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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  • Marmite

    I wish that the two-faced Trudeau, who pretends to be ‘outraged and furious’, would stop berating Iran about ‘taking full responsibility’, and instead turn his attention to the ongoing land grab, plunder and genocide of Canada’s First Nations peoples, carried out partly but not wholly through all the Big Oil operations he is pushing through. Seriously, if ever there was a scoundrel to talk. The First Nations peoples have been ‘outraged and furious’ at Canada’s refusal to take responsibility for its crimes for hundreds of years.

    • Marmite

      P.S. ‘slow genocide’ is still genocide, just as ‘cultural genocide’ is genocide, and both are alive and well, even in the land where the royals go to escape the horrors and racisms of a rapidly sinking little imperialist island.

    • fedup

      Take a look at various comments sections of Yahoo, DM, Metro,…. and you will see the handiwork of our boys. Trouble is the idiots make the comments so uniformly similar that only a brainless moron would accept these as real comments by real people!

        • John Pretty

          Thanks Jack.

          I agree about Boris, but the Queen is the Head of State in Canada. She is bound to express condolences.

          Quoting from Press TV:

          “In a statement the Queen said our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Canada, which has suffered such a devastating loss”.

          – I don’t think that is out of order.

          • Jack

            well one assumed that she would send it to Iran too considered majority of them was born in Iran.

          • fedup

            The Canadians onboard were probably dual nationals. Iran like any other source country provides the sink countries with the best of the brains. Because like any other source country, it is under a regime of a constant economic and cultural attack. The names of the victims give the game away.

            However, in an attempt to keep the source country on its knees every possible and probable measure is taken to ensure its economic failure that is complimented with political pressure.

            Sad to see such a brain drain due to the mismanagement of the source country that singularly fails to harness such an innovative mind power.

            From reading the names of the victims: it is evident that Iran is the best provider of most educated and innovative thinkers to the west.

          • Robyn

            ‘… thoughts and prayers …’. Is that the best cliché her speech-writer could come up with?

          • Alex Westlake

            It’s clear that Iran’s brightest and best choose to get out of Iran and move to the West

          • Jack

            Alex Westlake

            Indeed considering the sanctions, embargo on Iran people want to move = Blackmail.

          • N_

            The way her statement was written makes it sound as though she is a non-Canadian singling out Canada from the outside. She (or the kid in the office) tried to do something about that impression but failed: “I extend my deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of all those Canadians, and indeed other nationalities, who died”. That makes it sound as though the others are an afterthought, and the word “indeed” comes across as patronising. The statement (a message to the governor) is here. Agreed, this isn’t much of a story. So a kid in a government office can’t write. They probably pick their phone most of the day and rarely pick up a book or a newspaper.

      • Node

        Trouble is the idiots make the comments so uniformly similar that only a brainless moron would accept these as real comments by real people!

        If I was in charge of that shill operation, I would have a few obvious ones so that my subtle ones go under the radar.

        • David

          most PSYOPS don’t work once you know that they *might* even be in use…. I’m sure I read that in the Snowden JTRIG documents, or maybe the Assange Wikileaks

          77th probably are deep into walled-garden social media peer-pressure personalised nudging of the unaware, which does make them dangerous to their enemies – but sadly the whole UK population is their ‘enemy’/’target’ as well as everywhere else on the planet – not just the autocratic countries.

        • Tom Welsh

          “If I was in charge of that shill operation, I would have a few obvious ones so that my subtle ones go under the radar”.

          Which raises the question: how do you know they aren’t doing that already?

        • Node

          Which raises the question: how do you know they aren’t doing that already?

          That’s the point I was making to Fedup!

      • Rhys Jaggar

        More and more people are simply not reading this stuff at all by tuning out.

        The fewer people who read it, the less effective it will be.

        People’s first freedom is NOT to read trashy propaganda.

        They should exercise it en masse.

        • pretzelattack

          what’s the establishment story about anthropogenic global warming. is that the one where the poor helpless oil companies are being victimized by a world wide conspiracy of greedy, corrupt scientists?

        • N_

          And most people, no matter what their quality, still accept the establishment stories about anthropogenic global warming and 9/11.

          I’d love to see stats on how that varies by age and other groupings. It’s not 90%+ in either case. Quite a few people appreciate the point that the climate has always changed, and many take a “We’ll never get to the bottom of it” attitude to 911 even without being prompted.

          @pretzelattack – If you like to use the notion of “establishment”, you could surely update it to include those who control science journals? The world of science journals is like a pyramid.

    • fedup

      BTW did you know Rob Macaire was arrested and held in Tehran during demonstrations and then released. :))))

    • Republicofscotland

      The NCF would be a good thing if it was for purely defensive purposes, but it’s not. It will be used in tandem with disrupting technical equipment and data, military/civilian to corporate sabotage and espionage.

      Westminster doesn’t posses the fighting prowess that it once had. Its be superceded by the likes of the US and China, here they’ve found their level I think.

    • pretzelattack

      i don’t know about extinction rebellion, but the scientists aren’t overegging anything. underegging, more like. since there is an actual existential threat to the civilization, i’d think people would worry more about that than whatever extinction rebellion may or may not be doing.

      • N_

        there is an actual existential threat to the civilization
        Civilisations come and civilisations go. It’s about time this one went. It won’t go because of climate change though.

      • pretzelattack

        speaking of which, i’m more concerned about the decades of lying by exxon, and by the politicians they bought.

    • Dave Lawton

      Rhys Jaggar
      January 12, 2020 at 10:39
      “Extinction Rebellion folks ARE extreme: they are extremely deluded about climate ‘chaos’. ”
      Yes Rhys you are spot on.Extinction Rebellion supported the coup d’etat against Evo Morales the indigenous president of Bolivia. XR I find disgusting and seem to have very little conscious awareness and very stupid.

      • pretzelattack

        quite possible, if they supported the coup that makes them a front group. having created the climate change danger, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if capitalism tries to profit both ways by trying to subvert the movement to deal with it. question–is extinction rebellion well organized, or is it more like occupy wall street?

      • Dave Lawton

        January 12, 2020 at 14:15

        “watching this, i haven’t heard one word about supporting the coup in bolivia.”

        Oh yes they did we have the evidence.Claire Wordley called for demonstration`s at the Bolivian Embassy`s around the world.They are most likely puppets of the CIA.It was about the lithium mine.Go do some research.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      The US is hopefully going to completely collapse in the 2020s. It is financially totally bankrupt, endlessly printing funny money to stop its banks going belly up. The first step to destroying the USA is making its banks go belly up, as they should be made to do in any capitalist society, something the US absolutely is not. Zimbabwe for JP Morgan, GS, Citibank and a few others is what the USA is.

      • Deb O'Nair

        Iranians protesting against their rulers does not mean that the protesters are either pro-US or pro-West, and the idea that they would be encouraged by the current POTUS is laughable.

      • fedup

        As in French people have just managed to roll back the pension reforms that macron was about to bring about, carrying on with their year long protest. Across the planet those people who have the courage and gumption will always rise up to keep the power in check!

        What is your cheesy remark about? Do you live in the paradise of 12 hours wait for sick and dying people in the A&E, while hospitals refuse to take the patients from the ambulance that has just taken the ill and desperate there? This putting even more pressure on the already stretched and under funded ambulance service with people lying on the ground waiting for an ambulance, and not a one protest! <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/12/19/mother-died-cardiac-arrest-waiting-ambulance-6-hours-street/&quot; Apparently there is no queue to be found for protest.

        Never mind any protests or even a whimper, the same bunch of brainwashed folk went and voted bojo into office to be poorer and sicker.

        This ofc suits the likes of you, doesn’t it?

      • Laguerre

        “Then you acknowledge that Iranians are protesting against their rulers”

        Yesterday, it was 999 plus the British ambassador = 1000. After this regime-shaking demonstration, there were how many today, now that the Americans have had the time to get people out, à la 1953?

  • JohninMK

    “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.”

    The IRGC Aerospace Force General before he “wished he was dead” had a few interesting things to say the day before about the attack that go against Craig’s comment above. By giving the warning they attempted to minimise but not necessarily avoid US casualties. These are a few of the things he said, the full text is at the link below. Just how much is true is open to conjecture but he didn’t need to say some of it.

    – Al-Taji and Ain al Assad bases in Iraq, Shahid Mo’affar base in Jordan and Ali al-Salem base in Kuwait have played role in Gen. Soleimani’s assassination plot.

    – Al Taji base was initially selected for the attack, but hours before the operation, the target was changed and Ain al Assad was selected. Al Taji is the common base of Iraqi and American forces near of Baghdad. For the sake of Iraqi forces and preventing civilians from disturbing the sound of explosions, we chose the Ain al Assad base, the largest US base in Iraq, 170 kilometers from Baghdad.

    – We could target the location of troops and gatherings, and all of these sites were known for us. But we didn’t want only to kill and our major aim was disabling their war machine and military power.

