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Revered Martyrs? Holy Hell!

by ARGeezer Sun Jan 5th, 2020 at 02:46:40 AM EST

We have seen Qassem Soleimani refered to here and in the US media as a 'revered martyr'. It is understandable that he might be revered and seen as a martyr in Iran and by Shia Iraqis, but there is no reason for US media to repeat that framing for US audiences. Soleimani was a brilliant strategist but no more to be revered than any pedophile prelate, prostitute politician or US general. I am struck by the smirk that is so often on his face, especially when basking in the approval of the Supreme Leader. He is more aptly compared to the IRA strategists behind the London bombings in the 20th century. Repeating the  characterization of 'revered martyr' both reinforces Iranian propaganda and simultaneously makes US journalists using it look  ridiculous and/or or suspect to a good portion of the US population.

The claim that Soleimani almost single-handedly saved Shia Islam is surely hyperbolie. Shia have been persecuted by Suni since the death of Ali, but yet they survive and flourish. They have well earned their reputation for being a persecuted minority. But now they are the ones doing the persecuting in Iran. Shia are in control there and have dealt harshly with many of the ethnic minorities that had served the Persian Empire. They won't even allow Baha'i children in Iran to attend school. Many Iranian ex-pats I knew in LA were minorities, Jews, Baha'i, Kurds, etc. The Persian empire under the Shahs was a much friendlier place for ethnic and religious minorities. Now Iran 'enjoys' Shia triumphalism.

None of this is intended to justify the sorry way in which Western powers from the Crusades to British and French Imperialism, the legacy of which was assumed by the US, has treated Suni and Shia alike nor to pick sides between them. Saudi Whabi and Salafi in general are a match in fanaticism for anything Shia Islam has to offer. It is still the Middle Ages in the Middle East.  

Ironically, Soliemani in death may accomplish what he could not in life - the removal of the USA from the Middle East. But that will be mostly attributable to Trump. Trump acted without thinking through the situation and mostly out of his sense of needing to look good. But he has no long term plan other than to leave the Mid East. It is almost fitting that the foolish misadventure of Bush 43 and of Trump will likely be bookends to the period of intense involvement in Iraq and Syria. This will be a sad development for all those in the region who hoped for a more secular government, but Republicans and Trump in particular do not believe in 'nation building'.

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

by Cat on Sun Jan 5th, 2020 at 03:06:24 AM EST
Mental Disorder BINGO Square No.2, No.6, No.9, No.10

euractiv | First POTENTIAL Suleimani REVENGE ATTACK hits US cyberspace, emanations

Over the weekend, hackers defaced the website of the US Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), with what Sara Sendek, a spokesperson for DHS' Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said is "pro-Iranian, anti-US messaging."

The image and text, which has since been taken down, featured a doctored image of President Donald Trump bleeding from the mouth, whilst being hit in the face by an individual clad in Islamic Revolutionary Guard attire.
However, the DHS' Sendek was reluctant to preemptively  attribute the weekend's hack to the Iranian authorities, saying that so far, "there is no confirmation [sic] this was the action of Iranian state-sponsored actors."

Anne Morelli, The Basic Principles of War Propaganda
Edward Bernays, Propaganda, 79 pp
Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion, 266 pp


by Cat on Mon Jan 6th, 2020 at 08:55:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
America Escalates Its "Democratic" Oil War in the Near East
The mainstream media are carefully sidestepping the method behind America's seeming madness in assassinating Islamic Revolutionary Guard general Qassim Suleimani to start the New Year. The logic behind the assassination was a long-standing application of U.S. global policy, not just a personality quirk of Donald Trump's impulsive action. His assassination of Iranian military leader Suleimani was indeed a unilateral act of war in violation of international law, but it was a logical step in a long-standing U.S. strategy. It was explicitly authorized by the Senate in the funding bill for the Pentagon that it passed last year. ...
preposterous. egregious. unprecedented. inconceivable.

Wow! All of our priorities have made it into the final NDAA: ..., 11 Dec 2019

by Cat on Mon Jan 6th, 2020 at 11:17:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Trump defends Soleimani ["]killing["] in formal notice to Congress, warns Iran against retaliation
As Trump tweeted his own threat, his administration submitted a document required under the War Powers Act of 1973 [§ 1543; § 1544. Congressional action], which requires formal notification to Congress within 48 hours of ["]military-style["] action.  

Three government officials confirmed that the notice was delivered late Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the still-secret document is classified. A senior Democratic aide told USA TODAY it was unclear if the White House would release an unclassified version.

