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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  • Brianfujisan

    course Trumps War crimes threats Caused the Plane to be shot down..

    But US Sanctions may well cause other planes to fall from the Skies..As the Vicious sanctions make it hard to get Spare parts..

    Listen to Academic and journalist Marwa Osman Explain A Lot ..Starting at 1 hour 30 mins in. –


    • jmg

      And not just that. After for example this and the evidence-free congressional Iran briefing, it looks more and more like what the Iranian and Iraqi governments were saying was most probably right.

      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. . . .

      “[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

      Also already mentioned:

      Iraqi PM reveals Soleimani was on peace mission when assassinated, exploding Trump’s lie of ‘imminent attacks’ | Max Blumenthal | The Grayzone | January 6, 2020

    • michael norton

      interesting, during the Falklands Conflict,
      The losses from General Belgrano totalled nearly half of the Argentine deaths in the Falklands conflict and the loss of the ship hardened the stance of the Argentine government.

      It was sailing away from The Falklands at the time but the story was, it was a mobile asset, therefor it could change course/target

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Try suggesting that diplomatic representation for US citizens be limited to those US people who absolutely, completely and witheringly condemn US official foreign policy as that of genocidal psychopaths.

      There would certainly be 100 million US citizens who would fulfil such criteria, it is just that no US Establishment would pay them to be humane representatives of US folk abroad.

      Perhaps it is time for the US to be told: either humane representation or no representation…..

  • thewoodsbeyondthetrees

    It is an appalling tragedy that so many innocent families, students and other passengers and crew lost their lives when the Ukrainian airline crashed, for whatever reason.. However, are we sure that ALL the passengers were innocent? There are reports that the flight changed direction, and appeared to be returning to the airport soon after take-off. There were no communications from the pilot at this stage: was the pilot actually flying the aircraft during this manoeuvre or had the controls been taken over by, possibly, one or more of the passengers that do not appear to have been identified (for public consumption, at least). Could the aircraft have then been flown DELIBERATELY at the military site as a suicide operation, thus provoking a entirely legitimate response. My impression is that all the outraged reaction from the western allies seems to be from a prepared and rehearsed script: I think the Iranians may know that nothing adds up and will be maintaining their completely appropriate appalled and contrite response – for now.

    My heart goes out to every bereaved family or friend of these innocent victims of yet another hideous war: if only each and every one of them had missed that flight ….. if only the airport had been closed – but for how long?

      • thewoodsbeyondthetrees

        The trouble is Ken, things are moving so fast the next unthinkable tragedy may occur before this horrific crash has been fully examined. I thought there would be a pause for reflective mourning at least; sadly it appears not.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ thewoodsbeyondthetrees January 12, 2020 at 23:49
      ‘… Could the aircraft have then been flown DELIBERATELY at the military site as a suicide operation, thus provoking a entirely legitimate response…’
      A more likely scenario, was it taken over by Boeing’s ‘Uninterruptible Autopilot’? Although a pilot radio blackout is not advertised as part of the ostensibly ‘anti-hijack’ system, it could well be an unacknowledged part, useful if the system was used to hijack a plane, rather than counter a hijack (like the MH 370?).
      If the Ukrainian airliner was flying in the normal flightpath, which would surely have been set up to avoid the military facility) it would not have got shot down, as the facility air defense would be aware of the official flight paths. The fact that it was turning, and ‘apparently heading back to the airport’, suggests possible deliberate manipulation to put the aircraft in harms way.
      Airlines are, IMO, extremely foolish to buy Boeings or any other aircraft with the ”Uninterruptible Autopilot’ system. I am not aware of any other aircraft manufacturers who use it, but it would certainly be handy for rogue regimes like the U.S.A. and it’s war criminal cronies.

    • Bramble

      I am suspicious of this deployment of the word “innocent”. Does it mean that if the passengers were guilty of something (cheating at homework; shoplifting; expressing support for the Palestinians; defrauding the NHS – whatever) their deaths would be justified? Was the murder of the General therefore “justified” because in the Israeli/US/UK book he was guilty of being an Iranian soldier? Killing people is wrong. Whatever the state, known or otherwise, of their souls.

  • Paul Barbara

    O/T, but a lot of people on here are very interested in the Julian Assange case.
    Julian Assange will attend in person for another preliminary hearing, this Monday 13th at Westminster Magistrates Court, 181 Marylebone Road, London. 9.30am.
    DONATE if you can: dontextraditeassange.com/donate/ #DontExtraditeAssange
    And Jeremy Corbyn has just gone down considerably in my estimation:
    ‘Julian Assange Stop the War Jeremy Corbyn no comment’:

  • thewoodsbeyondthetrees

    @ Buffalo_Ken @ 01.34 (sorry, no reply button)

    It is better to wish for peace than to do nothing, Ken. If enough people speak out for peace across all oceans and all continents, the whisper may turn into a shout that drowns out those harsh and malevolent speeches that whip up the hysteria of war.

    I do, indeed, wish for peace for you, Ken, and for all who seek to promote peace on this site.

    • John Pretty

      @ thewoodsbeyondthetrees

      I heartily endorse your wish for peace. Peace among commenters on this blog, and peace in the wider world.

    • SA

      Maybe this should be pointed out to Mary Pau! who insists that the western interference in this region has nothing to do with the apartheid state.

      • Mrs Pau!

        Of course Israel is an active player in Middle Eastern politics. How could it not be when many of its neighbours would like to see it wiped out. What I actually said was that there were in fact significant recent conflicts in the Middle East between Arabs which were caused by inter Arab state rivalry – and not by Israel. I gave as one recent example the Iraq-Iran war of 1980-88. That war broke out following long running rivalry and border disputes between the two countries. This was denied by several posters here who said Israel caused all disputes in the region, without exception, including that war, without explaining how Israel set it off.

        Given Iraq’s weakened state after the war with Kuwait, (started when Iraq invaded Kuwait,). and the appallng escalation and fall out from that, for which the west has to take the blame, it would be only natural for Iran, as Iraq’s long term rival in the area, to exploit Iraq’s current weakness to its advantage and extend its influence there.

        I see General QS and the IRG as playing a key role in this, and not as the peace loving humanitarians seeking to act as Iranian peace envoys, as portrayed here. Rather as using Iran’s current advantageous position over its old rival to extend its influence locally by funding and directing various Shia militia while maintaining deniability.

        And for the record also, I have been using hezbollah with a small H to refer to the various local militia in the region supported by Iran to fight proxy battles to its advantage and cause trouble for Iran’s perceived enemies locally. I think General QS with the IRG was heavily involved in funding and organising the strategy of these militia in more than one country in the region.

        QS was travelling with the Iranian-Iraqi head of one of the leading Iraqi militia when they were both killed. Was this the same militia who had been attacking US troops in the area and invaded the US Embassy? If so then I think Iran badly overplayed their hand in provoking the unstable Trump. (Ayatollah Khamenei had been goading Trump on Twitter the previous week.). Both the Saudis and the Israelis, as enemies of Iran, may have also been implicated in the assassination.

