AuthorTopic: WW3??  (Read 94614 times)

Offline Surly1

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Re: WW3??
« Reply #735 on: January 04, 2020, 03:03:33 AM »
January 3, 2020 (Friday)
Last night’s news about the assassination of Iran’s military leader Qassem Soleimani has today turned into a predictable split. Defenders of the president insist that Soleimani was an evildoer and the United States absolutely should have taken him out. They have no patience for anyone questioning Trump’s decision, suggesting that those questioners are anti-American and pro-terrorist if they do not support the killing of a man they insist has been one of our key enemies for years.

Those questioning the president’s decision to assassinate a member of a foreign government as a terrorist—remember, this is unusual because people like Osama bin Laden were rogue, non-state actors—freely acknowledge that Soleimani was a dangerous man. But they are concerned that Trump appears to have ordered the man assassinated illegally and has, in the process, ignited a firestorm.

The White House did not notify the Gang of Eight, the leaders of the House and Senate from both parties, but Trump did tell South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham and Representative Kevin McCarthy, both Republicans. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has declined to say whether or not he was briefed in advance, but he has spoken up to praise the raid. News also broke today that apparently Trump told guests at Mar-a-Lago that something big with Iran was in the works.

Apparently, he informed Republicans and cronies, but not Congress.

White House has offered three arguments for why the assassination of Soleimani without notifying Congress was legal. First it vaguely asserted that the president could do this under Artlcle II of the Constitution, which is a non-starter. Then it suggested it was legal under the law 10 USC 127e, but this concerns budgeting, so the idea it enables the president to do something like this unilaterally is absurd. By tonight, it said the authorization for the assassination of Soleimani was the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force. That law very specifically deals with the president’s ability to use force against Iraq…but it never specified if that meant Iraq’s government or its landmass, and it was amended in 2012 to include the words “associated forces.” Under this AUMF, the president can make unilateral decisions, but must inform Congress within 48 hours.

But, the AUMF requires that the president’s actions intended to prevent acts of future terrorism against the United States. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said repeatedly that the killing of Soleimani stopped just such a threat against Americans. But he has refused to produce proof, and this afternoon a congressional aide told NBC News that the overwhelming evidence the administration cited looked very much like Soleimani’s normal actions. “The case for acting this week was not made.”

The problem here is the same as it has been with this administration all along. This is a democracy. Our leaders are supposed to make a case to Congress about why they must risk military action on our behalf, because Congress is supposed to hold the power to declare war. But Trump has made no such case. Rather than addressing the nation, he told reporters only that he ordered the killing to “stop a war,” and has not yet briefed Congress. In a wonderful Twitter thread, Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Inquirer noted that until last night, 99% of Americans—including me, I might add—had never heard this man’s name, so the angry preaching that he was one of our chief enemies sounds forced. We need our leaders to explain to us the specifics of what this man did, and how the world is safer with him gone.

Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), a former CIA analyst of the Shia militia who served multiple tours in Iraq and worked at the White House under both Presidents Bush and Obama, took on the firestorm concerns. She noted that she had been part of countless discussion of how to respond to Soleimani’s campaigns. What kept other presidents from targeting Soleimani was that they concluded the retaliation for such a strike, and the likelihood it would draw the US into a long war. Trump has come to a different conclusion, she notes, but “it is crucial that the Administration has thought out the moves and counter-moves this attack will precipitate….” Most serious thinkers expect that Iran will retaliate in a big way for this killing, and they are concerned that the administration is not equipped to handle that retaliation in a measured, intelligent way.

The unilateral attack on Soleimani and his entourage reveals the escalation of Trump’s refusal to answer either to Congress or to the American people. He highlighted that today when he simply refused to respond to a court order that the White House turn over 20 emails between a Trump aide and Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney about freezing the congressionally ordered funding for Ukraine aid. He just… refused. This will go to the courts, of course, but Trump is sending a clear message that he, alone, calls the shots.

And in the midst of all this is Russia. Putin and Trump spoke on December 30, and we have no readout of what they discussed—we only have what Russia produced. In an unprecedented development, Russian news defended a US president today, floating the idea that Trump had been tricked into the attack by our intelligence agencies.

And here’s the one that jumps out to me: today the Moscow stock exchange hit all-time high thanks to the rise in oil stocks after the assassination.

Heather Cox Richardson 1/3/20
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Offline Surly1

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Iran oil: New field with 53bn barrels found - Rouhani
« Reply #736 on: January 04, 2020, 03:25:59 AM »
What a coincidence that this story has been knocked from the news cycle. A new oil field that would increase Iran's proven reserves by about a third has been discovered.

