A Window for Peace 1332


There is this morning a chink of light to avoid yet more devastation in the Middle East. Iran’s missile strikes last night were calibrated to satisfy honour while avoiding damage that would trigger automatically the next round. The missiles appear to have been fitted out with very light warhead payloads indeed – their purpose was to look good in the dark going up into the night sky. There is every reason to believe the apparent lack of US casualties was deliberate.

Even more important was the Iraqi statement that “proportionate measures” had been “taken and concluded” and they did not seek “further escalation”.

I agree their response was proportionate and I would say that I regard the Iranian action so far, unlike the assassination of Soleimani by the US, legal in international law.

The entire world should congratulate Iran for its maturity in handling the illegal assassination of its General, who was on a peace mission, travelling as a civilian on a commercial flight, carrying a mediation message the US had been instrumental in instigating. If as seems possible the US actively manipulated the diplomatic process to assassinate someone on a diplomatic mission and traveling on a diplomatic passport, that is a dreadful outrage which will come back to haunt them. Life insurance rates for US diplomats no doubt just went up.

It is also worth noting the 2.8% rise in the Lockheed share price in the 24 hours immediately before the Soleimani assassination, outperforming the Dow about three times. That would bear investigation. Arms manufacturers and oil stocks have soared this last few days – and remember that nowadays the vast bulk of financial transactions are bets on the margins of movement, so vast fortunes will have been made out of all this.

The UK has been, as ever, complicit in US crimes. Our laughingly so-called “defence” industry – when were its products last used in self-defence and not colonial adventure? – is tied in to and dependent on the US military machine. The current build-up of US troops and hardware in the Gulf has Mildenhall as a major staging post. We do not have to do this. Whether officially or on a pretext, French airspace was closed to the US military build-up and the Americans have had to fly from the UK, skirting France, around the Atlantic.

In a huge Boris Johnson slap in the face to international law, extra US bombers to attack Iran have been flown into Diego Garcia, in the Chagos Islands. You will recall that is where the UK committed genocide against the population in the 1970s to clear the way for the US military base. Last year, the UK lost a hearing before the International Court of Justice and was subsequently instructed by the UN to decolonise the islands and give them back to Mauritius by last November. The UK simply persisted in its illegal occupation and now is threatening the use of the islands as the base for yet another illegal and destabilising war.

That the UK is a permanent member of the UN security council is a disgrace which surely cannot endure much longer. What the current crisis has shown us is that under Johnson the UK has no future except as a still more compliant servant of whoever occupies the White House.

Wars are easy to start but hard to stop. Trump appears to have calmed, but we cannot rule out a stupid “last word” attack by the USA. It is to be hoped that Iran now concentrates on using the immense political leverage it has gained to get western troops out of Iraq, which would be a tremendous result for all of us after 17 years. But we cannot rule out hotter heads in the Iranian government insisting on further attacks, or attacks from regional forces whose Tehran authorisation is uncertain. On either side this could yet blow up badly.

I am a sucker for hope, and the best outcome would be for the US and Iran to start talking directly again, and a deal to be made from this break in the logjam that is wider than, and Trump can portray as better than, “Obama’s” nuclear deal and would enable the lifting of sanctions. I am sure Trump will be tempted by the chance to go for this kind of diplomatic coup under the political cover provided him by Soleimani’s assassination. But the US is now so tied in to Saudi Arabia and Israel, and thus tied in to irrational hostility to Iran, that this must be extremely unlikely.

For those of us in Scotland, this is still more reason why Independence must be early. We cannot be tied in to a rogue state. As we march for Independence on Saturday, the potential for war in Iran gives the sharpest reminder why we must leave the UK and form our own, peaceful, law-abiding state.

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1,332 thoughts on “A Window for Peace

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  • tartanfever

    Craig, would like to get your thoughts on a couple of things ?

    Firstly, Iraqi Commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also killed in the drone strike, and consequently the Iraqi Parliament have voted that all US personnel should now leave Iraq. Could this play out separately to the Iranian retaliation and become a cause of major tension on it’s own ? This death seems to have been dropped from news stories as they concentrate on the Iran angle.

    Secondly, I understand the US refused entry for the Iranian Foreign Minister to enter the US on his way to discussions at the UN, which I understand is a breach of the protocol that allowed the UN to be situated in the US in the first place. Is it now time that the UN should relocate from NY to a more neutral setting ? Indeed, does the US deserve to host the UN anymore ?

    • Jack

      It is a half truth that the parliament put a bill up on forcing american army to leave:

      1 The bill was not binding.
      2 Almost half of parliament boycotted the session.

      • tartanfever

        In a 328 seat parliament, 170 votes were counted as supporting the motion. That is a majority. It makes no difference if the session was boycotted or not, a majority number was reached.

        The vote being put forward and passed will undergo due process and put into effect. The claim of ‘ not binding’ will be irrelevant

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Whilst I am not disputing that the allegedly assassinated General Soleimani was a highly respected leader of Iran, this is a photo of him quite clearly working with American forces

    “How Soleimani Spread Iran’s Influence Across The Middle East ”

    https://gdb.rferl.org/F0211D4E-23E7-4089-A46D-1AAC9DC32DBC_w1023_s.jpg

    https://www.rferl.org/a/how-soleimani-spread-iran-s-influence-across-the-middle-east/30358752.html

    The important thing is the objective, to bring the Middle East to peace, even from an American point of view. These wars paid for by ordinary Americans, are impoverishing (and killing) ordinary Americans, and are not doing anyone any good, except enriching already very rich people invested in the arms industry.

