Bin Ladenites Jerking Trump’s Chain

Just like when he fell for the Khan Sheikhoun and Douma chemical attack hoaxes in Syria in 2017 and 2018, President Trump let the bin Ladenites (by way of his Zionists) tell him what to think and who to bomb after the attack on the U.S. base in Iraq on December 27, 2019. This time it was “Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah.”

His revenge attacks on Iraqi Shi’ite militias and then Iranian General Qassem Soleimani could have started a real war.

But the Shi’ites didn’t do it.

We tried to tell you…

Gareth Porter:

The provenance of the event that triggered the fateful decisions that followed is shrouded in ambiguity. As the New York Times reported on Dec. 27, “It wasn’t clear who was responsible for the attack,” adding that the base had been threatened previously by both Iranian-backed militias and Islamic State forces.

The IS forces in the area of Kirkuk where the K1 base was located had become increasingly active in 2018 and 2019, with a rapidly growing pace of attacks, operating freely out of the rugged mountainous north and south of the city. In fact there had been more attacks by IS on government targets in Kirkuk in 2018 than anywhere else in Iraq, and it had the highest rate of growth as well.

Scott Ritter:

The U.S. blamed Iranian-backed Khaitab Hezbollah (no relation to the Lebanese Hezbollah group), for the attacks.

There are several problems with this narrative, first and foremost being that the bases bombed were reportedly more than 500 kilometers removed from the military base where the civilian contractor had been killed. The Iraqi units housed at the bombed facilities, including Khaitab Hezbollah, were engaged, reportedly, in active combat operations against ISIS remnants operating in both Iraq and Syria. This calls into question whether they would be involved in an attack against an American target. In fact, given the recent resurgence of ISIS, it is entirely possible that ISIS was responsible for the attack on the U.S. base, creating a scenario where the U.S. served as the de facto air force for ISIS by striking Iraqi forces engaged in anti-ISIS combat operations.

Me:

No doubt, the only person in the world who wants to see regime change in Iran as much as Benjamin Netanyahu is Ayman al Zawahiri.

Now here’s a follow-up by Alissa J. Rubin in the Times. There’s no solid proof, but also no reason whatsoever to believe any Shi’ite militia was responsible:

Was US Wrong About Attack That Nearly Started a War With Iran?

American officials insist that they have solid evidence that Khataib Hezbollah carried out the attack, though they have not made it public.

Iraqi officials say their doubts are based on circumstantial evidence and long experience in the area where the attack took place.

The rockets were launched from a Sunni Muslim part of Kirkuk Province notorious for attacks by the Islamic State, a Sunni terrorist group, which would have made the area hostile territory for a Shiite militia like Khataib Hezbollah.

Khataib Hezbollah has not had a presence in Kirkuk Province since 2014.

The Islamic State, however, had carried out three attacks relatively close to the base in the 10 days before the attack on K-1. Iraqi intelligence officials sent reports to the Americans in November and December warning that ISIS intended to target K-1, an Iraqi air base in Kirkuk Province that is also used by American forces. …

“All the indications are that it was Daesh,” said Brig. General Ahmed Adnan, the Iraqi chief of intelligence for the federal police at K-1, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State. “I told you about the three incidents in the days just before in the area — we know Daesh’s movements.

“We as Iraqi forces cannot even come to this area unless we have a large force because it is not secure. How could it be that someone who doesn’t know the area could come here and find that firing position and launch an attack?” …

Iraqi officials said the group had not had a presence in Kirkuk Province in years. The only time it was active there, they said, was in 2014 during the early days of the fight against the Islamic State.

Ignorant, illiterate Trump couldn’t tell you the difference between ISIS and the Ayatollah if Bloody Gina Haspel waterboarded him.

The disgusting spawn of Zarqawi probably had no intention of launching a false-flag attack here. They were just firing off some rockets at their enemies — Shi’ite army-embedded American troops. Imagine their surprise and delight to see the U.S. exploit their violence to turn against their enemies this way. They sure seemed pretty happy about it at the time. See here:

ISIS welcomes the death of Iran’s Qaseem Soleimani and declare it an act of ‘divine intervention’ that will let them regroup in Iraq

And here:

Qasem Soleimani: Why his killing is good news for IS jihadists

Remember your history.

They Lied Us Into War, All of Them

Cross-posted at the Institute.

Update: On Friday morning I interviewed Iraqi journalist Suadad al-Salhy. She says that actually Shi’ite militias such as Kataib Hezbollah are close enough to have also had the opportunity, and that Rubin is over-simplifying.

The point stands that nobody really knows. And the U.S. has proven nothing.

Israel Helped Kill Soleimani

It’s just one throwaway line in CIA asset Ken Dilanian’s new NBC piece on the whiz-bang, super-neato, space-age, Hollywood movie-like, special, high-technology that made the assassination possible.

