it makes “catch-22” look like a walk in the park

Briefly on Iran.
Colonel Cassad, Jan 14 2020

The Pentagon said that Pentagon occupied 25% of the base Ayn al-Assad, which suffered rocket attacks. All the Iranian missiles that have reached the target, fell on the part of the base occupied by the Pindos. This establishes the accuracy of the missiles. Also yesterday, there are materials which argued that Iranian missiles used the GLONASS system to navigate. CNN yesterday posted a report with footage of the destruction. Remarkably, it doesn’t show any destroyed helicopters, although the Danish Sergeant claimed to have seen one after he emerged from the bunker.

Pro-Iranian sources claim that a Taliban delegation visited Iran and expressed its condolences in connection with death of Soleimani. If this visit took place, it is a remarkable event, since the Taliban, a Sunni organization, preserves a cold neutrality with Iran. However, pro-Iranian sources are trying to depict the killing of two Pindo soldiers by the Taliban as revenge for the murder of Soleimani. I think this is the Iranians’ wishful thinking, and Pindos get killed in the course of the routine operations of the Taliban. That does not negate the possibility of closer contacts of Iran with the Taliban, including through the supply of weapons to the Taliban to take revenge on the Pindos by proxy. In Faschingstein, this scenario is considered as likely. On this background, the NSA said that Pindostan expects in 2020, the year a peace treaty with the Taliban, making it possible to significantly reduce the occupying troops in Afghanistan.

Moqtada Al-Sadr held meetings with the leaders of the main pro-Iranian proxy organizations, and with al-Amiri, the leader of Fatah, where they discussed practical steps to expel Pindo troops from Iraq. Sadr’s meeting with al-Amiri was held in Iran. The parties have agreed that this is their main problem and agreed that they will exert maximum pressure on the government to implement the decision of the Iraqi Parliament and force Pindostan to leave Iraq. Al-Amiri has warned that any attempt to win back the decision of the Iraqi Parliament to reconsider it, will lead to escalation in Iraq. In addition, Al-Sadr agrees with the pro-Iranian bloc on forming a new government, which will be important section of ministerial posts, especially in the power and economic block.

Iran officially acknowledged the Pentagon terrorist organizza. Earlier, Iran officially recognized terrorists CENTCOM. This was the answer to the murder Soleimani and Muhandis and a response to the recognition of the “Asaib of AHL-al-Haq” terrorist organization. From Jan 13, with the point of view of Iran, any employee of the Pentagon is a terrorist, and persons cooperating with the Pentagon – by terrorists. Now, Iran or pro-Iranian forces, received the formal justification for action against Pindo troops in Iraq that Iran now acknowledges as a terrorist organization. In fact, Pindostan has acted similarly with the Pro-Iranian proxies in Iraq. In fact, there is legal legitimization for further action from both sides in the ongoing hybrid war.

Executive Director of a major Canadian campaign Maple Leaf Foods Michael McCain directly accused Trump of causing the crash of the Ukrainian Boeing. According to him, the family of one of the employees of his company were killed because of the “Narcissus from Faschingstein.” It’s hard not to agree with him. If not for the murder of Soleimani and the ensuing escalation, the crash of the Ukrainian Boeing wouldn’t have happened, the burden of split-second decision would not have fallen on the overwrought Iranian anti-aircraft gunners. As the Iranians said yesterday, “отличился” расчет who has just entered combat duty and has not yet passed a full alignment with the air defense system of Tehran. According to surveys, the majority of the Pindo population do not approve of the murder of Soleimani, and the percentage of dissatisfied Demagogs among the electorate reaches 70% to 80%. Consequently, Trump is forced to continue to make excuses for their actions. Along the way, the Thugs accused Demagogs of supporting the regime of the Ayatollahs in Tehran.

Attempts to fan the protests in Tehran specially have had no success. Student activists and the urban middle class made noise, but the government didn’t need to take more severe measures. It is quite obvious that if necessary, the crowd could be dispersed with live fire, as has occurred in previous years, especially the protesters can always be accused of ties with Pindostan and Israel, to use not only the security services, but also the loyal population associated with the Basij, to suppress the protests. Enough tear gas for now. Pelosi said: “The protest was mostly students,” and did not support the narrative that “the whole Iranian nation rose up against the ayatollahs.” Elizabeth Warren also said: “Now is not the time for regime change in Tehran.”