Iran oil: New field with 53bn barrels found - Rouhani



A new oil field that would increase Iran's proven reserves by about a third has been discovered, President Hassan Rouhani has said.

The field, in the south-western province of Khuzestan and about 2,400 sq km (926 sq miles) in area, contains 53 billion barrels of crude, he said.

Iran has been struggling to sell oil abroad because of tough US sanctions.

They were imposed after the US pulled out of a nuclear deal with world powers last year.

"We have found an oil field with 53 billion barrels of oil in place, 53 billion barrels. This is in a big oil field that stretches 2,400 sq km from Bostan to Omidiyeh. The oil layer has a depth of 80m (262ft)," he said during a speech in the central city of Yazd.

Iran's oil revenues will increase by $32bn (£25bn) "if extraction rate from the oil field increases only 1%", he added.

"I am telling the White House that in the days when you sanctioned the sale of Iranian oil, the country's workers and engineers were able to discover 53 billion barrels of oil," he is quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.

The new oil field could become Iran's second largest field after the one containing 65 billion barrels in Ahvaz, says the AP news agency.



Iran is one of the world's largest oil producers, with exports worth billions of dollars each year.

Its existing proven reserves are of some 150 billion barrels, Mr Rouhani said.

It has the world's fourth-biggest oil reserves and second-largest gas reserves, and shares a massive offshore field in the Persian Gulf with Qatar.

US President Donald Trump reinstated the sanctions against Iran last year after abandoning the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.

Under the accord, Iran agreed to limit its sensitive nuclear activities and allow in international inspectors in return for sanctions relief.

The sanctions have led to a sharp downturn in Iran's economy, pushing the value of its currency to record lows, quadrupling its annual inflation rate, driving away foreign investors and triggering protests.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 08:12:09 AM by Surly1 »
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Offline RE

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🚀 Selective Service System website crashes amid questions and fears...
« Reply #737 on: January 04, 2020, 05:21:25 PM »
No conscription before the Election?  Trumpovetsky is not that STUPID? Don't count on it.  ::)

RE

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/03/politics/military-draft-selective-service-site-crash-trnd/index.html

Selective Service System website crashes amid questions and fears of another US military draft
By Amir Vera, CNN

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/bwZzv4KbUQU" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/bwZzv4KbUQU</a>

Updated 7:08 PM ET, Fri January 3, 2020
Federal judge rules male-only draft unconstitutional


(CNN)The Selective Service website crashed Friday because of "the spread of misinformation," the agency tweeted.
The website's crash came hours after the announcement that the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, was killed by a US airstrike ordered by President Donald Trump. The hashtag #WorldWarIII was one of the top trends on Twitter Friday.
The incident led to threats of retaliation from Iran's government and the escalation of tensions between the US and Iran. It sparked fears on social media of a war between the two countries and the possibility of another military draft in the US.
"Due to the spread of misinformation, our website is experiencing high traffic volumes at this time," the Selective Service tweeted. "If you are attempting to register or verify registration, please check back later today as we are working to resolve this issue. We appreciate your patience."

Who is eligible for the draft?
The draft ended in 1973 and the military changed to an all-volunteer force. Currently, all men ages 18 to 25 are required by law to provide basic personal information to the Selective Service System. Not doing so is illegal.
"The Selective Service System is conducting business as usual. In the event that a national emergency necessitates a draft, Congress and the President would need to pass official legislation to authorize a draft," the agency tweeted.
In earlier drafts, there were a number of deferments that could've kept someone from being drafted, such as medical conditions or attending college. Knowing this, individuals appeared to be researching Federal Student Aid, which provides federal student aid to college students from the US Education Department.
"Registering with Selective Service has been a longstanding requirement to receive federal student aid/a federal job," Federal Student Aid tweeted from their official Twitter. "However, the U.S. military has been all-volunteer since 1973 & Congress would need to pass a new law to institute a draft."
"There is no priority order for Selective Service based on the FAFSA form (they use a random lottery number and year of birth)," the agency tweeted.
Women were exempt from the draft. In 1981, the Supreme Court upheld a congressional decision to exempt women from registering for the Selective Service, deciding that because women were restricted from combat, there would be no need for their services in the event of a draft.
Then in 2015, the Obama administration opened all military occupational specialties to women, including "combat jobs." Since then, women have graduated from the Army's elite Ranger school, served on submarines, and completed Marine Corps Artillery Officer's training.
A federal judge ruled in February 2019 that an all-male draft was unconstitutional, saying "historical restrictions on women in the military may have justified past discrimination," men and women now have many similar roles.
The judge's decision had no immediate effect as It did not block the government's current policy. Any appeal by the Selective Service System would go to the New Orleans-based 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals before it would reach the Supreme Court.

