OMG! At this point, Agent Orange has no choice but to retaliate or look like a talking buffoon. Way to go imbecile. Notice that just as he was impeached he found a reason to finally go to war, on his last term of office? What is it with these narcissistic psychopaths that always want to leave a destiny behind? All they leave is a trail of blood and tragedy for all. Buffoons like Trump are slowing down the evolution of the species.
The injured are in stable condition and are being evacuated at the moment, the statement said.
Camp Simba that host US and local troops came under attack on Sunday morning. The naval base is located in Manda Bay in Lamu County on Kenya’s coast, bordering Somalia.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of our teammates who lost their lives today,” US Army General Stephen Townsend said in the statement.
The general promised to “pursue those responsible” for the attack and prevent al-Shabaab jihadists from creating a “safe haven” in Africa.
The attack on the military base included “indirect and small arms fire.” Though the jihadists made it through the perimeter, they were repelled by forces within the base. Six contractor aircraft vehicles were damaged “to some degree” in the attack.
Established in 2004, Camp Simba is used by the US to train Kenyan naval units, and is believed to play an important role in American operations in Somalia and Yemen, including drone strikes.
Kenyan troops participate in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which is aimed at supporting the Somalian government in its fight against Al-Shabaab.
Even before he was buried, Iranian General Qasem Soleimani had to endure a second assassination at the hands of the Americans; besmirching his character and military history.
U.S. President Trump declared the “world’s number-one terrorist” had been “caught” and “terminated” by American forces when they launched an airstrike on Soleimani’s motorcade at Baghdad airport on Friday, January 3. The leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force was blown to pieces, his body later identified only from a distinctive red-stone ring he wore on his left hand.
At least six other members of the convoy were also killed including Abud Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). The PMF are an officially recognized component of the Iraq national defense forces, which the U.S. is supposedly allied with.
Soleimani and Al-Muhandis were revered in Iran and Iraq, and across the Middle East, for their masterful defeat of the Islamic State terror group and its multiple al Qaeda offshoots. Iran and Iranian-backed militia were crucial in the routing of the al Qaeda-linked terror network in Iraq and Syria.
Soleimani was also feted as a national hero in Iran for his courageous leadership during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88).
Now, according to the Trump administration, the Iranian general was no different from the dead leaders of Al Qaeda and Islamic State, Osama bin Laden and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Trump boasted that the world was safer (again) because he had ordered the killing of Soleimani.
“Let this be a warning to terrorists: if you value your own life, you will not threaten the lives of our citizens,” Trump declared hours after the assassination. He bracketed Soleimani’s death with “these monsters”, saying the Iranian commander had “a sick passion for killing innocent people”.
Heaping insult upon insult, Trump told evangelical Christian supporters in Florida that the U.S. “did not war” but rather was seeking “a world of peace and harmony”. The president said he authorized the killing of Soleimani in order to “prevent war” with Iran.
That authorization was given from his luxury beach mansion at Mar-a-Lago in Florida while he reportedly ate dinner of meatloaf and ice cream with a close circle of friends.
Trump claimed he had received “actionable intelligence” that Soleimani was preparing plots to kill hundreds of American diplomats and troops across the Middle East. That’s just U.S. intel voodoo logic for which evidence is never presented. He also said the Iranian general was responsible for “thousands” of American troop deaths and the death of “millions” of innocent people. That’s plain slander.
Depicting General Qasem Soleimani as a terrorist is the logical step in the American propaganda narrative that demonizes Iran as the “world’s top terror sponsor”. But that narrative is as bogus as American claims of virtue. The need to assassinate Soleimani’s character stems from the need for the Trump administration to justify its barbaric act of murder.
Trump’s claims about eradicating terrorists and his single-handed defeat of the IS caliphate in Syria and Iraq is the really “sick passion” here.
If it wasn’t for the strategic intervention of Iran led by Soleimani, as well as that of Russia, the war in Syria would have expanded the terror caliphate in that country and Iraq, and no doubt to other countries in the Middle East.
It was illegal U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – killing over one million people and destroying whole societies – that forged the pandemic disease of terrorism across the region. The Americans and their allies have utilized these terror groups for regime change operations.
