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Russian soldiers at funeral of Gen. Soleimani of Iran

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Trump was panting heavily, like Darth Vader on the Death Star. The mike was too close to his mouth. His laboured speech and strange look did not match the comforting words as he spoke to the American people. But the meaning was clear: the world sheriff had received a ringing slap in the face. First time ever, a regional power brazenly shelled a superpower’s air base, hiding not in the shadows of deniability. Trump was given two choices: to rush forward furiously berserker-style or to smile piteously and say: “It doesn’t hurt at all.” He chose the second option, which can only be approved.

This situation had mirrored the Syrian incident, when Trump fired Tomahawks (after having a beauuutiful chocolate cake with Chairman Xi), and the Syrians responded that the missiles missed the goal. This time, Trump was in the place of Assad. It was a powerful anti-climax: talking heads expected Trump to completely annihilate Iran. Let us hope that this embarrassment for the Lord of (half) the Universe will provide him a useful exercise in humility.

In both cases, the debacle was not the end of the story. After and despite Trump’s shelling, Assad regained 80 percent of Syrian territory. After Iranian shelling, there was a murky Ukrainian airliner disaster and riots in Tehran. Moreover, the assassination was not the beginning: the naval drills of Russia, China and Iran preceded it.

As this episode is behind us and has not led to a third world war or a large-scale regional conflict, we can carry out a short debriefing. The assassination of Soleimani turned out to be ‘worse than a crime, a mistake’, in Talleyrand’s adage. The Russians and the Chinese branded it with a rare word from Marxist vocabulary, ‘adventurism’.

Even Israelis, who rarely shy away from taking risks, gave a short sharp gasp when they learned (on short notice) of the coming assassination. Amnon Abramovich, a knowledgeable man, said Mossad toyed with the idea, and they could kill Soleimani any time since 2008; but considered it too audacious by half. Indeed Israelis had practiced more political assassinations than anybody since The Old Man of the Mountain, but the results were underwhelming. Who remembers the previous bosses of Hezbollah and Hamas? They were killed by Jews, but their successors were even worse for Israel.

There were no regrets in Israel. Netanyahu blessed Trump’s arms, and a leading journalist Ehud Yaari said Soleimani was the worst and most dangerous enemy of Israel since 1948. Still there was not a single attempt to claim the feat for Mossad. NBC said that ‘Intelligence from Israel helped confirm the details’, but there was no high preparedness for Iranian vengeance, for there was no place for vengeance at all: Israel didn’t participate in the assassination, by experts’ account.

While Israel prefers to stay on the margin, the Israeli lobby is much more aggressive. They want to fight Iran like a teenager wants petting. Long ago, in 2006, they convinced Israeli army to enter fight in Lebanon, intending to continue to Syria and Iran. It did not work out well. Since then, Israel Lobby wants war, while Israel wants to keep outside, while encouraging pro-war elements in the US.

The Lobby supported Mike Pompeo, a former CIA officer and now secretary of state, and he convinced the cornered president Trump that this assassination would improve his position with the voters, and even Adam Schiff, his chief Nemesis, would applaud as a good Israeli patriot and forget all about impeachment.

Nothing of the kind happened. Jingoist Americans would approve of any bomb strike, it’s true, but the Democrats are even more prone to war and violence than the Republicans. The more competent and authentic Trump voters had supported Trump, who promised to end unnecessary Middle Eastern wars. And here is such an affront. “Hillary Clinton would have bombed Iran even faster and more decisively, as she bombed Libya,” they murmured in consolation, but it did not console them completely. The Democrats – opponents of Trump – condemned the president, saying that Soleimani was, of course, an enemy of America, but now it was not the right time to kill him.

However, the main negative (for the US) consequences were the events in Iraq. Despite the fantasy that all Shia Muslims are pro-Iranian; many Iraqis, both Sunni and Shia, have an anti-Iranian animus. They have a painful memory of Iran-Iraq war; and they prefer a secular state to the Iranian model. This difference of opinions could help the US to play its hand in Iraq for long time after its conquest. But all Iraqis, Shia and Sunni, pro-Iranian and anti-Iranian were indignant at the uncouth and rude way Trump disregarded the opinions of Iraqi authorities, killing the local hero Soleimani on their territory while he acted as intermediary between Saudis and their neighbours.

