Showing posts with label iraq. Show all posts
Showing posts with label iraq. Show all posts

Friday, March 13, 2020

It Was Stupid To Inject 1.5 Trillion Into The Stock Market

But then you fight the war you trained for. That is why Bush went into Iraq. He needed a standing army to tussle with, even though that standing army had nothing to do with 9/11.

And so they injected 1.5 trillion into the stock market. This is the financial Iraq.

The right response would be to give everyone $1,000 a month. For 300 million people that was enough money for five months, perhaps enough to tide over the worst part of the pandemic, although there is no data yet to suggest this virus will get shy during summer.

Coronavirus News (2)
Coronavirus News (1)
The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Like The Spanish Flu (1918-1922)
The Most Responsible Head Of State On The Planet

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Excellent Opportunity To Not Retaliate

Iran had to do something and it did. But there are no casualties. And this is an excellent opening for the US to not retaliate.

The other powers that are actively trying to help de-escalate should be allowed to play their roles.

This thing has to be steered to dialogue.

Trump replaced NAFTA with something that looks and smells like NAFTA. Perhaps Trump would like to cut a nuclear deal with Iran.

Restraint Would Be A Good Idea
Trump-Khameini Tit-Tat: This Is Not Looking Good
The Strong Case For No War
Suleimani Episode: Bizarre Turn Of Events
Trump's Suleimani Move: Politically Bad
Qassem Suleimani: Dialogue Beats Escalation (2)
Qassem Suleimani: Dialogue Beats Escalation

The Nightmare Stage of Trump’s Rule Is Here Unstable and impeached, the president pushes the U.S. toward war with Iran. ........ NATO has suspended its mission training Iraqi forces to fight ISIS. Iraq’s Parliament has voted to expel American troops — a longtime Iranian objective. (On Monday, U.S. forces sent a letter saying they were withdrawing from Iraq in response, only to then claim that it was a draft released in error.) On Sunday, Iran said it will no longer be bound by the remaining restrictions on its nuclear program in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the deal that Trump abandoned in 2018. Trump has been threatening to commit war crimes by destroying Iran’s cultural sites and tried to use Twitter to notify Congress of his intention to respond to any Iranian reprisals with military escalation. ...... The administration has said that the killing of Suleimani was justified by an imminent threat to American lives, but there is no reason to believe this......... Defense officials who might have stood up to Trump have all left the administration. ....... James Mattis, Trump’s former secretary of defense, instructed his subordinates not to provide the president with options for a military showdown with Iran. ........ presented Trump with the possibility of killing Suleimani as the “most extreme” option on a menu of choices, and were “flabbergasted” when he picked it. ........ “His maximum pressure policy has failed,” Nasr said of Trump. “He has only produced a more dangerous Iran.” ....... ISIS benefits from the breach between Iraq and America. “ISIS suicide and vehicle bombings have nearly stopped entirely,” said Brett McGurk, who until 2018 was special presidential envoy to the coalition fighting ISIS. “Only a few years ago, there were 50 per month, killing scores of Iraqis. That’s because of what we have done and continue to do. These networks will regenerate rapidly if we are forced to leave, and they will again turn their attention on the West.” ....

an establishment that has too often failed to treat him as a walking national emergency. Now the nightmare phase of the Trump presidency is here. The biggest surprise is that it took so long.

GOP Rep. Michael Waltz Says Iranian Missile Attack Could Be Sign of ‘Future De-Escalation’ “If they are hitting infrastructure, that could be a signal that while they had to respond, they did so in a way that would lead to some type of future de-escalation.”

Opinion: How inevitable is war with Iran? war with Iran is not to the president’s advantage. .... Trump has only one strategic imperative in 2020, and that’s vindication in an impeachment trial and reelection. A messy, all-out — and if the past is any guide unwinnable — war that results in skyrocketing oil prices, a meltdown in financial markets, economic dislocation and a surge in U.S. deaths at Iranian hands will not help him at the ballot box. ......

Like Trump, Khamenei in Tehran wants to stay in power. He’s a crafty leader committed to expanding Iran’s regional reach, but his main objective is survival of the Islamic Republic and regime maintenance.

...... The drone attack on the second most powerful man in Iran and in a third country was an act untethered from any coherent, long-term strategy. ..... The killing has not made Americans more secure or limited Iran’s regional influence. What it has done is cripple the U.S.-Iraqi relationship, strengthen Iran’s power in the region and undermine the fight against Islamic State.

