Fred Klonsky writes:

January 8, 2020

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

— 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

— Ali Hashem علي هاشم (@alihashem_tv) January 5, 2020

Mike Klonsky on point:

January 8, 2020

“Every member of Congress who voted to give the most corrupt, unhinged, and unstable president in history $738 billion to fight endless wars…must never tell us that we cannot afford Medicare for All or a Green New Deal.” — Warren Gunnels, Sanders senior adviser

Despite their claims that congress wasn’t consulted in advance of the latest U.S. aggressive moves against Iran. Democrats are in many ways complicit.

For one thing, they passed on chances to constrain military aggression against Iran in the recent Pentagon budget debate. Only 41 House Democrats, voted against the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which increased the Pentagon budget by $22 billion, including billions for Trump’s bogus Space Force. The final vote was 377-48. Democrats voted overwhelmingly for passage without any restrictions on the use of funds in a war with Iran.

One of the omitted amendments in the annual National Defense Authorization Act, sponsored by Reps. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL), would have barred Trump from using federal dollars for military action against Iran without congressional approval. Although the measure was included in an earlier draft of the NDAA, it was later stripped out in the compromise version that Democrats voted for anyway.

Khanna, one of the members who vocally opposed the NDAA in December, argued that his amendment would have prevented the US from using government funds to conduct the strike against Soleimani. Whether his claim is real or not remains a question, given Trump’s potential for ignoring Congress and violating the Constitution.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) also sought to include an amendment in the NDAA that would limit the 2001 Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUMF), which permits the president to take action against anyone responsible for or associated with the 9/11 terrorist attacks, arguing that it was too broad. Administrations have since used the AUMF to wage military action across the Middle East, efforts that have been seen as further expanding the executive branch’s war powers.

More than 30 progressive and anti-war organizations — including MoveOn and Indivisible — expressed disagreement with the bill, too. “It is a blank check for endless wars, fuel for the further militarization of US foreign policy, and a gift to Donald Trump,” they wrote in their December statement.

On Sunday, Trump warned Iranian leaders against any military retaliation by boasting on Twitter that,
“The United States just spent Two Trillion Dollars on Military Equipment” and that if necessary he would use it to hit Iran “very fast and very hard.”
The $1.4 trillion spending deal for 2020 that became law in December includes about $695 billion for the Pentagon, an increase of about $19 billion from the 2019 level.

But Democrats still have a chance to redeem themselves in an effort to prevent all-out war with Iran by supporting a House bill introduced by Lee and Rep. Ilhan Omar and a Senate bill sponsored by Khanna and Bernie Sanders that would block funding for any military action “in or against Iran” without congressional authorization.

We should be watching closely and taking names on who votes which way.

🚨@SpeakerPelosi announced: This week, the House will vote on a #WarPowers Resolution to limit the President’s military actions regarding Iran.
— Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) January 6, 2020

.@RepBarbaraLee and I are introducing a War Powers Resolution in the House to prevent a disastrous war with Iran.

We in Congress must reassert our Constitutional authority and stop a disastrous war.

The stakes could not be higher.
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) January 5, 2020

Fred Klonsky is an American Who Tells the Truth

January 6, 2020

What Donald Trump did last week was order the assassination of a foreign leader.

Given today’s drone technology, it is clearly an easy thing to do.

It is a shame that some Democratic Party leaders and others need to first clarify that they believe that Qassim Suleimani was a bad actor.

The world is full of bad actors. None worse than the current President of the United States.

Only the most naive should believe that the United States hasn’t taken out government leaders they didn’t like before this.

Allende in Chile. Arbenz in Guatemala.

The 1953 Iranian coup d’état, known in Iran as the 28 Mordad coup d’état which resulted in the overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, replaced by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on 19 August 1953, which was fully orchestrated by the United States.

So, when Democrat after Democrat first declare that Qassim Suleimani was a bad actor and agree with Trump that he was responsible for putting Americans in “harm’s way” they are defending the principle that we can assassinate or depose anyone we want.

So long as Congress is consulted first.

Countries bombed by USA since WW II

January 5, 2020

China 1945-46

Korea 1950-53

China 1950-53

Guatemala 1954

Indonesia 1958

Cuba 1959-60

Guatemala 1960

Belgian Congo 1964

Guatemala 1964

Dominican Republic 1965-66

Peru 1965

Laos 1964-73

Vietnam 1961-73

Cambodia 1969-70

Guatemala 1967-69

Lebanon 1982-84

Grenada 1983-84

Libya 1986

El Salvador 1981-92

Nicaragua 1981-90

Iran 1987-88

Libya 1989

Panama 1989-90

Iraq 1991

Kuwait 1991

Somalia 1992-94

Bosnia 1995

Iran 1998

Sudan 1998

Afghanistan 1998

Yugoslavia – Serbia 1999

Afghanistan 2001

Libya 2011

Iraq and Syria 2014 –

Somalia 2011 –

Iran 2020 –

End the war. U.S. out of Iraq.

January 3, 2020

by Fred Klonsky

From Hillary Clinton to the late John McCain, the regime changers have had their eyes on Iran for decades.

Yesterday, Trump acted and essentially declared war on Iran by killing , Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, who led the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards.

The justification was that Iran represented some immediate threat to the United States in Iraq.

This is ironic, given we are in Iraq based on claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction that represented some immediate threat to the United States.

That was a lie.

And now again.

I agree with Bernie.

I was right about Vietnam.

I was right about Iraq.

I will do everything in my power to prevent a war with Iran.

I apologize to no one.

— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 3, 2020

Vijay Prashad:

December 29, 2019

Millions of people are on the streets, from India to Chile. Democracy is both their promise and it is what has betrayed them. They aspire to the democratic spirit but find that democratic institutions – saturated by money and power – are inadequate. They are on the streets for more democracy, deeper democracy, a different kind of democracy.

Loud and Clear

December 24, 2019