave of strikes and protests by workers and youth around the world against social inequality, war and repression. The funeral convoy for Suleimani proceeded first from Baghdad through southern Iraq, stopping in Najaf and Karbala before moving east through Khuzestan then north to Tehran. There the coffins of Suleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were passed along over the heads of the huge crowd of mourners. There was another massive turnout of more than one million people in the Yemeni city of Saada, which is controlled by the Houth. An honorary funeral for Suleimani was also held by Hezbollah on Sunday, mobilizing tens of thousands. Media reports cited the remarks of Suleimani’s daughter Zeinab, broadcast over Iranian state television, warning that the assassination would bring a “dark day” for Pindostan. She exclaimed:

Crazy Trump! Don’t think that everything is over with my father’s martyrdom!

Iranian leaders cited the huge turnout in the streets as an answer to Trump’s threats against their country. Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, wrote on Twitter:

Have you EVER seen such a sea of humanity in your life, @realdonaldtrump? And do you still imagine you can break the will of this great nation & its people?

Ali Akbar Velayati told Fars News:

The Pindos made a foolish move by assassinating Suleimani, and they must leave the region. If they do not leave the region, they will face another Vietnam.

The Iranian government announced Sunday that it was suspending its remaining commitments under the 2015 JCPoA which Trump pulled out of in 2018, unilaterally imposing illegal financial and trade sanctions, which have crippled the Iranian economy, actions tantamount to economic warfare. Iran has continued to observe some of the treaty limitations on its nuclear power activities, but the Euro vassals have refused to defy Pindo threats and maintain trade and investment ties. The Suleimani assassination continues to drive diplomatic and military discussions, not only in the Middle East but around the world. In Iraq, the scene of the Pindo crime, there was confusion among Pindo boxtops Monday as the commander of Pindo forces in Iraq sent a note to the Iraqi government acknowledging the vote of the Iraqi Parliament on Sunday to demand the withdrawal of all Pindo forces from the country. The Pindo commander said that Pindo troops would be shifting their positions within the country in preparation for actual pullout. Within hours of this note being reported in the press, the Pentagon issued a statement flatly denying any intention of removing Pindo troops from Iraq. Speaking to reporters on AF #1 as he flew from his vacation home in Florida back to the White House, Trump threatened “very big sanctions on Iraq” if the Iraqi government made good on its threat to demand a Pindo withdrawal. The resolution passed by the Parliament was non-binding. Bullying Iraq just as he sought to bully Iran, he said that Iraq would have to come up with billions of dollars to repay the cost of the Pindo airbase at al-Asad, which has been the center of Pindo military operations in the region for more than a decade. Also Monday, the Toad defense minister flew to Faschingstein for urgent consultations with the Pentagon. The Toads are the largest single purchasers of Pindo weapons, most of them bought with an eye to eventual war with Iran. The Toad oilfields were the target in September of drone attacks by the Houthis in Yemen, an act of retaliation for the protracted Toad war against the people of Yemen, which has produced one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. The NATO alliance held an emergency meeting of ambassadors in Brussels on Monday to discuss the crisis in Iraq and Iran. They watched a video presentation from Pindo boxtops about the killing of Suleimani, after which NATO boxtops declared their full support. Sec-Gen Stoltenberg said:

We are united in condemning Iran’s support of a variety of different terrorist groups. At the meeting today, allies called for restraint and de-escalation. A new conflict would be in no one’s interest, so Iran must refrain from further violence and provocations.