        • Laguerre

          “How could it not be when many of its neighbours would like to see it wiped out.”

          You can do better than recycling the standard Israeli propaganda line. Israel deliberately and of its own free will chose permanent war with its neighbours. It’s standard policy now. Israel, not only Netanyahu, specifically denies Palestinians their right to a state, but it’s Israel who’s suffering! Like I said, read up.

        • SA

          First. The neighbors do not ‘wipe out’ Israel they would like it to be a normal state that treats all its citizens equally. Is that too much to ask? They would like it to give rights to the original populations of Palestine that are prisoners in their own land. Is that too much to ask.
          The Iraq Iran war was encouraged by the west who supported Saddam Hussain because he fitted in with the agenda of having no powers in the ME to protect Israel. Saddam, a Sunni ruled Iraq, a majority Shia country and disenfranchised the Shia majority and was always afraid of those getting to close to Iran. When the Islamic revolution took place in Iran, the west was antagonistic from the beginning, as it overthrew their client regime of the Shah. The war weakened both countries.
          The Kuwait invasion was a result of a dispute over Kuwait apparently siphoning of some of Iraq’s oil from border areas, if I remember correctly and also undercutting Iraq at a time of oil glut. Again hazy memory. But it was also said at the time that the US gave Saddam a nod to go ahead but this was a trap.
          The whole interference of US in ME affairs, even before then when Kuwait was curved up of what should be part of Iraq, to the Balfour declarations and the Suez war and so on, we all interferences and Israel was the local focal point of all the disruptive action, as it still is, bombing at will, Syria, Iraq and Gaza as well as actions against Lebanon although the last of these in 2006 ended with Israel suffering a bloody nose.
          Even the divisions within the Arab world are due to constant meddling. Nationalist leaders have systematically been disposed of one way or another. The recent rise of Islamist fundamentalists is the work of covert action by the west. Read Marc Curtis and David Hearst about this.

        • N_

          What I actually said was that there were in fact significant recent conflicts in the Middle East between Arabs which were caused by inter Arab state rivalry – and not by Israel. I gave as one recent example the Iraq-Iran war of 1980-88. That war broke out following long running rivalry and border disputes between the two countries.

          Iran isn’t an Arab country.

        • Magic Robot

          The shill returns.
          “How could it not be when many of its neighbours would like to see it wiped out.”
          And Israel has wiped out no country at all has it.
          Oh wait…

        • remember kronstadt

          ‘I think Iran badly overplayed their hand in provoking the unstable Trump.’

          You think? Victims being their own worst enemy critique.

  • Laguerre

    BBC Radio 4: mass demonstrations protesting the shoot-down put regime in danger.

    France 24 live interview with correspondent in Tehran: ‘well, there are a couple of hundred people here….’

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      Der Spiegel mentions “up to” 3,000

      The Dutch press also talks about several thousand.

      The “several thousand” might be exaggerated, it seems they are almost all students from one university.

      Significant in Iran, but hardly “mass demonstrations”. It has been alleged that the UK ambassador was “encouraging” the demonstrators. Imagine if the Venezuelan ambassador got involved with demonstrations in London…

      • Borncynical

        Re the UK Ambassador, Rob Macaire, it is notable how our Foreign Office is trying to milk this as part of their anti-Iran narrative. “UK denounces arrest…violation of international law…illegal to arrest diplomats”. For one thing, since when did the UK respect international law, but I digress.

        But with regard to the Macaire ‘arrest’, as you say, would the UK really have done anything differently if the boot had been on the other foot? He was a middle-aged westerner seen in the midst of what turned out to be an anti-Govt demonstration. How are the Iranian police supposed to know that he is a diplomat before they take him in? Again, it’s the sheer arrogance of the UK Govt to assume that everyone must know who he is on sight. He was ‘arrested’ and questioned about who he was and what he was doing there. Seems a normal and reasonable procedure to me. When he said who he was, officials phoned up the Iranian deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi to verify his identity. Minister Araghchi confirmed it, and he was released immediately…all within the space of 30 minutes. The UK appear to have more to answer for than the Iranians.

    • Laguerre

      Graun headline

      “Iran protests: authorities struggle to contain anger over downed jet”

      Photo: “Iranians gather to take part in an anti-government protest around Azadi square in Tehran on Sunday.”

      What’s actually in the photo: a massive traffic jam on the approach to Azadi square, evidently of Iranians trying to get home but being blocked by a (small? big?) demonstration in Azadi square.

      You know, this is really deceptive. You’re being fed a fake narrative. The Graun is not worse than the other MSM, they’re all hyping massively what is not as it stands in any way a significant movement.

        • N_

          The “news reports” saying “the Iranian government has violated international law in response to widespread protests caused by popular disbelief in its account of the airliner massacre” strongly suggest “He who smelled it, dealt it“.

          It is almost certain that there was another hand than “Iranian human error” in causing the downing of that plane. Western audiences are being prepared for US and British “shocked face” responses when Iran announces that a major cause of the plane’s misidentification was a hit by the enemy on one or more of its computer systems. Seriously, do radical critics have to wait until they’re given the OK in the Guardian or Independent before they allow the idea of cyberwarfare or even the fifth domain of warfare more generally to enter their bonces?

          • Rowan Berkeley

            Borzou Daragahi posted this story on the Independent website an hour ago:

            Blood was splattered on the streets of central Tehran late Sunday after pro-regime gunmen prowling the capital allegedly opened fire on anti-government protesters … Other video showed gun-wielding regime militiamen, likely members of shadowy factions loyal to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, wielding assault rifles and scouring the streets in search of protesters. Witnesses said at least two people were shot and in unknown condition, even as the police denied using lethal force. The newspaper Hamshahri, associated with the mayoralty of Tehran, quoted Brig-Gen Hossein Rahimi as saying: “The police did not fire shots during yesterday’s and today’s rallies.”


          • N_

            The Foreign Office or SIS scribbler did well with that first sentence (“spattered” blood, “pro-regime gunmen”, “prowling the capital” – sounds like the poll tax riot), but his line about students chanting “They killed our elites, and they replaced them with mullahs” shows he ought to get out some more and maybe stop watching Google’s Youtube so much.

          • Vivian O'Blivion

            Fairly detailed account by IRGC, Aerospace commander or events running up the the missile launch. The claim is that the Tor – M1 battery fired on the plane because it was NOT networked (hardwired). Communication of the battery with central control was by audio phone line and radio. The request from the Tor battery for confirmation for launch did not receive a reply within the 10 seconds open to the operator to fire before the plane was out of range. Tardy response from central control may have been due to natural volume of radio traffic or interference (jamming) by outside parties. Unclear.

          • Rowan Berkeley

            Trump has posted an image of an apparently dead body on his Twitter feed amid a wild stream of messages in support of his policy on Iran. The image showed a bloodied male figure draped over a barbed wire fence.

          • Laguerre

            Borzou Daragahi is a classic Iranian exile journalist, hates the religious regime with every fibre of his being. The story of pro-regime shootings only comes from partisan sources, which are believed in every detail, and then they multiply the number dead a bit. We’ll have to wait and see whether there really are any dead, or whether the story evaporates.

