January 5, 2020

"But the bespectacled Qaani — whose portfolio as deputy included Quds Force operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asian republics — boasts few notable military victories."

"Instead, experts say, he is believed to have focused on the organization’s day-to-day administrative affairs.... Arash Azizi, a New York-based writer who is researching a forthcoming book on Iran’s external military operations, said: 'Qaani was presumed to be the heir apparent for a long time. But he’s very bureaucratic — he does not have Soleimani’s charisma. As someone who works in Iran’s national security apparatus, he hasn’t really distinguished himself'....  In 1998, when Taliban forces attacked Iran’s consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif, killing nine diplomats, Qaani was instrumental in dissuading Tehran’s leadership from responding militarily, Azizi said. 'Many people were eager for Iran to take action,' Azizi said. 'It was an act of maturity on Qaani’s part in deciding not do anything rash.... I don’t think that he speaks Arabic, and he doesn’t have the same understanding of the Arab world or of Israel that Soleimani had'...."

From a Washington Post article with a headline that stresses not the difference but the sameness: "Iran’s new Quds Force commander brings continuity to the post held by his slain predecessor."

My excerpt stresses the differences, and I concede that I am hoping things will be better for us and not worse. With that attitude, I liked what I heard from Azizi. But WaPo's headline is supported by quotes from 2 other scholars — "Under Qaani’s leadership, there is likely to be greater continuity than change in the Quds Force" and "I suspect he’ll have little difficulty filling Soleimani’s shoes when it comes to operations and strategy."

ADDED: The question shouldn't be whether this man is or can be the same as Soleimani, but what does it mean that a man like this was chosen to replace Soleimani. Again, I confess to optimism.

114 comments:

lgv said...

"...and I concede that I am hoping things will be better for us and not worse"

Regardless of the leader, they march to the order of the Ayatollah. BTW, the most telling sentence is the first one you quoted, "...operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asian republics" Nothing like Quds forces spread out among all of Asia. I'm sure they were there for humanitarian reasons, perhaps doling out food and medicine to the poor.

Mr. Forward said...

"When He cometh descending from heaven
On the cloud that He writes in His Word
I'll be joyfully carried to meet Him
On the wings of that great speckled bird"
Roy Acuff

rhhardin said...

Johnny Cash, The Man Comes Around
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9IfHDi-2EA

Oso Negro said...

"I suspect he’ll have little difficulty filling Soleimani’s shoes ....." provided they can be found in the charred and bloody wreckage.

BarrySanders20 said...

The banality of evil. Maybe he’ll find it hard to make changes in his swamp.

traditionalguy said...

So get him some contact lenses and acting lessons. Then blow him up.

David Begley said...

Pure speculation.

sunsong said...

Iran may very well just wait until donald is either removed from office or voted out

that would be the intelligent response from them right now

donald has expressed a *desire* to use nukes in the past

he is psychotic and dangerous and ONLY interested in himself

rehajm said...

Given the current mental state of WaPo staff the intent is to support the left’s criticism of Trump for acting at all. See the ‘assasination’ was pointless- that darn Trump!

BarrySanders20 said...

he is psychotic and dangerouS

That is exactly what he wants them to think.

mockturtle said...

I pray your optimism is well placed. I also pray we will disengage our troops and embassies from enemy territories.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

Bespectacled, like a kindly old grandma knitting a sweater.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Optimism without any factual basis is better known as delusion.

rehajm said...

Any attempt to relate him to your grandma is purely intentional...

Wince said...

How many people inside the regime that secretly wanted Soleimani out remains to be seen.

Left to his own devices as a power-based unto himself, however, Soleimani would have locked Iran into following the same course for close to another generation.

There is now some breathing room within the regime for those who want a change in response to internal and external pressures on the regime.

Drago said...

ARM: "Optimism without any factual basis is better known as delusion."

And with that comment, ARM indicts the entire left/LLR-left for the last 4 years!!

Well played ARM.

The Walls Are Closing In!

Fernandistein said...

filling Soleimani’s shoes

He is bespeckled, austere and used to wearing shoes - what's not to like?

