Jan 042020
 January 4, 2020  Posted by at 10:02 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jack Delano Near Shawboro, North Carolina, Florida migrants on way to Cranberry, NJ 1940


The Dubious Official Story Behind the Soleimani Assassination (Whitney Webb)
Israel Had Advance Notice Of US Plan To Kill Iranian General Suleimani (LAT)
How Trump Decided To Kill Iran’s Soleimani (Pol.)
Inside The Plot By Iran’s Soleimani To Attack US Forces In Iraq (R.)
Iraqi PMF Militias Retract Claims Of Medics Targeted By US Airstrike (RT)
The Dogs of War (Kunstler)
Fed Policymakers Broadly See Eye To Eye On 2020 Outlook (R.)
Fed’s Mester Warned Of Inflation Risks, Says Current Policy ‘Well Calibrated’ (R.)
Australian Troops Called To Tackle Fires (BBC)
Slow Burn (John Quiggin)
Australia’s Bushfires Push Countless Species To Extinction (G.)
Mexico President Calls For Julian Assange To Be Released From UK Prison (R.)



See far too many people pretending they’re far too sure about what’s going on. Mostly in line with their pre-conceived views, but others, too, appear to think there’s shame in not having a strong opinion on things they don’t know much about (there will be a war!). While Israel and Saudi are almost completely missing from those opinions and reports.

First victim of war is truth, guys, and that war for now only exists in opinions. And don’t believe everyone in Iran is in deep mourning now. There, too, in the upper echelons there’s a constant power battle, with lots of bloodshed and torture and renditioned people. Just like in America. Plenty Iranians will be happy to see Soleimani gone.

The Dubious Official Story Behind the Soleimani Assassination (Whitney Webb)

Much has been written by MintPress and other outlets about the long-standing efforts by prominent neoconservatives in the U.S. as well as the Israel lobby and Israeli government to prod the U.S. into a major war with Iran. Neoconservative efforts at regime change in Iran have been decades in the making and the current presidential administration has several notable Iran hawks in prominent positions. Furthermore, both President Trump and his foremost ally in the Middle East, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, are facing domestic efforts aimed at removing them from office and are facing fresh elections, giving both leaders incentive to ratchet up tensions abroad to distract from their own domestic conflicts.

Yet, the current pressure facing both Trump and Netanyahu in their respective policies is only the latest factor that has pushed both administrations into a renewed and increasingly desperate push to satisfy the decades-old effort of Iran hawks in both countries to stoke war and “reshape” the Middle East in favor of the U.S.-Israel axis. Given the recent assassination of Soleimani, however, it is essential to point out that the U.S. airstrike targeting the Quds Force leader came just a few months after Israel tried but failed to assassinate the general. Indeed, the most recent of these failed attempts was slated to occur early last October and, per The Times of Israel:

“The assassins planned to dig under a religious site associated with Soleimani’s father and set off an explosion under the building when he was inside, and then try to deflect blame so that it ignited an interfaction[al] religious war. The assassins prepared some 500 kilograms to use for the bomb.” Israel’s government did not comment on the alleged plot, though it is notable that the plan to dig below a Muslim holy site and plant a bomb has been attempted by Israeli extremist groups in the past, groups which have a major foothold in Israel’s current government.

This alleged attempt by Israel to kill Soleimani came after claims that, in 2018, the Trump administration had given Israel a “green light” to assassinate the general. The report claimed that “there is an American-Israeli agreement” that Soleimani is a “threat to the two countries’ interests in the region” and was published by the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida, which is widely considered to be “an Israeli platform for conveying messages to other countries in the Middle East,” according to Israeli media.

Read more …

Geez, what a surprise.

Israel Had Advance Notice Of US Plan To Kill Iranian General Suleimani (LAT)

Israel had advance notice of the U.S. plan to kill Iranian military leader Gen. Qassem Suleimani, Israeli military and diplomatic analysts reported Friday night while refraining from providing further details due to heavy military censorship. “Our assessment is that the United States informed Israel about this operation in Iraq, apparently a few days ago,” Barak Ravid, a journalist and commentator with deep sources in the Israeli security establishment, said on Channel 13. An Israeli army officer with knowledge of Israeli military assessments, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not have permission to speak to reporters, told the Los Angeles Times that the attack on Suleimani “did not come as a surprise.”

The reactions of Israel’s political leadership to Suleimani’s assassination were mostly positive, though deep concern was registered throughout the leadership. Iran and Israel maintained warm relations for almost four decades before the 1979 Islamic Revolution that overthrew the shah and imposed a theocratic Shiiite Muslim regime that for four decades now has called for “death to Israel” and is accused of backing and masterminding numerous terrorist attacks against Israeli or Jewish targets, including the 1992 and 1994 attacks on the Israeli Embassy and the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that left over 100 people dead. Hezbollah, the Lebanese-based Iranian proxy militia, has in recent years been accused of perpetrating further attacks against Israeli targets in India, Thailand and Bulgaria.