            By the way, I don’t think the regime’s electoral support base will be in the slightest bothered. They don’t go on holidays to Canada, nor can they afford to send their children to study there.

          • Tom Welsh


            “…pro-regime gunmen prowling the capital allegedly opened fire on anti-government protesters…”

            Let me translate that.

            Hired Georgian assassins paid by Washington prowling the capital firing on anyone who looked a handy target… protesters. police, anyone at all…

            Just as at Maidan. I wonder if the Yanks will bother to pay their hired thugs this time.

          • fedup

            Seeing as the snipers of various guises have not been operating hitherto in Iraq, Syria, Azerbaijan, Armenia, …… It is

            “Trump called me to ask me to reject this agreement. When I refused, he threatened to unleash huge demonstrations against me that would end my premiership”.

            “Huge demonstrations against me duly materialized and Trump called again to threaten that if I did not comply with his demands, then he would have Marine snipers on tall buildings target protesters and security personnel alike in order to pressure me.”

            Why would Iranian kill their own people? The media here in the UK has assiduously ignored the French riots that have been going on for more than year now, with many French protesters being maimed and blinded by the high explosive military grade tear gas canisters. Yet not a hint.

            This is a feeble attempt at Venezuela MKII in progress.

          • N_

            @Viv – “Fairly detailed account by IRGC, Aerospace commander or events running up the the missile launch. The claim is that the Tor – M1 battery fired on the plane because it was NOT networked (hardwired). Communication of the battery with central control was by audio phone line and radio. The request from the Tor battery for confirmation for launch did not receive a reply within the 10 seconds open to the operator to fire before the plane was out of range. Tardy response from central control may have been due to natural volume of radio traffic or interference (jamming) by outside parties. Unclear.

            Added to that (info from the same page):

            “(air defence) systems including the one involved in the incident were notified by the integrated network that cruise missiles have been fired at the country”.

            And “we requested for several times that the country’s airspace be cleared of (civilian) flights.’ At the Alert Level 3, this is normal; such requests are made; well our dear brothers didn’t follow up the issue for certain considerations. So the planes fly despite the wartime situation.”

            The following comment is surely mistaken: “The political level decided that by leaving the airspace open and by showing normalcy it would further its strategic objective. Closing the airspace would have allowed the U.S. to claim that Iran is fearing its response and that it had shown weakness.”…especially when followed with… “The Boeing jet broadcast the usual civil ADS-B signal but one has to expect that a U.S. cruise missile can and would do the same.” If you know cruise missiles can look like civilian aircraft and you think you are under attack by cruise missiles there is no way you should allow civilian aircraft to be up there.

            Anyhow, civil airspace was left open…but I am not sure what mistake the operator at the battery made. If he was supposed to get confirmation before firing, didn’t get confirmation, and then fired anyway, that would obviously be an error that should get him court-martialled. But supposedly “He had 10 seconds to decide”. That suggests that his orders were “If when you seek confirmation you don’t get a reply, it’s your call”. And if he had been told cruise missiles had been fired, and here was a flying object that was consistent with being a cruise missile (and he may also have known that it had changed course), then terrible though the consequences of his decision were, I don’t think it’s obvious that he made an error.

            Then there’s this: “The U.S. has publicly bragged about its cyber-attacks on IRGC systems. U.S. air attacks typically come behind a wave of electronic countermeasures.”

            What about Israeli air attacks, such as recent ones?

            Iranian air defence must have been alert to the possibility of successful electronic or cyber measures to assist with a cruise missile attack, even if not necessarily aware of the exact type of measures that may have been used.

          • michael norton

            Cruise missiles do change course, suddenly, they often go obliquely to the target, then change course at the last moment, before they lock on.
            Some cruise missiles are subsonic, so similar speed to airliner.

            The question is, did the Boeing change course before it was stuck by a missile attack, if it did change course, specifically towards the Iranian Missile Battery, it would be seen as an imminent threat.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      There has been no date since 2003 when the BBC could be relied upon to be truthful.

      Whether there has ever been, I do not know.

      But the BBC now is the Broadcasting of Bullshit Corporation.

      Find news elsewhere…….

      • fedup

        I was this morning telling someone about this headline;

        The Telegraph (very left wing communist paper!!)
        Police probing whether prisoner slit his own throat at privately run jail

        BBC (No bias at all, at all!)
        HMP Thameside prisoner killed after throat slash incident

        Prison terror as inmate ‘murdered’ after having ‘throat slashed’ in devastating attack

  • SA

    Two observations from the recent incidents and the reporting in the media and BBC. Nobody seems to mention the fact that the targeted assassination was also against an Iraqi commander. Even if the false allegations about Soleimani are the fig leaf for the action, it does not justify the assassination of Al-Mohandis, a military commander of a supposed ally. The second one is the repetition of ‘the regime lied’. Well they may have done but for only three days. We have not heard apologies in the same sincere way from Blair and Bush for the much more disastrous lie of 2003 about Iraq. In fact all the turmoil in the ME since then originates from this lie. We have never heard Blair say that he wishes he was dead rather than having caused the death of hundreds of thousands

    • N_

      What happens when occupying British soldiers murder foreigners in foreign countries in such an egregious way that negative publicity ensues and there has to be an investigation or even a criminal trial, which is extremely rare but might happen for example because the homicidal British morons have filmed themselves committing murder or boasting about it shortly afterwards and then posted the video on the internet, is that British officers will appear for the defence, referencing the “stressful” and “macho” character of the killer’s training in the Royal Marines or whatever. There is no concept of right and wrong whatsoever, only of enforcing white rule and honouring “Her Majesty”.

      I can also tell you they won’t be too pleased if a Labour government shuts down Eton or increases spending on welfare or on improving the life expectancy of the working class in Britain. As far as they’re concerned, that’s robbing them.

      Take a look at the 2011 case in Helmand, Afghanistan, where the psychotic British killer couldn’t even get his Shakespeare right (“Shuffle off this mortal coil, you c***” were his words) but he sure as hell knew he wanted to kill kill kill. (He was the first British serviceman to be convicted of a “battlefield” murder since WW2 and, guess what, his murder conviction was quashed.)

      Iranian commander Amir-Ali Hajizadeh clearly knows right from wrong in a way that no public-school “educated” filth of a monarchistic British military commander or the fascist troops he leads ever will.

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        From June 2019. Freedom of information request reveals that from most recent available figures, 49% of Army officer cadets were privately educated (and that represents an improvement on previous years). 64% of Navy officer cadets were from State schools. 35% of RAF officer cadets were selected from the ranks.
        ‘Twas always the case. The Navy and the RAF requires technical knowledge and ability. The Army can take any aristocratic, inbred cretin and put them in a Officers uniform.
        Reference WWII, the Navy and the RAF put up a pretty competent show from the start. The Army were grossly incompetent from the outset ’till pretty much the final few months.

    • Mrs Pau!

      I believe Al Mohandis was a dual nationality Iranian – Jraqi who ran the el kaar’ib hezbollah militia in Iraq which was backed by Iran. But am willing to be corrected.

