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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  • Mrs Pau!

    So have the Iranians owned up or, as many posters here seem to think, they couldn’t have done it and are being fitted up?

    • SA

      I sort of agree that there was a defensive attitude. However some also said that it is too early to judge, let us wait and see. People are wary of these announcements because of the Iraq invasions, Libya, Syria and the Skripal confident announcements not backed up with evidence and subsequently shown to be falsae. At least Iran admitted, unlike Blair, Bush and co.

    • Tatyana

      Yes, I agree, waiting for the news is the most correct position, Mrs. Paul.

      The Iranians did it. Iran was awaiting for possible US response to missile attacks. The plane was shot down because it flew near military object and made a U-turn in such a way that it was mistaken for an enemy target – iranian general staff explained.
      If only the Americans were sitting at home, then the whole tragedy with the plane would not have happened.

    • Laguerre

      Someone was saying that, even after this admission, there may be still more to come. They could be right. Even a trigger-happy Guardsman, under stress, would be unlikely to fire at a plane taking off in a straight line out of the airport.

    • John Pretty

      Well I myself never thought that the downing of the plane was a deliberate act, although I was clearly wrong in suggesting it was unconnected.

      I put a comment speculating that it may have been shot down by the Iranians by mistake a couple of days ago (January 8, 2020 at 19:57) but by a missile intended for the American air bases.

      Is it confirmed that it was shot down instead by the Iranian air defence system?

      Whatever the precise circumstances of this tragedy, I think it is clear that had Trump not ordered the murder of Soleimani, 176 people would still be alive.

      • Tom Welsh

        “I think it is clear that had Trump not ordered the murder of Soleimani, 176 people would still be alive”.

        That is certainly the bottom line. And if the Americans had stayed in their own country for the past 70 (arguably, the past 180) years, the world would be a far better place and literally tens of millions would have lived out their natural lives instead of being callously murdered.

        When a crime is committed – such as unprovoked war of aggression, the supreme international crime – the aggressor is to blame for all the harm that is caused, in whatever way and however indirectly.

  • Jack

    Kudos to Iran for admitting their military might be involved in this incident, no other nation would do that!

    Considering Trump’s action led to this U.S. should admitting their responsibility that led to this incident and also paying the families of the victims. It wont happen of course.

    • Privs

      How can it be “kudos” to Iran? They have lied every step of the way, I was one of the people who thought that Canada, USA and UK were up to there same ol same ol, my opinion was reinforced by Iranian statements, NOW! they have admitted something they did not have to deny, the dishonesty by Iran in this matter goes against them and I for one will take what they say with a pinch of salt.

      Iran just insulted every person who agrees and supports them in their fight against a pathetic bully called the USA.

      • Laguerre

        “They have lied every step of the way,” Really? They’ve admitted after 3 days of preliminary investigation. That’s adequately fast, once they’ve found they were wrong. Iran is not equipped to function as fast as in the West.
        At least they’ve admitted responsibility. MH17, they’re still hiding the truth after all this time.

        • Privy

          They did lie from the off, they said it was a malfunction, they said USA et al was conducting a psychops war, they said if they had eveidence to put up..they denied it, There is plenty of proof of this and why bring the MH17 into this,

          Iran lied and has now confessed, Irans word is worth about as much as that of USA,UK etc.. NOTHING.

          They should not have put out statements like they did, they have lost a lot of sympathy around the globe imho, I refuse to believe I am not the only one who is outraged at being led down the garden path by Iranian lies, for that is what they were, off course one takes into account the circumstance and the provocations but Iran should have and could have handled this in a different way.

          Iran LIED to everyone who supported it.

          • Deb O'Nair

            All governments lie and deceive to some extent most of the time. While it is not a good look for Iran it is better that they have, relatively quickly, admitted the truth rather than continue with denials.

            If you read earlier posts you will see that many commenters were reserving judgment while some were speculating about Iranian missiles being fired, and others were leaning towards a US psyop.

            The question I have is why do you feel so personally outraged and betrayed by the Iranian government when many people here were open to the idea that Iran may have fired a missile?

          • Deb O'Nair

            I sensed there was something wrong when some Iranian said that it was “impossible” for the air defence system to shoot down the airliner, which begs the question; if it’s impossible to shoot down an airliner how do they hit military planes and missiles?

          • nevermind

            You are talking tosh, Privitera, they are admitting their faults and mistakes as soon as they were sure of the mishaps, during a top level alert phase.
            Now compare that with US moping and denial, added injury by Awarding medals to the killer crew pirates who shot at an Iranian airliner.
            Try again

      • Jack

        Privs
        There is some truth in that since no real investigation has not been made yet, i.e. who, what really made the plane crash?
        I wonder if Iran has simply taken the video recordings at face value and assumed it was one of themselves that caused the “strike” and simply admitted responsibility.

        At the same time, these mistakes happens.

        • Privs

          I think it being an accident is not disputed, unintentional as it was, incredibly self defeating in lying about it when they was in full possession of the facts from the get go, Iran did itself no favours imho with those outside Iran who support/supported it in its fight against US aggression, personally I would like to see Iran push the USA out of the region, I simply mistrust them now, same way I do any other nation who lies when in full possession of the facts. Made more than a few people who was arguing their corner look like utter and complete twats. Whatever Iran gets accused of next, I will simply not believe Iran without them giving hard evidence to counter, doubt I would believe the allegations of the west anyhow but as it stands, the west are looking the more honest broker, even though common sense predicts otherwise, Iran should never have lied about this, if they had instead said nothing as there was an investigation underway,, then that would have been a much better way of conducting themselves.

      • Yarkob

        i think what they actually said was: “let’s wait for the army to conclude its investigations” (paraphrased) now they say the investigation has concluded it was an accidental shoot-down. they admitted it. the USA has yet to admit the USS Vincennes shot down an iranian airliner on purpose. Perhaps kudos is the wrong word, but i’d still trust an iranian general over a yank politician to tell me the truth any day of the week

        • John A

          Kudos to Iran. When the boot was on the other foot and the US shot down an Iranian passenger plane, Bush the elder simply shrugged and said ‘I’m not an apologise for America kind of guy’. Says it all.

          • Yarkob

            More than that, John, he actually said “I don’t care about the details”. Another true war criminal

      • Rob Royston

        If Iran have concluded that their military were involved in the shoot-down and made a statement admitting to that then their integrity has to be acknowledged.
        I have not seen the statement as yet but someone had said earlier that the aircraft had changed course into a defended area and become a target. Getting to the truth is what people want and I’m hopeful that the Iranians will do that with diligence and honesty.

        • Fedup

          The head of aerospace command has gone on record that “he wishes it was him who was dead instead of the victims of the accident, adding they are in the process of a through investigation as to the exact course of event.

      • M.J.

        American officials lied about the downing of Iran Air flght 655, done in the mistaken belief that the aeroplane was a hostile fighter. However the Iranians have promised to hold the person/s responsible for shooting down Ukraine International flight 755 to account, whereas the officer who had Iran Air 655 shot down was honoured for commanding his vessel (without mentioning the flight).

      • Graham

        Bear in mind this historical context and hypocrisy:

        https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/01/iranian-armed-forces-say-they-inadvertently-shot-down-the-ukrainian-plane.html#more

        ‘It is welcome that the Iranian forces come clean about the incident.

        That is not a given in such cases.

        “After the USS Vincennes in 1988 had shot down Iran Air Flight 655 and killed 290 people, including many children, the U.S. government denied any culpability. George H. W. Bush, the vice president of the United States at the time, commented: “I will never apologize for the United States – I don’t care what the facts are… I’m not an apologize-for-America kind of guy.” Despite its “error” the crew was given medals and the captain was even awarded a Legion of Merit “for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as commanding officer …”‘

  • Jack

    This was also the “window of retaliation” Iran had for the Soleimani killings, unfortunately the crash of the airliner came between. Trump must be thankful to the crash…

    • Fedup

      Trump is happy as a dog with twea cocks (translated from Cumbrian Trump is a very happy chap). This incompetence of Rohani has turned the tables and changed a win for Iran to a sort of a draw in which Trump came off better on points. In stead of shutting down the air space, to all commercial traffic soon as the first missiles were airborne until further notice. He has managed to bring about the fiasco.

