January 4, 2020

But does it mean he made the wrong call?

I'm trying to read the Washington Post editorial, "Yes, Soleimani was an enemy. That doesn’t mean Trump made the right call."

My post title is the question I had when I read that headline. I've now read the editorial, and I can tell you that the editors do not answer my question.

It simply ends with the statement that Trump hasn't explained why the killing "is in America’s strategic interest."

By the way, WaPo calls it an "assassination," in that editorial and in at least 7 other pieces. If you use the word "assassination," aren't you implicitly saying it's wrong? Click to enlarge and clarify:

126 comments:

wendybar said...

What do you expect from the DNCs propaganda machine????

gilbar said...

Obviously; the RIGHT CALL for Trump to have made, would have been to
A) Make Pence resign
B) Appoint Hillary Clinton as VP
C) RESIGN

Then, Hillary could have order the strike... AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE MOST BEST THING, EVER

Narayanan said...

Assassination is necessary sometime ==>> execution is synonym?

tim maguire said...

Targeting a specific person sounds like assassination to me. Maybe “assassination” doesn’t deserve an automatic negative connotation. The WaPo undoubtedly wants you to conclude it’s a bad thing, but under the circumstances, they’d rather manipulate you into that opinion rather than argue for it directly.

gilbar said...

To Imply that it would be conceivably possible for President Trump to do Anything good,
would Anger the lunatics the read the WaPoo. If Trump did it; HOW COULD IT BE GOOD?

Unknown said...

From the paper which helped us win the Vietnam war.

Unknown said...

At least we know what Bezos thinks.

How does Carlos Slim feel? lets check the Times

gilbar said...

tim maguire said...
Targeting a specific person sounds like assassination to me.


Did any Previous Presidents ever Target a specific person with an airstrike?
Did the WaPoo call those, assassinations?

Gunner said...

WaPo commenters would support Bin Laden if he was anti-Trump. Sore losers trapped in their (mostly) self-hatred of white people.

Narayanan said...

Instead of drone strike suppose IED or similar on route he would have taken.

What do you call it then?

stevew said...

Assassinate: call it whatever you want, doesn't change the right or wrong of it, though I expect their intent in using that word is to drive negative public opinion.

It is impossible to know right now whether this was right or wrong in terms of protecting America and Americans. Trump says this action was taken to prevent a war. We won't know if that is true until the leaks come out of the sieve that is Washington politics. I choose to believe him until it is proven otherwise. I'm not seeing any bad in it so far.

tim maguire said...

gilbar said...
tim maguire said...
Targeting a specific person sounds like assassination to me.

Did any Previous Presidents ever Target a specific person with an airstrike?
Did the WaPoo call those, assassinations?


I don't see how your questions are related to my comment. What’s your point?

Narayanan said...

Maybe getting assassinated gets you martyr-cred : JFK or Lennon or Lincoln

Getting iced OTOH!!

Leland said...

Trump clearly stated that Soleimani was in Iraq, and he is an Iranian General in Iraq!, to plan more attacks against US personnel in the country. Killed along side Soleimani was al-Muhandis, who was one of the Iraqi militia commanders involved in the US embassy breach earlier this week. Does the WaPo think that protecting US diplomats abroad from additional attacks isn't in the US strategic interest?

MayBee said...

After the Iraq war drew on and on, tons of Democrats and liberals started saying we should have just assassinated Saddam. So who knows if it's a judgement against it or not? But it is a statement, isn't it?

It does say the WaPo maybe puts his life above our soldiers' lives. They are killed, not assassinated. Were Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, assassinated?

Hagar said...

Assassination is what it is, and I do not think the United States should be involved in assassinations - that is banana republic stuff.
However, assassination by drone strike is here - big time - and it is probably too late to stuff it back in the bottle. Trouble is, this is warfare anyone can engage in on the cheap. It does not even have to be a nation state. Cf. bin Laden with just $400,000 or so invested in 9/11.

I think the U.S. would be well advised to promote an international standard, and itself follow, a policy of publicly name individuals that are so targeted and the reasons why such individuals are considered "outlaw", i.e., their actions so heinous and dangerous to the general welfare that they are beyond the regular conventions of war, not to mention civil law.