    – Their command center completely destroyed, and Americans had heavy casualties in this command center.

    – All of our missiles hit the targets, but the US failed to defend itself although having equipments and defense systems and was not been fired even a shot at our missiles.

    – After the operation, at least 9 C-130 aircraft transported American dead and wounded to Israel and Jordan, and the evidences are available.

    – Many Chinook helicopters transported the wounded to the American hospital in Baghdad, near the US embassy.

    – Although dozens were killed and wounded, we did not seek to kill anyone in the operation.

    – The Americans were in full alert and 12 reconnaissance aircraft were monitoring anxiously.

    – Fifteen minutes after the missile strikes, we started an important electronic warfare operation and cut the US control over all their UAVs above the Ain Al Assad for a while. And we destroyed the communication link and the image link.

    – The images of the incident were transmitting live and online to the US by eight MQ9 UAVs.

    – Based on what we saw in the command room, it was clear that the psychological impact of this issue for the US military and those behind the guidance systems were more than missile strikes.


    • N_

      Thanks for this, @John

      Many questions arise. One is why the US didn’t try to defend the base. Might a third country have taken down the US defences?

    • Little Bat

      Sigh … yes, before he “wished he was dead”. This tragic blunder of accidentally shooting down their own civilian airliner is so demoralising.

      • Laguerre

        These things happen in war. It’s more a propaganda opportunity for the Yanks, which they’re exploiting to the full.

        • Manjushri

          The BBC and the MSM agenda parrots were successful in assimilating me into a brainwashed state of believing that Jeremy Corbyn, Iran, Russia and Syria are liars. Therefore, I do not believe the statement by the Iranian Government (or is it a ‘regime’?) that they were wholly responsible for shooting the Ukranian airliner down. ☺

    • michael norton

      Ali al-Salem base in Kuwait
      “Starting in 2018, expansion on the base was begun by the Kuwaiti Air Force to include a new asphalt/concrete runway and extensive new hangar facilities to support the future delivery of Eurofighters intended to replace their existing complement of F-18C fighter jets.

      The base expansion is scheduled for completion in the second half of 2020, with the delivery of the 22 Eurofighters to follow in late 2020.”

      So, it doesn’t look like the Coalition of the Willing, will be leaving the Northern Gulf of Persia, any time soon.

      • Laguerre

        I’d be surprised if they were. The Kuwaiti royal family can’t defend themselves in any other way. In Iraq, I doubt that the US position can survive, though. They’ll be out, only we don’t know how long it will take.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      JohninMK, I don’t know if what you posted is true, but if it is, we will not read about it in The newspapers or see it on TV.

      The British Ambassador arrested in Iran, was released after 15 minutes. I think even Craig Murray, will think that fast. Of course they knew who he was, and he quite obviously got followed.

      Brave Man.


  • jmg

    > In the editorial of its weekly paper al-Naba, ISIS welcomes the death of Soleimani . . .

    Mina Al-Lami — @Minalami — BBC Monitoring — Jan 10, 2020

    > The Islamic State (IS) group has welcomed the death of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, the head of the elite Quds Force.
    > In a statement, it described the general’s demise as an act of divine intervention that benefitted jihadists.

    Qasem Soleimani: Why his killing is good news for IS jihadists — Jeremy Bowen — BBC News — 10 January 2020

    • Tom Welsh

      “The Islamic State (IS) group has welcomed the death of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, the head of the elite Quds Force.
      In a statement, it described the general’s demise as an act of divine intervention that benefitted jihadists”.

      Not “divine” intervention. No, this intervention came from the Other Place. Courtesy the ISIS Air Force (aka USAF).

  • jmg

    Excerpts from a recent interview to Iran’s Foreign Minister

    Frederik Pleitgen, CNN International:

    “President Trump was saying and Michael Pompeo was saying as well that they have intelligence that General Soleimani was planning attacks, imminent attacks on U.S. targets. They say this was a deterrent attack. They do say America is safer today.”

    Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran:

    “Well, they’re either based on misinformation or the like, because General Soleimani’s mission was to contain the anger in Iraq following the United States’ murder of about 25 Iraqis.

    “This is a very clear information that we had, clear information that the Iraqi government had. The government of Iraq has been on the record saying what he was doing.

    “General Soleimani was the greatest force for stability in Iraq. He was the hero of the fight against Daesh along with his companions, particularly Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

    “They’re revered by the people of Iraq. Did you see the funeral processions? Now Mike Pompeo might like a video clip that somebody sent him, showing a couple of people, 20 people celebrating. But did he close his eyes to see the huge sea of people mourning in Iraq and in Iran?

    “Their days in our region are numbered, not because anybody will take any action against them but because they are not welcome in our region.”

    . . .


    “Because you obviously — it’s not a secret that you control militias in this region, that you have forces that are on your side in this region in many countries.”


    “No. We have people on our side in this region. That’s much more important. The United States believes that this beautiful military equipment, according to President Trump, that you spend $2 trillion on this beautiful military equipment. Beautiful military equipment don’t rule the world. People rule the world. People.

    “The United States has to wake up to the reality that the people of this region are enraged, that the people of this region want the United States out, and the United States cannot stay in this region with the people of the region not wanting it anymore.”


    “The United States and the Trump administration are saying that, before the strike on General Soleimani, there were provocations by Iran and forces controlled by Iran. There were bases rocketed. There was an American contractor who was killed and then the protests at the embassy, which destroyed the outside of the embassy and laid it under siege.”


    “The Iranian consulate in Najaf was burned. Did we take action against anybody?

    “The United States has to realize that people in Iraq are angry and they take their anger. Of course, they’re more angry about the United States than anybody else.

    “But what is important is for the United States to realize, for the Trump regime to realize, that everything in this region was going, was improving./p>

    “Following the JCPOA, we were having a normal elections in Iraq, normal elections in Lebanon, governments coming to office through the democratic process.

    “Negotiations started in Syria. We had the reducing of tension in Syria. Government was established in Lebanon. Government was established in Iraq.

    “What happened? The United States started a maximum pressure campaign, terrorizing Iranian people, making it difficult for Iranians to even get food and medicine from outside. So a war started a long time ago by the United States.

    “The United States destroyed stability in this region. The United States undermined security in this region. So one contractor, at least in the last month, 25 Iranian babies died because of TB and because of U.S. sanctions. . . .

    “[President Trump] has to realize that he has been fed misinformation. And he needs to wake up and apologize. He has to apologize. He has to change course. He cannot add mistake upon another mistake. He is just making it worse for America.”

    Interview: Iran’s Foreign Minister — CNN — Jan 7, 2020

  • Mary

    This individual has made a contribution to the mix. He was on Sky News just now promoting his piece in today’s Sunday Torygraph.

    ‘Quds Force activities in the Middle East have been well documented, not least in the wake of Suleimani’s death. But little has been known of Iran’s operations in central Africa. My new @Telegraph feature delves into this shadowy world

    ‘shadowy world’ LOL


    • Mary

      The Sunday papers are dominated by the Harry/Meghan dross.

      Only the Observer has stayed on Iran – ‘the Observer reports that Iran’s “embattled regime” has been shaken by a wave of domestic and international criticism after admitting its forces shot down a passenger plane. It says the country’s leaders are facing “possibly the biggest crisis” since the 1979 Islamic revolution.’


      • Laguerre

        I’m still waiting to discover whether the anti-regime demo in Tehran was actually big, or whether the Observer was overegging, in describing “possibly the biggest crisis” since 1979. The Iranian journalists in the West are all just waiting for the overthrow of the regime, and can be relied on to tell us the regime is about to fall, but I have my doubts.

        • Laguerre

          The answer is that the profoundly regime-shaking demo was 1000 people acording to the Indie, one of whom was the British ambassador, who shows the tendency of the movement (though the FCO says he did act properly and left when he understood it was a political demonstration).

          • John Pretty

            Laguerre, I personally would be a bit suspicious of anything the Guardian/Observer has to say on that issue. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Ambassador was stirring things up.

            I think you’d have to question what he was doing there and if what he was doing was usual behaviour for a diplomat.

            Western Ambassadors have a history of this (with apologies to Craig) as we saw in 2014 with Geoffrey Pyatt, the US Ambassador to Ukraine who was causing a lot of trouble there. There was his famous phone call with Victoria Nuland in which they discussed the US plan to overthrow the (democratically elected) president Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine.

          • Andyoldlabour


            Did you enjoy your recent trip to Iran? Did you find the people as friendly as you hoped?

        • Tom74

          My thoughts too. I don’t click on Guardian/Observer articles anymore (dont want to encourage them) but the picture on the front page suggests the ‘protest’ is, let’s say, limited. It sounds as though the British ambassador was suspected of stirring things up too.

      • nevermind

        I welcome Harry and Megans decision, who would want to be lbasyed with stories about one’s uncle Andrew at every turn.
        Not a word about that filth and his allegiance tp paedos.
        The MSM once again has shown what a bunch of cretinous a..selickers they are. Sctutiny? My fat backside…

  • Mrs Pau!

