#Insanity: US Hot War on Iran; the assassination of Qassem Soleimani

From RT.com, Jan.3, 2019:

“The head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, has been killed in a strike near Baghdad International Airport, along with senior leaders of the Iraqi Shia militia, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has confirmed.

News of the commander’s demise was carried by Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency, citing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Earlier, Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) blamed the US and Tel Aviv for Soleimani’s takedown.

“The American and Israeli enemy is responsible for killing the mujahideen Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qassem Soleimani,” said Ahmed al-Assadi, a spokesman for Iraq’s PMF, as cited by Reuters.

Al-Muhandis is the deputy chief of the PMF, the umbrella group of Shia militias integrated into the Iraq’s armed forces, which was blamed for the siege of the US Embassy in Baghdad earlier this week.

US Marines also reportedly captured two other influential Iraqi militia figures around the time of the strikes – Qais Khazali, head of the paramilitary group Asaib Ahl al-Haq, and Badr Organization leader Hadi al-Amiri – in a neighborhood of Baghdad, according to Al Arabiya.

‘US killing of Iranian commander on Iraqi soil violates terms of US stationing troops in the country – Iraqi PM’, RT.com,  3 Jan, 2020

“He stressed that the US had violated the terms under which American troops are allowed to stay in Iraq with the purpose of training Iraqi troops and fighting the jihadist organization Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). He added that the killing may trigger a major escalation of violence and result in “a devastating war in Iraq” that will spill out into the region.

The Iraqi government has called on the parliament to hold an emergency session to discuss an appropriate response, Mahdi said.”

‘Killing of Quds commander is another sign of US frustration and weakness in the region – Iran’s Rouhani’, 3 Jan, 2020, RT.com

“Soleimani’s martyrdom will make Iran more decisive to resist America’s expansionism and to defend our Islamic values. With no doubt, Iran and other freedom-seeking countries in the region will take revenge,” Rouhani said in a statement, adding that the killing will only strengthen Iran’s resolve in resisting the US.

Similar sentiment has been voiced by several top-ranking figures in Tehran in the wake of the assassination of the Quds commander.

Iranian officials say the US targeted the IRGC and Soleimani in particular for the role they played in defeating the jihadist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. This helped Iran gain significant political influence in Iraq and shape Baghdad’s policies.

The Trump administration has chosen a confrontational path against Iran, claiming the US “maximum pressure” campaign was necessary to curb its regional power.”

From irandailyonline.com Dec. 3:

“In a statement on Friday, Ayatollah Khamenei said the “cruelest people on earth” assassinated the “honorable” commander who “courageously fought for years against the evils and bandits of the world”, presstv.com reported.

His demise will not stop his mission, but the criminals who have the blood of General Soleimani and other martyrs of the Thursday night attack on their hands must await a tough revenge, the Leader added.”

““The demise of our selfless and dear general is bitter, but the continued fight and achievement of the final victory will make life bitterer for the murderers and criminals,” he added.

In his statement, the Leader also offered condolences to the Iranian nation and General Soleimani’s family, and declared three days of national mourning over the tragedy.”

‘U.S. Will Come To Regret Its Assassination of Qassim Soleimani’, Jan. 3, 2019, moonofalabma.org  (a few outtakes, but it’s laden w/ photos you might wish to see)

“Today the U.S. declared war on Iran and Iraq.

War is what it will get.

The Quds force is the external arm of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. Soleiman was responsible for all relations between Iran and political and militant movements outside of Iran. Hajji Qassim advised the Lebanese Hisbullah during the 2006 war against Israel. His support for Iraqi groups enabled them to kick the U.S. invaders out of Iraq. He was the man responsible for, and successful in, defeating the Islamic State in iraq and Syria. In 2015 Soleimani traveled to Moscow and convinced Russia to intervene in Syria. His support for the Houthi in Yemen enabled them to withstand the Saudi attackers.

Soleimani had arrived in Baghdad on a normal flight from Lebanon. He did not travel in secret. He was picked up at the airport by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes, the deputy commander of the al-Hashd al-Shaabi, an official Iraqi security force under the command of the Iraqi Prime Minister. The two cars they traveled in were destroyed in the U.S. attack. Both men and their drivers and guards died.

The U.S. created two martyrs who will now become the models and idols for tens of millions of youth in the Middle East.”