Oil prices soar after Iran attacks airbases housing US troops in Iraq Iran used ballistic missiles from inside Iraq, indicating a significant escalation. ..... A spike in oil prices could deal a blow to the world economy, which is already struggling from weak manufacturing activity. Dow (INDU) futures tumbled more than 300 points, or 1.2%, late Wednesday.

Restraint Would Be A Good Idea

In business, they say, don't throw your good money after bad.

Trump-Khameini Tit-Tat: This Is Not Looking Good

This is yet another escalation, larger than the last attack this is a response to. This is not looking good.

Iran fires missiles at Iraqi bases hosting U.S. troops attack with tens of ballistic missiles on Al Assad military base ..... We warn all allied countries of the U.S. that if attacks are launched from bases in their countries on Iran, they will be a target of military retaliation. ..... more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq ...... at Al-Assad and Irbil. ...... Attacking the U.S. directly, and not through proxies, would be an extremely bold move for Iran ..... most analysts argued Tehran would not take any steps it believed would lead to war with the U.S. ...... Iran has threatened "more crushing responses" if the U.S. retaliates with another attack. Trump, meanwhile, threatened to strike 52 Iranian sites if Tehran took action like it has tonight.

The Strong Case For No War

Even if everything Trump is saying about Suleimani is true (and that is not the case), it does not make sense to spend a few trillion dollars to go to war with Iran. That would be like taking a US Army to a one on one knife fight. The US Congress has every right to make sure the Iran War does not happen. A full-fledged war with Iran will give the global economy a heart attack. The world could be back in the 1930s, and we would see a Trump on every island on earth.

Trump's threats to Iraq totally discredit his arguments as to why economic sanctions need to be imposed upon Iran. Iraq is a sovereign country. The US troops are in Iraq because they got invited in by the sovereign government of Iraq, duly elected, mind you. Looks like that welcome is over. A better political mind could have seen this coming.

Two parliaments have voted to give a clear message to Trump. That is enough. Trump has to listen. Iran War is not an option. Trump can not legitimately go to war with Iran.

Here's what could be lost if Trump bombs Iran's cultural treasures If carried out, Donald Trump’s threat to target “cultural sites” in Iran would put him into an axis of architectural evil alongside the Taliban and Isis, both of which have wreaked similar forms of destruction this century. The Taliban dynamited Afghanistan’s sixth-century Buddhas of Bamiyan in 2001; Isis has destroyed mosques, shrines and other structures across Iraq and Syria since 2014, some in the ancient city of Palmyra. Not, you might have thought, company the US president would prefer to be associated with. ......... With a civilisation dating back 5,000 years, and over 20 Unesco world heritage sites, Iran’s cultural heritage is rich and unique, especially its religious architecture, which displays a mastery of geometry, abstract design and pre-industrial engineering practically unparalleled in civilisation. This is is not just Iran’s cultural heritage, it is humanity’s....... Iran has a long Christian history, particularly associated with Armenia at its northwestern border. Three of the oldest churches in the region are Unesco world heritage sites. Vank Cathedral, near Isfahan, was built by Armenians fleeing the Ottoman wars in the 17th century. The interior is a riotous patchwork of frescoes and gilded carvings.

“They said it’s a draft. OK, it’s a draft. But we received it. As a state, how are we supposed to act? We should get a second letter to clarify so we can clarify to our people too,” Abdul-Mahdi, who resigned in November but has stayed on in a caretaker role, said, according to the Agence France-Presse. “If I don’t trust you and you don’t trust me, how are we supposed to proceed?” ...... In a prerecorded television address he insisted the US would have to leave....... “We have no exit but this, otherwise we are speeding toward confrontation,” Abdul-Mahdi said, adding that Iraq would have to take a “historic decision” to implement the expulsion. “Otherwise we will not be taken seriously,” he added.

Monday, January 06, 2020

Suleimani Episode: Bizarre Turn Of Events

Restraint can look like you are doing nothing. But restraint is a lot of hard work, it is a great skill.

Emotions are running high on both sides. There is great chance at graver error. But one hopes the forces of de-escalation are out in full force.

Although it can also feel the air weighs in with the next irrational move. It could be from either side.

Trump's Suleimani Move: Politically Bad
Qassem Suleimani: Dialogue Beats Escalation (2)
Qassem Suleimani: Dialogue Beats Escalation

Tehran insisted that it remains open to negotiations with European countries and maintains that it is not seeking a nuclear weapon. Russia today urged parties to the Iran nuclear deal to treat salvaging the agreement as a 'priority', calling on European partners to fulfil their obligations. Germany also joined France and Britain in urging Iran to refrain from taking 'further violent actions or support for them'. 'It is crucial now to de-escalate,' Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson said in a joint statement last night. EU foreign ministers will hold emergency talks on the Iran crisis on Friday, diplomats said today. The United Nations' atomic watchdog agency says its inspectors are continuing to monitor and verify Iran's nuclear activities.