It is uncertain whether it would reach that level. The Selective Service System had urged US District Court Judge Gray Miller to reject the case, largely because the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service, appointed by Congress, is now studying the male-only registration policy.
The commission is supposed to develop a report and recommendations by March 2020.
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Offline RE

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🤡 🚀 Trump Ramps Up Rhetoric on Iran as Thousands Hit Streets
« Reply #738 on: January 05, 2020, 04:21:24 AM »
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-04/u-s-and-iran-trade-threats-over-reprisals-for-general-s-killing

Trump Ramps Up Rhetoric on Iran as Thousands Hit Streets
By Nick Wadhams, Jordan Fabian, and Josh Wingrove
January 4, 2020, 6:00 AM AKST Updated on January 5, 2020, 2:47 AM AKST

President Donald Trump said the U.S. has identified 52 Iranian sites it would hit if Tehran retaliates against the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, stepping back from more conciliatory comments he made after the drone strike on the Islamic Republic’s most powerful military commander.

Trump’s tough talk late Saturday followed Tehran’s threat of a protracted response, and eclipsed his assertion a day earlier that the U.S. hadn’t launched the attack near Baghdad airport on Thursday to “start a war.” It also seemed to reverse the efforts of Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who in the past two days has repeatedly reaffirmed that the U.S. remains committed to defusing tensions with Iran as he talked with officials across the Middle East and Russia. Stocks in the Gulf went into retreat.

Soleimani’s body arrived in Iran on Sunday, and thousands of mourners poured into the southwestern city of Ahvaz to attend services and sermons, according to footage on state TV. The body will be taken to funeral processions across the country before his burial, expected Tuesday, in his southeastern hometown of Kerman, state TV said.
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In Baghdad on Saturday, thousands attended memorial services for the general and a powerful Iraqi militia commander also killed in the strike. Iraq’s parliament is holding a session to discuss whether it’s time for U.S. troops to withdraw.

Iranian officials will also meet late Sunday to consider further steps to reduce the Islamic Republic’s commitments to the 2015 nuclear agreement, which Trump abandoned more than 18 months ago.

”Iran will have to first settle a score with the U.S.” over the killing of Soleimani before discussing the prospect of Iran-US talks, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said at a news conference in Tehran.
IRAN-IRAQ-US-POLITICS-UNREST

Crowds surround the coffins of Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, as they are transported atop a vehicle after their arrival at Ahvaz International Airport in Iran on Jan. 5.

Photographer: Fatemeh Rahimavia/fars news/AFP via Getty Images
Bracing for Response

The Middle East has been girding for vengeance and a possible escalation of the proxy war between the U.S. and Iran that’s been playing out for years. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed on Saturday that the U.S. will witness “the effects of their mistake for “many, many years to come,” and another Iranian official told the state broadcaster that three dozen U.S. military bases and facilities are within reach of Iran’s defense forces, the closest in Bahrain.

Gulf states that are possible targets for Iranian reprisal urged calm as the prospect of a new conflict in the world’s top energy-exporting region loomed. Tehran’s capacity for retaliation may be crimped, however, by the dire condition of the Iranian economy, which has been clobbered by American sanctions reimposed after Trump withdrew from the landmark nuclear accord in 2018. Moreover, months of anti-government protests have challenged the regime’s dominance at home, as well as in Iraq and Lebanon, where Soleimani worked with proxy militias that extended Iran’s reach across the Middle East.

There was some immediate fallout, however. Rockets slammed on Saturday into Baghdad’s Green Zone, which contains the U.S. Embassy and an airbase that houses American troops. No coalition casualties were reported.

Trump said he approved the strike in Iraq because Soleimani was plotting “imminent and sinister attacks” against American diplomats and military personnel, though he provided no evidence to back up that claim. Some 3,500 additional U.S. troops were ordered dispatched to the region after Soleimani’s assassination, to join more than 50,000 personnel already there.

The killing sent global markets reeling. Oil futures in London and New York at one point surged by more than 4%, gold hit the highest in four months and 10-year Treasury yields headed for the biggest drop in three weeks. The S&P 500 Index declined.

On Sunday, Gulf stocks dropped and Saudi Arabia’s default risk jumped.

“Investors who were hoping for lower geopolitical tension in the Middle East, North Africa region in 2020 got their hopes dashed on the second day of the year,” said Mohammed Ali Yasin, chief strategy officer at Abu Dhabi-based Al Dhabi Capital Ltd. “2020 will continue to be a year of high geopolitical tensions in our region.”