“Moqtada al-Sadr, the unruly Shia cleric who commands millions of followers in Iraq, has given orders to reactivate his military branch ‘Jaish al-Imam al-Mahdi’. Between 2004 and 2008 the Mahdi forces fought the U.S. occupation of Iraq. They will do so again.

The outright assassination of a commander of Soleimani’s weight demands an Iranian reaction of at least a similar size. All U.S. generals or high politicians traveling in the Middle East or elsewhere will now have to watch their back. There will be no safety for them anywhere.”

“Trump will learn that killing the enemy is the easy part of a war. The difficulties come after that happened.

In 2018 Soleimani publicly responded to a tweet in which Trump had threatened Iran:

“Mr. Trump, the gambler! […] You are well aware of our power and capabilities in the region. You know how powerful we are in asymmetrical warfare. Come, we are waiting for you. We are the real men on the scene, as far as you are concerned. You know that a war would mean the loss of all your capabilities. You may start the war, but we will be the ones to determine its end.

Since May 2019 the U.S. deployed at least 14,800 additional soldiers to the Middle East. Over the last three days airborne elements and special forces followed. The U.S.has clearly planned for an escalation.

Soleimani will be replaced by Brigadier General Ismail Ghani, a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war who has for decades been active in the Quds Force and has fought against ISIS in Syria. He is an officer of equal stature and capability.”

Iran Loses Its Indispensable Man; The killing of Qassem Soleimani robs the regime of the central figure for its ambitions in the Middle East’, January 2, 2020, Andrew Exum; theatlantic.com (h/t Greyson Smythe) (the title says it all)

“The United States has killed Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’s Quds Force. The United States is now in a hot war with Iran after having waged war via proxies for the past several decades.

This doesn’t mean war, it will not lead to war, and it doesn’t risk war. None of that. It is war.”

Elija Magnier had Tweeted yesterday:

“I spoke to the person who spoke to #QassemSoleimani last before leaving to #Iraq from #Syria. I’ll share some insights tomorrow (no newspaper today) in my forthcoming article.

But had linked to an earlier piece on Jan. 2: ‘How the US was hoist by its own petard in Iraq and the wishful thinking of its thinktanks’ (his Twitter account is blazing hot.)  He opens with these paragraphs:

“During the first weeks of protests in Iraq, a dozen Iraqis burned down the Iranian consulates in Najaf, Karbalaa and Baghdad. Western analysts based their analysis on social media images and YouTube videos, particularly those clips which showed protestors chanting “Iran Barra..Barra. Baghdad Tibqa Hurrah” (Iran out, Baghdad remains free). Analysts and mainstream media —primarily people sitting thousands of kilometres away from Iraq who have never visited the country, and never mixed with the population long enough to understand the dynamics of the country and how Iraqis really think – reflected and amplified the opinion that Iraq has become hostile to Iran.

However, though every wish can come true, yet prevailing winds can defy our hopes and expectations. Analysts’ wishful thinking overwhelmed their sense of reality, notably the possibility of realities invisible to them. They fell into the same trap of misinformation and ignorance that has shaped western opinion since the occupation of Iraq in 2003. The invasion of Iraq was justified by the presence of “Weapons of Mass Destruction” which never existed. An information war was waged against Syria with the goal of overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad. The US supported terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda for this purpose. Mainstream media coverage of the war in Syria- mainly through WhatsApp, social media, Skype, activists and jihadists- unfolded at the expense of destroying its own credibility, and that of western journalism in general.

The shameful irresponsibility of these reporters and analysts became obvious to a large part of the public. There was no accountability for mass media deceptions: virtually all western media were in the same boat, totally lacking the necessary professionalism. Western media became a mockery of the noble and demanding profession of journalism and its mandate to report and share information without manipulation. Journalists were forced to follow newspaper editorial policies and the political views of their owner- he who pays the piper calls the tune!

Malice, stupidity of US terrorist forces to further strengthen tree of resistance in region: FM Zarif’, January 3, 2020, tehrantimes.com

“Among the believers are men true to what they promised Allah. Among them is he who has fulfilled his vow [to the death], and among them is he who awaits [his chance]. And they did not alter [the terms of their commitment] by any alteration,” reads the statement as reported by the Foreign Ministry website.”

““The Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran will tap into all its political, legal, and international capacities to implement the decisions made by the Supreme National Security Council in order to hold the criminal and terrorist regime of the US accountable for this blatant crime,” he added.”

