News Releases

Trump Fulfills Israel’s Wishes

In October, Jefferson Morley wrote the piece “Is Israel Targeting Iran’s Top General For Assassination?

Fox News is now reporting: “Netanyahu says Israel should ‘stay out’ of fallout from U.S. killing of Soleimani, per report.”

But Morley notes that Israel “began striking at the Iranian-backed militias in Iraq last year” — see partial list below.

JEFFERSON MORLEY, morleyj at gmail.com, @jeffersonmorley
Morley is editor of The Deep State. He spent 15 years as an editor and reporter at the Washington Post. His latest book is The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster, James Jesus Angleton.

He just wrote the piece “Trump Fulfills the Wishes of Israel’s Mossad,” which states: “Last October Yossi Cohen, head of Israel’s Mossad, spoke openly about assassinating Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, the head of the elite Quds Force in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

“He knows very well that his assassination is not impossible,” Cohen said in an interview. Soleimani had boasted that Israel tried to assassinate him in 2006 and failed.

“’With all due respect to his bluster,’ Cohen said, ‘he hasn’t necessarily committed the mistake yet that would place him on the prestigious list of Mossad’s assassination targets.’ …

“Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, under indictment for criminal charges, was the first and only national leader to support Trump’s action, while claiming that that Trump acted entirely on his own.

“’Just as Israel has the right to self-defense, the United States has exactly the same right,’ Netanyahu told reporters in Greece. ‘Qassem Soleimani is responsible for the deaths of American citizens and other innocents, and he was planning more attacks.’

“In recent years, Soleimani led two successful Iranian military operations: the campaign to drive ISIS out of western Iraq in 2015 and the campaign to crush the jihadist forces opposed to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. The United States and Israel denounced Iran’s role in both operations but could not prevent Iran from claiming victory.”

July 31, 2019: Jewish News Syndicate reported: “A senior commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Abu Alfazl Sarabian, was killed in Iraq in an attack by ‘Israel and the United States’ on July 19, according to Iran’s Young Journalists Club news agency.”

August 1, 2019: The Wall Street Journal reported: “Israeli Jets Appear to Have Struck Iraq for the First Time Since 1981.”

August 20, 2019: Times of Israel reported: “Netanyahu hints Israel behind strikes on Iraq, says Iran not immune anywhere.”

August 23, 2019: AP reported: “An Israeli airstrike on an Iranian weapons depot in Iraq, confirmed by U.S. officials, is threatening to destabilize security in the volatile country that has struggled to remain neutral in the conflict between Washington and Tehran.”

September 10, 2019: Haaretz reported: “Report: 21 Iraqi Militia Members Killed in Explosion in Iran-linked Arms Depot.” “It remains unclear who is behind the blast however reports have linked the incident to a series of recent attacks, some of which have been attributed to Israel.”

* Trump Lies on Iran * Biden Iraq War Lies

STEPHEN ZUNES, zunes at usfca.edu, @SZunes
Zunes is a professor of politics and coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco. He just wrote the piece “There’s No Evidence Iran Is Responsible for the Deaths of Hundreds of Americans” for The Progressive.

Newsweek reports that in response to criticism about his role in the invasion of Iraq, Biden said: “I don’t respond to Bernie’s ridiculous comments. … Bernie’s got enough baggage.” The Hill reports: “In response to an Iowa voter who expressed concern about Biden’s foreign policy record, the former vice president over the weekend said that he opposed the Iraq War ‘from the very moment’ it began in 2003, according to CNN.

“’The president then went ahead with “Shock and Awe,” and right after that — and from the very moment he did that, right after that — I opposed what he was doing and spoke to him,’ Biden said of President Bush on Saturday.”

Zunes has noted: “More than three months after U.N. inspectors returned, Biden defended the imminent launch of the invasion by saying, ‘I support the president. Diplomacy over avoiding war is dead. … I do not see any alternative. It is not as if we can back away now.’ He added, ‘Let loose the dogs of war. I’m confident we will win.’

“He then co-sponsored a resolution supporting Bush and the invasion.

“Despite the fact that three months of unfettered inspections had revealed none of the chemical weapons, biological weapons, nuclear programs, or sophisticated delivery systems Bush and Biden claimed Iraq possessed, Biden insisted in May 2003 that, ‘There was sufficient evidence to go into Iraq.’” See accuracy.org news release: “Biden’s Escalating Iraq War Lies.”

REESE ERLICH, ReeseErlich2 at hotmail.com, @ReeseErlich
Erlich is author of Iran Agenda: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis and is interviewing sources in Iran to get first-hand reactions to the assassination.