Soleimani was not a mastermind of terrorism, as his American detractors allege. He was a mastermind of legitimate resistance against American illegal occupation and state-sponsored terrorism in the Middle East. The defeat of Islamic State and their assorted proxies in Syria and Iraq exposed the dirty war that the U.S. had orchestrated and its shambolic, hypocritical claims about “fighting terrorism”.
In a mark of respect, Russia’s Ministry of Defense paid homage to General Soleimani for his contribution to defeating terror groups in Syria and Iraq.
That is why Soleimani became such a hate-figure for Washington. He had thwarted the American imperialist agenda for subjugating the region according to its strategic desires.
Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are absurdly saying the U.S. doesn’t want a war with Iran. Pompeo has even said the White House is “trying to de-escalate tensions” with Tehran.
With cloying disingenuousness, the president said: “I’ve deep respect for the Iranian people – they are a remarkable people with an incredible heritage and unlimited potential. We do not seek regime change. However, the Iranian regime’s aggression in the region, including the use of proxy fighters to destabilize its neighbors, must end and it must end now.”
Iranian regime’s aggression? This from a U.S. regime that is simultaneously bombing several countries, has tens of thousand of troops in the region, uses strangulating economic sanctions/warfare, rips up international arms control agreements, and has the blood of millions on its hands.
Hawkish former National Security Advisor John Bolton congratulated Trump over the assassination of Soleimani as the first step towards regime change.
Another hawkish acolyte Senator Lindsey Graham helped formulate the logic of war escalation, by stating: “If Iran continues to attack America and our allies, they should pay the heaviest of prices, which includes the destruction of their oil refineries.”
The U.S. under Donald Trump is caught up fatally in its own delusions and web of propaganda lies. A nation whose leader celebrates murder while attending an ecstatic church meeting is a nation that is doomed.
Iraq is the preferred battleground of a proxy war against Iran that may now metastasize into hot war, with devastating consequences.
It does not matter where the green light for the U.S. targeted assassination in Baghdad of Quds Force commander Major General Qassem Soleimani and the Hashd al-Shaabi second-in-command Abu Madhi al-Muhandis came from.
This is an act of war. Unilateral, unprovoked and illegal.
President Donald Trump may have issued the order. The U.S. Deep State may have ordered him to issue the order. Or the usual suspects may have ordered them all.
According to my best Southwest Asia intel sources, “Israel gave the U.S. the coordinates for the assassination of Qassem Soleimani as they wanted to avoid the repercussions of taking the assassination upon themselves.”
It does not matter that Trump and the Deep State are at war.
One of the very few geopolitical obsessions that unite them is non-stop confrontation with Iran – qualified by the Pentagon as one of five top threats against the U.S., almost at the level of Russia and China.
And there cannot be a more startling provocation against Iran — in a long list of sanctions and provocations — than what just happened in Baghdad. Iraq is now the preferred battleground of a proxy war against Iran that may now metastasize into hot war, with devastating consequences.
We knew it was coming. There were plenty of rumbles in Israeli media by former military and Mossad officials. There were explicit threats by the Pentagon. I discussed it in detail in Umbria last week with sterling analyst Alastair Crooke – who was extremely worried. I received worried messages from Iran.
The inevitable escalation by Washington was being discussed until late Thursday night here in Palermo, actually a few hours before the strike. (Sicily, by the way, in the terminology of U.S. generals, is AMGOT: American Government Occupied Territory.)
Once again, the Exceptionalist hands at work show how predictable they are. Trump is cornered by impeachment. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been indicted. Nothing like an external “threat” to rally the internal troops.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei knows about these complex variables as much as he knows of his responsibility as the power who issued Iran’s own red lines. Not surprisingly he already announced, on the record, there will be blowback: “a forceful revenge awaits the criminals who have his blood and the blood of other martyrs last night on their hands.” Expect it to be very painful.
Blowback by a Thousand Cuts
I met al-Muhandis in Baghdad two years ago — as well as many Hashd al-Shaabi members. Here is my full report. The Deep State is absolutely terrified that Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces), a grassroots organization, are on the way to becoming a new Hezbollah, and as powerful as Hezbollah. Grand Ayatollah Sistani, the supreme religious authority in Iraq, universally respected, fully supports them.