Trump's Suleimani Move: Politically Bad

When both the US Congress and the Iraqi parliament tells you to back off, you gotta listen. Large masses are out in the streets. People are doing two plus two and seeing four. They absolutely don't want what by any measure would be an unthinkable war. And they are right.

Trump threatening Iraq with sanctions worse than the one on Iran shows he is desperate. He obviously did not think this through. And we are not even seeing the worse of the unintended consequences.

The reason I oppose and have opposed escalation is, every escalation is one step closer to an unthinkable war.

Qassem Suleimani: Dialogue Beats Escalation (2)
Arundhati Roy On India
Qassem Suleimani: Dialogue Beats Escalation

The People Around Trump Are Totally Unqualified to Stop the Iran Crisis There might still be a peaceful way out of the crisis with Iran—the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, and the United Nations, as well as such quite hawkish prominent Americans as retired Gen. David Petraeus and former Middle East envoy Dennis Ross, are urging diplomatic overtures from both sides—but President Donald Trump isn’t likely to go that route for two reasons. First, he isn’t keen on diplomacy. Second, even if he suddenly were, no one around him is very fit for the task. .....

What would a diplomatic solution look like? First, and perhaps above all, it would involve a reembracing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, including a gradual lifting of economic sanctions, perhaps in exchange for Iran’s cessation of attacks on U.S. targets in the region.

..... his defense secretary, retired Gen. Jim Mattis, who particularly loathed the Iranian regime, called its verification provisions as airtight as those of any treaty he’d ever read. Trump’s hatred for the deal was entirely egotistical: Congress required the president to attest, every few months, that Iran was abiding by the deal, and though Iran continued to abide, Trump could not bear to keep endorsing Barack Obama’s signal diplomatic achievement. It really is that simple. ....... We do not know what the Iranians are plotting as retaliation to Trump’s assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Neither do we know what Trump and his aides are plotting as a response to Iran’s next move. If part of that response really is an attack on Iranian “cultural targets,” as Trump warns, then we will have no active allies anywhere in the world. (We have few enough now.) ...... Many observers are saying that, surely, the Iranians won’t dare launch an attack on American interests—or, surely, Trump wouldn’t really hit cultural targets. But many unlikely things have happened in recent times, so many—some of them so outrageous—that it’s hard to gauge probabilities any longer.

Pentagon Officials Reportedly “Stunned” by Trump’s Decision to Kill Soleimani Pentagon officials usually include a far-out option when they present possibilities to the president in order to make the others seem less extreme. The other options presented to Trump in Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach resort, included strikes against Iranian ships or missile facilities or militias backed by Iran that are operating in Iraq. “The Pentagon also tacked on the choice of targeting General Suleimani, mainly to make other options seem reasonable”...... . “My staff was briefed by a number of people representing a variety of agencies in the United States government and they came away with no feeling that there was evidence of an imminent attack,” Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico said.

The Impeachment Stalemate Is Working Fine for Democrats Mitch McConnell indicated that he had no plans of acceding to Democratic leaders’ demands that a Senate trial include witnesses and document production, as past impeachment trials did ..... McConnell said on the floor of the Senate. He also suggested that he was fine with an indefinite stalemate....... “Has there ever been an instance of such broad-scale defiance of a congressional request for information in the history of the Republic? Has there ever been anything like this?” Griffith asked DOJ attorney Hashim Mooppan. “An instruction has been given from the president of the United States not to cooperate in any form or fashion with an inquiry. Has that ever happened before?”

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Qassem Suleimani: Dialogue Beats Escalation (2)

Qassem Suleimani: Dialogue Beats Escalation

Waist deep and sinking in the Middle East: We're now at war with Iran the United States is at war with Iran, whether the White House acknowledges it or not. It’s the equivalent of Iran killing the commander of U.S. Central Command. ....... This war is not — and is unlikely to be in the future — a conventional war as American political and military authorities would prefer. It will continue to be internationally political, unconventional and asymmetric....... In Iraq alone, the Trump administration will be fighting this war in a vulnerable position with 5,000 isolated American troops on the ground, supported by air and naval power in the region, and an embassy fortress in Baghdad surrounded by Iranian and other enemies. ....... the U.S. is at war with a capable and difficult adversary that has options to attack Americans and U.S. interests in unexpected ways around the world ..... Freedom of movement is the most critical factor in evaluating success in any conflict area. From my experience in Vietnam and elsewhere, the U.S. was losing badly in both Iraq and Afghanistan by 2008. ......