Kevin said...

Remember, these are the same people who hyperventilated about the word “spying”.

Hagar said...

WWII was WWI 2.0, and what we have today in the Middle East (Gibraltar to the Chinese border) are problems deriving from hasty and sloppy decisions made in the rush to restoring "peace" after the shooting phase of those conflicts, working toward a solution.

iowan2 said...

Remember when Obama droned an Anwar Al Alwalki? That didn't cause any concern. BTW, also killed was Al Alwalki's son. An American Citizen. So Killing Americans without due process is just Oki Doki.

Kevin said...

When Obama wiped out a wedding party, the WAPO didn’t go so far as to call him an uninvited guest.

BarrySanders20 said...

Hagar said...
WWII was WWI 2.0, and what we have today in the Middle East (Gibraltar to the Chinese border) are problems deriving from hasty and sloppy decisions made in the rush to restoring "peace" after the shooting phase of those conflicts, working toward a solution.

I am reading David Fromkin's A Peace to End All Peace right now. About 2/3 through it. Excellent explanation of the how's and why's of the current borders and problems even 30 years after publication.

Bob Boyd said...

Suleimani was military, a general. He was an enemy combatant organizing and conducting 4th Generation military ops Iraq. He was a legit military target.

Suleimani was KIA.

stlcdr said...

Re. Drone strikes and assassinations.

Almost every drone attack is targeted on a specific individual or individuals (ignoring the collateral damage for the moment). At what level of importance of the target does it become an assassination?

Snipers, who play a crucial role in combat encounters, target specific high level individuals. However, this is done in the context of a ‘war’. If we were at war, would this be an assassination?

We aren’t going to war, however, but will retaliate against any attack. Drones make it a lot easier to perform such combat maneuvers without boots on the ground. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. there are consequences of technology that our modern society has not been able to comprehend and deal with.

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?

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Famous neocon said:

‘They Are Liars, And They Don’t Care About You’: Tucker Warns Of ‘Reckless And Incompetent’ Proponents Of War With Iran

John henry said...

Iowan,

The 2 incidents were a couple weeks apart as I recall. Father and son were not killed together.

The father, born in New Mexico USA seems to have been a bad guy who may have deserved killing. But all we have is the cia's word on that. As an American, he had a right to his day in court.

The 16 year old son's (born in colorado) only "crime" was being the son of an alleged bad guy.

Both murders stink to high heaven.

I have no problem with the killing of the Iranian general in Iraq. I don't even have a problem with calling it an "assassination" though I do agree that word seems to be used mainly to bash pdjt.

John Henry

Bob Boyd 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?

That's a good question.

gspencer said...

Islam's believers who live in the House of Islam keep telling us who live in the House of War that they are at war with us. Daily events certainly prove that. Trump acted accordingly against a Muslim who practices what he preaches.

BarrySanders20 said...

The other main guy killed was the leader of a Shia militia. Iranian CIA-type special ops general in Baghdad meeting with the Shia militia dude -- obviously just meeting to decide where to watch the upcoming football playoff games before being rudely interrupted. Can't say their year didnt start with a bang.

Tricky thing, like many Middle East things, is that both of these fellows were prime opponents of ISIS who killed as many Shia as they could.Seems that the removal of ISIS made them think of other targets like the US. Good lesson in the difference between our capabilities and those of ISIS, and the difference in administrations brings. Formerly untouchable as some kind of "made man", at least that's the vibe I get from the experts quoted by the media, Suliman & Friends learned they were, in fact, touchable.

BarrySanders20 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?"

Off the cuff possibilities:

1. We kept the oil flowing to maintain our economy
2. We prevented the spread of communism which was important at the time
3. Israel

exhelodrvr1 said...

Trump said the action was taken to stop a war, not prevent one. (At least in the one clip I saw.) That refers to the low-intensity war we have been in with Iran for decades.

Roy Jacobsen said...

stlcdr said...
...If we were at war, would this be an assassination?

I'm pretty sure that Iran thinks they're at war with us. If they say they're at war with us, aren't we de facto at war with them?

Jeff Brokaw said...

