US officials connected to Israel lobby pushed Trump to order Soleimani’s assassination Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

Senior US officials in President Donald Trump’s administration who are “heavily connected” to the Israel lobby and US arms industry pressured Trump to order the assassination of Iranian Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, says a political analyst in Virginia.

“The reason he did that seems to have been due to the influence of his immediate circle of advisers,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.

“Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, these were the people who pushed the president towards carrying out the assassination,” Preston told Press TV on Wednesday.

“These are individuals that are heavily connected to the Israeli lobby in the United States; these are individuals that are heavily connected to the American military–industrial complex, which profits heavily from American sales of armaments to Israel and Saudi Arabia,” Preston added.

“More and more, the fingerprints of Israel, and to some degree Saudi Arabia, are on this particular action,” he added.

The US military carried out an airstrike on the direction of Trump at Baghdad’s international airport last Friday, assassinating Soleimani and the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, as well as eight other companions.

Early on Wednesday, Iran responded to the assassination, striking the American airbase of Ain al-Assad in Anbar province in western Iraq and another in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

The Trump administration claims it carried out the assassination to avert an “imminent attack,” which is being faced with growing suspicion and skepticism in the US.

Dozens of countries attending a UN Security Council meeting on Thursday condemned the Trump administration for killing Soleimani, the Middle East’s most prominent anti-terror commander.

A USA Today/Ipsos poll released Thursday found that Americans, by 55%-24%, said they believe the killing of General Soleimani has made the United States less safe, rejecting a fundamental argument the Trump administration has made that the assassination made the US safer.

The poll also found that a majority of those surveyed, by 52%-34%,  called Trump’s behavior with Iran “reckless.”

Similarly, a Reuters/Ipsos polling released on Tuesday found that 53 percent of adults in the US disapprove of Trump’s handling of Iran, which is an increase of about 9 percentage points from a similar poll that ran in the middle of December.

The US House of Representatives passed a resolution on Thursday to stop Trump from further military action against Iran, rebuking the president days after he ordered the killing of Soleimani and escalated tensions in the region.

If passed by the House and Senate, the measure does not need Trump’s signature to go into effect.

Soleimani assassination was an act of war, says analyst Reply

Balkans Post

“An act of assassination carried out against a high-ranking official of another state is an act of war,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com, in an interview with the Balkans Post.

Here’s the full transcript of the interview:

Balkans Post: The United States assassinated Iran’s top commander, Qassem Soleimani, in Iraq’s Baghdad on January 3. How do you interpret the assassination and what are its implications for the region?

Keith Preston: The assassination of General Soleimani is a very serious matter that has had the effect of significantly escalating the tensions between the United States and Iran. An act of assassination carried out against a high-ranking official of another state is an act of war. The question that remains involves the matter of what the United States was trying to achieve from a strategic perspective by carrying out the assassination. It would appear that the United States is trying to escalate conflict within Iraq, and between Iraq and Iran. The United States does not want a unified Iraq that is friendly toward Iran. Nor does the United States want an Iraq where the Shi’a have significant amounts of influence. Instead, the United States prefers a Sunni-dominated Iraq as was the case during the era of Saddam Hussein. The popular mobilization units that were attacked by the United States were engaged in counterinsurgency operations against ISIS and other Takfiri groups. The United States would prefer that Iraq return to its former state of civil war rather than have a Shi’a-led Iraq that is friendly to Iran, and included within the resistance axis.

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Lawrence Wilkerson on Trump's Iran aggression: same neocon lies, new target Reply

A great interview with Colin Powell’s former chief of staff.

Pushback with Aaron Maté As millions of Iranians mourn the US murder of Qassem Soleimani, ex-Bush administration official Col. Lawrence Wilkerson discuses the parallels between Bush’s war on Iraq and Trump’s campaign against Iran; the history of US shunning diplomacy with Tehran; and how an addiction to war drives US foreign policy. Guest: Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell. Currently a distinguished professor at the College of William and Mary. Support Pushback at Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/aaronmate Pushback on Twitter: https://twitter.com/pushbackshow Aaron Maté on Twitter: https://twitter.com/aaronjmate

Sympathy For Soleimani Reply

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

A preemptive strike, that’s what white people call terrorism, and that’s apparently what transpired this Thursday on the tarmac of the Baghdad International Airport. A preemptive drone strike, ordered by our president, murdered General Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s most important military figure, alongside six others including the commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Unit, a legally recognized part of Iraq’s military. This was not an attack on a military operation. These men were meeting to attend a funeral for victims of another American terrorist attack earlier in the week. This was an act of extreme cowardice. This was a war crime. But most importantly, this was indeed a calculated act of war against two sovereign nations, a week in the making.