Kicking a Gift Horse in the Teeth, Aug 2019

by Cat on Sun Jan 5th, 2020 at 03:55:19 AM EST
Sen. Chris Murphy, 3 Jan 2019
"Soleimani was an enemy of the United States," tweeted Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. "That's not a question. The question is this -- as reports suggest, did America just assassinate, without any congressional authorization [?!], the second most powerful person in Iran, knowingly setting off [?!] a potential massive regional war?"
by Cat on Sun Jan 5th, 2020 at 04:07:02 AM EST
by Cat on Mon Jan 6th, 2020 at 07:03:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Although the list of CIA-backed coups around the world does seem to suggest that the USA once pretended to the subtlety of encouraging proxies to do your wet work for you

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jan 6th, 2020 at 07:41:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SAIC had been contracted by the Pentagon to run the Iraqi Media Network (IMN), which would compromise the national television station, a national radio station, and a newspaper printed six times a week. SAIC had not experience running media operations in a post-conflict environment; it specialized in designing computer systems for the Defense Department and intelligence agencies. Nevertheless, the Pentagon offered the Iraqi media contract to SAIC without inviting other firms to bid. The contract was written by Doug Feith's office. Feith's deputy, Christopher Ryan Henry, had been a vice president at SAIC before joing the Pentagon. SAIC hired Robert Reilly, a former Voice of America director, to head the IMN project. During the Reagan administration, Reilly had headed a White House information operations campaign in Nicaragua to drum up sipport for the Contra rebels.

Don North's first task for SAIC was completed on American soil. He helped produce a documentary bout Saddam's crimes against humanity that the U.S. government wanted broadcast in Muslim nations to build support for the war.
Upon reaching Baghdad, he [North] and two Iraqi exiles liked up with a army unit that had a radio transmitter. Within a day, they were broadcasting news reports and public-service announcements in Arabic.  The setup was primitive: one of the Iraqi exiles listened to the BBC on a shortwave and wrote news blurbs that North edited and the other Iraqi exile read on the air. a week later, when Jay Garner was scheduled to hold his first news conference, North's team figured they should cover it. But when North asked his SAIC colleagues for a tape recorder, he was told there was none.
To North and his Iraqi colleagues, IMN was supposed to be like the BBC, a government-funded television-and-radio network that retained editorial independence. Iraqi journalists, with initial assistance from Americn advisers, would decide how to cover the new. But to some in the CPA, IMN was a propaganda tool: we're paying for it , so we can decide what airs. SAIC managers, North said, didn't want to rock the boat. If the CPA wanted to control what went on air, that was just fine by them. [Chandrasekaran:131-134]

Zygmunt Bauman, Mortality, Immortality and Other Life Strategies

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Jan 9th, 2020 at 06:03:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just one example of why the USA should have been able to do better in Iraq. Cheney, Feith, etc. were just a bunch of opportunistic looters. They ginned up the crisis and oversaw the post invasion policy - with the chief objective being personal enrichment. Especially Cheney who should die in prison.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jan 10th, 2020 at 04:49:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun Jan 5th, 2020 at 04:27:16 AM EST
MOSSADEGH YIELDS ON ELECTION IN IRAN; Agrees to Vote to Fill House Seats to Resolve Impasse on Powers of the Shah, April 21, 1953
"in the hope of overcoming the opposition boycott that was preventing a vote on the proposal to divest Shah Mohammed Riza Pahlevi of his powers of control over the military and civil affairs of Iran."
Mossadegh and the Coup d'Etat of 1953
In 1951, Iran's oil industry was nationalized with near-unanimous support of Iran's parliament in a bill introduced by Mossadegh, who led the oil commission of the parliament. Iran's oil had been controlled by the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) under license, and was only a source of little revenue for the country. Popular discontent with the AIOC began in the late 1940s as a large segment of Iran's public and a number of politicians saw the company as exploitative and a vestige of British imperialism. Despite Mosaddegh's popular support, Britain was unwilling to negotiate its single most valuable foreign asset, and instigated a worldwide boycott of Iranian oil to pressure Iran economically. Initially, Britain mobilized its military to seize control of the Abadan oil refinery, the world's largest, but Prime Minister Clement Attlee opted instead to tighten the economic boycott while using Iranian agents to undermine Mosaddegh's government. With a change to more conservative governments in both Britain and the United States, Churchill and the U.S. Eisenhower administration decided to overthrow Iran's government though the previous U.S. Truman administration had opposed a coup.
According to the CIA's declassified documents and records, some of the most feared mobsters in Tehran were hired by the CIA to stage pro-Shah riots on 19 August. Other CIA-paid men were brought into Tehran in buses and trucks, and took over the streets of the city. Many people were killed during and as a direct result of the conflict. Mosaddegh was arrested, tried and convicted of treason by the Shah's military court. On 21 December 1953, he was sentenced to three years in jail, then placed under house arrest in Ahmad Abad for the remainder of his life. ...
64 Years Later, CIA Finally Releases Details of Iranian Coup
Persian soldiers chase rioters during civil unrest in Tehran, August 1953. On August 19, 1953, democratically-elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh was overthrown in a coup orchestrated by the CIA and British intelligence, after having nationalized the oil industry. The Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was re-installed in the primary position of power. Massive protests broke out across the nation, leaving almost 300 dead in firefights in the streets of Tehran. (Photo credit should read /AFP/Getty Images)
The coup attempt began on August 15 but was swiftly thwarted. Mossadegh made dozens of arrests. Gen. Fazlollah Zahedi, a top conspirator, went into hiding, and the shah fled the country. The CIA, believing the coup to have failed, called it off.