[..] Due to the heightened alarm, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut short a visit to Greece, where he had signed an agreement for a regional gas pipeline. He made a statement on the tarmac ahead of boarding his flight back to Israel, saying that the United States had the right to defend itself. “Qassem Suleimani is responsible for the death of American citizens and many other innocent people. He was planning more such attacks. President Trump deserves all the credit for acting swiftly, forcefully and decisively. Israel stands with the United States in its just struggle for peace, security and self-defense.” The Israeli army officer described the situation as “definitely higher readiness than usual, but not DEFCON One. We want to err on the side of caution, but we know we are not the first target. We are the second.”

Read more …

Lots of stories of Trump spilling the beans before the attack to run of the mill Mar-a-Lago guests. While Howie Carr didn’t know anything until afterwards. Don’t let news outlets shape your opinions for you.

How Trump Decided To Kill Iran’s Soleimani (Pol.)

Hours before the U.S. military sent a Reaper drone to kill one of the most wanted men on the planet, President Donald Trump was relaxing at his palatial Florida properties. In the morning, he played 18 holes at Trump International, his West Palm Beach golf club. At around 3 p.m., he returned to Mar-a-Lago, the historic oceanfront estate he’s branded “the Winter White House,” and waited, donning a navy blue suit with a powder-blue tie and an American flag pinned to his lapel. He’d already made a risky—and potentially world-altering—decision to allow the U.S. military to kill Qassem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite paramilitary forces.

Earlier this week, he’d been surrounded at Mar-a-Lago by top officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, national security adviser Robert O’Brien and Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland. Throughout the entire week, Trump sought input from other advisers by phone. “He was calm, cool and collected,” said conservative radio host Howie Carr, who spoke with Trump on Thursday at Mar-a-Lago soon after the news first broke, as the president dined with GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy. “I had no idea there was anything out of the ordinary going on until I got home.”

As rocket attacks against U.S. bases in Iraq intensified over the last two months, the president had granted the Pentagon extraordinary latitude: The U.S. military had his permission to kill Soleimani the next time it had an opportunity to do so, according to a senior defense official who was not authorized to speak on the record. “We had authority before the strike to take that action,” said the official, who wouldn’t say how recently Trump gave the Pentagon that authorization—whether it was hours, weeks or even months earlier. As recently as New Year’s Eve, the president was telling reporters that he didn’t want war with Iran.

For a man U.S. officials have portrayed as a terrorist mastermind, an evil genius responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans, Soleimani often flaunted his influence as he jetted between Tehran, Baghdad and Beirut for meetings with local potentates. “I don’t think it was so hard [to find him] because he was not below the radar in the last two or three years,” said a former senior Israeli government official, who noted that Soleimani had previously moved around under strict operational secrecy. “But the last two or three years, he worked in the open.”

Read more …

We simply don’t know what is fact and what fiction. And that’s okay.

Inside The Plot By Iran’s Soleimani To Attack US Forces In Iraq (R.)

In mid-October, Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani met with his Iraqi Shi’ite militia allies at a villa on the banks of the Tigris River, looking across at the U.S. embassy complex in Baghdad. The Revolutionary Guards commander instructed his top ally in Iraq, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and other powerful militia leaders to step up attacks on U.S. targets in the country using sophisticated new weapons provided by Iran, two militia commanders and two security sources briefed on the gathering told Reuters. The strategy session, which has not been previously reported, came as mass protests against Iran’s growing influence in Iraq were gaining momentum, putting the Islamic Republic in an unwelcome spotlight.

Soleimani’s plans to attack U.S. forces aimed to provoke a military response that would redirect that rising anger toward the United States, according to the sources briefed on the gathering, Iraqi Shi’ite politicians and government officials close to Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi. Soleimani’s efforts ended up provoking the U.S. attack on Friday that killed him and Muhandis, marking a major escalation of tensions between the United States and Iran. The two men died in air strikes on their convoy at a Baghdad airport as they headed to the capital, dealing a major blow to the Islamic Republic and the Iraqi paramilitary groups it supports. Interviews with the Iraqi security sources and Shi’ite militia commanders offer a rare glimpse of how Soleimani operated in Iraq, which he once told a Reuters reporter he knew like the back of his hand.