    His alleged Assassination, is having the effect of uniting much of The Middle East. Iraqi’s and Iranians, rather than being at war against each other, are very loudly telling the Americans and The British to go home, and leave them in peace to sort their own problems out.

    Hopefully it will happen, and we can reach a state of peace.

    The Alternative doesn’t bare thinking about.

    Tony

    • Laguerre

      “The important thing is the objective, to bring the Middle East to peace, even from an American point of view.”

      That is, unfortunately, not at all true. Israel wants war, permanent war, so that is what we have. It’s the old Crusader policy, left over from the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, except that Israel has more active backers than Richard the Lionheart.

    • Blissex

      «this is a photo of him quite clearly working with American forces»

      No surprise: they both had as enemy the Taliban, who hated equally christian/secular USA and the Shia Iran, and the iranian secret services helped the USA armed forces a lot against the Taliban (and al-Qaeda, until the Saudis repurposed parts of al-Qaeda as a mainly anti-Shia force).
      The USA armed forces and the Quds force have been engaged in a limited war for many years, but they can have common enemies and parleys, etc.; it is not a full-on war, just a partial one.

  • michael norton

    If the Ukraine Boeing 777 in which everyone is probably dead was merely an accident, why are airlines now, no longer going to overfly Iran?

    • michael norton

      Modern two engine jets now fly across oceans, if one engine packs up, the aircraft is designed to continue flying on just one engine, if this were not the case, they would not be safe flying from one continent to another over vast areas of water.

      • Tatyana

        it is ukrainian jet, there are a lot of Canada passport holders among the passengers, Canada hosts the biggest Ukrainian diaspora, early news reported that the flight was transit to Kiev with a stop point in Tehran, noone says what was the starting airport.

        • Tatyana

          perhaps you’ll be getting more news from UK, because Ukrainian embassy in Iran shares the building with British embassy.

      • Cascadian

        Michael Norton.

        The case you present is over-simplistic. Twin engined commercial aircraft are only permitted to fly significant distances over oceans if are able to comply with Extended Range Operations Procedures (EROPs). Part of this procedure requires that the aircraft remains with a prescribed distance from land. And you clearly need to read up a bit on multi-engine aircraft rules and procedures. Learning a bit about aircraft control systems might help a bit too.

      • Ian Dobbs

        Twitter has photos from an Iranian local of what are clearly missile parts near the crash site. The odds were always in favor of the plane being shot down by Iranian air defense, either by accident or on purpose. Now it’s almost a certainty.

        • Giyane

          Ian Dobbs

          Your insinuation might be correct. If so,
          If your house had had its door kicked down by hooded gangsters with guns you’d be forgiven for hitting someone trying to open your smashed front door with a cricket bat before asking questions.

          Trump has no moral compass and he has set the tone by his multiple breaking of centuries old international laws of diplomacy and international relations

          Even George Bush assembled an alliance of nations as cover for his carpet bombing of Afghanistan and Baghdad. Trump murdered alone . What he did by attacking others to senior gentlemen reminds me of a clip from the chainsaw massacres in which a sick madman carved up his terrified victims in a graveyard.

          It was an appalling and degrading act of terror committed by the leader of the ” civilised world “.
          There will never be any acceptance of Trump’s monstrous outrage. He is one disgusting sick meat chopper. The world must condemn this outrage.

          There will certainly be no discussions about peace until Trump is humiliated by the international community for this outrageous crime. Civilised people will not let it go.
          Trump has vastly underestimated his own position . World leaders do not assassinate on whim. No talk. No peace. Until Trump faces justice in the court of international opinion

        • Andyoldlabour

          Ian Dobbs

          “the plane being shot down by Iranian air defense, either by accident or on purpose.”

          Why would Iran shoot down an airliner which had just taken off from its main international airport, particularly when most of those on board were Iranian (including those flying under another passport), it just does not make sense.
          Imam Khomeini airport to the South of Tehran is a busy international airport. Air traffic controllers and military would have been well aware of regular flights from there.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      michael norton,

      I note you wrote “probably dead”. Until you wrote that it never even occurred to me, the possibilty that no one was in the plane.

      It does look likely to me that it was shot down, purely due to the timing, (a few hours after missiles flying off from Iran) and the photographic evidence – videos and photos, of which I have seen a few. There did seem evidence of holes in the airframe, that could be caused by an engine catching fire, but it seemed more probably to be shrapnel. There are photos of what was left on the ground – over a wide area, that would indicate an explosion before it hit the ground. Some of the people on the site are wearing face masks, and some of the photos are (or were in very high definition – they may now have been deleted). There were bits of engines and wings strewn about, and it was in colour, but I couldn’t see any human body parts.

      So, the plane could have been empty, and flown by remote control.

      Personally, I prefer the earlier theory, that it was shot down by a shoulder held surface to air missile, and they hit the wrong target or even the right one, assuming there was no one in it.

      Maybe The Black Box, that the Iranians kept, will reveal all.

      I think Flights over Iran and Iraq will be back to normal soon, cos its a very busy flight route, and it will be declared safe.

      Tony

  • Tatyana

    That Pompous thing speaking of its exceptionality… Those Trump’s supportes on his Twitter writing “You’re best president ever, sir Commander in Chief!” Our army, our weapons, our this, our that…
    I was thinking, what does this remind me of? Bingo, here it is!

    Imagine it is an American soldier answering the question “why are they in Iraq?”
    https://youtu.be/dijVbM9DpxU?t=70

  • Mary

    The answer to your last question can be supplied by:

    Anthony Charles Lynton Blair Prime Minister UK 1997-2007

    George Walker Bush 43rd President USA 2001-2009

  • Blissex

    «You will recall that is where the UK committed genocide against the population in the 1970s to clear the way for the US military base.»

