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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 1/5/20

War With Iran

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The assassination by the United States of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, near Baghdad's airport will ignite widespread retaliatory attacks against U.S. targets from Shiites, who form the majority in Iraq. It will activate Iranian-backed militias and insurgents in Lebanon and Syria and throughout the Middle East. The existing mayhem, violence, failed states and war, the result of nearly two decades of U.S. blunders and miscalculations in the region, will become an even wider and more dangerous conflagration. The consequences are ominous. Not only will the U.S. swiftly find itself under siege in Iraq and perhaps driven out of the country -- there is only a paltry force of 5,200 U.S. troops in Iraq, all U.S. citizens in Iraq have been told to leave the country "immediately" and the embassy and consular services have been closed -- but the situation could also draw us into a war directly with Iran. The American Empire, it seems, will die not with a whimper but a bang.

The targeting of Soleimani, who was killed by a MQ-9 Reaper drone that fired missiles into his convoy as he was leaving the Baghdad airport, also took the life of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, along with other Iraqi Shiite militia leaders. The strike may temporarily bolster the political fortunes of the two beleaguered architects of the assassination, Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but it is an act of imperial suicide by the United States. There can be no positive outcome. It opens up the possibility of an Armageddon-type scenario relished by the lunatic fringes of the Christian right.

A war with Iran would see it use its Chinese-supplied anti-ship missiles, mines and coastal artillery to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, which is the corridor for 20% of the world's oil supply. Oil prices would double, perhaps triple, devastating the global economy. The retaliatory strikes by Iran on Israel, as well as on American military installations in Iraq, would leave hundreds, maybe thousands, of dead. The Shiites in the region, from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, would see an attack on Iran as a religious war against Shiism. The 2 million Shiites in Saudi Arabia, concentrated in the oil-rich Eastern province, the Shiite majority in Iraq and the Shiite communities in Bahrain, Pakistan and Turkey would turn in fury on us and our dwindling allies. There would be an increase in terrorist attacks, including on American soil, and widespread sabotage of oil production in the Persian Gulf. Hezbollah in southern Lebanon would renew attacks on northern Israel. War with Iran would trigger a long and widening regional conflict that, by the time it was done, would terminate the American Empire and leave in its wake mounds of corpses and smoldering ruins. Let us hope for a miracle to pull us back from this Dr. Strangelove self-immolation.

Iran, which has vowed "harsh retaliation," is already reeling under the crippling economic sanctions imposed by the Trump administration when it unilaterally withdrew in 2018 from the Iranian nuclear arms deal. Tensions in Iraq between the U.S. and the Shiite majority, at the same time, have been escalating. On Dec. 27 Katyusha rockets were fired at a military base in Kirkuk where U.S. forces are stationed. An American civilian contractor was killed and several U.S. military personnel were wounded. The U.S. responded on Dec. 29 by bombing sites belonging to the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia. Two days later Iranian-backed militias attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, vandalizing and destroying parts of the building and causing its closure. But this attack will soon look like child's play.

Iraq after our 2003 invasion and occupation has been destroyed as a unified country. Its once-modern infrastructure is in ruins. Electrical and water services are, at best, erratic. There is high unemployment and discontent over widespread government corruption that has led to bloody street protests. Warring militias and ethnic factions have carved out competing and antagonistic enclaves. At the same time, the war in Afghanistan is lost, as the Afghanistan Papers published by The Washington Post detail. Libya is a failed state. Yemen after five years of unrelenting Saudi airstrikes and a blockade is enduring one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters. The "moderate" rebels we funded and armed in Syria at a cost of $500 million, after instigating a lawless reign of terror, have been beaten and driven out of the country. The monetary cost for this military folly, the greatest strategic blunder in American history, is between $5 trillion and $7 trillion.

So why go to war with Iran? Why walk away from a nuclear agreement that Iran did not violate? Why demonize a government that is the mortal enemy of the Taliban, along with other jihadist groups, including al-Qaida and Islamic State? Why shatter the de facto alliance we have with Iran in Iraq and Afghanistan? Why further destabilize a region already dangerously volatile?

The generals and politicians who launched and prosecuted these wars are not about to take the blame for the quagmires they created. They need a scapegoat. It is Iran. The hundreds of thousands of dead and maimed, including at least 200,000 civilians, and the millions driven from their homes into displacement and refugee camps cannot, they insist, be the result of our failed and misguided policies. The proliferation of radical jihadist groups and militias, many of which we initially trained and armed, along with the continued worldwide terrorist attacks, have to be someone else's fault. The generals, the CIA, the private contractors and weapons manufacturers who have grown rich off these conflicts, the politicians such as George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, along with all the "experts" and celebrity pundits who serve as cheerleaders for endless war, have convinced themselves, and want to convince us, that Iran is responsible for our catastrophe.