They like “assassination” mostly because they like the Iranian terrorrist more than the American president.

RNB said...

"Did any previous presidents ever target a specific person with an airstrike?"

FDR. Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto. 1943. Multiple USAAF Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighters.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

BarrySanders20 said...
1. We kept the oil flowing to maintain our economy
2. We prevented the spread of communism which was important at the time
3. Israel


Oil is a commodity.
Communism didn't take in Afghanistan.
Israel is responsible for its own security.

Michael K said...

The Middle East is basically a civil war in Islam. The only reason we are involved is oil and we now, thanks to the fracking that the Democrats want to stop, don't need their oil anymore. Disengaging will not be easy but Trump wants to do it. The icing of Suleimani was to stop a planned attack on the US embassy. Iran is the one that keeps attacking us. They have nothing we want.

Michael K said...

Oil is a commodity.

ARM should speak to his people, like Cuomo, who think oil is an evil threat to Gaia.

Iman said...

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that many on the left side with America’s enemies. This has been the case for several decades now.

Bob Boyd said...

Our military forces are in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government for the specific purpose of stopping guys like Suleimani from doing what they do. We can debate whether we should be there in that role or not, but the fact is, we are. Our guys did their jobs. They aren't murderers. They aren't assassins. They're soldiers. If Suleimani would have had the chance, he'd have killed any or all of them.

William said...

After forty years of principled resistance to Western values and to Israel, what does Iran have to show for it?....I watched MSNBC for as long as I could this morning. Their pundits seemed to think that after this killing Iran now has us just where they want us. The Iranian people will unite behind the regime, the world will condemn America, and Iran will strike back against the USA in some devastating but unspecified way. The killing of Suleimman was a great victory for Iran and a tactical blunder for the USA.....I don't know how things will shake out. The general rule is that events always turn for the worst in the Middle East, but my instinct tells me that the death of their proficient murderer was not a victory for Iran....I wonder if any in Iran ponder the examples of Saddam, Qaddafi, Assad et al. when they contemplate their next step.

John henry said...

And another 5 bite th dust. Per Roscoe Davis Twitter feed.

He also says that this may not be US.

############


Breaking: Another airstrike a few minutes ago hit two cars carrying members of an Iran-backed militia north of Iraq's capital, Baghdad, killing five of the members. Unclear who sent this airstrike still working sources.


John Henry

J. Farmer said...

Tucker: America lurches toward war with Iran

Winning over Tucker Carlson has been a huge victory for the nationalist right. On immigration, wars, and economic populism, he most certainly understands the trifecta that propelled Trump into the White House.

ExplainMeMore said...

Democrats and their media allies are not united on this issue and the naysayers run the risk of overplaying the anti-Trump card if the situation in the Middle East stabilizes.

Bob Boyd said...

Their pundits seemed to think that after this killing Iran now has us just where they want us.

I'm not convinced that, up to now, Iran has been pulling their punches.

This guy Suleimani was supposedly Iran's greatest general, their greatest military asset in the war against the Great Satan. And what was he doing? Organizing terrorist attacks and fomenting insurgencies in neighboring countries. Covert actions. Why? Because, for the most part, overt actions were not a viable option. That hasn't changed. I expect Iran will continue to do the same types of things with, hopefully, less able men.

Ryan said...

Orange Man Bad.

Iman said...

Iran should consider this a warning. If they persist, things can get much worse for them. But things can also get much better, should they choose a path more in line with a peaceful people.

JAORE said...

"... the naysayers run the risk of overplaying the anti-Trump card..."

You mean like the last 20 or so times?

Dems and the MSM (yeah,I know) seem fully capable of disappearing any memory of their serial blunders. They also seem to believe they can drag the population along into this selective amnesia.

That last part seems to be unravelling just a bit.

Michael K said...

Tucker is going the full on nationalist-isolationist route now but what if this works out well ? I see no path that involves US quick withdrawal from Iraq working. Afghanistan yes, we lost that one years ago. Afghan should have been a CIA operation and then get out and let them kill each other.