    And here our blogger “jumps the shark” with the fantasy of the “genocide” of the chagosians, in an otherwise mostly reasonable article.

    • nevermind

      To incarcerate Chagossians in infested delapidated housing with limited water or sanitation was the reward for being taken off the island of their ancestors by the British Governments.
      They then enabled US B 52s to bomb the hell out of Afghanistan, imprison charges who are suspected to be terrorists, and carry out extraordinary rendition.

      To say that banning them from their Islands was not a move to proceed to genocide should be argued in court, but many have died on Mauritius.

    • Fedup

      You best find a copy of the genocide convention and have a read, instead of posting.

      Forcible removal/ejection/deportation of whole people out of their homeland if not genocide then what is it?

    • Magic Robot

      Blissex would be more than happy, judging by his comment, to leave his idyllic life, and move to a swamp, if it lets the UK build an air-base on his former home.
      Or is he a hypocrite?

  • Laguerre

    There is another way the Iranian plane could have been brought down, that I find quite possible, as US hostile action is the most likely, more probable than the Iranians shot it down by mistake. The plane was a recent 737-800, three years old, with up-to-date electronics. It is certain that Boeing will have been requested to insert a backdoor in the software, for the US govt to be able to suicide a plane remotely, in the case of another 911, so traumatic was 911. So voilà, US pulls a switch and plane explodes over Tehran. There are nasty enough buggers in Washington who wouldn’t hesitate to do things like that. What do a few Canadian-Iranians matter? Same as happened with the bombing of the Shrine in Samarra in 2006, but the Iraqis agreed to cover it up. In the future, make sure you fly Airbus, not Boeing.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Laguerre,

      It seems highly unlikely the Iranians shot it down by mistake. Whilst I have never been to Iran, I have worked with a lot of Iranians in The UK. I thought they were all highly intelligent and even more refined than Americans. That was about 20 years ago. I suspect the Iranians are even better now, and its the Americans that got worse.

      Tony

      • John Pretty

        tony, you are assuming that it has been shot down. I agree that this is a possibility, but the investigation is at too early a stage.

        I thought that the Iranian action against the United States seemed very measured and designed to ensure a minimum of casualties. So far as I am aware there has been none. (They had to do something).

        My only thought (purely speculative!) is that one of the missiles that was intended for the Americans in Iraq could have hit the airliner.

        Is this possible? I still doubt it, but an investigation will surely bring some answers.

    • Tom Welsh

      Ukrainian plane, surely?

      And putting a backdoor into software is plausible – but what actually causes the bang?

    • Borncynical

      This struck me as a plausible scenario too. I have no doubt that the US had already planned what their response would be if Iran embarked on the threatened revenge attacks. As soon as the Iranian missiles landed at the US bases in Iraq the go ahead could have been given to ‘arrange’ the downing of a civilian aircraft leaving Tehran. I see that the plane crashed at 6.30 a.m local time, three hours after the last missile was fired by Iran and (possibly, as I don’t know) it was one of the first civilian flights to leave that morning.

      I try not to be an impulsive conspiracy theorist but if it was genuinely an accident it would be an amazing coincidence and I have no doubt that the Iranians and Ukrainians – and others – must also be thinking that. No need for the US to ascribe false flag blame for the crash, to all intents and purposes it would be classified as a suspected accident and investigators would ‘conclude’ that it was an accident. But the US would regard it as sufficient to serve as a warning to their enemies or potential ‘troublemakers’ not to mess with them.

    • Fedup

      The Iraqi news sources are reporting:
      US troops have prevented any Iraqi military personnel from getting near or entering the al asad base. Furthermore there has been a large number of helicopter flights into and out of the base.

      Now you see the postmodernists at their best;

      A- amplify and exaggerate imaginary threats!
      B- downplay any real threats!

      This is the time for them to keep their mouths shut!

  • Lennart Odhström

    Good point, but I have to ask you what you mean with Scottish independece. Does that mean Scotland would leave both UK and EU?

    • Cubby

      Lennart

      As the SNP stand on independence in Europe and the SNP have won the last 9 elections in Scotland it kinda gives you the impression that it is independence from the UK and remain in the EU.

      In the UK Scotland is treated like a colony. Technically/ legally the Kingdom of Scotland is in a Union with the Kingdom of England but for all practical purposes is treated like a colony.

      • Lennart Odhström

        Ah, so still a colony under Brussels then. Sort jumping out of the ashes in to the fire.

          • Steve Ambartzakis

            Agree with Mogabee, not a colony merely a vassal state ruled from unelected bureaucrats in Brussels

          • Cubby

            Steve Ambartzakis

            I have to laugh at all these Brexiteers going on about unelected beauracrats in the EU when the UK has the House of Lords full of Bishops from the Church of England making Laws in the UK. Approx 900 and continually growing unelected Lords in government in the Westminster UK. Corruption and patronage.

            The UK gov has a Minister who chose not to stand for reelection in December was then appointed by Johnson to the House of Lords and put back in to the UK Cabinet. Another MP lost their seat was appointed to the House of Lords by Johnson and then made a Minister again. Democracy in the UK – what a joke.

        • John Pretty

          lennart, it is a widely held view among Scottish nationalists that continued membership of the European Union is desirable.

          In the 2016 Brexit referendum Scotland voted to remain a part of the European Union.

          Therefore the action of Boris Johnson’s government in taking Scotland out of the EU along with the rest of the UK is bitterly opposed by many nationalists.