The chaos and instability we unleashed in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan, left Iran as the dominant country in the region. Washington empowered its nemesis. It has no idea how to reverse its mistake other than to attack Iran.

Trump and Netanyahu, as well as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, are mired in scandal. They believe a new war would divert attention from their foreign and domestic crises. But they have no more rational strategy for war with Iran than they did for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria. European allies, whom Trump alienated when he walked away from the Iranian nuclear agreement, will not cooperate with Washington if the U.S. goes to war with Iran. The Pentagon lacks the hundreds of thousands of troops it would need to attack and occupy Iran. And the Trump administration's view that the marginal and discredited Iranian resistance group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK), which fought alongside Saddam Hussein in the war against Iran and is seen by most Iranians as composed of traitors, is a viable counter-force to the Iranian government is ludicrous.

International law, along with the rights of 80 million people in Iran, is ignored just as the rights of the peoples of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria were ignored. The Iranians, whatever they feel about their despotic regime, would not see the United States as allies or liberators. They do not want to be occupied. They would resist.

A war with Iran would be seen throughout the region as a war against Shiism. But these are calculations that the ideologues, who know little about the instrument of war and even less about the cultures or peoples they seek to dominate, cannot fathom. Attacking Iran would be no more successful than the Israeli airstrikes on Lebanon in 2006, which failed to break Hezbollah and united most Lebanese behind that militant group. The Israeli bombing did not pacify 4 million Lebanese. What will happen if we begin to pound a country of 80 million people whose land mass is three times the size of France?

The United States, like Israel, has become a pariah that shreds, violates or absents itself from international law. We launch preemptive wars, which under international law is defined as a "crime of aggression," based on fabricated evidence. We, as citizens, must hold our government accountable for these crimes. If we do not, we will be complicit in the codification of a new world order, one that would have terrifying consequences. It would be a world without treaties, statutes and laws. It would be a world where any nation, from a rogue nuclear state to a great imperial power, would be able to invoke its domestic laws to annul its obligations to others. Such a new order would undo five decades of international cooperation -- largely put in place by the United States -- and thrust us into a Hobbesian nightmare. Diplomacy, broad cooperation, treaties and law, all the mechanisms designed to civilize the global community, would be replaced by savagery.

 

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Chris Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

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Christopher Zell

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Democrats gonna do anything about the rush towards war? No, I didn't think so.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 5, 2020 at 3:13:00 AM

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Mohammad Ala

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Thanks Chris Hedges for this article. Thanks for your time. Happy 2020 to you and your family members.

I am glad you mentioned illegal sanctions against the people of Iran. Children, elderly, and ill people have been hurt the most from these illegal sanctions. Even some medicine is not available. Many corrupt European countries are fearful of USA's sanctions and have stopped trading with Iran.

The role of force, illegal sanctions, and threats have replaced the rule of law and international norms.

General Soleimani and his colleagues defeated ISIS and all of its variations which were funded by criminal Saudi and UAE governments. Saudi Arabia has treated its people poorly, killed many innocent people in Yemen using American arms, paying through nose for American military gear which they cannot even use.

ISIS allowed many countries including Turkey to steal oil and gas from Iraq and Syria and sell under market prices to Europe. European countries had no problem in purchasing stolen goods.

Europe is at fault. Russia and China are fault milking weaker countries for anything the can get. Both Russia and China have taken advantage of illegal sanctions purchasing Iranian oil and gas 20-30% under market prices costing billions of dollars to ordinary people.

After defeat of ISIS, Western countries took credit for that.

In international relations, there should be laws to follow to keep us from being savages. MANY countries have genuine grievances against Western countries for stealing their natural resources and destroying their infrastructures. Western legal systems have been biased towards West Asian countries for over 100 years starting with British thieves who arrived to divide the region.

Illegal sanctions which violate international agreements have brought sufferings to millions of people. Even refugees who escaped to other countries are affected by these unfair illegal practices.

Any killing must be condemned. Since World War II, over 50,000,000 million have been killed and over 4,000,000,000 dislocated, injured and lost a limb because of Russia and Western countries aggressions. Controlled Western media keeps repeating 6,000,000 Jews at the hand of Germany which Iran had nothing to do with it. Iran housed and helped many Jews and welcomed many refugees from Germany, Poland, and Afghanistan. Iran has the largest number of refugees while receiving no UN support because of veto power of Western countries. Illegal sanctions has hurt refugees too.

Indeed rules of jungle are being used to steal, lie, and cheat while millions of people are losing their lands, homes and natural resources. Over 200 UN resolutions against thieves are being ignored.

Lies have been manufactured by Western countries and media against Iran. This is an article published in July 2019 which is more relevant today with all the lies from Western media repeating false justifications to assassinate a foreign leader.

If Western media shows the world that assassination is fine and good, other countries might justify it for killing other world leaders. This is bad for the entire world. This assassination will have blowback.