      Does anyone know anything about decoding the black box procedures? (Spencer Eagle?)

      • Laguerre

        What incompetence of Rouhani? They’ve admitted pretty fast, considering the slower speed that things happen in Iran.

        • John Pretty

          The Iranians have shown a good deal of – I don’t know the right words – courage and honour in openly admitting to their terrible mistake.

          But ultimately the responsibility for this tragedy lies with the Americans.

          • Republicofscotland

            “But ultimately the responsibility for this tragedy lies with the Americans.”

            I cant agree with that, the Iranians shot the passenger jet down, as I said in my comment further down, in a state of heightened military alert Iran’s airspace should not have been fully open.

          • John Pretty

            My point is that the Americans, with their murder of Soleimani, set off the chain of events that led to this tragedy.

            Certainly the Iranians should have closed their airspace.

          • bevin

            You are absolutely right: none of this would have happened if the US had not imposed sanctions ion Iran and steadily tightened the screws. They call it a policy of maximum pressure.
            Well, this is what happens when you do all that you can to keep the air defences on constant, hair trigger alert.
            The US does not share the blame with Iran, it is entirely responsible for these and all other deaths which result from this criminal bullying behaviour.
            The wonder is that things like this do not happen more often. The US wants chaos and tension in Iran. It acts without regard for either international law or public decency: it is wholly responsible.
            It is sad to see the rapidity with which some posters rush back to the default position that the US- a force for pure evil in the world and in the Middle East in particular- can be excused for attempting to starve people into submission.

        • Ken Kenn

          The latest reports say that Iran was wrong not to close down the airport/airspace.

          Does this mean that other flights were taking off at the time?

          If there were many flights taking off – why was this one shot down?

          What was different about this particular flight?

          Not siding here – but that requires an answer I think.

          • Vivian O'Blivion

            Statement from the Iranian Armed Forces, General Staff says the flight “took off from Imam Khomeini airport, and when turning around, it approached a sensitive military site … “.
            Clear implication is that the previously established attempt to return to the airport happened before the missile strike. What matters is the WHY. No mention to date of communication with air traffic control to request an emergency landing.
            Does this trigger memory of the Russian shooting down of Korean Airlines flight 007 in 1983? Sometime after that event it emerged that Korean Arlines were in the habit of “accidentally” straying into Russian, military restricted airspace.

          • Doghouse

            Without specific flight data common sense says there must have been other flights Ken. Around 6am is rush hour in flight terms is it not? So if this wasn’t first off the rank then it must have been one in many. I read somewhere and can’t recall where that it was delayed slightly as the pilot had asked for certain things to be removed as too heavy, Don’t know if true.

          • Doghouse

            The Ukrainians stated they had full access to flight data recorder that the pilot’s last transmission was fine.
            If the timings are correct, a course change coupled with silence took place.
            Question is why and perhaps how?

      • Doghouse

        Understatement Fed, Iran held the upper hand for the first time since the 1950s but the moral high lasted but minutes. Trumps higher than ever and can say that’s why theyt shouldn’t have weapons and we’re not going to ease sanctions so you can pay comps, no Sir.
        As a game of chess that one’s over.

        Of course in a world filled with duplicity, blackmail, threats and all kinds of evil doing some might still question what caused the button to be pressed/go off – doubtless Iran are doing just that. Might also ask why no pilot communication when he changed direction, and why and how the change. All moot in the bigger pic ture though. Whatever the answer to those if other than innocent, wouldn’t be believed any hoos.

        • Doghouse

          Apologies Fed up, just realised by shortening your name made it appear a little …. wasn’t implying anything (chuckle).

        • Tom Welsh

          “As a game of chess that one’s over”.

          As a lifelong enthusiastic chess player, may I point out that the game is not usually played under the imminent threat of men with large nailed clubs?

        • fedup

          Exactly Doghouse!

          This moron Rohani smells of a fifth columnist if I am not being too uncharitable. His economic policy based on the postmodernist mumbo jumbo, has brought about the Petrol price rise riots: his administration doubled the price of petrol (based on IMF/World Bank advice indirect taxation to leave the super rich alone) and during an interview he went on record to say; “I didn’t know when this change is going to be implemented”. Does it remind you of anyone of our own dear leaders and political operatives who distance/disown/disassociate from any hot potato issue?

          Iran had the upper hand and presto this guy has handed it back with penalties too!

  • michael norton

    A window for Peace.
    Recently we had Donald Trump revoking the Omani-brokered peace initiative with Iran, which was partially about reducing centrifuge enrichment but was more about generally curbing the influence of Iran over large parts of the Middle East.
    The Sultan of Oman died yesterday, the longest last monarch in the Arab World.
    For Orthodox Christmas, the new President of Ukraine decided to sojourn in Oman.
    The Ukraine airliner was brought down leaving Tehran, in a time of extreme heightened anxiety.
    A most unfortunate happening.
    Which the Iranians have just admitted culpability.
    There is some suggestion from them that there were onboard problems which lead the aircraft to change course and drop down, which aimed it at the military base, which was on high alert against American aggression.
    The Ukraine President left Oman, soon after this disaster.

    What I am interested in, is, was the new President of Ukraine in Oman, to try and rekindle the peace process between Iran and America?

  • Republicofscotland

    It now becomes clear why Iran was reluctant to hand over the flight recorders, in a heightened state of alert human error saw the military shootdown the passenger jet killing all on board.

    Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday offered his condolences and called for an investigation into the incident. Ironically this terrible tragedy might actually divert Iran’s and the USA’s minds away from further conflict for now at least.

    Of course it was naive to keep the country’s airspace open during a military operation.

    • Tatyana

      Amir Ali Hajizadeh, IRGC commander, stated that IRGC is fully responsible for what happened and is ready to submit to any decision of the authorities.
      Honest and liable people, I welcome and support this openness.

    • Doghouse

      Best you pop over as an advisor then RoS, them naives people probs do with all the help they can get and who knows mebs sort out the decades long beat down they’ve been on the arse end of eh?

      • Doghouse

        Question, whilst the IRG have admitted responsibility because ultimately they are indeed responsible for all of their officers and their actions. can you hand on heart say with certainty that it was ‘human error’? Infiltration , deception, blackmail and threat are the names of the age old spy game are they not? And some masters have been playing a very very long time. Again though, tis moot if not irrelevant. We’ll never know for no better reason than it would never be believed.

        Bottom line, a terrible tragedy and yeah, probably would have been sensible and prescient to close air traffic for 24 hours despite my facetiousness.

        • Doghouse

          Sorry Tatyana my point is that in international espionage it is common place to have agents or assets in place in positions of responsibility in countries viewed as the enemy. Happened all the time in the cold war no? Russians had agents in British and Us military and the reverse was true, military, political, scientific assets in every walk of life. Common trait across the globe. Add to that their bag of tools, deception, threat, sexual blackmail etc etc. Then ask how difficult would it be for such a person in place to use those tools to get a hold over someone in a position to launch such a missile, particularly if a senior officer or whatever? It’s really not at all inconceivable, even probable or something similar certainly is.
          But even if the person responsible came forward and said “they made me do it threatened to kill my family” or whatever they would not admit that – it shows vulnerability and wouldn’t be believed anyway. Probably was human error, it was certainly a massive error, but I cannot put my hand on my heart and say it wasn’t deliberate because it might have been and I simply don’t know.

          • Yarkob

            another spin-off from Talpiot, maybe….lot of electronics in missile launchers…probably unlikely, but it bears thinking about

          • N_

            There are electronics and digital communications in the air defence systems, in civilian air traffic control, and on board civilian flights.