          • Cubby

            John Pretty

            You underplay the votes for the EU in Scotland. At the last European election every constituency voted for a party that wanted to remain in the EU. The SNP everywhere except for Orkney and Shetland who voted Lib Dems.

            EU ref 2016 62% remain 32% leave . In my own constituency 74% remain. The Tory MP in my constituency who voted for a no deal Brexit lost his seat in December.

            Scots have long standing legal rights over sovereignty and the right to choose both their own government and their monarch. The UK gov are acting like fascists.

            Final point John every MSP in the Scot parliament bar one voted to stay in the EU. That was Tory/Labour/ Lib Dems not just SNP and Greens. The Tory/ Labour in Scotland only changed when they were then subsequently told to do so by their masters in London.

        • Cubby

          Lennart

          The UK has had 312 years to create a decent modern democratic union after its forced marriage creation. Like any abuser in control they want to remain in control.

          The EU is a Union.

          The UK is the dirty fag end of one of the most brutal empires in history – the British Empire.

          It’s a no brainer choice – retain EU membership and dump the UK. Most people in England think the UK is England anyway. Happy for England to go off and do its own thing singing Land of hope and glory and Jerusalem and take your hydrogen bombs with you.

          • SA

            “The EU is a Union.”
            Reminds me when the Hapsburgs wanted to enlarge their empire they installed their king as king of Austria and Hungary. The Hungarians were not equal partners but a subjugated country.
            That the Union was ever that
            of equal partners must also be a similar delusion.

          • Cubby

            SA

            You are right you are posting garbage. You say GB – you can’t even get the basics correct. GB is Great Britain which is the largest island in the British isles. It is not a political entity it is a geographical description.

            If the EU goes the way of the UK then we leave.

            The trouble with the English is they like to be the abuser. They vote for someone like Johnson – says it all.

    • Tom Welsh

      ‘Trump made his statement, ending with “we want peace”’.

      Yes – they always want peace, after they have killed, tortured and imprisoned everyone they don’t like and plundered everything they want.

      Just as Israel wanted peace as soon as it had stolen Palestine from its rightful owners.

      • Tom74

        It’s a bit like the way Boris Johnson and the Royals always want the country to “unite” – but only after they have divided the country with hard Brexit and nobbled the election to keep the Tories in power.

    • Ort

      Tatanya, my guess is that someone quoted the slogan from Orwell’s 1984, “War Is Peace”, to Trump.

      Trump probably liked it and meant to say that, but misread his teleprompter and garbled the quote.

      Seriously, though– as a US resident, I find it sad and deplorable that all of our senior politicians and “statesmen” habitually make utterly false or hypocritical statements with extreme self-righteousness. 🙁

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Trump has spoken.
    More sanctions. America is self sufficient in petrochemicals. NATO to be asked to take more response for the Middle East. UK, France, Germany, Russia & China must act to shut down Iranian nuclear development.
    Reading between the lines, America is pulling out of Iraq and Syria and the news is being presented (very) gradually.

    • Tom Welsh

      “NATO to be asked to take more response for the Middle East…”

      … which is, of course, right plumb in the middle of the North Atlantic (as far as Trump knows).

      “War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography”.
      – Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

  • Doghouse

    We want peace – well he’s got me convinced.
    Actions historic and present are excellent empty word indicators.
    Nato and the good old imperialist club to take more whatever in the middle east.
    Here’s a novel idea – how ’bout the people in the middle east be allowed to take responsibility for their region. Hands up those who think more than two countries in the region would object to that little plan?
    More sanctions eh?
    I would say that if all international flights refuse for the foreseeable future to fly to Iran, that’s the equivalent of a mighty lot of sanctions.
    ‘Cui bono’ – these are not empty words and also good indicators.
    Wonder if the flight list shows any last minute fail to boards?
    One coincidence is sometimes tooo much, but 3???!!
    1. Timing
    2. Country
    3. Airline country of origin.
    Ukraine are now sending their team of investigators, which let’s face it, is as good as …..
    There is evil in this world. My heart goes out to the poor people on that flight.

    • Tatyana

      a completely unusual thing for me, but my heart is silent about this loss.
      perhaps exhosted emotions after this night.
      Perhaps just the first guess is usually the most close.
      In any case, one cannot speak bad of the dead.

      • Doghouse

        Tatyana – why to speak bad of the dead? There is a sadness to their deaths whatever the cause of the catastrophic failure.
        I hope the initial Iranian assessment of engine failure is correct. It won’t bring anyone back, but it is easier to live with than the alternative.
        One thing is for sure. If it was brought down by a third party unbeknown to the Iranians, they won’t be able to keep the lid on it….. which of course would be the intention. Makes me feel sick just writing that, so I’ll stop……..

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Doghouse January 8, 2020 at 17:37
          There is a video of the plane coming down in flames, so ‘engine failure’ would hardly have been the cause. On the other hand (as Chaim Bermant used to say), the plane was likely carrying a number of spooks, and the recent Russian video destroying the Ukranian and cronies’ version of MH 17 recent release may have played a part.
          Iran doubtless is aware that Ukraine has become a U.S. puppet, and Malaysia has long doubted the Western ‘narrative’ of MH 17.

          • Kempe

            Unless the engine exploded it which case bits of flying debris could easily have penetrated the wing tanks.

            If you remember the Concorde crash was caused by a bit of metal flipped up and into the wing by one of the wheels.

          • Andyoldlabour

            Kempe

            Exactly what I was thinking. The fuel tanks would have been nearly full (as they were on Concorde), and any rupturing of them by hot metal would have led to a catastrophic fire.

