Closing Thought–17Jan20

I think most Americans agree that this Iranian general was a “bad guy”….and it is a matter opinion on whether he deserved assassination….my opinion is that he did not especially since he was carrying some peace offering to the Saudis.

There seems to be a disconnect between the officials and the American people…..a new poll shows the divide…..

A new poll from Politico-Morning Consult shows the American public substantially less on board with escalatory violence against Iran than media coverage of the situation would generally lead one to believe.

The poll showed the decision to assassinate top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani was highly controversial. Despite weeks of vilifying Soleimani, only 44% support his killing, and 38% continue to disapprove.

There was a lot more unity on the response to Iran’s retaliation for the killing, with 71% approving of not responding militarily to that, and only 14% disapproving. It seems further escalating the conflict is something almost nobody wanted.

(antiwar.com)

That said….the president and his boyz have said that the US embassies were in danger is one reason he was taken out…..okay but so far their explanations have been far short of convincing…..and since their story has fallen apart the Pentagon has decided that Congress does not need that briefing they were promised…..

The State Department’s cancellation of two classified congressional briefings to address embassy security and Iran policy sparked lawmakers’ ire in Wednesday, according to Politico.

“This briefing is required by law every month, and today’s was the most important we’ve had scheduled in a long time,” a House aide told the publication. “The State Department has given us no explanation whatsoever.”

Several senior Foggy Bottom officials — including Brian Hook, special envoy for Iran, and David Schenker, assistant secretary of State for the Middle East — were scheduled to brief the Senate Foreign Relations Committee prior to the cancellation, Politico reported, citing a Senate aide.

Initially the embassy security briefing was to address conditions in the East African nation of Burundi, but the topic was broadened to general facility security amid U.S./Iran tensions following the U.S. killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike.

The White House initially claimed the strike was in response to an unspecified imminent threat posed by Soleimani, but President Trump later told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that Soleimani was plotting attacks on four U.S. embassies, which contradicted a briefing that administration officials gave lawmakers in the aftermath of the strike. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday conceded that he had not seen intelligence showing an imminent embassy attack.

(thehill.com)

Just thought you might like to know the rest of the story……

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Soleimani–The Rest Of The Story

By now everyone has heard the news . the attack that killed a high ranking Iranian general …if you have not then just go back under your rock and wait for the end to come.

But like all things in the Trump White House…..it has been reported that the general was in Iraq to deliver a message from Iran on the peace proposal with the Saudis…..

the US assassinated top Iranian Gen. Qassam Soleimani in a drone strike at Baghdad International Airport. His arrival was actually part of ongoing diplomatic efforts, according to Iraqi PM Adel Abdul-Mahdi.

Soleimani’s visit was related to well-documented Saudi attempts at diplomacy to ease tensions with Iran. The Saudis had dispatched a message of peace to Iran, with Iraq acting as an intermediary. Soleimani was coming to Iraq to deliver the Iranian government’s reply.

The US assassination, then, undercut the peace effort to an enormous level. Iraq was keen to facilitate peace between its two neighbors, hopefully to calm down US threats against Iran. Instead, the US undercut the entire process.

It’s not clear this totally ends the Saudi effort for peace, though it may be difficult for Iran to safely get messengers into Baghdad in the near future, with the US rather openly threatening more assassinations. Since peace overtures were the Saudi “plan B” after the US didn’t attack Iran, they may no longer bother, given the rapidly escalating military tensions.

(antiwar.com)

I have seen nothing in the MSM about this “peace message”….why?

The Iranians and the Saudis have been at each other’s throat for centuries….and the possibility of a peace deal that could lessen this animosities would be a big deal in international relations circles….but not so much in Trumpian circles.

Who did this assassination benefit?  Not Iraq…..not Saudis….not Iran….then who?

Them only nation that comes to mind  is Israel. 

How ling has Israel been predicting the rise of Iran?

Peace between Saudis and Iranians would not benefit Isreal’s constant claim of victimhood.

Yossi Cohen, head of Israel’s Mossad, spoke openly about assassinating Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, the head of the elite Quds Force in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

“He knows very well that his assassination is not impossible,” Cohen said in an interview. Soleimani had boasted that the Israel’s tried to assassinate him in 2006 and failed.

“With all due respect to his bluster,” Cohen said, “he hasn’t necessarily committed the mistake yet that would place him on the prestigious list of Mossad’s assassination targets.”

After Mossad Targeted Soleimani, Trump Pulled the Trigger

Nothing about this death, this assassination, will bode well…..yes we took out a “bad guy” while we allow other “bad guys” to go unchallenged…..

This action, the death of Soleimani, is not something that will make the US safer regardless what the liars in the WH would have you believe.

