WTF Community

Iran Iran So Far Away


(David Bythewood) #1

I am opening this up to catalog everything ongoing; this is snowballing rapidly.

Top Senate Democrat Received No Advance Notice Of U.S. Strike On Iran General

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was not aware of the Trump administration’s plan to escalate tensions with Iran by killing Qassem Soleimani, an aide said.

Apparently Eric Trump knew of this, posted about it, then deleted it when he got in trouble.

China and Russia are both major allies of Iran, so starting a war with them is a bad, bad place to go, and yet that may be exactly where we are headed.

And both China and Russia are urging restraint right now. That’s normally our job. We’re the rogue nation here.


And, as always, there is a Trump tweet for everything:
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And here is Dinesh D’Souza stating the Democrats are equivalent to the government of an enemy state… and Trump re-tweeting it.
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Lindsey Graham Claims He Was Briefed About Soleimani Strike During Trump Golf Trip

Pelosi demands briefing on US-Iran strike, Graham says he was informed beforehand

Trump is on a twitter rant defending having Iranian General Qassem Soleimani killed. The argument: “he was a bad man so we’re not sorry he’s gone.” This entirely ignores that the method was illegal, a violation of federal AND international law. Two wrongs do not make a right.

I am posting this article because it is relevant. Trump’s pardoning of war criminals is directly related to these new actions:

Trump pardons people accused of war crimes because he thinks war should be savage

After World War II, the U.S. military rejected the concept of “total war.” Trump embraces it.

That moment where Putin is making excuses for Trump by claiming he was set up by our intelligence community in the murder of Soleimani, just in case the “he was a bad guy, I was totally justified” argument fails.



Also related:

Donald Trump’s Worst Deal

The President helped build a hotel in Azerbaijan that appears to be a corrupt operation engineered by oligarchs tied to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.



And here is Russia telling us we’re breaking the law:


Sen. Tim Kaine Files War Powers Resolution to Prevent War with Iran

This is the claim Pompeo and Trump are making for this assassination. Even if it were true, it would NOT make their actions any more legal.

Planned attacks against U.S. targets in Syria, Lebanon were reason for Soleimani strike, say officials

Targets in Syria under threat included military outposts, officials said. In Lebanon, Soleimani was allegedly planning attacks on diplomatic targets.



Oh look…

Defense Stocks Lockheed Martin, Northrop, Raytheon Rally After U.S. Kills Top Iranian Commander



https://www.investors.com/news/defense-stocks-higher-u-s-kills-top-iranian-commander/

Apparently there are further drone strikes being carried out in Iraq at this very moment.

Airstrikes targeting Iraqi militia reported north of Baghdad, killing five yet-to-be-identified members of an Iran-backed militia.


The chances of this situation de-escalating just suffered a major blow in light of the fact that Trump is not only taunting Iran and boasting of his deeds but carrying out MORE strikes this very moment.



#2

@Windthin

:+1: Title needs work, it’s not technically a war but I like the idea of tracking this new development.
Operation: Nitro Douche?
Just kidding but seriously that title tho.


(David Bythewood) #3

@Pet_Proletariat
I changed it. Your fault entirely. ::ducks::


#4

And Pod :headphones:


#5

The article says we do not yet know who carried out the airstrike. If it was Trump, it would seem he really is determined to get us into a war. But could it have been Iraq? I’m sure we’ll find out soon. Hang on to your hats.

A convoy including Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces was hit by an airstrike early Saturday in north Baghdad, killing and wounding several, according to the PMF.

“The initial report indicates that the strike targeted a convoy belonging to the medical units for the Popular Mobilization Forces, near Taji Stadium in Baghdad,” the PMF said in a statement.

Iraqi state news also reported a strike against the paramilitary forces.

The action comes a day after an airstrike ordered by US President Donald Trump killed a top Iranian commander, Qasem Soleimani, at a Baghdad airport.

It is not yet known who carried out the reported airstrike on Saturday.


(David Bythewood) #6

I have an article on this airstrike above also. It really seems highly likely it was the Trump regime; given the target.


#7

Quick update on the Eric tweet: appears he was retweeting a video of marines arriving at the embassy, not advance notice of the airport strike.


(David Bythewood) #8

It’s a really weird thing to up and delete, though. It looks rather suspicious, him doing that.


(M A Croft) #9

WTF !! Does he expect the rest of the world to jump and say “Whoopie! You lot have just bombed us into a Third World War! Can’t wait to get into it because it will all be over by Xmas” ?

Trump and his cronies have no idea of what a disaster they are and what they have just now created.

Wiser heads around the world are taking stock of this situation, and hoping and praying that wiser heads will prevail in Iran. But the initial response there is that a subdued reaction is going to be unlikely.

Having already trashed the initial Europe and US Agreement with Iran over their Nuclear enrichment program, how can this Trump administration expect the rest to blindly applaud this latest escalation?