    • Republicofscotland

      “Here’s a novel idea – how ’bout the people in the middle east be allowed to take responsibility for their region. Hands up those who think more than two countries in the region would object to that little plan?”

      The US are in basic terms attempting to carry out the Monoroe Doctrine, that has been successful in Central and Latin America in the Middle East, albeit this time with the aid of Europe as bit players.

      When Kissinger was supporting Reagans terrorist wars in Central America (mainly) he said if we cannot manage Central America, how will it be possible to convince threatened nations in the Persian Gulf, that we know how to manage the global equilibrium.

      In other words Kissinger was saying we may not frighten them enough if we don’t have a strong and forceful foreign policy in Central America.

      We must remember that US foreign policy is mainly a reflection of US business interests.

    • Q

      On the news tonight, an image of a small red shoe at the crash scene, followed by a family photo of a little girl wearing that same shoe.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      You answer your own question: the UN is not a body representing the world because it is largely financed by the US, is hosted in NYC and its operations reflect 1948 when the US had become the World’s largest power.

      I have been arguing for the best part of a decade that any UN-style body needs moving away from any of the major powers, needs to be hosted in a small to medium-sized non-aligned nation and funded in a way which means that no-one is obligated to brown nose any great power just because they fund them.

      Candidates to host a new ‘UN’ style organisation might include: Vienna; Budapest; Belgrade; Astana; Rabat; Dar es Salaam; Seoul; Montevideo; LIma; Manila; Auckland; Barcelona; Edinburgh; Athens.

      Will it happen??

      Stranger things have, but I will not be going down the bookies any time soon………

        • Courtenay Barnett

          Jack,

          Stated simply – Trump is an idiot and he is also a convenient tool for the warmongers. Read on to understand why so:-

          Mixed messages and good news.
          The speech by President Trump in response to the attack by Iran on two US airbases in Iraq comes as ‘mixed messages and good news’.
          Recall the exercise done in Syria, when it was clear that the US would not be able to effect ‘regime change’. Russia was informed by the US in advance of missile strikes planned in targeted Syria and planes and equipment were moved and secured and then the US launched some seventy missiles as a show of US strength. That was that with little damage. Same game, different game board in Iraq. So be it.
          Now to the mixed message part:-
          Trump in in his speech in one breath signals – no military retaliatory strike; and
          Simultaneously, already having crippling economic sanctions in place against Iran, President Trump warns of more sanctions coming.
          The implications are that the Iranians would use proxies to inflict damage to the US as the US continues to inflict damage to the Iranian economy.
          It was stupid of Trump to have unilaterally withdrawn from the JCPOA, which kicked off this whole new round of hostilities. Why so?
          Well, under International law, there are established ways of responding to non-compliance with the JCPOA if so alleged. The UN monitors confirmed that Iran was in compliance. Trump has yet to state where and when Iranian non-compliance occurred. It is both illogical and dangerous to act in the way that Trump did. So, now we hear in his speech in response to the Iranian strikes in Iraq, that he wants the Europeans/NATO to play an active part to try and resolve the current impasse. You idiot! They already did play a significant part during the Obama era when those very nations participated in and negotiated a deal that the international monitors confirmed was working.
          So, like a pre-mature withdrawal – you pull out – then want to reinsert to get your desired satisfaction?
          Are you an idiot or what?

      • Michael

        I don’t think Americans will agree to moving the UN to Austria. What? With all those bush fires? They’ll think you’re crazy.

  • Fredi

    He’s older now, but still talking a lot of sense, those foolish Americans had a few good chances to alter their fate when they rejected the only sensible politician on offer in the last 20 years. They chose Obama and the rest is history.

    Don’t trust Trump on Iran: Ron Paul

    President Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told us the U.S. had to assassinate Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani last week because he was planning “imminent attacks” on U.S. citizens. I don’t believe them.

    Why not? Because Trump and the neocons, like Pompeo, have been lying about Iran for the past three years in an effort to whip up enough support for a U.S. attack. From the phony justification to get out of the Iran nuclear deal, to blaming Yemen on Iran, to blaming Iran for an attack on Saudi oil facilities, the Trump administration has fed us a steady stream of lies for three years because they are obsessed with Iran.

    And before Trump’s obsession with attacking Iran, the past four presidential administrations lied ceaselessly to bring about wars on Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Serbia, Somalia, and the list goes on.
    https://www.ocregister.com/2020/01/06/dont-trust-trump-on-iran-ron-paul/

    • Doghouse

      But is that true? Does Trump really have an obsession with Iran or is he simply acting out someone else’s obsession? A tool?

  • Paul Barbara

    For those interested, there is a Demo march this Saturday against war with Iran:
    No War on Iran – Demonstration Sat 11 Jan
    Assemble 12pm – Outside the BBC, Portland Place
    March to Trafalgar Square
    Facebook Event »
    There is also an anti-war meeting going on now, at Conway Hall (which I have only just heard about), and a Nest Steps for Labour meeting tomorrow: Fighting the Tories in 2020 – next steps for Labour
    Thu, Jan 9, 6:30pm at the Indian YMCA.

  • Gary

    Now Trump is calling for European nations etc to abandon the nuclear agreement with Iraq (what’s left of it) naming the UK first in the list of countries. Not a coincidence I think. With Brexit looming and the massive trade deal being dangled n front of the UK this is his maximum time of leverage. That’s not to say that once signed it won’t be leveraged yet further of course. Our present government was obviously unaware and despite weasel words was obviously against the US action, it was too insane even for Boris, if Boris complies, as seems likely, he will forever be Trump’s poodle, and the UK firmly in the US government’s pocket in the future beyond Trump.