See recent interview with him: “What’s really going on with the US and Iran?” In response to the question: “Does Iran pose a danger to U.S. national interests?” Erlich responded: “Iran’s government is a right-wing, religious-based regime that represses its own people. It seeks regional influence, mainly in countries with large Shia populations such as Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and Bahrain, but also Syria. Washington cares little about human rights violations in Iran or anywhere else. It wants to reestablish a pro-U.S. regime in Iran that will allow U.S. oil companies to once again dominate the economy. The people of the U.S. have no national interest in protecting oil company profits. Recent events have shown that people in the region don’t want to be dominated by any foreign power, whether the U.S. or Iran.”

Was Soleimani Killed Because He Was Trying to Avert Conflict?

Liberation News reports: “Soleimani was in Iraq to ease regional tensions; then Trump said ‘Kill him.’ The New York Times also offers reporting on this, see below. Tuesday morning, Secretary of State Pompeo denied this, saying Soleimani “was not there on a diplomatic mission trying to resolve a problem.”

DOUGLAS VALENTINE, dougvalentine77 at gmail.com. Skype: Douglas_Valentine
Valentine is the author of The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World. His rare access to CIA officials has resulted in portions of his research materials being archived at the National Security Archive, Texas Tech University’s Vietnam Center and John Jay College. He has written three books on CIA operations, including the Phoenix Program: America’s Use of Terror in Vietnam, which documented the CIA’s elaborate system of population surveillance, control, entrapment, imprisonment, torture, and assassination in Vietnam.

He said today: “As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated in April 2019 while visiting Texas A&M University, that as CIA director, ‘we lied, we cheated, we stole.’ If the CIA assassinated or lured Soleimani because he was trying to defuse tensions, the U.S. government obviously wouldn’t admit it. That’s SOP [standard operating procedure].”

In his new interview with Parsi Policy, “Soleimani’s Assassination Act of Psychological Warfare,” Valentine states: “Psychological warfare — the shaping of beliefs, and thus political and social movements — is the most highly prized and effective of all intelligence operations. …

“Like all administrations, the Trump administration has ‘stated’ policies that satisfy its political base, and it has ‘unstated’ policies that are necessary to satisfy the Establishment. The CIA conducts Trump’s ‘unstated’ policies. …

“The CIA and military have ‘long range’ strategic plans in place. For example, the military has 800 bases around the world to ensure that U.S. corporations have access to foreign markets, and that the U.S. military dominates the world.”

See Valentine’s recent interview in CovertAction Magazine: “Inside the Organized Crime Syndicate known as the CIA: an Interview with Douglas Valentine.”

The New York Times reports: “President Trump and other American officials have said that General Soleimani was in the midst of planning attacks on United States forces when he was killed. But the general may have also been working as a go-between in quiet efforts to reduce the tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

“Hostility and competition for influence had grown for years between the two regional rivals, but in recent months, Iran and Saudi Arabia had taken steps toward indirect talks to defuse the situation.

“In an address to the Iraqi Parliament on Sunday, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi of Iraq said that he was supposed to meet with General Soleimani on the morning he was killed.

“It was expected that he was carrying a message for me from the Iranian side responding to the Saudi message that we had sent to the Iranian side to reach agreements and breakthroughs important for the situation in Iraq and the region,” Mr. Mahdi said.

“The content of the messages was not immediately clear, but Mr. Mahdi’s comments suggested that the drone strike ordered by Mr. Trump may have interrupted a diplomatic back channel aimed at averting conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia.”

Peace Movements in Iraq and U.S.

RAED JARRAR, jarrar.raed at gmail.com, @raedjarrar
Jarrar is an Iraqi-born human rights activist and writer based in Washington, D.C. He just wrote the piece “Iraq’s Vote to Kick Out U.S. Troops Reflects Growing Anti-Imperialist Movement.”

The New York Times reports: “Antiwar Protesters Across U.S. Condemn Killing of Suleiman.”

KATHY KELLY, kathy at vcnv.org, @voiceinwild
Kelly is with Voices for Creative Nonviolence and has worked on Iraq and other peace issues for over 20 years. She said today: “Beginning in 1990, Iraqis were afflicted by both military and economic warfare, waged by the U.S. Now, President Trump threatens sanctions ‘like they’ve never seen before.’ Will hundreds of thousands more children under age five die gruesome deaths because of a new round of U.S.-imposed economic sanctions?” See “Autopsy of a Disaster: The U.S. Sanctions Policy on Iraq” from the Institute for Public Accuracy, which documents the reports of the carnage resulting from the sanctions as well as the continuously shifting legal justifications from the U.S. government.