Drago said...

sunsong: "Iran may very well just wait until donald is either removed from office or voted out

that would be the intelligent response from them right now

donald has expressed a *desire* to use nukes in the past

he is psychotic and dangerous and ONLY interested in himself"

This comment by sunsong ably demonstrates ARM's point made above.

Poor sunsong. She so wanted that nuclear war with North Korea, to "own" Trump. But that darn Trump tricked her by going the peaceful yet firm route!!

Tricksy Trump!!

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

You guys have told yourselves a lot of lies over the last few years but even you must see that that Trump has no strategic goal here beyond getting reelected. One minute we are leaving the middle east to honor his promises to the voters, the next we are ramping things back up again. There is nothing of substance here.

Drago said...

Fernandistein: "He is bespeckled, austere and used to wearing shoes - what's not to like?"

How creased are his slacks? Thats a big deal to the lefties/LLR-lefties.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I don't see a lot of ramping up happening; there may be some blowing up. Droning a terrorist here and there is not inconsistent with Trump's promise to withdraw from endless wars. Blowing up the bad guys prevents endless wars.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Mid-Life Lawyer said...
Blowing up the bad guys prevents endless wars.


So many, many lies.

Temujin said...

If he wants to live he will be different.

Drago said...

ARM: "You guys have told yourselves a lot of lies over the last few years but even you must see that that Trump has no strategic goal here beyond getting reelected."

LOLOLOLOL

So this is the new ARM narrative after the hilarious and utter collapse of all his previous child-like narratives!

I have to admit I still chuckle over ARM's moronic, fact-free and now collapsed "Great Awakening" narrative that never got off the ground. The "Imminent Recession" failed narrative was even more moronic and fact-free and tied in nicely with the moronic and fact-free 'hyper inflation from the Trade Wars" narrative.

Thanks for keeping ys entertained ARM.

Now, tell us more about Moscow hookers and pee tapes....or have you finally admitted you were punked rather badly on that one?

Drago said...

Mid-Life Lawyer: "Blowing up the bad guys prevents endless wars."

ARM: "So many, many lies."

ARM greatly praised obama for killing Bin Laden. Even glorified obama for it.

But that was then....

Matt Sablan said...

I mean, had an embassy not been attacked, would this counter strike have been authorized? Why do so many on the left ignore the context of what just happened?

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

In this week's Trump awakenings.

Rand Paul said ...

Much More Likely’ Iran and Proxies Will Attack U.S. after Soleimani Death.

'If you don’t want perpetual war, you don’t keep sending more targets over there.'

'I think without a declaration of war, without Congress and the American people behind it, what you get is a messy mission. You get a mission of escalating, intermittent violence, but it really has no purpose or plan. And the country doesn’t — hasn’t been told to be united. The president said he didn’t want perpetual war in the Middle East. But he’s adding more and more troops. If you don’t want perpetual war, you don’t keep sending more targets over there.'

Drago said...

Matt Sablan: "I mean, had an embassy not been attacked, would this counter strike have been authorized? Why do so many on the left ignore the context of what just happened?"

You're kidding, right?

Please tell me this just a rhetorical question.

Skeptical Voter said...

Well if the new guy Azizi gets too feisty, Doctor Trump will prescribe one Hellfire missile in the morning. That can cure a lot of ills.

Drago said...

Trump has ARM quoting Rand Paul!! The very personification of the very thinking that the democratics/lefties/LLR-lefties said was DISQUALIFYING for Trump in the campaign!!!

Ladies and gentlemen, its as though Trump has put strings on his Dems/lefty/LLR-lefty puppets and is making them dance whichever way he chooses.

Remarkable.

It helps that lefties like ARM are incapable of adapting....

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

After more than seventy years of military involvement in the middle east what does the US have to show for the effort besides two massive holes in Manhattan and an even more massive debt?

Matt Sablan said...

Since before killing the guy the chance was 100 percent Iran would attack American interests, how could it increase?

Drago said...

ARM probably doesnt remember that his democratics/LLR-lefty allies despise and attack Rand Paul daily for his beliefs because for ARM, as for all democratics/LLR-lefties, history began anew about 15 minutes ago.

Drago said...