    I think Donald Trump is a dangerous idiot and that America should butt out of the Middle East. But I also think the ME is a dangerous region full of power players from all the local religions and political and military factions seeking to come out on top.

    And I think that Qassim Solamanei was an important and dangerous local power player who represented Iran’s interests in funding local hezbollah in the murky and vicious local religious politics.

    I struggle with the view, which seems to be the only acceptable view here, that Iran is a peaceful nation busy minding its own business and that QS was a peaceful man, seeking to broker peace in the region. Remind me what the IRG does again and his role in it?

    • Laguerre

      Iran hasn’t attacked anybody in the ME, but the US and Israel have, numberless times. You haven’t noticed that? You have to read between the lines in the media, as I am sure you will tell us you do.

      • Mrs Pau!

        Who funds the various ME hezbollah?, I thought Iran’s IRG was involved to enable Iran to fight in proxy conflicts locally. Funding, advising and supplying local hezbollah enables Iran to avoid direct involvement and maintain deniability. Wasn’t the head of the Iraqi hezbollah travelling with QS and killed alongside him? Isn’t it funded by Iran?. who funds the other hezbollah in the region?

        • Laguerre

          Hizbullah, has it invaded anybody (unlike Israel)? You haven’t even asked yourself that first question, let alone shown yourself independent of the western propaganda narrative. You haven’t understood that Iraqi Hizbullah is not Lebanese Hizbullah, but is rather part of the Iraqi govt forces, and thus a legitimate element (actually Lebanese Hizbullah is a legimate political party too, except in Israeli propaganda). You need to read up a bit.

          • Tom Welsh

            Hezbollah’s “terrorism” amounts to repelling Israeli invasions. Which were motivated by a desire to seize Lebanon’s best water resources.

        • Magic Robot

          Your questions 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 resident population.
          Surely you realise that using bad methods, over such a long time, can only lead to bad results?

          • Tom Welsh

            “Surely you realise that using bad methods, over such a long time, can only lead to bad results?”

            If only that were true.

        • Andyoldlabour

          Mrs Pau!

          There is one main fact (amongst many others) that our media never broadcast, and that is the fact that Iraq is 70% Shia. This is a very important fact, as are other facts, such as the millions of Iranians who vist Iraq every year to visit the two most holy Shia shrines in Karbala and Najaf.
          Both Iran and Iraq were fighting against Daesh in Mosul in Northern Iraq. Back in December, the US decided to attack a couple of Iraqi militia groups in Northern Iraq, killing at least 25 of their fighters. This is what caused the uprest and subsequent siege of the US embassy in Baghdad.

          • Mrs Pau!

            So Iran does not fund any of the Iraqi militia groups? Was it just coincidence that Gen QS was travelling with the Iranian-Iraqi head of the Iraqi kata’ib hizbollah group which just happens to be funded by Iran.? I am not suggesting that Iran is plotting against the UK but I am pretty convinced it actively plots against the regional Sunnis just. as Saudi Arabia forments trouble against the Shias.

            This is a power struggle which occurs in the Middle East irrespective of Israel. If Egypt had oil, it would probably be pitching in there too, seeking a claim on regional.leadership.

          • Andyoldlabour

            Mrs Pau!

            I am not suggesting that Iran doesn’t give any help or funding to the Iraqi militias, but there were 7 Iraqi militias which made up the Popular Mobilisation Force of Iraq, which had been operating with PM Al Maliki since 2014. It was these militias which the US attacked in December – Kata’ib Hizbollah is one of these Iraqi militias.
            To say that Iran plots against Sunnis is a bit simplistic because there are 5% to 10% Sunnis in Iran.
            There are also Sunnis in the Iraqi militias.

    • Mary

      Suggest you ask Mr Blair to explain it all to you. He might tell you, but will probably not, that Soleimani’s rise to power kicked off when Israel invaded Lebanon. It’s always about Israel.

      ‘The first years of General Suleimani’s tenure in the late 1990s were devoted to directing the militant group Hezbollah’s effort against the Israeli military occupation of south Lebanon. General Suleimani, along with Hezbollah’s military commander, Imad Mugniyah, drove a sophisticated campaign of guerrilla warfare, combining ambushes, roadside bombs, suicide bombers, targeted killings of senior Israeli officers and attacks on Israeli defense posts.’

      • Mrs Pau!

        My opinion of Tony Blair is unrepeatable. Worst thing to happen to this country in years. So many bad ideas with worse consequences originated from him.

      • Laguerre

        “It’s always about Israel.”

        That’s true. The ME conflicts would not be happening, if it were not for Israeli interests. That’s not to say that there aren’t other disgreements, but they would not have turned into destabilising wars, without the additional Israeli element.

        • Mrs Pau!

          So Iraq would not have fought Iran and Iraq would not have invaded Kuwait if Israel did not exist?

          • Laguerre

            That’s right. But it’s not useful to oversimplify, to score a cheap point. US/UK policy in the Middle East used to be more imperial, and less support of Israel. Now it’s mainly support of Israel, and imperial-style control of the world and its resources has been reduced to a vestige.

        • Republicofscotland

          “That’s true. The ME conflicts would not be happening, if it were not for Israeli interests. ”

          That’s not entirely true, the Monroe Doctrine basically set out US foreign policy within its sphere in Central and South America, it said in certain terms, that the Old World European countries should stay out of our region, Cuban and Canada aside, at the time had British protection.

          Eventually the US looked for new hunting grounds, Kissinger said that the ME, was to be the new region, stating that we must show them (ME) that we control our own region, and that we can protect ME countries if need be.

          Israel wasnt particularly at the heart of US foreign interests at the time, US aid didn’t shoot up dramatically until after the Six Day war with Egypt, Jordan and Syria, in which Israel carried out a pre-emptive strike on the Egyptian airforce virtually wiping out its fighter jets.

          The US wanted Egypt to comply with its agenda in the region, it wouldn’t, however the US had overstretched itself in Indonesia, that’s when Israel stepped in.

          After that US aid to Israel began to climb, and its importance to the West in the region began to grow.

          • bevin

            “The US had overstretched itself in Indonesia, ..”
            Please explain. this is a very new theory.
            Of more importance perhaps was the fact that Egypt had overstretched itself- in the form of its best army and leading Generals-in the Yemen where it was fighting the former Imam’s troops backed by the US, UK and Israel.

          • Republicofscotland

            “Please explain. this is a very new theory.”

            Its not new and its not a theory Chomsky has been telling us for years of this.

            If you go onto Youtube and watch and listen to him speak, (Most of his talks are an hour or over) you’ll hear him tell you and his audience exactly what I told you.

            Chomsky adds that the files for many US adventures etc are now declassified and available, if you’re prepared to do the work.

            Mark Curtis fills in a similar roll in the UK with regards to decoding and writing about declassified documents.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Republicofscotland January 12, 2020 at 16:25
            A link would be helpful, the theory is a new one to me as well.
            I campaigned for many years on Indonesia/East Timor/West Papua (concentrating on East Timor as I joined the group about 1984).
            In March 1967 Suharto usurped Sukarno, having successfully ‘fought back’ an almost certainly American planned False Flag so-called ‘Communist Coup attempt’ in 1965. The murderous Suharto fightback caused around a million murdered, and many hundreds of thousands (may well have been millions, my memory is not too hot) of political prisoners.
            How on earth Chomsky thinks the U.S. was ‘over-stretched’ in Indonesia I can’t imagine – their man Suharto was in complete control.

        • pretzelattack

          dunno about that, there’s still the oil, and outsiders coming in to steal it, just like venezuela. i think there would still be regime change operations there in some alternate universe where israel never existed.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      Mary Pau!
      Who was QS a danger to other than those who are a danger to Iran? He was the main author of the defeat of ISIS who are an American created proxy army which seeks to destroy any state which displeases America, as part of a continuing drive to asset strip Iran, Russia and China. The IRG exists to prevent this and QS was irs leader. They have friends and allies in the region. What is wrong with that? America’s claim to bring peace is ludicrous, they have laid waste to whole countries in South West Asia and intend more of the same.

      • Mrs Pau!

        So the IRG was set up to defeat ISIS? Actually it was established around 40 years ago, as a branch of the Iranian army, although it has greatly increased in power and influence over the years. Fighting ISIS is only one, very recent aspect of its responsibilities under General QS. I think you need to read some history books..

          • Robyn

            Thanks, Laguerre, you’ve saved me the trouble of politely suggesting MP do a bit more reading. Preferably not the MSM.

          • Mrs Pau!

            Could you explain in a bit more detail why the Iraqi invasions of and wars with Iran and Kuwait, were the fault if Israel. It does not explain this in my history books. Could you recommend something which explains it from this perspective

      • Mrs Pau!