Two weeks before the October meeting, Soleimani ordered Iranian Revolutionary Guards to move more sophisticated weapons – such as Katyusha rockets and shoulder-fired missiles that could bring down helicopters – to Iraq through two border crossings, the militia commanders and Iraqi security sources told Reuters. At the Baghdad villa, Soleimani told the assembled commanders to form a new militia group of low-profile paramilitaries – unknown to the United States – who could carry out rocket attacks on Americans housed at Iraqi military bases. He ordered Kataib Hezbollah – a force founded by Muhandis and trained in Iran – to direct the new plan, said the militia sources briefed on the meetings. Soleimani told them such a group “would be difficult to detect by the Americans,” one of the militia sources told Reuters.

Read more …

That second strike everyone’s talking about? Did it even happen?

Iraqi PMF Militias Retract Claims Of Medics Targeted By US Airstrike (RT)

The Iranian-backed Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) have dropped their claims that a medical convoy was destroyed in a US air raid along Taji road, north of Baghdad. In a new press release cited by several news agencies, the PMF leadership retracted their statement in which the group said their medics were hit by a US airstrike. This happened after Reuters cited Iraqi Army sources who said that six people were killed in a raid near Taji. The Iraqi Army, however, later denied that an airstrike took place there. In a statement quoted by local media, the military urged everyone to be “careful” about spreading unverified information and “rumors” in the future. The US-led coalition in Iraq also said that no air raids have been conducted in that area in recent days.

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“..the little towns that dotted that landscape where all the carnage and horror played out. Not a strip-mall in the whole gorgeous panorama. The rolling fields neatly fenced in the stillness of a summer’s day. A peaceful tranquility we today cannot even imagine.”

The Dogs of War (Kunstler)

In that mercifully quiet week between Christmas and New Years, I re-watched Ken Burns’ documentary of the first Civil War, in contemplation of a possible second. What an almighty bloodbath that was. Thousands butchered in minutes in one battle after another, heads and limbs flying, men turned inside-out, and horses, too. The blue and the gray were hostage to their battlefield tactics and didn’t seem to learn from the insane extravagance of souls wasted in massed assaults against massed artillery again and again and again. The population of the whole nation (Confederacy included) was 31 million in 1860 and the war killed two percent of that, almost entirely young men.

Another impression left by that documentary was the startling beauty of the countryside in that day, and of the little towns that dotted that landscape where all the carnage and horror played out. Not a strip-mall in the whole gorgeous panorama. The rolling fields neatly fenced in the stillness of a summer’s day. A peaceful tranquility we today cannot even imagine. Everything human-scaled and so many buildings graced with beauty deliberately made: pediments, steeples, cupolas, columns, and swags. Walt Disney could not have imagined a more tender and appealing place. The lyrical names of those towns are linked to rivers of blood: Shiloh, Spotsylvania, Missionary Ridge, Cold Harbor….

And the last impression accumulated over each installment was that this we did it to ourselves, and couldn’t seem to stop, just as today various parties to current events can’t seem to stop their provocations to a new episode of national domestic violence. This time it is the very government at war with itself, and so far the war is merely legalistic, the battles of lawyers — of which, one senses, we have far too many for our own good. The Department of Justice in particular is at war with itself, one faction in it refusing to cooperate with the other, hiding documents, trafficking in political muck, kluging up the works with deceptions, and still at it in the yet-unresolved case of General Flynn, which should have been thrown out of court months ago based on obvious prosecutorial malice.

Read more …

These people think you are really really stupid…

Fed Policymakers Broadly See Eye To Eye On 2020 Outlook (R.)

Federal Reserve policymakers who last year were frequently at odds over where to set U.S. borrowing costs opened 2020 telegraphing confidence in the state of the economy and signaling broad agreement that monetary policy is right where it should be. In their first remarks in the new year, heads of several regional Fed banks noted a strong job market, robust consumer spending and a rising optimism for a resolution to the trade tensions that had nicked growth in the second half of 2019.

And after cutting interest rates three times last year to bring the Fed’s target to a range of 1.5% to 1.75% and ensure global headwinds didn’t short-circuit the longest U.S. economic expansion in history, “I think most of us think that we are well-calibrated now,” Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester said in an interview on the sidelines of an economics conference in San Diego. Based on forecasts of her fellow policymakers on the Fed’s rate-setting committee, she said, “the committee thinks a flat path (for interest rates)… is appropriate.” Mester had been among a handful of Fed policymakers who argued last year that the U.S. economy did not need lower rates to continue to grow.

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… so stupid, in fact, that they say whatever sounds good, truth be damned.

Fed’s Mester Warned Of Inflation Risks, Says Current Policy ‘Well Calibrated’ (R.)

Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester, among the Fed policymakers most concerned that easy monetary policy would risk excessive inflation, said on Friday she has put those fears to rest for now and is willing to leave rates at their current level absent some substantial change in the economy. Her comments in an interview with Reuters on the sidelines of the American Economic Association conference suggest how firmly the Fed is anchored to its current setting for overnight interest rates, fixed in a range of between 1.5% and 1.75% after three rate cuts last year. Advocates for even deeper rate reductions now agree the current setting is helping the economy enough that the Fed can stand pat while Mester and others who worried that lower rates might court faster inflation or risky lending have concluded that at this point there is little cause for concern.

I have been kind of forecasting inflation to go up to 2% for quite a while and we have been undershooting,” said Mester, who assumes a voting role this year on the Fed’s policy-setting committee. Mester, who was skeptical last year that rate cuts were needed, said, “I think we are really well calibrated now.” A rate increase would not be needed, “until I see either financial stability issues looming or some indication that inflation is going to pick up strongly. I don’t see that now and it is not in my forecast.” “You want to see that inflation really is at 2%. You want persistence. You want to be able to say that I am confident now that inflation is meeting our goal,” which was set at 2% in 2012 but never consistently achieved, she said.

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Finally, and even then it’s just reserve troops.

Australian Troops Called To Tackle Fires (BBC)

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced 3,000 reserve troops will be deployed to help tackle raging bushfires across the country. Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said this is the first time this has happened in Australia’s history. Temperatures have surpassed 40C (104F) in parts of south-east Australia. Officials had warned that Saturday was set to be a “dangerous day”. Since September, fires in Australia have killed at least 23 people. Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Mr Morrison told reporters: “We have seen this disaster escalate to an entirely new level.”

An emergency warning was issued for areas of eastern Victoria that told remaining residents it was now too late to leave. “The safest option is to plan how you will safely take shelter indoors as conditions worsen,” the warning said, adding: “Leaving now would be deadly.” Residents were instructed to attempt to take shelter indoors or in a large clearing or body of water. Dozens of people are missing and some 1,500 homes have already been lost this fire season. Mr Morrison also announced A$20m (£10m) has been allocated to lease four water bomber planes. Defence force bases would provide temporary accommodation, he said.

Read more …

Just think about all the plastics and paints etc. that are burning.

Slow Burn (John Quiggin)

At least eighteen people have already been killed by this season’s bushfires — and, with most of January and all of February still to come, that number is sure to rise. But these dramatic deaths are far outweighed by the hundreds, perhaps thousands, that will ultimately result from the toxic smoke blanketing Australian cities.

The most dangerous component of bushfire smoke are tiny particulates, no more than 2.5 micrometres in diameter, known as PM2.5. Over the past twenty years, studies have shown that high levels of PM2.5 have contributed to millions of premature deaths in highly polluted cities like Beijing and Delhi. Sydney, Canberra and other Australian cities have recently joined this list. In 2016 alone, exposure to PM2.5 contributed to an estimated 4.1 million deaths worldwide from heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, chronic lung disease and respiratory infections.

Even before the current cataclysm, air pollution was a major health hazard. While Sydney’s prevailing average of 6 micrograms per cubic metre (6 μg/m3) is within international health standards, it is above the levels observed in most European and American cities. A study led by the Sydney Public Health Observatory’s Richard Broome estimated that particulates and associated forms of pollution already account for between 310 and 540 premature deaths annually.

As far as can be determined, the mortality and health risks of PM2.5 are a linear function of the level of exposure. Being exposed to 6 μg/m3 every day for a year, for example, amounts to 2190 “microgram days.” Broome and his colleagues’ work implies that each microgram day is associated with between 0.14 and 0.25 premature deaths. This figure is consistent with a range of international studies they cite.

The overall mortality effects are also a linear function of the number of people exposed. That’s why a city like Delhi, with thirty million people and an average PM2.5 of 150 μg/m3, suffers tens of thousands of premature deaths every year.

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Think anyone cares? Always had the impression white Australia only wants to sell off all resources as fast as they can, because they know they stole all of them to begin with. Before you get caught, make sure the money’s in your pocket.

Australia’s Bushfires Push Countless Species To Extinction (G.)

Close to the Western River on Kangaroo Island, Pat Hodgens had set up cameras to snap the island’s rare dunnart – a tiny mouse-like marsupial that exists nowhere else on the planet. Now, after two fires ripped through the site a few days ago, those cameras – and likely many of the Kangaroo Island dunnarts – are just charred hulks. “It’s gone right through the under storey and that’s where these species live,” said Hodgens, an ecologist at Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife, a not-for-profit conservation group. “The habitat is decimated.” On Friday afternoon word came through that three other Land for Wildlife sites protecting dunnarts and other endangered species, including the southern brown bandicoot, had also been consumed by fire on the island off the South Australian coast.

