Open thread Jan. 3, 2020 Dan Crawford | January 3, 2020 9:32 am Tags: open thread Comments (13) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
As the man says, shades of 2002 and 2003 again. Sort of confirms (not that any rational person needed such) that Thiessen is full of shit.
“Three years ago, El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago, like 99.99 percent of his fellow citizens, did not have the faintest idea what the Quds Force was, and he wouldn’t have known who the hell Qasem Soleimani was if the man sat in his lap. In the aftermath of his astonishingly reckless decision to take Soleimani out on Thursday, a number of the president*’s previous public statements have been unearthed. Many of them were ancient warnings that Barack Obama intended to start a war with Iran in order to be re-elected in 2012. These are further proof enough of his bone-deep mendacity, but more compelling was a radio interview he did with Hugh Hewitt while running for president himself four years later.
‘ Are you familiar with General Soleimani?
Yes, go ahead, give me a little, go ahead, tell me.
He runs the Quds Forces.
Yes, okay, right. The Kurds, by the way, have been horribly mistreated by…
No, not the Kurds, the Quds Forces, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Forces.’
Later in the interview, the president* found time to whine. At Hugh Hewitt. For being too tough on him.
‘You know, those are like history questions. Do you know this one, do you know that one. I will tell you, I thought you used the word Kurd before. I will tell you that I think the Kurds are the most underutilized and are being totally mistreated by us. And nobody understands why.’
So here, as 2020 begins, the president* launches a unilateral military action to kill the second-most important figure in the Iranian government, the man who commanded the forces that the president* previously confused with our allies, the Kurds, whom he previously sold out on the battlefield. So no, I have absolutely no confidence that the American government as it is currently run has the vaguest idea what to do next.
Surely this guy did his due diligence.
I confess that all I know about Soleimani I learned from this long 2013 profile by Dexter Filkins in The New Yorker. As nearly as I can tell from Friday morning’s reactions, that’s the source material for a great deal of them. Soleimani is reckoned to have been a combination of Machiavelli, General Giap, Suleiman the Magnificent, and Lex Luthor. Which raises the question, so far unanswered, as to why a man with so many enemies other than the United States, operating with impunity in a volatile part of the world, survived as long as he did. The only logical answer is that these people carefully took the risk-reward calculations to heart and decided that killing Soleimani wasn’t worth what would ensue in the aftermath. If these calculations were made by the current U.S. administration*, they are not yet obvious.
Instead, the president* tweeted out the image of an American flag. An official Pentagon briefing pointedly said that the action had been taken at the order of the president*. The State Department warned Americans to get the hell out of Iraq, but not to come to the massive American embassy. Americans are urged to leave by airplane if possible but, if necessary, to escape by land, although where the hell they’re supposed to go—Syria?—was left unexplained. But the Americans should get out of Iraq, a place that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNN on Friday morning is safer now that Soleimani is dead.
(Pompeo also told CNN that the strike was undertaken to preempt an “imminent threat” to U.S. assets, a threat that Pompeo declined to identify, and, yes, we’ve all seen this movie before.)
If these calculations were made by the current U.S. administration*, they are not yet obvious.
So no, I have no confidence that anyone there can play this game. The president* is an ignoramus with little or no credibility on any issue, let alone war and peace. His Secretary of State doesn’t seem to have any plan beyond sycophancy. We are hearing the echoes of 2002 and 2003 rising again, except this time on the part of an inferior breed of con artist.
(I suspect that the action taken by the administration* may well finally be the thing that splits the more militaristic of the Never Trumpers from their newfound Democratic allies.)
The stated policy of this administration* is the utter disruption of the Iranian government as a prelude to regime change. We tried this in the 1950s and Iran got 20 years of a police state. Does anyone seriously believe that an Iranian regime that rises from American policy will have the faintest credibility with most Iranians? We tried that in Iraq, which is why Qasem Soleiman found such a target-rich environment there. And any split in the current Iranian regime over the now-abandoned nuclear deal likely has been smoothed over. And god only knows what will happen in Iraq as a result of this. This policy is kick-over-the-hornet’s-nest at its worst. Maybe it’s all just to keep John Bolton from testifying to the Senate. That’s as good an explanation as any.”
Juan Cole at University of Michigan is the local expert on the Middle East. His blog is called Informed Comment He has a couple of good posts up addressing the Iran assassination.
Qassem Soleimani, the commanding general of the Iranian Quds Force, was killed with a drone strike while he was in Iraq. He also dabbled in death in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. He had been on UN and US sanction lists since 2007.
“The Quds Force (Persian: سپاه قدس sepāh-e qods) is a unit in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) directed to carry out unconventional warfare and intelligence activities. Responsible for extraterritorial operations, the Quds Force supports non-state actors in many countries, including Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Yemeni Houthis, and Shia militias in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.”
The world is a little better place without the general.
“The world is a little better place without the general.”
The world is a much more dangerous place because the US foolishly chose to assassinate him.
Not to put too fine a point on it, the Kurds and Iran were instrumental in crushing ISIL/Daesh. Trump threw the Kurds under the bus and thoroughly trashed any possibility of alliance with Iran.
The world would be a little better place without Trump as president.