        My reading tells me that the IRG was set up to protect the integrity of Iran as an Islamic state. I cannot find defeating ISIS in its original objectives or a mission to prevent the US from asset stripping China and Russia.

    • Carl

      I thought your hope lay with the anti-immigrant hard right. Where do they stand on this issue?

      • Pyewacket

        Corbyn has a great opportunity to now start telling it how it is. He has nothingto lose anymore, in getting all sorts of uncomfortable truths out there. He has a few months at best to rock the boat, and mix a bottle for his foes, both inside his own party, and the opposition, before he is consigned to political obvlivion. Being a nice guy has done him no favours whatsoever, and it’s saddening that it will be his epitaph…killed by Vipers, but he let them bite him !

    • John Pretty

      Thank you, Jack. For me this is one of the problems with Corbyn.

      Here he is equating the calculated, deliberate and unprovoked killing of a top Iranian military official with the clumsy and accidental downing of a civilian airliner by a very nervous – and clearly unprepared – Iranian defence team and in particular a soldier who had to make a ten second decision on whether to fire.

      Iran was clearly terrified at the prospect of attack by the largest military machine in the world.

      I do not think that you can equate the two in the way that Jeremy is doing here. Obviously I’m not saying it was okay, but the United States is the clear primary aggressor in this situation. The airliner tragedy would not have happened had the United States not killed Soleimani.

      I found this in the Telegraph (not a paper I read, but I thought it was interesting and relevant) :

      “An accidental targeting of this airliner should not have been possible as it was transmitting active identification and position data and had just taken off from Tehran airport under radar control and full contact with Tehran Air Traffic Control, according to a pre-filed flight plan.”

      • Mrs Pau!

        I see Trudeau is now querying just how accidental the downing of the plane was. Presumably in response to some information of the type you quote above from the Telegraph.

        • Deb O'Nair

          Neither Trudeau nor the Telegraph should be engaging in such pointless (for most) speculation considering that international investigators are currently in Iran looking at the flight data and voice recorders and examining the wreckage of the plane.

          Why is it not possible for Trudeau to show a modicum of patience? Trudeau may have been correct about the missile (and who told him?) but that does not excuse the haste to spread divisive conspiracy theories in the corporate media during an investigation into a tragic event so recent that the victims families are still in a state of profound grief.

          • fedup

            Trudeau the browless cretin is stoking the conflict.

            What if the missile batter was hacked into?
            What if the missile battery was Jammed?

            These are the questions which ofc are of no relevance because as we all know Iran = Bad Iranians = Bad People, Iranian Leaders = Bad, crazy, nasty people. Really an open-and-shut case!

      • Manjushri

        That is a very interesting paragraph from The Telegraph, for the main reason it makes no sense.
        A pre-filed Flight Plan would not have any record of when an airborne commercial airliner was transmitting ‘squaks’ giving its location and identification.
        I will await the investigation, but speculate there were no squaks coming from this aircraft, for whatever interesting reason that could be, hence it was targeted.

  • SA

    The Meghan and Harry distraction has displaced the Labour leadership elections from the Sunday press according to the Marr.
    How can you mistake a passenger aeroplane for a military aircraft? says a naive participator on the show. Easy she has not heard of several incidents including the Vincennes shooting down an Iranian jet.

    • Tony

      The plane would not have been shot down if the U S had not sent ships into the region to try to prevent Iraq, then an ally, from losing its war against Iran.

    • pete

      Re the “broken lava lamp”
      Thanks for the link.
      The lava lamp is not broken, if you stick with the film you will see that the lamp does move, I could not take my eyes off it. Because of the compression used in the streaming the transitions the lamp makes are intermittent, adding another element of drama to the
      Oh, and the message that comes across from the interview does provide a useful crude summery of the reasons for the conflict in the area, haven’t read his book yet but think that I will in due course.

  • Willie

    Reading today’s media the slaughter of the 176 on the Ukrainian jet couldn’t be coming along nicer for Donald Trump and his bum bo Bojo.

    Having wiped out the Iranian general and his entourage after coming off a civilian jet the Trump then puts his military into battle mode and threatens to wipe out Iran – mocking that he’d hit 52 special sites. With Goliath ready to smite, Iran as any country would do goes on to the highest alert.

    Then in a tragic accident, a defence battery mistaking a jet as a cruise missile rakes down the jet and oh what a rip roaring success. Dead bodies and bits of dead bodies of innocent civilians everywhere. An absolute publicity scoop to harden public opinion against Iran.

    And don’t the Brits and the Americans suck it all up. Weapons of mass destruction, ready to hit Britain within thirty minutes, the media works public opinion like a stage performer works his audience. And boy doesn’t it work with the BBC, the Sun et al giving it big licks to a public now seething with hatred against Iran.

    Oh how the Great British public are led like donkeys to war in their name. Let’s have a lovely war. Get your sons and daughters signed up now. Go on God is on our side, just like WW2 and WW1 before up. Off to the killing fields with a song in the air, we deserve no less.

    And well done Mr Trump for delivering us from evil. Your the best yet with your beautiful big most expensive military in the world.

    • Ken Kenn

      And in a sanguine Dateline London debate for the worried well off adopted Nationals no-one even posited a salutary proposition.

      They (the Iranians ) thought this was a Cruise Missile.

      I am at one with John Pilger and Noam Chomsky here in respect of more ” landmines ” warring parties could tread on by accident.

      What would happen if the Russians in Syria thought a nuclear missile may be heading their way and reacted accordingly?

      All the ” Deterrentists ” are talking garbage ( Rebecca I’m looking at you particularly ) because if someone has to fire one back that means the deterrence hasn’t worked – has it?

      MAD is mad – but with an idiot for a President more landmines are being laid.

  • Paul Barbara

    The Ukranian airliner was apparently headed towards a sensitive Iranian research site. Surely there are set paths for airliners? Did this flight, for some reason, depart from this set path and fly over a restricted area (like the MH 17 was ordered directly over a war zone)? Could it have been a deliberate set-up, like the MH17 and the Korean airliner ‘accidentally’ flying over Russian territory which they shot down, or like the Israelis tricked the Syrians into shooting down the Russian intelligence plane by merging their radar paths (as was also done with the Korean airliner and an American spook plane)?

  • Jack

    Israeli Intelligence Was Involved in US Assassination of Top Iranian General – Reports

    As expected, US is waging a war for Israel just like the war on Iraq:

    Tony Blair on why Iraq was invaded:
    “As I recall that discussion, it was less to do with specifics about what we were going to do on Iraq or, indeed, the Middle East, because the Israel issue was a big, big issue at the time. I think, in fact, I remember, actually, there may have been conversations that we had even with Israelis, the two of us, whilst we were there. So that was a major part of all this.”

    • Anthony

      To focus on Israel is a distraction away from what the US-centred international order really is all about. Craig is right when he says US policy in the near east is driven by Big Oil and the protection of Saudi Arabia. Israeli interests generally dovetail with this, but they do not dictate US policy.

      Why would they?

      The economist Michael Hudson spelt it all out in an interview with The Saker last week:

      “The most basic concerns of U.S. international diplomacy: the balance of payments (dollarizing the global economy, basing foreign central bank savings on loans to the U.S. Treasury to finance the military spending mainly responsible for the international and domestic budget deficit), oil (and the enormous revenue produced by the international oil trade), and recruitment of foreign fighters (given the impossibility of drafting domestic U.S. soldiers in sufficient numbers). From the time these concerns became critical to today, Israel was viewed as a U.S. military base and supporter, but the U.S. policy was formulated independently of Israel.

      I remember one day in 1973 or ’74 I was traveling with my Hudson Institute colleague Uzi Arad (later a head of Mossad and advisor to Netanyahu) to Asia, stopping off in San Francisco. At a quasi-party, a U.S. general came up to Uzi and clapped him on the shoulder and said, “You’re our landed aircraft carrier in the Near East,” and expressed his friendship.

      Uzi was rather embarrassed. But that’s how the U.S. military thought of Israel back then. By that time the three planks of U.S. foreign policy strategy that I outlined were already firmly in place.

      Of course Netanyahu has applauded U.S. moves to break up Syria, and Trump’s assassination choice. But the move is a U.S. move, and it’s the U.S. that is acting on behalf of the dollar standard, oil power and mobilizing Saudi Arabia’s Wahabi army.

      Israel fits into the U.S.-structured global diplomacy much like Turkey does. They and other countries act opportunistically within the context set by U.S. diplomacy to pursue their own policies. Obviously Israel wants to secure the Golan Heights; hence its opposition to Syria, and also its fight with Lebanon; hence, its opposition to Iran as the backer of Assad and Hezbollah. This dovetails with US policy.