So, the American strike also targets Sistani — not to mention the fact that Hash al-Shaabi operates under guidelines issued by the Iraqi Prime Minister Abdel Mahdi. That’s a major strategic blunder that can only be pulled off by amateurs.
Major General Soleimani, of course, humiliated the whole of the Deep State over and over again — and could eat all of them for breakfast, lunch and dinner as a military strategist. It was Soleimani who defeated ISIS/Daesh in Iraq — not the Americans bombing Raqqa to rubble. Soleimani is a super-hero of almost mythical status for legions of young Hezbollah supporters, Houthis in Yemen, all strands of resistance fighters in both Iraq and Syria, Islamic Jihad in Palestine, and all across Global South latitudes in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
There’s absolutely no way the U.S. will be able to maintain troops in Iraq, unless the nation is re-occupied en masse via a bloodbath. And forget about “security”: no imperial official or imperial military force is now safe anywhere, from the Levant to Mesopotamia and the Persian Gulf.
The only redeeming quality out of this major strategic blunder cum declaration of war may be the final nail in the coffin of the Southwest Asia chapter of the U.S. Empire of Bases. Iranian Prime Minister Javad Zarif came out with an appropriate metaphor: the “tree of resistance” will continue to grow. The empire might as well say goodbye to Southwest Asia.
In the short term, Tehran will be extremely careful in their response. A hint of — harrowing — things to come: it will be blowback by a thousand cuts. As in hitting the Exceptionalist framework — and mindset — where it really hurts. This is the way the Roaring, Raging Twenties begin: not with a bang, but with the release of whimpering dogs of war.
The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.
Dear bloody Americans, get out of Iraq, stay away from Iran, and come to think of it, get out of North America as well! The world is sick of your shit, lies, and propaganda.
The resolution, which was passed anonymously, instructs the government to cancel a request for military assistance to the US-led coalition, which was issued in response to the rise of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). With IS supposedly defeated, Iraq will not need foreign troops to fight the jihadists and can close its airspace to coalition aircraft.
The Iraqi government must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason.
According to Press TV, some Western military presence may remain for training purposes. The resolution says Iraqi military leadership has to report the number of foreign instructors that are necessary for Iraqi national security.
Baghdad will also turn to the UN Security Council with complaints about US violations of its sovereignty, the legislators decided.
Speaking at an emergency parliament session on Sunday, Iraq’s caretaker PM said the American side notified the Iraqi military about the planned airstrike minutes before it was carried out. He stressed that his government denied Washington permission to continue with the operation.
Despite the internal and external difficulties that we might face, it remains best for Iraq on principle and practically.
Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Force, were killed by a drone strike as their convoy was leaving Baghdad International Airport on Friday morning.
The interim prime minister said after the incident that it was clear it was in the interest of both the US and Iraq to end the presence of foreign forces on Iraqi soil.
Mahdi said Soleimani was on his way to meet him when the US airstrike killed the Iranian general.
Influential Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr stated in a letter that Iraq should go further and shut down the US embassy.
Washington claims the assassination of Soleimani was an act of self-defense justified by his planning of attacks on American citizens. Tehran called it international terrorism and vowed to avenge the popular military officer.
In the wake of the attack the US advised all American civilians to leave Iraq. The US-led coalition troops in Iraq have also suspended all training operations and hunkered down at fortified bases, bracing for retaliatory strikes.
Over the last 48 hours I’ve been splitting my free time between (A) learning as much as I possibly can about the US assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and (B) arguing with people online who are uncritically swallowing US government claims about why that assassination was necessary. I always engage such political debates because they’re a valuable source of information on what propaganda narratives people are buying into, and therefore which propaganda narratives need to be addressed.
What has been made abundantly clear from this particular engagement is that those who have bought into the Trump administration’s completely unsubstantiated claims about Soleimani are sincerely unaware that they have unquestioningly bought into unsubstantiated US government narratives. People tend to get their information from tightly insulated echo chambers, and if you inhabit an echo chamber that supports the current president all you’ll get is a bunch of officials, pundits and reporters saying in a confident-sounding tone of voice that Soleimani needed to be taken out. Since they’re surrounded by chatter affirming that Soleimani had attacked America and/or posed an imminent threat in the near future, they assume that chatter must be based on some actual facts in evidence.