      • Laguerre

        Abu Mahdi al-Mohandis was an Iraqi, not an Iranian, who was forced to flee to Iran to escape execution by Saddam. ‘Iranian-backed’ is the clichéd propaganda expression that you can’t bring yourself to drop. The Shi’a militias have good relations with Iran, that is true, but they are not financed by them. Why would they be? Iraq is not poor. I mean, an equivalent case is Boris Johnson and the Tory party. Why don’t you say every time you mention them: the Trump-backed Tory Party. You would only be telling the truth.

  • Wikikettle

    About 500 Australian special forces in Iraq. Not training Iraqis or fighting Isis. They should go home and fight those terrible fires and save all those creatures. KSA, Gulf States, US, UK, Canada, France, Poland Turkey etc..better stop arming and funding Isis or so called rebels and go home and make their countries ‘great again’.

  • Wikikettle

    NATO would be better employed doing something actually useful by deploying to Australia and fighting those fires and saving the lives of all those poor creatures being burnt alive.

    • nevermind

      When Jonhnson said that the murder of Soleimani was ‘in all our interests’, he was right.
      Murdering the greatest adversary and killer of Isis mercenaries, Saudi paid AlQuaeda Al Nusra and a hotpoloite of other Sunni splntergroups will now be able to regroup and carry on with their xhemical weapons cabaret, a proxy war against Assad, and more importantly, Iran and Russia, on the backs of Syrias cultural heritage, stealing their oil and gas, not to speak of the Gholan, that is what Boris and Trumps interests are.
      As for the global disinformation is what we are best at SHOW, the two young newlyweds trying to escape some granni running this BBC Msm operation to quash all other news, a farcical attempt to boot, it will carry on as long as the granni collaberates with those who keep her errant offspring out of the news.

      Granni is at fault for playing the law, ignoring what happened, and for marketing her brand by having her staff moaping at her grandsons choice of wife.
      I would run 1000 miles to get away from this family as well.
      Has that son of her yet agreed to an interview from the FBI?

    • N_

      They really are taking the p*ss. Bribery is supposed to be illegal and the acceptance of a “gift” when a “conflict of interest” might arise is also supposed to be against the ministerial code. (Read: make sure you pay it into a Channel Islands account.)

      • Brian c

        If this ever sees the light of day in MSM we’ll be reassured, for the umpteenth time, that the public just “factor this sort of thing in” with good old Boris.

  • michael norton

    If you had important Infrastructure or a city such as Tehran,
    guarded by a Missile Battalion, if a missile or aircraft was incoming,
    would it be normal to fire more than one missile, to be sure of eliminating the threat?

    So did Tehran fire more than one missile at the Boeing?

    • Q

      It is interesting that the Ukrainian investigators were quick to determine that a missile hit the plane, but have kept silent about the type of missile, or is that missiles?

    • AKAaka

      I’ve not been following but heard second hand that the missile(s) were automated? Sounds like air defence. Makes me wonder if the US is hacking aircraft, or has a back door built in, so that they may disable transponders (or set squawk codes) or something similar to make a civilian aircraft appear hostile to air defence systems.

  • Mrs Pau!

    Apologies for describing Iran as an arab country. I know very well it is not. I temporarily forgot. I also know that the west meddled disastrously in the Iran Iraq war on the side of Iraq. My point was that Israel was not responsible for that war. And I have indeed heard statements from various Middle Eastern entities that Israel should cease to exist. There were several blood curdling pronouncements saying just that by the Iranian leadership at the start of 2019 for example.

    • pretzelattack

      the u.s. meddled disastrously on both sides of the iran iraq war, selling arms to both sides so it wasn’t disastrous for the defense contractors.
      israel seems to have, and to have had, a large influence in u.s. policy toward the middle east since before that time. i’m not familiar with statements in 2019, but the widely cited statement earlier by ahmadinejab was apparently widely distorted–he didn’t call for that.

    • Republicofscotland

      “And I have indeed heard statements from various Middle Eastern entities that Israel should cease to exist. There were several blood curdling pronouncements saying just that by the Iranian leadership at the start of 2019 for example.”

      I see no mention from you of the ethic cleasing of Palestinians from their own country since 1948.

      Between 1947 and 1949, at least 750,000 Palestinians from a 1.9 million population were made refugees beyond the borders of the state.

      Zionist forces had taken more than 78 percent of historic Palestine, ethnically cleansed and destroyed about 530 villages and cities, and killed about 15,000 Palestinians in a series of mass atrocities, including more than 70 massacres.

      Now I’m not saying that I agree that the Israelis (The occupying force in Palestine) should be killed, a two state solution should ultimately be the way forward.

      However I can understand how they, and others feel after decades of persecution by the occupying force, that’s slowly but surely squeezing them out of their own country settlement by settlement, which are illegal in the eyes of the UN.

      • Tom Welsh

        “Now I’m not saying that I agree that the Israelis (The occupying force in Palestine) should be killed, a two state solution should ultimately be the way forward”.

        I hope that no one would advocate killing a single Israeli. But they ought to give up the land that they stole and have kept through cynical violence.

        A two-state solution may be the only practical solution, even though it would leave the Palestinians grievously wronged and only very partially compensated. That, of course, was the original UN plan up to the point where the Jewish terrorists murdered enough British people and other foreigners to drive them out.

        The Melian Dialogue is still the only rule that obtains in international politics. “The strong do what they can, while the weak do what they must”. And questions of right arise only between equals in strength.

        Of course, that is an infallible recipe for war. Because the only way that the oppressed can ever hope to negotiate with their oppressors is by demonstrating that they are the oppressors’ equals in power. And that can usually be done only by defeating them in war.

        • Republicofscotland

          The British not only promised a second party, a third party’s country, the British actively crushed Aradpb descent in the process.

          MIDDLE EASTThe Nakba did not start or end in 1948

          The Nakba did not start or end in 1948
          Key facts and figures on the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
          23 May 2017

          Outrage after Jeopardy! host rules Bethlehem not in Palestine
          What is behind the foreign tour by Hamas’s Haniya?
          6 days ago
          Israel approves more than 1,900 new settler homes: NGO
          6 days ago
          Top 10 books of 2019 from the Arab world
          2 weeks ago
          Every year on May 15, Palestinians around the world, numbering about 12.4 million, mark the Nakba, or “catastrophe”, referring to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the near-total destruction of Palestinian society in 1948.

          The Palestinian experience of dispossession and loss of a homeland is 69 years old this year.

          On that day, the State of Israel came into being. The creation of Israel was a violent process that entailed the forced expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland to establish a Jewish-majority state, as per the aspirations of the Zionist movement.

          Between 1947 and 1949, at least 750,000 Palestinians from a 1.9 million population were made refugees beyond the borders of the state. Zionist forces had taken more than 78 percent of historic Palestine, ethnically cleansed and destroyed about 530 villages and cities, and killed about 15,000 Palestinians in a series of mass atrocities, including more than 70 massacres.