Prof Sarah Legge, of the Australian National University, said the prognosis for the Kangaroo Island dunnart was “not good” and its plight was symbolic of what was happening all across the east coast of Australia. “Many dozens” of threatened species had been hit hard by the fires, she said. In some cases “almost their entire distribution has been burnt”. So far, the Australian bushfire season has burned through about 5.8m hectares of bush, known across the world for its unique flora and fauna. Ecologists say the months of intense and unprecedented fires will almost certainly push several species to extinction. The fires have pushed back conservation efforts by decades, they say, and, as climate heating grips, some species may never recover. Climate scientists have long warned that rising greenhouse gases will spark a wave of extinctions.

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AMLO doesn’t appear to be very effective so far, certainly not internationally. A socialist right on America’s doorstep. Can’t be easy.

Mexico President Calls For Julian Assange To Be Released From UK Prison (R.)

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Friday called for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to be released from prison in London, urging an end to what he described as his “torture” in detention. Assange, 48, is in a British jail for skipping bail when he sought asylum in Ecuador’s embassy in London, where he spent nearly seven years to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of rape that were dropped in November. Assange is also battling U.S. attempts to extradite him over Wikileaks’ publication of vast caches of leaked military documents and diplomatic cables. He faces a lengthy prison term if extradited to the United States.

A U.N. human rights investigator last year said Assange has suffered psychological torture from a defamation campaign and should not be extradited to the United States where he would face a “politicized show trial.” Lopez Obrador, a leftist who has close ties with Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, expressed his solidarity with Assange and said he hoped the former hacker and activist is “forgiven and released” from prison. “I don’t know if he has recognized that he acted against rules and norms of a political system, but at the time these cables demonstrated how the world system functions in its authoritarian nature,” Lopez Obrador said in response to a question about Assange at a regular government news briefing. “Hopefully consideration will be given to this, and he’s released and won’t continue to be tortured.”

Read more …




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    Jack Delano Near Shawboro, North Carolina, Florida migrants on way to Cranberry, NJ 1940   • The Dubious Official Story Behind the Soleimani Assa
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle January 4 2020]


    Look at the Democrats crying that Trump was supposed to come to Congress for authorization on the Soleimani assassination. What a joke. They already gave him authorization; they just passed, in the last week or so, the latest Pentagon budget and NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act] which still contains the clause that allows the sitting president the absolute right to assassinate anyone he deems as a “terrorist”. He can kill the so-designated party anywhere in the world by any means he sees fit.

    Remember Obama and “Terror Tuesdays”? Remember the “kill list”? Remember when Obama used the NDAA clause to kill the American, Anwar al-Awlaki, and his teen-aged son? The kill list still exists and the authority to use it still exists. There were people who warned what would happen if we had a president who would use it to kill foreign leaders or to start a new war, but Congress did not ever get rid of this astonishingly unconstitutional power. Trump can fucking kill you if he decides you are a terrorist, and you won’t get an arrest warrant or a trial first.

    You hear Pompeo and Trump repeatedly referring to Soleimani as a “terrorist” now. This is because that will be their defense against the accusations that he needed Congressional approval.

    In April of 2019 (i.e., 9 months ago), Trump had the State Dept. designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its Quds Force as “foreign terrorist organizations”. No doubt he did this with some nudging from Pompeo, who is rabidly unhinged about Iran. This was the first time that the US has designated another country’s military to be a terrorist group.

    Nobody in Congress made objections to this action, as far as I can recall, although one should consider that it was basically a declaration of war against Iran.

    Now Trump is using his Congressionally-granted powers to kill people he has decided are terrorists – and it just so happens that he already declared months ago that Iran’s military forces IN ITS ENTIRETY was a terrorist organization and so can be assassinated one by one or as a group without further approval needed by anyone.

    And Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, et al had nothing to say about it then and can’t really do jack-shit about it now.

    Sure, it is illegal by international standards, immoral, stupid, misguided, and may start another new war, but they gave away the high ground a long time ago. Like, when the first NDAA that included the “kill list” clause was approved by them, and again each time they renewed it, and when they remained silent as the buffoon (Trump) and his snarling guide dog (Pompeo) took the first steps to make this particular assassination, and the ones that will surely follow it, “legal” by naming a foreign power’s military branch a terrorist organization.

    V. Arnold

    I’ve been struggling to post a comment; even with that wonderful photo of the Negro wonan by Jack Delano; I’m left wanting…
    We’re battered by the winds of our times; rarely gentile, and mostly violent.
    I can’t help but wonder if this is our legacy…
    So be it; seeds planted, results harvested; a bitter crop indeed…

    Dr. D

    I Dreamed There Was No War



    Trump acted on information from US Security Services. Pro-Democrat anti-Trump organisations!

    I can’t help feeling it was a trap.

    One way to lose the election is to start a war and this was a good way to do it.

