In October 2016 my 15- year-old daughter was dying. That was also the month that Trump was campaigning hard in his bid to win against Clinton. My daughter wasn’t into in politics, but she watched the news and debates with us that month with a modicum of interest. At the time, we thought America was on the cusp of having its first female president.
At one point we were watching news coverage of a Trump rally in Nevada and my breath caught in my throat when Trump urged terminally ill people to vote for him.
Trump said, “ I don’t care how sick you are. I don’t care if you just came back from the doctor and he gave you the worst possible prognosis, meaning it’s over. Doesn’t matter. Hang out till November 8. Get out and vote.”
I don’t care how sick you are. The words made my heart hurt. Did he know that real dying people — even children — might hear those words? Was it some kind of joke to him?
“We need to stitch this movement together, bit by bit, stitch by stitch… That’s how we’re going to win it all.”
— Read on www.commondreams.org/news/2019/11/09/ocasio-cortez-and-sanders-draw-largest-iowa-crowd-democratic-primary-so-far-call
Trump is leading us down a path to war with Iran. We cannot sit idly by. On January 2, 2020, under orders from Donald Trump, the Pentagon carried out the airstrike assassination of Maj. Gen. Qassem…
American Friends Service Committee
Beyond the Bomb
Friends of the Earth Action
Justice for Muslims Collective
National Priorities Project
World Beyond War
— Read on actionnetwork.org/letters/sign-the-petition-congress-must-not-allow-the-us-to-enter-into-a-war-with-iran
Late last week, President Trump authorized the radical escalation of America’s 40-year-long conflict with Iran. The January 3 drone attack at Baghdad International Airport was not aimed at deterring an “imminent” attack on Americans, as claimed. It was the preplanned exploitation of a pretext.
Haaretz has reported that Israel, but not the United States Congress, was briefed on the proposed drone strike days before it took place. Its purpose was to eliminate a senior foreign official the Trump administration had designated as an enemy. The killing of the commander of an Iraqi militia hostile to the United States was a bonus. The assassinations were an act of war that will inevitably evoke reprisal. Iran has already promised that it will exact “savage” retribution for the murder of a senior official of its government by the United States.
Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani was the equivalent of the US national security adviser or the commanders of CENTCOM, SOCOM, and SOCCENT. All are now potential Iranian targets. In Iraq itself, the followers of Kataeb Hezbollah’s commander, Abu Mahdi (whose sobriquet was “al Muhandis” or “the Engineer”), will seek their own revenge. The fact that they are part of the Iraqi national security establishment and armed forces is not irrelevant. Kataeb Hezbollah is likely to be joined in its campaign against US forces and officials in Iraq by other patriotic militias, including some historically hostile to both it and Iran.
The Iranian government seldom makes decisions in haste. It is the heir to one of the world’s longest and greatest traditions of politico-military statecraft. It will make considered judgments as it calculates and plans asymmetric responses that hurt Americans without provoking a large-scale conventional war with the United States. If Tehran miscalculates, which is a very real possibility, the now open but low-intensity warfare between the United States and Iran will escalate. Those, like Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and former US national security adviser John Bolton, who have long sought a war with Iran will get one. So will everyone else.
A properly functioning National Security Council would never have let it happen, for good reason.
Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama had considered taking out General Suleimani but rejected it — not for lack of nerve, but for fear of undue escalation and an unnecessary war with Iran. The fundamental facts on the ground have not changed, and in the kind of robust interagency, national security decision-making process that the National Security Council staff is supposed to supervise, such concerns would have been systematically raised, dissected and discussed, and a consensus reached to inform presidential action. No such process seems to have occurred here.
The Pentagon has claimed, facilely, that General Suleimani was hit because the Revolutionary Guard was planning attacks on American targets in the region. But in a proper interagency review, the intelligence community could have pointed out that “decapitation” is a patently unreliable means of pre-emption — particularly when the organization in question is the Revolutionary Guard, an integral part of a well-honed security state with considerable depth of command talent.