(cross-posted at caucus99percnt.com)

24 responses to “#Insanity: US Hot War on Iran; the assassination of Qassem Soleimani

  1. Today’s developments:

    Al Arabiya:

    Several rockets fell on Saturday near the United States embassy in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone which houses government buildings and foreign missions but caused no casualties, the Iraqi military said.

    The rockets fell inside the Green Zone’s Celebrations Square, near the US embassy.

    Sirens immediately rang out at the American compound in the area hosting both diplomats and troops, according to sources.

    In another incident, a mortar fell in Baghdad’s Jadriya neighborhood wounding five people.

    “Several rockets targeting Celebration Square and the Jadriya area in Baghdad, and the Balad air base in Salahuddin province, with no loss of life. Further details to come,” the military said in a statement.

  2. Scott Ritter Op-Ed:

    The US unwittingly helped create Qassem Soleimani. Then they killed him.

    The US is unprepared for the consequences of its assassination of Qassem Soleimani, if only because it knows nothing about the reality of the man it murdered, and can’t gauge the impact of his death on Iran or the Middle East.

    Qassem Soleimani, an Iranian military commander whose paramilitary organization, known as the Quds Force, helped position Iran as a modern regional power, was assassinated on January 3, 2020, on order of the President of the United States, Donald Trump. American political leaders of both major parties have been united in their description of Soleimani as an evil man whose death should be celebrated, even while the consequences of his demise remain unknown.

    “The reality is that the only thing more dangerous for the US than a world where Qassem Soleimani is living is a one where Qassem Soleimani is dead, murdered on orders of an American President.”

    Also available – Chris Hedges dark read over at TruthDig:

    War With Iran

    “The assassination by the United States of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, near Baghdad’s airport will ignite widespread retaliatory attacks against U.S. targets from Shiites, who form the majority in Iraq. It will activate Iranian-backed militias and insurgents in Lebanon and Syria and throughout the Middle East. The existing mayhem, violence, failed states and war, the result of nearly two decades of U.S. blunders and miscalculations in the region, will become an even wider and more dangerous conflagration. The consequences are ominous. Not only will the U.S. swiftly find itself under siege in Iraq and perhaps driven out of the country—there is only a paltry force of 5,200 U.S. troops in Iraq, all U.S. citizens in Iraq have been told to leave the country “immediately” and the embassy and consular services have been closed—but the situation could also draw us into a war directly with Iran. The American Empire, it seems, will die not with a whimper but a bang.

    • thanks; i’d just read scott ritter’s op-ed, and what i hadn’t known is:

      ‘The US invasion of Iraq in 2003 created another opportunity for Iranian-American cooperation, which the US promptly fumbled. While Iran had no desire for increased American military presence in the region, it found common cause with the US in removing its archenemy, Saddam Hussein, from power.

      The Americans, however, were ill-prepared to cope with the reality of a post-Saddam Iraq, especially one where the majority Shi’a population would demand a major role in determining how Iraq would be governed. When the US started turning its guns on Shi’a forces, Soleimani and his Quds Force took the lead in organizing anti-American resistance in Iraq, leading to increasingly violent clashes that resulted in significant American casualties.’
      ‘Soleimani did not emerge in a vacuum, but rather was the manifestation of the logical response of Iran to external threats brought on by the actions of others. Iran’s role in Lebanon was defined by Israel’s decision to invade and occupy southern Lebanon in 1982; the creation of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement followed.’

      hedges mirrors bill van auken, which i stuck in over yonder, but his is a much more scathing indictment of thug trump’s hypocrisy and idiotic and dangerous ineptitude: ‘The murder of Qassem Soleimani and assassination as state policy’.

      i guess i pasted in most all of it, but then the comment spaces there are a lot larger. four paragraphs among many jewels:

      “This crime, driven by increasing US desperation over its position in the Middle East and the mounting internal crisis within the Trump administration, is staggering in its degree of recklessness and lawlessness. The resort by the United States to such a heinous act testifies to the fact that it has failed to achieve any of the strategic objectives that led to the invasions of Iraq in 1991 and 2003.

      The murder of Soleimani is the culmination of a protracted process of the criminalization of American foreign policy. “Targeted killings,” a term introduced into the lexicon of world imperialist politics by Israel, have been employed by US imperialism against alleged terrorists in countries stretching from South Asia to the Middle East and Africa over the course of nearly two decades. It is unprecedented, however, for the president of the United States to order and then publicly claim responsibility for the killing of a senior government official who was legally and openly visiting a third country.

      Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’s Quds Force, was not an Osama bin Laden or Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. On the contrary, he played a pivotal role in defeating the forces of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which those two figures, both assassinated by US special operations death squads, had led.”
      “Who does the US president think he is fooling with his Mafia rhetoric? The last 20 years have seen the Middle East devastated by a series of US imperialist interventions. The illegal 2003 US invasion of Iraq, based on lies about “weapons of mass destruction,” claimed the lives of over a million people, while decimating what had been the among the most advanced societies in the Arab world. Together with Washington’s eighteen-year-long war in Afghanistan and the regime-change wars launched in Libya and Syria, US imperialism has unleashed a regionwide crisis that has killed millions and forced tens of millions to flee their homes.”

      stolen from moon of alabama this morning, this is fascinating stuff re: israel’s push for war on iran:

      • that didn’t show the whole thread as indicated: here’s the MoA piece:

        “Fact is that Trump is following the plan of the Foundation of the Defense of Democracy (FDD) which was originally founded as EMET (Hebrew for “truth”), “to provide education to enhance Israel’s image in North America.” Undercover video from Al Jazeerah caught the Israeli ex-intel official Sima Vakhnin-Gil in 2017 saying “We have FDD” when she was asked how Israel lobbies for its interests.

        Dan Cohen @dancohen3000 – 5:23 UTC · Jan 4, 2020
        FDD is an Israeli government front group. Trump mega donor Bernard “Iran is the devil” Marcus pays 1/3 of its budget. FDD advisor Richard Goldberg was appointed to National Security Council to push for attacking Iran. FDD continued to pay his salary.

        FDD was tasked by Israel to instigate a U.S. war on Iran. Following FDD’s plans Trump and his advisors are trying to provoke Iran to retaliate in a way that allows them to launch such a war.”

        this also gave me the shivers:

        elijah’s promised new one is up now, and he’s a pretty fine analyst:

  3. h/t greyson smythe and mr. wd:

    meanwhile, sputnik news is reporting: ‘UK Nuclear Sub ‘in Position to Strike Iran’ Amid Tensions Over Soleimani’s Killing – Report’

    bill de blasio says NYC is on high alert for a terrorist attack from iran; ““If this turns into a full-scale shooting war, and right now it’s the direction it’s going in, we would be fools to assume that this doesn’t end up with multiple acts of terror here in the United States eventually,” said de Blasio.” he noted that iran has often been coping out targets in NYC. Wall Street?

  4. CNN, By Fred Pleitgen, Tim Lister and Schams Elwazer, Jan 5


    “The military adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader said Sunday that Tehran’s response to the killing by the United States of its most most influential general will “for sure be military.”
    “It might be argued that there could be proxy operations. We can say America, Mr. Trump, has taken action directly against us — so we take direct action against America.”
    In common with other Iranian officials, Dehghan suggested that Iran was in no hurry to retaliate and would choose its targets carefully. “Our reaction will be wise, well considered and in time, with decisive deterrent effect.”
    Late Saturday, President Donald Trump tweeted that “If Iran attacks an American Base, or any American, we will be sending some of that brand new beautiful equipment their way…and without hesitation!

    The President continued: “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!”

    Dehghan responded defiantly to Trump’s warning.

    “It was America that has started the war. Therefore, they should accept appropriate reactions to their actions,” he said.

    “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. Afterward they should not seek a new cycle.”
    Iran’s will to defend its interests “has increased a thousand times. We don’t feel anything. We have a logic, the logic of martyrdom.”

    • …The interviewer (in the CNN video at the link above) says he broached the topic of Trump’s threat against 52 targets in Iran; in response, Dehghan indicated that would be considered a war crime, and that “the gloves would come off”.

      This concludes the saber-rattling portion of the program. Lets hope (against hope) that it doesn’t come to that.

      • thanks greyson; and yes, let’s hope DT hasn’t started WW III. these are from the iranian foreign minister (diplomat):

  5. New York Times, By Helene Cooper, Eric Schmitt, Maggie Haberman and Rukmini Callimachi, January 4, As Tensions With Iran Escalated, Trump Opted for Most Extreme Measure

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence were two of the most hawkish voices arguing for a response to Iranian aggression, according to administration officials. Mr. Pence’s office helped run herd on meetings and conference calls held by officials in the run-up to the strike.