The imperialist hypocrisy is staggering. The calls for “restraint” are directed against Iran, the victim of Pindo military violence, while the Pindo assassination of Iran’s most prominent military official draws support rather than censure. Boxtops who attended the meeting said no ambassador raised any objection to the drone missile killing during the briefing by State Dept and Pentagon boxtops. There was also no discussion, let alone criticism, of Trump’s threat to destroy 52 sites in Iran, including cultural sites, in the event of an Iranian retaliation for the Suleimani killing, though the unease is obvious among some of the leading NATO members, including Germany and France. Merkel is to travel Saturday to Moscow for consultations on the crisis with Putin. This will follow Wednesday’s meeting between Putin and Erdoğan in Istanbul. In Faschingstein, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Demagog members that she would support the introduction of a “War Powers Resolution” limiting any Pindo military hostilities with Iran to 30 days, unless a formal congressional authorization was enacted. This is a completely cynical and toothless measure on at least two grounds. First, even if it were to pass the House, the Thug-controlled Senate would not take it up and Trump would likely ignore it. Second, a 30-day limit on military action amounts to giving Trump an incentive for massive bomb and missile strikes, including the use of nuclear weapons. He has already tweeted the threat that, in the event of any Iranian retaliation for the killing of Suleimani:

Pindostan will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner.

It should be recalled that last summer, Trump expressed the desire to end the war in Afghanistan with a quick military victory, saying:

I could win that war in a week. I just don’t want to kill 10 million people. Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth

Similar dangers now threaten the people of Iran and the entire world.

Euro vassals defend Pindo assassination of General Suleimani
Peter Schwarz, WSWS, Jan 7 2020

Faschingstein’s targeted killing of Gen Qassem Suleimani has evoked opposition and horror within the European population. This criminal act of state terrorism threatens to plunge the Middle East into yet another bloodbath, and could drag the entire world into a nuclear inferno. Trump threatens to commit war crimes on a daily basis, like the threat to destroy Iranian cultural sites, illegal both under international and Pindo law, but the Euro vassals have issued no criticism of the criminal actions of their alliance partner, which increasingly resemble those of Adolf Hitler on the eve of WW2. While these governments have called for de-escalation, they have refused to condemn the targeted killing of a high-ranking representative of a sovereign country as a war crime, but have instead directed their fire on Iran. Although they view Trump’s action as a tactical mistake, they are preparing to support Pindostan in the event of war. The first joint statement issued by FUKUS, released two days after the assassination, begins with an attack on Iran and on General Suleimani, the murder victim. The opening paragraph states:

We have condemned the recent attacks on coalition forces in Iraq, and are gravely concerned by the negative role Iran has played in the region, including through the IRGC Quds force under the command of General Suleimani.

This is followed by an appeal for de-escalation:

We call on all parties to exercise utmost restraint and responsibility. The current cycle of violence in Iraq must be stopped.

But the murder of Suleimani, which amounts to a declaration of war by Pindostan on Iran, a country with a population as large as Germany’s, is not even mentioned, let alone condemned. Instead, the statement continues:

We specifically call on Iran to refrain from further violent action or proliferation, and urge Iran to reverse all measures inconsistent with the JCPoA.

Johnson rushed to assure Trump by telephone that Suleimani was “a threat to all our interests,” adding that “we will not lament his death.” Macron telephoned Trump the same day and promised his “full solidarity with our ally in light of the attacks carried out over recent months against coalition interests in Iraq,” according to an official statement released by the Élysée Palace, which said:

President Macron expressed his concern about the destabilising activities of the Quds Force under the authority of Gen Qassem Suleimani and recalled the necessity for Iran to end them immediately and refrain from any military escalation that could deepen instability in the region. He stressed France’s determination to cooperate with its regional and international partners towards an easing of tensions.

The German government issued similar statements. In the Bild am Sonntag, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wrote:

Suleimani left a trail of blood and devastation throughout the Middle East. The EU had good reason to have him on its terrorist list.