"Operation has been tried and failed and we should not participate in any operation against Mossadegh which could be traced back to US," CIA headquarters wrote to its station chief in Iran in a newly declassified cable sent on Aug. 18, 1953. "Operations against Mossadegh should be discontinued."

That is the cable which Kermit Roosevelt, top CIA officer in Iran, purportedly and famously ignored, according to Malcolm Byrne, who directs the U.S.-Iran Relations Project at the National Security Archive at George Washington University. ...

by Cat on Sun Jan 5th, 2020 at 06:50:47 AM EST
Agreed on all of the above. But that is no reason to sacralize political actors, especially those with blood on their hands - our politicians or others' politicians. If we go down that road we will have Saint Donald and new religious wars. Sadly, it looks like that is what we are doing for the duration of Saint Donald's tenure.

Sorry, but all of this 'revered martyr' BS triggered my gag reflex.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jan 5th, 2020 at 07:13:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Never. Gets. Old.

by Cat on Sun Jan 5th, 2020 at 11:19:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon Jan 6th, 2020 at 08:21:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW, I had already read most of those posts on Oui's diary and rated some as excellent. I don't beieve in martyrs or martyrdom. Goes with being an atheist.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jan 5th, 2020 at 07:22:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
sumbuddy tell the congressional prayer breakfast ppl.
by Cat on Sun Jan 5th, 2020 at 08:04:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jan 5th, 2020 at 05:28:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW, do you know what the 'H' in Jesus H. Christ stands for?


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jan 10th, 2020 at 04:50:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A very powerful force in persuasion from the time of the Romans ... Caesar wasn't aware I'm sure.

Damnatio ad bestias

Related reading ...

Martyr Cults In Nineteenth-Century Italy

The Trump White House stepped into a trap set by Solameini to achieve what he longed for: a united front against America from Tehran through Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut. Both Russia and China will remain a common foe of the US, backing the Islamic State of Iran.

The Baghdad Pact (1955) and the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO)

Related reading ...

Dilemma of 1989 - NATO and Warsaw Pact
Intrusion Soviet Space and CW Arms Race
Saudi Bandar bin Sultan, the Butcher of Christians and Shiites in the Levant

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jan 5th, 2020 at 10:45:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Onward towards total renewable energy. We had better be ready when fracking fails. Same for Europe. Let Russia and China divvy up the Middle East oil. The USA SHOULD have been able to do better in that part of the world. But we again fell prey to the self interested looters that have dominated US politics from the beginning. We will be lucky to save ourselves, especially after Trump. Trump IS an accurate reflection of at least 40% of the US electorate. I wish there were a god to help us.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jan 5th, 2020 at 05:39:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dood. The innerboobs is real, yo.
by Cat on Sun Jan 5th, 2020 at 07:46:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hmm, yes, well, I see your meaning: BEATIFICATION of HEROIC figures in times of WAR is not only a historical Roman Catholic pastime since the REFORMATION of popery. 02.12.1771 changed everything.
At a Time, when the Barriers against Popery, erected by our Ancestors, are suffered to be destroyed, to the hazard even of the Protestant Religion: When the system of the civil Law which has for so many Ages and Centuries, been withstood by the People of England, is permitted to become fashionable: When so many Innovations are introduced, to the Injury of our Constitution of civil Government: it is not surprizing that the great Securities of the People, should be invaded, and their fundamental Rights, drawn into Question. While the People of all the other great Kingdoms in Europe, have been insidiously deprived of their Liberties, it is not unnatural to expect that such as are interested to introduce Arbitrary Government should see with Envy, Detestation and Malice, the People of the British Empire, by their Sagacity and Valour defending theirs, to the present Times....
The "Founders" DIED so we could live.
by Cat on Sun Jan 5th, 2020 at 08:04:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sanctification and martyrdom isn't really about the personal qualities of the sanctified, but about the political needs of the establishment, and, sometimes, the psycho-social needs of the populace. People "need" heroes in time of war and acute collective trauma, especially if they are faced with the reality of almost certain defeat against a much more powerful adversary.

