The Empire Is Guilty of Everything It Accuses Iran of Doing

"If any accused war criminal at an airport is fair game, then there are a lot of people in DC and Northern Virginia who better start traveling by train or ship"

“Raining down drone missiles on a guy in plain sight at a civilian airport just drives the cowardice home further”

Editor’s note: An imperfect but decent enough article, an example of the best we’re going to get from the mainstream. As long as it’s antiwar and does more good than bad I’ll take it. Some exceptionally well-written sections.


Donald Trump drastically escalated the United States’ ongoing conflict with Iran on Thursday night by ordering the assassination of Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani with an airstrike on the Baghdad International Airport. It takes what was arguably already a war (with an economic blockade and regular skirmishes with Iranian proxy forces) to a straight-up shooting war.

Events like this bring out the absolute worst in the American foreign policy community. Many conservative writers and thinkers, including former National Security Adviser John Bolton, the Hudson Institute’s Michael Doran, and Commentary‘s Noah Rothman, openly cheered this Putin-style cold-blooded murder of a foreign statesman [Name one example of Putin ever assassinating a foreign statesman?]. Other more supposedly nonpartisan commentators uncritically parroted Trump administration assertions that Iran was planning something bad. Every top Democratic presidential candidate except Bernie Sanders was careful to foreground that Soleimani was a bad guy before condemning the assassination in their initial comments.

The truth is that Soleimani was not all that different from any of about five dozen current and former American politicians and bureaucrats — if anything, he was considerably more restrained about the use of force. Yes, he was involved in a lot of bloody wars — but so was every American president since 2000, and besides half the wars he fought in were started or fueled by the United States. It’s just another instance of America’s gigantic hypocrisy when it comes to war.

As writer Derek Davison explains, Soleimani was no ordinary general. He was more like a cross between the American vice president and the secretary of state — one of the two or three most famous and powerful people in Iran behind Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Soleimani commanded the Quds Force, a Special Forces-type operation supporting Iranian allies in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and many other countries. American hardliners hate him mainly for supporting Hezbollah and Hamas, and for arming insurgents who fought the American occupation of Iraq. Incidentally, as recently as September 2015, Trump plainly had no idea whatsoever who Soleimani was. Indeed, as Mehdi Hasan writes at The Intercept, when Hugh Hewitt asked him about the Quds Force, he thought Hewitt had said “Kurds.”

So yes, Soleimani has fueled a lot of nasty conflicts and killed a lot of people, directly or indirectly, many of them American soldiers — though it’s worth noting also that much of his recent effort has been dedicated to fighting ISIS (with great effectiveness, by all accounts) in a tacit uneasy alliance with U.S. forces.

Yet even the worst of Soleimani’s record pales in comparison with the most blood-drenched American warmongers. If Soleimani deserves condemnation for arming Iraqi insurgents, then George W. Bush and Dick Cheney deserve 10 times as much for starting the war in the first place. It was a pointless, illegal war of aggression [But if it was a war of aggression wouldn’t that make arming the “insurgents”, as Soleimani actually did not do, praise-worthy?] sold on lies that obliterated Iraqi society and killed perhaps half a million people, almost all of them innocent civilians. (Our own Soleimani, General David Petraeus, was connected to the operation of Iraqi torture dungeons and paramilitary death squads during the fight against the insurgency.)

If Soleimani deserves blame for helping Bashar al-Assad brutally defeat Syrian [jihadi] rebels, Henry Kissinger deserves 10 times as much for orchestrating the bombing slaughter of perhaps a quarter million Cambodians and paving the way for the Khmer Rouge genocide that killed 1.7 million people.

If any accused war criminal at an airport is fair game, then there are a lot of people in D.C. and Northern Virginia who better start traveling by train or ship.

Indeed, the Quds Force itself was originally created during the Iran-Iraq War, which was started by a heavily U.S.-backed Saddam Hussein in 1980. A million Iranians died in the grueling eight-year conflict. And the reason the Islamic Republic exists in the first place is because the United States and Britain toppled Iran’s fledgling democracy in 1953and installed a brutal dictator.

It is not exactly hard to understand why Iran — like about every other country in the Middle East — keeps some brutal, hard people like Soleimani around. It’s a violent, unstable neighborhood, and war is an unavoidable reality. And no country is more responsible for that fact than the United States.