Submitted on Sunday, Jan 5, 2020 at 5:16:54 AM

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Ramani K V

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Reply to Mohammad Ala:   New Content

Well said, Mohammad. It is a travesty the 'international law' rammed down our throats since WWII is little more than jungle law. Genghis Khan in a tuxedo. New lipstick on an ancient pig.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 5, 2020 at 3:34:26 PM

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Ramani K V

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As a former UN employee, I have long been convinced no international charter or set of laws framed on the rebound from a catastrophic war can't define peace, let alone uphold it. It will always remain a law of the victors imposed upon the vanquished. Whether it was the League of Nations or its present day successor.

The existence of a veto-wielding Security Council in which the majority comprises the victors of WWII trashes the very idea of a global democracy of nations. How could there be such a grassroots collective of all nation states when decisions of war and conflict resolution are subject to the overlordship of an elite group of self-anointed victors from the previous war? Victors who have since abused their privilege-grab by unleashing an unending wave of wars around the world under the hypocritical imprimatur of their own creation? It is like a prosecutor, having made his case, proceeding to the judge's seat to pronounce the verdict.

The global conflagration Chris outlines is an all too imminent prospect. The US and its cohorts in Europe are intoxicated with power they have enjoyed for six centuries since the beginning of the colonial era. This is a very long time for any individual or race or nation to be in the saddle. Facts on the ground have morphed into birthright. They would rather scorch the earth than go quietly.

Every statement from Western leaders, especially the American political class, has been shrieking this out on a daily basis openly. If we can't remain the rulers for all times, we won't just make sure no one else can. We will make sure there is nothing to rule for anyone.

The sheer insanity of it all should fox us. Why does the Western elite not fear an all out nuclear war? Where would they hide? Even if they weather out such a war in fortified bunkers under the land or sea in remote parts of the earth, what will be left for them to enjoy when that earth is blanketed in a nuclear winter?

Is it really insanity or something more sinister? Are they human or a malevolent alien species which has successfully infiltrated the highest levels of human leadership? A species that does have someplace else to go after mission accomplished?

Am not being carried away as a fan of science fiction. Something is just not right. The insanity argument doesn't make sense.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 5, 2020 at 4:04:21 PM

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Lois Gagnon

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Actually, I think the insanity argument does make sense. The people who profit from war have become so obscenely rich, they are completely detached from reality. That's an observation I've been keenly aware of.

They're frankly not the brightest bulbs in the box. Just the most corrupt and ruthlessly driven. The luxury bunkers they have built have most likely given them a false sense of security which makes them even more dangerous to the rest of us. They truly believe they can ride out the storm of nuclear war and climate catastrophe. They can't of course. They have constructed their own very expensive coffins.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 5, 2020 at 10:22:13 PM

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Ramani K V

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I used to believe the same, Lois. Until I realized the US is deadly serious about launching a nuclear war against or provoking one with Russia and China. These aren't the dusty contingency MAD plans from Cold War 1. It comes from the latest military doctrine Joint Vision 2020 -- birthed in the Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine -- for the weaponization of space. Joint Vision 2020 is a brazen violation of the UN Outer Space Treaty of 1967 to which the US is a signatory.

Article IV of the treaty states:

"Parties to the Treaty undertake not to place in orbit around the Earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, install such weapons on celestial bodies, or station such weapons in outer space in any other manner. The Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used by all States Parties to the Treaty exclusively for peaceful purposes. The establishment of military bases, installations and fortifications, the testing of any type of weapons and the conduct of military manoeuvres on celestial bodies shall be forbidden. The use of military personnel for scientific research or for any other peaceful purposes shall not be prohibited. The use of any equipment or facility necessary for peaceful exploration of the Moon and other celestial bodies shall also not be prohibited."

Compare this against the futuristic weapons the US is openly developing or already has. Especially space-based ion and laser cannons and 'Rods from God', tungsten and uranium rods fired from space launchers. The technology used for such 'precision' weapons can easily be modified to launch missiles with nuclear, chemical and biological warheads.

The Joint Vision 2020 document has this to say about the incredible loss of human life from such weapons:

"Achieving full spectrum dominance means the joint force will fulfill its primary purpose victory in war, as well as achieving success across the full range of operations, but it does not mean that we will win without cost or difficulty. Conflict results in casualties despite our best efforts to minimize them, and will continue to do so when the force has achieved full spectrum dominance...We will win but we should not expect war in the future to be either easy or bloodless."

These plans are not drafted by nerdy Zuckerberg or corporate predators like Bezos. They have been put together by the top minds from America's premier centers of learning.

Think again. Do not dismiss this lightly.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 6, 2020 at 1:55:28 AM

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George King

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Reply to Ramani K V:   New Content

KV, we have deciphered the book, it is a cookbook! So now we know......
"Something is just not right. The insanity argument doesn't make sense."