Iran responded by summoning the German ambassador and complained of “untrue, inappropriate and destructive statements,” as well as support for Faschingstein’s “terrorist attack.” While Berlin, Paris and London justify Pindo state terrorism, they seek to influence the course of events in their own interests. Macron telephoned the Iraqi president to assure him of France’s support for Iraq’s “security and sovereignty.” He also consulted with the rulers of a number of Arab states and the Russian president. Merkel will fly to Moscow this Saturday to meet with Putin for discussions on the situation in the Middle East. The Euro vassals’ ambivalent response is motivated by two factors. First, they fear that an uncontrolled escalation of war between Pindostan and Iran would result in another disaster, which would hit Europe hard in the form of terrorist attacks, an increased flow of refugees, higher oil prices and political instability. This concern was formulated most clearly by former First Sea Lord West, who told the Daily Mail in an interview:

Britain and Pindostan want the same outcome in Iran. We both seek the removal of a hard-line regime that poses a grave threat to global security, and its replacement with a more moderate government. We are trying to ease tensions with Iran, for as long as the Iranian people feel themselves under constant siege by the rest of the world, there is no hope for a more rational and civilised government taking over in Tehran. Trump’s strategy is to use harsh sanctions and ruthless military force. However clinical its air strikes and drone attacks, Pindostan cannot defeat Iran and implement full-scale regime change. That would require at least a million pairs of boots on the ground, which would mean a return to conscription, last seen during the Vietnam War, and the likely loss of hundreds or thousands of Pindo lives. Trump will not be prepared to carry this out ahead of the elections in November. Instead, tensions will mount further. The world will teeter on the brink of war, not for days, but perhaps for months or even years.

Lord West’s interview concludes with the demand for a large rearmament programme for Britain so as to enable London to more aggressively assert its interests in the Middle East. The second factor driving the response of the Euro vassals is the mounting class tensions within their own countries. In 2003, millions of people in Europe and around the world took to the streets to protest against the impending Iraq war. No small role in this was played by the French and German governments’ opposition to the war and their public criticisms of Bush 43. The Euro vassals want to avoid a similar mobilisation today at all costs. They fear that the widespread opposition to war could unite with the mass struggles against pension cuts in France and the seething opposition to job cuts and poverty in Britain and Germany. Like the Pindo government, they are responding to the social tensions, economic problems and international conflicts by strengthening the apparatus of domestic state repression, rearming for war and plunging into military adventures. This is why they defend Trump’s war crime and why they are preparing to participate in a conflict they know will lead to disaster. This is being rapidly reflected in the media. Symptomatic were two pieces in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. On Jan 4, Stefan Kornelius justified the Suleimani assassination, writing:

Declaration of war: The reasons that may have driven Trump to give his order to kill do not add up to a plausible strategy. He is master of the battlefield, but he lacks strategy and understanding.

A comment two days later by Thomas Avenarius in the same newspaper already struck a different tone. He wrote:

Pindostan should resume its role as a peacekeeping power: Criticism of the Pindo role in the Middle East is warranted more often than not. But it could be different this time around with the killing of General Suleimani. In the best case scenario, Pindostan will resume its role as the peacekeeping power. Because the Middle East is sinking into utter chaos.

Pindo assassination of Suleimani staggers Turkish government
Ulas Atesci, WSWS, Jan 7 2020

Faschingstein’s cold-blooded murder of Gen Qassem Suleimani has staggered the Turkish government. Ankara took 10 hours to react to this illegal act of war carried out by its NATO ally Trump, whom Erdoğan has called a “friend of mine.” Erdoğan spox İbrahim Kalın said on Friday:

Turkey once again calls on all parties to act with common sense and avoid steps that will further escalate tensions.

Later the same day, the Turkish Foreign Ministry declared:

We feel deep anxiety about the escalating Pindo-Iranian tensions in the region. Turkey has always been opposed to foreign intervention, assassinations and sectarian conflict in the region.

This statement came from a government that supported the illegal Pindo invasion of Iraq in 2003, backed violent Islamist sectarian forces in the war for regime-change against Assad in Syria and has waged a decades-long war against Turkey’s Kurdish population. Nonetheless, it reflects Ankara’s fear of a possible Pindo war against Iran that would engulf Turkey, as well as of the outrage among workers across the Middle East at Suleimani’s murder. Erdoğan’s first reaction to the killing was cited by IRNA after a phone call between Erdoğan and Rouhani on Saturday. Rouhani reportedly said:

We expect that all our friends and neighbors should explicitly condemn this crime. If we remain silent against Pindostan, it will become bolder and more aggressive. I want to convey the thanks of the Iranian government and nation for your sympathy and understanding on this sad occasion.