Soleimani, who headed the unit responsible for the foreign operations of the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was a household name in Iran where he’s celebrated for helping to defeat Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and countering U.S. influence. He’d been sanctioned by the U.S. since 2007, and in May, Washington designated the Guards a foreign terrorist organization. Iran named Esmail Ghaani, another veteran of Middle East conflicts, as Soleimani’s replacement.

Preceding U.S. administrations had balked at assassinating the general, wary of the repercussions despite his responsibility for hundreds of U.S. fatalities. Democratic lawmakers have criticized Trump for acting without notifying Congress.

Read More: Fear of What Comes Next Seeps Through Iran’s Capital
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Offline Surly1

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Here's what you need to know about the military draft
« Reply #739 on: January 05, 2020, 06:33:35 AM »
No conscription before the Election?  Trumpovetsky is not that STUPID? Don't count on it.  ::)
RE

Selective Service System website crashes amid questions and fears of another US military draft
By Amir Vera, CNN

No, I'll count on it. I don't see Congress passing the necessary enabling legislation. Of course Trump can just establish it by decree and let the courts sort it out, ending up at his hand-slected Supreme Court...

Here's what you need to know about the military draft, and why the US' conflict with Iran probably won't revive it

[img width=80https://image.businessinsider.com/5e0fbca0855cc2372a20aab3?width=2500&format=jpeg&auto=webp[/img]
A man holds a banner depicting late Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike Near Baghdad, at the Iranian embassy in Beirut Reuters

Grace Panetta
Jan 4, 2020, 12:30 AM
  • After the Pentagon confirmed it had launched an airstrike that killed a top Iranian general, young Americans started worrying about being drafted into a potential new conflict, making "World War 3" a top Twitter trend. 
  • The United States has conscripted service members in five conflicts. After the Vietnam War, the draft was eliminated in 1973 and the military became totally volunteer-based. 
  • Even if the United States gets into a war with Iran as the result of the recent strike, it's both politically and practically improbable for the draft to be revived. 
  • Because popular support for military conscription is so low, legislation to re-establish a draft would be very unlikely to pass either the House of Representatives or the Senate.
  • See Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

After the Pentagon confirmed it had launched an airstrike that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, young Americans began worrying about the possibility of being drafted in a potential war stemming from the strike. 

Almost immediately, searches for "World War 3" and "World War 3 draft" spiked on Google Search and became trending topics on Twitter, unleashing a flood of highly elaborate memes of people imagining how they avoid being drafted into the military in the improbable event of a large-scale conflict. 

While the US military relies entirely on a volunteer corps, all American men aged 18-25 are mandated to be registered with the Selective Service Administration, which maintains the list of Americans who would be called upon to serve if Congress instituted a draft. 

Registering for the Selective Service is a requirement to receive federal student loans and access to other federal programs, qualify for federal employment, and in many states, obtain a driver's license. 

On Friday, the SSA tweeted out that they were "conducting business as usual" in response to their website crashing due to people searching for information about the draft and verifying their registration. 

Selective Service @SSS_gov

Due to the spread of misinformation, our website is experiencing high traffic volumes at this time. If you are attempting to register or verify registration, please check back later today as we are working to resolve this issue. We appreciate your patience.

1,997 people are talking about this

What is the draft?

The US officially first used mandated military conscription during the Civil War, where both the Union and Confederate armies drafted soldiers to fight.

Since then, the United States has conscripted service members into the military in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and most recently, the Vietnam War to fill its ranks. In 1973, the draft was eliminated and the military became volunteer-based. 

In previous times of conscription, men registered for the Selective Service would enter into a draft lottery based on their date of birth, and those selected through the lottery would enter into military service after passing a physical and psychological examination. 

In the wake of the Iran strike, many people wondered if using federal aid programs, including student loans and Pell grants, increased the likelihood of potentially being drafted. 

FAFSA, the office in the Department of Education which administers federal aid, clarified that receiving student loans doesn't make someone more or less likely to be hypothetically drafted. 

Federal Student Aid @FAFSA

We know there are questions on this…registering with Selective Service has been a longstanding requirement to receive federal student aid/a federal job. However, the U.S. military has been all-volunteer since 1973 & Congress would need to pass a new law to institute a draft. 1/2

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Could the United States bring back the draft?

Even in the unlikely event that the United States gets into a full-blown war with Iran as the result of the recent strike, it's both politically and practically improbable for the draft to be revived. 

