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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  • Republicofscotland

    So now Germany, France and the UK, have triggered a dispute mechanism with Iran with regards to the JCPOA deal, of which the USA has already reneged on.

    Possibly under pressure from the US, the three EU countries want Iran to get around the table to try and halt Iran from producing nuclear weapons, media saying they have only 30 days to comply.

    If Iran doesn’t play ball then severe sanctions will be placed upon Iran. President Trumps number one puppet the British PM Boris Johnson is calling for Iran to accept a deal dreamt up by Trump to replace the JCPOA deal, of which the US broke on their own accord.

    Should Iran push ahead at all costs and produce nukes? Or should they get around the table again?

    • Dungroanin

      Fuck the EU3 and their mealey mouthed goading of Iran to war.

      The US sanctions have been killing civilians.

      The EU, have done nothing substantive to keep Iran on side – and are now Trumpeting.

      They are like a gang of cowardy bullies in a school who pick and shove someone until they strike out – then beat them up and take their school dinner money.

      Yeah i was that kid.

    • Tom Welsh

      “Possibly under pressure from the US, the three EU countries want Iran to get around the table to try and halt Iran from producing nuclear weapons…”

      Basically a variant on the old theme of, “Have you stopped beating your wife – yes or no?”

      Either “yes” or “no” looks like a confession of guilt.

      Of course Iran has not been working on nuclear weapons, because it does not want or need them. The only purpose of nuclear weapons is that, when the human species commits mass suicide, one can join in and help do it.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Is Prince Harry being groomed to be the next Governor General of Canada? Trudeau could only pick him to succeed Julie Payette if he gave up his titles, and became a Canadian citizen.

  • Spencer Eagle

    Something’s not right about the official line, I think there’s more to it than ‘accident’. Iran learned an awful lot from the demise of Iraqi air defence systems during the US invasion of Iraq. Mobile air defence like the short range TOR system that is said to have down the airliner is intended to defend strategic targets such as airports. It is a mobile system so that it cannot readily be targeted, properly operated it would only become active on an alert from the wider defence network. A mobile system blinking on and off is an effective defence against US anti radar missiles such as HARM. We tend to forget the US presence in Iraq and Afghanistan is waging a 24/7 surveillance war against Iran, a significant part of that activity is knowing where the air defences are and how do they communicate and how they respond. So, was the TOR mobile system electronically ‘spoofed’ into turning on to give its location away and did the spoof inadvertently panic the operators into launching missiles? Both the Iranians and US will learn more about air defence from the incident, meanwhile the poor souls that happened to be on an airliner in the middle of it all are lost.

  • Tarla

    When will Johnson provide the evidence that the Scottish referendum vote was a ‘once in a lifetime vote?
    In the Good Friday Agreement it states that once there is a vote then another one can’t happen until 7 years after. The UK government signed this paper. Where is the signed paper that says ‘a once in a lifetime vote?

    • Cubby


      There is no written agreement signed by anyone to say once in a generation or once in a lifetime. If there was a decent media in the UK Johnson and his cronies would have been pulled up for lying a long time ago.

      There is the Smith Commision document that followed on from the 2014 referendum and that was signed by all the political parties and that said there was nothing to stop Scotland obtaining Independence in the future. So that is the latest signed document on this matter. The media in the UK will of course try to keep this hidden.

      Both Corbyn and Johnson were heard to say that the December GE was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Does that mean there will never be another GE until we all die. Of course not. It is all lies and nonsense to try and cover up a fascist anti democratic approach by the Tory government that Scotland has never voted for.

  • Dave

    The benefit of believing in God, is you can appeal to the wisdom of a higher power to do something you don’t for good reason want to do, but should do, talks, with your oppressor, hoping for a breakthrough. Boris’s idea of a Trump deal to replace Obama’s deal, gives Trump the opportunity to do a deal and claim a victory to get out of Middle-East. Slim chance, but even slimmer without talks.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Dave January 14, 2020 at 15:47
      How on earth can Iran make a deal with such a shyster? Unilaterally walked out of an internationally agreed signed deal, refuses to leave illegally occupied Syria and Iraq, just murdered Iran’s top General who they had connived to be on a diplomatic mission so they could target him?

  • Dungroanin

    So much for the Window of Peace.

    3 European countries make a move against Iran because US reneged on the nuclear treaty!

    Trump will now get a double whammy not just Iran but Iraq too.

    All groups will stand behind Sayyed Moqtada al-Sadr
    and will be responding to his call to protest against the #US presence in #Iraq & assassinations.
    This is big. This unity never happened in Iraq in support of Sayyed Moqtada.”