Erdoğan replied:

Foreign interference and fighting in the region prevent the region from attaining calm and stability, and we should not allow such measures to endanger regional peace and stability.

He gave a televised interview Sunday night to repeat his position, saying:

Turkey always stands against foreign intervention and regards the recent Pindo attack in Baghdad with this same understanding. I had a phone conversation with Pres Trump only a few hours before the assassination of Suleimani. So the matter was planned. We were shocked to hear the news. I specifically advised him not to increase tensions with Iran.

Significantly the SNA or FSA, Turkey’s Islamist proxy force in Syria, consisting largely of former members of AQ and other Islamist groups recruited by the CIA and the Toads to fight in Syria, congratulated Trump in a statement on Friday for assassinating Suleimani, whom they slandered as a “terrorist and murderer.” On his Twitter account, pro-government Yeni Şafak columnist İbrahim Karagül echoed them, calling Suleimani a “war criminal” and adding:

He did in Syria what Pindostan did in Iraq.

Despite the repulsive joy of its proxies and media attack dogs at a murder that could easily trigger a regional and even global war involving nuclear-armed powers, Ankara has appealed for calm between Pindostan and Iran and tried to maintain its fragile relations with both states. While supporting the SNA in its war to drive the Kurdish YPG away from the border, Ankara is still in a shaky alliance with Tehran, intended to limit Pindo power in Syria. Turkey halted all oil purchases from Iran last May, despite objecting to Pindo sanctions on Iran. The assassination of Suleimani will only weaken the already fragile position of Ankara in the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean. Erdoğan is in a more fraught situation than ever. None of the major conflicts between Ankara and its Western allies, which culminated in a CIA coup attempt against Erdoğan in 2016 backed by Germany, have been resolved in the intervening years. On the contrary, they have intensified. Despite the objections of Faschingstein, Ankara has purchased and deployed Russian S-400 air defense systems, and Faschingstein has barred it from participation in its F-35 program, and imposed sanctions following the opening of the Turk Stream pipeline from southern Russia across the Black Sea to Turkey. At the beginning of the new year, Moscow reportedly began European gas deliveries through the new pipeline. In December, Erdoğan reacted with threats to close Incirlik and Kürecik, two air bases that have played a major role in Pindo military operations in the Middle East. Faschingstein stores nuclear weapons and maintains critical radar facilities at the bases. Pindostan having effectively launched an undeclared war with Iran through the assassination of Suleimani, it is unclear how Ankara would respond if Faschingstein tried to use these bases to attack Iran or if Iran bombed them in an attempt to prevent further Pindo attacks. In the same television interview on Sunday, Erdoğan announced that Turkish troops were being dispatched to Libya to back the Sarraj GNA government in Tripoli. This followed a vote in the Turkish parliament last Thursday in favor of armed intervention in Libya, giving Erdoğan full powers to decide on the scope of the deployment. Erdoğan said:

Our soldiers’ duty there is coordination. They will develop the operation centre there. Our soldiers are gradually going right now.

He did not give any precise information on the number of troops to be deployed. Turkey and the GNA signed agreements at the end of November covering military assistance and a delineation of maritime boundaries. These are being invoked by the Erdogan government to lay exclusive claim to vast gas and oil reserves under the eastern Mediterranean. Pindostan, Eurostan and a number of states in the region have condemned these moves. On Thursday Israel, Greek Cyprus and Greece signed a rival eastern Mediterranean energy deal opposed by Turkey, for a pipeline to transport natural gas from waters off of Israel and Cyprus to Greece, Italy and beyond. Turkey appears to be fairly isolated in actively backing the GNA, and its military intervention threatens to escalate a conflict with far-reaching implications. While the GNA is recognized as Libya’s legitimate government by the UN, it controls little territory outside of the capital Tripoli, now under siege. The deployment of Turkish troops to Libya could trigger a confrontation with Russia, which is backing Haftar’s rival LNA government, based in Tobruk. Last week, Haftar reacted to Turkey’s imminent military deployment by declaring:

We accept the challenge and declare jihad and a call to arms.