    The OTHER worrying ‘development’ if I can call it that is the TV news reporting of the Iran air disaster. All passengers and crew on board the Ukraine Air flight to Kiev were killed and it took mere minutes for a link to be made to the previous air strike by the Iranians. Of course they didn’t SAY that, they just kept repeating that there was “no known link to the airstrikes AT THE MOMENT” I sincerely hope nothing more is made of the disaster in that sense. However the evening TV news seems to have put that further down the agenda, with Harry & Megan being considered at least as important as an impending war.

    I still have my doubts that Trump was entirely aware of the impact of his actions prior to the event. He has been the most ‘peaceful’ US President I can remember and has rowed back from his previous threats over potential Iranian retaliation. I genuinely believe he didn’t know of Soleimani’s popularity in Iran. Killing him has served no tactical or strategic purpose whatever, he’s ALREADY been replaced and essentially no impact has been made on Iran’s aims whatever. The outcome has been to solidify the Iranian people behind their government, but for the hawks this had been their opportunity to start the longed for war with Iran. Will they give up or will they seek further pretexts to begin hostilities??

    • Doghouse

      “I still have my doubts that Trump was entirely aware of the impact of his actions prior to the event.”

      Then that simply confirms him to be not fit for purpose.

      He doubly proved it thus when he announced on the world’s largest social media platform that he had locked in 52 Iranian targets many of them cultural. This would have undoubtedly instilled terror in the minds of many innocent and previously happy Iranians for their own safety and / or cultural / religious monuments held nationally dear to them. Genuine fear and the platform ensured it reached as many minds as possible. That by any definition is terrorism and has nothing to do with wanting or securing peace in the region.

      Imagine the hoo-ha if a rogue Iranian had responded with “then we’ll do the same to the taco bell or the statue of liberty. By the millions they would be hollering outrage at the thought of their lady being hit – whilst not even realising their lady is in fact…..
      ….a man. And so it is, take a good look, that’s not just a masculine looking woman, its a very masculine looking man. So much deception eh?

      • John Pretty

        “By the millions they would be hollering outrage at the thought of their lady being hit – whilst not even realising their lady is in fact.a man. And so it is, take a good look, that’s not just a masculine looking woman, its a very masculine looking man. So much deception eh?”

        Are you talking about the Statue of Liberty doghouse? I must admit I’d never even thought about the issue of it’s sex. Were you joking?

        wikipedia says the following:

        “The Statue of Liberty is a figure of Libertas, a robed Roman liberty goddess. She holds a torch above her head with her right hand, and in her left hand carries a tabula ansata inscribed in Roman numerals with “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI” (July 4, 1776), the date of the U.S. Declaration of Independence.”

        • Doghouse

          John, yes the S of L
          We may be told she is a woman or may be meant to be a female icon, but just look. Most photos are taken from below and it is not apparent. Google early photos there are some of the construction taken at head level semi profile. That appears to be not a masculine looking woman, but a masculine looking young man.If she’s a woman she isn’t too well endowed either. Tis a bit bizarre. There was apparently some rumour that her creator modelled her on his brother or some such, can’t recall where I came across that now, a while ago.

          • Andyoldlabour

            Doghouse

            Do you take some sort of strong medication, because that seems to me to be the only reason for your very strange posts. The statue of Liberty was designed by French sculptor Bartholdi and the metalwork designed by Eiffel. There is a 12m version of the statue in Colmar, France (the birthplace of Bartholdi).

  • djm

    As we march for Independence on Saturday………..

    Do you ever listen to yourself before typing ?

  • John Goss

    Good analysis. Like you I am a sucker for hoping for the best and consistently being made to look foolish in doing so. The Saker did a good piece on the hopefully ended international crisis 3 days ago pointing out:

    “Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdl Mahdi has now officially revealed that the US had asked him to mediate between the US and Iran and that General Qassem Soleimani to come and talk to him and give him the answer to his mediation efforts. Thus, Soleimani was on an OFFICIAL DIPLOMATIC MISSION as part of a diplomatic initiative INITIATED BY THE USA.”

    In essence, if this is true, the US invited Soleimani into Iraq so that they could assassinate him.

    ———————————————————————————————————————————————–

    Off topic. Any Labour Party member thinking of supporting the Guardian’s and MSM’s favourite for the Labour leadership, Keir Starmer QC and MP, should remember it was he, as Director of Public Prosecutions, who ruled that no legal action should be taken against police or special branch officers in the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes. He also thinks people who wear masks at demonstrations, as I did when protesting outside the Ecuador embassy on behalf of Julian Assange, should be pursued more vigorously.

    https://www.theguardian.com/law/2012/mar/06/masked-protesters-cps

    This man deserves nobody’s vote of confidence.

    • fedup

      ” if this is true”

      Iraqi prime minister said on live TV on al jazeera, but the echo chamber media have assiduously kept away from that sort of fly in the ointment and are running with US narrative.

      Fact is he was travelling on a civilian flight so his departure and arrival were known and it doesn’t take a lot to arrange for his murder. If you look around the internet you will see one of his hands lying on the dirt with the flesh hanging off the wrist area. This was yet another episode of lawlessness.

      Strangely enough the satellite images of the damage to the airbase that came under fire has not been seen by any of the supine echo chamber media operatives, (see no evil, hear no evil, say no evil bunch indeed!). There again the accuracy of the hits would make any man worried so why worry anyone?

    • Tony

      He was also highly disingenuous in his dealings with the Ian Tomlinson case:

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10728685

      And quite vindictive in his pursuit of the Paul Chambers case:

      https://www.theguardian.com/law/2012/jul/29/paul-chambers-twitter-joke-airport

      Not to mention his active involvement in keeping the nonsensical Swedish rape allegations against Julian Assange in legal process.