    Now the truth on the #SuleimaniAssassination begins to emerge. Officials briefed on the intel reveal the claims of an Iranian plan for an "imminent" attack on U.S. interests in the region was a fiction, and that Pompeo was at the center of the plot. https://t.co/b8bilvCqLp— Gareth Porter (@GarethPorter) January 5, 2020


    Vox: Mike Pompeo, Trump’s pick for secretary of state, talks about politics as a battle of good and evil.

    Slate: “This Evil Is All Around Us”, By Michelle Goldberg, January 12, 2017
    Trump’s pick for the CIA, Mike Pompeo, sees foreign policy as a vehicle for holy war.

    Washington Post: What you need to know about Mike Pence’s speech to Christians United for Israel, By Dan Hummel, January 17, 2017
    Pence’s speech could undermine America’s ability to serve as an honest broker in the Middle East.

    Trump’s foreign policy looks a lot like Rapture Christians’ plan to welcome the apocalypse, By Heather Timmons, May 15, 2018

    • boy, howdy; i sure wish there’d been some actual ‘there’ there in the NYT ‘pompeo’s idea’ piece. but the four sure believe, as do all the D team that soleimani was a bad guy terrorist, don’t they? it took four of them to parse he-said anonymous opinions? yeah, pompeo’s quite the evangelical, as DT pretends to be: ‘gawd is on our side!’

      fun title by heather timmons in 2018, though, eh?

      i’d come over to the café last night to grab an image in my media files, and found this comment hung up in spam. i suppose word press’s askimet thought you’d included too many links.

      best piece i’ve read in a long time (contra the D team), amazing breadth and depth:

  6. Hey wendye! It’s your old pal Dancing Rabbit from ‘way down South in Mississippi! I’m looking for Big Al who seems to have quit caucus 99percent. Would you know where he might be? I’m up to rabble-rousing doing my little bit to bring down the Empire … ! Got some pals – call themselves Become Ungovernable – planning a DC action next October that I thought he might want to get in on – and you, too, as far as promoting the effort goes. Righting our listing state of craft is not gonna be easy, but no one else is putting their shoulders to the effort so it’s on us. I’m here. Are you in on it too? Where’s Al? Juliana? Anyone else? (Snoopydawg from c99?)

    • mornin’, wascally wabbit; nice to see you. juliania was on the comment list until i’d answered greyson, lol, but her first loves for commenting are the saker, moon of alabama…and okay, naked capitalism. but it’s always nice to see her here when she stops by.

      snoopy dawg’s of course at c99%, bloggin’ up a storm!

      big al finally got banned from c99%, and came here. this is his website:

      we’d recently gotten in a kerfuffle over his take on the empire v. iran, and he finally told me to fuck off. it took him three comments to get there, and i left them up until christmas then deleted them as a gift to the Café. i also removed him from the author list, as telling one’s host to fuck off isn’t very polite. ; )

      nah, i’m pretty much stuck here, but thanks for the invitation. you might like to sign up for the popular resistance newsletter to discover where different civil society actions are occurring, in this case ‘anti-war’.


      sounds like things must be going well for you, and that’s a good thing..

    • again, askimet deemed your comment too many links’, but at least i got ‘moderate this comment’ from wordpess in my junk mail. perhaps limit a comment to two? i appreciate the craig murray ones, esp referencing ‘the bethleham doctrine’. juan coles’ we’ve covered, and your reuters one goes to voice of america, US sponsored.

      as with your NYT piece on pompeo b at MoA had a bit of fun w/ the psyop of it all. i dunno how far to go with this, as my cross-post at c99% is already a dead thread on page 3…but there are 99 new ones up.

      i’d all add a few i still have on this word document for now; first the new collateral murder video:

      and this exposé of VOA:

      the pentagon has discredited this, trump seems not to have…all is chaos in his administration:

      elijah magnier on twitter 11m11 minutes ago

      ‘Need to update you on the movement of the #US forces in #Iraq these days:
      #US forces moved large effective from the military bases in
      Balad, Taji, Salam and reduced personnel from the US embassy.

      However, they fortified Ayn al-Assad, Gay’yara and the
      5 bases in Erbil and Duhoq.

      wapo used some dude with an iraqi arabic name recently, thinking that would legitimize their bullshit. media matters, of course, as an example: the NY/CIA Times teaming up with the intercept on ‘insider leaks from iran’. cripes, yeah. and of course ‘Pierre’ is iranian.