Muqtada al-Sadr, an important Iraqi Shiite leader who is considered rather pro-American and anti-Iranian, demanded that the American embassy and the entire American occupation army be driven out of Iraq. The Iraqi parliament also made a similar demand – to cease the activities of the pro-American coalition and proceed with the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, though the Americans considered the parliament being tame and obedient.

The deputies were told by the Iraqi Prime Minister about the hidden causes of the internal crisis. As you may recall, last year there were riots in Iraq, and some four hundred protesters had lost their lives. On December 1, 2019 Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi had to resign. (In practice, he continues to “temporarily fulfil the duties of the prime minister,” and in that capacity, he spoke in parliament.)


He said that the United States demanded that he give them half of all Iraqi oil to compensate for the reconstruction of Iraq, which suffered a lot – first from the American invasion and occupation, and then from the militants of the Islamic State. He said he refused to do this and gave the order for reconstruction to China, who did not demand such a large fee. (While the story is not fully verified, Abdel-Mahdi indeed visited China just before the riots).

According to the prime minister, Trump was annoyed, saying it’s a pity, that President George W. Bush did not take all Iraqi oil as trophies and in payment for liberating the Iraqi people from the villain Saddam Hussein; and if the prime minister does not change his mind, the people will overthrow him.

And what would you think – indeed, an uprising soon started in Iraq, and the protesters began to die from sniper bullets. “They were third-party snipers – the American marines, they killed both policemen and demonstrators,” the prime minister said. He added: “When I first mentioned the third force — the snipers — I received a call from Washington and was threatened with death. Therefore, I resigned.”

After his speech, parliament quickly voted for grounding and subsequent withdrawal of the pro-American forces. (It is a pity that the Ukrainian Maidan did not hear this speech, for they also suffered from ‘third party snipers’).

This was the biggest damage to Trump and the United States from the killing of Soleimani. If the Americans will withdraw, it would be possible to say that Soleimani, by his death, achieved what he could not achieve in his whole life, namely, to drive the Americans out of the region. After all, after leaving Iraq, they could not have stayed in Syria.

However this desired result – the end of the American occupation – is still far away. The US began to send embarrassing signals: “We are leaving”, “It was a mistake – we are not leaving”, “We are leaving, and we do not need your oil, but you will regret it.” These three responses were received by the Iraqi authorities in three days.

According to some indications, the Americans are going to strengthen their presence in Iraqi Kurdistan, the northern third of Iraq. They may try to tear it off, make it “independent” from Baghdad and completely subjugate it. And Kurdish militants always fall into an Israeli or American trap.

To sum it up: Iran took a bold and risky step, striking an American military base. Many expected the US response to be scary. But in this case, the risk paid off. The Iranian leadership avenged Soleimani, showed that it can strike at the Americans, undermined American prestige in the region and in the world.

In life, unlike boxing, knockouts are rare. The United States will not disappear, Iran will not disappear, and Iraq and other participants in the events will not disappear. But in this round, the Iranians win on points.

Russia played its game cautiously – it did not speak out in vain, and did not allow the enemies of Russia in Washington to blame everything on it. Russia condemned the killing of Soleimani. At the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, the commander of the operation of the Russian armed forces in Syria, Alexander Chaiko, paid the last respects to General Qassem Soleimani and laid two wreaths: from the Russian Armed Forces and from the Russian Armed Forces in Syria (on the photo).

Russia appreciates its allies, as Soleimani’s soldiers and Russian soldiers fought side by side. While the US despises its former allies – after all, Soleimani was also their ally during the fight against ISIS, but this did not help him. The alliance did not help the Kurds of Syria (the Kurds of Iraq are already preparing to step on the same rake).

Therefore, in Iraq, they are increasingly talking about the possibility of concluding allied relations with Russia when and if the Americans leave, and even try on the S-400, this symbol of Russian support.

The Ukrainian airliner

The Ukrainian airliner disaster immediately had changed the tune of the MSM. It became the new Iranian ‘atrocity’, to condemn Iran for. Only alternative media remembered the US forces shooting down the Iranian airliner during the tension in the Gulf. But even the Unz Review authors did not remember the cruel fate of the Libyan airliner shot down by Israelis. It went completely down the memory hole.

Iran promptly admitted that the passenger jet had been misidentified as a cruise missile flying over Tehran and shot down by mistake. This quick admission had caused some observers to refer to a secret deal between Iranians and the US. The crash could not be investigated with such a speed. However, perhaps Iranian authorities wanted to have this story over as soon as possible.

