« RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 2 JANUARY 2020 by Patrick Armstrong | Main | Did Donald Trump Light the Fuse on a New Middle East War? by Larry C Johnson »

03 January 2020

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Dom

Well, it look that Israel will have a war with Iran.

Garcia

God Bless his Soul, Trump is a coward

blue peacock

Walrus

I agree the stress on the Iraqi government will be intense. Will they force the US out? Did Trump order this expecting that to happen? Or did he order this at the behest of Bibi, MbS and the neocon contingent (Pompeo, Haspel, Esper, Kushner) he has surrounded himself with, not really thinking through the implications.

The one scenario that I speculate that took place is the low-level "warfare" between US forces and the various Iraqi/Iranian/Syrian militias got escalated. And Trump was being "briefed" that it was all Iranian "influenced". That would have fit his generally anti-Iran mindset and then he was presented with this "target of opportunity" and given seconds to decide and he went with the flow to pull the trigger.

My sense is that while Iran will heat up the rhetoric, they won't retaliate militarily in a direct and open manner. Instead they'll pile the pressure on the Iraqi government to expel US forces.

MisanthropicUSA

The Mahdi Army is reportedly being reactivated, presumably they have some more combat experience now thanks to the ISIS war. We have some 5,000 troops in the country and God knows how many citizens there along with whatever we have in Syria. The Iranians are pissed and want their revenge. The Iraqis are pissed too as is Hezbollah I'd imagine. I fear that this is going to be bad.

What the hell was Trump thinking...

LondonBob

Who is driving US policy in the region now, who is Trump listening to?

Once again the neocons have pulled off the seemingly impossible, imagine have the power and cunning to have a country use their own servicemen as bait and cannon fodder to serve the interests of a foreign country. Another nail in the American coffin, unfortunately.

Amir

I guess all Col. Lang’s effort for the past 2 decades have been undermined. There is no way that the assassination of a member of an Iranian equivalent of JCS will be tolerated. The Iranian government will consider a lack of response to be interpreted as an invitation for more adventurism by Trump admin. The whole talk about covert action is ignorant as the Iranian foreign minister has already stated that there will be consequences.
The dice has been cast and at this point it really doesn’t matter which faction within Trump’s entourage managed to start a conflict: the king-of-gamblers, Sheldon Adelson & the rest of NeoConLibs, got their wish.
Not happy about it but nothing to do to reverse course.

jonst

I could it see it playing out in two general ways. Clearly, this could make things much worse, across the entire Middle East. That's a given. On the other hand.....

It MIGHT be so that there are a lot of people in Iraq, Iran (yes, Iran) silently (for now, if they know what is good for them in the short run) celebrating this hit. A lot of Iraqis and Iranians have been killed by this guy's forces in the last few months. Alone. Who do we think the people in Iraq and Iran have been protesting against? Al Quds. And there might even be a few people in the Iranian govt who think now is the time to reduce, dramatically, the influence of Al Quds. These facts should not be dismissed out of hand. But again, on the other hand....
it may be deemed unholy and unpatriotic to celebrate taking out this SOB...as the lament might go, 'he's an SOB but he;s our SOB!'.

I know this...I would be tempted to evacuate our embassy. Now. Like starting yesterday.

We'll see. But I shed no tears for this guy. Nor do I celebrate it. Because either way...it is grim. Now, if there was someone like the Col exploiting the vacuum and shock waves certain to come in the wake of this...I would see opportunities. I repeat, a lot of people in the Middle East did not like this guy or his organization...even if they don't like the US too. But that kind of thing requires a mind that plays chess. And can kill, too. And I don't see too many minds, and souls, like that in DC anymore.

JK from Arkansas

My suspicions advise this has something to do with the Norks.

Amir

You have travelled through out the Middle-East (not talking Israeli beaches nor hotels in UAE & Saud-land) that you have such intimate knowledge of the local people’s mood? Just google the mourners Kerman and Kerbala. The crowd is a little bit bigger than the 50 paid demonstrators on behalf of the murder.

Pacifica Advocate

A lot of Iraqis and Iranians have been killed by this guy's forces in the last few months. Alone. Who do we think the people in Iraq and Iran have been protesting against? Al Quds.

This is a fiction of your imagination. They have been protesting the corruption of the Rouhani government, and an abrupt 300% increase in the price of gasoline. Also, something like 79 "foreign nationals" from "a Persian gulf nation" were arrested (that number presumably includes their local agents) inciting riots in the areas where violence broke out. The vast majority of the protests were peaceful, and Rouhani set free any arrestees who weren't carrying weapons.

Suleimani had an 86% approval rating among the Iranian public, was deeply respected by his military peers, and seemed like a possible candidate in the next Presidential race--only nutjobs like the MEK will be celebrating his death. Everyone else will mourn, and the same will be true for most Iraqis, as well.

The Quds force was there to kill ISIS and Al Qaeda, which it did extremely well and at great cost to itself to avoid killing Iraqi civilians. The US shelling and bombing of Raqqa killed far, far more Iraqi civilians than the Syrian or Quds forces ever have in their bid to retake urban zones. Check out the before and after pictures; they tell an obvious story.

The link below is from the Asia Times, a news outlet based out of Singapore, and its reporting on US wars, the Middle East, Iran, India, and China is generally objective and unbiased. Pepe Escobar has a long and accurate track-record in his reports.

https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/12/article/what-really-happened-in-iran/

TonyL

A terrible, stupid mistake. Trump is all in with the neocons now.

Something To Think About

There is no logic to this that I can see unless, of course, Trump has grown impatient with proxy wars and wants to start a shooting war with Iran.

How that can be good for the USA is, well, I have no idea.