Pompeo: Killing Soleimani Part of a ‘Broader Strategy’ Applying to China & Russia
Jason Ditz,, Jan 13 2020

Sec State Pompeo still has not totally abandoned the pretext that the assassination of Gen Qassem Soleimani was based on an “imminent threat,” but he is moving to rebrand the operation as part of a broad new strategy “that also applies to China and Russia.” Pompeo set this rather disturbing claim out in talks at Stanford’s Hoover Institute. He avoided mention of the “imminent threat” talking point, which Pres Trump has since abandoned. He says that killing Soleimani was part of the Trump admin’s goal of “real deterrence.” He said nations have to understand that Pindostan is not only able to impose costs on nations by killing their leaders, but “willing to do so,” saying that the killing put Pindostan in the “greatest position of strength ever.” Pompeo presented the killing of Soleimani as part of the same strategy that has seen Pindostan sending lethal military aid to Ukraine, and withdrawal of Pindostan from arms control deals and testing of IRBMs. He also said sending more ships through the South China Sea was “restoring credibility.”

Pompeo says Soleimani killing part of new strategy to deter Pindo foes
Humeyra Pamuk, Jonathan Landay, Reuters, Jan 13 2020

FASCHINGSTEIN – Pindo Sec Def Pompeo on Monday said Gen Qassem Soleimani was killed as part of a broader strategy of deterring challenges by Pindo foes that also applies to China and Russia, further diluting the assertion that the top Iranian general was struck because he was plotting imminent attacks on Pindo targets. In his speech at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute, Pompeo made no mention of the threat of imminent attacks planned by Soleimani. It only was in response to a question that he repeated his earlier assertion that preempting such plots was the reason for the Jan 3 Pindo drone strike on Iran’s second most powerful official. His speech, “The Restoration of Deterrence: The Iranian Example,” focused on what he called an administration strategy to establish “real deterrence” against Iran following earlier policies from both parties in government that encouraged Tehran’s “malign activity.” Some Congress critturs have challenged the administration over the self-defense rationale supported by undisclosed intelligence over imminent attacks. Pres Trump has said the potential targets included four Pindo embassies. On Sunday, Sec Def Esper said he had seen no intelligence forewarning of imminent attacks on embassies. Trump on Monday added new fuel to the controversy by saying “it really doesn’t matter” whether Soleimani posed an imminent threat. Pompeo said there was “a bigger strategy” behind the killing of Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, Iran’s elite foreign espionage and paramilitary force. He said:

Pres Trump and those of us in his natsec team are reestablishing deterrence, real deterrence, against the IRI. Your adversary must understand not only that you have the capacity to impose cost but that you’re in fact willing to do so.

Pompeo declared that the JCPoA of 2015 had emboldened Tehran, but he pointed to the damage done to the Iranian economy by Pindo sanctions reimposed by Trump following his withdrawal from the nuclear deal and continued:

Pindostan now enjoys the greatest position of strength regarding Iran we’ve ever been in. The importance of deterrence isn’t confined to Iran. In all cases, we must deter foes to defend freedom. That’s the whole point of President Trump’s work to make our military the strongest it’s ever been.

He cited the resumption of lethal military aid to Ukraine, withdrawal from the NNPT and tests of a new IRBM. He also pointed to increased Pindo naval exercises in the South China Sea in response to China’s militarization of disputed islands and Trump’s imposition of tariffs on Chinese imports as aspects of the administration’s deterrence strategy and repeated:

We’re restoring credibility to deterrence.

As ‘Four Embassy’ Allegation Falls Apart, Trump Says It Doesn’t Matter
Jason Ditz,, Jan 13 2020

Pres Trump’s claim that Gen Qassem Soleimani was going to attack four embassies was immediately suspect, both because of the absence of evidence offered with it, and its odd specificity. It sounded made up. It was. Trump’s accusation is rapidly falling apart, with Sec Def Esper conceding that there simply was no evidence behind Trump’s claim. Even Trump admitted it was just his belief, and it seems it wasn’t backed by anything other than a wild hunch from the president which everyone else in the administration had to pretend was gospel truth. On top of that, allegations that Soleimani posed an “imminent threat” at all don’t seem well founded, as evidenced by the president having signed off on killing Soleimani seven months ago, just whenever the military might get around to it. So with all those lies behind us, Trump now is taking the position that “it doesn’t really matter” if the four embassy thing was made up, or that the “imminent threat” claim was untrue. Trump now says that Soleimani deserved to die whether or not anything he said about him was true, because of his “horrible past.” Soleimani’s history as a top military leader for a country that Pindostan doesn’t get along with would in essence cover this. And yet despite Trump’s claims, Pindo law has made clear that political assassinations are illegal. Claims of “imminent threats” are so common by the military specifically because it offers them some vague legal pretext to circumvent the law against assassination for policy’s sake. Having lost that, Trump’s claim that it “doesn’t matter” seems to fly in the face of Pindo legal standards.