Think of the gross over-reaction of the US populace to the tragedy of the twin towers - more people die in car accidents or gun crimes every year - so imagine what it will be like when that trauma is multiplied by 1,000. That is the reality of the Middle East under US domination, and Trump has just placed himself four square in the firing line.

An escalation to nuclear war cannot be ruled out, and then all bets are off as to where it will all end up, in the short, medium and long term. Global warming promises a slow mass extinction event. Trump promises it to be almost instantaneous.  No need for a meteorite this time around. Trumpian hubris can accomplish it all by itself.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jan 5th, 2020 at 09:01:52 PM EST

A secular society observes no sacrament, theoretically.

by Cat on Mon Jan 6th, 2020 at 10:52:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
White House adviser: Trump could still renegotiate Iran nuclear deal
"Asked if Trump believes he can still get Iran to renegotiate a new nuclear agreement, Conway told reporters at the White House: 'He said he's open. If Iran wants to start behaving like a normal country ... sure, absolutely.'"
by Cat on Mon Jan 6th, 2020 at 10:54:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
God help us indeed if Iran starts behaving like the USA.
by StillInTheWilderness on Tue Jan 7th, 2020 at 12:12:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
o, the irony
by Cat on Tue Jan 7th, 2020 at 04:39:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently Thomas Friedman [Moustache of Understanding Alert] knows two things about the Middle East...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jan 5th, 2020 at 09:49:18 PM EST
o, dayam, this parade just screams for a World Series ball game. To appease, yanno, the "secularists".
by Cat on Sun Jan 5th, 2020 at 10:28:37 PM EST
I knew he had the reputation of the savior of the Shia(and other minorities) in Syria, but didn't know that this extended to the whole region. I have no strong opinion whether this reputation is deserved, but I note that the circumstances of death are what make a martyr. And if that is accurate:

Getting whacked by the Americans on a peace negotiation they themselves had called for counts, I think.

by generic on Sun Jan 5th, 2020 at 11:35:50 PM EST
temple cleanser
lord and savior
is dead. In the flesh.
wow. That's new.

by Cat on Sun Jan 5th, 2020 at 11:54:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon Jan 6th, 2020 at 02:51:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, not a good idea to put this in the NYT. The leaker must have thought that Trump is a greater threat to the USA than Iran. I agree, but still...

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jan 6th, 2020 at 05:13:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon Jan 6th, 2020 at 08:16:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon Jan 6th, 2020 at 11:00:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]

shade of Cassius Clay

by Cat on Mon Jan 6th, 2020 at 03:37:26 AM EST
You can pretty much apply that to everything everyday.
by StillInTheWilderness on Tue Jan 7th, 2020 at 12:06:34 AM EST

wut: "I concur with [Hannah-Jones] that the plantations of antebellum America are better called 'forced labor camps,' that black abolitionists warrant status as Founding Fathers, and that 'no people has a greater claim' than African Americans to the Stars and Stripes.

"I would add that neither the white settlers at Jamestown, nor the enslaved Africans sold there, nor the author of the Declaration, nor the African Americans denied the rights enumerated therein, nor any of the people celebrated on national holidays has any greater claim to this country's flag than the most recently naturalized American of any race, color, or creed. Neither white nor black Americans belong at the center of U.S. history, because no racial group belongs there more or less than any other."

by Cat on Thu Jan 9th, 2020 at 07:17:42 PM EST
we clearly stood for global rule of law

That provided a good belly laugh.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Jan 10th, 2020 at 06:16:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Professional things knower Kruggles was earlier found tweeting about his "talking with tech support", because "his IP was hacked to download child porn".
by generic on Fri Jan 10th, 2020 at 06:41:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Fri Jan 10th, 2020 at 08:23:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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