There were riots in Tehran following the disaster; the rioters condemned the government and called for death to the leaders. Probably you won’t be surprised to hear that the UK Ambassador had been detained among the rioters. He did what Mrs Nuland did in Kiev: encouraged the rioters.

One of the more potent weapons of the Empire is their reservoir of potential rebels. You name a country; they have their own rebels ready to rise. Now, there are plenty of dissatisfied folk everywhere; but unaffiliated rebels have hard time, as we see now in France. The rebels approved by the Empire revolt while keeping their eyes on a Nobel Peace Prize or on Yale grant.

It is still possible that the chain of events started by killing of General Soleimani will end with an American victory over Tehran, and the domino of Moscow and Beijing will fall, while Israel will rise and rise. However, nothing is predestined. We still are masters of free will.

This is true regarding President Trump. Iranian developments won’t help the embattled president. If he will begin withdrawing his troops home from the Middle East before the elections, he will regain trust of his voters; the US won’t be conceived an illegal occupier; and he will be re-elected. As far as we understand, there are two streams within the US administration regarding the withdrawal. Probably a single best decision of Trump would be to dump Mike Pompeo to the heap where John Bolton had found his refuge. But will he?

Israel Shamir can be reached at [email protected]

This article was first published at The Unz Review.

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  1. I appreciate your inclusion of snipers, in your article, as a tactical weapon during public demonstrations. This is also exposed as textbook black operations in Operation Northwoods and Gladio style activities in South and Central America. It also brings to mind the extraordinary coincidental appearance of the John Muhammad sniper team in and around Washington D.C. during the run up to the Iraq invasion in early 2003.

    • Replies: @KA
  2. what a silly essay:

    ZOG-stooge Drumpf beheaded Iran’s military with

    a coup de main. And Iran’s only response was to

    flip off a few missiles that didn’t harm a flea, and then

    shoot down an airliner 5 minutes after it took off from Tehran airport.

    big, big win for Israhell and the ‘Murkan ZOG. Yeah,

    it’s true that the Iraqi’s then told ‘Murkan Imperial Stormtroops to go home,

    thus making it clear that Iraq is a ZOG-occupied country. But

    we already knew that.

    • Replies: @NPleeze
  3. joe2.5 says:

    there was not a single attempt to claim the feat for Mossad

    Of course there wouldn’t be. The whole point is to have the US take all the blame.

    There is no evidence, as far a anyone can see, that excludes this typically Zionist operation having been performed exclusively by the Zionist entity, with the forced assent of their puppets in USGov, who were left holding the bag — and Trump’s crowing to make that more credible.

    The Iranians are absolutely right when they say reprisals should hit the Zionist entity first.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  4. Hossein says:

    Connecting the struggles of demonstrators in Iran and Iraq to Zionist and Imperialist plans is disgraceful for it insults the 1500 murdered in Iran by the Mullas and likes of Suleimani and the more than 600 in Iraq by the sectrian deathsquads.

    The Iraqis do not want neither the presence or influence of Persian neo colonialism nor the imperial powers . their cries ,tears and death of more than 600 is proof of that. the slogan of Iran out reverberates daily in Tahrir square and in particular in the Shia south. The era of greater Persia and the plan to annex Iraq and subjugate Iraqis as Komeini dreamed of is coming to an end.
    Komeini’s plan for the Arabs was the same as Hertzl’s but cunningly and shrewedly used religious sectarianism, Shia VS Sunni to tear societies apart in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

    On the other side , in Iran, Iranians of different ethnicities, from the Kurd to Baluchis and Arabs in the south west have become increasingly restless due to ethnic marginalization and also economical depredation and poverty. The mullas and their grand plan not only ruined the economy but seem to have set the stage for balkanization of the country for they are more ethnically chauvinist than even the dreaful king of kings ,the Shah.
    No matter how much santization is used to erase the crimes of the mullas and their minions their legacy has been nothing but a disaster both for Iran and the rest of the middle east.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
    , @bjondo
  5. ‘… If he will begin withdrawing his troops home from the Middle East before the elections, he will regain trust of his voters; the US won’t be conceived an illegal occupier; and he will be re-elected…’

    He could only do this if the Israel Lobby didn’t have their claw clamped firmly on his testicles.

    I suspect they do have their claw clamped firmly on his testicles.

  6. @joe2.5

    ‘there was not a single attempt to claim the feat for Mossad

    Of course there wouldn’t be. The whole point is to have the US take all the blame.’