    John Day

    Trump gets CIA briefings every morning, and frequent updates. Garbage in, garbage out? What “reality” is this?
    President Trump on Friday said that America does not seek “regime change” in Iran, and that the United States “took action last night to stop a war” by killing Iran’s #2 commander, Qasem Soleimani, on Thursday.
    ​ ​Speaking from Mar-a-Lago one day after the strike, the president said that Soleimani “made the death of innocent people his sick passion.”
    ​ ​”We caught him in the act and terminated him,” said Trump, adding that The US is “ready and prepared to take whatever action is necessary.”
    “We took action last night to stop a war.”

    ​Always the voice of reason: ​
    ​Lindsay ​Graham Tells Trump To ​”​Crush Iranian Economy’ By Targeting Oil Refineries After Assassination​’​

    ​Tom Luongo has a good synthesis of the situation: (Again, think Obi Wan Kenobi.)
    ​ ​Like it or not Trump executed the man most responsible for the systemic destruction of ISIS and neutering of Al-Qaeda in Syria and Iraq. He’s also a man, over the years, who has fought the U.S. to a standstill across the Middle East.
    ​ ​Those were his pertinent crimes.
    ​ ​This is the most dangerous escalation of Trump’s administration. Nothing he’s done to this point compares with killing Solemaini and taking immediate credit for it.
    ​ ​Nothing he’s done is more tone deaf or disproportionate to whatever crimes were the proximate cause. And nothing he could have done would be more galvanizing of resistance to U.S. occupation of Iraq and Syria.

    Trump’s Point of No Return

    Dr. D

    See far too many people pretending they’re far too sure”

    Much for “engage mouth” I read uncritical comments that Soleimani killed “millions of Americans”. What? Are you nuts? On what planet would we not notice the loss of a million Americans? THAT’S how uncritical stories and reactions circulating are.

    My comments yesterday: he was a highly effective general in service of his country. Yes, but that just means he’s the kind of guy who thinks, “it’s a h—l of a lot of fun shootin’ some folks.” Also, like here and everywhere, “service to your country” can involve doing the weirdest, stupidest, wrongest acts in service of political weasels who are just trying to get another of Epstein’s gals on their…well you get the point. Being one of the best generals in the field right now – though of course most cannot prove themselves with their countries at peace – Soleimani obviously killed thousands, no doubt tens of thousands. And although largely ISIS members we set up – remember them? – he also killed a lot of Kurds, no doubt American operatives, IDF, and anybody else hanging around. Then he killed a bunch of people opposing his government back home. You know, like Patton and Eisenhower. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonus_army

    Okay, moving on and developing a premise, Pompeo claims they were planning a major attack on America, to which I say: prove it, you liar. What IS true, however, is that this was a long-planned, long-staged militia attack on the U.S. Embassy, which is U.S. soil (just like the Saudi embassy in Turkey), and NOT anything to do with “protestors” just hanging out carrying signs, except as a fig leaf. So a direct Iranian attack on us, which nearly ran it over had they not acted quickly – and even Buzzfeed is offering photos of the violent, fire-bombed carnage – is going to what? Just hang around? No, the U.S. then immediately killed the organizer, the general in charge of that militia of fake protestors, Gen. Soleimani. And apparently then everyone else involved in the whole operation. Okay, great, point made. Which is why Iran isn’t going to do anything about it. So, what are we doing there again, exactly?

    Say, what small Mediterranean nation profits by the death of Americans and waste of their treasure, collapse of their economy, erasure of their values in fighting…hmmm…Iran?

    Not that any of this is clear. They act as if – you know, like us – Iran is being run by one tiny branch of government secreted away, except for a change of pace it’s NOT the secret service for once, but the Revolutionary (Praetorian) Guard. And if they can get rid of Iran’s version of the CIA, Persia can be normal again. True? No idea. Probably some truth to it. And does that mean, give us right to be in Iraq, or escalate war by killing anybody we feel like on the field of non-war? Nope. Go home. However, when you analyze this, their goals and beliefs are relevant.

    They know the only way to beat T now is with a war. Tucker Carlson said so publicly last time, it’s not a secret, and it’s also correct. But wait: I thought it was the RIGHT who wanted war??? Now it’s the only thing the Right doesn’t want? Then who DOES want it? And speaking of, and I thought he was a Putin puppet, which is why he’s attacking one of Russia’s key allies in broad daylight, because Russia is tricky that way, always attacking themselves to throw you off the scent. …No worry, that narrative will not be damaged in the least by the bloody, highest-level drone strike on it. When you’re #AntiLogos, all opposites make perfect sense, in fact MORE sense than logic does. Trump will be a Putin-puppet tomorrow, and they will impeach him for it, while he does more to attack Russia + allies than even Obama has.