The previous Friday, rockets struck an American base in Iraq, killing a single American mercenary. This is a crime that remains unsolved, but the Trump Administration wasted zero time blaming it on Iran via their alleged proxies in the PMU. No evidence given, no evidence required. An American soldier of fortune died in Shia country, which is the greenlight Trump has been looking for to shithouse Iran since Sheldon Adelson payed him to do so in 2016. I suspect that Sheldon’s friends back in occupied Jerusalem may be the ones truly responsible for this convenient attack, but that’s just a hunch from a stalwart anti-Zionist with too much time on her hands. Take it with a grain of salt.

This attack set into motion a procession of tit for tat escalations that ended with the assassination of a man so revered by his people that a response is all but a forgone conclusion whether Iran wants it or not. Their hands are tied. Meanwhile, thousands of American troops prepare to re-flood the scarred battleground of America’s greatest imperial blunder, as the shitheads of American cable news take turns telling facetious horror stories about the extra-judicially murdered Soleimani. If you were dense enough to take these morons at their libel, you would be forced to come to the conclusion that the general was some kind of blood drinking Sith lord. But who was he really, to us and his people?

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The Anarchist Era Collective’s Statement on the Assassination of an Iranian State Terrorist Reply

An interesting statement from an Iranian anarchist group that more or less takes a “pox on all their houses” perspective. Read here.

“Qasem Soleimani has long tormented the people and we congratulate the survivors of his crimes in the Middle East, particularly Syria, Iraq and Yemen. And while we are glad for the death of this war criminal, we declare our strong opposition to the possibility of a state war (between US state terrorism and Iranian state terrorism)

Hours ago, Qasem Soleimani, one of the top military officials of the Iranian government who was responsible for the Middle East, was killed on the direct order of Donald Trump in Baghdad

Qasem Soleimani was a genocidal man that has killed thousands of men, women, and children in the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. He lead sieges for Assad and recruited Afghan refugees in Iran, many of them children, to die in the Syrian civil war. This state assassination was carried out by the United States in the obvious interest of Donald Trump’s election and what was done has not been and will not be in the interests of the people in the Middle East

Despite much commotion and controversy made by the Islamic regime over its security and intelligence capabilities, we see that in fact this regime is not capable of maintaining its most important transnational force and Qasem Soleimani was assassinated as soon as the US decided to remove him

On the one hand, the viciousness of the criminal Islamic regime became more apparent and on the other hand, it further showed the corrupt nature of US state terrorism, which does not care about the lives of their own nor those of the people in the Middle East—otherwise these Iranian state terrorists could have been easily hunted down over the years

We reiterate that the contemporary Middle East is shaped by wars, massacres, displacement, and famine because of religious fanatics and terrorists on the one hand and the interference of international capitalists and backers (Eastern and Western Imperialism) on the other

We hope all of these religious terrorists are killed as soon as possible and these murderous state governments will be destroyed so that the people of the Middle East live again in peace and prosperity.”

Iran, Russia, China Countering US Influence in Region: American Analyst Reply

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The joint naval drills of Iran, Russia and China in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman were aimed at countering US influence in the region, an American political analyst said.

Iran, Russia, China Countering US Influence in Region: American Analyst

“The three countries appear to have as their primary objectives the protection of the security of these routes, and countering the influence of the US in the region,” Keith Preston, the chief editor and director of attackthesystem.com, told Tasnim in an interview.

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China, Iran, Russia to start military drills in Indian Ocean, Sea of Oman on Friday Reply

Watch here.

Iran, Russia and China have begun a four-day joint maritime exercise in the Indian Ocean and the Sea of Oman area.

The “Marine Security Belt,” as the event is codenamed, will last until Monday. On Wednesday, Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi, the spokesman for Iranian Armed Forces, said the event was meant to promote the security of international trade in the strategic regions, adding that sharing experience in maritime rescue operations was also to be pursued in the maneuvers.