            Earlier I thought the enemy penetration must have been in the air defence (whether detection or response), but given that the plane changed course for unexplained reasons the penetration may have been into the onboard systems on the third-country plane. The aim need not have been to get the plane shot down. It could have been to crash it into the “sensitive military installation”, or at the airport, or for that matter in open country. Any of these would have been a useful way to unnerve and unsettle the enemy commanders. The technology may be fancy, but there is nothing new here about how to fight war. (In only a slightly different context, I agree with the commentators who have pointed out that a much better term for the stupid phrase “hybrid war” is simply “war”.)

            Iran found out they had lost control of some system that they needed to keep control of to avoid airliners being brought down and goodness knows what else next, and they did the only sensible thing: they stood down in the conflict for the time being. Lessons will be learnt. We may have to wait a bit longer until the recommencement of the effort to throw the US out of the Middle East…

        • Doghouse

          Also, am I mistaken or did the Iranians say the plane was shot down AFTER it had made an unscheduled change of direction? Now if that is true and I mean IF, why did the plane change direction, how did it change direction, and why did the pilot not communicate to ATC?
          I have no answers, just questions but when they say that and it is possible to take remote control of one of those planes, then the questions kind of form themselves.

          It has taken me a long lifetime to realise that absolutely nothing is as it appears or is painted – nothing, and as a resultI really don’t know anything..

          • Fedup

            Add me on that list too!

            There is a missing element that we need to wait and see if it will emerge.

          • Tatyana

            Of course.
            There’s statement above here that Iran lied. I cannot see where Iran lied.
            Their civil aviation official said there was no missile but technical problem. Their military official said it was the missile. Their head of the state recognised the responsibility.
            One cannot say “Iran lied”, it is just that small bits of the whole picture were arriving one by one from different sources. Reminds me of Kempe’s statement that $500 is enough to stand as candidade for election. And later it turns out one needs something else.

            As I understand, there happened something that made the crew to make a U-turn and direct the plane back to the airport. Most possibly it was interpreted by civil aviation official as a technical problem.
            I also understand why military needed more than a single minute to rule out what’s happened. It’s important also to exclude another possible reasons, which I guess are multiple in Iran’s situation.

          • Vivian O'Blivion

            Korean Airlines were guilty of occasionally having their flights “accidentally” straying into Russian restricted airspace before the shooting down of flight 007 in 1983. This is also the starting plot line of Le Carré’s, The Looking Glass War from 1965.

          • N_

            There is also the question WHY airspace wasn’t closed to civilian air traffic. That kind of question can be asked after most covert attacks.

            @Yarkob – Kudos for mentioning Talpiot. That’s one of Dominic Cumming’s favoured references. He claims the version he wants to create in Britain would be civilian, but how on earth would that actually be possible?

            The Talpiot programme has a lot of psychology and social psychology as well as “tech”. The Israeli presence in “deradicalisation” in British prisons (which came out during last month’s London Bridge attack) is interesting, given there are surely no such schemes in Israeli prisons. Then there are “nudge units” (for example the “Behavioural Insight Team” part-owned by the Cabinet Office) which I imagine aren’t wholly separate from work done within the framework of Talpiot either.

        • Tom Welsh

          I think the point is that although Iran has admitted that one of its missiles killed the airliner, we can’t yet be quyite sure what caused the missile to be fired. It might have been some sophisticated interference that (for example) caused the airliner to look like an American bomber or missile. Or someone might have tampered with Iranian computers. Don’t forget Stuxnet.

      • Republicofscotland

        Well considering they fired a volley of missiles onto US bases in Iraq several hours earlier you’d have thought that they would’ve expected a retaliatory measure from the US and closed the airspace, on top of that they allowed a civilan flight to fly after dark.

        • N_

          Agreed. But we don’t know what signals they were given, whether they were in touch with the US (perhaps through a third party with two phones on their desk), which specific senior people in the military or civilian structures were influenced to think what, etc.

          Soon after their counterrattack on the US bases they were certainly talking about region-wide escalation; there wasn’t the vibe of “We’ll give you a warning, we’ll lob some missiles over but we’ll make sure we don’t kill anyone, and then everyone can stop shooting. Deal?” that the controllers of the western media have constructed since.

    • John Pretty

      “Of course it was naive to keep the country’s airspace open during a military operation.”

      I don’t think it was naive of them, republicofscotland. The word “naive” here implies that it was a deliberate decision – albeit a bad one.

      My view is that it may have been a terrible oversight on the part of the Iranians. I think it reasonable to suppose that they simply forgot to close it. Or that a message to close it was not received by the appropriate authority.

      Terrible mistakes do happen when tensions are raised as here.

      That does not abdicate the Iranians from “responsibility”. They are courageously admitting that it was their fault.

      • Tom Welsh

        The matter is complicated by the modern fashion of fighting wars without admitting that they are wars. It was the USA that began the practice of referring to its wars as “police actions”, “conflicts”, “anti-terrorist operations”, etc. rather than being honest and straightforward.

        This had the considerable benefit for the executive branch of government that the strict limitations imposed by the US Constitution could be dodged if no one admitted that a war was actually in progress. As has often been noted, the US government has not declared war once since 1945, in spite of having attacked and/or invaded well over 40 independent sovereign states. Each of those attacks was an unprovoked war of aggression, the supreme international crime according to the Americans’ own Nuremberg Principles. Legally a war can be started by a formal declaration; but also by any act of war such as assassinating a senior government employee or attacking a country or its armed forces. However a war can be properly ended only by a formal peace treaty.

        As the US government never declares war, it cannot acknowledge that a war is over. hence the fact that the Korean War continues today after nearly 70 years.

        Washington deliberately maintains ambiguity about its military operations, never admitting (except in flights of rhetoric) that it is even fighting a war.

        Thus the Iranians were in a difficult position. The Americans never declared war on Iraq, Syria, Lebanon or Iran, but thyey committed numerous flagrant acts of war against all of them. legally speaking, the USA will thus remain in a state of war against those nations until a peace treaty is signed – which will be never.

        So the Iranians launched punitive strikes on US bases which were illegally set up and maintained in Iraq, which they had illegally invaded, seriously harmed, and illegally occupied for 16 years – not to mention committing clearcut genocide against its people.

        Should they have closed down civilian air travel over their own country? Had they done so, when would it be safe to start it again?

        The same old answer: never.

        Wherever the Americans go they bring death, destruction, chaos, anarchy, and also one other thing that is easily overlooked and underestimated: uncertainty.

        • Tom Welsh

          Incidentally, the Israeli attack on the USA was a clear-cut act of war. Thus the USA and Israel have been legally at war for 52 years.

          • Tom Welsh

            Sorry, my previous comment was meant to read “the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty”.

          • Tony

            In response, a US aircraft carrier launched its F4 planes which came within a few minutes of nuking Cairo. The whole thing appears to have been a deliberate false flag operation initiated by President Johnson.

            Operation Cyanide.

        • John Pretty

          You make some very interesting and useful points Tom – I am inclined to agree with much of what you say here.

          “Should they have closed down civilian air travel over their own country? Had they done so, when would it be safe to start it again? The same old answer: never.”

          This is a fair point, but I still think it’s possible that it was simply a colossal blunder on the part of the Iranians to leave civilian air space open. They would have been extremely nervous about the possibility of US reprisals for their attack on US air bases in Iraq and may have omitted to close it in error.

          With all that said, I have no knowledge of the usual procedures in such situations.

          • N_

            What was the cargo that had to be removed from the plane before it was allowed to take off?

            I’m guessing it was something other than a bunch of holiday suitcases containing clothes, sunglasses, gifts for family, etc.

        • Mrs Pau!

          Well Iran is also a country which is pretty good at fighting proxy wars without admitting its involvement. Isn’t funding and helping to organise local hezbollah in the Middle East something General QS was very good at, and one of the reasons why he was targeted by the US?

          • Magic Robot

            Israeli shill. Your comments miss the point that a political entity, formed 70 years ago, bankrolled and armed to the teeth by the USA, has been using horrible methods to occupy land against the wishes of the population.
            Surely you realise that using bad methods, over such a long time, can only lead to bad results?