          Palestinians in 1948, five months after the creation of Israel, leaving a village in the Galilee [Reuters]
          Though May 15, 1948, became the official day for commemorating the Nakba, armed Zionist groups had launched the process of displacement of Palestinians much earlier. In fact, by May 15, half of the total number of Palestinian refugees had already been forcefully expelled from their country.

          Israel continues to oppress and dispossess Palestinians to this day, albeit in a less explicit way than that during the Nakba.

          What caused the Nakba?
          The roots of the Nakba stem from the emergence of Zionism as a political ideology in late 19th-century Eastern Europe. The ideology is based on the belief that Jews are a nation or a race that deserve their own state.

          From 1882 onwards, thousands of Eastern European and Russian Jews began settling in Palestine; pushed by the anti-Semitic persecution and pogroms they were facing in the Russian Empire, and the appeal of Zionism.

          In 1896, Viennese journalist Theodor Herzl published a pamphlet that came to be seen as the ideological basis for political Zionism – Der Judenstaat, or “The Jewish State”. Herzl concluded that the remedy to centuries-old anti-Semitic sentiments and attacks in Europe was the creation of a Jewish state.

          Though some of the movement’s pioneers initially supported a Jewish state in places such as Uganda and Argentina, they eventually called for for building a state in Palestine based on the biblical concept that the Holy Land was promised to the Jews by God.

          In the 1880s, the community of Palestinian Jews, known as the Yishuv, amounted to three percent of the total population. In contrast to the Zionist Jews who would arrive in Palestine later, the original Yishuv did not aspire to build a modern Jewish state in Palestine.

          After the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire (1517-1914), the British occupied Palestine as part of the secret Sykes-Picot treaty of 1916 between Britain and France to divvy up the Middle East for imperial interests.

          In 1917, before the start of the British Mandate (1920-1947), the British issued the Balfour Declaration, promising to help the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”, essentially vowing to give away a country that was not theirs to give.

          READ MORE: How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

          Central to the pledge was Chaim Weizmann, a Britain-based Russian Zionist leader and chemist whose contributions to the British war effort during World War I (1914-1918) made him well-connected to the upper echelons of the British government. Weizmann lobbied hard for more than two years with British former Prime Minister David Lloyd-George and former Foreign Minister Arthur Balfour to publicly commit Britain to building a homeland for the Jews in Palestine.

          By giving their support to Zionist goals in Palestine, the British hoped they could shore up support among the significant Jewish populations in the US and Russia for the Allied effort during WWI. They also believed the Balfour Declaration would secure their control over Palestine after the war.

          From 1919 onwards, Zionist immigration to Palestine, facilitated by the British, increased dramatically. Weizmann, who later became Israel’s first president, was realising his dream of making Palestine “as Jewish as England is English”.

          European Jews arrive from the Nazi holocaust wave into the Palestinian Arab city of Haifa, five weeks before Israel is declared a state [Reuters]
          Between 1922 and 1935, the Jewish population rose from nine percent to nearly 27 percent of the total population, displacing tens of thousands of Palestinian tenants from their lands as Zionists bought land from absentee landlords.

          Leading Arab and Palestinian intellectuals openly warned against the motifs of the Zionist movement in the press as early as 1908. With the Nazi seizure of power in Germany between 1933 and 1936, 30,000 to 60,000 European Jews arrived on the shores of Palestine.

          In 1936, Palestinian Arabs launched a large-scale uprising against the British and their support for Zionist settler-colonialism, known as the Arab Revolt.

          The British authorities crushed the revolt, which lasted until 1939, violently; they destroyed at least 2,000 Palestinian homes, put 9,000 Palestinians in concentration camps and subjected them to violent interrogation, including torture, and deported 200 Palestinian nationalist leaders.

          At least ten percent of the Palestinian male population had been killed, wounded, exiled or imprisoned by the end of the revolt.

          As you rightly say the Zionist paramilitaries targeted the British, who attempted to curtail the flow of Jewish people fleeing Europe due to Nazi persecution.

          In early 1947, the British government announced it would be handing over the disaster it had created in Palestine to the United Nations and ending its colonial project there.

          The 1947 UN resolution 181 unfairly gave the Jewish/Zionist people, the most favourable lands within Palestine, they were allocated 55 percent of the land, encompassing many of the main cities with Palestinian Arab majorities and the important coastline from Haifa to Jaffa.

    • Fedup

      ” Middle Eastern entities that Israel should cease to exist ……. blood curdling pronouncements saying just that by the Iranian leadership ”

      What is wrong with wishing for end of an apartheid state, the same tired arguments were touted about South Africa for many years, Sotuh Africa ceased to be, is that bad event to have taken palce?

      The world condemns Germany 1942 for enforceable deportations and holding people in concentration camps and rightly so. Yet the crazy notion of moral relativism condones the deportation of Palestinians to Jordan, Lebanon, and elsewhere in the Arab world during the 1948 war, and forcing the remnants of the said Palestinian population hardy enough to withstand the onslaught of war, prejudice and segregation; to stay in the open air Gaza camp reminiscent of the Warsaw Ghetto on steroids. The same moral relativism finds Jackie Walker: Dangerous socialist, Jewish and black. Will take argument won’t take abuse. as anti-Semitic and expels her from the Labour party.

      Somehow the moral relativism has skewed the morality compass in the West (UK/US and minions), that it is easily acceptable and condoned, for a black Jewish woman to be mistreated as an antisemite because she had mentioned the role of the Jews in the slave trade, or to find Ken Livingston guilty of the same charge for uttering that Kapo were Jewish

      These days even the mention of the word Jew has come to be an offence in itself, all the while the same board of deputies that served their 10 demands on Corbyn, keeps quiet about the points raised by same Black Jewess Jackie Walker. (would recommend reading her twits).

    • Tom Welsh

      “My point was that Israel was not responsible for that war”.

      That is debatable, and at least very doubtful. How can you state so positively that it wasn’t? Were you privy to the workings of Israel’s innermost government circles at that time? Or are you just expressing your touching faith in Israel’s basic goodness?

      “And I have indeed heard statements from various Middle Eastern entities that Israel should cease to exist”.

      Of course you have. I agree with them, although the implementation details would be very difficult.

      The salient fact – the ONLY fact that really matters – is that the people who formed the state of Israel descended, cynically and with extreme violence, on the peaceful country of Palestine. That country was not very formally organised, probably because until 1919 it had been a part of the Ottoman Empire and had no independent sovereignty – any more than, say, Puerto Rico has today. The Israelis-to-be formed murderous gangs that committed such extreme and pitiless violence that they drove out the British army – which had been entrusted by the UN with the duty of seeing fair play in Palestine. They shot and hanged British soldiers, and blew up the King David Hotel, killing 91 people and injuring another 49. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_David_Hotel_bombing

      After the British had departed – finding the Jewish terrorists harder to deal with than the German soldiers they had helped to defeat shortly before – the Jewish terrorists took whatever they wanted from the Palestinians, killing those who resisted and driving the others out to the desert places (no doubt in hopes that they would be decent enough to die quietly).