Chauvinist American commentators always presume America has the best intentions, and that the American military is composed of saintly warrior-poets [Where as Trump knows swathes of the American public are actually perfectly fine with far more bloody-minded US “warriors”. ]. The reality is that the lumbering American colossus has unleashed a Thirty Years’ War-level of violent chaos all around Iran for no good reason at all. We are ruled by a president who recently reversed the demotion of a guy turned in by his own fellow soldiers for war crimes — namely, gleefully murdering helpless prisoners, old men, and little girls for sport.

The apparent fact that the Soleimani assassination was carried out by drone strike at a civilian airport really is the perfect capstone for the last two decades of lunatic American violence.

Nothing deflates the hysterically macho chest-thumping self-image of American warmongers than the fact that for the last decade and more the signature U.S. method of killing people has been a robot plus a gamer in a box 10,000 miles away.

Raining down drone missiles on a guy in plain sight at a civilian airport — built at vast expense with U.S. money, by the way — just drives the cowardice home further. Nothing gets the armchair generals more fired up than vaporizing somebody who can’t defend themselves or fight back in any way.

But as Davison writes, there could still very well be serious blowback from this assassination. The Iraqi government, which is teetering on the edge of collapse, was enraged at this contemptuous violation of its sovereignty, and will likely move to expel all U.S. forces from the country. There are a dozen places Iran could strike back — either at overextended American bases, or by disrupting oil shipping, or by a swarm attack on an American carrier group, or some other way.

The United States is so powerful that it has been able to get away with decades of pointless atrocities. One of these days it will pay for its imperial hubris. That day may be quite soon.

Source: The Week

10 Comments
  1. […] The Empire Is Guilty of Everything It Accuses Iran of Doing by Ryan Cooper on January 7, 2020 at 11:52 […]

  2. Mary E says

    After the deaths of Soleimani and his Iraqi counterpart (who was just as important to Iraq as Soleimani was to Iran), the ‘ball’ is in Iran’s and Iraq’s court…who knows what kind of plan they will come up with to exact revenge on the ignoramous in the White House..but they will! It may take weeks or months, but it WILL happen! The road is now closed to the US in international diplomacy circles…it has spent its wad, so to speak.

  3. Rowdy-Yates says

    The Empire Is Guilty of Everything It Accuses Iran of Doing
    That is purely Jewish. It is said that a Jew would scream “Anti Semite” while he hacks a person to death.

  4. Nick Rhynes says

    It’s the GOPhers MO these days, all your favorite hits from the Nazi propoganda machine.

    ‘Accuse others of what you yourself is doing’ is right up there with the ‘Bigger the lie…

    They think every American is stupid. Unfortunatley, they’re about 35% right.

  5. silver749 says

    A US backed Saddam Hussein who they later killed, started the Iran Iraq war using chemical weapons given by the US against all CW rules. Now the US acts like the never used a CW – Hussein had no possible way of making any nukes couldn’t even enrich any gramm of uranium. Any pea brain knew it.

  6. John Rourke says

    “So yes, Soleimani has fueled a lot of nasty conflicts and killed a lot of people, directly or indirectly, many of them American soldiers ” and where were these American soldiers killed? Oh You mean the American foot soldiers in Iraq and Syria..aka ISIS and Al-Qaeda and the other myriad of groups under the direction of the US..I am curious as many Americans say Soleimani has killed American soldiers..no links,no info..just the statement as if it’s true because they said so..but where and when?I’m not saying he didn’t kill any..quite possible..but usually it’s the Americans bombing the militia’s…must be some CIA spooks on this forum to fill me in where.

  7. thomas malthaus says

    As to what occurred with Japanese-Americans during WW II, I suspect Trump will order indefinite detainment or immediate, forceful deportation for Iranians.

    This can’t be the stimulus for why the FEMA camps were built, is it?

    The Jews have spoken.

    1. Mary E says

      We suspected all along that those FEMA camps in the deserts of the US were not for americans endangered by foul weather or war…but for those who are of a descent of a country the US would be at war with….but keep that on the back burner for a while….
      Just don’t forget the impeachment and how important it is to Americans!!!!

      1. thomas malthaus says

        I don’t know if all of them have desert locations. I don’t have that info.
        An impending economic crisis without an adequate solution likely to take out at least 300 million Americans, I have thought of them as mass cemeteries–though without proof.

  8. James Willy says

    Just wondering about the sub-title to this article. Does this mean that maybe, FINALLY, these wind bags might FINALLY target some of the scum refered to in the subtitle? Probably Not. So far not even one of them has been hit. That is why this situation now exists. Nothing it seems is gonna change that. They won’t fight back. We just aint gonna get to watch that cuz they won’t do it.

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