ARM: "After more than seventy years of military involvement in the middle east what does the US have to show for the effort besides two massive holes in Manhattan and an even more massive debt?"

LOLOLOLOLOLOL

I LOVE the fact that you think you can pull a Jedi mind trick on the entire world with this stuff!!

Matt Sablan said...

I'm not even saying that Trump's action was the right one. I don't think we'll know either way for a long time. But, man. Can we at least be honest about the reality surrounding it?

Kevin said...

Step 1: Trump does something.

Step 2: Collective media freaks out for several days.

Step 3: Well-sourced article about how this might have been a good move after all.

Step 4: Repeat.

Drago said...

Matt Sablan: "I'm not even saying that Trump's action was the right one. I don't think we'll know either way for a long time. But, man. Can we at least be honest about the reality surrounding it?"

Again, are you kidding us?

Please tell me this too is a rhetorical question.

You cannot possibly be this hopelessly naive in understanding the left/LLR-left after all these years.

Josephbleau said...

Looks like instead of Patton they got a blend of Bradly and Radar Oriley. Belushy’s Samurai Administrator indeed.

traditionalguy said...

If the entire Muslim Death Cult can behead any infidel on sight and rejoice, why can't the infidels kill one of them back? Asking for a friend.

RNB said...

Quick question: Who was Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto's successor?

Wince said...

It'll be interesting to see how much time Qaani spend traveling outside Iran.

Matt Sablan said...

The questions aren't rhetorical. I want an answer. I just don't think that I'll get one.

Bob Boyd said...

Quick question: Who was Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto's successor?

Douglas MacArthur

Drago said...

Matt Sablan: "The questions aren't rhetorical. I want an answer. I just don't think that I'll get one."

Here you go: Whatever it takes to acquire power. By any means necessary. The ends justify the means.

Drago said...

Wince: "It'll be interesting to see how much time Qaani spend traveling outside Iran."

Perhaps now is a great time for Iranian terrorist leaders to initiate flexible work hours, updated work from home policies and "staycations"!!

Matt Sablan said...

I actually have a theory about this, by the way. I think other countries, especially actual authoritarian regimes, just don't get how quickly American foreign policy can change when a new president or Congress gets sworn in. Iran was expecting further appeasement by flexing its muscles. Let's look at what has happened to Iran recently. They got paid off under the Obama administration, and if the reports are to be believed, Obama's administration fed them Israeli intelligence regarding a strike on the guy Trump's administration just killed. Not only that, but Obama backed down and refused to assist the Green Revolution, instead tacitly endorsing the Iranian government.

The Iranian government just wasn't expecting a policy shift from "literally betrays an ally to save an Iranian military official" to "kills that same official" in a few years' time.

Michael K said...


Blogger sunsong said...

Iran may very well just wait until donald is either removed from office or voted out

that would be the intelligent response from them right now


So, we are safe until 2025. What a relief !

Drago said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beasts of England said...

I admire Trump for maneuvering to make the proggies reveal their love of jihadists. Here’s hoping that he adopts a rescue dog during this election season so democrats can go on record as hating puppies...

Drago said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drago said...

Sablan: The Iranian government just wasn't expecting a policy shift from "literally betrays an ally to save an Iranian military official" to "kills that same official" in a few years' time."

The Iranians routinely meet with John Kerry and other members of obamas admin and deep staters who are telling them to cause difficulty for the Trump admin and to wait him out.

No different than the DC types telling the ChiComs the same thing and Pelosi working directly with Trudeau to delay USMCA for over a year so that the full economic benefits are not felt by the US until after the election.

Matt Sablan said...

Yes, Prime Minister, remains relevant today.

MAJMike said...

I hear that the new Quds Force commander has a razor-sharp crease in his battle dress uniform.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Tucker Carlson slams Trump's deadly airstrike on Soleimani, warning 'we can't kill all the bad guys'

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

If you are a neocon, you love Trump this week.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

This week in Trump awakenings:

Tucker Carlson said ...

'No one in Washington is in a mood for big-picture questions right now. The obvious ones like: Is Iran really the greatest threat we face? And who's actually benefiting from this? And why are we continuing to ignore the decline of our own country in favor of jumping into another quagmire from which there is no obvious exit?