      • Republicofscotland

        “The word “naive” here implies that it was a deliberate decision – albeit a bad one.”

        Really? That’s not how I see it.

        naive
        /nʌɪˈiːv,nɑːˈiːv/
        adjective
        (of a person or action) showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgement.

    • bevin

      The military operations to which you refer have as their objective the closing down of Iran’s air space. This is terrorism and you are apologising for it.
      As to handing over the flight recorders there was never any problem with doing that-provided that the people to whom they were handed over could be trusted. Nor can there be any connection between the handling of the flight recorders and the discovery by the Iranian authorities that one of their Air Defence units was responsible.
      Talk about Tartan Tories!!

    • Yarkob

      I think this is par for the course. After all, they need to keep Iraq destabilised. Suleimani destroyed the western-backed jihadis (not just “ISIS”) in both Iraq and, with Russian help, in Syria. He was ZOG enemy number one. ISIS is just another code word for “we’re going to continue to f*ck you up with jihadists until you bend to our (Israel’s) will and cease to exist as an “existential threat” (in their minds) to Israel.”

    • Tom Welsh

      Of course he does, and that’s why he murdered Soleimani.

      Obama set up ISIS as the US foot-soldiers (cannon fodder) in Iraq and Syria. As Michael Hudson has explained, the USA can no longer afford to draft citizens, so its only option for carrying on wars of occupation is to employ proxy soldiers.

      Being able to “print” unlimited amounts of dollars, the US government simply lets it be known that it will welcome, arm, supply, clothe, equip, advise and direct any angry, aggressive young men and women who would like carte blanche to kill, torture, destroy and enslave.

      https://syrianfreepress.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/obama-blame-putin-529.jpg?w=803&h=605

  • Manjushri

    Another view on the possible reason behind Soleimani’s assination is that he had been too effective in curtailing ISIS’s activities.
    This could make sense if ISIS had been a creation of the western intellegence and military in order to promote western objectives in the region. A kind of armed to the teeth Muslim Brotherhood Version 2? Welcome to The Truman show 😊
    https://russia-insider.com/en/trump-israels-request-assassinated-general-most-responsible-destroying-isis/ri28135

    • Mary

      Hat tip to Craig within that Russian Insider piece –

      ‘Also on January 4th former UK Ambassador Craig Murray headlined from Britain “Lies, the Bethlehem Doctrine, and the Illegal Murder of Soleimani” and he exposed lies against Soleimani by Democratic U.S. Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, and a key neoconservative legal advisor to UK’s Government. He was exposing there a bipartisan and international sliming operation, the type of thing that traditionally persuades masses of suckers to vote for politicians who continue the grand imperial enterprise, for the benefit of U.S.-and-allied billionaires. However, that scam might not be so successful this time around.’

    • Fedup

      “if ISIS had been a creation of the western intellegence and military in order to promote western objectives in the region”

      If?

      The operatives injected to Syria and Iraq and elsewhere some of whom cannot even speak a word of Arabic is; if?

      Al-Qaeda is the name of a database in Langley (CIA HQ) This was also confirmed by Robin Cook late Foreign secretary , a man of integrity and principle who was “heart-attacked” and died he went on Record :
      “Throughout the 80s he was armed by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to wage jihad against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Al-Qaida, literally “the database”, was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians”

      However after the ignominious departure of Russians form Afghanistan (their Vietnam), all the CIA trained fighters were put on ice until they were called upon for the events of 2001 that kick started the current wave of mass murder and destruction that is still continuing to bear fruits for the weapons manufacturers and their shareholders.

      ISIS is the handiwork of Eric Prince (Blackwater mercenary outfit founder) who was stationed in Dubai and proceeded to recruit any swarthy looking cut throat he could lay his hands on from across the planet and injected these into Syria and the rest is history.

      In every instance that ISIS has been cornered and it was about to be put to sleep, US has intervened and helicoptered the top level murderers and their families out of the trap, to a safe haven elsewhere in the area. Later bussing the said top murderers’ troops out of the trap and dutifully delivering them to where their commanders had set up a new shop.

      This article makes good reading

      • Manjushri

        Thanks for sharing those links. You’re right there is no ‘if’.
        I always thought it strange that ISIS, IS, ISIL, Da-hash (or wharever) couldn’t decide on their name and came on the seen very quickly and tooled up with a quarterly magazine and social media presence. The theatrics made me smile seeing red bearded chaps playing the part with black gloves in the desert heat, driving fleets of shiny new Toyota pickups and sleeping in US Army tents. Being allowed to steal millions from an Iraqi bank unchallenged. 6 months before this covert army took to the roadshow I had read an article saying how 2000 US military personnel had gone to Jordan on a secretive training programme, afraid I dont have a link to that info.
        Sometimes I wish our leaders or (rather their controllers) would just come clean and say we need to own the strategic energy reserves of the middle east before China or Russia get their hands on it.

  • N_

    People shouldn’t say Iran has “admitted” anything. Iran is not in court, and if a person pressed a button as a result of “error” that doesn’t tell us why.

    The Iranian army’s preliminary finding is that an Iranian serviceman pressed the button that launched the missile and that he pressed it as a result of Iranian error, perhaps his own.

    The question is what the cause was.

    I suspect what happened was as follows:

    1. An enemy power deliberately caused this action, probably having penetrated a military digital information or communication system. (I say “probably” because there are other ways of influencing a person’s actions.)

    2. Iran then stood down its military in the conflict with the US, having suffered a major hit insofar as it no longer had a clue what forces supposedly under its control actually still were – i.e. not being in a position to continue fighting. Had it continued, it could have turned round a few hours later and found that it wasn’t one airliner but 10 airliners that had crashed and e.g. the primary and backup power were out to all the major hospitals too for unexplained “human error?” reasons.

    PS Any news yet on what the Swedes on the plane were doing? Reports are that the casualties included 10 Swedes and 7 other residents of Sweden. Some were children. Some were adults of Iranian extraction visiting relatives. It’s the others I am more interested in. But I wouldn’t be surprised if innocent cover stories are given for them all.

    • Rowan Berkeley

      Commander of Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Amir Ali Hajizadeh, said he “wished he was dead” upon learning of the Ukrainian jet downing and accepted full responsibility for the incident. Hajizadeh said during a press conference on Saturday: “After hearing about the crash of the Ukrainian plane, I wished I had died and not witnessed such an accident!” The commander explained that the incident had occurred as the country was bracing for potential US strikes and that the “likelihood of conflict” between the two nations has been “unprecedented” since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. According to an early assessment, the Ukrainian plane was erroneously identified as an incoming cruise missile, which resulted in the tragedy. Hajizadeh stated that the IRGC notified the authorities that it had likely hit the plane back right after the incident, yet this information was not disclosed to the public while the crash site was being investigated. Neither IRGC nor the country’s military sought to hide the incident, the due procedure was to be followed, he explained.

      • Tom Welsh

        When a US policeman kills innocent civilians, it is always enough for him to plead that he was afraid for his life and shot in self-defence.

        Surely someone who is threatened by the US armed forces has more reason to fear than a policeman faced by unarmed civilians?

        • Ort

          Just so, Tom Welsh. In the US, after a civilian has been summarily executed by police the authorities often pronounce these exculpatory “magic words” to justify the crime and exonerate the executioner(s): the “suspect” appeared to reach for his waistband.

          As a principal serial victim of US aggression, Iran has witnessed provocations and threats well beyond “Uncle Sam appeared to be reaching for his waistband.”

      • N_

        Now we have to ask why it was identified as a cruise missile. What contribution was made by electronic and digital systems?

        This is getting into wacky territory, because why the plane changed course is another question and if you’re scanning your own skies in a war situation for enemy cruise missiles then you wouldn’t want civilian aircraft up there. Was there some kind of miscommunication? Could the military not get through to air traffic control? Was there a faked message maybe?

    • Mary

      Yes. Why are the Swedish ‘authorities’ being so cagey.