US call to Japan indicates ‘divergence of interests’ with regard to Iran Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

US President Donald Trump’s phone call to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss a recent trip by the Iranian president to the East Asian country reveals an escalating “divergence of interests” between Tokyo and Washington in their relationship with Tehran, an American analyst in Virginia says.

“What’s happening here is that the interests of the United States and Japan are diverging quite a bit in terms of their actual foreign policy goals in relationship to Iran,” Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com, said in a phone interview with Press TV on Sunday.

“Japan is a country that is closely aligned with the United States but also has a much different set of interests when it comes to Iran,” he added. “The primary interest that Japan has when it comes to Iran is that it simply imports petroleum produced in Iran. It would be in the interest of Japan to simply normalize relationship with Iran because it would be beneficial to the Japanese economy.”

Japan’s Kyodo news agency, citing a government source, said on Saturday that Trump had requested the phone call a day after Abe met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tokyo, the first meeting in Japan between leaders of the two countries since 2000 and a major development that could affect a current political stand-off between Iran and the United States.

Trump phones Japan’s Abe to discuss meeting with Iran president: Report

Trump phones Japan’s Abe to discuss meeting with Iran president: ReportJapan’s Kyodo says Trump has talked over phone to PM Abe to discuss his meeting with Iran

“The interaction between President Trump and the prime minister of Japan indicates the ways in which the divergence of interests of the two countries are becoming more manifest and this will probably continue to escalate in the future,” Preston said.

“We will see Japan as well as other countries becoming increasingly critical and skeptical of the position that the United States has taken regarding Iran even if it’s not in their interest,” he added.

Japan heavily relies on energy imports from the Middle East. It used to be a major buyer of Iranian oil before the American sanctions were imposed on Tehran more than a year ago.

Japan’s Abe has sought to help de-escalate tensions between Iran and the US, especially since May this year when several incidents in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman sparked worries about a major military conflict that could impact the safety of energy transport throughout the region.

The premier visited Iran in June in a historic visit that many saw as an attempt to broker a dialogue between Iran and the US.

Iran has dismissed calls for direct talks with the US, saying such negotiations would only be possible if Washington removes all of its illegal sanctions and returns to a landmark nuclear deal signed between the country and world powers in 2015.

Screwing Over the Kurds: An All-American Pastime Reply

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

I have long been a vocal supporter of the Kurds, even before the Syrian clusterfuck sparked the Rojava Revolution. Part of this comes from my checkered past as a lapsed Tankie-Guevarist. I grew up gorging myself on New Left folk tails of Third World rebellion. The fearsome PKK were one of a dozen or so clans of crimson bearded renegades, fighting like Castro for some post-colonial utopia. I read everything I could find about the Bolshevik adventures of groups like FARC, Hezbollah and the Naxalites. But the thing that set the Kurds apart was their fourth quarter conversion to anarchism which closely mirrored my own.

Abdullah Ocalan discovered the works of Murray Bookchin right around the time I dropped communism for panarchy and syndicalism. And when the wrest of Syria sunk into CIA sponsored Salafi hell, the Ocalan influenced Kurds of the YPG created a successful stateless society that flourished amidst the chaos. It was proof positive that anarchism could work. But it was all over the moment the YPG accepted the poison gift of American military occupation. Anarchism quite simply cannot coexist with the greatest source of imperial tyranny on the fucking planet. The only sick comfort I took in this nauseating arrangement is that I knew it wouldn’t last. That’s because, dearest motherfuckers, screwing over the Kurds is a time-honored American pastime.

The original Kurdish screwjob was the work of that whimsical Bond villain known as Henry Kissinger. During his busy time as Secretary of State and National Security Adviser under Nixon and Ford, respectively, Henry cooked up a devilish little scheme with the help of his flunkies in Israel and the Shah’s Iran. Iraq was becoming suspiciously cozy with the Soviet Union. So they flooded Iraq’s long suffering Kurdish independence movement with Soviet hardware pilfered from the killing fields of Vietnam and the Sinai Peninsula. Mustafa Barzani, the founding father of the modern Peshmerga, didn’t trust the Shah farther than he could squeeze his ham-fist up his pinched little quisling asshole, no sane Mesopotamian did, but he believed in his heart of hearts that America was that shining beacon of freedom on the hill. Mustafa was a sucker. Once Henry and Co. managed to frighten Iraq into playing ball, we quickly drummed up a deal between them and Iran that included handing over the Kurds on a spit. Not only did old Henry, that Nobel pacifist, refuse to even return Mustafa’s frantic calls for help, he cut all humanitarian aide to the region as Helter Skelter came tumbling down. The Kurds were slaughtered and Kissinger summed up America’s Kurdish policy in a nutshell when he told a disgusted congress that “One should not confuse undercover action with social work.” If only the Kurds took his advice.