      But when it comes to the global and U.S. domestic response, it’s the United States that is the determining active force. And its concern rests above all with protecting its cash cow of Saudi Arabia, as well as working with the Saudi jihadis to destabilize governments whose foreign policy is independent of U.S. direction – from Syria to Russia (Wahabis in Chechnya) to China (Wahabis in the western Uighur region). The Saudis provide the underpinning for U.S. dollarization (by recycling their oil revenues into U.S. financial investments and arms purchases), and also by providing and organizing the ISIS terrorists and coordinating their destruction with U.S. objectives. Both the Oil lobby and the Military-Industrial Complex obtain huge economic benefits from the Saudis.”


      • Jack

        I would defintely say it is the opposite –
        this whole talk of oil is so far off what is going on today clearing missing that the killing stems from israeli interests.

        • Anthony

          Sorry Jack, you’ll need to explaiin why Hudson is so far off and why the US would place Israeli interests before those of its big capitalists and MIC. It is by no means self-evident to me how the US would benefit by being a mere Israeli puppet.

          • Jack


            You cannot judge the american mess in the middle east in rational terms (i.e. what is for americans to wage war for Israel and so on), you have to look at who influence, lobby for war on Iraq, Iran, Syria.

            From 2007 but its even worse today: “Iraq, the Neocons and the Israel Lobby “- John Mearsheimer

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Anthony January 12, 2020 at 13:25
            ‘..It is by no means self-evident to me how the US would benefit by being a mere Isr^eli puppet.’
            Of course it doesn’t benefit the U.S., that’s why ‘the Lobby’ uses bribery and blackmail (a la Epstein and ‘Pizzagate’) to attain their objectives, and they have been remarkably successful at it.

        • Deb O'Nair

          “this whole talk of oil is so far off…”

          The US dollar as reserve currency is underpinned by the oil trade being conducted in dollars. The US does not care who pumps the oil out the ground, who sells or buys it, only that it is traded in dollars.

          Iraq invasion happened because Saddam began selling oil in Euros. Libya was bombed to the stone-age because Gaddafi started selling oil for gold. Iran and Venezuela, two countries under immense pressure from the US, also sell oil outside the dollar.

          • michael norton

            Now if the Economy/dollar of the United States of America is based on the World wide selling of oil,
            what do they do when there is a greatly reduced want of oil,
            as in Elon Musk changing the World to battery power?

    • Mrs Pau!

      Does anyone believe anything Tony Blair says/remembers/recalls on Iraq. He is totally discredited in the UK for having lied about the weapons of mass destruction.

    • Tony

      The pro-war coalition had various motives for invading Iraq.

      For President Bush, it was his idea that a war would benefit him politically that appears to have been a significant consideration. The relevant quote from a Bush associate from Texas appears in this book:


      Hope you find this useful.

  • Mary

    Horrid reactionary vitriol against Iran was being pumped out by Milord Peter Ricketts just now on the ‘news’ channel.

    He bolsters the comments of Raab, Johnson and Burt (CFoI) here.
    ‘Peter Ricketts
    Former Br diplomat, most recently Amb. in Paris, before that first UK National Security Adviser, Head of FCO, NATO rep. Still passionate about all the above!’

    His passion is obvious.

    His nest is well feathered. He is a ‘strategic advisor’ to Lockheed Martin. Nice work Lord Peter!
    Also a trustee of RUSI. A little bit of kultur thrown in via the LSO and the Royal Academy.


    • Mary

      Here’s Craig on Ricketts in 2010.

      ‘Even worse news. Cameron’s much vaunted National Security Council will be headed by the FCO’s pro-torture Peter Ricketts, who is personally up to his ears in the policy of complicity in torture, and in its continued cover-up – including being personally involved in the censorship of this vital FOI release last week.’

      and Ricketts also gets a mention in this recent one for the same.
      ‘The answer is that scores of very senior civil servants were deeply implicated in British collusion in extraordinary rendition. Those directly guilty of complicity in torture include Sir Richard Dearlove, Sir John Scarlett, Sir William Ehrman, Lord Peter Ricketts and Sir Stephen Wright. It was Johnson’s fellow old Etonian, Sir William Ehrman, who chaired the series of meetings in the FCO on the implementation of the policy of getting intelligence through torture.’

      • Mary

        Ehrman – now a Knight of the Realm since his more lowly tasks –

        ‘Sometimes known as “two brains Bill”, Mr Ehrman is also credited with playing a key role in ensuring Libya abandoned its weapons of mass destruction.

        But he was also involved in handling the media reaction which followed the death of Iraq arms expert Dr David Kelly. ‘

        Ehrman and the other creatures are all still alive. Many of their victims are dead.

      • Tatyana

        oh my, another bunch of wonderful names! Rickets is something about typhus, I suppose?
        Putrid fever and Scarlet fever.
        Бог шельму метит.

        • Mary

          Rickets is a bone condition where for instance the leg bones become bow shaped rather than straight when there is a deficiency of Vitamin D and calcium in the diet.

          ‘Rickets is a skeletal disorder that’s caused by a lack of vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate. These nutrients are important for the development of strong, healthy bones. People with rickets may have weak and soft bones, stunted growth, and, in severe cases, skeletal deformities.’

          Lord Ricketts’ name is spelt differently. Perhaps his name has some connection here – ‘The rickettsiae are a diverse collection of obligately intracellular Gram-negative bacteria found in ticks, lice, fleas, mites, chiggers, and mammals. They include the genera Rickettsiae, Ehrlichia, Orientia, and Coxiella. These zoonotic pathogens cause infections that disseminate in the blood to many organs.’

          Probably named after the person who discovered the particular bacteria.

          • Mary

            His lot love remembering those who were killed in their wars.
            although in this case WW2 was defensive.

            Harry Patch (a survivor from WW1) said that all war is organized murder.

            War is organized murder and nothing else” …
            “Politicians who took us to war should have been given the guns and told to settle their differences themselves, instead of organising nothing better than legalised mass murder.” …
            “Irrespective of the uniforms we wore, we were all victims”
            https://www.goodreads.com › quotes

            He was much loved.

          • Tatyana

            Informative forum it is! Thanks, Mary.
            Rickettsia ricketsii bacteria is for Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

            I know some people change their names when go into showbisness or politics, e.g. Ulianov – Lenin, or Dzhugashvily – Stalin. I would do the same if I were Rickets. Or Scarlett.
            Yet you have a Spottywood. Lady-Pinocchio? no wonder she’s spotted, contagion is everywhere.

          • John Pretty

            Interesting question Mary.

            My etymological dictionary says the name of the disease “rickets” is of uncertain origin, but first recorded in 1634.

            I would think the surname “Ricketts” is a contraction of the boy’s name “Richard”, often shortened to “Rick” and then adding the diminutive suffix “ett” implying little and the genitive “s”. So the surname might have originally meant “children of Rick”.

    • Tom Welsh

      Did they even realise he was an ambassador? He was engaged in most undiplomatic activity.

      What would happen if the Iranian ambassador to the UK were to be found egging on a mob that was demanding the overthrow of the British government?

      Would the police and other authorities simply smile and let him carry on?

      • Republicofscotland

        “Did they even realise he was an ambassador? He was engaged in most undiplomatic activity.”

        So going to a vigil for those who died in the passenger jet, is now considered most undiplomatic.

        “I would tell you what you can do with the international community, but I don’t want to be permanently excluded from this admirable forum.”

        Looks like you’ve found your level Tom.

        • Hans Adler

          We can’t really know whether he was just leaving the vigil in time before it became something else, or coordinating the demonstration from nearby as stated in Iranian claims. But what is clear is that it is not exactly rare for local police forces in any country to illegally detain someone with diplomatic immunity. Police outside the capitals probably get no or hardly any instructions on this, and even police in the capital may easily forget about it or decide to ignore it. This only becomes an issue if it is not quickly corrected by superiors. It appears that in this case the error was corrected by the foreign ministry after about 3 hours. That seems reasonable and no reason for more than a formal protest.

          • Republicofscotland

            “We can’t really know whether he was just leaving the vigil in time before it became something else, or coordinating the demonstration from nearby as stated in Iranian claims.”

            British citizens died in the crash, it was the proper thing to do, he’d probably face a backlash back if he didn’t attend.

            The rest of your comment may well be true, however its not what it is, its what it looks like to the outside world, not long after the downing of the jet.

    • Tom Welsh

      “Still the action won’t look good to the international community”.

      You know perfectly well that the cant phrase “international community” is code for the US government and its paid employees around the world.

      I would tell you what you can do with the international community, but I don’t want to be permanently excluded from this admirable forum.

    • John Pretty

      “Iran is doing itself no favours, on top the downing of the passenger jet by arresting the British ambassador to Iran, which is a violation of International law”

      I don’t think that this is going to be a major issue for Iran, Republicofscotland. It is a very minor violation. And in the context of very clear violations of international law (which though desirable is unenforceable) by the United States in countless illegal regime change wars over decades.

      There has to be questions raised about what Macaire was doing at that demo. Diplomacy is often a cover for spying and their presence is not always benign. Us Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt was implicated in the Maidan coup of 2014 in Ukraine.