'By the way, if we're still in Afghanistan 19 years, sad years later, what makes us think there's a quick way out of Iran ... ?'

Amadeus 48 said...

Good heavens, Althouse. You are being sucked into the Swamp. Resist!

This is all nonsense. If one thing has become clear over the last 20 years, it is that experts on the Middle East are not expert.

Next you will be wondering whether it was a good idea to send pallets of cash to Iran. (Hint: it was a BAD idea.)

Matt Sablan said...

Is anyone saying "kill all the bad guys?" It seemed to me we had an enemy commander meeting with terrorist leaders in a country where the local government had asked us to assist in the defense of their country, shortly after an attack on American embassy/soil, and took the shot at the guy who, for years, was a leader of a declared terrorist organization when he was actively engaging in action against the U.S.

That's not the same as "kill all the bad guys."

Roughcoat said...

There's going to be blowback, sure. We will take casualties. It's a war, that's what happens. Man up. Remember your fierce valor, O Achaeans.

P.S. I'm not a neocon and I love Trump this week.

Roughcoat said...

Maybe not kill "all" the bad guys. Just most of them. As circumstances warrant, of course.

Tommy Duncan said...

Trump has been killing Iranian military leaders while they are in Iraq. Why are they in Iraq?

Why do Democrats oppose Trump leaving Syria while opposing Trump's military actions against Iran? What is their rationale?

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Blogger Tommy Duncan said...
Why are they in Iraq?


Because Bush Jr removed the Iraqi Sunni leadership, because he is a supreme idiot.

Francisco D said...

Optimism without any factual basis is better known as delusion.

Is ARM really Rob Reiner?

His statement typifies what dumb people who want to sound smart would say. Do you own a dictionary or do you just make uo definitions that suit your purpose?

There really is no point arguing with highly motivated, really dumb people. It's like teaching pigs to sing. It hurts your ears and annoys the pig.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Every single person commenting here at the moment, other than myself, was in favor of the Iraq war. What credibility do any of you have regarding the middle east?

None. None is the answer you are looking for.

Drago said...

ARM has gone Full Tucker Carlson AND Rand Paul!

In one thread!!

Really, does it get any funnier than that? Could it possibly get any funnier than that?

I'm betting that somehow, someway, it will!!

Trump delivers just that much Winning!

Drago said...

ARM: "Every single person commenting here at the moment, other than myself, was in favor of the Iraq war. What credibility do any of you have regarding the middle east?

None. None is the answer you are looking for."

LOL

Yeah, that should work.

Lets do this: Every single leftist/LLR-leftist commenting here at the moment, other than conservatives, completely bought into the russia collusion hoax/hoax dossier. What credibility do any of you have regarding anything political or intelligence or common sense?

None. None is the answer you are looking for.

Thanks ARM!!!

Keep up the "good" work! Banned Commenter LLR-lefty Chuck is counting on you!

Drago said...

ARM the Hopeless: "This week in Trump awakenings:

Tucker Carlson said ..."

LOLOLOL

Carlson has been saying this for 3+ years!! But you haven't been paying attention until this week! So you think you've "discovered" something "new"!!

But all you've done is make an even bigger fool out of yourself than you have in the past.

And trust me, that's sayin' somthin'.

Robert Cook said...

”Nothing like U.S.forces spread out in the Middle East. I'm sure we’re there for humanitarian reasons, perhaps doling out food and medicine to the poor.”

Robert Cook said...

”Every single leftist/LLR-leftist commenting here at the moment, other than conservatives, completely bought into the russia collusion hoax/hoax dossier.”

Wrong.

Michael K said...

Every single person commenting here at the moment, other than myself, was in favor of the Iraq war. What credibility do any of you have regarding the middle east?

Is that supposed to signal virtue ?

I was in favor of figuring out if Arabs could govern themselves without tyrants. They can't. I was not in favor of Bremmer and his "nation building " exercise. ARM, of course has no memory of the status quo ante. How it all began with Saddam invading Kuwait and on his way to Saudi. I'm sure ARM and his leftist allies oppose fracking, which has made us free of the Middle East as a critical necessity. The suicidal aims of then political left are ARM's orthodoxy

elkh1 said...