It's what Israel wants, of course. And Saudi Arabia too.

Is there any possibility that the intel about Something Big In The Pipeline that justified this execution came from a 3rd party that just so happens to have skin in the game?

Patrick Armstrong

1. Washington has begun its last foreign war
2. Trump has handed his future to Tehran

Questions
Given that so many Israelis have dual citizenship, how many do you think will still be there when hundreds of rockets start falling?
What will Washington do when (not if) the Iraqi government tells all US troops to leave?
Was this Trump's decision or the Borg's? What difference does it make?
Will Tehran's response surprise Washington? Astound Washington? Absolutely stun and gobsmack Washington?

fredw

I have been trying to envision how an Iraqi might see this. From an Iraqi point view, the Iranians and the US might fill similar roles. As Americans we are proud that we "saved" Iraq from the ISIS onslaught. But we tend to forget the period right after the fall of Mosul when the US was still pondering what to do. The Iranians (specifically General Soleimani) went immediately to Baghdad to begin mobilizing resources and reorganizing the Iraqi military for a defense of the city. Both they and we have not been very popular recently but we both have claims on Iraqi memory. It is a mistake to think that people there will see us as "good" and them as "bad". Or vice versa. We have both earned gratitude and blame in large measures.

Seamus Padraig

I guess Trump's tired of being president.

Richard Morchoe

"Worse than a crime, it was a blunder" Fouché

Peter AU1

take aq look at all Trump appointees. The common denominator is that they are all rabidly anti Iran.

Kilo 4/11

One wonders, why now? If he could be located so easily and so precisely, there must have been opportunities in the past, and there would have been more in the future.

Breitbart, a place I glance at from time to time to take the pulse of a large segment of American opinion, has logged above 20k comments on their main Suleimani article.

For this cogitating codger, though I duly note and am impressed by the criticisms of our Committee, I loathe being in accord, however tangentially, with freaks like Rose McGowan: https://www.breitbart.com/entertainment/2020/01/03/rose-mcgowan-i-do-not-side-with-iran-i-definitely-dont-side-with-the-usa/

Willy B

This assassination was an act of extreme recklessness on the part of the administration and taken without regard to what the actual consequences going forward would actually be. The fact that the Pentagon is using the words" defensive" and "deterrent" to describe its actions covers over the truth about how we got to where we are in the first place. The proximate cause of the escalation in tensions between the US and Iran was the Trump Administration's adoption of the "maximum pressure" policy of sanctions and withdrawal from the JCPOA. More short term factors include the mysterious attacks on PMF bases in Iraq during the summer which were attributed to Israel and also blamed on the US by factions inside Iraq. The series of attacks on Iraqi bases housing US troops by Kataeb Hezbollah may have been in retaliation for those strikes.

The roots of the current crisis extends further back, however, to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, which dismantled the Iraqi state and its security services and created a vacuum which was inevitably filled by Iran.

As for why Trump did it, it's been obvious to me that Iran was always a weak spot for Trump, and with the pressure on him from the impeachment, he may have decided that he needs the support of every Republican, including the crazy neo-cons, in order to beat it back, making him vulnerable to the "advice" of berserkers like Lindsay Graham. The split in the responses in Washington to the assassination, with Graham, Rubio and Bolton (among many others), backing it while Democrats, including Biden, criticizing it may be an indication of what pushed Trump into making the decision he did.

vig

And Trump was being "briefed" that it was all Iranian "influenced".

otherwise his long term anti-Iranian position and actions were fake news?

CK

A tempest in a teapot.
A general ( not a politician ) has died and already been replaced.
A situation has been faced and defused.
There will be no major war because Iran is incapable of projecting power much further than the red sea.
But, the action by the US will allow a lot of wailing and moaning and gnashing of false teeth by the various mayors who will now have yet another attack of the vapours over the Iranian suitcase nukes or the Afghani frogmen or some such movie imagining; and by the oh so supercilious talking heads and news readers of the great American megaphone and infotainment industry.

rho

This is a big mistake, in my opinion.

The consequences are impossible to calculate, but could include a violent uprising in Iraq, a forced US troops withdrawal in Iraq (or would the US defy such a withdrawal request and effectively declare war against Iraq again?), Iranian assassination attempts on US politicians or military leaders anywhere in the world, attacks on Middle East oil infrastructure, attacks on tankers, the outright closure of the Hormuz strait for tanker traffic and skyrocketing oil prices, and so on.

Why did Trump do it? I have no idea, but I think it fits to this strange Iran obsession he already had for a long time and which contrasted with his less interventionist views on Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. I think it shows that he has no comprehensive strategic view of the region and is just regurgitating incoherent talking points, i.e. "Iran bad", "we must withdraw from Syria", and so on.

Good for Israel, bad for everybody else in the world.



Eric Newhill

Suleimani was in Iraq fomenting violence against Americans and, who knows who/what else. Trump could stand down and take what was coming or he could kill Suleimani and be proactive and show that he is prepared to fight and fight hard. I think Trump was wise to do the latter. It shows his resolve to Iran and the rest of the world. Yes Iran will have to do something in reaction, but they may think twice about it and how far they go.

Too many America haters here always assuming Iran is innocent, benevolent and peaceful. It is possible for Suleimani to fight to ISIS and to fight the US. Things are not black and white.

E

I'm going to be intrigued by Iran's response,which I guess will have to be asymmetric.
By all acounts QS was not the most hawkish of them... they will follow.

rho

@fredw

Pretty unlikely that anyone in Iraq will see the US as the good guys after they destroyed a car with their Iranian target person Suleimani and also an Iraqi military commander in it.


The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

July 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  
Blog powered by Typepad