Submitted on Monday, Jan 6, 2020 at 6:20:08 AM

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Ramani K V

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Good one, George! Hit me on the head when I stray from the straight and narrow Trumpathon to inform others there are other topics worthy of their attention in the world. Like this wonderful essay by Andre Vltchek on the bygone era of legendary American classical novelists. The yawn it drew was deafening halfway across the world here in Malaysia. Needs Thought, you see.

But spare my head this time. The Man has joined the long line of American war criminals. Am off his defense team.

Thought, by the way, is Head Chef at DoD :-)

Submitted on Monday, Jan 6, 2020 at 9:16:37 AM

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nelswight

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Yes, as he cooks the light broth, the bouillon thickens; with the addition of a few vegetables. The barehanded, orange coiffed one fell immediately into the boiling cauldron, putting the final kibosh on his act. a myriad,still, of herbs, spices and condiments to be added.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 6, 2020 at 12:44:48 PM

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b. sadie bailey

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Reply to Ramani K V:   New Content

Thank you for your thoughts and experience. I've wondered some of those same things....these beings, whoever and whatever they are, seem hellbent on a carbon/methane atmosphere; so they destroy the oxygen on this planet necessary for us all - and foul the waters - the one finite resource without which we can't survive - to make it habitable for them... seems like one plausible scenario.

some of my more 'paranoid' friends talk about mind control and how this can be done with scalar weapons... and HAARP is beaming the Arctic and melting the permafrost with temps up to 30,000 degrees. there are a lot of things that can be done to people's minds through technology, explaining the increasing insanity. gang-stalking, putting hateful voices in people's heads from afar, or thoughts telling them to kill people. now it all doesn't seem so far fetched that these things could actually be happening and maybe these so called paranoiacs were onto something.

i don't know if we'll ever know - but whatever it is, it's sinister and deliberate and the dominoes have been carefully put in place, one by one, quietly, for a long time. Trump is just a toddler who knocks them down. All i know is, the USA has been accruing some terrible karma through its many wars of aggression at home and abroad, since the pilgrims and bankster charlatans and war criminals from England arrived at Plymouth Rock.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 7, 2020 at 6:56:52 AM

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Donald Trump's vicious, sadistic tweet---in which he threatens to destroy Iran's cultural sites and cultural heritage---is a war crime and should be added to the Articles of Impeachment.

In his bullying January 4th tweet, Trump threatened: "Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have"targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!" As David Atkins writes in Washington Monthly, "The president of the United States is threatening Iran with cultural extinction. That is a war crime. Threatening a war crime is also war crime. And this president must be held accountable for it, whether while in office or afterward as need be." (click here)

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 5, 2020 at 6:06:20 PM

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HEADLINES AND FEAR War, conscription, shortages, terrorism.

What Nostradamus Said - The Future Is Malleable, Not Set In Stone

I resisted all my time reading Nostradamus. I do not like to dwell on the negative. It wasn't until I gained the perspective given by Dolores Cannon** on him that I realized the intentions this highly educated physician was holding in his heart. Nostradamus wrote about the worst, but was saying to think, act, project and focus on "the opposite" of his quatrains.

In paraphrasing Nostradamus, once you understand the quatrain written, he says, then collectively project the opposite of the quatrain's meaning. The collective energy of the many then focusing on the good and the positive will change the world for the better as the good manifests in our dimension instead of the bad.

Nostradamus said of the many possible events, his quatrains focused on the worst possible. Our collective energies focused on "the opposite good from his written darkness", changes the world to the good.

We sometimes, perhaps often, find ourselves asking, is this notion of collective consciousness projected into the right now, too heavenly to be of any earthly good?

How to apply this on today's newspaper headlines?

HEADLINES AND FEAR --- War, Conscription, Shortages, Terrorism.

Instead of "hoping" for peace, first "be" the peace... St. Francis offered this perspective: In order to make peace you must first hold it in your heart.

We are the peace.

All of this is your moment of invitation to be the peace. We are World Peace, see and feel it as though it is already with us.

- - - - - - - - - Footnote: ** tu.be/LrzCnN87b34

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 5, 2020 at 8:10:14 PM

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Lance Ciepiela

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After 9/11 ("explosives used on 9/11 say Commissioners"), "endless wars raged on" in the 21st Century - #FirstDecade, W Bush launches a preemptive war on Iraq, and the #SecondDecade, an 'impeached' Trump, voted 'unfit' to serve by a majority vote in congress, ready to launch 52 strikes on Iranian targets if Iran retaliates against Trump for killing their top general Suleimani. China and Russia may have 'to take sides' if war breaks out between the the US and Iran - if they 'side with Iran', which they are surely 'inclined to do', then Trump, like Hitler, may decide to 'stand his ground', even 'to a ruinous end'. #DrumsOfWar.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 5, 2020 at 10:52:30 PM

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I feel that it's extremely unlikely that Congress, demonstrations or petitions could have any effect on Trump or Pompeo. Nor can I imagine what Iran could do to retaliate in any meaningful way or even protect themselves if the US goes into bombing frenzy mode. Unless I have some revelation about those points, my opinion is that Iran should try very hard not to do anything that even hints at provocation. Cowardly? Maybe, but I don't want to see Iran bombed and all the militant rhetoric in the world will not change the real-world situation. Tell me I'm wrong and convince me otherwise!

