Following up on the 7 January Trends Journal Special Report detailing the U.S. assassination of Iran’s General Qassim Soleimani, the next day, Iran responded by firing over a dozen missiles at Iraqi military bases housing American troops.
There were no deaths, nor any major casualties.
It was reported that Iran provided advanced notice of the attack, so all troops could be moved out of harm’s way. Iranian Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh stated, “We did not intend to kill. We intended to hit the enemy’s military machinery.”
Vice President Mike Pence, however, claimed the missiles fired by Iran “were intended to kill Americans” and that the administration had intelligence to support his claim.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: As with the reasons for President Trump’s order to take out Soleimani based on intelligence warnings of an “imminent threat” but providing no evidence to substantiate the claim, again no such intelligence has been forthcoming to support Pence’s claim.
Furthermore, what “Americans” were intended to be killed? New Yorkers? Los Angelinos? Or American troops illegally occupying and engaging in warfare in sovereign nations that have posed no threat to the United States, i.e. Iraq, Yemen, Syria, etc.?
More War Coming
Trump’s reaction to Iran’s missile attack was that they were “standing down” and called for additional sanctions as well as suggesting to NATO to get more involved.
Last Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced sanctions to cut off billions of dollars to Iran’s construction, mining, and manufacturing industries. The sanctions blacklisted anyone who transacts business with any of those industries. This new round of sanctions come on top of the “maximum pressure” sanctions that have already severely crippled Iran’s economy and have created great hardship for its citizens.
Pompeo stated, “We are striking at the heart of the regime’s inner security apparatus.”
In the aftermath of the Soleimani assassination, reports emerged of growing concern within the Pentagon that Trump is a wild card making the situation in the Middle East more volatile.
Michael Rubin, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, stated, “What we are seeing is a great deal of frustration and confusion because Trump does not abide by rules and procedures.” Rubin also said, “… the political bungling of the aftermath threatens to strip away the advantage.”
Specifically, a number of Pentagon officials are concerned about the possible expulsion of U.S. troops from Iraq, which has been voted on by the Iraqi Parliament in a non-binding resolution, and they expressed concern about Trump’s threat to bomb Iran’s cultural sites, a clear violation of the Geneva Convention.
Brigadier General Esmail Ghaan, the Iranian military commander who replaced Soleimani, said Iran would react to Soleimani’s murder by “uprooting the U.S. from the region.” Ghaan has been deputy commander under Soleimani since 1997.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: President Trump justified the killing of General Soleimani, the “world’s top terrorist,” in part because he was responsible for “killing and wounding thousands of U.S. service members and many, many thousands and even hundreds of thousands of other people.”
U.S. intelligence claims the General provided Iraqi insurgents with bomb-making equipment and training.
Absent in western media reporting is the fact that the United States illegally invaded Iraq in 2003 based on the “imminent threat”/lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
In their coverage, the media employs propagandist language to describe soldiers and citizens fighting an invader of their nation as “insurgents.”
If it were a country the U.S. and its allies supported – or if another nation attacked America and its citizens fought the invaders – instead, the western media would call the soldiers and citizens “Freedom Fighters.”
Also absent in mainstream media coverage is that while President Trump claims Soleimani is responsible for “killing and wounding thousands of U.S. service members” is the fact that America and its allies have no legal right to occupy this foreign nation. Instead, the coverage not only doesn’t question the illegality of American war and occupation in Iraq but also leaves the impression that America is the victim rather than the cause.
Trump also said Soleimani “spread destruction and mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond.”
Once again, the mainstream media Presstitutes, as they have throughout this crisis, totally ignore the gruesome facts that America and its allies have bombed the entire nation into rubble, killed and wounded millions, and caused the displacement of millions of Iraqis.
The Presstitutes also refuse to acknowledge it is the United States and its allies, not Iran, which have “spread destruction and mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond,” with their Libyan, Iraq, Yemen, Syrian, Afghan, Mali, etc. illegal, murderous wars that have cost U.S. tax payers trillions to kill millions.
Indeed, left out of mainstream media coverage is last Wednesday’s U.S. murder of over 60 innocent Afghan men, women, and children in drone attacks targeting Taliban commander Mullah Nangyalay… an enemy of the U.S. occupier.