    The distinction is academic in any case. If I sic my dog on your child, does it make a difference that the dog bit your child, not me?

  7. Actually, what might be most appropriate might be if the Iranians invited Pompeo to Tehran for talks — and then shot him.

    We’d have a hard time arguing there was anything unfair about that.

    • LOL: Curmudgeon
  8. utu says:

    “Still there was not a single attempt to claim the feat for Mossad.”

    REVEALED: Israeli intelligence helped US carry out Soleimani’s assassination ‘by confirming which flight he took to Iraq’ – and PM Benjamin Netanyahu was the ‘only American ally told about the mission’

  9. Jeshurun Tsarfat [AKA "JT"] says: • Website

    I am no friend of Iran, its retarded Islamic regime, its Ayatollahs. I take a general Zionist line on its future. I think its people deserve better. The shoot-down is the result of the regimes unwillingness to shut-down civilian traffic. The fault likely lies entirely on Teheran, but should all subterfuge be ruled out a priori?

    BAE Suter system is designed to disrupt enemy radar systems, including by manipulating what technicians seen on the screen. A lot of discussions of EW technology suggests this intention pursued by several companies world-wide. Israel experimented with such techniques in the Syrian theater as Richard Gasparre reported.

    There are some startling inconsistencies in the videos circulating on the internet. The first video, which the media claimed as proof of shoot-down, was summarily changed for another, even on outlets like Sputniknews, with no mention of this change. This “original” video didn’t show any impact. It showed something exploding from the plane’s body. Was this a video of Metrojet Flight 9268 (Sinai Russian 2015)?

    Videos showing two glowing points – plane and missile – appear redacted. In a still third video the plane is a ball of fire, while in others, there is no change to the glow-effect before supposed impact and after.

    Begging the question, can online vids be trusted. Who is posting them? Who can vouch for the location? Time and date? How does anyone know they are not from Yemen, Syria? Does a dog bark in Farsi? (i.e.” dog bark video” is currently the reference video of the shooting).

    Tweaked videos suggest other forms of “proof” can be faked as well. Was Iran’s military spoofed? The numskull who pushed the button couldn’t get in touch with his superiors – who were better placed to deescalate (theoretically they were the ones kept abreast of civilian air traffic). Talk about coincidence.

    I don’t think Trump does anything on impulse, and his decision not to hit Iran with missiles, may have taken downing of flight into account. The regime takes responsibility, but it has not provided the black boxes, rocket number (from inventory), nor accounted for technical failures of its command and control. It has a lot of explaining to do, but runs the risk of exposing some of its systemic weaknesses.

    I am not saying there was American, UK, or Israeli radar interference precipitating the shoot-down. Iran has accepted responsibility. I am sharing a few puzzling observations, which suggest that an electronic warfare scenario can’t be ruled out.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  10. KA says:
    @Frank Frivilous

    “ the John Muhammad sniper team in and around Washington D.C. during the run up to the Iraq “

    This was a black operation by deep neocon infested state.

  11. @Hossein

    How’s the weather in Tel Aviv?

  12. @Jeshurun Tsarfat

    I have asked the same questions myself. There were early reports that the communications system failed, which would include the transponder. No transponder signal = no corresponding flight plan = hostile intent. The plane was fresh out of maintenance. Was something done there? Recall that the Madrid train bombings all occurred at first stop locations, straight out of overnight maintenance.
    How does it all fit in with the recently “defected” Ukrainian SBU whistleblower Vasily Prozorov, and his revelations about MH-17?
    The psychopaths in charge have never cared how many innocent people die, as long as the program continues.

    • Agree: Jeshurun Tsarfat
  13. bjondo says:

    I’ve heard there is a BS jar
    in Telaviv Yid use for comments.

    Put hand in, take BS out, post.

    Your comment suggests
    rumor hit the nail on the head.


  14. NPleeze says:
    @Haxo Angmark

    didn’t harm a flea

    That’s funny, US military admits to at least 11 injuries. So I assume some ants and fleas were harmed as well – maybe even some earthworms and crickets.

  15. Anastasia says:

    Can’t anyone telephone abdel- mahdi and ask him directly if he said all those things attributed to him in parliament. I have no doubt that in his second term trump will bring us to war with Iran. Eventually we will turn on the saudis as well. Right now they and govts like Jordan are needed. So obvious they are slowly building a greater Israel. And if America turns on Israel a Russian ally will always be waiting in the wings as israel’s Next best friend

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