Iran is not Arabs. Arabs are 7th century primitives. Iran might be at a tipping point and it might be worth one more push. We will never invade like Iraq as the country is very mountainous. The mullahs have been corrupt since ten years after the revolution and the people know it. The IRGC is like the Soviet Nomenklatura. A small ruling class hated by the people.

Francisco D said...

With 27/7 Democrat Media propaganda and hypocritical politics (e.g., Schumer's new view on impeachment trials) and hysteria (e.g., anything Trump does) I have one question:

What percentage of Americans are paying attention to all the bloviating?

Michael K said...

An interesting analysis of the Suleimani killing and its effects.

Some argue that the assassination of Soleimani will increase tensions in the Middle East. This outlook confuses cause and effect: Tensions in the Middle East have intensified over the past decade because of the violent Iranian aggression which Soleimani spearheaded. Aggression which has led to Syria’s destruction and the disintegration of Lebanon and Iraq. Aggression that threatens maritime routes and safe passage in the Arab (Persian) Gulf and the Red Sea, a direct attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities that spiked oil prices and compromised the world’s oil supply. Aggression that has fueled and intensified tensions – including direct military confrontations – between Iran and its proxies and Israel.

General Soleimani and the Al-Quds force led the escalation in the region in the service of the hegemonic vision of the Iranian Mullah regime. Their actions have so far claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, led to the destruction of states, the disintegration of cities, and caused a wave of millions of refugees. Killing Soleimani is not the cause of the escalation – but the result.

n.n said...

Then, Hillary could have order the strike... AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE MOST BEST THING, EVER

Obama could share the responsibility, but why?

n.n said...

Iran should forget the nostalgic days of quid pro Bos, withdraw terrorist support, come to the table, and reconcile with her neighbors.

Matt Sablan said...

How much more tense can things get in the Middle East when *embassies are being raided*?

Larvell said...

I’ll take “editorials you wouldn’t see under a Democrat president” for $500, Alex.

Matt Sablan said...

"Did any previous presidents ever target a specific person with an airstrike?"

-- Does history begin yesterday for some people? I mean, you don't even have to go into the 90s to find an example of a president approving a targeted strike on a specific enemy military or political target.

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

An interesting analysis of the Suleimani killing and its effects.

There's a lot on the table there, but I would take issue with this claim: "Aggression which has led to Syria’s destruction and the disintegration of Lebanon and Iraq."

I am not sure how he can argue that Syria's destruction was the result of Iranian aggression, when it was the Gulf Arab states and the US providing money and weapons to radical Sunnis to make war against Assad that led to the disintegration of Syria and the rise of ISIS.

I also think the disintegration of Lebanon and Iraq has less to do with Iranian aggression and more to do with the societies simply being too sectarian to function democratically. And so you will either have a strongman hold them together, or they will break apart into faction. More than 20% of the population already lives in a de facto separate state, and there has been no meaningful reconciliation between the Shia-dominated east and the Sunni-dominated west.

Amadeus 48 said...

Admiral Yamamoto couldn’t be reached for comment.

I prefer to be hino of it as a revenge killing, like the takeout of Yamamoto, which was conducted under the name Operation engeance.

Those people at WaPoop really need to take a break and think about what they are peddling. It’s disgusting. Same with the Democrats. They are disgusting.

Amadeus 48 said...

I hate touchscreens. It is think, not hino, and it was Operation Vengeance.

Skeptical Voter said...

Hey the WaPo is restrained when it calls it an "assassination". I've seen other headlines calling it "murder". Of course your mileage may vary, but I call it a "good start".

mtrobertslaw said...

The Iraqi parliament is predicted to order the US to leave Iraq. If this happens, Trump is likely to jump at the chance to use this as justification to completely pull out of this forlorn country:"If they don't want us, why would we want to be there?"

mccullough said...

The US should leave Iraq. And Syria.

Let them all kill each other.

Don’t take any refugees either. That’s the stupidest thing. Let Europe have them.

StephenFearby said...

'...It simply ends with the statement that Trump hasn't explained why the killing "is in America’s strategic interest."'

Explained in great detail by Reuters:

Inside the plot by Iran’s Soleimani to attack U.S. forces in Iraq
January 3, 2020

'(Reuters) - In mid-October, Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani met with his Iraqi Shi'ite militia allies at a villa on the banks of the Tigris River, looking across at the U.S. embassy complex in Baghdad.