#10

As Tensions With Iran Escalated, Trump Opted for Most Extreme Measure

In the chaotic days leading to the death of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s most powerful commander, top American military officials put the option of killing him — which they viewed as the most extreme response to recent Iranian-led violence in Iraq — on the menu they presented to President Trump.

They didn’t think he would take it. In the wars waged since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Pentagon officials have often offered improbable options to presidents to make other possibilities appear more palatable.

After initially rejecting the Suleimani option on Dec. 28 and authorizing airstrikes on an Iranian-backed Shia militia group instead, a few days later Mr. Trump watched, fuming, as television reports showed Iranian-backed attacks on the American Embassy in Baghdad, according to Defense Department and administration officials.

By late Thursday, the president had gone for the extreme option. Top Pentagon officials were stunned.

[…]

General Milley and Mr. Esper traveled on Sunday to Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s Palm Beach resort, a day after officials presented the president with an initial list of options for how to deal with escalating violence against American targets in Iraq.

The options included strikes on Iranian ships or missile facilities or against Iranian-backed militia groups in Iraq. The Pentagon also tacked on the choice of targeting General Suleimani, mainly to make other options seem reasonable.

Mr. Trump chose strikes against militia groups. On Sunday, the Pentagon announced that airstrikes approved by the president had struck three locations in Iraq and two in Syria controlled by the group, Kataib Hezbollah.

Jonathan Hoffman, the chief Pentagon spokesman, said the targets included weapons storage facilities and command posts used to attack American and partner forces. About two dozen militia fighters were killed.

“These were on remote sites,” General Milley told reporters on Friday in his Pentagon office. “There was no collateral damage.”

But the Iranians viewed the strikes as out of proportion to their attack on the Iraqi base and Iraqis, largely members of Iranian-backed militias, staged violent protests outside the American Embassy in Baghdad. Mr. Trump, who aides said had on his mind the specter of the 2012 attacks on the American compound in Benghazi, Libya, became increasingly angry as he watched television images of pro-Iranian demonstrators storming the embassy. Aides said he worried that no response would look weak after repeated threats by the United States.

When Mr. Trump chose the option of killing General Suleimani, top military officials, flabbergasted, were immediately alarmed about the prospect of Iranian retaliatory strikes on American troops in the region. It is unclear if General Milley or Mr. Esper pushed back on the president’s decision.

Over the next several days, the military’s Special Operations Command looked for an opportunity to hit General Suleimani, who operated in the open and was treated like a celebrity in many places he visited in the Middle East. Military and intelligence officials said the strike drew on information from secret informants, electronic intercepts, reconnaissance aircraft and other surveillance tools.

The option that was eventually approved depended on who would greet General Suleimani at his expected arrival on Friday at Baghdad International Airport. If he was met by Iraqi government officials allied with Americans, one American official said, the strike would be called off. But the official said it was a “clean party,” meaning members of Kataib Hezbollah, including its leader, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Mr. Trump authorized the killing at about 5 p.m. on Thursday, officials said.

On Friday, missiles fired from an American MQ-9 Reaper blew up General Suleimani’s convoy as it departed the airport.


(David Bythewood) #11







A big takeaway here is that this has already degraded our ability to combat ISIS, and it’ll only get worse:




And then the conclusion everybody is reaching: this is a distraction.


(David Bythewood) #12

No matter how Trump spins this, it violates the 1973 War Powers Resolution by entirely bypassing congress.

That is, yet again, an impeachable offense.




(David Bythewood) #13

Mike Pence has accused Iran of being tied to 9/11 as justification for this assassination.

This is, of course, a blatant lie, as al-Qaeda was Saudi-backed.

There’s little evidence to support Pence’s tweets tying Qassem Soleimani to 9/11

Pence falsely links Iranian general to 9/11 attacks

Mike Pence shares 9/11 conspiracy theory about Qassem Soleimani in attempt to justify killing

Official 9/11 report undermines vice president’s criticism of killed Iranian general

And in the realm of the truly bizarre…

“Iranian Hackers” Deface US Gov Website With Bloody Trump Photo

And in a developing and strange story that may be related or may not be:




(David Bythewood) #14

So, Trump threatened to commit war crimes.

Trump said ‘Iranian culture’ sites could become military targets, but that could constitute a war crime

Sen. Kamala Harris pens letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, urging him to suspend Pres. Trump’s account for a series of tweets she says violate the website’s terms of the user agreement.



UN resolution 2347 condemns "the unlawful destruction of cultural heritage including the destruction of religious sites."

Protocol I of Geneva Conventions prohibits to "any acts of hostility directed against the historic monuments, places of worship”.

In response, Iran has announced it is pulling out of the nuclear deal that thus far it and Europe had held to despite Trump scuttling it.


Iran Ends Commitment to Landmark Nuclear Deal: Live Updates

The announcement followed a vote in Iraq’s Parliament to expel American troops, in response to the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, a top Iranian commander, in Baghdad.