Kelly added: “In Baghdad, during the 2002 Shock and Awe bombing, I sat outside an emergency room next to a woman convulsed in sobs. How could she tell her badly maimed teenage nephew, in surgery for amputation of both his arms, that she was now his only surviving relative? Ali learned from a surgeon that he had lost both his arms. ‘Will I always be this way?’ he asked. Ali’s agonized words beg from us an impassioned question: ‘Will we always be this way?'”

SEAN REYNOLDS, joveismad at juno.com
Reynolds, also with Voices for Creative Nonviolence, has recently been to Iran. He spoke at a one of dozens of rallies around the country over the weekend — see his remarks — and stressed the extent to which wars ultimately have support from both the Republican and Democratic Party establishments.

Why Not Impeach Trump for War Crimes?

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at illinois.edu
Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law.  Boyle was legal adviser to Rep. Henry B. González and wrote the first draft of the González Impeachment Resolution in 1991. George H. W. Bush would later write in his memoirs that if the Gulf War “drags out, not only will I take the blame, but I will probably have impeachment proceedings filed against me.”

Boyle said today: “Hypocrisies and hypocrites abound. Trump should be impeached for his attacks and threats against Iran. These are far more brazen violations of the War Powers Clause of the U.S. Constitution than anything regarding Ukraine.

“Some Republicans claim that Trump did nothing wrong regarding the Ukraine. That’s clearly wrong. Some Democrats are claiming that they are standing up for the rule of law and to prevent further illegal acts by impeaching Trump for his actions there. But that doesn’t withstand a moment’s scrutiny. Trump should have been impeached for his illegal bombings in Syria. He wasn’t, so predictably, he has gone on to target Iran and is making further threats against it and Iraq.”

Boyle was on an accuracy.org news release on the War Powers Resolution, which was largely written by Rep. Paul Findley, who died last year at 98.

In 2017, Ben Rhodes, Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor, and foreign policy speechwriter, told Politico that President Obama feared impeachment if he targeted the Syrian government:

Rhodes: “The only country in the world that was prepared to join us [in attacking the Assad government] was France. And we had no domestic legal basis. We actually had Congress warning us against taking action without congressional authorization, which we interpreted as the president could face impeachment.”

Politico: “Really? Was the prospect of impeachment actually a factor in your conversations?”

Rhodes: “That was a factor. Go back and read the letters from Boehner, letters from the Republican members of Congress. They laid down markers that this would not be constitutional.”

House Speaker John Boehner wrote to Obama in 2013: “It is essential you address on what basis any use of force would be legally justified and how the justification comports with the exclusive authority of Congressional authorization under Article I of the Constitution.”

War Industry CEOs’ Stocks Spike

SARAH ANDERSON, sarah at ips-dc.org, @SarahDAnderson1
Anderson directs the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies and co-edits the IPS publication Inequality.org. She just wrote the piece “The Threat of War Inflates Stock Holdings of Military Contractor CEOs,” which states: “CEOs of major U.S. military contractors stand to reap huge windfalls from the escalation of conflict with Iran. This was evident in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. assassination of a top Iranian military official last week. As soon as the news reached financial markets, these companies’ share prices spiked, inflating the value of their executives’ stock-based pay.

“I took a look at how the CEOs at the top five Pentagon contractors were affected by this surge, using the most recent SEC information on their stock holdings.

“Northrop Grunman executives saw the biggest increase in the value of their stocks after the U.S. airstrike that killed Qasem Suleimani on January 2. Shares in the B-2 bomber maker rose 5.43 percent by the end of trading the following day.

“Wesley Bush, who turned Northrop Grunman’s reins over to Kathy Warden last year, held 251,947 shares of company stock in various trusts as of his final SEC Form 4 filing in May 2019. (Companies must submit these reports when top executives and directors buy and sell company stock.) Assuming Bush is still sitting on that stockpile, he saw the value grow by $7.4 million to a total of $94.5 million last Friday. …

“Sen. Bernie Sanders, for instance, has a plan to deny federal contracts to companies that pay CEOs more than 150 times what their typical worker makes.

“As long as we allow the top executives of our privatized war economy to reap unlimited rewards, the profit motive for war in Iran — or anywhere — will persist.”