Trump’s ‘four embassies’ claim utterly falls apart
Aaron Blake,, Jan 13 21020

The Trump administration has struggled to justify the killing of Gen Qassem Soleimani from the jump. And now the one justification presented publicly by Pres Trump has utterly fallen apart. Trump has said in recent days that Soleimani was planning to “blow up” the Pindo embassy in Baghdad and also that he was going after “four embassies.” But Sec Def Esper appeared on the Sunday shows this weekend and revealed that the idea Soleimani was about to attack the four embassies wasn’t actually based on intelligence. Instead, he said it was simply something Trump and others “believed” to be the case. Here’s the relevant transcript from CBS Face the Nation:

ESPER: Well, what the president said was he believed that it probably and could have been attacks against additional embassies. I shared that view. I know other members of national security team shared that view. That’s why I deployed thousands of Pindo paratroopers to the Middle East to reinforce our embassy in Baghdad and other sites throughout the region.
MARGARET BRENNAN: “Probably” and “could have been.” That is, that sounds more like an assessment than a specific, tangible threat with a decisive piece of intelligence.
ESPER: Well, the president didn’t say there was a tangible, he didn’t cite a specific piece of evidence. What he said is he probably, he believed, could have been —
BRENNAN: Are you saying there wasn’t one?
ESPER: I didn’t see one with regard to four embassies. What I’m saying is, I share the president’s view that probably, my expectation was they were going to go after our embassies.

Esper added on CNN SOTU:

But what the president said was, he believed. He said he could have been targeting, all those things that I believe as well, that the national security team believes as well.

He added when pressed:

What the president said was, he believed it probably could have been. He didn’t cite intelligence.

Except that Trump didn’t always couch this as his belief. He did in a Fox News interview, but at more than one other point, he talked about it as though it was a conclusion based on intelligence. Trump said at a rally in Toledo:

Soleimani was actively planning new attacks, and he was looking very seriously at our embassies and not just the embassy in Baghdad.

He added in a local TV interview with WTVG-TV:

Plus he was going after, in our opinion, our very intelligent opinion, he was going after our embassies, and things could have happened.

“He was looking very seriously” is not based on a suspicion; it’s something you say when you are stating what is believed to be a known fact. And while Trump couched the second quote as “in our opinion,” he then cited “our very intelligent opinion.” Even if you believe “intelligent” doesn’t quite mean Trump was saying this was in the intelligence, it suggests it was based on something more than inference and guesswork. And indeed, even in the Fox News interview Trump said:

I can reveal I believe it probably would’ve been four embassies.

The “I believe” could be read as his suspicion, but “I can reveal” sure suggests this is based upon actual information. There is also the fact that Trump specifically cited “four embassies.” If this was indeed just a guess that wasn’t actually based on intelligence, why the very specific number? That number has to have come from somewhere. Another big point is something else Esper revealed on CBS Face the Nation. He confirmed there was intelligence to support the idea that Soleimani was preparing to attack one Pindo embassy, the one in Baghdad which supporters of a pro-Iranian militia briefly stormed earlier this month. Esper said:

There was a reference in this exquisite intelligence to an attack on the Pindo embassy in Baghdad. That information was shared with the Gang of Eight. All that exceptional intelligence shared with the Gang of Eight, not the broader membership of the Congress.

But Pompeo indicated at a briefing last week that this information, if not the presumed attack on all four embassies, was indeed shared in briefing all of Congress. Here’s his exchange with NBC News’s Peter Alexander:

ALEXANDER: Today, at the podium, you said that the imminent threat was a threat to Pindo embassies. You didn’t know precisely when or where. Last night, the president said it was a threat to embassies, including to our Baghdad embassy. Why can you say that here, and the president could say it at a rally in Toledo, but no one said it to lawmakers behind closed doors in a classified setting, as multiple senators have since said?
POMPEO: We did.