    So he is putting pressure on the secreted wing of government Obama gave billions in cash to, because – like here – they’re the parasite with their hands around the neck of the otherwise-normal people. That faction IS being starved out, as seen when they told Europe they better pay up or Iran will release all the blackmail and bribes Europe’s PMs have paid and received lately. But Europe was broke and the deadline passed. They tried some things with oil, and those were also (illegally) shut down. So the U.S. being powerful, has them pinned down in their own country. Obama and Kerry tour the world ahead of T in violation of the Logan Act – you know the one Flynn is in for – and telling Palestine, China, Korea, “Were still in charge, just hold on and we’ll remove this guy.” Gee, what kind of action is that to work with foreign government to undermine your own nation at home? Oh nevermind. Anyway, so this is Iran’s (subfaction’s) response. What? Were they NOT going to respond? Of course they were. Just like our MICC/CIA has.

    And as you notice, AGAIN with the full, fawning, lying, overwhelming support of the U.S. media, who failed to cover practically all of it, making it sound like a peaceful march of elderly Quakers was met with violent, unhinged attacks by blackhawk helicopters with napalm. That’s not true either, but the media’s clear, coordinated coverage tells me they knew it was coming and had a canned response, indeed calling it “Trump’s Benghazi” from the first 60 seconds: meaning it was about the elections…So that tells me it wasn’t an Iranian thing at all, or at least not exclusively. And the Democrats’ only real resistance is that Trump didn’t include them, so they could leak back to Ayatolla and Soleimani and outflank him. Sorry.

    Every minute a garbage heap. So am I sorry? Well I’d do it all differently, BY TELLING THE TRUTH, about Iran, about their plans, about the Logan Act flyers, about Israel, about anyone. Because how are the American people supposed to understand, then choose and vote, when they have no information, and everything from Carleson (or rather Pompeo) to Maddow to Pelosi is a vicious bald-faced lie? This is what happens when you leave your values, people.

    Israel Had Advance Notice of US Plan to Kill Iranian General Suleimani (LAT)”

    Oh wait, who DID know? And therefore if he works for anyone, who is he working for?

    How Trump Decided To Kill Iran’s Soleimani (Pol.)

    Not only does the title imply they are inside Trump’s mind – as always, rent-free – but the administration has denied the golfing. They’re like, “G-d d—n it media, it’s right on our published schedule! There was no golfing that day!” Sigh. But I’m sure they got the color of his shirt and tie right. Because when you work for “Tiger Beat”…

    he’d been surrounded at Mar-a-Lago by top officials

    Trump was working with his co-workers??? On a workday? News at 11.

    a man U.S. officials have portrayed as a terrorist mastermind, an evil genius responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans,”

    I’ve never heard this, nor all the other comments they’ve made since his death. I’m sure SOMEBODY said it, and as I’ve said, the MICC doesn’t like the guy who whipped them because they’re Yale-trotting, draft-dodging idiot sons of idiot sons. But I guarantee not a single American but me ever heard his name before. P.S. you’re not a terrorist, by definition, if you work as a army general for a national government. Wot morons. But that’s just proven in passing the IRGC with approval of Congress, and yes, a declaration of war, just as if France registered the U.S. Army as a terror organization, which they arguably should. But in #AntiLogos, words have no meanings, and mean everything and nothing at the same time, like Humpty say: “there’s only which is master: that is all.”

    Inside The Plot by Iran’s Soleimani to Attack US Forces in Iraq (R.)

    You mean the forces that shouldn’t be there? Helped by the Iraqis who don’t want us there?

    That second strike everyone’s talking about? Did it even happen?

    There were a number of these. Iran responded with a bomb on an ammo dump. They called and no one knew anything. This strike. This morning a second strike on other militia leaders. …Suspect the media was told it WOULD happen, by their handlers, they write the story, then when something happens, assume it’s that and publish. Wouldn’t be the first time, as there’s specific cases going back decades and they were caught, like Newsweek only two weeks ago back on Christmas. “News? What news? We make up the news!” – The Guardian. “All the news we make up to print.” – New York Times.

    the little towns that dotted that landscape”

    My reaction too. How bad is it, how much worse has it been, that in a carnage of every man getting blow to pieces – and white guys dying by the ten thousands stopping slavery mind you, we ought to get around to that someday – that doesn’t register compared the the carnage and amputation of our landscape, the senseless mowing down of every green living thing in 500 miles to pave into a caved-in, boarded-up mall. Whatever war there was, we lost it. It’s worse than if Russia HAD nuked us. That’s like Buffet says, “There WAS a class war: the rich won.”