      The man’s a total scumbag and Establishment gimp. Any sane person wouldn’t trust him as far as they could throw him.

      Regarding Soleimani, I have my doubts that the USA even knew they were ‘hitting’ him. Israel will almost certainly have provided the intel, and I have a sneaking suspicion that the US were given false intel that they would be taking out al Muhandis and one of his allies from the Lebanon.

      • Spencer Eagle

        Tony…absolutely, the Ian Tomlinson case was a cover up from start to finish. He was the first man ever to die from blunt force trauma by falling over onto a flat pavement. The initial post mortem carried out by the Met’s handpicked friendly pathologist concluded he’d died of a heart attack, in reality he’d died as a result of 60% of his total blood supply leaking into his abdominal cavity. It’s highly likely the pointed end of a police riot baton was thrust into his back with considerable force, he didn’t simply fall over as a result of being struck on the leg with a baton.

    • nevermind

      John, I am 100 % behind you, Keir Starmer has blanked out his crass mistake in order to forget it and in the hope that history would forget or forgive such ignorance of established judicial practises.
      I do admire Keir for his conviction to go vegan, I’d wish he would come out in favour of free speech and Julian.

      Sadly I can’t contemplate voting for him as his selfindulgence does not outrule the humane values I hold.

      • Tony

        He lied his way through the Ian Tomlinson case. He ignored all rhyme, reason and contemporary legal advice in the Paul Chambers case. And he bullied and cajoled the Swedes into keeping up the persecution of Julian Assange. He also derailed Labour’s General Election campaign with his railroading of Corbyn into a basically pro-remain commitment.

        But, hey, he’s turned vegan! Right on! Top man!

  • Laguerre

    In my view, there won’t be a war with Iran. Iran calibrated its response at less than the level which would require a US attack.

    War in Iraq, though, is still an open possibility. There’s enormous resentment of the US military presence. The PM is weak, and popular opinion is against the US. We could easily see militias sniping at passing US convoys. How long will that be doable, and the US maintain its position?

    • fedup

      “In my view, there won’t be a war with Iran. Iran calibrated its response at less than the level which would require a US attack.”

      Twitter feed from Iran going down aside, all the indications from Iranians conveyed that they were ready to hit 104 sites around the mid east, if US so much as had twitched a muscle. In fact this was coincident with fighter jets taking off Qatar and Turkey, thank fully they should have returned to their relevant base.

      The stand down helped avoid a major war, a bloody war, and a protracted war that would have engulfed the whole region in fire.

      This is a face-saving operation now.

  • Keith McClary

    Iraqi statement that “proportionate measures” had been “taken and concluded” and they did not seek “further escalation”.

    I think you meant Iranian.

  • Paul Breslaw

    Sorry Craig, but the UK did not commit genocide on the Chagossians; rather in my understanding, it was ethnic cleansing of the worst kind. Still a despicable act, still a crime against humanity, and still something the so-called International Community should act decisively against. But not genocide.

  • fedup

    First I must add that I am glad my prayers were answered and the world has averted a protracted and nasty war that could have gone nuclear.

    However, to be told by the echo chamber media; the missiles hit the ground only denting a little impact area, in fact a Hamas home made rocket would have been making a bigger crater but adding insult to injury by showing the bits of “missile” is a bit too much for my digestive system, the infantile portrayal of playing down the threat is just too comical/side splittingly laughable.

    I know there is an effort to save face and all that, but that cannot include spewing the same cock-and-bull stories as per status quo ante

  • Jack

    Not surprising:
    US Lawmakers ‘Deeply Skeptical’ of ‘Imminent Threat’ Posed by Soleimani Following Intel Briefing
    https://sptnkne.ws/AWwj

    Seems like there wasnt even a reason by Trump to kill Soleimani.. so completely unnecessary.
    Trump stands there talking like nothing while he ordered a murder of a human being!

    • Fedup

      Evidently these morons spewing this narrative have not seen the accuracy of the hits in alasad base despite all its fandabbydozy anti this and that and the other missile systems. 15 Iranian missiles have landed exactly where they were targeted at. Hence the sudden about turn of the potus; “we don’t have to use our weapons” .

      There is a continuation of a push by certain sections of the echo chamber media portraying Iranians as “terrorists” hence the surreptitious attack on a defenceless airliner scenario. Fact is Iran has been barred from buying Boing parts, and planes as well as being subject to the ever widening unilateral sanctions regime of the US. Hence, why on earth should Iran wish to hand over the black box to Boeing? Furthermore what guarantee does Iran have that it will not end up getting blamed for downing the aircraft, as the current narrative that is forming suggests? Black boxes can be interrogated by any number of experts, and the resultant data could be published

      The postmodernist disregard for reason and truth and actualities that have yielded these images on the echo chamber media for their “news consumers” That is a clear and convincing evidence of Iran bussing their missiles by road and jemmy these missile and manually drop them off around the targets they wanted to hit!

      As in evidence even the dry shrubbery surrounding the area are not even singed never mind burnt. and missile is clearly broken into three parts and as the truck pulled away the skin has been torn off it, to disguise it was from Iran!!!! :))

      The playing down of the real threats and dangers being part of the postmodernists tool kit, complimented with a strawvision scope of the debate and discussion to play up the imaginary threat. This somehow does not bode well for any kind of search for truth or what really happened to the airplane, which is bad news for the next batch of flyers who could be flying on the same kind of faulty aircraft and ending up with the same kind of fate.

