Closing Thought–06Jan20

Waiting for World War 3!

With the tensions in the Middle East rising by the hour…..there seems to be a new interest in the possibility of a World War 3…..

Google Trends saw a spike of ‘World War 3’ searches on Friday just hours after a top Iranian commander was shot dead by a US  airstrike  at Baghdad international airport.

Top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani was killed after America conducted airstrikes near Baghdad’s international airport.

The general’s death, confirmed by both Iran and the US, represents the most dramatic escalation between the two countries in recent history.

The Pentagon said US President Donald Trump had ordered Soleimani’s “killing” in ‘retaliation’ to a mob earlier this week besieging the US embassy in Baghdad.

Reacting to the incident, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has vowed to take “severe revenge” for Soleimani’s death.

The heightening tensions sparked panic across the globe, with many struggling to make sense of what comes next.

The sense of uncertainty was captured in a sudden spike in searches for the term ‘world war 3’ recorded by Google Trends.

Likewise, Iran was the number 2 most searched trend on Google in the United States, with more than 500,000 searches for the topic. Qassem Soleimani was number 5.

I have written about this possibility before……https://lobotero.com/2018/11/30/what-of-a-world-war-3/

We are looking at another war……

As peace advocates voiced alarm at the very real prospect of all-out conflict with Iran following the assassination Thursday night of that country’s top military leader on orders from U.S. President Donald Trump, war hawks who have had their crosshairs trained on Iran for years enthusiastically celebrated Trump’s decision—and even suggested the president should go further by targeting the nation’s oil refineries.

“To the Iranian government:  If you want to stay in the oil business leave America and our allies alone and stop being the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world,” tweeted Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a longtime supporter of regime change in Iran.

Republican Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Tom Cotton (Ark.), Jim Risch (R.-Idaho), and Ben Sasse (Neb.) joined the chorus of applause, hailing Trump for taking “decisive action.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/01/03/world-war-iii-trends-hawks-rejoice-trump-decision-assassinate-iranian-military

Please allow sanity to return to the field.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Impeachment Vs Civics

The Congress is back in session and the big picture is the wait for the Senate’s trial of Pres. Trump’s articles of impeachment.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will preside over the trial….in this case it will be Chief Justice Roberts and he has made his thoughts about use of disinformation and civics be known before the trial begins…..

As false information and rumor spread instantly online, John Roberts said, it’s even more important that Americans understand how their government works. But civics education has “fallen by the wayside,” the chief justice said in his annual report on the federal judiciary, and Americans “have come to take democracy for granted.” Roberts said judges are helping to fill that gap, Reuters reports, citing Merrick Garland’s tutoring at an elementary school. Garland is the judge whose Supreme Court nomination by President Barack Obama was blocked by Senate Republicans.

Roberts did not mention permitting televising or streaming audio of the Supreme Court’s oral arguments, per the Washington Post, which many have advocated as a way to show government’s workings. He did give as an example the court’s landmark desegregation ruling in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. “Chief Justice Earl Warren illustrated the power of a judicial decision as a teaching tool,” Roberts wrote. Warren’s ruling, he said, was “a mere 11 pages—short enough that newspapers could publish all or almost all of it and every citizen could understand the court’s rationale.”

You see I agree with Roberts about the lack of civics education among Americans…..

https://lobotero.com/2011/04/04/washington-needs-a-civics-class/

https://lobotero.com/2019/12/09/civics-will-solve-any-problems/

All this is a precursor to the beginning of the impeachment trial…..and the Senators need this instruction because of the statements they have made about the trial and its evidence.

Personally, I do not think it will make any difference Senators have said they have made up their minds before the trial has begun….do not be surprised for that is a prime example of the American judicial system at work.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Should We Go Or Should We Stay?

The death ofm the Iranian general has had a flurry of statements and Tweets (mostly by Trump)….plus the SecState Pompeo on every Sunday news channel to regurgitate a pathetic clarification of what the attacks were all about and what we should do……

The usual chest thumping by Trump and the warhawks…..but the big news was the vote in the Iraqi Parliament…..

Iraq’s Parliament, the Council of Representatives (CoR), passed a non-binding resolution to cancel the request for military aid from the government of Iraq to the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition. The resolution does not require a U.S. withdrawal, which only the Prime Minister can order by rescinding the Status of Forces Agreement with the U.S. It is unclear whether caretaker Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mehdi has the authority to do so. The CoR resolution sets political conditions to justify subsequent Iranian proxy attacks on U.S. forces and installations, however. Nationalist Shi’a Cleric Muqtada al Sadr also called for the mobilization of new “resistance” groups to support such attacks.
 
Iraq’s parliament passed a non-binding resolution rejecting the presence of U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. 172 members of the Iraqi Council of Representatives (CoR) convened on Sunday, January 5 in an “extraordinary session” to discuss the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian IRGC Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Committee Deputy Chief and Kata’ib Hezbollah commander Abu Mehdi al-Muhandis on January 3, 2020. Kurdish political parties boycotted the session, as did many Sunni political parties. Caretaker Prime Minister (PM) Adel Abdul Mehdi submitted the resolution. It passed with 170 votes.
 