The Revolutionary Guards commander instructed his top ally in Iraq, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and other powerful militia leaders to step up attacks on U.S. targets in the country using sophisticated new weapons provided by Iran, two militia commanders and two security sources briefed on the gathering told Reuters.

The strategy session, which has not been previously reported, came as mass protests against Iran’s growing influence in Iraq were gaining momentum, putting the Islamic Republic in an unwelcome spotlight. Soleimani’s plans to attack U.S. forces aimed to provoke a military response that would redirect that rising anger toward the United States, according to the sources briefed on the gathering, Iraqi Shi’ite politicians and government officials close to Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

Soleimani’s efforts ended up provoking the U.S. attack on Friday that killed him and Muhandis, marking a major escalation of tensions between the United States and Iran. The two men died in air strikes on their convoy at a Baghdad airport as they headed to the capital, dealing a major blow to the Islamic Republic and the Iraqi paramilitary groups it supports.

Interviews with the Iraqi security sources and Shi'ite militia commanders offer a rare glimpse of how Soleimani operated in Iraq, which he once told a Reuters reporter he knew like the back of his hand.

Two weeks before the October meeting, Soleimani ordered Iranian Revolutionary Guards to move more sophisticated weapons - such as Katyusha rockets and shoulder-fired missiles that could bring down helicopters - to Iraq through two border crossings, the militia commanders and Iraqi security sources told Reuters.

At the Baghdad villa, Soleimani told the assembled commanders to form a new militia group of low-profile paramilitaries - unknown to the United States - who could carry out rocket attacks on Americans housed at Iraqi military bases. He ordered Kataib Hezbollah - a force founded by Muhandis and trained in Iran - to direct the new plan, said the militia sources briefed on the meetings.

Soleimani told them such a group “would be difficult to detect by the Americans,” one of the militia sources told Reuters...'

https://news.yahoo.com/inside-plot-iran-soleimani-attack-010030244.html

Hagar said...

There is something o this as payback for a thousand IED's.

And Trump will not necessarily pay a great deal of attention to what this Iranian cat's paw government of Iraq does or does not want.

chuck said...

I thought Petraeus had balanced take on the assassination (no, the word doesn't bother me). He acknowledges the known unknowns which immediately raises his commentary above the common level.

My current understanding is that the administration began working the Suleimani problem last May, so it wasn't exactly a flippant decision. The assassination still looks like a spoiling attack, driven by events and opportunity. We will probably learn more background as events play out.

Howard said...

It's a risky move that will either cost Trump or win Trump the election depending on how bad we get our hair mussed. Is internal polling from Kelly Ann Conway must have told him that he needed to go big or go home

roadgeek said...

Isoroku Yamamoto, wherever he is, is laughing at this debate. There was no such debate in 1943 when he was "assassinated".

Yancey Ward said...

Assassination is the correct term despite the connotation that it has garnered over the years.

Assassination should be a greater part of warfare, not less. Imagine that Trump had targeted a barracks full of Iranian backed militia infantry, and then try to imagine the way the press might describe it. And then try to imagine it had been Obama as president.

Fun fact- Osama Bin Laden was assassinated, too.

JAORE said...

TDS can be summed up by the position, right action, wrong President.

The left actually argued in court that limiting migration would be legal for any other President.

rhhardin said...

The radio just came on at noon (clock radio expects Rush) and the news is all Iran revenge fear panic nationwide.

rhhardin said...

The problem with Yamamoto wasn't so much that it was illegal but that it would suggest that the US was reading Japanese codes.

GingerBeer said...

Forget it Prof. It's WaPo.

Howard said...

I think the world powers kind of agreed to ban assassinations because the leadership did not want to become targets themselves in a conflict.

It's an interesting question however strategically. I think another reason that assassination was banned was because it was not terribly effective at winning wars. Since this dude was uniformed military operating militas outside his own home country attacking our troops, I really don't feel like this was an assassination more like sniping by other means.

Yancey Ward said...

"It's an interesting question however strategically. I think another reason that assassination was banned was because it was not terribly effective at winning wars."