Blogger Tommy Duncan said
Why are they in Iraq?

Beloved Commenter:
Because Bush Jr removed the Iraqi Sunni leadership, because he is a supreme idiot.

Not because of Obama's premature withdrawal to fulfill his campaign promise?

Biden claimed the Iraq war was Obama-Biden's greatest foreign policy achievement. Of course that was said before they "came, saw," and killed Gadafi and unleashed ISIS.

Btw, the name of the Sunni leadership was Saddam who poked his head up after 9 11 to protect Osama. We didn't like that.

J. Farmer said...

I was reading this on Friday and it touched on the issue of successors:

"Suleimani’s successor as Quds force leader – his long-time deputy, Esmail Qaani – was announced within 12 hours of his death. And while Suleimani was charismatic and played a personal role in cultivating many of Iran’s relationships in the region, those ties do not rely on him alone. Rather, they are the product of extensive and deep bonds that often go back decades and in many instances involve family ties.

Suleimani was well aware of the dangers of the job, as was his singular boss, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who in years past deemed him a “living martyr”. So succession planning was never far from his mind. Indeed, 62-year-old Suleimani gave his younger lieutenants considerable operational authority. In practice, this has meant the elevation of a new generation of Quds force operatives, some of whom Suleimani had already begun positioning in vital posts: a case in point is Iraj Masjedi, the current Iranian ambassador to Iraq."

Drago said...

Robert Cook: "Wrong."

Can you post something you wrote back then that called BS on this stuff?

I don't recall any Glenn Greenwalds or Aaron Mate's or Jimmy Dore's around here during the last 3 years.

Just a bunch of ARM's and Freders and Inga's and Ritmo/HoaxPPT's and LLR-lefty Chuck's.

J. Farmer said...

It appears the anticipated Iraqi vote to terminate the security agreement with the US has passed. Unsurprising.

Drago said...

J. Farmer: "It appears the anticipated Iraqi vote to terminate the security agreement with the US has passed. Unsurprising."

Excellent.

Rory said...

New Soviet leaders were always reformers who secretly admired Western culture and even listened to jazz. The question in this sort of article is what is the propagandist trying to project?

Michael K said...

J. Farmer: "It appears the anticipated Iraqi vote to terminate the security agreement with the US has passed. Unsurprising."

Excellent.


I'm OK with it. We could leave Iraq and Afghan together. The Reapers have long range. We should be thinking about small aircraft carriers to base them. The CVNs are too expensive and too vulnerable.

Iman said...

Wait... I thought Farmer had admonished it wasn’t as if Iran couldn’t fill Soleimani’s smoking boots with another revered commander.

Iman said...

“Following the death of Soleimani, it seems like nearly the entire DC / academia / journo natsec/forpol commentariat has penned variations on exactly the same essay: the President has acted hastily, has no plan, and isn’t capable of envisioning or handling what happens next. The template was established by Ben Rhodes on Twitter a few hours after an MQ-9 Reaper shot a Hellfire missile directly into his professional legacy, and it hasn’t varied much since.

Yet the more we learn — about the deliberations preceding the strike, about the chain of events leading to it, about the prior and subsequent moves by CENTCOM to harden the American position in the region — the more it seems that the President acted with deliberate aforethought, that he does in fact have a plan, and therefore likely is capable of envisioning and handling what happens next. That much is only fair, whether or not one agrees with the decision as such.

What nearly the entire DC / academia / journo natsec/forpol commentariat actually means by its critique, though, is that they weren’t included in any of this. Ben Rhodes took the time to rally them together, get their talking points aligned, illuminate a pathway to social and professional advancement: that’s their preferred template for Iran-related policymaking.

Donald Trump’s template for Iran-related policymaking is the smoking wreckage of a terror mastermind’s vehicle. The courtiers see it, and want to know what’s in it for them.

Americans see it, and they know.”

J. Farmer said...

Wait... I thought Farmer had admonished it wasn’t as if Iran couldn’t fill Soleimani’s smoking boots with another revered commander.

Precisely why I provided a link to an article making that exact argument.

Roughcoat said...