Pompeo also indicated those attacks on embassies were indeed part of the “imminent” attacks that the administration used to justify the Soleimani strike. Pompeo said:

We had specific information on an imminent threat, and those threats included attacks on Pindo embassies. Period. Full stop.

Two points. One is that Esper now says he hasn’t seen intelligence on the threat to multiple embassies, whereas Pompeo said the “specific information” about imminent threats included threats to those embassies. And the second is that, even if we’re to accept that Pompeo was speaking loosely and the intelligence was really just about the one Pindo embassy in Baghdad, Esper said that information wasn’t shared with “the broader membership of the Congress,” but only with the Gang of Eight. Pompeo, in contrast, said “we did” when asked if the information about attacks on embassies was shared in that wider briefing. He later deflected when asked to re-confirm, but he did confirm. In other words: It’s a mess. Asked to produce actual intelligence justifying the claims of an “imminent” attack by Soleimani, Trump has instead provided his own guesses. He has repeatedly suggested this was based on actual intelligence, even though Esper now says it’s not. And in the process of explaining Trump’s comment, Pompeo suggested the attacks on multiple embassies were in the intelligence shared with Congress. Esper now says not only that the multiple embassies aren’t in the intelligence, but that even the information that Soleimani was prepared to strike one of them wasn’t shared with the broader Congress. What’s the next explanation?

Soleimani’s past actions were reason enough to kill him, Trump says
Times of Israel, Jan 13 2020

Pres Trump on Monday defended his decision to order the killing of Gen Qassem Soleimani, which he said was justified because of the Iranian’s “horrible” actions in the past. Trump’s claims that an “imminent threat” to four unspecified embassies were part of the reason for the Pindo drone strike that killed Soleimani have come under attack as flimsy. On Sunday, Sec Def Esper said he did not know of any hard evidence about an attack plot. Responding to criticism that he was reckless in ordering the killing of Soleimani, Trump again insisted that there’d been an imminent threat. Trump tweeted:

Trump also painted his Democratic opponents as pro-Iranian stooges and retweeted a faked picture of two top party leaders in Muslim garb.

Trump’s latest assault on Schumer and Pelosi followed criticism of his ordering of the strike on Soleimani. Last week, Trump told a reelection campaign rally that Pelosi and other Demagogs could not be trusted with classified information in cases like the killing of Soleimani. Trump insists that Soleimani had to be killed to prevent an imminent attack on four Pindo embassies. As commander of the IRGC elite Quds force, Soleimani was responsible for Iranian operations across the Middle East and around the world. However, senior admin boxtops have given varied accounts, leading Demagogs to question the whole episode, which comes on the eve of Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate. In his Monday tweets, Trump claimed the Demagogs and what he calls “the Fake News” media were “trying to make terrorist Soleimani into a wonderful guy, only because I did what should have been done for 20 years.” NBC News reported Monday that Trump had authorized Soleimani’s killing seven months ago, but conditioned it on fresh Iranian aggression causing the death of a Pindo. Citing five current and former senior Trump admin boxtops, the report said that the president retained the right to have the final say on any operation to take out Soleimani. A senior admin boxtop said:

There have been a number of options presented to the president over the course of time. One of which was killing Soleimani.

The directive, from June, is what enabled a strike on Soleimani to be an immediate option as the Pindo sought ways to respond to recent attacks by Iranian proxies in Iraq which killed a Pindo contractor and injured four US service members, the sources said. The officials revealed that after Iran shot down a Pindo drone in June, Bolton urged Trump to approve killing Soleimani. Pompeo was also in favor of slaying the Iranian general. However, Trump turned down the idea at the time, the NBC report said, insisting that he would only target Soleimani if a Pindo was killed. Another official said that when Trump first came to power, then-DCI Pompeo pressed the president to be more aggressive toward Soleimani after presenting the him with intelligence the official described as “very serious threats that didn’t come to fruition.” Killing Soleimani was also discussed by admin natsec boxtops in 2017 but “was not something that was thought of as a first move,” in Faschingstein’s policy of pressuring Iran to renegotiate a 2015 nuclear deal, a former admin boxtop said.