    Also , why Iraq returns to a battlefield and western military casualties.

    Finally as the web portals start getting censored – Iranian channel on Youtube today – independent journalists need to get up to speed on alternative platforms and bypassing DNS servers.
    Elijah is also using Twitter alternative VK.

    The Empire is a cornered rat – it will strike at leaders. Trump, Pompeo and co seem intent on suicide by assassin.
    The word originates in the ME and this is the LAST Crusade!

  • michael norton

    A window for Peace

    “The new sultan faces challenges on all fronts,” said Jane Kinninmont, a Middle East analyst. “The social contract needs to be rewritten for the transition to a post-oil world and Oman faces a region entangled in conflict in which its traditional ally — the US — has become one of the more unpredictable players.”
    She added: “But the timing is not so bad for a new figure to emerge with the promise of continuing Oman’s tradition of dialogue and diplomacy.”
    Financial Times

    Well, quite interesting that the Financial Times mentions a “Post Oil World”
    If we really are going to De-Carbonise the World Economy, Iran is going to be stuffed, anyway.

    Sultan Haitham, 65, inherits a peacemaking role that his cousin Qaboos personified during a 50-year reign.

    The Last Sultan of Oman was a remarkable man, let’s hope his pick of his cousin will be up to the mark.
    The President of Ukraine and Boris Johnson have both visited since the New Year.
    Let us hope things calm down and a new argreement can be found.
    However I suspect if we are moving to a De-Carbonised future, part of Trump’s plan is to stop Iran from selling its Hydrocarbon product, to more enable Fracked U.S.A. Oil & Gas to be sold at a better price, until the stuff is no longer needed, by which time The Middle East will return to unimportance.

    • Q

      The decarbonized future is very much a topic in the North American oilpatch. If oil prices soar in a greater conflict with Iran, it will be the last hurrah. But quick profits are still profits. The inevitable can be delayed, but not forever. So Iran must be contemplating whether or not their next move will play into the hands of the the Americans.

      • Wikikettle

        Q Reply to your comment at 20.20. I think the ball is in the US court. Israel, KSA and Gulf potentates know if US attacks Iran or does any more provocations – their oil fields and refineries go up. Price of oil rockets, western economies crash, Russian economy booms. Your move US. As they say – US plays ‘Rounders’, Persians play chess. Your move.

  • michael norton

    As Mr. Putin said a few years ago
    “The Future is Gas, not Oil”
    According to Iran they have about 18% of the Worlds resource of Natural Gas.

    Oman, just across The Strait of Hormouz, also has a massive supply of newly developed Gas but Oman is prepared to play ball with the West.

    “Khazzan recently celebrated 1 year of gas delivery in Oman, with field output around 1 bcfd. When Ghazeer comes onstream in the early-2020s, output will increase to 1.5 bcfd,” he said.

  • Q

    More footage has emerged from CCTV cameras showing two missiles hitting PS752, 30 seconds apart.

  • Mrs Pau!

    I see the Iranians have now announced that UK Ambassador “plotted” the recent peace vigil/demo for the victims of the downed plane and are now calling for his expulsion. Life sized cardboard effigies of him have conveniently appeared to be burnt in the street and been photographed on national Media. Do even the conspiracy theorists of the evil Brits here really believe this diversionary nonsense? Let us spare a thought for the innocent passengers including Iranians who lost their lives when Iranians fired missiles on a civilian airliner leaving Iran and killed other Iranians.

    • Wikikettle

      Mrs Pau! Crocodile tears and a load of oll crock. You and people like you supported Saddam’s war on Iran which cost a million lives and you supplied chemical weapons to him to use. the Iranians had a popular revolution against the Shah without any outside interference. Unlike the coup UK and US organised in 1953. Spare a thought in context. No doubt you supported the sanctions on Iraq which killed hundreds of thousands of children and the current sanctions on Iran. No doubt you support the US stealing the oil revenues of Iraq today and support ISIS in Syria. Spare a thought my a__e.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Mrs Pau! January 15, 2020 at 07:58
      ‘…Do even the conspiracy theorists of the evil Brits here really believe this diversionary nonsense?…’
      This conspiracy factualist, with getting toward 48 years of Human Rights campaigning (starting with ‘Bloody Sunday’ in Northern Ireland) behind him, certainly believes what the Iranians are saying in this instance.
      But it’s not the Brits who are evil, it is our leaders, which is why when a decent leader (Jeremy Corbyn) was a possible outcome, the PTB (across the board) threw everything in the book at him, hook, line and sinker.
      Hopefully, true British Labourites will remember the 5th Columnists who have ventured forth from their deep cover and exposed their true allegiance.