Oderint Dum Metuant

Mr. Majestyk said...

When a country oeganizes a violent mob to storm one of our embassies, we have to respond forcefully. Otherwise, it invites more of the same. That doesn't mean we have to engage in an all-out, full-scale, endless war with that country.

Iman said...

^^what roughcoat said^^

Iman said...

"It appears the anticipated Iraqi vote to terminate the security agreement with the US has passed. Unsurprising."

As if that’s a bad thing...

Iman said...

Tighten the sanctions until they squeal like the Persians Death Pigs they are.

rcocean said...

IOW, according to the WaPo Iran is now stronger without their revered Military Leader. Maybe Iran should thank us then, instead of "retaliating"!

J. Farmer said...

Anonymous, macho-sounding, pseudo tough guys on the Internet always make me laugh.

Gahrie said...

I'm OK with it. We could leave Iraq and Afghan together. The Reapers have long range. We should be thinking about small aircraft carriers to base them. The CVNs are too expensive and too vulnerable.

How about Sierra Nevada Dreamchasers or Boeing X-37s raining KEWs down from orbit?

Robert Cook said...

”Not because of Obama's premature withdrawal to fulfill his campaign promise.”

You mean, his withdrawing the troops according to the date negotiated by the Bush administration. Of course, if we had never illegally invaded Iraq, none of the subsequent myriad catastrophic problems would have occurred.

minnesota farm guy said...

Let's go back to my Stonewall Jackson analogy: Jackson at the time of his death was probably the Confederacy's most aggressive and successful commander. The Stonewall Brigade/Jackson's Division, under various other leaders, was successful for a time after his death, but ultimately was crushed by Phil Sheridan in the Shenandoah. Administrators do not win the big battles, or inspire men to great deeds. The new guy may be good, but the stink of being a REMF will prevent him from having the kind of success Soleimani had. I would go so far as to predict that within 6 months the new guy will either be deposed or replaced by someone with more charisma. Either that, or we should just keep lopping off commander's heads until the unit is no longer effective.

Shouldn't we think that the new guy's freedom of movement (thus effectiveness) will be greatly restricted because he now knows that we have intelligence that will reveal his whereabouts and the will to destroy him?

Being disinvited from Iraq seems like a good excuse to end our exposure there. We certainly should not invest any more there. Screw 'em. Let them kill each other and have God sort them out.

Kyzer SoSay said...

Apparently we are to take this policy disagreement between Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump to be a surefire sign that Trump is now doomed. Because "Awakening" - or something.

Yeah, let's see how that plays out.

Yancey Ward said...

Trump has revealed the illogic of it all. The US has been targeting and killing the terrorists that Suleimani was supplying and directing for 20 years, and yet people are now up in arms about targeting and killing Suleimani himself. If these battles are moral and just, then targeting Suleimani and his replacements should have been priority number one, not number "never". Targeting the mullahs that govern Iran should also be moved up the list if we are to continue to engage in this war- this idea that the grunts and other useful tools are ok as drone targets, but not the leaders, is one of the sillier and immoral things I have seen.

Maybe this ends with the US pulling up stakes and leaving Iraq and Afghanistan altogether- to which I will applaud.

minnesota farm guy said...

I am entertained by all those who claim to know that Trump has no strategy, has no plan going forward, is not prepared to ( or more likely should not, they think) adapt to changed circumstances. I hope the Iranians have the same level of confusion/overconfidence, but I don't think that the Iranians(!) are that stupid.

This strike has clearly been in the works for quite some time. It involved the gathering of intelligence; the assignment and positioning of weapons; and, most importantly, the command decision to go forward based upon conditions at the time - and no one knew it was happening! Oh yeah, Trump just got out of bed one morning and said " hey guys , today would be a good day to kill Soleimani. Does anybody know where he is?"

Kyzer SoSay said...