We note this because U.S. justification for the bombing of several Iranian-backed militia sites, which killed some 30 troops and wounded scores, was in retaliation for “an American contractor” killed in a rocket attack. Yet killing 60 innocent civilians in a 19-year-long war, and, again, as the Afghanistan papers prove, based on lies, is neither mentioned by the media nor condemned by Congress.
And, it was in fact America’s bombing run that ignited Iranian-backed Iraqi militia to launch the demonstration at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, contrary to accusations from Trump that Soleimani had planned it.
Another major fallout of the U.S. assassination of Soleimani is Iran’s statement that it will no longer honor nuclear enrichment limits, which it had agreed to and was complying with as part of the Iran Nuclear Deal (the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action”). President Trump pulled the U.S. out of that agreement in 2018.
Shortly after Soleimani’s assassination, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif confirmed: “There will no longer be any restriction on number of centrifuges.”
The murder of Soleimani, considered a national hero in Iran, has been a rallying cry unifying a country that just months ago saw over a million of its citizens rebelling against their own government due to a battered economy, rising energy prices, and loss of jobs.
Taking to the streets last November, it was reported that hundreds of protesters were killed by government security forces, and the country was reeling from internal turmoil. Now the citizens’ rage is aimed at the U.S. for its “maximum pressure” strategy against them.
Last week, most of America’s European allies were reluctant to support the U.S. escalation of anti-Iran pressure. Reacting to President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo’s continued claims of an “imminent threat” posed by Iran, a spokesperson for NATO stated, “It is important that we understand the imminent threat – that will help us to be more supportive than we are now.”
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called Trump’s move “a dangerous escalation” and voiced concern that “terrorists would be the only winners.”
UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace went further: “The assumption that we were always going to be part of a U.S. coalition is really just not where we are going to be.”
Over the weekend, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on her European allies to stand by the nuclear accord with Iran despite the U.S. increase in sanctions and Iran’s response to ramp up its uranium enrichment program.
Russia has joined in the condemnation of the Soleimani murder with the statement from its foreign ministry: “The killing of a representative of a government of a sovereign state, an official, these actions are completely devoid of any legal basis.”
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: To date, despite repeated allegations, no evidence has been provided that Soleimani was an “imminent threat.” In fact, it was reported Sunday that last June, Trump signed off on an operation to kill Soleimani, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wanted the President to authorize the assassination.
Therefore, considering the latest information, it is clear that the “imminent threat” line is an outright lie, and the assassination plot was long in the making.
And yesterday, brushing off the lack of evidence of “imminent threat” that was sold to the American people and the world as the reason for assassinating Soleimani, President Trump said, “It really doesn’t matter” that they haven’t provided any proof.
Yet, the Administration continues to sell the line: “There was going to be an attack within a matter of days that would be broad in scale, in other words more than one country, and that it would be bigger that previous attacks,” proclaimed U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday.
Who’s the Best Liar?
Despite President Trump and Pompeo’s accusations that Soleimani had planned to attack four U.S. embassies, on Sunday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper admitted he has not seen any evidence, yet he supported the President’s “view” (i.e., lie) that “probably – my expectation was they were going to go after out embassies.”
The lies continue unabated. From the Gulf of Tonkin to all of the U.S.-waged wars since, the Liars-in-Chiefs and the pathological liars of the highest order within their administrations continue on the path of murder and destruction in the name of “Freedom and Democracy”… sacrificing the lives of soldiers and innocent civilians and paid for with trillions by “We the People.”
President Trump continued to pressure Europe last week when he announced the added sanctions on Iran, stating, “Peace cannot prevail in the Middle East as long as Iran continues to foment violence.” He called on Britain, France, Germany, and other European nations to follow the U.S. lead and pull out of the Iran Nuclear Deal. Those nations have been trying to keep the deal together since the U.S. pullout in 2018.
Referring to the European allies, Trump added, “Nations have tolerated Iran’s destructive and destabilizing behavior. Those days are over.”
In response to the Soleimani assassination, EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borell called for a de-escalation of tensions and called his counterpart in Iran to discuss preserving the nuclear deal.
In a phone conversation with President Trump, France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, expressed his country’s support of the U.S.-European alliance and offered that Iran “must avoid destabilizing actions.”
As for Iraq’s parliament order for U.S. troops to leave, a NATO spokesman said, “NATO’s mission [in Iraq] is continuing, but training activities are currently suspended.”