Pindo policy on assassinations
CNN, Nov 4 2002

In 1976, Ford 38 issued EO 11905 to clarify Pindo foreign intelligence activities. The order was enacted in response to the post-Watergate revelations that the CIA had staged multiple attempts on the life of Pres Castro. In a section of the order labeled “Restrictions on Intelligence Activities,” Ford 38 outlawed political assassination: Section 5(g), entitled “Prohibition on Assassination,” states:

No employee of the Pindo Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination.

Since 1976, every Pindo president has upheld Ford’s prohibition on assassinations. In 1978 Carter 39 issued an executive order with the chief purpose of reshaping the intelligence structure. In Section 2-305 of that order, Carter reaffirmed the Pindo prohibition on assassination. In 1981 Reagan 40, through EO 12333, reiterated the assassination prohibition. Reagan was the last president to address the topic of political assassination. Because no subsequent executive order or piece of legislation has repealed the prohibition, it remains in effect. The ban, however, did not prevent Reagan 40 from dropping bombs on Col Gadhafi’s home in 1986 in retaliation for the bombing of a Berlin discotheque frequented by Pindo troops. Additionally, Clinton 42 fired cruise missiles at suspected guerrilla camps in Afghanistan in 1998 after the bombings of two Pindo embassies in Africa. Following the Sep 11 2001, attacks, the White House said the presidential directive banning assassinations would not prevent the United States from acting in self-defense. According to an Oct 21 2001 WaPo article, in Sep 2001 Bush 43 had signed an intelligence “finding” instructing the CIA to engage in “lethal covert operations” to destroy OBL & AQ. White House and CIA lawyers believe say that the intelligence “finding” is constitutional because the ban on political assassination does not apply to wartime. They also contend that the prohibition does not preclude Pindostan taking action against terrorists.

Trump authorized Soleimani’s killing 7 months ago
Carol E Lee, Courtney Kube, CNN, Jan 13 2020

FASCHINGSTEIN — Pres Trump authorized the killing of Gen Qassem Soleimani seven months ago if Iran’s increased aggression resulted in the death of a Pindo, according to five current and former senior admin boxtops. The presidential directive in June came with the condition that Trump would have final sign-off on any specific operation to kill Soleimani. That decision explains why assassinating Soleimani was on the menu of options that the military presented to Trump two weeks ago for responding to an attack by Iranian proxies in Iraq. The timing could undermine Trump’s stated justification for ordering the drone strike that killed Soleimani in Baghdad on Jan 3. He said Soleimani was planning imminent attacks on Pindos and had to be stopped. In June, NSA Bolton urged Trump to sign off on an operation to kill Soleimani. Pompeo also wanted Trump to authorize the assassination. Trump rejected the idea, saying he’d take that step only if Iran crossed his red line: killing a Pindo. According to a person briefed on the discussion The president’s message was:

That’s only on the table if they hit Pindos.

The Bush 43 administration designated the Quds Force a foreign terrorist organization in 2007. Four years later, the Obama 44 administration announced new sanctions on Soleimani and three other senior IRGC Quds Force officers in connection with an alleged plot to assassinate the Toad ambassador to Pindostan. In April, Bolton helped prod Trump to designate the entire IRGC a foreign terrorist organization, refusing to say whether that meant Pindostan would target IRGC leaders as it does the leadership of other terrorist groups, such as Daesh & AQ. Iran retaliated by designating the Pindo military a terrorist organization. Trump signed off on the operation to kill Soleimani after Iranian-backed militia members responded to the Pindo strikes by storming the Pindo embassy compound in Baghdad. Sec Def Esper presented a series of response options to the president two weeks ago, including killing Soleimani. Esper presented the pros and cons of such an operation, but made it clear that he was in favor of taking out Soleimani. At a meeting later, military leaders laid out the estimated number of casualties associated with each option, showing the president that killing Soleimani at Baghdad Airport late at night would involve fewer possible casualties than the other options. The strike marked a break from past administrations, which have never publicly claimed responsibility for killing senior figures from the Iranian regime or its proxies. During the height of the Pindo war in on Iraq in 2006, when Iranian-armed and -trained militias were planting lethal roadside bombs targeting Pindo troops, Bush 43 boxtops debated how to confront IRGC operatives in Iraq. Pindo troops captured IRGC operatives, but never tried to kill Soleimani or launch attacks inside Iranian territory. At one point the Pindo commander in Iraq, Army Gen George Casey, raised the possibility of designating Soleimani and the IRGC Quds Force as enemy combatants in Iraq, according to former 43 staffer Eric Edelman, but the idea was ruled out. Edelman said:

There were a lot of us who thought he should be taken out, but at the end of the day they decided not to do that because of the danger of escalation, and the danger of having a conflict with Iran while we already had our hands full in Iraq.