In advance of a visit by Putin to Turkey on Wednesday, the UNSC will meet on Monday behind closed doors to discuss the situation in Libya, at Russia’s request. Erdoğan has charged that mercenaries from the Wagner Group are on the ground backing Haftar’s forces, which Moscow has denied.

Pindo-Iranians detained at Canadian border in wake of Suleimani assassination
Benjamin Mateus, WSWS, Jan 7 2020

Shortly after Trump’s brazenly criminal assassination of Gen Qassem Suleimani on Jan 3, the Pindo DHS began ramping up security at military bases and border crossings. These moves are aimed at boosting support for war against Tehran by whipping up anti-Iranian sentiment and fanning fears of a possible retaliatory attack by Iran inside Pindostan. As part of this crackdown, more than 60 Pindo-Iranian citizens or green card holders traveling from Canada into Pindostan were detained by CBP on Saturday at the Peace Arch Border Crossing in Blaine, Washington State. They were all held there for several hours, subject to illegal detention and interrogation, before being allowed to return to their own country. Those who were detained reported that their passports were taken from them while they waited, leaving them with no legal means of exiting the border crossing. Once they were called up for questioning by CBP agents, they were asked about the names of relatives and where they lived. Men were asked if they had ever served in the Iranian armed forces. Negah Hekmati, a 38-year-old interior decorator and Pindo citizen born in Iran, told the LA Times how she, her husband and two children were detained and questioned after returning from a skiing trip in British Columbia. While they all held Nexus cards in addition to their Pindo passports, meaning they had already been screened by CBP, they were still pulled in for hours of detention and questioning. Hekmati told the LAT her children were afraid to fall asleep, because of fear that their parents would be taken away from them. Hekmati said:

They shouldn’t experience such things. They are Pindo citizens.

In another case, a Canadian citizen who was born in Iran named Sam Sadr told Politico that while he and his family were traveling to Seattle, they were detained at the border for more than eight hours, when a Pindo border agent observed he was born in Tehran. The Washington State chapter of CAIR reported in a statement that it received information of source at CBP that DHS sent out a national directive to agents saying:

You are instructed to report and detain anyone with Iranian heritage entering the country deemed potentially suspicious or adversarial, regardless of citizenship status.

An official statement released by CBP denied that Pindo-Iranianns or others of Iranian origin were being detained and questioned “because of their country of origin.” CBP spox reiterated this position on Monday, insisting that Pindo-Iranians had never been detained or denied entry into Pindostan, but CBP did admit to Roll Call that the agency was “operating with an enhanced posture” in response to a DHS warning about a possible Iranian counter-attack. A National Terrorism Advisory System alert published on Jan 4 warned that Iran is capable of carrying out attacks on “critical infrastructure” in Pindostan and declared:

An attack in the homeland may come with little or no warning.

Rather than keeping Pindos safe, these warnings are intended to provoke and provide the state the cause to begin the implementation of emergency measures whereby censorship, spying and other coercive actions can be openly instituted. Wide-scale attacks by the government on Pindo citizens in violation of their constitutional rights are not unprecedented. Between 1942 and 1946, Roosevelt 32 interned more than 120,000 Pindo-Japanese across the country without trial, by presidential executive order. The 9/11 attacks were utilized to justify spying on Pindo-Muslims and entrapping suggestible young men in phony terror plots, along with the expansion of mass electronic surveillance of the entire population. Trump may well utilize emergency powers justified by a war against Iran to detain Pindos of Iranian descent and crack down on political dissent more generally. Pindostan has the largest population of Iranians and those of Iranian ancestry outside of Iran. By 2012, an estimated 1.5 million Iranians lived in Pindostan, with the largest concentration of approximately 300,000 living in LA.

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