Submitted on Monday, Jan 6, 2020 at 3:01:16 AM

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Jim Arnold

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Well, Fred, then the only option remaining is for us to all lay down, across the world, and submit. Excuse me, I'm not there.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 6, 2020 at 3:42:42 AM

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Fred W

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It's not that we should not criticize, lambast the government, analyze to our heart's content, "fight" for the right, etc. I just doubt it will be effective. And I put "fight" in quotation marks because you and I will not be the ones who die. That will be the Iranians, and I am saying what I think would be best for them. If course they will decide without my help.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 6, 2020 at 4:29:04 AM

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Chris is always right on the mark.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 6, 2020 at 5:05:41 AM

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b. sadie bailey

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And let's not forget the goldmine of oil Iran is sitting on - and Iran's in the way of that pipeline to Turkey...

We are so screwed - and we are destroying everything and everyone else along with ourselves. How many lands, how many innocent people, must we destroy with sanctions and war - people who never did anything to us but stand in the way of the profits of the kingpins who call the shots? We are pawns in a deadly game and worse yet, many U.S citizens have drank the poison KoolAid and think this war and all the other evils we have done since European invasion of North and South America is a good idea!

I weep for the people in the many countries we have invaded - all their loss of their lives and families destroyed, their beautiful people and cities and cultures - art and music and poetry - and gardens and forests ETC - turned to rubble and desert. We will pay a karmic debt for this. I am ashamed to call myself an "American." We could have learned from each other and built peace - not destroyed them. For SHAME.

Netanyahu, the Saudi Crown Prince, and Trump are 3 despots who must go if the world is to avoid world war 3 - which will be nuclear this time - there is no other way this can go. It will end badly and it will end life as we know it if we don't stop it. I don't know how this will come to pass that they be gone, but I pray every day for miracles. I fear these darkening times for the entire world. The tyrants must go. They must be stopped by the will of their people and tried as the war criminals they are, along with all their mob cronies.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 6, 2020 at 7:48:31 AM

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lila york

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from Max Blumenthal at the Grayzone The whole story of how Soleimani came to be in Iraq, and how he was identified and targeted, was a lie, as he was set up by a phony Saudi 'peace initiative' he was fooled into trying to broker. In fact. lies to the Iraqi PM were intended to give the PM and Soleimani the comfort that it would be safe for Soleimani to travel to Iraq, as Trump was supporting the initiative. "Iraqi PM reveals Soleimani was on peace mission when assassinated, exploding Trump's lie of 'imminent attacks'" (Blumenthal): "Two days later, when Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi addressed his country's parliament, Trump's justification for killing Soleimani was exposed as a cynical lie. According to Abdul-Mahdi, he had planned to meet Soleimani on the morning the general was killed to discuss a diplomatic rapproachment that Iraq was brokering between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Abdul-Mahdi said that Trump personally thanked him for the efforts, even as he was planning the hit on Soleimani thus creating the impression that the Iranian general was safe to travel to Baghdad." Thus the whole story that he was in Iraq on a mission which imminently threatened American lives was a lie. grayzone.com/2020/01/06/soleiman...minent-attacks/

Submitted on Monday, Jan 6, 2020 at 4:58:47 PM

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Lois Gagnon

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I clicked on the link and got a message that the page can't be found.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 6, 2020 at 5:56:56 PM

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George King

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Louis I had posted this to Dave article but it contains the link requested:

We have a law about it being a criminal act to yell fire in a theater for obvious reasons; the reason is obviously to save life from a grave danger. What I suggest here is full freedom of speech and equal disclosure of all important matters regarding the true state of our nation and by inclusion of its citizens. The following article brings some light on the subject of my comment, I ask that all take the time to read the comment, read the article and re-read my comment. Our survival depends on it. Will you is the question or do you seek "grotesque self-deception" for a better sleep at night to the detriment of all including your family and theirs?

Was Trump complicit, duped, blackmailed, family threatened or just a stupid criminal? Why is this not vetted honestly by our sitting government publicly for the citizens or are they also complicit, duped, blackmailed, family threatened or just a stupid criminal/s?

The Trump administration claimed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was planning "imminent attacks" on US interests when it assassinated him. That lie was just destroyed, but not before countless corporate media outlets transmitted the lie to the public.