  • Harry law

    The Iraqi parliament has asked for coalition troops to be removed from Iraq, the US has refused to go, therefore they are an occupying force and the resistance have no alternative other than to physically remove them, this was done last time with the loss of many US troops…..
    What drove the US out of Iraq the first time was a simple device called an explosively formed projectile [EFP] it consisted of a steel pipe [or even a piece of PVC waste pipe packed with high explosive with a disk of copper at the end, this was placed at the side of roads frequented by US army patrols, they could easily be disguised as rocks or other common features of the landscape, Initially they were set off by electronic means i.e. a cell phone, garage door opener or other such device. The US spent billions and asked Government research laboratories and universities to counter this phenomenon, they succeeded at first when convoys were headed by a vehicle bristling with antennae, the Iraqis were one step ahead of them, they started using a piece of string to detonate the simple device, game over. An EFP can destroy the latest tanks penetrating from front and out the rear, on detonation the disk is propelled thus…. EFP 20 cm (8 inches) in diameter can throw a 3 kg (7 lbs) copper slug at Mach 6, or 2,000 meters per second. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Explosively_formed_penetrator

  • Diego

    It´s been said before in this thread but it bears repetition, as I consider it key to confront the lies from the US government in such an important issue with (hundreds of) thousands of lives and possibly a global crisis are at stake. This is not coming from a dark website or some conspiranoic pundit but Iraq´s PM, for god´s sake! This text from The Independent yesterday, link below;

    “Iraq’s prime minister revealed that he was due to be meeting the Iranian commander to discuss moves being made to ease the confrontation between Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia – the crux of so much of strife in the Middle East and beyond.

    Adil Abdul-Mahdi was quite clear: “I was supposed to meet him (Soleimani) in the morning the day he was killed, he came to deliver a message from Iran in response to the message we had delivered from the Saudis to Iran.”

    The prime minister also disclosed that Donald Trump had called him to ask him to mediate following the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad. According to Iraqi officials, contact was made with a number of militias as well as figures in Tehran. The siege of the embassy was lifted and the US president personally thanked Abdul-Mahdi for his help.

    There was nothing to suggest to the Iraqis that it was unsafe for Soleimani to travel to Baghdad – quite the contrary. This suggests that Trump helped lure the Iranian commander to a place where he could be killed. It is possible that the president was unaware of the crucial role that Soleimani was playing in the attempted rapprochement with the Saudis. Or that he knew but did not care.”

    I mean Suleimani was actually there on a diplomatic mission to meet the very same Prime Minister of Iraq THAT morning. These are facts. He was not planning “imminent attacks to kill Americans” or “setting militias to hit the US Embassy” (which had been cleared up already by the way). He was cowardly assassinated in the vilest manner while actually carrying peace talks with Saudi Arabia, the Iraqi government mediating the whole thing just to add to the mess!

    Even if I don´t really know who is behind all this and why (just wonder) I still fall short of adjectives to describe the actions and subsequent lies from the US; Nasty, treacherous, coward, untrustable, incompetent, childish, idiotic, irresponsible, illegal, murderous…by any standard. The utter lack of decency and respect for any half-thinking person out there is hard to match.

    For all their military might America is losing any soft-power they might have left (outside their own brainwashed believers in the mid-west and parts of the anglosphere).

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/qassem-soleimani-death-iran-baghdad-middle-east-iraq-saudi-arabia-a9272901.html

    The article adds some interesting analysis of the situation in the Gulf States also, as is the deafening silence in Riyadh during the whole affaire. The Sunni states in the Gulf are pretty scared about open war actually unfolding, it seems. I am no military expert but God knows I´d move my ass out of Dubai, Kuwait or Tel-Aviv FAST if Americans decide to go berserk against Iran.

    • Diego

      In short, even if we leave morals, nukes and geopolitics aside the PR disaster for the US is one of monumental proportions, and still forgot to mention the threat on the cultural sites as the cherry on the cake…I mean can someone please stop the kid twitting?

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Diego January 9, 2020 at 03:15
        ‘…the PR disaster for the US is one of monumental proportions…’
        It certainly should be, but as the MSM will ignore it, most people will be unaware of the truth.

        • Diego

          “most people will be unaware of the truth.”

          Yes, unfortunately. But the ones in power know what´s going on for sure; The EU, Japan…even the rest of the anglosphere, Russia and China must be thinking that the US has definitely lost it, and they will be increasingly wary of linking themselves with the US at any level (trade, military, etc) if they follow the neo-con path in this shameful way, with an idiot like Trump at the helm.

  • Q

    But what happened to all those Canadian citizens who may have been collateral damage when the Ukrainian airliner fell out of the sky (shades of MH17)? Of the 176 on board, 138 were heading to Canada, and 63 of these were Canadian citizens. It’s true that there is little information currently about the cause, but this is weighing heavily on the minds of our citizens and leaders tonight. Too often lately it seems that our ally to the south is putting us up as a sacrificial lamb or forcing us into awkward situations (ahem, Meng Wanzhou). Our troops were also in the line of fire of those missiles in Iraq.

    • Diego

      “Why were so many Canadians on the plane that crashed in Iran?”

      I´ve been asking myself the same question. 63 Canadians flying from Tehran to Kyiv, really? Let´s read it then, thanks.

      • Laguerre

        Iranians with Canadian passports, visiting family over Christmas. On all the web-sites Ukrainian is the cheapest for going to Tehran.

        • Diego

          Yes, I´d heard about Canada having a solid (original) Iranian community but the Ukranian link was just a step too further. Now I get it, thanks.

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