Don’t Underestimate Iran’s Ability to Fight a Bloody War

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

You Asked For It And Now You have It

The rhetoric is now over!

After days of threats and counter threats the war that slugs like Pompeo and Bolton have wanted for decades has now begun…..

Qasem Soleimani Tuesday night, striking two air bases housing US troops in Iraq with ballistic missiles. The New York Timesreports that Iranian officials said the strikes began at 1:20am Wednesday local time—the same time the general was killed in a drone strike in Iraq Friday. To make it even clearer that this was retaliation, numerous Iranian officials, including former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, tweeted images of the Iranian flag, apparently mocking President Trump for tweeting an American flag after the strike that killed Soleimani, reports the Week. US and Iraqi officials said there were no immediate reports of casualties, though a presenter on Iranian TV claimed the strikes killed ” at least 80 terrorist US soldiers,” the AP reports.

Sources tell the AP that Iran fired a total of 15 missiles. Ten hit the Ain al-Asad air base, one hit the Irbil base, and four failed to reach their targets, the sources say. Trump had promised to strike 52 targets in Iran if the country exacted revenge for the killing of Soleimani, but he did not announce any fresh strikes Tuesday. “All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good!” he tweeted. “We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.” A source tells the Times that Iranian officials waited for Trump to address the nation Tuesday night and when he did not, they suspected the US would either wait to respond or seek to de-escalate the situation.

“So far, so good”?

Appears that the missiles killed no Americans in the attacks….but that could be a moot point.

I am sure that there will be more to report later.

Could Soleimani be the 21st century equivalent to the death of Archduke Ferdinand?

Watch This Blog!

“lego ergo scribo”

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”

Big News In The Middle East

Breaking news has the tale of the US killing a top Iranian general in an airstrike in Iraq…..

Iran vowed “harsh retaliation” after its top general was killed by an American drone strike in Iraq Thursday night. The Pentagon confirmed that it had taken “decisive action” against Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, who was killed as he left Baghdad airport in a convoy with leaders of Iran-backed militias, the Washington Post reports. Soleimani, commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a statement. “This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.” Officials said the strike was carried out by order of President Trump, who tweeted an image of an American flag.

At least four other people are believed to have been killed in the strike, including Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandi. Soleimani, 62, was responsible for Iran’s interventions across the Middle East and was “hailed as a heroic national figure,” reports the BBC. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the general the ” international face of resistance” and called for three days of public mourning, the AP reports. An Iranian government spokesman said the country’s top security body will meet to discuss a response to the ” criminal act of attack.”

Sorry but this is not the best way to start a new year.

With that said…just how will Iran react to the death of their general?

Six months ago, WhoWhatWhy presented a cast of characters that could trigger a war between the US and Iran. Now that Quds Force General Qasem Soleimani has been assassinated in an American drone strike in Baghdad, that list is shorter … but the possibility of another armed conflict in the Middle East is much higher.

For Americans, the Fourth of July is a day filled with fun, family barbeques, poolside parties, fireworks, and overt displays of patriotism. For Iranians, however, it is a solemn day, a day of mourning, and a day of remembrance.

How Will Iran Respond After US Kills Top General?

The spin has begun…..why attack now?  Who will benefit the most?

Question with few answers…..

My thought is that this will do nothing to weaken the “Guard”….if anything it will strengthen their resolve…..and that could be just the trigger a war needs.

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Here Comes The Noise

We need something massive to change the attention of the country from the impeachment thing…..and presto change-o….we have suspicious missiles appearing in Iraq…..was reported over the weekend.

There are always missiles in Iraq but these are reported to be Iranian missiles….

Ballistic missiles are appearing in Iraq, US officials say—only they’re not Iraqi. Details are scant, but Iran has apparently taken advantage of Iraqi unrest by sneaking short-range missiles into the country, the New York Times reports. Seems Iran is using Shiite militias under its control to move and conceal the missiles, which can probably fly about 600 miles and hit Jerusalem from Baghdad. Iran’s placing of missiles in Iraq isn’t new—Reuters reported on it last year—but the latest intelligence shows it hasn’t stopped, either. “People are not paying enough attention to the fact that ballistic missiles in the last year have been placed in Iraq by Iran with the ability to project violence on the region,” says Rep. Elissa Slotin, D-Mich

The news comes amid ongoing Mideast turbulence, with Washington trying to bolster its military presence with about 14,000 more troops, Iran engaging in shadow attacks on other countries, and violent protests rocking Iran. Just this week, CNN reported on Iran moving weapons and forces to possibly attack US interests. Missiles positioned in Iraq could also be used to disguise their true origin, the Times notes. All this can be seen as an indictment of America’s attempts to deter Iran’s interests in the region. It also reaffirms Iran’s military strategy: “Lacking a modern air force, Iran has embraced ballistic missiles as a long-range strike capability to dissuade its adversaries in the region,” the Defense Intelligence Agency said in a report last month.