Iraqi PM reveals Soleimani was on peace mission when assassinated, exploding Trump's lie of 'imminent attacks'

By Max Blumenthal

So let us look into the real danger to the American citizens by powers unrestrained for multiple reasons but not forgivable and demands not only street protest but a forced closing of the lying propaganda vessels of MSM and any other organ of subjecting danger to the citizens via unsubstantiated broadcast of unprovable accusations that endangers our Treasure, Commons and Unalienable Rights of our citizens. No more unnamed sources should be allowed to wag the dog of injustice by criminal and deceitful device/s. No more printing of lies or unverified (named sources) whether they be government or private with front page headlined retractions upon a timely manner, not after the fact or extended period.

It demands suspension of operations and full prosecutions under complete citizens review of any person or news organization that commits these most grievous acts against our nation state and others. All wealth and property must be confiscated no matter where it has been relocated to for laundering, protection from prosecution and seizure. Organs that have and are being used voluntary or not cannot be allowed to make a profit out of acts that are denying citizens of their Treasure, Commons and Unalienable Rights.

Full closures and confiscation of all profits assets of not only the owners/stock shares but all profits during the period of operations and additional damages from any assets by any individuals by association/s. Faux reporters and those who hire and maintain their subsistence are to be imprisoned and publicly exposed to their actions to restore the freedom of speech in a free and truly open society.

No settlements out of court by any person or entity, no hiding the crimes from full public disclosure. Is this not necessitated by the times and history? Is it dangerous territory to balance the scales of justice in forming a more perfect union? It must be demanded and implemented, now!

The first step is to free and give an open public forum to all jailed or persecuted persons who are under arrest there by giving protection to the truth not the suppression of! We must demand it, even by forceful measures of disobedience now during this hour of danger!

Thoughts to consider, setting the stage of what and why:

"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light." Plato

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana (1863--1952), U.S. philosopher, poet.

"The worst forms of tyranny, or certainly the most successful ones, are not those we rail against but those that so insinuate themselves into the imagery of our consciousness, and the fabric of our lives, as not to be perceived as tyranny." -- Michael Parenti

"A tyrant's best ally has always been an apathetic populace. Citizens of Germany learned that awful truth in 1939." -- Doug Thompson

"What would you do if you knew all the things we knew, would you stand up for truth or would you turn away too?" Paris

"The exact contrary of what is generally believed is often the truth." -- Jean de la Bruyère

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." George Orwell

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home." -- Thomas Jefferson

"We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield." George Orwell

"The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the State." Dr. Joseph M. Goebbels

"The greatest kindness one can render to any man consists in leading him from error to truth." St. Thomas Aquinas

"All just power is derived from the consent of the governed." -- John Locke

"The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead." -- William Lloyd Garrison

"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism." -- Howard Zinn

"To criticize one's country is to do it a service .... Criticism, in short, is more than a right; it is an act of patriotism - a higher form of patriotism, I believe, than the familiar rituals and national adulation." -- U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright

"To question your government is not unpatriotic -- to not question your government is unpatriotic." Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.)

Submitted on Monday, Jan 6, 2020 at 6:19:45 PM

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Ramani K V

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"Was Trump complicit, duped, blackmailed, family threatened or just a stupid criminal?"

I completely reject this line of Trump defense, George. It disturbs me greatly to see a man of your integrity lending the respectability of his name to hardcore Trump loyalists who are pursuing this apologia to defend the indefensible -- a naked act of war. I can only hope you will reconsider.

My support for Trump until this turning point has been based on (a) he was legally elected and has been prevented from governing by a Deep State coup inspired and abetted by the Democrats, and (b) despite multiple provocations, he has desisted from getting into a new war of aggression. (a) still holds for me. (b) does not hold any longer. (b) trumps (a).

Trump is an adult. Presumably with a conscience, regardless of his personality traits. He is responsible for his actions. There is no such thing as being blackmailed into a decision of this magnitude when he has successfully staved off several other such decisions against the same Iran, North Korea and Russia. He could have simply resigned and let someone else bear the consequences of a new war which could become WWIII.

Hardcore Trump loyalists can't or won't see the glaring contradiction in their coercion, CIA did it, Israel did it, his dog did it...line of defense. This new variant of Never Trump overlooks what they have been asserting all along. That he is a perfectly sane strong leader with a vision, all his zigzags can be explained by his mastery of 4D chess, and he is navigating adroitly through a sea seething with political plots towards an era of diminished US foreign entanglements, especially war. To turn around now and portray him as a cowardly wimp or brainless idiot who got blackmailed into committing such a war crime -- and following it up with even more bloodcurdling threats amounting to even more war crimes -- is being plain stupid or forked-tongue hypocrisy. You can't have it both ways.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 7, 2020 at 1:46:16 AM

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John Lawrence Ré

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"(b) trumps (a)." Indeed, Ramani. But what if he really didn't know until it was a fait accompli? What if he really did crack up? I contend it doesn't matter. It would have happened similarly sooner or later. The absorption of Iran was planned even before PNAC. Clinton would have just changed the formula with copious amounts of "humanitarian concern" lulling the rest of us eloi back to sleep like Obama and she did with their destruciton of ALBA in Latin America. No, Trump's choice of a casus belli was part of a contract of adhesion foisted on him, and to which he most likely gladly acquiesced. The money from the Iraq caper has run out. MIC wants - no must have! - another two trillion...now.