      ‘Swedish children feared dead – Ten Swedish nationals died in the crash. Many of them are believed to have also had Iranian citizenship.

      Swedish media report that several children were among the victims.

      Sweden’s foreign ministry confirmed that Swedes were among those killed. It provided no further details.’

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-51032823

      • Andyoldlabour

        Mary

        Why should Sweden release the details? It is not unusual for Iranians to live and work in Sweden, we have two nephews working there at the moment.

  • Jack

    On closed airspace, it is easy to to judge in hindsight.
    The place where Iran shot missiles against the US base and the area from where the airplane was accidently shot down are two separate places. Thesse places are not near each other. This important fact is missing in the mainstream/media.

    The closing of air space is also telling enemies that something is about to happen, most likely Iran found a window of time to shoot at the americans. If US would have returned fire, the airpspace would then have been completely shut down of course.

  • Doghouse

    Wouldn’t you say that the General’s assassination has been painted as a rush job, Trump and his closest cohorts suddenly saw their opportunity and grabbed it, didn’t even consult Congress Even use of the word imminent is suggestive of that.

    But does that fit the other apparent facts? The Iraqi PM makes it clear he believes he was used as a lure along with peace brokerage to bring the General to Iraq. No wonder he’s outraged! This suggests anything but opportunism, it suggests considerable thought and planning.

    Metaphorically speaking in a game of chess that airliner is just one move ahead of the assassination. Just one. My knight takes yours and you will do a or b. I will respond to a with c and b with d. Iran had already displayed common decency, proportionality and hence predictability over the tanker affair. Missiles for a missile were inevitable.

    In fact the game of chess isn’t really metaphorical is it – it’s all there on the board, perhaps a little update needed is all. And the board is on the floor of stately homes and power broker abodes across the globe – just so they don’t forget what’s at their feet.

  • Doghouse

    And here’s the triple whammy. Craig’s prediction on how events would run if the WMD Iraq scenario ran today played out exactly. The footage did indeed turn up in Bellingcat’s chat room and it was indeed splashed all over msm along with bc faces.

    Yet what’s this, it turned out to be true?! Bc really is a reliable source then along with the msm. They can be quoted for evermore and that scoop is proof. What’s the chances eh? Now the guy taking the video of the burning plane in his car I can understand, but how quick you have to be to catch a missile at that time of day and the chances of it ending up in all places – almost immediately, bellingcat. So many blessings on the righteous. And then the massive, massive switch in fortunes and all due to an Iranian error.

    Who’d have thunk

    • Pb

      BC said the evidence provided by its research (incl the video analysis) showed that the plane was hit very shortly after the ADS-B Transponder transmissions stopped. That was about 20km from the end of the runway

      BS does not explain how the wreckage ended up ploughing into the ground 20km from that position in a direction at 90deg to the plane’s travel (from when the transponder stopped) hitting the ground 4 minutes later.

      At 8000ft an object takes just over 20 seconds to fall to the ground

      https://scd.en.rfi.fr/sites/english.filesrfi/images/afp/66e075710a54a931b7a82d4ccf98777d405c19e6.jpg

      BC estimation of where plane was hit from BC’s research

      https://017qndpynh-flywheel.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/image-11-1536×961.png

      https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2020/01/09/video-apparently-showing-flight-ps572-missile-strike-geolocated-to-iranian-suburb/

      BC = BS QED

      The MSM were happy to believe and BC’s in-depth investigation into Douma where a gas canister fell through a reinforced concrete roof into a bedroom and followed a “L” shaped trajectory and dropped onto a bed with improvised fins still intact. That was all the evidence that the US, UK and France needed to bomb Syria.

      This current “forensic” examination by BC follows all the same made up science that BC used in Douma to justify airstrikes with lies

      • Yarkob

        According to the official line from the Ukrainian investigative team, the plane’s transponder turned off after the “missile” hit. Apparently it hit the underside of the cockpit and exploded, thus turning the transponder off..I can’t remember where I read this, (it was this morning) but it was a statement from the actual Ukranian investigators in Iran, saying they are still working in a spirit of cooperation with the Iranina investigators..I do a web search and it only gives me big MSM results

      • Kempe

        So what are you saying? That Bellingcat faked the whole thing and it never happened?

        Despite being crippled by the missiles the ‘plane could still have kept flying even if it was loosing height, it would also have had a forward velocity of 300-350 mph which would’ve carried it on past the point where the missiles hit.

        Incidentally the 8,000 ft altitude quoted is AMSL, Above Mean Sea Level, the standard way of expressing aircraft altitude. Imam Khomeini airport is 3,305 ft AMSL so the aircraft’s height above the ground, or at least above the airport, would’ve been approx. 4,695 ft.

        As already explained the roof at Douma wasn’t reinforced concrete and the cylinder didn’t land on the bed, it was placed there afterwards to clear the doorway. This is all in the OPCW report if you care to read it. I don’t see how Bellingcat comes into it.

    • Jeremy Bonington-Jagworth

      Most of the info coming out of the Balkans in WW2 via the British liaison office and the embedded liaison officer in Tito’s Communist Partisans bigging them up and smearing the Royalist Chetniks eventually turned out to be false, thought the information was never released until the 1990s and then not publicised (and the Serbs are still considered the baddies then, and ever since).

      Turns out the embedded officer and the staff at the liaison office were Soviet moles, one linked to the Cambridge 3/4/5/6…./whatever/who knows how many there were/still are.

      Who’s to say at least one person in the missile team, or among those feeding them threat and/or targeting information, wasn’t a CIA mole?

      Or the CIA/Seal Teams/Boeing didn’t mess with the plane’s electronics (or the missile controllers radar/whatever)?

      After all it’s not as if Boeing isn’t well known for putting planes and lives at risk when it comes to electronics!

    • Tom Welsh

      Please don’t believe that, because a source tells the truth once, that source is necessarily reliable.

      “It’s not enough to be able to lie with a straight face; anybody with enough gall to raise on a busted flush can do that. The first way to lie artistically is to tell the truth — but not all of it. The second way involves telling the truth, too, but is harder: Tell the exact truth and maybe all of it… but tell it so unconvincingly that your listener is sure you are lying”.
      – Lazarus Long (In “Time Enough for Love” by Robert A Heinlein)

      “The best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way”.
      – Samuel Butler (1835-1902)

  • Jack

    What shocked the west now is the full admission Iran displayed. They thought Iran would deny it and had prepared military response and sanctions.
    I guess the next step by west is to somehow come up with info proving that Iran, on purpose, shot the plane down. I bet bellingcat will be involved in that endeavour..

    • Jack

      Bellingcat is in part funded by the united states and western allies. It is a propaganda mill.

      • Kev

        Yet on this they were telling the truth. Maybe in the future you shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss evidence purely on the basis of who is presenting it. NOTE: I’m not saying you should blindly believe everything Bellingcat (or anyone else) says.

        • Doghouse

          You prove the very point I make above Kev.

          Isn’t it fortuitous amid fortuity, the highest of synchronous blessings that one of the happy outcomes of this just happens to be that BC can now be claimed to be a reliable and trustworthy source.

          Just like you are doing. Great joy.

          And how many Iranians, or people living in Iran might have heard of the animal let alone be aware of its purported purpose? And what the odds such a rare being should happen to be the one to film on his little camera said missile, and then this Iranian fellow thinks “I know I’ll pop this over to belling cat, give those white fellows a leg up.”

          Not very likely is it.

          However if someone linked to Western security services knew what was going to happen and filmed it, well bc might be the very first place he would send it. Shut nasty chaps like that Craig Murray up eh?
          Job done. So many ills reversed, so many riches bestowed from this one accident, this one ‘human error’. Defies belief really……

          • Tom Welsh

            “I dont get it, who is not interested in finding out out the truth?”

            Virtually everyone in power in the corrupt West. (Unless, as in this case, it turns out that the truth suits their interests better).

            The point is that they couldn’t care less about truth for its own sake. They want their own narratives to be believed, whether they are true or not.