        • John Pretty

          lol, yes, well that’s what he says he was doing there.

          What he says he was doing there and what he was actually doing there might be two entirely different things, of course.

      • Republicofscotland

        “I don’t think that this is going to be a major issue for Iran, ”

        No its not, and normally not that much would be made of it, but it couldn’t have come at a
        worse time, with the downing of the passenger jet and the deaths of the various foreign nationalities.

    • Wikikettle

      ROS. You seem to be repeating the talking points of Bellingcat. The ‘International Community’ you mention – is the the one led by US and it’s subordinates ? Will your type of Independent Scotland be in the image of SNP leader and Alistair Campbell posing, all smiles together.

    • N_

      Iran is the country whose foreign minister was prevented only a few days ago from going to the United Nations compound in New York. The “international community” didn’t give a damn, even though back in the distant days of “Z=R” the General Assembly once told the US to eff off and convened in Geneva so that it could hear Yasser Arafat who had similarly been banned by Zog’r’US.

      It would be good if countries started closing down US embassies and the embassies of all countries in military alliances with the US, and banning CIA/NSA tools like Facebook and Twitter too. Or maybe kick the British ambassador out and tell him he might be allowed back if his poshboy regime colleague votes to condemn both the US murder of Qasem Soleimani and the US ban on Javad Zarif, in other words if Britain helps uphold international law rather than sticking two fingers up at it. If Britain doesn’t do that, why should they be allowed to have their c*** do whatever he likes in Tehran?

      • Republicofscotland

        “Iran is the country whose foreign minister was prevented only a few days ago from going to the United Nations compound in New York. ”

        Indeed N, I agree with you, that’s a disgraceful way to treat a country’s ambassador. Even more so that Iran was one of the founding members of the UN.

  • N_

    The Sun is calling the shooting down of the airliner a “massacre”.

    JEREMY Corbyn has today compared the killing of “terrorist” Qasem Soleimani to the massacre of 176 plane passengers.

    Most of their readers will think “dark-skinned Muslims shot down the plane because they enjoy murdering people”. Anybody who points out that a “massacre” has to be deliberate will be viewed as an “intellectual” or “girlyman” who is soft on foreign barbarians.

    That’s how most people in Britain really think. THIS is the barbarian country.

    • N_

      For all the “equal opportunities” policies and so on requiring millions of hours of chair and keyboard use, there is so little understanding in the British public sphere of the racism and xenophobia that infect this country – as evidenced by how the matters are generally considered together with issues such as what kind of toilets “women with penises” should be allowed to use.

      • Tom Welsh

        I wonder if, by some creative fusion of the animal rights movement with the trans movement, horses (say) will be allowed to identify as women. Or men, for that matter.

        They would have to build far bigger bathrooms.

    • Ken Kenn

      You know the theory about millions of Chimps accidentally producing a Shakespearian play just by probablity?

      That’s how the Sun journalists and Express and Mail columnists earn their living.

      Some of the smarter ones work for the BBC as Royal and Political Correspondent now.

      Chimps with pensions.

      Paid in fruit no doubt as austerity is still with us.

      Wait for the “Traitor! ” phrases and ” She ( the Yank actress -even worse a mixed race yank actress ) has led our
      Prince astray and took him away from us. ”

      Just waiting for the NI Nurses to be called “The Enemy within ” by the above.

      All to come in the Alice In Wonderland – known as the UK.

      Rawnsley as usual writes so stupidly as a Centrist talking about the ” Hard Left ”

      It’s glaringly obvious that unless he went out more when he was young – ( i.e away from The Westminster Bubble) he may have accidentally bumped into some Hard Lefters and been put off by the experience and plumped for the safer option of supporting the SNP whislt young and saw moving right to the Lib Dems as a radical thing to do.

      Aaronovitch – Marr – Milburn et al used to be lefties but now tolerate the real dangerous people who are actually ( not mythically ) in charge of the Nation’s well being that is: the Hard Right.

      The bloke is a political plank.

      • N_

        Meghan Markle’s husband may be on the cusp of being classed as a “loose cannon”. It will be interesting to see whether he goes off-script about the 1997 car crash when he’s in Canada (if he manages to get there), especially once his grandfather (who is surely furious) is removed from the picture.

        Dominic Cummings probably wants either to have as his minion a monarch who is much more visibly hands-on than the current one (step forward Mr Crown Prince), or to abolish the monarchy. Either route could be taken.

        Talking of which, I am told that the huge hoo-hah that marked Cummings’s time in the “education” sector (mostly at the DfE and for a while when he was “freelance”) concerned “expressions of interest” submitted to his “New Schools Network” and how he wanted to keep them secret. Part of that is explicable by his “nobody tells me what to do” attitude, but that’s no excuse for not looking deeper. The NSN has supported “free schools”, and the “free schools” move (in which the raving eugenicist Toby Young, greatgrandson of the head of the British Steinerites, has been involved) relates to how the Rudolf Steiner network got state money for some of its schools while also managing to keep Ofsted’s nose out of its operations.

        This warning about Cummings was issued three days ago by Rebecca Hanson, a LibDem county councillor in Cumbria. (That link is to the video; the text is here.) Hanson describes herself as an “expert” in “education”, especially mathematics education, and she hasn’t got the slightest clue what she is talking about in that area, but you can see from the video that she is practically in tears the whole time she is talking about Cummings and I have no doubt that she was, as she says, subjected to horrendous bullying.

        For the record, Steinerites don’t mind bullying. They think it’s “karma” playing itself out. (Such an attitude gives Steiner “teachers” more time to sit in the staffroom looking at pupils’ astrological charts too. Belief in behavioural genetics and belief in reincarnation have a lot in common.)

    • Tom Welsh

      ‘Most of their readers will think “dark-skinned Muslims shot down the plane…”…’

      All the more misguided in that Iranians are not dark-skinned. (Any more than British people would be if the spent their lives under the Iranian sun).

      But the root trouble is not that people are misinformed. It is that they enjoy being misinformed when it helps them to despise “outsiders”. This is nothing new.

      “Directly Man has his most elementary material wants, the first aspiration of his amiable heart is for the privilege of being able to look down on his neighbours”.
      – Lord Robert Cecil

  • Monster

    I still can’t imagine a radar operator confusing an airliner return with that of a drone/missile. Despite the obvious much brighter image of the airliner compared to the dimmer return from the smaller object, how could the operator have mistaken the trajectory and attitude of a missile, which would be flatter and coming in lower from quite another direction, with that of an airliner having an upward inclination as it left the ground. I would also suggest that Iran has an integrated detection system whereby more than one detection system is used, thus another operator would also view the same set of objects at the same time.

    Could it be that the masters of the Stuxnet debacle have implanted some software in Iran’s radar systems to create a false scenario? I would also point out the clever deceit of the Ilyushin shoot down during an Israeli attack on Homs. In that case the Israeli plane spoofed the radar identification of the Russian plane giving itself safe passage while the hapless Ilyushin became the agressor.

    • Cascadian

      Are you familiar with the displays and operating procedures of a TOR-M1 missile complex?

      Please share your insider knowledge.

      • Tom Welsh

        Why would Monster need to be “familiar with the displays and operating procedures of a TOR-M1 missile complex” in order to speculate that someone might have interfered with them?

        And how do you know that he was referring to the TOR-M1?

        It’s very puzzling.

    • Tatyana

      “IRGC Aerospace Cmdr says we had requested the establishment of a no-fly zone given the war situation. But it was not approved for certain considerations”
      “Air Defence operator sent a message to his commanders; but after he didn’t receive any response for 10 seconds, he decided to shoot it down”
      “Revision: … air defence operator had been told a cruise missile has been fired. He has mistaken the passenger plane with a cruise missile, and after his message to his commanders was not answered probably over jammed communications, he shot the plane”
      “IRGC Aerospace Cmdr: I informed Iranian officials on Wednesday morning, and said we speculate our own passenger plane has been shot down. But the General Staff of Armed Forces quarantined all those who knew about it, and decided to declare it later”
      “The officials, including Aviation authorities, who kept denying the missile hit, are not guilty. They made those remarks based on what they knew. We are to blame for everything.”
      source: https://twitter.com/Khaaasteh
      video: https://youtu.be/S3e9g1oWNUA

      • Fuddledeedee

        A few things to remember in the lead up to the deciuson to fire.
        1) Iran fired their missile response off before the civilian airliner was scheduled to leave
        2) The civilian aircraft was late taking off die to “technical issues”
        3) GPS in the region would have been “disrupted” once the USA forces had detected and confirmed a first missiles in the air. This disruption would have been for many days and is probably still in force. Note: it is better to disrupt than switch the system off. That way you can never be sure if up is down is right is left or when the changes take place.