What is lacking today from the Trump administration’s policy is any sign of a regional strategy for dealing with Iran and the growing American isolation in the Middle East. Now that this war is underway, how do he and his generals plan to fight and prevail against Iran? What are the political and military goals and objectives of American policy? How does this war end?

........ From the beginning, the Trump strategy in the region has been naïve and incompetent........ The plan to bring Iran back to the negotiation table on nuclear weapons is in tatters. The primary U.S. ally in the region, Saudi Arabia, is led by a murderous tyrant who is fighting a brutal and indecisive war in Yemen with American help. Given Trump’s hostility toward traditional allies in Europe and the general Muslim hostility toward American policy in the Middle East, the U.S. has virtually no possibility of international help in the region....... It is noteworthy that no significant Iraqi security forces showed up to defend the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad until the Shiite militants controlled by Iran withdrew from the area. .........

Today, Trump is trapped in a situation that Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon would well understand: Does the United States now fight and go deeper into the Middle East or withdraw under Iranian pressure? Given the foreign affairs and national security incompetence of this president, his disregard for professional knowledge and experience and his impulsive decisionmaking process, I have no confidence that this administration can handle the war they stimulated when they withdrew from the nuclear arms deal with Iran.

Democratic impeachment case collapses under weight of time By not seeking to compel numerous key witnesses, the House now relies on the Senate to complete its case. Since the House has maintained that the record overwhelmingly proves that Trump is guilty, the Senate could simply try the case on the record supplied by the House. Indeed, in the 1999 impeachment of President Clinton, Senate Democrats, including Minority Leader Charles Schumer, fought against any witnesses and sought a summary vote without a trial............ In the Nixon case, it took three months from the ruling of the trial court to the final decision by the Supreme Court that ultimately led to his resignation. Even if the House had waited until October to seek to compel witnesses, it could have had ample time to secure rulings or testimony by a springtime impeachment. We will never know because Democrats chose to do nothing due to the need to get to a trial that they have now delayed. ......

It is like pushing for a murder trial before an autopsy is completed because everyone has holiday plans.

...... Those Democratic voters who supported this premature act will be left to wonder, as did Doctor Seuss, “How did it get so late so soon?”

Trump threatens hit of Iranian sites if country retaliates for Soleimani killing administration officials have warned of attacks of retaliation coming from Iranian proxy groups in North America and Europe. ..... The pace of developments puts Trump in uncharted territory with Iran. The president has staked his foreign policy on confronting Tehran with economic sanctions and tough rhetoric, but until last week had largely held off on engaging militarily.

Pompeo after Soleimani strike: 'The Europeans haven't been as helpful as I wish that they could be' the Russian Foreign Ministry said “such actions don’t help resolve complicated problems in the Middle East, but instead lead to a new round of escalating tensions.”

Bernie Sanders’s Antiwar Message Highlights Ascendant Young Left “Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one”........ “All of that suffering, all of that debt, all of that huge expenditure of money ― for what?” he said, referring to the Iraq War. “It gives me no pleasure to tell you that at this moment we face a similar crossroads fraught with danger. Once again, we must worry about unintended consequences and the impact of unilateral decision-making.” ..... “Younger generations, including young American Jews, increasingly recognize that the primary threats to average Americans are not foreign bogeymen thousands of miles from our borders but rather the domestic policies that threaten their ability to get an education, earn a living and raise a family” ..... “It is rarely the children of the billionaire class who face the agony of reckless foreign policy ― it is the children of working families” ...... “If killing bad guys were the way to peace, Iraq and Afghanistan would be like Switzerland,” Khanna added. ....

Solid majorities of U.S. military veterans, who have historically leaned conservative, now believe that the two invasions were a mistake

....... “The Sanders approach ... clearly has crossover appeal with those conservative Americans who want a limited role for government,” Sperling said. “Many conservatives are increasingly vocal about how continuing endless wars and maintaining hundreds of thousands of troops abroad at over 800 foreign military bases runs counter to traditional conservative values.”