None of the officials offered any evidence that this was the case, simply claiming this was a known part of Iran taking advantage of “chaos and confusion in the Iraqi central government.”

Which isn’t to say that there aren’t Iranian missiles in Iraq. Iran and Iraq are allies, and Iranian arms are often exported into Iraq for use by Shi’ite militias. With the US generally confusing Iraqi militias with “Iranian proxies,” it wouldn’t be surprised if they treated arms sold to the militias as Iranian stockpiles.

For me this news is a bit suspicious….why?  It was released the day that the impeachment thing moves into the drafting of the articles of impeachment….

I do not believe in coincidence!

Beyond that……is there a threat of Iranian “muscle”?

Iran’s missile force is in fact a product of Iranian weakness, not Iranian strength. A state that wants a deep strike capability and pursues missiles rather than aircraft suffers real disadvantages. It’s the same story with Iran’s proxy groups, covert actions, and small boat swarms: as ballistic missiles are the weaker substitute for an air force, these are substitutes for more effective forms of power. Yet missiles, proxy forces, covert action, and small boats make up the bulk of Iran’s ability to hit back at those who might hit it.

Pentagon Report Undermines Hawks’ Claims On Iranian Ballistic Missile Threat

The war drums are heating up….how long will they play?  Why are they playing at all?  Who are we protecting?  Everyone in the region spends billions with the US on defense and yet they need the protection of the US.  So do they spend the money on ordinance or on people?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

As The Saudis Quiver And Quake

The powers of the M-IC have made it clear that the narrative that the Iranians will attack Saudi Arabia and the kingdom is shivering in their boots . And what do they do when they are afraid?

They turn to the US for protection.

Top CentCom general is the lead voice on this fear….

Months upon months of US military buildups in the Middle East, all around Iran, combined with near-constant threats to attack Iran outright have sure been raising regional tensions, but according to US Centcom commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, it is not believed to be deterring Iran.

To be clear, deterrence in this case means reducing the US-perceived “threat” posed by Iran, and with US officials, particularly military officials, constantly seeing Iran’s threat increasing, this should not be a surprising turn of events. As ever, expensive deployments against a US regional rival are being seen by military officials as justification for more deployments going forward.

(antiwar.com)

This probably assured this general a job for his help when he retires.

So Trump is facing a dilemma of protecting his “good friend” and fellow authoritarian or to hold to a promise of ending these wars…..looks like he is leaning to the former.

According to Pentagon officials, the US has begun negotiations with Saudi Arabia on the question of cost-sharing for the ever-growing US military presence in the Saudi kingdom. Talks began with the arrival of US radar and air defense systems.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley met with the Saudi crown prince this week and brought up this matter. Milley was presenting the US presence as aimed squarely at Iran, and deterring Iran from attacking the Saudis.

Gen. Milley also intended to give the impression that this was not a short-term mission, either, saying the US wants to maintain this presence in the region as part of America’s overall regional footprint.

The US commitment of thousands of troops, warplanes and missiles into Saudi Arabia is potentially an expensive proposition, and the administration has been keen in those cases to push for the host country to help defray the costs. It is not clear how much the presence is costing the US so far, and it is unclear how much the US is seeking from the Saudis.

All of this talk of long-term presence and cost-sharing is also likely to portend yet more US deployments into Saudi Arabia, as the administration continues to talk up Iranian “threats” and the need for a US presence in the area.

(antiwar.com)

I have a couple of questions.

Will we or won’t we send my troops to KSA?

Further evidence of some sort of planned increase came during Congressional testimony Thursday by Undersecretary of Defense for Policy John Rood, whose answer to a question about a proposed troop increase was equivocal, leaving open the possibility of “dynamic adjustments to our posture” to deter Iran.

“We are evaluating the threat situation, and the secretary, if he chooses to, can make decisions to deploy additional forces based on what he’s observing there,” Rood said. “Based on what we’re seeing with our concerns with the threat picture, it is possible we would need to adjust our force posture.”

So 14,000 Troops to the Middle East a Myth? Not So Fast

A word game…..

The Saudis spend billions upon billions on weaponry from the US why do they need the US to “protect” them from anybody.  Are they that inept?  Then what is the money spent really going for?

Second question ….when did the US military become a mercenary force?  A force paid by a foreign government?

Both of these question should be answered…..the American people need to know just what our interests in protecting the Saudis from local “bad boys”….who are we really protecting?  And why are we protecting them?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”