  • michael norton

    A good question would be:
    if Iran was not enriching Uranium in its own centrifuges,
    would America/Israel still be piling on sanctions?

    • Tom Welsh

      Yes, of course they would. The enrichment Iran has done is to 20% or so at most. For weapons you need something like 90%.

  • Wikikettle

    Iran has already offered to be inspected ‘for ever’ by the IAEA ! It is fully entitled to have a civil nuclear program. The fact is that what ever it does, will not be enough for US, until it has a pro US dictator in place like the Shah. Trying to be Independent and sovereign is NOT allowed, ask all members of NATO, KSA, Egypt, Jordan dictatorships. The good news is that KSA, Gulf States and Israel have realised Iran will go down, but take them with it. Also the assassination has screwed Trumps election chances. 14th September 2019 was indeed a wake up call for KSA and the Pentagon.

  • Wikikettle

    A picture says a thousand words. SNP Leader all smiles together with Alisair Campbell.

  • Tatyana

    if someone still doubted – whether Arkady B*bchenko shit, or not shit – here is his comment on the crash of the Ukrainian flight in Iran:

    “Well, it’s the 150th time *warning*. Write a sticker in capital letters and put it on the mirror in the bathroom. To memorize it every morning, like the Lord’s prayer.
    You wake up, brush your teeth, check if you have a ticket to some crazy dictatorship, go to work.”

    I remind you, this is the same piece of shit, that the former anti-terror veteran and also hieromonk, killed on in Ukraine, of course, on Putin’s order. Skripal saga sucks, Mrs. May is jealous 🙂 This piece of shit is pretty alive and now lives in Israel, enjoying his contribution into russophobia

    Another russiahater is Refat Chubarov, Crimean Tatar, proposed to set a holiday to commemorate 450th annyversary of Moscow seizure by Mongol-Tatars. It was the greatest fire in the city in its history, the city literally burnt down to ashes. Chubarov lives in Ukraine and dreams to get Crimea back to the Golden Horde.

    • Andyoldlabour


      There are a few misleading/confusing bits of information in that Buzzfeed report. The first glaring one is the date on the video, because it said 2019 which is nothing like the Persian calender. The 8th January was Chaharshanbeh 18 Dey 1398. The altitude of the plane – over 8000 ft is misleading, because that part of Iran is at 3300 ft above sea level, which means around 4700 ft above the ground, which is in keeping with a 737 climb rate of 1800 ft per minute.
      The video was taken from Bidkaneh – 40 km North West of the airport and 16 km North of Parand where the last transponder contact was allegedly made due to the missile strike. I do not think the aircraft was on a straight course given the direction of the missiles and the plane’s location when it was hit, also the crash site at Shahriar which is 9 km North East of Bidkaneh. I have no doubt that the aircraft turned back towards the airport, but was it voluntary, because I asswumed that the missiles hit the cokpit area of the aircraft, immediately killing the flight crew.

  • Wikikettle

    Soon there will be S400 in Iran. US will have to ship all its regular troops, special killer forces, drones and all those sand caked shiny expensive weapons out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Petrodollar on way out already in Iran, China, India, Russia and Venezuela.

  • michael norton

    Business as normal
    “The US military has reportedly resumed anti-terrorism ops and joint drills with Iraq that had been suspended after Washington assassinated a top Iranian commander in Baghdad.
    American forces have begun to take part in missions against Islamic State”

    I had thought that Donald Trump, last year, had claimed that the war against Islamic State was over, he had defeated them?

  • michael norton

    BRITAIN’s ambassador to Iran has had to flee the country for his life, after a senior regime cleric called for him to be “chopped to pieces”.

    The niceties seem to be put aside between U.K. and Iran.

    • Tom Welsh

      HM ambassador is still in better shape than General Soleimani who – if accounts are to be believed – was literally shredded.

      And is diplomatic status was just as good as the ambassador’s.

      • Wikikettle

        Tom Welsh. Yes indeed. While Lavrov shows how diplomacy can work toward peace and increased trade, the US State Department and our FCO are filled with little political nobodies who cause chaos and war. The sad thing is even our Universities have lost their independence.

  • Q

    Of the 138 passengers bound for Canada on
    Flight PS752, 57 people were Canadian citizens, and 29 were permanent residents.

  • Andyoldlabour

    We learned yesterday, that three relatives of my brother in law’s wife (in Iran) were killed in the crash. They had moved to Canada some years ago and were university lecturers.