No, Howard, you had the right reason in the first paragraph.

Yancey Ward said...

There is a phrase called "skin in the game" that describes an important feature of good decision making.

Francisco D said...

another reason that assassination was banned was because it was not terribly effective at winning wars. Since this dude was uniformed military operating militas outside his own home country attacking our troops, I really don't feel like this was an assassination more like sniping by other means

I agree Howard. However, people are playing word games because politicians fear that their potential assassination can be justified by assassinating other leaders such as OBL and Soleimani.

It's all about the slippery slope of politics, words and morality.

Howard said...

You're probably right Yancey. Salvador Allende could not be reached for comment

Ray - SoCal said...

Petraeus interview is a good read.

Suleimani was declared a terrorist along with the rest of QUDS/QODS (Iranian Revolutionary Guard) by the US in April 2019, which made him a legal target as an enemy combatant. Reportedly, the Israeli's were going to kill him 3 years ago, but the Obama administration tipped off the Iranians and stopped that operation.

Irananian backed Iraqi Shia Militias have been rocketing US forces in Iraq (11 attacks in the past 3 months, with a US contractor, and Qasem Soleimani had ordered them to ratchet up the pressure. The US is retaliating with decapitation strikes at the leadership within Iraq, Syria and Yemen, aimed at the Iranian backed forces.

Dead so far:
- Qasem Soleimani
- Various Shia Militia Leaders including #2 Abu Mahdi al Muhandis.
- Leader in Yemen with $15 Million Reward

Interesting I am not seeing a list of who the US is taking out in major new stories.

Soleimani may have also had something to do with Benghazi.

Ray - SoCal said...

Killed so far by the US:

Abdul Reza Shahla’I another QUDS commander was killed in Yemen. He had a $15 Million bounty on him. Responsible for death of 5 US soldiers in the Karbala attack.
https://beholdisrael.org/irgc-financial-leader-in-yemen-commander-in-iraq-killed-within-hours-of-each-other/

Jamal Jaafar Mohammed Al Ibrahim - Deputy Commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU) in Iraq. Also known as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Muhammad al-Qawthrani - enior Lebanese Hezbollah official who was in charge of the relationship and coordination between the Hezbollah and the Iranian-backed Iraqi militias, including the PMU

Soleimani’s son-in-law, together with the son-in-law of Imad Mughniyeh (Hezbollah’s Chief of Staff, who was assassinated in Damascus in February 2008).

Na’im Qassem25 Iraqi Shia Militia killed by US Airforce bombings in retaliation for US Contractor Death
https://www.meforum.org/60191/us-iran-showdown-begins-in-iraq

A motorcade was also attacked right after Soleimani targeting some more Shia Militia Leadership.

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

For centuries, the use of assassination has been discussed by Catholic moralists in the context of the waging of a just war. The Post and others, however, are using the term in the current circumstances simply as propaganda in their campaign against Mr Trump.

Ralph L said...

The problem with Yamamoto wasn't so much that it was illegal but that it would suggest that the US was reading Japanese codes.

Wasn't our involvement secret until after the war, or am I thinking of something else?

narciso said...

One might say suleimani was in the midst of a hudna a pause in the war, although the placards on the embassy protesters gave it away.

narciso said...

The trick was we had brokem the japanese ciphers that gave away yamamotos position, they debate in cryptonomicon the decision, but it could have given away the game.

rcocean said...

Look the bottom line with all this Nation building and World Crusading is that we live in the USA, and Iraq and Syria are 7,000 miles away. And 10-20 years from now, we're not going to be in Iraq/Syria and the Iraqis and Syrians are still going to be there. At some point, all the "nation building" is going to end.

One thing I've noticed in reading history, is how the power elite ALWAYS sells the US public a bill of goods, and the USA always ends up in a situation that the US Public didn't want. We go to war with Spain to liberate Cuba and we end up fighting the Philippine insurrection. We go to war with Germany because they are sinking our ships, and we ALMOST end up the League of Nations and policing Europe. In 1941, we go to war with Germany and Japan because they attacked us, and we end up in a 50 year Cold War with the USSR. Vietnam was just supposed to be a few advisers to help South Vietnamese get their act together, and we end up with a 10 year war and the Killing fields.