The Latest: Iran will no longer abide by nuclear deal limits

As noted earlier, our tensions with Iran has been hampering our ability to fight ISIS in Iraq. Getting kicked out entirely is probably a severe downgrade to that situation.

And because of this, Iraq’s parliament has voted to expel the U.S. military from the country.

Iraqi Parliament Votes To Expel U.S. Troops From Country In Wake Of Soleimani Strike

Iraqi Parliament Votes to Expel All American Troops and Submit UN Complaint Against US for Violation of Sovereignty

“What happened was a political assassination. Iraq cannot accept this.”

Iraqi Parliament votes for government to work on plan to end US troop presence in Iraq after Soleimani killing

Also, here’s an excellent argument against the “you’re defending a terrorist” response Trump supporters are pushing:

Some sites are reporting that Iran has placed an $80M bounty on Trump’s head, based on its population. Mainstream sites are not reporting this, only more tabloid-like sites, and Snopes is giving it an iffy, unproven rating. Walk softly with this story:


DHS has the Customs and Border Patrol detaining Iranians, including U.S.-born citizens of Iranian descent, for upwards of 11 hours.






This gives new meaning to the words “twitter war.”

That is not a good thing.
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#15

Excellent (but very long) thread about a couple of details I was unaware of. Posting a few select messages but worth reading the whole thing if you are so inclined:

(he was replying to someone asking about the parliament vote not including all representatives.)

(I realize twitter isn’t always as good as actual news articles but I’m very tired and this is the only way I can digest news at the moment.)


(David Bythewood) #16

I had heard rumors of this peace treaty possibility, but it’s even bigger than I’d heard.

Also:


#17

Axios
Rebecca Falconer

January 5, 2020 11:14 ET

Pelosi announces war powers vote in bid to limit Trump on Iran

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced in a letter Sunday that the House “will introduce and vote on a War Powers Resolution to limit” President Trump’s "military actions regarding Iran."

What she’s saying: In the letter addressed to Democratic colleagues, Pelosi states, “Last week, the Trump Administration conducted a provocative and disproportionate military airstrike targeting high-level Iranian military officials. This action endangered our service members, diplomats and others by risking a serious escalation of tensions with Iran.”

  • The letter continues:

"As Members of Congress, our first responsibility is to keep the American people safe. For this reason, we are concerned that the Administration took this action without the consultation of Congress and without respect for Congress’s war powers granted to it by the Constitution.

This week, the House will introduce and vote on a War Powers Resolution to limit the President’s military actions regarding Iran. This resolution is similar to the resolution introduced by Senator Tim Kaine in the Senate. It reasserts Congress’s long-established oversight responsibilities by mandating that if no further Congressional action is taken, the Administration’s military hostilities with regard to Iran cease within 30 days.

The House Resolution will be led by Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin. Congresswoman Slotkin is a former CIA and Department of Defense analyst specializing in Shia militias. She served multiple tours in the region under both Democratic and Republican Administrations.

I greatly appreciate the solemnity with which all of our Members are working to honor our responsibility to protect American lives and values.

Thank you for your patriotic leadership during this difficult time."


(David Bythewood) #18

The story below that one is worth noting also; Trump is threatening to levy sanctions against IRAQ if they ask us to leave.

Trump warns he may hit Iraq with sanctions, doubles down on Iran threat


#19

Only Trump would think that “be-our-friends-or-else” could be an effective foreign policy.


(David Bythewood) #20

@Keaton_James
And he still fails to understand that sanctions levied by us and only us don’t scare countries. Other nations are not going to back us up in this insanity, and it takes a united front for sanctions to really work.

Iraqi prime minister says Qassem Soleimani was in Iraq to ‘discuss de-escalating tensions between Iran and Saudis’ when he was killed - and claims Trump had asked for help mediating talks after embassy attack

  • Iraq’s caretaker prime minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, told his parliament in Baghdad on Sunday that US strike on Soleimani was a 'political assassination’
  • Abdul Mahdi claimed that Soleimani was due to meet with him on the same day that he was killed by a US drone near the Baghdad airport early on Friday
  • The outgoing Iraqi leader says that Soleimani was supposed to bring him Iran’s response to a Saudi proposal for de-escalating regional tensions
  • Saudi Arabia, a regional rival, blames Iran for an attack on the kingdom’s oil facilities in September
  • Abdul Mahdi also claims that President Trump called him and asked him to mediate talks with Iran after the US embassy in Baghdad was nearly overrun
  • Supporters of the Shiite group Kataib Hezbollah scaled the walls and barreled through security at the US embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday
  • Abdul Mahdi said he personally intervened to defuse the embassy crisis and that the American president thanked him for doing so
    Soleimani was in Iraq to 'discuss de-escalating tensions with Saudis' when he was killed, PM says | Daily Mail Online

Saudi Arabia says it was not consulted on Soleimani strike, urges calm

Kingdom, vulnerable to possible reprisal attacks after American drone strike targeting top Iranian general, reportedly sending prince to US, UK to plead for restraint