      • Andyoldlabour


        Thanks. Neither my wife or I have ever met them, but I feel so sorry for my BiL’s wife, she is a lovely person, so friendly. When you hear something like this, it really brings the situation closer to home. I have hopefully persuaded my wife not to visit this year.

    • Wikikettle

      Q. Hopefully the US leaves the region. Stops arming Israel and the Jihadists and accepts Irans, already offered, of never having nuclear weapons and being inspected by IAEA. Also Israel is forced to join IAEA and return to its pre 1967 borders and have a viable Palestinian state with right of return. remove blockade on Iran and let KSA and Iran carry on peace talks. KSA stop war on Yemen. Israel cannot afford to carry on as a rouge state in its own interests.

      • Wikikettle

        Just as Syria resisted being destroyed by the West with Iranian and Russian help, So has Iran been able to defend itself. It wont let US and NATO destroy it like they did Iraq and Libya. Fact. Good interview on Going Underground with Afshin Rattans interviews Moussa Ibrahim on current situation in Libya on you tube EP833

        • Wikikettle

          I hope Craig is ok and gets well. His above article ‘A window for Peace’ is the only way forward. There has been meeting in India organised by Observer Research Foundation ORF. I hope Craig gets invited to attend its next meeting. The recent meeting this month gave a platform to the foreign ministers of Iran and Russia which are on youtube. Zarif explains the details of the clauses in the JCPOA and the current situation. Lavrov gives a good overview of the difference between ‘rules based system’ and International law. I am very sorry that Craig was not up there as our Foreign Minister !

      • Andyoldlabour


        There is just so much common sense in that post, that I doubt it would resonate with any of the maniacs in Washington DC. Unfortunately the neocons have tunnel vision and have been impregnated at an early age with – US Exceptionalism. This is a virus which potentially affects all US citizens, which ensures that they see themselves as being above the laws and standards they impose on others.

  • michael norton

    Iranians can not decide who should be the unlockers of the secrets of the black boxes.

      • Q

        Correct. They’re in charge. Iran, which lied in the early days about shooting down PS752, then admitted it did, can conclude whatever it wants to conclude about what it said it didn’t and then said it did do. It won’t help Iran’s popularity to go it alone, but when did that matter to Iran?

        In the same breath today, an Iranian official denied that Canadian citizens are Canadian citizens, then chided Britain about international law.

        When is an “accident” not an accident? Or when is “not an accident” an “accident”?

    • michael norton

      One would imagine the Russians must have the know-how to decode black boxes.
      Why can’t the Russians be invited by the Iranians to bring their expertise to Tehran?

  • michael norton

    Richard Radcliffe and his daughter will to day meet with the Prime minister Boris Johnson, last time they met Boris was Foreign Secretary.
    Mrs. Radcliffe is detained in Iran.

  • foolisholdman

    When I first heard the “news” about the Iranian attack on the Ain Al Assad Airbase, I thought as you did, except I thought that, probably, the US was underplaying the damage a bit and particularly underplaying the accuracy shown by the missiles, which seemed to be remarkably well centred on the buildings they hit. However, subsequently I came across this in a letter in (I think) the Unz Review, which gives a whole new meaning to the quiet response the Americans have given to the attack. Read this https://static.hypercomments.com/data/images2/9483823/1579175432328668

    WASHINGTON DC, 20301-9010

    The Honorable Bennie G. Thompson
    Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, House of Representatives
    242 Rayburn Building
    Washington DC, 20515-2402

    Dear Congressman Thompson,
    In response to your January 10. Freedom of Information act (FOI) appeal, concerning Iran’s missile strike on US airbase Ain Al Assad in Iraq, on January 8 and its subsequent damages and casualtie

    Following detailed examination of US Ain Al Assad air base by DOD Special investigative team, concluding estimates are as follows:

    Total number of casualties 285 (139 dead 146 injured)
    Extensive damage to 15 helicopters including 1 Black Hawk, 2 cargo aircrafts and 3 MQ-1 Predator Drones.
    Extensive damage to Base Command Center. 3 barracks, 3 hangars and 10 military tents.
    Relative damage to base’s Air Traffic Control Tower and base’s runway.

    Initial assessments indicate mentioned damages will cause total impairment of Ain Al Assad air base activities for at least three weeks.


    James P. Hogan

  • michael norton

    Looks like the window for peace is shutting.
    Trump has coerced the Iraqis into having MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system,
    installed on its land.
    The Syrian Army is storming North through Idlib Province, taking town after town from the Terrorists/Turks.
    Trump has announced a Peace Packet for Palestine
    which he imagines they will not like, yet he does it anyway.
    Window is shut but not yet locked.

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