      The state of Israel comprises an immense theft of property, greatly aggravated by the killing of those who tried to defend their land, homes and possessions. https://imeu.org/article/quick-facts-the-palestinian-nakba

      Who would seriously argue that a criminal who steals a family’s land and house, killing any family member who resists, is legally entitled to keep that land just because some time has passed?

      • Tom Welsh

        In all essentials, Israel is a colony set up and maintained by force, and relegating the indigenous people to the status of serfs or (at best) second-class citizens with no power or influence. It apartheid regime is at least as bad as those established in Africa by European powers.

        At school we were all taught that the age of colonialism ended before 1914. WW2 was fought largely to establish the principle that wars of aggression fought to conquer land and subjugate its inhabitants are always criminal and unacceptable.

        Yet no sooner was WW2 over than a new colony was set up by methods almost identical with those of the golden age of European colonialism.

        Why was such a flagrant exception accepted by the UN and the world’s great powers?

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Tom Welsh January 13, 2020 at 17:34
        If you read ‘Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War’ by Gerry Docherty and James MacGregor you will learn some little-known facts about the group behind the ‘Balfour Declaration’, and it’s links to pre-WWI planning.

    • Republicofscotland

      “My point was that Israel was not responsible for that war.”

      Actually Chomsky points out that the US was selling arms to Iran via Israel, in order to fund far-right paramilitary contras in Nicaragua. I’d be very surprised if the Israeli authorities had no idea that was going on.

      • Republicofscotland

        Apologies I meant to add this.

        “In February 1982, the main Israeli figures whose names later appeared in the Iran/contra hearings appeared on BBC television and described how they had helped organise an arms flow to the new Ayatollah Khomeini regime. In October 1982, the Israeli ambassador to the US stated publicly that Israel was sending arms to the Khomeini regime “with the cooperation of the United States… at almost the highest level.” The high Israeli officials involved also gave the reasons: to establish links with elements of the military in Iran who might overthrow the regime, restoring the arrangements that prevailed under the Shah — standard operating procedure.”

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Republicofscotland January 13, 2020 at 18:10
          Ari Ben Menashe wrote a very comprehensive book about the Iran-Contra and much much more, ‘Profits of War’. His wife and young child were murdered in Nicaragua when they went to visit her parents, as a warning by the U.S. to Ari that he keep keep his nose out of their business of getting a Chilean firm to use it’s Paraguay subsidiary to provide chemical weapon precursors to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq for use against Iran. He had been sent by Isr*el’s top echelon to find out if this was true, and confirmed it. But when the U.S. started clamping down on Menashe, and even arrested him, Isra*l dropped him like a hot potato.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Republicofscotland January 13, 2020 at 18:06
        The U.S. was also importing planeloads (and boatloads) of Cocaine into the U.S. to fund the Contras.
        Bill Clinton, then Governor of Arkansas, was up to his eyes in the trafficking (into Mena Airport) and indulged heavily in the stuff himself.
        The imports were channeled principally into the Black ghettos, though it was distributed nationwide (with CIA/FBI oversight) via biker gangs like the Hell’s Angels. The crack epidemic decimated the ghettos.
        That is an aspect often ignored or unknown in the so-called Iran-Contra business; the third leg was shipping cocaine from Central America and paying for it with guns and military equipment. The Contra were not only merciless murderous proxy thugs (like the ISIS), they were also drug traffickers, but ‘our (CIA) traffickers’.

  • Mrs Pau!

    Is someone trying to jam this site? It keeps crashing today. Or maybe I have been hanging out here too long and become paranoid?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Andyoldlabour January 13, 2020 at 15:21
      That one was shot down by a French Mirage, one of two French, a number of U.S. and other nations fighters that were sent to shoot down a plane that was taking Qaddafi back to Libya from Italy. Flight 870 was shot down in error, believed to be Qaddafi’s aircraft. The Mirages also chased and shot down in the Italian mountains a Libyan Mig that had been sent to escort Qaddafi.
      As it happened, Qaddafi had been warned by the Maltese of the plot, so had changed his plans for returning to Libya.
      It looked like a NATO plot, as all the fighter aircraft were from NATO countries.

    • Andyoldlabour

      Courtenay Barnett

      Very believable IMHO. The last thing the US wants to see in the Middle East are countries at peace with one another.

      • Marmite

        It is reassuring to see that many are capable of seeing that the US is just as much to blame for this tragedy. Even a wealthy Canadian entrepreneur (whose class would usually disqualify him from any claims to intelligence or empathy) has called Trump out on this. I suspect that, if Washington was on high alert from incoming drone missiles and the like, it too would be susceptible to error of this kind.

        But while we all speculate on what went on here, based on what has been written by other persons who are also doing a lot of speculating, the UK continues to extremicise what has been called surveillance capitalism. While it will look grotesquely silly to some, the labeling of XR as extremist was no accident, but expressly designed to restrict even further the basic human right to assemble and demonstrate against a government.

        The irony of this is that this is the same government that repeatedly points the finger at other states (be it Iran, Venezuela or China) and lambasts them for restricting that human right, and for taking highly controlling and abusive measures toward their own people. It is the same government whose corporate media cannot stop indulging in stories about how demonstrations are always happening elsewhere, as if the public needs to be fed those stories, and prepared for what is to come next.

        • Q

          Michael McCain on Twitter, for anyone interested. The family’s business empire is one of extreme wealth, and one of its members is spouse to Canada’s finance minister.

        • fedup

          Mate you are living in a bubble, the extent of censorship takes down 30% of the net; obviously the awful stuff like the truth and what is happening are not the stuff you should be aware of

          Apple has just owned up that they are screening their clients’ data ofc in the best possible taste; looking for traces of child pornography, by sifting through personal private data of millions of people, included iTunes data, iCloud data and the graphics data on the phone (if I am not mistaken).

          The control ecosystem we have found ourselves in 1984 look a novice bash at control.

          We are all debating 2+2=5 or even 8!

      • Tony_0pmoc

        I initially couldn’t understand the slight sound blip, in the video of the missile hitting the plane, cos the video looked legit. Sound doesn’t travel that fast. The explosion wasn’t heard for a few seconds after. Of course everyone wondered, why anyone in Iran, should be photographing a plane in in Sky at 6:00am in the morning. It didn’t look like the video had been altered, and it was published very quickly after the event, as if they knew it was going to happen.

        However, cameras, and even mobile phones, react very quickly to a change in lighting, and adjust their own settings. I think the sound heard in the video, at the point of the collision, between the missile, and the plane, was the camera, automatically changing it’s light settings as a result of the flash.

        The very much more important thing to consider, is that these missiles, in their next stages, if we don’t all calm down, and start talking to each other, by the most basic methods of diplomacy, could have being carrying nuclear warheads.

        Mistakes do get made, especially at Defcon 1

        If you are convinced, you are under attack, then its highly likely you are going to shoot back, before you are dead.

        I wish all these lunatics, would just calm down, and talk to each other.

        Otherwise we are all going to be dead in a Nuclear War, for no sensible reason whatsoever.