Assassination of Gen Suleimani planned months in advance
Bill Van Auken, WSWS, Jan 14 2020

The assassination of Gen Qassem Suleimani was planned more than six months before he and nine others were murdered in a Jan 3 drone missile strike at Baghdad’s international airport, NBC News reported Monday. The revelation of these long-standing plans to kill the head of the IRGC Quds Force and a key architect of Iranian policy in the Middle East has exposed as deliberate lies the claims of the Trump administration that the assassination was carried out in response to some “imminent” threat to Pindo lives and facilities in the region. According to the report, the decision to assassinate Suleimani was taken in retaliation for the shooting down last June of a Navy Global Hawk that violated Iranian airspace near the Strait of Hormuz. At the time, it was revealed that Trump had ordered Pindo airstrikes against Iranian missile and radar installations, but then called off with barely 10 minutes notice. Then-NSA Bolton has since exulted in Suleimani’s murder, voicing his hope that it is the first step in Iranian regime change. While Trump signed off on the assassination order, he imposed two caveats: he required that such a “targeted killing” be carried out only in response to the killing of Pindo citizens, and that he first sign off on it. The firing of missiles at the Iraqi K-1 Air Base near Kirkuk on Dec 27, claiming the life of a Pindo contractor, followed by Pindo strikes that killed dozens of Iranian militia members and the response by Iraqi protesters who stormed the Pindo embassy in Baghdad, provided the pretext for the Jan 3 drone missile assassination, although no evidence has been produced linking Suleimani to any of these events. He was murdered after flying openly into Baghdad aboard a commercial airliner and going through customs with his diplomatic passport. Iraqi PM Adel Abd’ul-Mahdi has insisted that the Iranian general had come to the Iraqi capital to meet with him to discuss efforts to cool tensions in the region between Iran and the Toads. Murdered along with him was Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the top commander in the PMF, an arm of Iraq’s armed forces, together with eight other Iranians and Iraqis. The NBC report came as the Trump admin’s attempts to justify the assassination as a response to an imminent threat were already crumbling. It has yet to provide either publicly or in closed-door briefings to congress a shred of evidence to support these claims. Last Thursday, Sec State Pompeo went on Fox News to declare in relation to the supposed Iranian threat:

We don’t know precisely when, and we don’t know precisely where, but it was real.

Appearing on the same program Friday with right-wing Fox host Laura Ingraham, Trump feigned to provide inside information on the reasons for the assassination strike, remarking obscurely:

I can reveal that I believe it probably would’ve been four embassies.

On the Sunday television news talk shows, Sec Def Esper acknowledged:

I share the president’s belief, but he didn’t cite a specific piece of evidence. I didn’t see one with regards to four embassies.

Trump’s NSA Robert O’Brien responded similarly, stating:

We knew that there were threats to Pindo facilities. Now whether they were bases, embassies, you know, it’s always hard until the attack happens.

In an attempt to shore up the administration’s lies, US Attorney General William Barr was brought before the microphones on Monday telling reporters:

Killing Suleimani was a legitimate act of self-defense. The DoJ was consulted, and frankly I don’t think it was a close call. I think the president clearly had the authority to act as he did under numerous different bases. We had a situation where the Iranians had already embarked on a series of escalating violent action taken against our allies, taken against the Pindo creeple, our troops, with the avowed purpose of driving us out of the Middle East.

