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Showing posts with label Bob Dylan's "John Brown". Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bob Dylan's "John Brown". Show all posts

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Shields & Brooks And Juan Cole On The Middle East Situation - Adding More From Counterpunch - 1962: Bob Dylan's "John Brown" Fabulous Cover By Phil Doran




Happy New Year and hope ya'll acclimated to the forever freezing cold weather we've been having, I'm still cold despite the forecast of another Santa Ana over the next few days. I have one last Holiday Dinner scheduled for Sunday the 5th to make, a sort of early celebration of "Dia de Los Reyes", then that is it thank goodness. Wait, there's still "Dia de La Candelaria" next month ! But of course just when everyone was somewhat relaxed and renewed, Trump is attempting to pull another fast one in the Middle East. So, we really cannot relax can we ?

In love these guys, this is from last night's broadcast:

 - From PBS: Shields and Brooks On Iran: 

 


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 ~ From Informed Comment - 01/03/19:

Trump Troll-In-Chief, Wags the Impeachment Dog by Going To War With Iran  (with video)
by, Juan Cole


"Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – The madman in the White House has been sulking and raging for weeks about his impeachment proceedings, tweeting manically on some days more than 100 times. With the release by JustSecurity.org of unredacted emails on the Ukraine scandal showing that Trump personally (and illegally) withheld congressionally mandated military aid to an ally, the Republican defense of the president is collapsing. Some GOP senators such as Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski seem to be weakening on calling witnesses and subpoenaing records for the Senate trial, and the Democrats only need four Republican senators to ensure a proper proceeding, which would certainly put Trump’s presidency in peril.


It is extremely suspicious that Trump has abruptly begun trafficking in the sanguinary merchandise of all-out war just at this moment when his throne is on the brink of toppling.


My title is a reference to the 1997 Barry Levinson film, “Wag the Dog,” starring Anne Heche, Dustin Hoffman, and Robert De Niro. Its story line at IMDB is, “After being caught in a scandalous situation days before the election, the president does not seem to have much of a chance of being re-elected. One of his advisers contacts a top Hollywood producer in order to manufacture a war in Albania that the president can heroically end, all through mass media.” Only, Iran is not Albania.


Trump has from the beginning of his presidential campaign appealed to the worst and most fascistic elements in American political life. At a time when the US has no credible peer military rival, he added hundreds of billions of dollars to the Pentagon budget, and the pudgy old chicken hawk lionized war criminals. Up until now, however, Trump shrewdly calculated that his base was tired of wasting blood and treasure on fruitless Middle Eastern wars, and he avoided taking more than symbolic steps. He dropped a big missile on Afghanistan once, and fired some Tomahawk Cruise missiles at Syria. But he drew back from the brink of more extensive military engagements.


Now, by murdering Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Jerusalem (Qods) Brigade of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, Trump has brought the United States to the brink of war with Iran. Mind you, Iran’s leadership is too shrewd to rush to the battlements at this moment, and will be prepared to play the long game. My guess is that they will encourage their allies among Iraqi Shiites to get up a massive protest at the US embassy and at bases housing US troops.


They will be aided in this task of mobilizing Iraqis by the simultaneous US assassination of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Forces. Al-Muhandis is a senior military figure in the Iraqi armed forces, not just a civilian militia figure. Moreover, the Kata’ib Hizbullah that he headed is part of a strong political bloc, al-Fath, which has 48 members in parliament and forms a key coalition partner for the current, caretaker prime minister, Adil Abdulmahdi. Parliament won’t easily be able to let this outrage pass.


The US officer corps is confident that the American troops at the embassy and elsewhere in Baghdad are sufficient to fight off any militia invasion. I’m not sure they have taken into account the possibility of tens of thousands of civilian protesters invading the embassy, who can’t simply be taken out and shot.