As the Selective Service and FAFSA both pointed out, Congress would need to pass legislation then signed into law by the president authorizing a military draft for any new conflict.

Because popular support for military conscription is so low, legislation to re-establish a draft would be very unlikely to pass either the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives or the Republican-controlled Senate.

Kathleen Weldon of Cornell University's Roper Center, which studies public opinion polling, wrote in the Huffington Post in 2017 that public support for a draft has only fallen since the end of the Vietnam War.

As Weldon noted, a CBS News poll conducted in 2006 found that 76% of Americans opposed drafting Americans to serve in the Iraq War, with only 20% supporting such a measure. A CNN/ORC poll conducted 11 years later in 2017 similarly gauged just 20% support for a return to conscription. 

While some Democratic politicians have argued in favor of incentivizing or requiring young Americans to participate in non-military national service programs including AmeriCorps and Teach for America in exchange for free or reduced college tuition, virtually no politician on either side of the aisle has advocated bringing back the military draft. 

Furthermore, an effort to administer a draft today would run up against some significant bureaucratic and administrative hurdles with possibly little payoff. 

The Pentagon estimated in a 2017 report that about 71% of people in the United States aged 17 to 24 are ineligible for military service due to either being medically obese, having a criminal record, or not holding a high school-level education. 

Taking into account the additional people who would apply for deferments or couldn't serve for other medical reasons, the pool of military-eligible people could be quite small. 

But even though the draft is unlikely to return anytime soon, all men between the ages of 18 and 25 are still required to be registered with the SSA. You can verify or change your registration here.

Read more:

Memes joking about World War III and avoiding a draft are going viral, but so are angry counter-tweets about civilians at risk in the Middle East

WWIII memes are taking over the internet following the US strike on an Iranian commander. Users explain why they're using humor to cope.

Iran's 'forceful revenge' against the US is likely to include cyberwarfare, and experts warn that the attacks could be devastating

This map shows where US-Iran tensions have flared in Iraq, which culminated in the strike killing Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani

NOW WATCH:

"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Offline Surly1

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Re: WW3??
« Reply #740 on: January 06, 2020, 05:59:13 AM »
Interesting Twitter thread I cam across by one Jared Yates Sexton. Unwound by Thread Reader.
https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1213842821368680448.html

The evangelicals I'm talking to see the escalation of Iran as fulfillment of End Days prophecy, cementing their perception of Trump as a faulty messiah used by God. Many are bragging openly about their foresight in prepping, others are purchasing more weapons.

Seems as good a time as any to remind everyone of what I call the Cult of the Shining City, which is white identity Christianity that blends segregationism, prosperity gospel, and nationalistic occultism that originated as a response to the Civil Rights Movement.

As Civil Rights leaders used Christianity as a means to push for equality, white evangelicals responded by changing the gospel to focusing on wealth and power. Trump is part of this tradition and the Cult of the Shining City sees him as an embodiment of their teachings.

In the 1980s, with the rise of Reaganism and burgeoning millennial angst, the Cult of the Shining City was obsessed with apocalyptic conspiracy theories that focused on minorities, Satan, and the New World Order. They call it the Deep State now.

New World Order/Deep State conspiracy theories are all anti-Semitic and white supremacist based. It's about other groups coming together to take power from the white race. Trump, because of his adherence to the prosperity gospel and white supremacy, is a natural leader for them.

Whether Trump is aware of the Cult of the Shining City or not, it seems like many actions have been taken to establish himself as a faulty messiah, including the Israeli embassy. This Iran move is tinged in it, and the members see it as a step toward a final, apocalyptic showdown
 
Something to think about: Cult of the Shining City members look for coincidences and timing to show meaning. They see the impeachment and the Iran escalation as inextricably linked. It's Good vs. Evil, God vs. Satan. Trump, here, is the proxy.

It's something to remember that they're not looking for peace. The Cult of the Shining City is constantly awaiting war on a scale we've never seen. World ending destruction. They're pushing for this to not only turn to war but to destroy literally everything. That's the energy.

The unfortunate truth is that the Cult of the Shining City is just another side of the same coin as death cults like ISIS. We have people on both sides looking for the exact same war, fighting over who Jesus will fight for. The rest of us, unfortunately, are stuck in the middle.
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Offline Surly1

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Iraqi PM reveals Soleimani was on peace mission, exploding Trump's lie
« Reply #741 on: January 06, 2020, 03:32:11 PM »
Iraqi PM reveals Soleimani was on peace mission when assassinated, exploding Trump’s lie of ‘imminent attacks’



The Trump administration claimed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was planning “imminent attacks” on US interests when it assassinated him. That lie was just destroyed, but not before countless corporate media outlets transmitted it to the public.