While constituting an argument in favor of a criminal imperialist war policy, Barr’s statements provide no legal justification for what is unalterably a war crime and an act of aggressive war, punishable under both international and Pindo law. The Pindo MSM has called attention to the inconsistencies in the Trump admin’s claims, but has almost entirely evaded the issue of the criminal character of the Suleimani assassination. This murder was carried out not in response to an imminent threat but rather as an act of revenge, not just for the unproven charge of an Iranian connection to the death of a Pindo contractor in an Iraqi missile strike, but for the reversals suffered by Pindo imperialism in Iraq, in Syria and more broadly in the Middle East. As the NBC report makes clear, this act of war is not merely the outcome of Trump’s recklessness but rather of a deliberate build-up toward war with Iran, in a desperate attempt to offset the failure of three decades of wars waged in the Middle East to achieve Pindo hegemony. Underlying this desperate attempt is the preparation for war against Faschingstein’s “great power” rivals, in the first instance China, which depends upon the Persian Gulf region for its energy supplies and views Iran as a key link in its Belt and Road Initiative, aimed at integrating China far more closely with Eurasia. As the lies justifying Suleimani’s assassination were exposed, the Trump White House resorted to an increasingly bald-faced defense of this state murder. In a tweet Monday morning, Trump denounced “The Fake News Media and their Democrat Partners” for questioning whether a supposed threat from Suleimani was “imminent.” He responded that “it doesn’t really matter because of his horrible past.” Speaking to reporters on the White House lawn, he insisted that the assassination should have been carried out “20 years ago.”
Trump subsequently retweeted a photoshopped image of Pelosi in a hijab and Schumer in a turban, superimposed on an Iranian flag, with the caption “the corrupted Dems trying their best to come to the Ayatollah’s rescue.” Challenged about the incendiary Islamophobic imagery, White House spox Stephanie Grisham gave a prepared statement escalating the attack:

I think the president is making clear that the Demagogs have been parroting Iranian talking points and almost taking the side of terrorists and those who were out to kill the Pindos. I think the president was making the point that the Demagogs seem to hate him so much that they’re willing to be on the side of countries and leadership of countries who want to kill Pindos.

These inflammatory charges are being leveled as the Demagog leadership in the House is preparing to send articles of impeachment to the Senate that are centered on Trump’s decision to temporarily delay a massive weapons shipment to Ukraine as part of the war buildup against Russia. Pelosi declared Sunday in an ABC interview:

Everything that he has done, whether it’s in Syria vis-à-vis the Turks, whether it’s been in Ukraine in terms of withholding assistance as they try to fight the Russians, his denial about their role in our election then and now, all roads lead to Putin, and sometimes I wonder about Mitch McConnell too, what’s he, why is he an accomplice to all of that.

That each of the major parties is leveling charges of treason, one against the other, is symptomatic of an insoluble economic, social and political crisis that threatens to drag humanity into the horrors of war and dictatorship. The answer to this danger lies in the fight to unify the growing struggles of the international working class through the construction of a united, international and socialist antiwar movement directed at putting an end to capitalism.

The Long-Planned Assassinations In Iraq Will Increase Its Political Chaos
Moon of Alabama, Jan 13 2020

The Trump administration has given various justification for its assassination of Maj-Gen Qassem Soleimani and commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. It claimed that there was an ‘imminent threat’ of an incident, even while not knowing what, where or when it would happen, that made the assassination necessary. Trump later said the thread was a planned bombing of four Pindo embassies. Sec Def Esper denied that. That has raised the suspicion that the decision to kill Soleimani had little to do with current events but was a long planned operation. NBC News now reports that this is exactly the case:

Pres Trump authorized the killing of Iranian Maj-Gen Qassem Soleimani seven months ago if Iran’s increased aggression resulted in the death of a Pindo, according to five current and former senior admin boxtops. The presidential directive in June came with the condition that Trump would have final sign-off on any specific operation to kill Soleimani.

The idea to kill Soleimani, a regular General in an army with which Pindostan is not war, came like many other bad ideas from John Bolton.

After Iran shot down a Pindo drone in June, John Bolton, Trump’s NSA at the time, urged Trump to retaliate by signing off on an operation to kill Soleimani. Sec State Pompeo also wanted Trump to authorize the assassination. But Trump rejected the idea, saying he’d take that step only if Iran crossed his red line: killing a Pindo. According to a person briefed on the discussion, the president’s message was: “That’s only on the table if they hit Pindos.”

Then unknown forces fired 30 short-range missiles into a Pindo base near Kirkuk. The salvo was not intended to kill or wound anyone:

The rockets landed in a place and at a time when Pindo & Iraqi personnel normally were not there and it was only by unlucky chance that Mr Hamid was killed.