        Therefore knowing where any one object was instantly (at that time) would not have been possible. That could well have been a conytibuting factor to the delay in responding. Fog Of War – total confusion
        What this means is that nobody would have known where the civilian aircraft was and would be reliant on the flight plan (visual sighting, clocks and waypoints..traditional methods). The Iranian military would only have known about a bright object in the sky.
        They certainly would not have been aware of a later than scheduled civilian flight. There is a reason why military forces tend use khaki coloured trousers.

        I think I saw a report that the civilian airliner had turned back, or at least had changed course. If so this would have compounded the confusion by all concerned with the Battle Space.

        Another thing that should go into the mix is that Cruise Missile terminal trajectories are not usually straight lines. Most terminal guidance adds a variation in speed, attitude and direction (something very like a confused a commercial airline pilot would do when all his GPS based references were lost)

        • Q

          Looks like the Iranian version of events and the views of the Ukrainian investigators do not align at present. The investigation isn’t over yet.

          • JohninMK

            The Iranians have said that it was a mobile Tor-M1 unit that had been moved temporally into position due to the heightened tensions. It was not connected to the main IADS system other than by a VHF radio link that proved to be wanting in its time of need. The Tor radar is 60’s technology cathode ray tube bright scanned blob stuff, designed primarily to guide a missile to a target selected for it by decision makers further up the IADS chain of command, not to identify targets itself. In this case the operator had to make a quick decision, he took what to him was the safe one and shot down what he thought was a cruise missile. Incidentally, although sad it looks as if his control was perfect, the missile, a beam rider not heat seeker, hit the bullseye of the cruise missile, which in reality was right under the seats of the 737 pilots.

            The real problem was the lack of a no fly zone. As the General pointed out the military had asked for one but the politicians had said no. If they had said yes it would have been deemed that they were bowing to US pressure with Trump probably gloating shortly after. They had to keep flying. It was the Ukrainians misfortune that their plane was delayed, rumored to be caused by being overweight so cargo was unloaded rather than higher paying passengers.

      • Tom Welsh

        “They have said that the plane did not deviate off course toward any sensitive military installation”.

        That implies that the Ukrainians know the exact movements of the plane; and also that they know the positions of all sensitive Iranian military installations.

        I very much doubt whether that can be true.

        • Q

          From the article above:

          “The company confirmed that PS752 had taken off on the same flight route many times in the past, and says there was no deviation toward any sensitive military installations, as Iran’s military had initially suggested.”

          “Indeed, Sosnovskiy says, not only did several other airlines — including Qatar Airlines — take off safely from Tehran that night, airport operations even continued briefly after the crash.”

          “There were even a few flights that took off after us. The airport kept working, as if nothing had happened,” he said.”

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Monster January 12, 2020 at 14:57
      ‘Was Iranian Missile Operator Tricked Into Shooting Down The Ukrainian Airlines Plane Over Tehran?’:
      Also extremely suspicious that someone in a derelict building area was following a barely visible airliner in the dark around 6AM just at the moment to catch the missile video, wouldn’t you say? And of course he/she/they are anonymous, but immediately got the video into the ‘Bellingcat’ group and into the U.S. MSM.

  • Republicofscotland

    Media now reporting that British ambassador in Iran was arrested at a vigil, as a unknown foreigner in the country. In hindsight it does appear to be erroneous in nature.

      • Republicofscotland

        I doubt Trump knows how to Tweet in Persian, the English translation below it (I presume) is nothing more than propaganda.

        I should add that the downing of the passenger jet has allowed the anti- Iranian regime protestors to take to the streets and have something to shout about.

        Trump is parroting the don’t punish the protestors mantra.

    • John Pretty

      My my Trump’s talents no no bounds! I wonder where he learned Persian? (Trump University perhaps.)

      Not possessing La Donald’s talents I had to use Google Translate:

      “Addressing Iranian leaders: Don’t kill your protesters. Thousands have been killed or imprisoned so far, and the world is watching. More importantly, the United States is watching. Reconnect the Internet and let reporters move freely! Stop killing the great people of Iran!”

      Since Ayatollah Trump has now issue his fatwah I expect that all in the Iranian government will apologise for their indiscretions and be ready to comply …

      “twitt”, indeed. The operative word … !

      • John Pretty

        By the way, I apologise if anyone thought my joking here was insensitive.

        It’s hard to judge mood sometimes when reading the written word alone.

  • Tatyana

    that’s how you, Mr. Murray, change the way people live.

    This weekend I was driving to take my son back home. Earlier, I was happy to press the gas pedal harder on the highway – why not, which Russian does not like fast driving? – dropping the radio in the car at full volume and singing along with Adele your magical sounds of your beautiful English language, anticipating evening tea with mom and dad and they would say “what a big boy has grown up, and helps so much around the house, and so well-mannered…”
    No longer of that blessed ignorance.
    All my thoughts were about the events in the Middle East. Of course, I pressed the gas pedal but with a completely different mood – “damn it, most likely gas prices will go up now and maybe there will be big war, maybe even a drone is targeting me right now because I criticized Trump, while coffee&sandwich at the gas station I’ll look into the comments to find out what’s new.”

    in multa sapientia multus sit maeror

      • Tatyana

        Thanks, Q. I still can afford a tank of gas and a couple of fines for speeding. What I’m concerned about is drones that can attack at any time in any country, and Trump even has a special law to cover his insolent ass.

        • Q

          Tatyana and Ken, what I am saying is not flippant. Oil is cheap and overabundant in North America right now. It’s being held back from the market. There is too much of it and the price is too low. Economic forces always play a role in American conflicts, don’t they?

          American oil companies rule the market in North America, even oil that is not under American soil. Look to the economic drivers of conflict in the Middle East. In the end, it is always about the dollar and profit. Call that cynicism or realism, if you like. It is not flippant.

          • Q

            @Ken: The CNN piece did make a point about the views of ordinary people vs. the way leaders, bound by treaties and diplomacy, behave. Ordinary people in Canada are upset and angry about what has happened in Iraq/Iran. Where I live, people know people who were on the plane. Middle-school students are talking about it with their parents, in public. Middle-school students are asking their parents, “What happens now with oil shipments?” These kids live in the oilpatch. I guess critical thinking is still a thing. They’re hooked up to smartphones with news alerts, but they’re analyzing it, and processing it.

          • Q

            @Ken. You missed the point. These kids are making connections between the U.S. hit in Iraq and its connection to oil, politics and underlying economic reasons for political moves in the Middle East. Very advanced thinking at that age. And it is personal here, with kids calling home to ask what to say to someone who has lost a friend on the flight. They are looking for answers, not blindly believing what they read.

          • Tatyana

            Ken, very true words, I feel the same way. We love our children, but people in governments they also love their children, right? More, they consider themselves and their off-springs “exceptional,” and these people at the top of society write criminal laws to justify their actions in the eyes of ordinary people.
            I once tried to share my story about criminal laws to get away with punishment for theft and fraud, affect children and the whole life of ordinary people like me. I was asked to publish the story another time, because it was about the laws of Israel.
            Today everyone sees how the Bethlehem doctrine allows the American president to kill a person on suspicion of a threat. From theft to murder, great progress! It turns out that in a democratic country President can do anything, he simply have to stock up on the right paper.
            Giving power to governments and having no effective control over their actions, we ourselves actually recognize their “exceptionality”. In my country, it once ended very badly for the ruling elite. In your country, people still believe that coming out to protest can change something in reality.

        • Tatyana

          Then, does it mean that a country with cheap oil may be interested in the American presence in Iraq and in the war with Iran to offer its own oil to the market, no doubt at a higher price than now?

        • michael norton

          Tatyana, that is exactly what it means.
          There is too much Hydrocarbon product on the World market, Australia is madly ripping Coal out of the ground to sell to Korea/Japan/India and China in a terrible haste, before this becomes unacceptable.
          The World price of Oil would drop like a stone if all the countries which produce the Oil were allowed to flood the World market with oil. America, Libya, Canada, Venezuela, the Sudans, Nigeria, Brazil, Indonesia, Iran, Russia and Iraq have a lot of the stuff.
          If Russia and America need to get their Hydrocarbon products out in the World market, they need to hobble their economic opponents. Hence – Venezuela/ Libya/Syria/Iraq/Iran – troubles.

        • Tatyana

          Michael, I probably won’t tell a secret that a huge amount of products is made from oil. There is no need to export crude oil if you can create polymers, for instance. Quite on the contrary, it would be larger industry, more jobs, higher surplus value, the economy is growing… if there would be a desire.
          By the way, one person here in Russia once scolded his developers for insufficient efforts in this direction, and his phrase was coined since “про*рали все полимеры”

        • Tatyana

          how do you say that? calculated english understatement?
          Approximation, but even with very reduced expressivity, it translates as “you flushed all the polymers into the toilet”

  • Clive P

    It is possible that the U.K. ambassador did do as he says and is the innocent party. On the other hand the U.K. (MI6) and the US (CIA) have a long history of interference in Iran and organising coups. It started in WW2 but then involved removing Mossadegh in 1953 by paying for and controlling the demonstrations. They were also involved in the ‘Green Revolution’ ten years ago. It would be surprising if they were not trying to get rid of the Iranian government now.