The resolution does not require an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces. The CoR’s resolution asks the Government of Iraq (GoI) to cancel the 2014 military aid request from the GoI to coalition forces. The resolution does not explicitly ask the GoI to revoke the State of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the U.S. and Iraq. It does, however, say the GoI “must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason.” It also calls on the Iraqi government to establish a timetable for the withdrawal of all foreign troops. The CoR cannot itself cancel the 2014 request for coalition support or the SOFA, which requires executive action from the PM. It is unclear if PM Mehdi has the legal authority to do so given his status as a caretaker PM. Mehdi resigned on November 29, 2019 during mass protests.
 
Nationalist Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr may participate in attacks on US forces and installations. The leader of Sadr’s Toward Reform bloc issued a statement to the CoR on Sadr’s behalf that included demands for an even greater response. In addition to withdrawing from U.S. security agreements, Sadr called for the immediate closure of the “Embassy of American Evil in Iraq,” the closure of U.S. bases in the country, the “humiliating expulsion” of U.S. troops, the “criminalization” of any communication with the U.S. government, and the boycott of American products. In a tweet following the session, Sadr condemned the CoR resolution as insufficient and called on “the Iraqi resistance factions in particular and the factions outside of Iraq for an immediate meeting to announce the formation of “international resistance groups.”
 
Implications: This resolution renders the maintenance of a U.S. or coalition military presence in Iraq politically difficult but does not yet legally require a U.S. withdrawal. However, it solidifies the Iranian narrative of a U.S. “occupation” of Iraq and sets political conditions to justify subsequent attacks on U.S. forces across the Middle East. These escalations will likely come not only from Iran’s direct proxy militias, but also from a pan-Shi’a resistance movement that Muqtada al-Sadr is now attempting to generate. The Iraqi Security Forces have up until this point depended on coalition military support to sustain pressure on the Islamic State (ISIS). Any withdrawal of coalition forces from Iraq offers ISIS increased freedom of movement and improves conditions for ISIS to reconstitute itself inside of Iraq and Syria.
Iraq wants the US to leave and yet we say “no way”…….what part of that is anything but an authoritarian approach to the situation?
 
That said let’s return to SecState Pompeo and his performance on the Sunday talk shows…..

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hit the Sunday talk-show circuit and blamed the entire Iran crisis on former President Obama, USA Today reports. “We’re trying to correct for what was the Obama administration’s appeasement of Iran,” Pompeo said on ABC News’ This Week, after President Trump ordered the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, sparking protests in Iran and threats of retaliation. “This is a regime that has been acting against America for an awfully long time. And we are suffering from eight years of neglect and we’re trying to push it back. We’re trying to contain them.” Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, he referred to the current conflict as a “war,” saying “this war kicked off” when Obama and the European Union signed its nuclear deal with Iran. For more:

  • ‘BS’: “This is BS from Pompeo,” tweeted former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes. “This isn’t a ‘both sides argue’ issue, it’s about facts: Iran was complying with deal that rolled back nuke program and there were 0 rocket attacks on US interests in Iraq during that time. Trump pulled out and Iran resumed nuke program and rocket attacks.”
  • ‘Endless war’: “I really worry that the actions the president took will get us into what he calls another ‘endless war’ in the Middle East,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) on This Week, per the Washington Post. “He promised we wouldn’t have that. And I think we’re closer to that now because of his actions.”
  • ‘Act of war’: “Let’s not mince words: the assassination of Qasem Soleimani was an act of war undertaken without Congressional authorization,” write Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Barbara Lee (D-Texas) in a statement, per KSTP. “…We in Congress must exercise our Constitutional duty—and do everything in our power to stop another disastrous war.”
  • In his defense: Trump “is not saying, ‘Congress, I need 100,000 American troops to invade Iran.’ That’s why all this talk about war powers and congressional authority is so silly,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) on CBS’s Face the Nation, per the Sun-Sentinel. “The president’s not talking about invading Iran. He’s talking about responding to anything Iran may do in the future.”
  • More Pompeo: “Endless wars are the direct result of weakness,” Pompeo said on Fox News Sunday, per RealClearPolitics. “And President Trump will never let that happen. We’re going to get it right.”

So much spin…like the attack will prevent a war……Trump will never let our wars become endless……two examples of manure spreading.

Sorry but targeting cultural sites is targeting civilians….is they what them US has come to?  If so then we are no better than some of the “terrorists” we are supposedly fighting.

All this chaos is looking like “amateur hour” foreign policy.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Professor’s Classroom

Yet another shirt quiz from 2007……this one is from our “Wild West” and should be a piece of cake for those interested in those days. Enjoy….chuq

In Saner Thought

My head tells me it is Monday and the class must be started. Sorry, but It is my job! LOL

Keeping with the NA thing this is another question along those lines.

