As Iraqi lawmakers vote to kick American forces out of Iraq, U.S. officials urge Americans to evacuate Iraq for their own safety, Iran accelerates its nuclear program, and missions against ISIS are curtailed, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted on Meet the Press yesterday that we are “absolutely” safer as a result of the airstrike that killed Qasem Soleimani.
Pressed further by NBC News’ Chuck Todd, the nation’s chief diplomat used a line that may come back to haunt him.
Pompeo also said the administration was prepared for any Iranian counterattack.
“It may be that there’s a little noise here in the interim, that the Iranians make a choice to respond,” he said. “I hope that they don’t.”
Donald Trump used a similar line with reporters last night, when asked about fears of Iranian retaliation in response to last week’s airstrike. “If it happens, it happens,” the president said.
A little noise.
All told, between 480,000 and 507,000 people have been killed in the United States’ post-9/11 wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. This tally of the counts and estimates of direct deaths caused by war violence does not include the more than 500,000 deaths from the war in Syria, raging since 2011, which the US joined in August 2014.
The NeoCons, the liars, the Regime Changers, the war-mongers are back on the stage.
So naturally Paul Wolfowitz is on Fox today https://t.co/mEMzVMUtzZ
— d (@oneduran) January 7, 2020
The threat to bomb historic cultural sites is what terrorists do.
“A nation that willfully destroys another country’s heritage would be no better than the criminals who have destroyed irreplaceable sites in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere in recent years,” Sara C. Bronin, a lawyer and specialist in historic preservation, wrote in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times in response to Trump’s threats to target cultural sites in Iran.
“Targeting civilians and cultural sites is what terrorists do. It’s a war crime,” tweeted Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Dancing in the streets of Baghdad Iran.
Walsh notes that on Friday, January 3, Pompeo claimed, “I saw last night, there was dancing in the streets in parts of Iraq. We have every expectation that people not only in Iraq, but in Iran, will view the American action last night as giving them freedom.”
That “ludicrous claim” by Pompeo, Walsh adds, recalls former Vice President Dick Cheney’s 2003 prediction that U.S. troops “will, in fact, be treated as liberators” after an invasion.
Of course, post-Saddam Hussein Iraq hardly turned out to be the oasis of peace and tranquility that Cheney, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other neocons in the Bush Administration claimed it would be. Hussein was a brutal dictator, but he brought an element of stability to Iraq; with Hussein overthrown and executed, Iraq descended into a state of chaos and tribalist conflict.
The first station for #Soleimani’s funeral was #Ahvaz, the funeral continues in #Mashhad, then #Tehran, #Qom, and #Kerman… probably this is the biggest ever funeral in the history of #Iran pic.twitter.com/ngpCAUYDfH
— Ali Hashem علي هاشم (@alihashem_tv) January 5, 2020