It is not.
This is very telling. I have read every single reply. Not one produced even the slightest shred of indication that he posed an imminent threat to the US.
Seriously, Stalin himself would’ve been proud of such a display of blind, unflinching acceptance of the deep state narrative. https://twitter.com/caitoz/status/1213591198465544193 …Caitlin Johnstone @caitoz
Show me your very best evidence that Soleimani posed an imminent threat to Americans and needed to be taken out immediately. Bonus points if you can explain how the evidence you provide rises to the level of proof required in a post-Iraq invasion world.
When I speak out online against Trump’s act of war on Iran and interact one-on-one with those who object to what I’m saying, the disparity between what they think they know and what they actually know gets very quickly highlighted. Simply by my challenging people to prove the claims that they are making about Soleimani planning to attack Americans, attacking a US embassy, directing a strike that allegedly killed a mysteriously unnamed US contractor in Iraq, killing hundreds of US soldiers in Iraq, that he’s a “terrorist”, etc, they quickly realize that they have literally no evidence for their claims beyond the unsubstantiated assertions of US government officials and people who unquestioningly repeated those assertions.
And from there I just ask them, “How well has uncritically swallowing US government narratives about the need for military action worked out for you in the past?”
Nobody wants to admit that they are doing such a thing, least of all a Trump supporter who’s poured plenty of mental energy into distancing this administration from the previous Republican occupant of the White House. But that is indeed exactly what they are doing: uncritically swallowing baseless claims by US government officials about the need to advance a pre-existing military agenda, in a way that is indistinguishable from the cult-like behavior of Bush supporters in the lead-up to the Iraq invasion.
Donald J. Trump
….hundreds of Iranian protesters. He was already attacking our Embassy, and preparing for additional hits in other locations. Iran has been nothing but problems for many years. 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!
In reality, there’s no evidence for any of the reasons we’ve been offered for why Iran needed to be provoked into an almost inevitable retaliation that Trump is currently tweeting will result in all-out war:
We are being lied to, yet again, about yet another war on yet another geostrategically crucial Middle Eastern nation. And a huge percentage of the population is marching right along with it. When Iran retaliates for Soleimani’s assassination, these propagandized sheep will be herded by the political/media class into believing that the attack was completely unprovoked. And if their credulity thus far is any indication, they’ll swallow the whole load without so much as a twinge of gag reflex.
The US government has a very extensively documented history of lying to advance pre-existing military agendas. This is an entirely indisputable fact. It’s been universally true from generation to generation, from administration to administration, and from political party to political party. The Afghanistan Papers came out just a few weeks ago further documenting this already conclusively established fact. Anyone who just accepts US government assertions about the need for military force without a mountain of independently verifiable proof is, to put it nicely, a complete fucking idiot.
The demand for proof would be normal even if the entity in question didn’t have an extensive history of lying about these things, because, as anyone with even a cursory understanding of logic already knows, the burden of proof is always on the party making the claim. When it comes to incalculably important matters like life and death, demanding that the burden of proof be met is just being a sensible human being.
Add in the fact that the US government is known to lie constantly about these matters, and believing its current claims about Soleimani makes as much sense as believing a known compulsive liar who has deceived you many times when he tells you it’s urgent that you go murder your neighbor right this instant.
Debating the current Iran situation, then, is simply a matter of holding the unassailable positions that (A) the US government lies constantly, and (B) the burden of proof is on the party making the claim. In a post-Iraq invasion world, the level of proof required is very, very high, and the Trump administration has taken no steps whatsoever to even providing anything that could qualify as evidence.
People will often try to get around this unassailable argument by contending “Well where is your proof that they’re lying?” This is called shifting the burden of proof, and it is a logical fallacy.
I lay this all out not because I expect the US government to suddenly begin conducting itself rationally or providing proof of its claims that rises to the level required in a post-Iraq invasion world, but because streamlining our thinking in this way helps to avoid confusion in a landscape that is saturated with propaganda and its mindless regurgitators.