War With Iran Will Be Like Invading 'Germany In World War 2', Claims Royal Navy Admiral West told the Daily Star Online that he believes it is “highly likely” that Iran will respond to the attack and claimed that the only way that a full-scale war with Iran would be winnable is with a comparable operation to the invasion of Germany in World War 2. ....... “If you want to have a full war with Iran, you would have to go to war-footing, call up a couple of million men, and fully take it over like we did with Germany in World War 2"...... “And the US are not going to do that, so in the end you are left with a festering sore." ...... “If you just are relying on a revolution in Iran, you are deluding yourselves", the admiral said. ...... hitting strategic areas would not lead to an Iranian defeat due to Iranians rallying to defend their country..... “We could destroy all their naval units, naval bases, airfields and wipe out their aircraft – but then what are you going to do? The Americans don’t want to invade Iran, if they did that they would have to go onto a war footing"........ “So what you are left with is a badly damaged Iran which would have the mild Iranians rallying to the flag and out for vengeance"....... Iran's ambassador to the UN Majid Takht Ravanchi told CNN that the assassination was “tantamount to opening a war against Iran”. ..... “The response for a military action is a military action", he told the US outlet. ....... The strike against Soleimani was personally ordered US President Donald Trump while he was at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, without informing Congress or the UK government. ...... Tensions between the US have been rising since Trump's withdrawal form the JCPOA, resulting in the tit-for-tat seizure of oil tankers between Britain and Iran in July 2019, followed by a drone attack claimed by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels on a key Saudi Aramco oil facility in September.

Iran plotting to snatch Brits off London streets and fly them to Tehran as tensions surge GENERAL Lord Dannatt, former head of the British Army, was among several experts warning holidaymakers could be targeted in Mediterranean and North African resorts in revenge for the strike ..... Gholamali Abuhamzeh also raised the prospect of attacks on ships in the Gulf, through which a third of the world’s oil is exported. .... He said: “The Strait of Hormuz is a vital point for the West and a large number of American destroyers and warships cross there. Vital American targets in the region have long since been identified by Iran. Some 35 US targets in the region, as well as Tel Aviv, are within our reach.” ...... Yesterday several rockets fell in the heavily protected “green zone” in Baghdad yesterday, with one coming down near the US Embassy and two near Balad air base, which houses US forces. There were no casualties. ...... In light of this escalating conflict military experts have warned British tourists visiting southern Europe, north Africa or the Gulf to be on high alert. ..... They called for the British Government to put pressure on security forces and the police in resorts popular with Britons to protect them from terror attacks in retribution for the death of

Soleimani, the second most powerful figure in Iran after the Ayatollah.

...... Lord Dannatt said: “I think we have to accept that everyone can be at risk, whether it is British holidaymakers in southern Europe, British interests up and down the Gulf, or British and American national figures. Individuals need to be alert but there is not much they can do ..... A source said this is part of an effort to bring the “transatlantic community together and find a way to de-escalate the situation, and deal with the threat from Iran but in a way that prevents wider conflict in the region”. .....Mr Wallace said last night: “Yesterday I spoke to my US counterpart Secretary Esper and we urge all parties to engage to de-escalate the situation.

US launches incendiary attack on Britain over Soleimani killing - ’Not helpful enough’ Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has launched an incendiary attack on Britain and other European powers for failing to provide sufficient support over the assassination of Qassem Soleimani....... Mr Pompeo accused Britain, France and Germany of not providing sufficient support.....By contrast he said America’s regional allies, possibly a reference to Israel and Saudi Arabia, had been “fantastic”. ....

Iran War frenzy: Fears dozens of US warships could be hit in revenge attacks AN IRAN official has claimed at least 35 warships have been identified for retaliation strikes.......

Shia militant group Hezbollah has instructed Iraqi soldiers to keep a distance of least 1,000 meters from U.S. military bases, starting from Sunday.

US-Iran war: FOUR devastating ways Tehran could retaliate against US after attack He said that Iran had been "goading Washington, goading Donald Trump", adding: "And of course, we don't just have erratic leaders at the moment in Tehran, we have an erratic leader in Washington as well."

Trump warns Iran if it hits any Americans or American assets 'we have targeted 52 Iranian sites' "For what it's worth, I find it hard to believe the Pentagon would provide Trump targeting options that include Iranian cultural sites," tweeted Colin Kahl, former deputy assistant to President Barack Obama and national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden. "Trump may not care about the laws of war, but DoD planners and lawyers do...and targeting cultural sites is war crime." ...... There are intense discussions taking place inside US military and intelligence agencies to assess whether Iran might be preparing some type of retaliatory strikes in the next few days or wait for some time ...... Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf issued a new National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin in the wake of the drone strike that details the attack and potential Iranian threat, including previous plots against US infrastructure and cyber targets. ..... the President said he doesn't want war but that if it comes to conflict, Iran wouldn't last long.