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Pompeo has ‘ulterior motives’ in expressing desire to travel to Iran 2

Press TV. Listen here.

It is clear that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has “ulterior motives” in expressing his desire to travel to Iran and be interviewed by Iranian news media, according to American political analyst Keith Preston.

On Thursday, July 25, Pompeo said he was willing to go to Iran for talks amid tensions between Tehran and Washington.

Asked if he would be willing to go to Tehran, Pompeo said in an interview with Bloomberg TV, “Sure. If that’s the call, I’d happily go there… I would welcome the chance to speak directly to the Iranian people.”

Some independent observers have said that Pompeo is actually not very interested in speaking with the Iranian people, but actually is concerned by the way Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is presenting Iran’s case on the American media to the US public.

They say Pompeo wants to counter Zarif by pushing the idea of travelling to Tehran and speaking to the Iranian media which has suffered several restrictions in the United States. Washington has also pressured social media giants to block Iranian media channels on YouTube and Google.

Preston said that Pompeo “thinks it’s an opportunity to score some propaganda points.”

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Trump threats against Iran are in line with his playbook 1

Press TV. Listen here.

US President Donald Trump’s threats against Iran are in line with his playbook and should not be taken seriously, says an American political analyst in Virginia.

“The comments that Donald Trump has made recently, as well as the particular policies that he has threatening to impose are fairly in character with both Donald Trump’s personality and, as well as the general policies that the American government has followed,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.

Donald Trump is prone to a lot of blustery rhetoric but rarely does he ever follow through on anything of that type,” Preston told Press TV on Tuesday.

“We can remember that he was at one point threatening the North Koreans in a similar way and then he actually turned around and did an about face on North Korea and he could very easily do that with Iran,” he added.

Trump threatened Iran on Tuesday with “obliteration” if the country launches any attack on American forces in the Middle East region.

In a Twitter rant railing against the Islamic Republic, Trump said, “Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality.”

PressTV-Trump threatens Iran with ‘obliteration’

PressTV-Trump threatens Iran with ‘obliteration’Trump has said has threatened Iran with “obliteration” if the country launches any attack on American forces.

Tensions have been running high between the US and Iran since Trump’s decision in May last year to abandon the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Tehran as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at forcing it to renegotiate a new deal that addresses its ballistic missile program and regional influence as well.

The US has also sent warships, bombers and additional troops to the region in the wake of suspicious tanker attacks in the Sea of Oman, which it has blamed on Iran without providing evidence.

Despite repeating threats and baseless accusations against Tehran, Washington has also been calling for negotiations.

Tehran has time and again asserted that it does not seek war with the US, yet stands ready to defend its interests in the region.

Tucker Carlson Tells Trump in Private: No War With Iran 4

Interesting if true.

The Daily Beast

In the upper echelons of the Trump administration, hawkish voices on Iran predominate—most notably Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton. But as tensions between the U.S. and Iran have escalated over the last few weeks, there’s been another, far different voice in the president’s ear: that of Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

A source familiar with the conversations told The Daily Beast that, in recent weeks, the Fox News host has privately advised Trump against taking military action against Iran. And a senior administration official said that during the president’s recent conversations with the Fox primetime host, Carlson has bashed the more “hawkish members” of his administration.

While some Fox News hosts have argued that a conflict with Iran would be justified, Carlson has consistently criticized U.S. military intervention abroad, particularly in the Middle East. In recent weeks, he has questioned whether war with Iran would be “in anyone’s interest.” Last month, he publicly chided Bolton, saying he was intentionally escalating tensions, and that a potential conflict would “be like Christmas, Thanksgiving, his birthday wrapped into one.”

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Tucker: US came within minutes of war with Iran Reply

Tucker Carlson nails it. It’s interesting how he’s the most popular commentator on FOX which is otherwise Neocon Central. I’m sure Murdoch is regretting ever giving him a job there. But now he’s gotten too popular for the network to fire him without giving the game away. Paleocons and paleolibertarians are by far the best sector of the US right-wing.