        • Q

          Tony, yes to diplomacy. But it only works if the parties concerned are willing to come to the table. Tremendous pressure from concerned nations and influential people within nations to make this happen must be applied now, before it is too late. Once again here we are, close to the brink.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Tony_0pmoc January 13, 2020 at 16:49
        Very good link, Tony.
        I wrote this comment on Facebook yesterday; the new link (printed today) you provided pretty much complements it, and provides further useful information. That business about Russia providing Israel with the missile codes, is extremely worrying, IF true.
        ‘It would be very useful to know the radar track of the aircraft, when it was said to be ‘thought to be returning to the airport’, without the pilot informing Tehran Flight Controllers, and to have a map showing flight track, regular flight path and the airport and military facility (no harm in that, as U.S. would obviously be aware of it’s position). As no message appears to be received from the pilot indicating trouble or intention to change flight path, an obvious suspect springs to mind – Boeing’s ‘Uninterruptible Autopilot’. Officially supposed to be anti-hijack software, it could obviously be used by the U.S. or even a hacker to take over the plane and fly it towards a military site, and likely also to disable radio communications, with the intentional object of putting it in harms way and likely getting it shot down. Many people suspect that was the explanation for the disappearance of MH370, which they suspect was taken over and landed on Diego Garcia.’

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Courtenay Barnett January 13, 2020 at 15:36
      Makes perfect sense, and tallies with what many already knew about the U.S. use of snipers to shoot both sides in Egypt, Ukraine, Libya, Syria and Venezuela. And BoJo is buddy-buddy with the murderous Mafia gangster Trump. Poor Britain!

  • Wikikettle

    US is quickly losing control of Iraqi government. To counter, it will set it’s special forces and Isis fighters to assassinate those who want peace between KSA and Iran. It’s a desperate and last ditch floundering and fumbling that will fail. Iran would be well advised to shut the UK embassy and tell the Ambassador to go home. As should China in Hong Kong. All those NGO’s should go home and run soup kitchens in US and UK.

  • Courtenay Barnett


    “As it climbed and reached 4,600ft above ground level, the plane’s transponder suddenly stopped working at about 6.14am, 2 minutes or so after take off.”

    A deeper evidentiary analysis accompanied by a very careful timeline juxtaposed against a backdrop of all the available information might be even more instructive and revealing.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Brianfujisan

      cheers for that link Mary
      makes my blood boil the way Julian is being treated

      Imagine ANY TORY Toff lasting even a week of what Julian is going through .. Went through..They’d be Quivering Jelly on the cold concrete floor

      • Marmite

        But hasn’t the UK long already been judged to be in breach of human rights? Not sure that this explains anything, other than the fact that human rights means precious little where political prisoners are concerned. Same goes for those accused of being spies in Iran. Human rights don’t enter into it, and there is no ‘due process’. On the other hand, if you are a murdering racist, a rapist fracker or a sociopathic Tory wife-beater, you have all the rights in the world, and moreso if you happen to be wealthy.

      • Mary

        Thanks Brian. The state torture is being carried out so slowly. Four weeks here and a court appearance there. Yet there was a trace of a smile.

        Seeing him in that truck reminded me of the lorries that take cattle to the local abattoir here. You can see them peering out from the gap along the sides that allow them to breathe.

        • Brianfujisan

          Yeh Mary, Brave with the hint of a smile.. Whilst injured, and Hurting inside

          And a rather grim.. but poetic comparison with the cows.

  • Jack

    Interesting read and interview below on the propaganda western media, politicians spread past days:

    “Barely into the new news year, and we’ve seen an assassination of an enemy general just because.”

    ” In an article at Current Affairs, editor-in-chief Nathan Robinson gives readers a view of the “basic lessons about war propaganda.” In this conversation with Bob, Nathan outlines some of his points — from remembering that things are not true just because a government official says them to watching out for euphemisms to “listen[ing] to the [Noam] Chomsky on your shoulder.”

    • fedup

      Jack did you read this comment, at the bottom?
      “U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, must be deluding himself if he believes he can persuade China to cut off all its Iranian oil imports. China like Russia doesn’t sell its friends and allies cheap.

      Moreover, the claim by Mr Mnuchin that the US has already cut off probably more than 95% of Iran’s oil revenues is a plain lie. China which normally accounts for 31% or 687,000 barrels a day (b/d) of total Iranian crude exports had in the last quarter of 2019 lifted its imports of Iranian crude to 1.0 million barrels a day (mbd) at the height of the trade war with the United States.

      China has never even for one minute reduced its imports of Iranian crude because of US sanctions. China doesn’t recognize US sanctions and it therefore has ignored them altogether.

      Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
      International Oil Economist
      Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

      Simple fact is Iran has delivered and nasty kick to the groin of the US and despite having the upper hand early on, and apparently has lost the propaganda battle as we see in the media.

      Fact is if China goes along with the US sanction effectively has handed over the Chinese foreign policy into the hands of the crazy miscreants in Washington. Let’s not forget the joint China Russia Iran military manoeuvres.

  • Dungroanin

    The BBC propaganda attack on Labour & Corbyn still continues – just heard the News Quiz from last week with new BAME host Kumar – the turgid panellists going along with the fake news that 10.5 million REAL voters in a winter election makes them all failures. No mention of postal votes or LauraKofTheCIA’s grubby mits all over it…
    Additionally they applaud the assassination of soleimani AND use of drones!
    Nasty nasty nasty ….
    Meghan gets a slap down.
    No mention of Getting Brexit done (just another dig at Labour by a ‘working class’ expert comedian?
    And a further dig at the Labour new leadership election.
    Hey at least Lucy Porter didn’t mention AS.
    Mark the alternative comic made a little attempt at polishing his alternative credentials but completely failed to score on all the open goals presented – but the ghost of Jeremy Hardy hopefully will be visiting their dreams for ever more.

    Screw the Scummy Toerags of the Beeb and all who feed on its teats of bile.

    • Robyn

      Interesting article offering a glimmer of hope, but it includes a reference to rape ‘charges’. Call me a nit-picker, but surely anyone claiming to know enough about Julian’s case should know that he was never charged.

    • Mary

      His most recent contribution in the HoC.

      Middle East: Security 7 Jan 2020
      I entirely agree with my right hon. Friend; General Soleimani carried out Iran’s proxy wars, from the horrors in Yemen to the support for the bloody Assad regime. He was a key ally of Hezbollah and its terror networks. He did all of these things as a central figure in the Iranian regime, if not as its No. 2. I say to my right hon. Friend that we need to….


      • Mary

        He is expecting a payment of £2,500 for attending and speaking at this gathering.

        ‘Payment of £2,500 expected from the GailFosler Group LLC, 724 Fifth Avenue, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10019, for a speech and Q&A on 4 September 2019. Hours: 1 hr. (Registered 27 September 2019)’


        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gail_D._Fosler. LOL

        ‘Gail D. Fosler (born 1947) is president of The GailFosler Group, a strategic advisory service for global business leaders and public policymakers, and a prominent economic forecaster. In addition, Fosler is a noted speaker appearing at such events as the National Governors Association, Winter Meeting 2016 and her opinions and analysis are frequently quoted within both domestic and international publications.