Trump may be counting on the unpopularity among the youth protesters in downtown Baghdad, Basra, Nasiriya and other cities of Soleimani and of al-Muhandis to blunt the Iraqi reaction to the murders. The thousands of youth protesters cheered on hearing the news of their deaths, since they were accused of plotting a violent repression of the rallies demanding an end to corruption.


Iraq, however, is a big, complex society, and there are enormous numbers of Iraqi Shiites who support the Popular Mobilization Forces and who view them as the forces that saved Iraq from the peril of the ISIL (ISIS) terrorist organization. The Shiite hard liners would not need all Iraqis to back them in confronting the American presence, only a few hundred thousand for direct crowd action.


You also have to wonder whether Trump and his coterie aren’t planning a coup in Iraq. In the absence of a coup, the Iraqi parliament will almost certainly be forced, after this violation of Iraqi national sovereignty, to vote to expel American troops. This is foreseeable. So either the assassination was a drive-by on the way out, or Trump’s war cabinet doesn’t plan on having to leave Iraq.


Although Trump justified the murder of Soleimani by calling him a terrorist, that is nonsense in the terms of international law. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps is the equivalent of the Iranian National Guard. What Trump did is the equivalent of some foreign country declaring the US military a terrorist organization (some have) and then assassinating General Joseph L. Lengyel, the 28th Chief of the National Guard Bureau (God forbid and may he have a long healthy life).


UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions Agnes Callamard tweeted,





What American corporate media won’t report is that Trump has put Iran under an almost complete economic blockade after breaching the 2015 nuclear accord that the US had signed. That accord removed economic sanctions on Iran in return for it mothballing 80% of its civilian nuclear enrichment program. That agreement could have formed the basis for reintegrating Iran into the world system and greatly reduced the tensions in the region for a generation.


 Although Iran was certified by UN inspectors as abiding by the accord as long as it was in effect, Trump abruptly trashed the agreement. He then not only put the severest economic sanctions on Iran that have ever been applied to any country in peacetime, he went around the world twisting the arms of South Korea, Japan, India, and even China, pressuring them not to buy Iranian oil. There is no UN Security Council resolution imposing economic sanctions on Iran, so this is a rogue unilateral blockade imposed by Trump alone. It has strangled the Iranian economy, and people can’t afford key medicines for loved ones. A naval blockade is considered an act of war in international law, and Trump’s trade embargo is analogous in every way to such a blockade.


I predicted when Trump started doing these things that it would lead to conflict between Iran and the United States in ways that Trump himself could not foresee (people like Trump with narcissism personality disorder cannot empathize with the pain of other people, so Iran is invisible to him). The economic strangulation of Iran was bound to lead to pushback, as with encouraging Iraqi Shiite militias to target Americans, and to an escalation between the two countries.


 If the Middle East now spins out of control, it is on Trump and his desperation to undo every good thing Barack Obama ever accomplished."


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 ~ Latest Brief From Juan Cole, a must read...with video:


BRIEF:

Iranians React After US Strike That Killed Top Commander
Trump Unites Iran and Iraq against the United States


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Edit:

In between making more cranberries for tomorrow...no, these folks are not vegans, they are full on carnivores being treated to grass fed prime rib and you are probably going "Oh Yuck !"...but I could not find any lamb...adding real organic wild rice & green beans, seared potatoes and carrots and a homemade cheesecake, I found more anti-Trump over on Counterpunch:

 ~ From Counterpunch:

After Mossad Targeted Sulemani; Trump Pulled the Trigger 
By, Jefferson Morley 


"Last October Yossi Cohen, head of Israel’s Mossad, spoke openly about assassinating Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, the head of the elite Quds Force in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.


“He knows very well that his assassination is not impossible,” Cohen said in an interview. Soleimani had boasted that the Israel’s tried to assassinate him in 2006 and failed.


“With all due respect to his bluster,” Cohen said, “he hasn’t necessarily committed the mistake yet that would place him on the prestigious list of Mossad’s assassination targets.”



“Is Israel Targeting Iran’s Top General for Assassination?” I asked on October 24. On Thursday, Soleimani was killed in an air strike ordered by President Trump.