  7. Indeed I’ve been going where I can on this subject, wendye, and I guess you would have read Nasrullah’s speech at Saker (apologies if you linked to it already). I did read some of Michael Hudson there also, but here’s the thing – I don’t think economics (though he may be right on about it being all ‘baked in’ from earlier planning by the strategeryists) is what this is all about. What struck me in that speech was sincerity and the cameraderie of two old friends, as in the friendship between the two main victims. And from the speech comes a real sense of what all those countries have been facing since Bush and Cheney did Shock and Awe – it’s been ongoing. We watched; they lived it.

    I was also impressed on the subjects of martyrdom and faith. This is not fanatacism of the Wahhabi sort. These were men you could love and be torn by their sacrifice. Not kids rushing off to have lots of virgins in paradise. This is real, the way native beliefs are real, having a connection to one another as a people. Which the elites of this country, the US, has lost. They are, we are, as confused as the deplorables.

    I don’t think it will be war. But it will be an outpouring from the entire region – and like Canute against the incoming tide, that’s Trump. What the region will be is as was Putin when the US was begging him to go to war for Ukraine – baiting him on that, wanting him to Saddam Hussein them so they could have an excuse to up the ante. And that’s what I think they were looking for here as well. Up the ante, give us an excuse to roll in with the tanks after some ‘Shock and Awe.’ They don’t seem able to grasp what has happened, what can happen now. This is not economics, this is like the Kennedy assassinations, Martin Luther King. Big.

    I remember Saker, after pronouncing something massive in store from Russia at the Ukraine confrontation point backtracked, seeing a waiting game as more productive. Then, we thought the economics would sink US plans – it’s been a long time coming but maybe it’s here. Or, maybe it has come again, an opening in the clouds to see something quite beautiful, if we can.

    Sad the cost.

    • no, i haven’t read anything at the saker since his predictions on ukraine, which were murky at best, especially given all his updates. same for his prognostications on syria, iirc.

      well, it’s war already,, of course, given these barbaric assassinations, and the absolute need for iran to respond. when and how are the only remaining questions. but you’re right, soleimani didn’t ask to be martyred, not did abu mahdi for their beliefs in the afterlife.

      but this doesn’t seen like simple bombast to me, given that the Ds have also bought into the soleimani as ‘evil man mass-murderer’ propaganda:

      6 b-52 bombers with nuclear bombs aboard have been sent to diego garcia; two others are already in qatar. wsws has a round up of more troops:

      “The US troops being deployed include a specialized unit of Army Rangers, a battalion of the 75th 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.”

      The military web site 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 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a series of Sunday television interviews, when he directly threatened that Suleimani might not be the last Iranian leader targeted by the US military. Any retaliation by Iran for the killing of Suleimani would meet a US 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 USS Bataan, who were 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.”

      meanwhile, iranian FM zarif has been refused permission to enter the US to attend an upcoming UN session, but by jove the sauds can just walk right in. it was good to read that mutti merkel and her FM will meet with putin in moscow, though.

      i reckon i’ve never been more afraid of this as prelude to a nuclear WW III, juliania.

  8. Maybe that was a bit of a puzzle. I only meant something quite beautiful in the Middle East, as I think happened in Russia, though not yet in Ukraine.

  9. greyson, re: Craig Murray, Lies, the Bethlehem Doctrine, and the Illegal Murder of Soleimani, January 4, it was fscinating, and new to me was Evangelical Rapture Pence’s claim that solemani was responsible for 9/11. whoosh.

    but the imminence argument was bolstered by this great psyop via john steppling on twitter ( think i’d brought it here, i did at c99%):

    “TEL AVIV: Five days ago, an undisclosed intelligence agency intercepted a telephone call made by the head of Iran’s Quds Force, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, in which he was heard ordering his proxies in Iraq to attack the US embassy in Baghdad, as well as other Israeli and American targets, with the aim of taking hostages, Israeli sources say.