        Fosler’s forecasting acumen has garnered her considerable attention. Fosler was twice named America’s most accurate economic forecaster by The Wall Street Journal. A wide range of policymakers, businesspeople, and fellow economists are known to read her analysis.’

  • Tatyana

    and here is how the Russian press desscribes the issue of the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq:

    … Washington faced a “riot” of the Iraqi parliament, Shia parties demanded that the government drive the US military out of the country. This caused a rather chaotic reaction from US government officials: first, an official letter came to Iraq informing that “out of respect for Iraqi sovereignty” the troops would be withdrawn. But then the Pentagon announced that it was a “wrong letter” that was “sent by mistake”, and that no one will withdraw anything.

    On Friday, CNN reported that State Department officials “made it clear that the United States did not intend to withdraw troops from Iraq, despite requests from the country’s leadership to create a mechanism for this.

    … official reason why US troops remain in the country … Mike Pompeo said: “Our mission is very clear: we were there to complete the training mission, to help the Iraqi security forces to be successful and to continue the campaign against ISIS. We are going to continue this mission.”
    … Iraqi army will be “trained” against the will of the Iraqi government …
    … for attempting to abandon “American military assistance” the Iraqi government will be punished by expropriating all government dollars held by the Iraqi Central Bank in America, if The Wall Street Journal information is correct

    by Ivan Danilov

    • JohninMK

      “… for attempting to abandon “American military assistance” the Iraqi government will be punished by expropriating all government dollars held by the Iraqi Central Bank in America, if The Wall Street Journal information is correct”

      Looks like the US fallback position on exiting Iraq will be to issue a massive invoice to Iraq for ‘services rendered’ and then pay themselves from the large amounts of money and gold on deposit in the US.

      • Tom74

        And for trying to interfere with the USA’s protection racket in Iraq, Iran gets a General murdered and a plane downed.

        • Tom Welsh

          [The State is] an institution run by gangs of murderers, plunderers, and thieves, surrounded by willing executioners, propagandists, sycophants, crooks, liars, clowns, charlatans, dupes and useful idiots – an institution that dirties and taints everything it touches.
          – Hans-Hermann Hoppe

          Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen. The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning. Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.
          – Ludwig von Mises

          The State claims and exercises the monopoly of crime . . . . It forbids private murder, but itself organizes murder on a colossal scale. It punishes private theft, but itself lays unscrupulous hands on anything it wants, whether the property of citizen or alien.
          – Albert Jay Nock, “On Doing The Right Thing”

          • Tom Welsh

            If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he next comes to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination.
            -Thomas De Quincey

        • Borncynical

          “So they are thieves…”

          Like their allies in the UK. We mustn’t forget that the UK owes Iran £400m paid by the Shah in the 70s for tanks and armoured vehicles which were never delivered because of events at the time. I wonder how much that is worth at today’s prices? The UK has sat on this since and, to my knowledge, has not felt obliged to explain why.

    • Dungroanin

      It is the same as when a man moves into hos girlfriends house and does not contribute with house work or money. Expects everything to be paid for. Has his drunken mates round till late and is abusive and violent toward her.

      She would be a fool to let him stay and even if scared she should get a court order and bailiffs to remove him and change the locks.

      He is not ENTITLED to ANYTHING. In fact he OWES. Especially if they never married.

      It is that simple – get out and stay out, right NOW or you WILL be kicked out!

  • Cubby

    Every day that the UK exists is a day of subservience, subjugation and humiliation by the so called democratic mother of parliaments in Westminster of Scotland. The House of Lords – democratic LOL.

    The Westminster controlled media pumps out every day propaganda in Scotland that says Scotland is too wee too poor and too stupid to survive without the aid of England whilst at the same time England loots Scotlands resources. England has been looting Scotlands resources since the Treaty of Union in 1707.

    There is only a faux democracy in Scotland. Where is the outrage of all the democrats in England when Alister Jack Tory MP and Boris Johnsons colonial governor for Scotland pitches up on the BBC and tells Scotland that it does not matter how you voted in the recent past or in the future you won’t be getting another independence referendum not now not ever. Nicola Sturgeon will never see a referendum in her lifetime he says. These Tories are fascists but as long as it is Boris and English fascists then that is obviously ok for the Labour party and English so called democrats.

    Westminster still has a colonial mindset and the English voted for it. The Tories did not win a mandate in N.Ireland, Wales or Scotland but because the English voted for them the other nations are expected to take their medicine and shut up. The UK is a an abusive relationship for N.Ireland, Wales and Scotland. England attempting to hold their partners prisoner by telling them they cannot survive on their own and bullying them.

    • frankywiggles

      If Scots want independence from London they will have to take it under their own terms, not London’s, just as so many others did. At some point the whining must end.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Johnson has refused Sturgeon’s demand for a S30 Order. Governor General, Alister Jack has said there will be no IndyRef II in Sturgeon’s lifetime.
      Meanwhile, the bells are to be rung at the end of the month to mark Britannia’s breaking free from Brussel’s jackboot, escaping the hoards of EU storm troopers intent on destroying our English way of life.

      It’s not a suicide vest if you’re forced to wear it.

      • Republicofscotland

        “Johnson has refused Sturgeon’s demand for a S30 Order. ”

        I’m under the impression that there’s been no official response from Johnson as yet. In any case there’s nothing in the Smith Commission that says we can’t hold a indyref, one every year if we feel like it.

        Anyway the Tories know fine well they cannot deny democracy to Scotland for much longer.

        “TORY cabinet ministers have privately conceded that “Westminster cannot keep saying no” to a second referendum on independence, the SNP’s Ian Blackford has claimed.”


      • Republicofscotland

        Vivian just read Johnsons refusal, so scrub that bit of my comment. ?

        Johnson using the tired old rhetoric of once in a lifetime. No preceding government can bind the hands of its successor. It simply doesn’t hold water.

        The reality of the situation is that we are no longer in a union of equals (Not that we ever were.) Westminster is attempting to decide whats democratic and what isn’t democratic.

        Thankfully the longer he denies us the democratic right to hold a indyref the more folk begin to see this union for what it really is.

    • Dungroanin

      That is Jim Stone and he is advocating access through IP address rather than DNS – all sites should have that – MODS please take note.

      On the downing of the aircraft he is suggesting that the aircraft ID was switched OFF before it was targeted by the missile operators. The info should be evident. It seems the full facts are still not out.

    • Spencer Eagle

      That’s utter bull, the aircraft transponder was not switched off, sites like flightradar24 real time tracked the aircraft via it’s ADS-B system.

      • Cascadian

        And you opinion is also utter bull, Spencer. The transmissions ceased a while before the aircraft was targeted – and that is from flightradar24.

        But, a clarification is needed here – it is not necessarily the case that transmissions ceased, it is feasible that they were jammed, thus making them incomprehensible to decoding equipment. The question is whether the jammer was on board the flight or something external.

        • John Poot

          A jammer to flip the transponders and lights out? That would include cabin lights, nav, ‘landing’, strobes and the rotating beacons.
          IMO, that’s definitely a hack of a running system.

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