        • Yarkob

          “NOTE: I’m not saying you should blindly believe everything Bellingcat (or anyone else) says.”

          BC have an appalling record, Kev..Fool me once, etc

          They are not what or who they say they are and thus shouldn’t be trusted. Their source of revenue alone disqualifies them from serious consideration. Don’t get me started on “suck my balls” Higgins

          • Tom Welsh

            Hitler was a committed vegetarian and made a habit of warning people not to smoke, as it would destroy their health. He also built superb roads and other public amenities.

            That does not imply that we should agree with everything he said or did.

    • Jeremy Bonington-Jagworth

      Why?

      And isn’t an apology to the Iranians also in order?!

      The US denied ANY responsibility for USS Vincennes shooting down IranAir Flight 655 for MONTHS.

      The USA gave Captain of the Vincennes a medal for his actions at the time.

      In contrast within days of the Ukrainian plane crash Iran admitted its mistake and accepted full responsibility.

      Unlike the USA which STILL doesn’t accept full responsibility for killing 290 passengers and crew (including, was it, 65 children) on board Iran Air 655!

    • fedup

      Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.

      Any adulation with song and dance about it all, brings forth the question of declaration of interest/connections to Bell End Cat?

      • Doghouse

        More like bedraggled and struggling baby squirrel is given a massive great nut to feast on by daddy squirrel.

    • Tom Welsh

      If the USA hadn’t illegally invaded and occupied Iraq, and imposed illegal sanctions on Iran, none of this would have happened.

        • Yarkob

          Iran doesn’t recognise dual citizenship. None of the names on the list (apart from the crews) I have seen were western names. They looked Iranian in origin, even if naturalised in Canada etc. Why were they going to Ukraine? There’s easier ways of getting in and out of Iran

          • Q

            Yes, it’s true that Iran does not recognize dual citizenship. Canada does. We consider them Canadian. Dual passport holders likely would have been entered on the passenger manifest under their Iranian passports, since Iran does not recognize dual citizenship, thus the confusion about how many were Canadian — 57 at last count. The fact is that people travelling to Iran from Canada must take non-Canadian airlines. Link posted previously. The holiday season is a typical travel period for many returning to Iran to visit family. Canada broke off diplomatic relations with Iran in 2012. Turkey is representing our consular officials hoping to travel to Iran to assist in repatriating remains.

            The vast majority of passengers — 138 — were headed to Canada as their final destination on this trip. Some had student visas and other types of visas.

      • Q

        Noted previously that the flight via this airline was more economical than other options, a consideration especially for families.

    • Q

      Has the cargo manifest been published yet? What was reportedly offloaded? Something very heavy? “Ripe mangosteen” can’t be used again.

      Some passengers made last-minute changes to take later flights, and one high school student heading to Canada unfortunately filled one of those seats. Was the flight delayed to offload unaccompanied luggage?

  • Gary

    I am shocked to now discover that Iran is admitting it shot down the Ukrainian airliner, albeit in error. I was sure in my opinion that this was not the case due to Bellingcat’s assertion that it WAS. They are wheeled out, usually to ask us to believe the unbelievable, the party line etc.

    I am reminded that people ARE that stupid, especially under pressure and a ‘small’ mistake can have catastrophic consequences. This is not the first time a civilian flight has been shot down, I remember the US doing this some years back too. If memory serves they admitted it sooner?

    In this world of propaganda and counter propaganda there is no way to know the truth of the matter or which source you can trust at any given time. Bellingcat is currently reminding me of the boy who cried wolf…

    • Q

      We were seeing images of the bulldozer at what was clearly the crash site yesterday on TV news, while people on this forum were still denying that a bulldozer was at the site. Subsequent national news stories here stated that Iran’s hand was forced in this, because too many images from people at the scene had already leaked out. It’s the smartphone/internet/social media era, and ordinary people have more power than they realize.

      • Jack

        Q
        There was were no “bulldozer” “covering up” the area. It was a wheel loader!
        If there was a cover up the iranians would of course deny they were involved, they did the opposite.

      • Doghouse

        Wrong – people weren’t denying a bulldozer was at the site, they were saying that you personally did not know exactly what it was doing there.

        • Q

          I personally? Dude, I wasn’t there. I admit I wasn’t there. Neither were you, or most likely anyone here on this forum. People who were there aren’t on forums like this.

      • fedup

        images of the bulldozer you mean this one covering up, or is it uncovering, anyway clearly a dastardly Iranian plot taking place, and we all can see for ourselves, regardless of wherever it may be!!!

        If the crash site is farmlands there is bound to be plant and machinery around the place, is not of any relevance ofc.

        ” Iran’s hand was forced in this”

        Took a whole four days of forcing, those pesky Iranians are not even good at resisting being forced, are they? Four days, oh the humanity of it, how many seconds is that?

        leaked out. It’s the smartphone/internet/social media era

        The same outlets that censor and suspend accounts of those with undesirable content, included faked footage, or the information that our dear leaders deem not suitable for the public consumption; Assange a clear example being made in the Belmarsh gulag, so any other errant save the world type will think twice before spilling the beans of our own shit that is going down. Hey that is besides the point and a “straw man” etc.

        Your jaundiced view of all things Iran and Iranian, coupled with an insufferable chauvinism that has made my screen ooze a pungent slime, is slighted that we the “others” don’t share your unquestioning respect of your betters and not taking any note of the pontifications of such betters.

        Have you thought of starting a petition for: “there should be a law against anyone who does not accept/believe whole heartedly cross fingers and hope to die; the bilge on demand of the echo chamber media” Why don’t you have a bash at it? Any decent fascist society can only have one permissible notion of the reality and any other versions ought to be forbidden and the perpetrators sent to the gulag where Assange is kept in!

        • Mrs Pau!

          I am afraid that initially there were quite a few people here who said that Iran could not have shot down the plane and some even advanced their technical knowledge of how aircraft are shot down, to explain why Iran could not have done it.

          • michael norton

            A very good question would be,
            If there was no technical malfunction and there was a missile strike coming in from starboard,
            how come the aircraft turned to starboard ( after the strike)?

            You would think that if there was no technical malfunction, prior to the missile coming in from starboard, that either the aircraft instantly exploded or it would shift to port.

      • pretzelattack

        “forced iran’s hand” wut. they didn’t cover it up. they admitted responsibility.

    • Andyoldlabour

      Gary

      With regard to the Vincennes shooting down Iran Air flight 655, it was in broad daylight and obvious to everyone who saw it. The US awarded medals to the crew for their gallant actions in killing 290 Iranian civilians.

      • Kempe

        Well no they didn’t. The crew got campaign medals but that was unrelated to the destruction of Flight 655 which incidentally was nine miles from the Vincennes at the time.

        • John Pretty

          Kempe, what is your view of Bush senior’s assertion:

          “I’ll never apologize for the United States of America, ever. I don’t care what the facts are.”

          This was not apparently made in response to the downing of flight 655, but was made in the same year and is often viewed as the likely response of Bush in the case of the accidental killing of civilians by US forces.

          The assertion made by Bush strikes me as callous in the extreme. Would you not agree?

        • Tom Welsh

          “The crew got campaign medals but that was unrelated to the destruction of Flight 655…”

          Said the US government, which is known never to have told a lie. Ever.

          “…which incidentally was nine miles from the Vincennes at the time”.

          Huh? What on earth does that have to do with anything? Do you mean that an aircraft nine miles away is somehow out of range? Or the opposite – that an airliner flying on its scheduled flight path at the scheduled time with its transponder on is asking to be destroyed if it gets too close to an enemy warship that has intruded into territorial waters illegally and against the orders of its own government?

          The Aegis system on USS Vincennes was highly touted at the time. It was designed to protect an entire carrier task force of a dozen ships from swarms of enemy aircraft and missiles attacking simultaneously.

          Yet we are asked to believe that it could not distinguish an airliner climbing on course and on time, as publicly advertised, from an F-14 diving to attack? When the F-14 is a US designed and manufactured fighter?