“Intelligence from Israel helped confirm the details.”

And dammit, I just love the “Oceania has always been at war with the Badr Brigade” line of Iraq War II-denial embedded in all these stories. Dilanian and his assistant demonstrate how it’s done almost perfectly here:

“At the Baghdad airport, Soleimani was greeted by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of an Iraqi anti-American militia and a suspect in the bombing of the American and French embassies in Kuwait in 1983. Al-Muhandis got into the sedan with Soleimani and he, too, was killed in the strike.”

Soleimani reviews his US troops in Iraq War III Update: Former soldiers I know doubt the men on the left are actually U.S. troops. Same difference though.

Sounds like a pretty bad dude. Too bad W. Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Gates, Petraeus and the rest fought a 5 year civil war for him and his friends in the Da’wa Party and Supreme Islamic Council beginning in 2003, and then Obama and Trump fought another on their behalf from 2014–2019.

Oh well, anyway, what’s that you say? 1983 Kuwait embassy something? Oh yeah. We’re all still really mad about that too! Maybe we should ask President Reagan to double his support for Saddam Hussein to get some revenge!

Ratcheting Down

Wednesday morning Trump announced new sanctions on Iran rather than sending in the B-52s in response to Iran’s missile attack response to America’s killing of their top general Qassem Soleimani. So that’s wrong but sure could be worse.

Then he declared that the UN Security Council powers must help him negotiate a brand new better nuclear deal to replace the last one; a total non-starter, and he must know that. So that just amounts to filler and bluster.

Trump then emphasized America’s energy independence from the Middle East. A great line about how now we’re leaving would have gone great right there. #Hope #Change

Surprisingly, he also emphasized Iran’s help in the fight against the Islamic State as a continuing opportunity for cooperation, which is another signal toward de-escalation.

This entire crisis has been precipitated by the Trump government, with a possible assist from ISIS. Americans of all political persuasions should make their voices heard now: We oppose conflict and support the U.S. taking all opportunities to talk to Iran and diffuse this crisis.

And remember the Horton rule: attack the left from the left and the right from the right. In other words, when calling or otherwise addressing Republicans, be conservative in your opposition and the other way around too.

Cross-posted at The Libertarian Institute.

Iran Plane Crash

As Tom Woods pointed out in this great speech 10 years ago, when there’s an earthquake, hurricane, plane crash or other major disaster in Iran, we all feel terrible and grieve for the loss of life and donate to charity over it and the rest.

But then we’re supposed to just turn right around and cheer threats of war against these very same people.

Last night, while Iran was firing missiles at U.S. targets in Iraq and many people around the world were fearing the breakout of a new war between our countries, a civilian airliner fell out of the sky on take-off from the Tehran airport, killing more than 170 people. (All indications are that it was mechanical failure to blame.)

Humanity grieves for them. Let us please keep in mind the individual rights to life and dignity that all individuals hold and maintain the spirit of commonality we all feel from the crash as a barrier to a new war.

Cross-posted at The Libertarian Institute.

Did Iran Kill 600 Americans in Iraq War II? No.

Due to the current ubiquity of claims that Iran killed 600 Americans in Iraq War II, I figured it might be worth bringing up the fact that that is a complete and damnable lie.

In the case of Petraeus’s surge against Sadrist forces in Sadr City and Najaf in 2007 and 2008, Sadr was the least Iranian-loyal of all the major Shi’ite factions. The U.S.’s favorites from Dawa and SCIRI were also Iran’s favorites. Sadr wanted the U.S. and Iran both out. (At a couple of points the U.S. chased Sadr into Iran, but that was a self-fulfilling blunder, not proof they were right about him.)

When Petraeus attacked them they responded, not the other way around. (Danny Sjursen was in East Baghdad at that time and confirmed this to me in an interview just a few weeks ago.)

And when they did respond with copper-core EFP bombs, they were made in Iraq by Iraqis. Despite all of Michael Gordon’s claims in the New York Times back then, and all the claims since, no one has ever demonstrated that these bombs came from Iran at all, much less directly from the Qods force.

Here are a couple of blogs full of links from back then:

America Switches Sides in Iraq War

Is Iran Supplying IEDs to the Sunni Insurgency?

Washington Post Liars Caught!

EFPs Are Made in Iraq By Iraqis

And here are a few more articles:

Andrew Cockburn in the L.A. Times

Wired

Surprising honesty in the lying New York Times for once

The Wall Street Journal

Phil Giraldi, another

And of course, many, many great pieces by the heroic Gareth Porter.

Okay. So there you have it.

Update: Former Marine Corps Captain Matthew Hoh writes: “Yes the EFPs were all made in Iraq, in workshops by Iraqis. I was at JIEDDO (joint IED defeat organization) in 2008. … I can confirm the intelligence on all that.”