“The only good Indian is a dead Indian” that quote comes from Gen. Philip Sheridan which is not what he said, the real quote is as follows.

“The only good Indians I ever saw were dead”.

Any who, what incident happen that made Sheridan utter his infamous quote?

Good luck and good hunting! Do you research quietly, I am gonna take a nap.

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Is That The Smell Of War?

Just last weekend the US sent a drone to kill the general of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard……but it was not intended to start a war…..at least that is the statement from Trump….

In the wake of Thursday night’s assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the Pentagon offered a legal justification by claiming there was an “imminent” attack being plotted at the time.

That’s the go-to excuse for US airstrikes, but it is conspicuous that in all that’s been said on the high-profile assassination, the Pentagon is absolutely refusing to offer any details on what that threat actually was.

That’s not insignificant, to the extent that the US is going to try to argue a legal pretext for an act of war launched outside of a Congressional authorization. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was similarly light on details, but claimed it would have “put dozens if not hundreds of American lives at risk.”

There are details sorely lacking in all of this, and evidence as well. Sen. McConnell (R-KY) suggested some Senators might get a classified debriefing next week, but that still leaves the public in the dark as the attack risks starting a war.

The lack of specificity leaves open room for speculation. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was eager to get in on this, claiming Soleimani was plotting a coup in Iraq at the time. He similarly offered no evidence, and given Iran’s close ties to the Iraqi government, it seems highly unlikely.

Adding to doubts about the imminent threat is the Department of Homeland Security, which even after the attack claims there is no domestic threat at all. While New York officials say they are bracing for an attack, the signs point to there being no intelligence at all

(antiwar.com)

The action was taken to stop a war?

Then why a large deployment of troops?

Iran is threatening a “harsh retaliation” after the attack, and the US intends to deploy another 3,500 troops to Iraq and the surrounding area in anticipation of this escalating further. Iran says retaliation will be at a time of their choice.

The timing of the 3,500 more troops arriving is unclear, though they’ll likely mostly arrive in Kuwait. This plans are in addition to 750 sent earlier this week, and 4,000 announced at the time.

This caps off a shockingly escalatory week that has left the US on the brink of war with Iran and, realistically, with Iraq as well. On last Friday, a series of rockets hit an Iraqi base, killing a US contractor. The US blamed an Iraqi militia, and on Sunday attacked five of the militia’s bases, killing 25. The militia responded with protests at the US Embassy, which the US blamed on Iran, and by Thursday had escalated that to killing Gen. Soleimani when he arrived at the Iraqi airport.

(antiwar.com)

Analysts have said this attack was an act of war, and the US rushing troops to the region shows that they are expecting retaliation.

I would like to see the intel for myself…..I am suspicious of the timing of this action only because of something said in the past by Trump……

Does a threat constitute a de-escalation?

Trump has now announced, via Twitter, that the US has singled out 52 Iranian sites, which he says represents the 52 hostages from the 1979-80 hostage situation, that the US will attack if Iran strikes “any Americans, or American assets.”

Trump was vague on what he intended to attack, saying they were “important to Iran & the Iranian culture.” It is noted that deliberate attacks on cultural heritage sites is illegal under international law.

Trump’s announcement is likely mostly about Iranian Gen. Gholamali Abuhamzeh saying there are 35 US targets in the region, and Trump wanting to have even more targets. It makes sense that more Iranian targets would exist, the US threats centering on Iran.

Iran is in a difficult position on potential retaliation, given the high-profile nature of the US attack, and Soleimani’s importance within Iran’s military. The US and Iran have hit each other in small ways for years, with bigger attacks deterred by the threat of equally damaging retaliation.

Avoiding full war is always an Iranian priority, but the US attack throws their deterrence into doubt. If Iran does not work something out, or carry out a commensurate measure, the risk would be that the US believes they can carry out attacks of this level with impunity.

(antiwar.com)

I have criticized our president and his lack of knowledge of international situations….like the time in a phone interview when asked about al-Quds he told them about the Kurds.

But it is not just him, them president, that is clueless internationally…..the VP is just as f*cking ignorant….

Vice President Mike Pence defended President Donald Trump’s decision to authorize a drone strike that killed Iran’s top intelligence commander, Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani, in a series of tweets that pushed a conspiracy theory that ties the Sept. 11, 2001 attack to Iran even though there is no proof to make that connection.

In a series of tweets, Pence called Soleimani “an evil man who was responsible for killings thousands of Americans.” The vice president went on to say that Soleimani “assisted in the clandestine travel to Afghanistan of 10 of the 12 terrorists who carried out the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.” It is far from clear how Pence made that conclusion that is not supported by what is publicly known about both Soleimani and those who carried out the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/01/pence-falsely-links-soleimani-9-11-attacks-justify-assassination.html

I have called Trump’s foreign policy knee jerk and chaotic…..and things like these are why I do so.,,,,the Big 4, Trump, Pence, Pompeo and Esper, are a clueless batch that is leading our foreign policy….it will come to NO good mark my words.

Just a thought.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”