Iran: Trump “Wagging the Dog” as Democrats Egging on His Militarism

Consortium News reports in “Fear of a Major Mideast War“: Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Commander Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani, assassinated by the U.S. on Thursday night, “had been head of the Quds Force for 23 years. The Pentagon allegation is that he directed attacks on U.S. military during the U.S. illegal occupation of Iraq after its 2003 invasion. Soleimani was one of the men most responsible for defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria. …

“The assassination comes after Trump was impeached and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was indicted last year. Both are facing difficult re-election campaigns in 2020 and have long portrayed Iran as the greatest enemy of Israel and the United States.”

RAED JARRAR, jarrar.raed at gmail.com, @raedjarrar
Jarrar is an Iraqi-born human rights activist and writer based in Washington, D.C. He has been on two recent accuracy.org news releases warning against such U.S. actions. He was recently quoted in USA Today. He just tweeted: “Unfortunately, the news of the U.S. assassination of Soleimani … is not only an escalation, it marks the end to the proxy war between the U.S. and Iran … now it’s just war.”

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at illinois.edu
Professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Boyle’s books include Destroying World Order. See his essay, “American Militarism Threatening to Set Off World War III.”  He said today: “This attack is a violation of the UN Charter and also the War Powers Clause of the U.S. Constitution and War Powers Resolution by Congress. … Trump is wagging the dog to stave off conviction by the Senate.” In 1998, Bill Clinton launched a bombing campaign against Iraq just before his scheduled impeachment.

DAVID BARSAMIAN, barsamian at riseup.net
Barsamian is author of Targeting Iran and the forthcoming ReTargeting Iran. He was visited by the FBI following his most recent trip to Iran. He said today: “The assassination of General Qassem Soleimani is pouring gasoline on a region in flames. The Trump administration has been itching for a fight with Iran ever since it pulled out of the nuclear deal in May 2018.” Barsamian stressed the humanitarian toll of the sanctions the U.S. government has placed on Iran and the building of U.S. military bases that surround Iran. He added: “The Trump administration has threatened Iran with ‘obliteration.’ … Iran will respond to Soleimani’s killing and the possibility of a wider conflict will increase.”

DAVID SWANSON, davidcnswanson at gmail.com, @davidcnswanson
Executive director of World Beyond War, Swanson notes the militaristic policy commonalities between Trump and establishment Democrats.

Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept notes: “While warning us that Trump is the gravest threat in U.S. history, many leading Democrats have voted to give Trump unprecedented military budgets and sweeping surveillance powers.”

Swanson notes for example that Sen. Chris Murphy tweeted on New Years Eve: “The attack on our embassy in Baghdad is horrifying but predictable. Trump has rendered America impotent in the Middle East. No one fears us, no one listens to us. America has been reduced to huddling in safe rooms, hoping the bad guys will go away. What a disgrace.”

See from Ali Abunimah: “Why Trump is escalating the U.S.-Israeli war on Iran.”

See “Dogs of War” by Sam Husseini about the dynamics surrounding the Clinton impeachment.

Behind the Iraq Protests: U.S. and Iran “Partners in Crime”

RAED JARRAR, jarrar.raed at gmail.com, @raedjarrar
Jarrar is an Iraqi-born human rights activist and writer based in Washington, D.C. He recently wrote the piece “What Do Iraqi Protesters Want?” and was  interviewed on the Intercepted podcast with Jeremy Scahill. Earlier this month, he was featured on an accuracy.org news release: “Iraq Protests Escalating Against Foreign Interference and Sectarianism” in which he raised the possibility of protesters entering the Green Zone.

He said today: “While Iraqi protesters have been taking to the streets for months now with clear demands that include the end to all foreign intervention in their country, both the U.S. and Iranian governments have been attempting to manipulate them for their own political benefit. The recent escalation between the U.S. and Iran, including the protests outside the U.S. Embassy today by the Iraqi Hezbollah militia, is just the latest example of this manipulation.

“Reports from human rights organizations indicate that hundreds of unarmed Iraqi civilians have been killed and thousands injured by the Iraqi government and militias linked to ruling parties, including Hezbollah. These Iraqi ruling parties are supported and armed by both the U.S. and Iranian governments. Even groups like Hezbollah (with closer ties to Iran) were caught with five U.S.-made Abrams tanks a few years ago — the U.S. and Iran are seen by the majority of Iraqis as partners in crime when it comes to supporting these sectarian militias.

“With over 11 attacks against U.S. bases in Iraq over the past few weeks by pro-Iranian militias, the Iranian government is escalating pressure on the U.S., trying to manipulate Iraqis into channeling their outrage toward the U.S. instead of Iran. Likewise, the U.S. government is also pointing fingers at Iran, telling Iraqis that Iranian foreign intervention is their problem.