          The investigation established beyond any doubt that all the systems on Vincennes worked perfectly, telling the operators and the captain that the Iranian Airbus was an Iranian Airbus. But the captain ordered it shot down anyway.

          Anyone seen “The Bedford Incident”?

    • Privs

      I think if Iran had been honest from the start, or delayed what they knew to be true, then the wind would have been taken well and truly our of cretinous and pathetic propaganda outlets such as bellingcat.

      Irans lies has consequences, giving the liikes of bellingcat a touch of kudos,, is one of them,

      • pretzelattack

        they may not have known what happened from the start. what specifically did they lie about–and how do you know the intention? lies have to be deliberate.

  • jmg

    Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, January 8, 2020

    “A sad day. Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces: Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster. Our profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations.”
    — Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of Iran

    “Armed Forces’ internal investigation has concluded that regrettably missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of the Ukrainian plane and death of 176 innocent people. Investigations continue to identify and prosecute this great tragedy and unforgivable mistake.
    “The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake. My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences.”
    — Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran

    Iran Air Flight 655, July 3, 1988

    “I will never apologize for the United States — I don’t care what the facts are… I’m not an apologize-for-America kind of guy.”
    — George H. W. Bush, Vice President of the United States

  • Republicofscotland

    Yes the Iranian authorities were not just naive but reckless by not closing down their airspace whilst on high military alert.

    Not that long before the shooting down of the passenger jet, Iran had fired a barrage of missiles at military bases in Iraq, which held US personnel, yet the same authorities didn’t realise that there might have been a retaliation to that strike, and ergo left open their airspace.

    Furthermore the civilian jet carry several nationalities was allowed to take off after dark, which further confused the IRGC. Now one could say that the Iranians fired those missiles after consulting the US to save face, which is probably the case. However, the Ukranian authorities are now suspicious that the downing of the passanger jet was intentional, and who could blame, after the authorities attempted to suppress information at the start.

    So either way it looks to the outside world that Iran is either incompetent, or guileful. Though they did eventually hold their hands up to the misfortune event.

    • Jack

      Republicofscotland

      As I said earlier:
      The place where Iran shot missiles against the US base and the area from where the airplane was accidently shot down are two separate places. Thesse places are not near each other.
      The closing of air space is also telling enemies that something is about to happen, most likely Iran found a window of time to shoot at the americans. If US would have returned fire, the airpspace would then have been completely shut down of course.

      Adding to that there seems to be a miscommunication where IRGC claimed they called for a closed air but nothing came out of it.

      And Iran didnt “supress” information. In fact they were very open with foreign help from the beginning. Why should they have admit any fault before an analysis was made?

      • Republicofscotland

        “And Iran didnt “supress” information. In fact they were very open with foreign help from the beginning. Why should they have admit any fault before an analysis was made?”

        I’m under the impression that the authorities suppressed the breaking story, from a local ws outlet, that there was a fire in one of the engines not long after the passenger jet crashed.

        “The place where Iran shot missiles against the US base and the area from where the airplane was accidently shot down are two separate places. Thesse places are not near each other.”

        Why would that have any bearing on what appears to be the shooting down of the passenger jet from inside Iran and from a ground position.

        • Jack

          Your main point is right of course they should have closed it, but apparently IRGC wanted but it was not done for whatever reason.
          Perhaps they didnt anticipate a possible attack in that region and were therefore not keen to close the air space?

          • Republicofscotland

            Indeed, perhaps as you say they didn’t anticipate say a drone attack from the US and ergo left the airspace open.

            The only thing I can suggest is that Iran and the US had come to some sort of agreement prior to the downing of the jet, like Russia did with the US in Syria.

            Therefore the Iranian authorities wouldve felt comfortable enough to leave the airspace open, thinking that the USA wouldn’t strike.

            So Iran continued to approve around 19 flights that day.

    • Tatyana

      Ukrainian authorities didn’t close the sky down then over Donbass, now Iranian authorities did the same mistake.
      When they do wars they don’t think of civilians. Very sad and scary.

        • Tatyana

          How it makes my or anyone’s life safer?
          Again, I see many opinions and no call for action.
          Perhaps we should compose a petition asking UN for special law on sky closure?

        • Tom Welsh

          Because the Iranians were at fault and the Donbas people were not. (They are not rebels. They are citizens whose own government planned and did its level best to exterminate them).

      • Q

        Yes, Tatyana, it is tragic that innocent children and other civilians pay the price in these conflicts, time and time again. Protections for passengers in commercial airliners in or near conflict zones are clearly inadequate. There has already been talk in the media about the Warsaw Convention (Iran) vs. the Montreal Convention (Ukraine, Canada), but passengers are still being put at risk in or over conflict zones. Something needs to change.

      • Tom Welsh

        Well, Tatyana, as far as I know the skies over the Donbas conflict area were closed. That is why it is so extraordinary that Ukrainian air traffic control deliberately and explicitly diverted MH17 from its planned flight path and routed it directly over the fighting.

        While both civilian and military radar systems were inexplicably out of order.

    • John Pretty

      “Yes the Iranian authorities were not just naive but reckless by not closing down their airspace whilst on high military alert.”

      Republicofscotland, are you an expert in these matters, or is this just your opinion?

      • John Pretty

        Because, I don’t even know what the usual procedures are. And I am still inclined to believe that the Iranians did not make a conscious decision to leave their civilian airspace open, but simply left it open in error.

        If indeed it is usual to close civilian airspace down in these circumstances.

        • Republicofscotland

          No John I’m not an expert, I’m just standing on the shoulders of giants so to speak, reading opinions of military experts in the media.

          As I said to Jack @18.06pm.

          Irans measured retaliation on US bases in Iraq, in my opinion they must surely have been passed by the US, and it allowed Iran to save face.

          Maybe that’s why the airspace was not closed, Iran would not have been expecting a strike from the US, this could be borne out by the number of flights 19, carried out on the day of the downing of the passenger flight.

          • John Pretty

            “Irans measured retaliation on US bases in Iraq, in my opinion they must surely have been passed by the US, and it allowed Iran to save face.”

            I think it is especially sad that the Iranians were careful to avoid killing any American soldiers in their air attack, but then accidentally shot down an airliner full of civilian passengers.

          • Jack

            John Pretty

            Horrible development and it also got the focus out of the act of war US commited and also stopped any retaliation Iran had planned for it.

          • Republicofscotland

            “I think it is especially sad that the Iranians were careful to avoid killing any American soldiers in their air attack,”

            Not at all John, any American troop casualties would’ve surely led to greater escalation, resulting in many deaths in Iran.

            In a macabre sort of way, the downing of the passanger plane will in my opinion take some of the heat out of the situation as eyes turn away from war with the US, to internal questions surrounding the human error with regards to the crashed jet.

          • Jack

            Republicofscotland

            As I tried to tell you the night before Iran attack on US base, that logic is not working.
            If US would kill thousands of iranians. Iranians would retaliate killing as many americans.

          • fedup

            Not at all John, any American troop casualties would’ve surely led to greater escalation, resulting in many deaths in Iran.

            Obviously you have not been reading the comments and have imprinted in your mind the Hollywood version of captain america.

            “A Haaretz journalist post a tweet revealing that 224 american soldiers transported in a aircraft from Iraq they was entered at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and immediately upon that tweet, Tweeter suspended his account”

            Captain america is not interested in any bloody war that would unleash gates of hell on Earth just before his bid for re-election.

          • Republicofscotland

            Jack/Fedup.

            We have to remember the war would be carried out not some distant shores but mainly in Iran, possibly Iraq, the civilian casualties would be high.

            Fedup.

            The gates of hell opening propaganda that you speak of is just that propaganda. I certainly don’t want Iran attacked by the US, and I certainly don’t want Iranians talking themselves in a war via propaganda, they’d be no real winners especially the denizens of Iran.