My theory is that, with an election on the horizon and impeachment dragging its sorry ass along, they chose to let Trump be the fall guy twisting in the wind allowing them to seize an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: Launch PNAC's coup de grace and take out the nemesis of our fattened game specieis, ISIS so we can live to hunt another day.

So while, yes, Trump is every bit as guilty as the morlocks in the state department, the path was chosen a long time ago. Trump's real mistake was not fully understanding the true nature of the beast. Imagine walking into La Luna on Mott Street and telling a capo dei capi and his lietenants that their new oxy distribution plan for the five burroughs should be scrapped? As Dana Carvey would say imitating W: Not gonna do it.

We live in a rogue, criminal military state. It doesn't matter who's the model/spokesperson in the whitehouse. It is what is, so we need to stop pretending differently with the if only's and told you so's... Yet, I still cling to the hope for a miracle and a Gabbard victory. I guess my Italian blood is tragiclally more Bruno than Schopenhaeur.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 7, 2020 at 2:51:27 AM

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George King

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Aye John, on "the hope for a miracle and a Gabbard victory" as this plays out. However it now appears that it will be left to outside forces to slay the dragon and they may accept a choice by the people such as Gabbard to lead and shield us from the ashes of a fallen rouge Empire that has stolen our Treasure, Commons and Unalienable Rights as well as from other nations that have been trespassed against. May we see those responsible punished and banished from civilizations seeking a more perfect union.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 7, 2020 at 5:50:52 AM

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Ramani K V

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Am with you all the way on your big picture description, John. It's pretty much my own take.

But...there's a big but. Let me take your best case scenario for Trump. That this was a fait accompli. An Israeli drone killed Suleimani and Trump had no choice but to support the cover story that it was an American drone. To deflect any Iranian retaliation against Israel.

So what? Why was there no choice? If he was true to his promise of cutting down on foreign wars, he would know instantly the catastrophic impact of this act on the US, even if he was incapable of realizing its far-reaching consequences. He should have fingered Israel. If it was a CIA or US military drone, he should have instantly exposed and fired whoever was responsible.

The reason he didn't do either, opting for a lie, destroys his credibility on the one single factor that has held up my support for him against the disgusting Deep State-Democrats coup. Put plainly, a second term vs. WWIII is a no brainer choice. He is guilty as hell of gutlessness or putting himself above potentially untold millions of lives. Or both.

My anger and angst come from the magnitude of Trump's betrayal of my core values. Hell hath no fury like a man scorned either!

It's deja vu in a way for me. I made the same mistake of supporting India's Modi before he first got elected. I wanted to get rid of the three generations old despotic Nehru-Gandhi dynastic rule of India. I made a U-turn by the end of Modi's first year as Prime Minister. Just couldn't take his Hindutva bigotry.

Either I am incapable of learning to be careful of what I wish for or the world is going to hell in a handbasket in which every successive leader makes the previous one the lesser evil.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 7, 2020 at 4:06:43 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Agree...that's why I wrote he "gladly acquiesced." But I also don't think he grasped the true nature of the office and its subservience to the deep state, nor the consequences of any delinquent behavior. Anytime an activity is undertaken that substantively affects others, like joining the army, risks are a factor. To accept them takes integrity which principled leaders like the Gracchi brothers in the Roman Republic, or even our own president Garfield, had in spades. Not Trump. Personally I found him repulsive and declasse, but I thought, like you, that he would shed less blood around the world based on what he promised as opposed to what I knew the war-slut he ran against would do if she won.

Also, when I wrote that I thought it was "a fait accompli," I wasn't suggesting the assassination was carried out by Israel, but rather by the US without Trump's knowledge. What better way for the DoD, CIA and the rest to rid themselves of Trump whom they consider a royal pain in the ass, while at the same time get their war and protect regional terrorists for future adventures? A perfect hat trick.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 7, 2020 at 8:00:29 PM

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Ramani K V

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"but I thought, like you, that he would shed less blood around the world based on what he promised as opposed to what I knew the war-slut he ran against would do if she won."

Exquisitely put!