    “ Fed Policymakers Broadly See Eye To Eye On 2020 Outlook (R.) “

    When the whole nation from coast to coast is #AntiLogos, it doesn’t bat an eye when the world’s best economy ever needs ever-decreasing rates and ever-escalating bailouts to not collapse. After 20, 30 years, that’s normal, right? I was born, grew up, traded, and never knew a time that wasn’t so. …And that’s why we have the 4th turnings.

    Mexico President Calls for Julian Assange to Be Released from UK Prison (R.)

    At least somebody said it.

    I’m sorry, what crime did Florida man commit? Did somebody go and prove they DIDN’T get into heaven? I say their tickets work perfectly: change my mind.

    Dr. D

    I think they’re mad because only the (non)Pope can sell that for $99. You know, when he’s not screaming and slapping people.


    Be careful!
    Your critical thinking abilities will be strained
    Don’t let your emotions rule your thinking
    Salt will not be enough to keep your sanity.
    Fake news

    The Pentagon issued the first USA statement.
    The Pentagon is justifying their military action against a military leader.
    Would you expect anything less.
    Too bad that Trump had just said that he did not want war with Iran.

    On what planet would we not notice the loss of a million Americans?

    Say, what small Mediterranean nation profits by the death of Americans and waste of their treasure, collapse of their economy, erasure of their values in fighting…hmmm…Iran?

    Now! For the important news.

    • Australia’s Bushfires Push Countless Species To Extinction (G.)

    Yes. The fires are creating a void which will be filled by something else.
    Fires are creating fertile ground for something else to grow.

    Are our leaders crying about the prospect of our civilization going through a bottleneck and leaving a void that will be filled by other lifeforms.
    I just read that there is a exploration ship was/will be going to Mars to explore for bacteria lifeforms.
    If we expand our definition of life to include the ability to replicate, reproduce and multiply to more than carbon lifeforms then I am sure that we will discover that Mars will have a crystals life form growing.
    (Oops! S-Fiction writers have already been saying that)


    Weekend reading
    12 (twelve) is the natural number following 11 and preceding 13. The product of the first 3 factorials, twelve is a superior highly composite number, divisible by 2, 3, 4, and 6.
    ….. frequently appears in the world’s major religions.


    Pearly gates is an informal name for the gateway to Heaven according to some Christian denominations. It is inspired by the description of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:21: “The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate being made from a single pearl.”[1]
    The image of the gates in popular culture is a set of large gold, white or wrought-iron gates in the clouds, guarded by Saint Peter (the keeper of the “keys to the kingdom”). Those not fit to enter heaven are denied entrance at the gates, and descend into Hell.[2] In some versions of this imagery, Peter looks up the deceased’s name in a book, before opening the gate.


    Rival Shi’ite leaders in Iraq call for U.S. troop expulsion in rare show of unity

    Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who leads a fragile coalition government installed by Sadr and Amiri, called for an extraordinary session of parliament to “take legislative steps and necessary provisions to safeguard Iraq’s dignity, security and sovereignty.”
    For Amiri to get his wish, parliament would need to pass a law obliging the Iraqi government to ask U.S. troops to leave.
    It requires a simple, not absolute, majority, said Iraqi legal expert Tariq Harb, but at least 165 lawmakers must vote for a decision to be valid.

    What happens if the USA won’t go home

    My recomendation
    a military operation in which enemy forces surround a town or building, cutting off essential supplies, with the aim of compelling the surrender of those inside.

    blockade · beleaguerment · encirclement · investment · besiegement


    The Crusades didn’t end well. Likewise, the modern Western Empire will collapse. Neo-Nazis, Sunni Jihadists and Mercenaries can’t win America’s wars. Proxy forces and contractors will turn on you, be discarded or just quit. The American Civil War, WWI & II were all won by industrial might and the use of all of the nation’s manpower. In this Twenty-Year War the USA has neither. It is inevitable. The US will lose the war in the Middle East either by bankruptcy and withdrawing like Vietnam or it will escalate into a nuclear holocaust.


    Can you name a country that wishes that it had continued the development of the A bomb


    2020 is having a very inauspicious beginning. Hard to believe Trump allowed himself to be suckered/forced into this Soleimani assassination. The forces of evil are ascendant as the intergenerational capital crowd tightens the screws financially and militarily. I hope the Iranians will avoid an aggressive response but even if they do a false flag will likely be in the offing. Fourth turning indeed. Put on your seat belts.

    V. Arnold

    Put on your seat belts.

    Won’t do much good if the nukes start flying; Putin directly warned the U.S. it will retaliate overwhelmingly, if any of its partners are nuked…
    If Iran were to sink a U.S. aircraft carrier after being attacked for retaliation, for the illegal killing of Soleimani…
    That is a classic situation for spiraling out of control…

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