Soleimani’s convoy was struck by U.S. missiles as he left a meeting at Baghdad’s airport amid anti-Iranian and anti-American demonstrations in Iraq. Supporters of an Iranian-backed militia had agreed to withdraw from the U.S. diplomatic compound in return for a promise that the government would allow a parliamentary vote on expelling 5,000 U.S. troops from the country.


The Pentagon confirmed the military operation, which came “at the direction of the president” and was “aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.” The Pentagon claimed in a statement that Gen. Soleimani was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.”


Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, under indictment for criminal charges, was the first and only national leader to support Trump’s action, while claiming that that Trump acted entirely on his own.


“Just as Israel has the right to self-defense, the United States has exactly the same right,” Netanyahu told reporters in Greece. “Qassem Soleimani is responsible for the deaths of American citizens and other innocents, and he was planning more attacks.”


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed retaliation for the general’s death,  tweeting that “Iran will take revenge for this heinous crime.”


Soleimani was the most capable foe of the United States and Israel in the region. As chief of the Al-Quds force, Soleimani was a master of Iran’s asymmetric warfare strategy, using proxy forces to bleed Iran’s enemies, while preserving the government’s ability to plausibly deny involvement.


After the U.S. invasions of Iraq, he funded and trained anti-American militias that launched low-level attacks on U.S. occupation forces, killing upward of 600 U.S. servicemen and generating pressure for U.S. withdrawal.


In recent years, Soleimani led two successful Iranian military operations: the campaign to drive ISIS out of western Iraq in 2015 and the campaign to crush the jihadist forces opposed to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. The United States and Israel denounced Iran’s role in both operations but could not prevent Iran from claiming victory.


Soleimani had assumed a leading role in Iraqi politics in the past year. The anti-ISIS campaign relied on Iraqi militias, which the Iranians supported with money, weapons, and training. After ISIS was defeated, these militia maintained a prominent role in Iraq that many resented, leading to demonstrations and rioting. Soleimani was seeking to stabilize the government and channel the protests against the United States when he was killed.


In the same period, Israel pursued its program of targeted assassination. In the past decade Mossad assassinated at least five Iranian nuclear scientists, according to Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman, in an effort to thwart Iran’s nuclear program. Yossi Melman, another Israeli journalist, says that Mossad has assassinated 60-70 enemies outside of its borders since its founding in 1947, though none as prominent as Soleimani.


Israel also began striking at the Iranian-backed militias in Iraq last year. The United States did the same on December 29, killing 19 fighters and prompting anti-American demonstrations as big as the anti-Iranian demonstrations of a month ago.


Now the killing of Soleimani promises more unrest, if not open war. The idea that it will deter Iranian attacks is foolish.


“This doesn’t mean war,” wrote former Defense Department official Andrew Exum, “It will not lead to war, and it doesn’t risk war. None of that. It is war.“​


The Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported a year ago that Washington had given Israel the green light to assassinate Soleimani. Al-Jarida, which in recent years has broken exclusive stories from Israel, quoted a source in Jerusalem as saying that “there is an American-Israeli agreement” that Soleimani is a “threat to the two countries’ interests in the region.” It is generally assumed in the Arab world that the paper is used as an Israeli platform for conveying messages to other countries in the Middle East.


Trump has now fulfilled the wishes of Mossad. After proclaiming his intention to end America’s “stupid endless wars,” the president has effectively declared war on the largest country in the region in solidarity with Israel, the most unpopular country in the Middle East."


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 ~ From Counterpunch: 

Opening Pandora's Box In Iraq (must read, excellente)
by, David Lindorff


The Killing of General Soleimani: Hail Mars ! Hail Pluto ! (another outstanding post)
 by, Matthew Hoh


 ~ More Information Here:

Democracy Now !


 ~ Some of the best: 


The Intercept


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 I'll be back with the year's end stats, and Ed Vulliamy's coverage of Julian Leyzaola.