    It’s unclear whether this was a lapse in tradecraft on the part of the usually savvy Soleimani or whether the notorious Iranian military leader’s phone calls were being routinely intercepted. Nor is it clear whether it was the US or another foe of Iran that made the intercept. Regardless, the intelligence seems to have led directly to Soleimani’s killing yesterday, which has thrown the Mideast into uproar.”

    on edit: re: Craig Murray, The USA Doubles Down on its Saudi Allegiance, January 3

    oh, my, what a wide-ranging memory he has! i’ll choose these several passages as my faves, though:

    “That US influence was balanced by strong Iranian aligned militia forces who were an alternative source of strength to the government of Baghdad, and of course by the fact that the centre of Sunni tribal strength, the city of Falluja, had itself been obliterated by the United States, three times, in an act of genocide of Iraqi Sunni population.

    Through all this the Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi had until now tiptoed with great care. Pro-Iranian yet a long term American client, his government maintained a form of impartiality based on an open hand to accept massive bribes from anybody. That is now over. He is pro-Iranian now.

    Such precarious balance as there ever was in Iraq was upset this last two months when the US and Israelis transported more of their ISIL Sunni jihadists into Iraq, to escape the pincer of the Turkish, Russian and Syrian government forces. The Iranians were naturally not going to stand for this and Iranian militias were successfully destroying the ISIL remnants, which is why General Qassem Suleimani was in Iraq, why a US mercenary assisting ISIL was killed in an Iranian militia rocket attack, and why Syrian military representatives were being welcomed at Baghdad airport.

    Nevertheless, Tel Aviv and Riyadh will also be celebrating today at the idea that their dream of the USA destroying their regional rival Iran, as Iraq and Libya were destroyed, is coming closer. The USA could do this. The impact of technology on modern warfare should not be underestimated. There is a great deal of wishful thinking that fantasises about US military defeat, but it is simply unrealistic if the USA actually opted for full scale invasion. Technology is a far greater factor in warfare than it was in the 1960s. The USA could destroy Iran, but the cost and the ramifications would be enormous, and not only the entire Middle East but much of South Asia would be destabilised, including of course Pakistan. My reading of Trump remains that he is not a crazed Clinton type war hawk and it will not happen. We all have to pray it does not.”

    i’d say that PM abdul-mahdi was put into office by amerika the beautiful, though.

  10. this is by way of a test to see if i’ve maged to change the css code here to enlarge the tweets in comments:

    on edit: it worked; tweets were 55% regular size, i’ve upped them to 70%. better, or too large? mr. wd prefers this size….

  11. It is certainly true that madmen could accomplish this, wendye -the destruction of the world. What I see in Zarif’s tweets here is his urgency to unite the Islamic world, not in order to conquer anyone but to defend themselves against this horror. I fervently wish that will cause peaceful changes with respect to who is occupying whom. But that is all I can do, unless willing it is in some way, some insignificant minor way, a help to having it happen.

    This is rather like saying that sunlight is the best disinfectant. I do believe more people, aghast at this occurrence, are taking a new look at this government and at what it has been set upon, and a new look at those they thought were their foes. Where is the bloodthirstiness being made evident now? Trump and even his son are boasting of what they have done, but what is laudable about such a thing? We were not at war with these people – are you insane? Who can be not affrighted at this prospect?

    I suppose it will be necessary for Trump himself to start foaming at the mouth and smashing up the White House before anyone will have the boldness to restrain him, but that is the news I really long to hear. This is beyond party politics. This is a matter of world survival.

    I can only pray for peace, and the new world that is possible should common sense prevail.

    • yes, insanity, as per the title of this diary beginning with ‘#Insanity’. i do understand whose boodthirstiness it is, as seemingly most of the civilized world does. i share yours and zarif’s hopes that this will mean the end of the US in west asia.

      who will stop madman trump? and madman pompeo? not the democrats, or the speaker of the house, it seems:

      “In Washington, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democratic members that she would support the introduction of a “War Powers Resolution” limiting any US 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 Republican-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, “the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner.” (wsws.org)


      wsws also has a piece up deconstructing soleimani as a mass-murder, etc. and his actual biography/cv in the context of iranian history since the overthrow of mossadegh by the cia and MI5.

      yes i pray that cooler heads will prevail, as well, and will bring this once again as a closing prayer. timeless, it seems:

  12. oh, and i’d forgotten to add this, reflecting a longer piece RT.com has up now; the issue has been sorted, goddam it, but no surprise, this reTweet by the sec of defense:

    on evening edit:Iran claims Al-Asad missile strike as revenge for Soleimani, demands US withdrawal from Iraq8 Jan, 2020, RT.com

    i hadn’t found it on FarsNews english, nor on twitter, but i reckon it’s true.

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