          • Jack

            Republicofscotland

            Yes there would be deaths in Iran but there would also be dead american troops in the region and if US kill alot of iranian civilians, american civilians will die far far from Iran.
            US was the greatest military force in Vietnam, but even there they could not win, sure they killed alot of people, the vietnamese didnt need to kill half as many but it was enough to make US leave.

          • fedup

            “The gates of hell opening propaganda that you speak of is just that propaganda”
            IRGC were ready to launch hundreds of missiles to 109 targets around the mid east. The accuracy of the hits on the alasad were convincing enough for no retaliation from the US, despite the earlier bluster from potus to hit Iran very hard.

            The commercial flights were continuing despite the requests from the various commanders of the forces involved in decon 3 , Which begs the question; who are the fifth columnist in Iran, ordering the continuation of commercial flights during defcon3 conditions? US has a long tradition of buying various key personnel in various parts of the world. Case in example the Iraqi generals who were flown out of Baghdad airport along with their families in Iraq war.

          • Tom Welsh

            “No John I’m not an expert, I’m just standing on the shoulders of giants so to speak, reading opinions of military experts in the media”.

            You cannot be serious, man! The “opinions of military experts in the media”!! Which are virtually always heavily biased in favour of Western government interpretations.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I am older than just two of them.

    Attar Mahmood 1950

    Dhirani Asgar 1945

    Thanks N_ for publising that, and thanks especially to the Iranian Governemt, for publishing the truth.

    I have overflown that route more than a dozen times, with my wife and kids, sometimes when there has been a manic war going on down below.

    RIP to all the young innocent victims.

    Tony

  • Brianfujisan

    Iran has lost a second of its great minds in a week –

    Forough Khadem, 36, discovered treatment for the parasitic disease leishmaniasis, which kills between 26,000 and 65,000 people every year.

    She workedin Canada for Mitacs, a non-profit research organisation.

    Jude Uzonna, who worked with Ms Khadem when she did her PhD at the University of Manitoba, said: “I can’t believe that she’s gone.

    “With her passing, humanity has really lost a gem.”

    Ms Khadem had been visiting family in Iran.

    She texted Mr Uzonna minutes before taking off, saying she was “a bit worried” because of tensions between Iran and the US.

    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/iran-plane-crash-tehran-forough-khadem-a4330426.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&

    Her Fears over were well founded

    Rest in peace all victims.

    • fedup

      Amen!

      My heartfelt condolences to all those families who have lost a loved one in this tragic accident.

  • Republicofscotland

    Staying in the region.

    Qaboos bin Said Al Said the Sultan of Oman has died. He overthrew his father with the help of the British. The FCO, Minstry of Defence and MI6 planned out the coup, and it was sanctioned by the then PM Harold Wilson.

    The political system which Qaboos established is that of an absolute monarchy.

    • fedup

      This one is a strange case. He was defence secretary, treasury secretary, foreign secretary, that I know of. Furthermore, he was not married, and he left no heir to the throne and did not tap anyone to be his replacement.

      Curmudgeon would suggest perhaps we sell one of our extensive array of royals to Oman and make a bit dosh into the bargain as well as help to reduce our unnecessary expenditure in the way of making for small government! As you know our government has always been made small by opting to reduce services and access to services for; we the people, but seeing as our current dear leader has a genius guiding him perhaps he could tap me for other fantastic ideas on saving money

  • Ascot2

    It may have been covered, but if not, I would like to propose that the whole series of events leading to, and including the tragic death of so many innocent persons killed on the Ukrainian jet, might lead us to a better place.

    Make no mistake Trump and the American people are the ongoing losers from all of this.

    1) They may resist it for a while but the US is now under advisement that they must leave that part of the the Middle East. This will embolden the governments of Syria, Lebanon, Iran and other threatened states and will hopefully give them a chance to regain some degree of peace and stability

    2) Killing Soleimani on Iraqi soil, along with an Iraqi general, has given common goals which will bring those two countries closer together than they have ever been. This will hopefully strengthen their resolve to expel foreign forces.

    3) After their measured military response to the assassination of one of their most revered leaders, Iran has shown itself to be more statesmanlike than any of the western warmongers. Following the downing of the passenger jet they have, after a moment’s hesitation perhaps, shown themselves as a nation that is willing to take ownership of the their mistakes and to work towards making amends. I understand from other comments made in this forum that the US never did formally apologize when it did the same thing to an Iranian jet some years ago.

    4) The non-killing missile attack on the two US bases has shown how lacking the US and its allies are in any functional air defence. It seems the Patriot system is next to useless against modern missiles. All the other US bases and ships in the region are highly vulnerable. Not to mention Israel, Saudi Arabia and its oil producing and distribution facilities. No wonder Trump wants to renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal and make the removal of Iran’s intermediate missiles part of the deal. This is why Trump stood down. He will no doubt continue to claim a great victory, for the benefit of his supporters, but those who understand geopolitics will know better.

    Let’s hope we have just reached a turning point and that we are moving to a safer, saner, world.

  • Blissex

    Glasman also thinks that the USA lied and the killing of Soleimani was in retaliation for Soleimani instigating the siege of the american embassy in the green zone rather than because they believed in an “imminent” attack:

    https://unherd.com/2020/01/how-trump-handed-victory-to-qasem-soleimani/
    “On New Year’s Eve, the Iranian proxies responded with a re-enactment of the 1979 Teheran US embassy siege in Baghdad. They ransacked the building and sprayed pro-Soleimani and Khamenei slogans on its office walls. It had the desired effect. If there is one thing Trump knows, it is not to look like Jimmy Carter in election year. He was triggered and was trigger happy.”

    The context the author gives (the brutal fight between nationalist and iranianist Sh’ia factions in Iran) is also quite interesting.

    • Mary

      Is that Joe Glasman, the pro Israel lobbyist, who has boasted ‘We slaughtered Corbyn’?

      https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/we-slaughtered-jeremy-corbyn-says-israel-lobbyist

      He’s well in at the BBC.

      ‘As a result he has become a leading figure in the area of audio branding. His clients have included BBC Sport, BBC Film, Chinese State Television (CCTV9), the Prince’s Trust, BBC World Service News, RTE2, Exxon (We’re Drivers Too), UBS, La7 and La7, UKTV channels (misc), PBS Europe, BT Vision, BBC4, Sky Movies and Sky Italia.

      He is the managing director and head composer of Music Production company Hum in London and the Humtracks Music Production Library. He composed and produced BBC World’s 1997 flags theme as part of a suite of music for BBC World.’
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Glasman

  • Republicofscotland

    Pompeo talking at news conference about further sanctions on Iran, one would automatically say that they are aimed at stopping the Iranian nuclear programme, and thats probably true.

    However one could also say that they are covertly aimed at Europe of which the US wants to stop trading with Iran. Again American foreign policy vastly reflect American business interests.

  • uncle tungsten

    The missile attack on the illegal USA occupation airbase was the ‘slap in the face’. It was not revenge for the murder of Suliemani. That revenge is on its way and may well be a process that spans many months.

    MAGA now clearly means Make America Go Away and the Iranians, Hezbollah and Iraqis are perfectly capable of executing that strategy.

  • N_

    The British ambassador in Iran, Robert Macaire, formerly of the BG Group, an oil and gas multinational, was arrested today and held for several hours, accused of interfering in Iran’s internal affairs by inciting protests.

    • Jack

      Seems like the west going all in now trying to inflame protesters for regime change now.
      Clearly Iran have lost the information and military war. There is just trouble after trouble now for them.

    • Mrs Pau!

      Seems to be because he attended a demo. Maybe he thought it was peaceful one to express sorrow for flight casualties?

      • Magic Robot

        The ambassador is paid by the British public’s taxes. He should have stayed in his office, doing the work he is paid to do, not going off galavanting with the locals.

      • John Pretty

        I think that’s a bit naive Mrs P !

        Diplomacy is sometimes a cover for spying. I think it is legitimate to question Macaire’s presence at that demo.

        US diplomats in Ukraine were involved in the Maidan coup of 2014.

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