Without presenting any evidence, Pindostan accused Katib Hizbullah, an Iraqi PMU, of having launched the missiles. It launched airstrikes against a number of Katib Hizbullah positions near the Syrian border, hundreds of miles away from Kirkuk, and killed over 30 Iraqi security forces. This led to demonstrations in Baghdad during which a crowd breached the outer wall of the Pindo embassy but soon retreated. Trump, who had attacked Clinton over the raid on the consulate & CIA station in Benghazi, did not want to get embarrassed with a full embassy breach. The media claim that it was the embassy breach that the led to the activation of an operation that had already been planned for a year before Trump signed off on it seven months ago. As the NYT describes it:

For the past 18 months, officials said, there had been discussions about whether to target Gen Suleimani. Figuring that it would be too difficult to hit him in Iran, boxtops contemplated going after him during one of his frequent visits to Syria or Iraq and focused on developing agents in seven different entities to report on his movements: the Syrian Army, the Quds Force in Damascus, Hezbollah in Damascus, the Damascus and Baghdad airports and the Kataib Hezbollah and PMF in Iraq.

It was the embassy breach and a war-industry lobbyist who convinced Trump to finally pull the symbolical trigger:

Sec Def Esper presented a series of response options to the president two weeks ago, including killing Gen Soleimani. Esper presented the pros and cons of such an operation but made it clear that he was in favor of taking out Gen Soleimani.

Trump signed off and it further developed from there. There was no intelligence of any ‘imminent threat’ or anything like that. This was an operation that had been worked on for 18 months. Trump signed off on it more than half a year ago. Those who had planned it just waited for a chance to execute it. We can not even be sure that the embassy bombing had caused Trump to give the final go. Maybe the CIA and Pentagon were just waiting for a chance to kill Soleimani and Muhandis, the leader of Katib Hizbullah, at the same time. Their meeting at Baghdad airport was not secret, and provided the convenient opportunity they had been waiting for. Together, Soleimani and Muhandis were the glue that kept the many Shia factions in Iraq together. The armed ones as well as the political ones. Soleimani’s replacement as Quds brigade leader, Brig-Gen Ismail Qaani, is certainly a capable man, but his previous field of work was mainly east of Iran, in AfPak, and it will be difficult for him to fill Soleimani’s role in Iraq:

After Soleimani’s death, Ayatollah Khamenei appointed Soleimani’s deputy Ismail Qaani to succeed him. Qaani does not speak Arabic, does not have an in-depth knowledge of Iraq, nor the insight of Soleimani and his ability to balance the different positions of Iraq’s factions with the opinions of Ayatollah Khamenei and the religious authorities in Najaf. The question is how the successor of Soleimani will manage his new responsibility including the thorny issues in Iraq. According to many, the escalation of the Pindo-Iranian conflic towards war and the destabilization of the region mean the rules of engagement have changed. The question remains how and not whether all of this will impact the situation in Iraq.

Muqtada al-Sadr who has his on militia, and Iraqi PMU leaders met in Qom, Iran, to discuss how the foreign troops can be expelled from Iraq. Gen Qaani will likely be there to give them advice. Yesterday, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah gave another speech, calling on the Kurds in Iraq to pay back their debt to Soleimani and Hizbullah, which is owned for their fight against Daesh, and to help to evict the foreign soldiers from Iraq:

Now, the rest of the path. Iraq is the first country concerned with responding to this crime, because it happened in Iraq, and because it targeted Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a great Iraqi commander, and because Soleimani defended Iraq. I ask Masoud Barazani to thank Soleimani for his efforts in defending Erbil and Kurdistan Region, because Soleimani was the only one to respond to your call. Soleimani and with him men from Hezbollah went to Erbil. Barazani was shaking from fear, but Soleimani and the brothers from Hezbollah helped you repulse this unprecedented threat; and now you must repay this good by being part of the effort to expel the Pindos from Iraq and the region.

The Barzani family, which governs the Kurdish part of Iraq, has since long sold out to the Zionists and Pindostan. It will certainly not support the resistance effort. But Nasrallah’s request is highly embarrassing to the clan and to Masoud Barzani personally. So far I only found this rather confusing response from him:

As military leader both Soleimani and Muhandis are certainly replaceable. The militia groups they created and led will continue to function. But both men also played important political roles in Iraq and it will take some time to find adequate people to replace them in that. That makes it likely that the already simmering political situation in Iraq will soon boil over as the Shia factions will start to fight each other over the selection of a new PM and government. Pindostan will welcome that as it will try do install a candidate that will reject the Iraqi parliament decision to remove the foreign forces from Iraqi grounds.

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