America’s allies in the Middle East have voiced strong concerns over their safety after the Soleimani assassination. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar are well within range of Iran’s missiles and all house U.S. military personnel.
One Saudi official stated, “The timing was a killer and we definitely did not see it coming and are not really prepared for it.”
One of Trump’s strongest allies, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has publicly praised him for killing General Soleimani: “President Trump is deserving of all esteem for taking determined, strong and quick action. I would like to reiterate – Israel fully stands alongside the US in the just struggle for security, peace and self-defense.”
TREND-TRACKING LESSON: The major American media Presstitutes continue to churn out government propaganda, pretending to know what they are talking about without providing evidence. Margaret Brennan, host of CBS’s “Face the Nation,” reported that “Qassem Soleimani directed mass murder.”
How does she know this? Where are the facts? What about America’s mass murder of millions in Iraq?
From the Cartoon News Network (CNN), it’s “reporter” Jake Tapper, while interviewing Defense Secretary Esper on Sunday, set up the question with the affirmative statement, “We know Soleimani was a horrible guy and he killed a lot of innocent people and a lot of U.S. soldiers… there is no question about that.”
“We know?” Sure, as if Soleimani was a household name in America…
How do you know? Where are your hard facts?
Don’t need any. Why?
Because Tapper says: “There is no question about that.”
Conclusion: The media knows best. You have no right to question either government or media “authorities.”
The motto of this Trend-Tracking Lesson: Think for Yourself – Not how they tell you to think! Listen and read carefully the language they use to support their conclusions and make their case.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: If, in fact, there were imminent danger of attacks against U.S. interests in the Middle East, it is nonsensical to conclude that the killing of one person would quash those plans, since there are others in Iran who could step in and initiate them.
The Party Line
With few exceptions, throughout the Democratic Party and among most of their contestants in the Presidential Reality Show, they all trumpet the Trump line from Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren describing Soleimani as a “murderer responsible for the deaths of thousands.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden said, “He deserved to be brought to justice for his crimes against American Troops and thousands of innocents throughout the region.”
Left unsaid was the fact that when Soleimani was assassinated, it was reported that he was scheduled to meet with Iraqi interim President Adil Abdul-Mahdi to discuss peace talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia and that he was the leader most responsible for defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Unintended Consequence of War
Last Wednesday, a Ukrainian commercial aircraft heading to Kiev exploded soon after taking off from Tehran’s airport. All 176 passengers and crew onboard, most from Iran and Canada, lost their lives.
On Thursday, U.S. and Canadian officials said evidence pointed to the plane being shot down by an Iranian missile. Iran claimed to have no involvement and forcibly denied the accusation.
The head of Iran’s national aviation department, Ali Abedzadeh, said at a news conference, “What we can say with certainty is that no missile hit the plane.”
But with evidence mounting from an investigation by Ukrainian officials that the plane was brought down by a missile, on Saturday, Iran admitted its military had shot down the plane by mistake.
General Amir Ali Hajizadeh confirmed the Iranian military unintentionally shot down the plane, stating, “The plane was flying in its normal direction without any error… if there was a mistake, it was made by one of our members.”
The admission of the deadly mistake came days after Iran’s leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, denied his country’s responsibility. The Ayatollah claimed both he and Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, were not informed of the true cause until Friday.
Later on Saturday, Rouhani referred to the crash as an “unforgivable mistake.”
Since the news of the mistaken disaster and its apparent cover-up, thousands of angered Iranian citizens took to the streets to protest their leaders’ actions. Anti-riot security used tear gas to disperse the growing demonstrations.
Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, issued an apology on Twitter: “Human error at a time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster.”
Hossein Salami, the commander-in-chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, said, “I swear to almighty god that I wished I were in that plane and crashed with them.”
He vowed to make up for the tragic error, while at the same time making it clear his military force would never back down from confronting the presence of U.S. troops.
“We are at war with the United States,” Salami said. He confirmed to the Iranian people, “We do not consider the conflict with the United States over. We are the soldiers of the people, and we will sacrifice ourselves for you.”
The Political Stage
Responding to the outburst of anger among Iranian citizens at the actions of its government, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo remarked, “The voice of the Iranian people is clear… They are fed up with the regime’s lies, corruption, ineptitude and brutality.”