    • Tom Welsh

      “It is possible that the U.K. ambassador did do as he says…”

      Nothing that reminds one of Dr Johnson can be all bad.

      “In Sir Henry Wotton’s jocular definition, ‘An Ambassador is said to be a man of virtue sent abroad to tell lies for the advantage of his country…'”

      As here we see.

    • Tom Welsh

      As I keep pointing out, Goebbels freely – even proudly – admitted that he learned everything he knew about propaganda from Americans like Edward Bernays. (Well, Bernays was born Austrian but he was naturalised American).

      Bernays was conning and swindling millions of people when Goebbels was still a schoolboy.

  • Wikikettle

    Great Interview on Grayzone with Scott Ritter. If I were the Irania Government I would sever diplomatic links with UK. Iran is under siege and numerous acts of war have been perpetrated against it by US and it’s followers. It has tried repeatedly to have peace to no avail. US policy of Regime change will lead to the bombing of Iran, assassination of its leaders and rise of ISIS again. The irony is that KSA, Gulf States and Israel will be taken down with it. The tragic thing is that the Fundamentalist Theocratic leaders in US who are waiting for the Rapture are happy for that war.

    • Q

      I think the U.S. has really betrayed its allies with this assassination. This was a unilateral decision made by the U.S. without any consultation or forewarning to its allies. Furthermore, media have stated that the U.S. has not been forthcoming with information in the aftermath.

      CNN posted an article yesterday stating that the U.S. President is “wildly unpopular” with Canadians, although the Prime Minister is more diplomatic in his approach. Canadians have paid dearly for the U.S. actions in this instance. War with Iran is not something ordinary Canadians want. Our leader holds a minority government.

      Meanwhile, we read about an Iranian with weapons arrested near Mar-a-Lago.

      • Tom Welsh

        “Meanwhile, we read about an Iranian with weapons arrested near Mar-a-Lago”.

        Didn’t Ayatollah Khamenei put a large price on Trump’s head?

      • Tom Welsh

        “I think the U.S. has really betrayed its allies with this assassination”.

        I find it hard to entertain either the idea that the USA has “allies”, or that anything Washington does could stand out from its general routine cynical wickedness.

        You can only betray someone who trusted you, and what kind of babbling imbecile would trust Washington?

    • Humbaba

      Iran would be very foolish to escalate the conflict. They can’t win an all out confrontation, but they cannot lose a drawn-out conflict of attrition. Iran is embedded in the region with innumerable contacts, while the US is a foreign element that will sooner of later be booted from the region. David can only win against Goliath by outsmarting him.

      Internationally, Iran can drive a wedge between Trumpland and Europe. China and Russia are anyways on its side. Trump’s stupidity offers a great opportunity for Iran. But that requires keeping the door open to return to the JCPOA, which Iran is doing by not expelling the inspectors for the nuclear watchdog and by not significantly increasing the level of uranium enrichment.

      I’m sure Iran will continue to needle Washington via its proxies; however, an all out confrontation would be stupid. Trump believes in the big spectacular hit to intimidate, but when intimidation fails, he has no other options and will in the end retreat like in Syria. He simply gets tired of all these far away places like Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, etc. and just wants to turn the back on them, if it can be managed it with him in the role of winner.

  • Wikikettle

    The main outcome of the Assassinations is that the US and it’s followers in Iraq have become an occupying force once again. They will promote Isis once again.

    • Republicofscotland

      “is that the US and it’s followers in Iraq have become an occupying force once again.”

      That’s correct the US is if they’ve been asked to leave and haven’t are a occupying force.

      One of the more prominent cases of US occupation, and more, is that of Haiti.

      “The United States’ refusal to recognize Haiti as a country for sixty years, trade policies, military occupations, and role in Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s removal from Haiti are little known by Americans, but significant for the development, or rather, lack of development in Haiti. Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, and has economic and health statistics comparable to those in Sub-Saharan Africa. A major factor in analyzing the state of Haiti today is its relationship with the United States both now and throughout history.”

      Iran is suffering from economical problems, the lack of jobs, decent wages etc. The US fears radical nationalist regimes seeking to satisfy the ideals of the public, that wants to improve the living standards of the masses, and real developments for domestic needs.

      This conflicts with with US political ideals abroad and the repatriation of US profits and raw materials.

  • Mrs Pau!

    Suggestion has surfaced via Iranian sources in London that civilian airspace around the airport was deliberately kept open in the expectation that this would deter America from attacking it.

    • Jack

      “Suggesstion” of the old myth of human shields “via iranian sources” have “surfaced”.!!

      Thanks for just pushing the war sentiment, you are doing a great job. Have you signed up for war by the way Mrs Pau?

      • Mrs Pau!

        I think it would be quite a practical suggestion and one I might consider myself if I was in charge of defending the airport at Tehran from Hostile attack. It means no one is confined to the airport by military, and the area does not tie down troops in its defence but is defended from possible American attack by the simple expedient of keeping it open to civilian traffic. Everyone is free to come and go. I think it is a pretty neat solution actually.

        • John Pretty

          I think, with respect that this seems an elaborate and very risky defence strategy.

          Especially given the risk of an aircraft being shot down as happened here.

          It would be easier and much less risky just to ground the country’s civilian planes until the emergency is over. Passengers may have been impatient, but their safety is paramount.

          And if the emergency is prolongued then they could be bussed out of the country if they really had to get home.

          • John Pretty

            “In my opinion, this case happened from the fact that war was not officially declared, and military protocols did not work.”

            I agree. But with respect, passengers are not qualified to make informed decisions regarding flights.

            And what would happen if you asked them and they were not unanimous in their decision?

            While I agree that it seems like a good decision to give passengers the choice, this may not be practical.

        • Tatyana

          it is a pity that the passengers were not asked if they consider this a pretty neat solution. I think that if you yourself were a passenger, you’d rather know about the risks and be able to make an informed decision.
          In my opinion, this case happened from the fact that war was not officially declared, and military protocols did not work.

    • Tatyana

      Mrs. Paul,
      will you watch it and share the link with your people, asking them to assess the openness and honesty, and asking a question – is the top of your country able to explain events to citizens in the same manner?
      I advise you to do this because I am going to do the same here in my country, and I wish that my government at least one single time were also the same honest and open about Chernobyl, or the Kursk submarine, among many others mischiefs.
      I envy the people of Iran, they must feel that the government is with them, and not living in a separate world.

  • shugsrug

    Is it possible that you could have a back door into the flight systems, and disable the equipment that identifies the plane as non military. Maybe someone has asked already.

      • JohninMK

        This is part of my post above.

        “The Iranians have said that it was a mobile Tor-M1 unit that had been moved temporally into position due to the heightened tensions. It was not connected to the main IADS system other than by a VHF radio link that proved to be wanting in its time of need. The Tor radar is 60’s technology cathode ray tube bright scanned blob stuff, designed primarily to guide a missile to a target selected for it by decision makers further up the IADS chain of command, not to identify targets itself.”

        The guys operating that particular Tor were in its control cabin with their only inputs from the outside world being their radar screens and VHF radios. They probably did not see the 737 with or without lights optically. If the Tor saw the civilian transponder code they would have thought it could be a cruise missile sending it out. I don’t know the timing of this but if it then stopped transmitting before they fired, as opposed to when their missile hit the 737, that would have been a red flag to them.

      • John Pretty

        Ken, this was in response to shugsrug. Perhaps I have misread or misunderstood what was said here.

        You will see I have made many contributions to this discussion. 🙂

        • John Pretty

          “Unless we are talking face-to-face we will never fully comprehend what is trying to be communicated.”

          Well, perhaps. These days I try always to be firm in my opinions, but respectful to others. Peace, Ken.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ shugsrug January 12, 2020 at 20:22
      I have put this up before, but for a refresher:
      ‘Was Iranian Missile Operator Tricked Into Shooting Down The Ukrainian Airlines Plane Over Tehran?’:
      Also extremely suspicious that someone in a derelict building area was following a barely visible airliner in the dark around 6AM just at the moment to catch the missile video, wouldn’t you say? And of course he/she/they are anonymous, but immediately got the video into the ‘Bellingcat’ group and into the U.S. MSM.’
      Also Boeing and U.S. spooks would have had the ability to do whatever they wished with the airliner, via it’s ‘Uninterruptible Autopilot’ (as many suspect landed MH370 on Diego Garcia).

  • Gavin C Barrie

    “Thoughts and prayers”, Aye Right. The consequence of Trump’s aggressive unnecessary action in drone killing Soleimani has resulted in the deaths of +250 innocent people – 50 in a crowd crush, + 200 in the downed plane. So please, no armchair diplomacy, no talk of how bad a person was Soleimani. Here in the UK, Julian Assange is still imprisoned – accused of honest endeavour – is the best reason I can think of for his confinement.

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