By Max Blumenthal

Desperate to justify the US drone assassination of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted that Washington had made an “intelligence-based assessment” that Soleimani was “actively planning in the region” to attack American interests before he was killed.

President Donald Trump justified his fateful decision to kill the Iranian general in even more explicit language, declaring that Soleimani was planning “imminent attacks” on US diplomatic facilities and personnel across the Middle East.

“We took action last night to stop a war,” Trump claimed. “We did not take action to start a war.”

Trump’s dubious rationale for an indisputably criminal assassination has been repeated widely across corporate media networks, and often without any skepticism or debate.

At a January 3 State Department briefing, where reporters finally got the chance to demand evidence for the claim of an “imminent” threat, one US official erupted in anger.

“Jesus, do we have to explain why we do these things?” he barked at the press.

Two days later, when Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi addressed his country’s parliament, Trump’s justification for killing Soleimani was exposed as a cynical lie.

According to Abdul-Mahdi, he had planned to meet Soleimani on the morning the general was killed to discuss a diplomatic rapproachment that Iraq was brokering between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Abdul-Mahdi said that Trump personally thanked him for the efforts, even as he was planning the hit on Soleimani – thus creating the impression that the Iranian general was safe to travel to Baghdad.


But when Trump and his administration attempt to lie the public into war against a designated evildoer, a swath of the corporate media responds with reflexive trust, then shrugs when the lie is exposed in broad daylight.
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Offline Surly1

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Re: WW3?? Add draft
« Reply #742 on: January 07, 2020, 06:00:47 AM »
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Offline Surly1

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Re: WW3?? Twitter thread
« Reply #743 on: January 07, 2020, 07:10:06 AM »
Thread reader is a useful tool being increasingly used by people capturing content from Twitter. A longtime friend f the Diner Terry Kok captured this one, which I found on FB.

All in the interest of looking past the corporate media, knowing you will be spun, for info to sift in order to make up your own mind.

A translation of the below thread by Ahmad Khazraji on Iraqi caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, in which he reveals the reasons he held his silence and resigned

[Thread] A translation of the below thread by Ahmad Khazraji on Iraqi caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, in which he reveals the reasons he held his silence and resigned.

(Most significantly, he reveals that US Marine snipers fired at Iraqi protestors.) 

🇮🇶احمد الخزرجي🇮🇶@Ahmedzehzeeh222

خطير جدا

1️⃣ارجو من المتابعين المشاركة والنشر في جميع وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي

السيد عادل عبد المهدي يكشف عن اهم الأسباب التي دعته إلى لزوم الصمت والتنازل عن رئاسة وزراء العراق

لماذا حضر الحلبوسي الى البرلمان ولم يحضرها اغلب النواب السنة

حرص الحلبوسي الحضور في جلسة👇يتبع👇

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The first revelation is why Halbousi attended the parliamentary session while almost none of the Sunni members did. This was because the Americans learned Abdul-Mehdi planned to reveal sensitive secrets in the session, and sent Halbousi to prevent this.
Halbousi cut Abdul-Mehdi off during the beginning of his speech, then asked for the live airing of the session to be stopped. After this, Halbousi and the other members sat by Abdul-Mehdi and spoke openly with no recording.
(Actually unclear to me exactly what happens here, but the important part is that the broadcast is cut off and Abdul-Mehdi keeps talking)
This is what was discussed in that session (unbroadcast): Abdul-Mehdi spoke angrily of how the Americans had ruined the country and now refused to complete the infrastructure and electricity grid projects unless they are promised 50% of oil revenues - Which Abdul-Mehdi refused.
Abdul-Mehdi: This is why I visited China and signed an important agreement with them to undertake the construction instead. Upon my return, Trump called me to rescind the agreement, and when I refused, he threatened me with huge demonstrations against me that would end my PM-ship
Abdul-Mehdi: And so indeed huge demos materialised against me, and Trump calls again and says, if I don’t comply w/ his demands, he will station Marines snipers atop highest buildings, who will target and kill protestors and security forces alike, in an attempt to pressure me.
Abdul-Mahdi: Again I refused, & handed in my resignation, and to this day the Americans insist on cancelling our deal with China.
Abdul-Mehdi: After this, when our Minister of Defense publicly said that a third side was targeting both protestors and security (just as Trump threatened), I receive a new call from Trump who threatened to kill both me and the MoD if we keep talking about this “third side”.
So to summarise, & to get this straight, the US has:

- refused to finish reconstructing the country they destroyed

- demanded 50% of all oil revenues from Iraq in exchange for finishing this work (gangster-style)

- lost their mind when Iraq looked to China instead

(Cont.)
- demanded that Iraq rescind the agreement, & upon rejection, fomented mass protests

- demanded anew, and this time when rejected again, stationed Marines snipers to take out protestors and security men

- threatened to KILL the caretaker PM and the MoD if word of this got out


You won't be finding this on CNN.
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

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🚀 War with Iran: The American Empire will die not with a whimper but a bang
« Reply #744 on: January 08, 2020, 01:47:32 AM »
https://www.salon.com/2020/01/07/war-with-iran_partner/

War with Iran: The American Empire will die not with a whimper but a bang
Washington empowered its nemesis. It has no idea how to reverse its mistake other than to attack Iran

Chris Hedges
January 7, 2020 12:30PM (UTC)
This article originally appeared on Truthdig.


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.

The targeting of Soleimani, who was killed by a MQ-9 Reaper drone that fired missiles into his convoy as he was leaving the Baghdad airport, also took the life of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, along with other Iraqi Shiite militia leaders. The strike may temporarily bolster the political fortunes of the two beleaguered architects of the assassination, Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but it is an act of imperial suicide by the United States. There can be no positive outcome. It opens up the possibility of an Armageddon-type scenario relished by the lunatic fringes of the Christian right.

A war with Iran would see it use its Chinese-supplied anti-ship missiles, mines and coastal artillery to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, which is the corridor for 20% of the world’s oil supply. Oil prices would double, perhaps triple, devastating the global economy. The retaliatory strikes by Iran on Israel, as well as on American military installations in Iraq, would leave hundreds, maybe thousands, of dead. The Shiites in the region, from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, would see an attack on Iran as a religious war against Shiism. The 2 million Shiites in Saudi Arabia, concentrated in the oil-rich Eastern province, the Shiite majority in Iraq and the Shiite communities in Bahrain, Pakistan and Turkey would turn in fury on us and our dwindling allies. There would be an increase in terrorist attacks, including on American soil, and widespread sabotage of oil production in the Persian Gulf. Hezbollah in southern Lebanon would renew attacks on northern Israel. War with Iran would trigger a long and widening regional conflict that, by the time it was done, would terminate the American Empire and leave in its wake mounds of corpses and smoldering ruins. Let us hope for a miracle to pull us back from this Dr. Strangelove self-immolation.

Iran, which has vowed “harsh retaliation,” is already reeling under the crippling economic sanctions imposed by the Trump administration when it unilaterally withdrew in 2018 from the Iranian nuclear arms deal. Tensions in Iraq between the U.S. and the Shiite majority, at the same time, have been escalating. On Dec. 27 Katyusha rockets were fired at a military base in Kirkuk where U.S. forces are stationed. An American civilian contractor was killed and several U.S. military personnel were wounded. The U.S. responded on Dec. 29 by bombing sites belonging to the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia. Two days later Iranian-backed militias attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, vandalizing and destroying parts of the building and causing its closure. But this attack will soon look like child’s play.

Iraq after our 2003 invasion and occupation has been destroyed as a unified country. Its once-modern infrastructure is in ruins. Electrical and water services are, at best, erratic. There is high unemployment and discontent over widespread government corruption that has led to bloody street protests. Warring militias and ethnic factions have carved out competing and antagonistic enclaves. At the same time, the war in Afghanistan is lost, as the Afghanistan Papers published by The Washington Post detail. Libya is a failed state. Yemen after five years of unrelenting Saudi airstrikes and a blockade is enduring one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters. The “moderate” rebels we funded and armed in Syria at a cost of $500 million, after instigating a lawless reign of terror, have been beaten and driven out of the country. The monetary cost for this military folly, the greatest strategic blunder in American history, is between $5 trillion and $7 trillion.
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Excuse me, but when is dropping Death From Above "Legal & Appropriate" ?  ???  :icon_scratch:  Who makes these laws?  To what court do you go to if your house has been bombed to smithereens?  Who can you sue for damages?

RE

Esper: U.S. Could Strike Iran Or Proxies 'Where Legally Available And Appropriate'

January 13, 20209:56 PM ET
Bobby Allyn    Ari Shapiro


Defense Secretary Mark told NPR on Monday that the U.S. has the constitutional authority to strike Iranian proxies in Iraq and Iran on its home soil in retaliation for attacks on American forces.     Jacquelyn Martin/AP


Defense Secretary Mark Esper says the U.S. has the constitutional authority to strike Iranian proxies in Iraq and Iran on the Islamic Republic's home soil in retaliation for attacks on American forces.