The only sane response to US government claims about the need for military force is intense skepticism. If US government officials begin telling us that something happened necessitating military intervention, your default assumption should always, always, always be that they are lying. And you should hold that position until the (highly unlikely and historically unprecedented) event that conclusive, independently verifiable proof of their claims is provided.
No changes were made after the Iraq invasion to keep the US government from ever again deceiving Americans into war. No new laws were made, no policies changed, no war crimes tribunals were held; no one was even fired. This is because they had every intention of doing it again. And now here’s the US government again spouting lies about why it was necessary to initiate war with another Middle Eastern nation. And people are swallowing it hook, line and sinker.
The more skepticism we can encourage toward current deceptions about Iran, the easier it will be to encourage skepticism about the next wave of escalations, which make no mistake are absolutely on their way. Spread the word.
Special for LewRockwell.com
The US drone strike at Baghdad airport that killed Iran’s top commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and a senior leader of Iraq’s Shia militia, has set the Mideast on fire. The Trump administration, which authorized the assassination, called it a ’pre-emptive’ strike. Iran branded it ‘outright murder.’
Soleimani was Iran’s second most powerful figure and a national icon. He headed up the Quds Force, the elite branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, a key player in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and the Gulf region. Soleimani was also the most capable, intelligent and effective military leader in a region of third rate generals.
The 62-year-old general distinguished himself in the long Iraq-Iran War, the dirty war in Lebanon, and operations in Iraq. He played a key role in defeating the ultra-radical Islamic State movement in Iraq, working in tandem with the US. Soleimani helped turn the tide of battle in Syria, saving the regime of Bashar Assad.
As a result of his battlefield and political successes, Soleimani earned the enmity of the US, Israel and the US media. So many assassination attempts were launched against him that Iran’s spiritual leader dubbed him a ‘living martyr.’
His luck ran out this week, no doubt as a result of an intelligence leak in Iraq. His two car convoy was incinerated by US missile strikes. Along with Soleimani, a leader of Iraq’s Shia militia was also killed by the US attack as well as some ten other senior Iraqi and Iranian officials.
President Trump proudly took credit for authorizing the assassination, a brazen violation of international law. He seemed unfazed that most of the rest of the world sees the US as ‘Murder Inc.’ For Trump, the killing will boost his standing with Republican/Evangelical voters in this year’s elections and promote his faux tough guy image – this from a man who repeatedly dodged Vietnam era military service and called for an end to America’s Mideast wars.
Iran’s cautious leadership may hesitate to retaliate directly for this murder. Tehran may choose an indirect method of revenge to avoid giving Washington the reason to attack Iran that it has been seeking for the past two years. US forces are spread across the Mideast and thus easy targets.
Israel has long been itching to attack Iran’s nuclear and military installations. An excellent new book, ‘Rise and Kill First,’ by Israeli author Ronen Bergman, exhaustively details the long record of Israel assassinating Palestinian leaders and militants. As Stalin famously quipped, ‘no man, no problem.’
A large portion of the Palestinian leadership – notably the most intelligent and moderate – was killed by Israeli hit squads, leaving ‘no one to negotiate with,’ in Israel’s words.
Israel’s decisive influence over the Trump administration means that the US has fully embraced the same kill policies. Trump may now have the war with Iran he so obviously craves and that Israel and Saudi Arabia want. Any Iranian retaliation will be branded ‘terrorism’ by the administration and its media sycophants.
General Qassem was in line to become president of Iran. He was widely respected for his wisdom, religious faith, and clever diplomacy. He has now been removed. Trump’s reckless policy may help his re-election, but it also makes it much more likely that the US will sink ever deeper into the morass of the Mideast.
America has always demonized troublesome Mideast leaders that defied its imperil writ. The region’s complex problems were simplified into cartoon characters that were labeled ‘bad guys’ or ‘terrorists.’ Think of Iran’s Mossadegh, Nasser, Assad, Arafat, Khomeini, Ahmadinejad, Saddam Hussein, Turkey’s Erdogan and most lately Soleimani. More are sure to emerge.