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 8, 2020 at 4:57:41 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Thanks for the compliment...especially coming from someone whose style I admire.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 8, 2020 at 7:00:09 PM

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nelswight

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John, though you speak with the tongues of angels, I cannot feel that, as Solomon might observe, the concept of this play was formed in the rough ago many moons. The perfect time to set the trap jaws arrived and the rodent lapped up the bait. The pieces fell into place. There was a space between ignorance and arrogance where there was no escape.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 7, 2020 at 9:36:39 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Was a dark weekend here in NE, Nels...a trifecta of gloom. First, Soleimani. Then the simultaneous ignominious Patriots loss and the Cs forgetting to show up in DC.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 8, 2020 at 7:05:12 PM

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George King

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Ramani, first let me thank you for the excellent article; America, Where Great Literature Kicked the Bucket and I do intend to follow up with comment/s on that article as well! Alas, I still await your story of the coming of age on that majestical train ride across the continent. If it never sets pen to paper by your hand it has magically whisked me to my youthful experiences and a coming of age, thank you for that my dear friend.

In this thread I was quite taken back by your comment/s where you mistakenly thought that I might be defending Trump or really anyone else for that matter, as there is never any defense for carnage or depriving anyone of their Treasure, Commons or Unalienable Rights. You do know me quite well, my friend. So I have taken time out to reread and look for any misstatement or writing error that would lead you to those conclusions.

There is a great quickening happening on the world stage and every plane of existence within it. As I try to keep up and vet the revelations appearing on the horizon I find that before I have finished current events the modus operandi is appearing as a genie from a lamp in past actions as they are revealing themselves for those who have eyes to see. If I have missed a particular item that brings you to your conclusion, please by comment or personal email I assure it will not go unnoticed or ignored by me.

This was an original comment I had made on Dave Lindorff's article; Jingoism promotes mindless support for war: It's Our Own Leader, Donald Trump, Who Is 'Blood-Thirsty' and 'Blood-Soaked' and it made me question and try to pull back the curtain as the following remarks kept rising in to my thoughts:

"A highwayman is as much a robber when he plunders in a gang as when single; and a nation that makes an unjust war is only a great gang." Benjamin Franklin

"Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day. But a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers (administrations), too plainly proves a deliberate systematic plan of reducing us to slavery. Thomas Jefferson

Of course my thoughts here was regardless of any motivation by anyone individual there is an deliberate ongoing systematic plan of reducing us to slavery that cannot be denied and here is where we should look. I again express my concerns that we are abused and baffled by BS. Do we not see that the modus operandi described by Samuel Clemens?

"Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing tactics, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception." -- Mark Twain

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 7, 2020 at 5:20:34 AM

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Ramani K V

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George, there are only a handful of people on OEN whom I hold in high esteem for their integrity and resonance with my own values. Two of them are on this thread. You are one of them.

So please accept my apology if I came on too strong. It wasn't my intent. I was prompted by this part of your original comment:

"Was Trump complicit, duped, blackmailed, family threatened or just a stupid criminal? Why is this not vetted honestly by our sitting government publicly for the citizens or are they also complicit, duped, blackmailed, family threatened or just a stupid criminal/s?"

Perhaps I didn't give you sufficient allowance for the 'complicit' part in my impassioned reaction to any argument that dilutes Trump's responsibility/accountability. See my response to John above. If I could take back the uncalled for sharpness of my reaction to you, I would. But words are like arrows. I can only hope you will overlook it this once. Warmest, as always.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 7, 2020 at 4:18:49 PM

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Ramani K V

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You would love Andre's article, and perhaps add to my sentiments towards what he says. It is the kind of thoughtful essay that will readily echo with your quest for knowledge.

I have so many partial articles in the works, I honestly am at a loss which one to complete first. Most are on serious topics. But there is one along the lines of my train journey essay. On the travails of a globe-trotting vegetarian in a carnivorous world. Dates back to the 1980s when vegetarianism was an eccentricity (if not downright kinky!) the world over outside of India. As a lifelong herbivore, I went through a series of hilarious experiences across Asia, Europe and North America. Worth a laugh I think.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 7, 2020 at 4:32:06 PM

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nelswight

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I anxiously await the journey tale as well as the developing productions. Following the declarations by George, John Lawrence and thee. I find no disparity, only reasoned deductions, all within those feelings I find hard to express. From my point of view, John Lawrence defines the story in the manner that I would - wish I were so apt. Both R and G, as do I, Have that remorse of being let down. Now, is Bloomberg's money to anoint Biden, himself or Poor Sick Hillary? Yang went BANG", Butt has gone on selling used autos, recall Harris-no, I don't know where Warren is.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 7, 2020 at 10:02:35 PM

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Rich Buckley

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Franciscan Fr. Richard Rohr moves the needle to let us see through dualistic thinking religion and government otherwise creates for us" An Embarrassing Silence, by Fr. Richard Rohr il.cac.org/t/d-e-xkkhlid-kjllkklid-g/ When we're thinking nondualistically, with this guarded mind and heart, we will feel powerless for a moment, stunned into an embarrassing and welcoming silence. Then we will discover what is ours to do.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 6, 2020 at 6:23:05 PM

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