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2020/01/04/opinion/trump-soleimani-strike.html
WHILE THE MEDIA focus for three years of the Trump presidency has centered around “Russia collusion” and impeachment, the most dangerous collusion of all was happening right out in the open — the Trump/Saudi/Israel/UAE drive to war with Iran.
On August 3, 2016 — just three months before Donald Trump would win the Electoral College vote and ascend to power — Blackwater founder Erik Prince arranged a meeting at Trump Tower. For decades, Prince had been agitating for a war with Iran and, as early as 2010, had developed a fantastical proposal for using mercenaries to wage it.
At this meeting was George Nader, an American citizen who had a long history of being a quiet emissary for the United States in the Middle East. Nader, who had also worked for Blackwater and Prince, was a convicted pedophile in the Czech Republic and is facing similar allegations in the United States. Nader worked as an adviser for the Emirati royals and has close ties to Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince.
— Read on theintercept.com/2020/01/03/qassim-suleimani-assassination-trump-administration-war/
Iran: Trump “Wagging the Dog” as Democrats Egging on His Militarism
January 3, 2020
Consortium News reports in “Fear of a Major Mideast War“: Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Commander Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani, assassinated by the U.S. on Thursday night, “had been head of the Quds Force for 23 years. The Pentagon allegation is that he directed attacks on U.S. military during the U.S. illegal occupation of Iraq after its 2003 invasion. Soleimani was one of the men most responsible for defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria. …
“The assassination comes after Trump was impeached and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was indicted last year. Both are facing difficult re-election campaigns in 2020 and have long portrayed Iran as the greatest enemy of Israel and the United States.”
RAED JARRAR, jarrar.raed at gmail.com, @raedjarrar
Jarrar is an Iraqi-born human rights activist and writer based in Washington, D.C. He has been on two recent accuracy.org news releases warning against such U.S. actions. He was recently quoted in USA Today. He just tweeted: “Unfortunately, the news of the U.S. assassination of Soleimani … is not only an escalation, it marks the end to the proxy war between the U.S. and Iran … now it’s just war.”
FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at illinois.edu
Professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Boyle’s books include Destroying World Order. See his essay, “American Militarism Threatening to Set Off World War III.” He said today: “This attack is a violation of the UN Charter and also the War Powers Clause of the U.S. Constitution and War Powers Resolution by Congress. … Trump is wagging the dog to stave off conviction by the Senate.” In 1998, Bill Clinton launched a bombing campaign against Iraq just before his scheduled impeachment.
DAVID BARSAMIAN, barsamian at riseup.net
Barsamian is author of Targeting Iran and the forthcoming ReTargeting Iran. He was visited by the FBI following his most recent trip to Iran. He said today: “The assassination of General Qassem Soleimani is pouring gasoline on a region in flames. The Trump administration has been itching for a fight with Iran ever since it pulled out of the nuclear deal in May 2018.” Barsamian stressed the humanitarian toll of the sanctions the U.S. government has placed on Iran and the building of U.S. military bases that surround Iran. He added: “The Trump administration has threatened Iran with ‘obliteration.’ … Iran will respond to Soleimani’s killing and the possibility of a wider conflict will increase.”
DAVID SWANSON, davidcnswanson at gmail.com, @davidcnswanson
Executive director of World Beyond War, Swanson notes the militaristic policy commonalities between Trump and establishment Democrats.
Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept notes: “While warning us that Trump is the gravest threat in U.S. history, many leading Democrats have voted to give Trump unprecedented military budgets and sweeping surveillance powers.”
Swanson notes for example that Rep. Chris Murphy tweeted on New Years Eve: “The attack on our embassy in Baghdad is horrifying but predictable. Trump has rendered America impotent in the Middle East. No one fears us, no one listens to us. America has been reduced to huddling in safe rooms, hoping the bad guys will go away. What a disgrace.”
See from Ali Abunimah: “Why Trump is escalating the U.S.-Israeli war on Iran.”
See “Dogs of War” by Sam Husseini about the dynamics surrounding the Clinton impeachment.
— Read on accuracy.org/release/iran-trump-wagging-the-dog-as-democrats-egging-on-his-militarism/