The lack of reasonable leaders in the Middle East is not our problem. If Iraq kicks us out, that's fine with me. We can base out of Saudi or the Gulf if need be, just to protect trade and leave the Iraqis and Iranians to their own devices. They launch another attack on Saudi oilfields or tankers, we respond with 8-12 hours of targeted fury. People forget that "Shock and Awe" in the opening stages of the Iraq War worked. And that was almost 20 years ago now. The coordinated shit we can pull - and THEY can't - is quite a fucking spectacle. The one savvy thing they did, that drone attack a few months back, all but assured that we've doubled and tripled the drone defenses of all soft targets in the region. They should've saved that capability for a serious attack - unless that was already the best they could do. Still, doesn't hold a candle to our capabilities.

GingerBeer said...

No doubt we are days away from NYT assuring its readers that Qaani is a modern sophisticate who enjoys Bourbon and American jazz.

n.n said...

We can always try another bribe, standby and observe the progress.

mccullough said...

We should have never gone back to Iraq (or there in the first place). Great news that they want us out again.

Let the Salafists take them and Iran and Syria on. And let Wurope take the refugees or not. We don’t ask them to help take some of our 10 million Mexican refugees.

Robert Cook said...

"The lack of reasonable leaders in the Middle East is not our problem."

True. However, the lack of reasonable leaders in the U.S. is our problem.

Kyzer SoSay said...

Cookie thinks disposing of an effective enemy combatant as retaliation for an attack on a US Embassy compound is somehow unreasonable. Probably the only "reasonable" course of action would be to airmail a few billion in small-denom bills to Tehran.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Who would like to summarize Drago's position on the war?

Is he for or against troops in Iraq?

Tom T. said...

"Optimism without any factual basis is better known as delusion."

I thought ARM had finally seen the light about Ben Rhodes' Iran deal.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...


“How many people inside the regime that secretly wanted Soleimani out remains to be seen.”

And that is the most interesting question. Everything else is ME Muzzie-dogshit/Oil Forever War business as usual. What isn’t known, at least by the street, is the internal stresses and rivalries that animate the Tehran political scene.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

Let me set down my briefcase before we look at the map of Iraq. Where’s the bathroom? I’m dying to take a leak.

Michael K said...

However, the lack of reasonable leaders in the U.S. is our problem.

Only for the Democrats and it is a big problem but only for them.

Marc said...

Am not a devoté of the New York Times but their article earlier very clearly made the point that the US can keep troops in Iraq and an embassy in Baghdad:

The legislation threads a fine needle: While using strong language demanding that the government “end any foreign presence on Iraqi soil and prevent the use of Iraqi airspace, soil and water for any reason” by foreign forces, it gives no timetable for doing so.

It would end the mission approved in 2014 that gave the United States the explicit task of helping the Iraqi forces to fight the Islamic State. That agreement gave the Americans substantial latitude to launch attacks and use Iraqi airspace. But the measure would leave in place the Strategic Framework Agreement, which allows an American troop presence in Iraq in some form.


And it passed by a 170 to 0 vote because the 158 Kurds and Sunnis abstained, in case anyone missed that fact behind all the headlines online. 170 TO 0!!!

Openidname said...

Is optimism consistent with cruel neutrality?

Seeing Red said...

I actually have a theory about this, by the way. I think other countries, especially actual authoritarian regimes, just don't get how quickly American foreign policy can change when a new president or Congress gets sworn in.

What’s even better, after 220 years the world still doesn’t get it.

Seeing Red said...

The lack of reasonable leaders in the Middle East is not our problem."

True. However, the lack of reasonable leaders in the U.S. is our problem.

Lucky for you we’re being replaced by immigration.

Seeing Red said...

They don’t have all those icky American ties.

narciso said...

somewhat similar to general Ochoa, who had fought the wars in angola, missions in Ethiopia and Nicaragua, who threatened to eclipse fidel's popularity, so the latter went about with a soviet style purge,

richard mcenroe said...

They put the S-4 in command? Okay, then...

narciso said...

Yes thats it, essentially.

Nichevo said...


Drago said...
Trump has ARM quoting Rand Paul!!


Convenient, then, that ARM's Democratic allies failed to kill the good senator.

Nichevo said...

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...
Blogger Tommy Duncan said...
Why are they in Iraq?

Because Bush Jr removed the Iraqi Sunni leadership, because he is a supreme idiot.


WRONG! Because Carter removed the Shah's leadership, because looking up for to break his neck, he can't SEE idiot from where he is!