In an interview with NPR on Monday, Esper said the Authorization for Use of Military Force Resolution gives the U.S. military the right to attack Iranian-backed proxies in Iraq. He said the president's power under Article II of the Constitution would allow the U.S. to strike Iran in the event that U.S. interests are targeted.

While American and Iranian officials both indicate that the possibility of such a confrontation has greatly diminished, Esper says the region is still being closely monitored.

"We hold Iran responsible for its proxies, and we will retain the right to exercise self-defense and take action where legally available and appropriate to hold those proxies accountable for their actions," Esper told NPR.
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National Security
Defense Secretary Mark Esper On 'Nested' Communications And Iran-Backed Militias

Esper doubled down on the Trump administration's position that the U.S. killed powerful Iranian general Qassem Soleimani out of self-defense.

"There was complete agreement based on what he had done and what he was planning to do, the broader attack that he was orchestrating in the region that would be bigger in scale and would likely result in open hostilities, that this was a compelling target to take out," Esper said.

"The United States is safer today than we were a few weeks ago because we eliminated the world's foremost terror, Qassem Soleimani, who has the blood of hundreds of American soldiers and Marines on his hands."

The fatal strike on Soleimani also "reset deterrence" with Iran, Esper said.

The interview comes just as the Trump administration has struggled to clarify what exactly the "imminent threat" was that justified the killing of Soleimani, the leader of Iran's elite paramilitary group, the Quds Force.

Despite President Trump and other top administration officers offering inconsistent public statements about what kind of threat the U.S. was facing, Esper told NPR that the Defense Department had "a very thorough explanation" for targeting Soleimani.

"I think we have had, as I cited a very senior intelligence community person who said that the risk of doing nothing, the risk of inaction was greater than the risk of action," Esper said. "It was very compelling. The challenge here is we're dealing with very exquisite information, information that if we were to lose those sources and methods, we would lose insights into the thinking of the Iranian government."
'Imminent' Threat — Trump Justification Of Attack On Iranian General — Is Undefined
National Security
'Imminent' Threat — Trump Justification Of Attack On Iranian General — Is Undefined

In the days after the Soleimani strike, the U.S.-led military coalition fighting ISIS was temporarily suspended, with defense officials citing attacks on Iraqi and U.S. bases over the last two months as the reason for the shift.

But the move also generated fears that ISIS would regroup in areas that U.S.-led coalition forces had drove the Islamic State out of, but Esper sounded confident that would not happen. He told NPR Shiite militia groups in Iraq also did not want to see ISIS gain strength and that the Shiite militias are continuing to combat the extremists in the country.

Esper would not say how long the U.S.-led anti-ISIS training mission in Iraq would last.

"These are things that are conditions-based. Obviously, we want to get back to the mission as soon as possible, but we're not going to risk our folks to do that," Esper told NPR. "Keep in mind, at the same time, we're conducting counter-ISIS operations from Africa through Syria into Afghanistan. So the pressure on ISIS continues."

As top Trump administration officials monitor ongoing fallout from the Soleimani killing, attention on Monday also turned to another country: Saudi Arabia.

On Monday, Attorney General William Barr announced that 21 Saudi military cadets would be expelled from the U.S. after an investigation unearthed that the Saudis had shared online posts, including jihadi material and child pornography.
Saudi Gunman Legally Purchased Pistol Used In Pensacola Air Station Attack
Law
Saudi Gunman Legally Purchased Pistol Used In Pensacola Air Station Attack

The review follows an attack last month at a military base in Pensacola, Fla., in which a Saudi studying in the U.S. opened fired in a classroom on the military base, killing three young sailors and leaving eight other people dead.

There are some 850 Saudis training alongside American military personal in the U.S. as part of a long-running military exchange program aimed at bolstering ties and intelligence between the U.S. and foreign militaries.

Speaking to NPR, Esper said the fact that the 21 Saudis now in the process of being kicked out of the country were able to slip through federal government's vetting program is concerning.

"I've issued directives that have taken a number of important steps that increased the vetting of all foreign students, not just Saudis, but all foreign students coming to our programs that improve the credentialing of those students," Esper said.

About 28,000 Saudis have gone through military training in the U.S. over several decades, according to the Saudi Embassy in Washington.

Esper said the probe following the Dec. 6 attack is the first time major problems emerged in how foreign military officers are screened before coming to the U.S. for training.

"This is the first incident I'm aware of. So for all intents and purposes, I think most leaders at DOD believe that the vetting was sufficient. But we've come to learn that it wasn't," Esper said.
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