It appears that your philosophy is much like that of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
The President of Mexico defended the release of El Chapo’s son Ovidio Guzman. (Drug cartel leaders) He stated “This decision was made to protect citizens,” he said. “You cannot fight fire with fire. We do not want deaths. We do not want war.”
From : https://www.foxnews.com/world/el-chapo-son-us-arrest-warrant-compensation
The sentiment was undoubtedly genuine, but naive. Someone has to be in charge. It can either be the Mexican government or the cartels.
The commanding general of Iran’s Quds Force has killed and he would continue killing until he was stopped.
It appears that your philosophy is much like the Bush Administration. Fire, ready, aim. The sentiment was undoubtedly genuine, but naive.
It is deeply silly to believe that killing Qassem Soleimani will stop the killing, just as it was deeply silly to believe that killing Saddam Hussein would stop the killing in Iraq. Do you really believe that Soleimani is irreplaceable?
It is sad to see that people like you simply cannot learn the lessons of history.
“Do you really believe that Soleimani is irreplaceable?”
Of course not, but his replacement may not be as talented. And he is going to spend more time worrying about his personal security. Perhaps he will stay in Iran. And General Qassem Soleimani is not going to kill anyone anymore.
I never voted for President George Bush Jr, in fact I voted for very very few of the Democratic and Republican candidates. I have been a registered Independent for decades. So fire away!
President Bush had a problem in Afghanistan and decided to attack Iraq. The CIA is the gift that keeps on giving.
“It is sad to see that people like you simply cannot learn the lessons of history.”
The lessons of history do not teach that Prime Minister Chamberlain’s negotiations avoided war with Herr Hitler. Instead they teach that Prime Minister Churchill recognized that only war was going to stop Herr Hitler’s conquests in Europe.
In short, appeasement fails. Just as all fruitless negotiations fail eventually.
Ready, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait …
I’m sorry if you confused me with someone who cares who you voted for. I don’t. The fact that you want to make this discussion about Democrats and Republicans marks you as unserious.
As for specious analogies between Hitler’s Germany and modern day Iran, don’t insult my intelligence. I’ve obviously read far more history than you have, since you think this has anything to do with appeasement.
Don’t bother to reply. I won’t read it.
Oh, I am serious. I just don’t trust either major political party and haven’t for a very long time.
The lessons are about fruitless negotiations which can go on and on and achieve nothing.
Eventually we have to act. That is something that idealists avoid.
They freeze up, waiting for the perfect answer. Ready, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait …
“The world is a little better place without the general.”
“It’s like déjà vu all over again.”
” With a War Against Iran Brewing, Don’t Listen to the Hawks Who Lied Us Into Iraq
Advertise with Mother Jones
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Shortly after the news broke that a US airstrike in Baghdad ordered by President Donald Trump had killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s Quds Force, Ari Fleischer went on Fox News and proclaimed, “I think it is entirely possible that this is going to be a catalyst inside Iran where the people celebrate this killing of Soleimani.”
Here we go again.
Fleischer was press secretary for President George W. Bush when the Bush-Cheney administration deployed a long stretch of false statements and lies—Saddam Hussein was in cahoots with al Qaeda! Saddam had WMDs! Saddam intended to use WMDs against the United States! Saddam’s defeat would lead to peace and democracy in Iraq and throughout the region!—to grease the way to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. In that position, Fleischer was a key spokesperson for the war. Prior to the invasion, he promised the war would lead to a bright future: “Once the Iraqi people see that Saddam and those around him will be removed from power, they’ll welcome freedom, they’ll be a liberated people.” Instead, Iraq and the region were wracked with destabilization and death that continues to this day. About 200,000 Iraqi civilians lost their lives in the chaos and violence the Bush-Cheney invasion unleashed, and 4,500 US soldiers were killed in their war. ”
Amazes me that people can be so stupid.
ep, follow a orange haired creature who did everything possible multiple times to evade serving and a strange looking majority Senate leader who left the military through political leverage and strange circumstance. There is little and no reason to believe McConnell’s “trust me” and the proclamations of a president who displays mental derangement. It is even worse now than what it was under Bush.
Ari Fleischer: “I think it is entirely possible that this is going to be a catalyst inside Iran where the people celebrate this killing of Soleimani”
Wait, what was that there? Was that Fleischer saying the exact same goddamned thing about Iraq in 2003?
These people should be shunned by polite society. Their incapacity for self-reflection, and their inability to process the gravity of what they’ve done, are genuinely frightening character traits. Just go away! F!ck off! You’ve done enough! Thousands of American troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are dead because these chickenhawk lunatics told themselves they knew all there was to know about a region they couldn’t possibly begin to understand. How many more American soldiers are too gravely injured to play in the backyard with their kids? How many still endure sleepless nights, cursed with the memories of what they saw during their time in hell?
None of the Bush liars actually fought these battles, so they’ve slept easy as the wars they started drag on long enough for American kids to serve in them who were not born when they began. For any well-adjusted human adult, this would be a chastening moment, a time to really examine the decisions you’ve made in your life. Certainly, it would be a time not to go on television and advocate for more bombs and bullets. But not for these guys. More stomping around in the Middle East. This time will be different, even if we use the same words. Is it too soon to say Mission Accomplished?”