“Iraqi protestors believe that both the U.S. and Iran are the problem. Iraqi protestors stormed into the Iranian consulates in the south of the country last month, and — if they had access to the Green Zone — they would have also protested against the U.S. Embassy.”

“Although today’s protest at the embassy was staged by Hezbollah, the U.S. government should not respond by escalating its proxy war against Iran in Iraq. The U.S. government should understand that Iraqis are also equally opposed to U.S. intervention. The right move is to deescalate, withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq, and end U.S. military aid to the Iraqi government and its deadly sectarian militias.”

Democrats Backing Trump “Dominating” Space, Violating Treaties

KARL GROSSMAN, kgrossman at hamptons.com
Grossman just wrote the piece “The Very Bad Space Force Deal,” which states: “Unless grassroots action somehow stops it, it looks likely that the Trump scheme for a Space Force, a sixth branch of United States armed forces, will happen. The U.S. House of Representatives last week passed the $738 billion military policy bill that gives Trump his sought-for Space Force as he moves for what he terms ‘American dominance in space.’

“The vote for what is titled the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2020 was 377 to 48. Some 189 Republicans and 188 Democrats voted for it. Six Republican House members voted no, along with 41 Democrats and one independent.

“The large Democratic yes vote came as a result of a trade-off for 12 weeks of paid parental leave for civilian federal employees. The New York Times’ article said Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and advisor, was pivotal. ‘It was Mr. Kushner who helped broker a deal to create the Space Force, a chief priority of the president’s, in exchange for the paid parental leave, a measure championed by his wife, Ivanka Trump, also a senior advisor to the president,’ said The Times. ….

“The Trump administration and the U.S. military have been claiming that a Space Force is necessary because of Russia and China moving into space militarily but, in fact, Russia and China and U.S. neighbor Canada have been leaders for decades in pushing for an expansion of the Outer Space Treaty. It bans weapons of mass destruction in space. The Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) treaty that the three nations have sought to expand would prohibit the placement of any weapons in space.

“The U.S. — under both Republican and Democratic presidential administrations — has opposed the PAROS treaty and effectively vetoed its enactment at the United Nations.” Grossman is professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College at Old Westbury. He is author of The Wrong Stuff: The Space’s Program’s Nuclear Threat to Our Planet.

BRUCE GAGNON, globalnet at mindspring.com
Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Gagnon, is quoted in Grossman’s piece: “It is not a surprise, but still disheartening, to see that 188 Democrats joined with Republicans to pass the NDAA bill in the House.” He noted that “the Democrats were led by Rep. Adam Smith from the Seattle area which means that the aerospace giant Boeing Corp., which stands to make a gold mine off Space Force, clearly pulls Mr. Smith’s chain.”

Buttigieg’s “Disingenuous Attack on Medicare-for-All”

HELAINE OLEN, helaine.olen at washpost.com, @helaineolen

Olen is an opinion writer with the Washington Post and recently wrote the piece “Pete Buttigieg’s Disingenuous Attack on Medicare-for-All,” which notes: “When South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg released a list of the clients he worked for while at powerhouse consultant McKinsey a decade ago, one immediately leaped out to observers: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. After bringing the firm on, the nonprofit insurer downsized employees. When asked about it by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow…Buttigieg denied having anything to do with those decisions, pointing out the downsizing came after he ceased working on that project. He then answered a question he wished had been asked. ‘What I do know is there are some voices in the Democratic primary right now who are calling for a policy that would eliminate the job of every single American working at every single insurance company in the country.’ …

“These are not, in many cases, jobs that help keep people healthy. They are, instead, holders of positions responsible for deciding on the validity of your insurance claim, or ensuring the medical provider gets the maximum amount of money for it. They are, in other words, the foot soldiers in a system that is causing active harm to millions of other Americans — financially, emotionally and to their health. …

“Furthermore, Medicare-for-all doesn’t leave the people holding these endangered positions hanging. It’s all but certain, for starters, that some number of these people would transition into the new system to continue filling administrative needs. As for others, the Medicare-for-all legislation does offer downsized workers retraining, and that doesn’t even include Sanders’s initiative that would guarantee anyone who wanted it a job with the federal government paying at least $15 an hour. Moreover, there are jobs in the health-care industry that need filling now or in the future. Demand for home health-care aides to work with the elderly is surging, while other research points to a future increased demand for everything from doctors to nurse practitioners to lab technicians. …

“In other words, if your defense against Medicare-for-all is that you prefer our current system of a privatized, costly and highly inefficient jobs program that delivers inferior health-care outcomes, you should be up front about all that.”

Olen’s books include The Index Card and Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry.

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