U.S. Presidential candidates Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, however, put the blame for the Ukrainian plane disaster directly on President Trump’s decision to escalate a war environment by assassinating General Soleimani.
Buttigieg stated the passenger victims “were caught in the middle of an unnecessary and unwanted military tit for tat.”
Ms. Gabbard said, “Having foresight and being able to look at what the consequences are of going to war with Iran, I think is a serious thing, and responsibility of the present Commander-in-Chief, that he and his administration have not looked at.”
Indeed, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in response to the attack in which 57 of the victims were Canadians, said yesterday, “I think if there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families.”
Lies, Lies, and More Lies
As reported on Monday, for several months, the United States had planned the assassination of General Soleimani, thus the official reason President Trump ordered his assassination was because he was an “imminent threat” and had planned to attack four U.S. embassies is a new excuse for an old plan.
There is further proof that the U.S. murder mission was much greater than the line of Soleimani’s “imminent threat” and embassy attacks.
It was just reported that the U.S. also attempted to assassinate Adel Reza Shahlai, a member of Iran’s Quds Force, who was in Yemen advising Houthis fighting against the U.S-backed Saudi war.
It is barely reported in the media that America’s Saudi “ally” has killed over 100,000 thousand Yemeni citizens, created a cholera epidemic, put eight million on the brink of starvation… and, according the U.N., is the worst humanitarian crisis on Earth.
TREND FORECAST: Iran’s missile attack that brought down the Ukrainian airline killing 176 people – and the government’s initial denial – derailed the outpouring of citizen support for its government following Soleimani’s assassination.
As economic conditions continue to deteriorate, due primarily to “massive” U.S. sanctions, anti-government demonstration, primarily led by younger segments of the population, will intensify.
Should war escalate between the Saudi/U.S./Israel coalition and Iran, however, its citizens will again unite as they did after Soleimani’s death.
TREND FORECAST: As evidenced following Iran’s retaliatory strike last Tuesday at Iraqi bases housing U.S. soldiers, gold and oil prices spiked and equity markets sank. However, when it was reported that damage was limited and there were no casualties, they reversed direction.
As evidenced by the U.S.’s long-standing plans from last June to assassinate Soleimani and others, is assured that additional war plans have also been drawn up against Iran, which we forecast will be implemented by the U.S. and its coalition in the future.
And, as we have long noted, should crude oil spike to near the $100 per barrel mark, equity markets will tank, economies will sink, and gold prices will sharply rise.
TREND-TRACKING LESSON: It is essential to match the language with the facts. For example, in the New York Times reporting of the death of General Soleimani this past Sunday, this is in part how they characterized him: “At 62, with a narrow face, gray hair and a close-cropped beard, General Sulemiani was known for … .”
What does a narrow face, grey hair, and a close-cropped beard have to do with “reporting” on this major geopolitical crisis?
“Narrow face”: a taste of propaganda that implants a negative image.
Therefore, under the rules of U.S. media, it would be acceptable for Iran’s FarsNews agency, when reporting on Trump to write: “At 73, with a fat face, brightly bleached reddish-blond hair combed over from back to front, obese President Trump was known for… .”
In that same article, the Times wrote:
“After decades of working in the shadows, General Suleimani had emerged in recent years… as a public figure most associated with Iran’s goal of achieving regional dominance.”
The word “shadows” implies secretive and shady, while “achieving regional dominance” discounts the reality of America’s ongoing Middle East warfare for “dominance.”
Ignored by the Times and American media are the wars launched by America, a nation 5,000 miles away, with the goal for “achieving regional dominance:”
- The Iraq War launched in 1980 against Iran that the Reagan administration supported (remember Regan’s Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld delivering the golden cowboy spurs to Saddam Hussein, cheering him on to war?)
- The U.S./U.K. 1990 Gulf War against Iraq.
- President Bill Clinton’s years of bombing Iraq, imposing no fly zones and sanctions which, according the United Nations, resulted in the death of some 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five… that then-U.S. Ambassador Margaret Albright said on “60 Minutes” the deaths were “worth the price.”
- The Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen wars launched by the U.S. and its allies for “regional dominance.”
Since the vast majority of the public does not delve deep into the facts, they buy the bylines and sound bites of hateful propaganda spewed by Washington and the media… and dutifully follow their leader.
Thus, as America is led to war, there will be little mass resistance.