And now Iraq and Syria and Afghanistan. These occupations never end, and we can never leave because smart people say blah,blah,blah. And then we leave and people years later go "Why the heck were we there for so long?"

narciso said...

We abandoned the shah and afghanistan and the iran iraq the gulf war etc come about


We removed out troops from latin america and we end up with somoza and duvalier

rcocean said...

BTW, how are the Kurds doing? Two-three months ago they were "our greatest allies ever" but now, we never hear about them. Have all the World Crusaders lost interest in "Our greatest allies"?

rcocean said...

"We abandoned the shah and afghanistan and the iran iraq the gulf war etc come about"

Yeah, thanks for bring that up. The Iran hostage crisis only happened because we helped the Shah and we then built up Sadaam to counter Iran. A couple years later, we fighting Sadaam in Kuwait! And later our great Saudi allies were sending citizens to the USA who were responsible for 911

chuck said...

@rcocean The upshot is that history is uncooperative and messy. It is perhaps the inherent in the human condition. Who can say with surety what would have happened if different decisions had been made.

narciso said...

Well that wasnt an overt military intervention, we supported a popular movemt, the shah hasted 25 years, had he been more proactive he might have lastex longer.

narciso said...

We were in beirut, for a humanitarian effort like somalia a decade later. We pulled out of the first and thorns like auleimani and mugniyeh grow.

narciso said...

They are certainly trying to send a message



https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/01/04/us-airstrikes-kill-iraqi-militia-near-baghdad-one-day-assassination/?WT.mc_id=e_DM1173301&WT.tsrc=email&etype=Edi_FAM_New_ES_Sat&utmsource=email&utm_medium=Edi_FAM_New_ES_Sat20200104&utm_campaign=DM1173301

narciso said...

One might look on the phillipines a little like iraq, the most persistent fighters the juramentados were motivated by faith.

Roughcoat said...

"What you got ain't nothin' new. This country's hard on people. You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

Ray - SoCal said...

West Wing - Bartlett: "What is the virtue of a proportional response?"

unfortunately in the TV Series the President was talked down to a proportional response...

narciso said...

Three years later, he authorized the assasination of an arab royal.

narciso said...



The segment in question:

https://youtu.be/8X4M-LdLG6I

Jim at said...

The fifth-column left in America is much more of a threat to the survival of this nation than anything in the ME.

They reveal it daily. And proudly.

mccullough said...

For all the money we have spent in this shitholes we could have taken over Mexico and rebuilt it. And Detroit and Baltimore. Might as well send troops there, too

Gospace said...

It's not the intention of the Washington Post to answer the question whether it was the right call or wrong call. The intention is to create doubt about President Donald John Trump's decision making process. Orangeman Bad is the overriding theme that all their articles and editorializing, as if there's a difference in liberal newspapers, are all about.

ngtrains said...

look as the word assassination in Wiki.

The word is derived from the Arabic! attributed to a Shia sect

here's a bit:

Founded by Hassan-i Sabbah, the Assassins were active in the fortress of Alamut in Persia from the 8th to the 14th centuries, and later expanded by capturing forts in Syria. The group killed members of the Abbasid, Seljuq, Fatimid, and Christian Crusader elite for political and religious reasons.[4]

first use in English was about 1600 - 5 years before Shakespeare used it in Hamlet.

ngtrains said...



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination

J. Farmer said...

The US began using assassinations prominently after 9/11. Obama took Bush's "kill or capture" program and just whited out the "or capture" part. Of course we used the euphemism "targeted killing."

narciso said...


We captured way more than we killed

https://mobile.twitter.com/IntelCrab

narciso said...

Thats why bagram camp cropper guantanamo.

Howard said...

Yeah I didn't think of that. Assassination of a Persian is the height of cultural appropriation. That's what Trump needs to be impeached for

Ray - SoCal said...


Israeli's have shown that in irregular warfare, assassination works, as a way to reduce the effectiveness of your opponent, and also for deterrence purposes.

The challenge is for regular warfare to win, you need to get the enemy to admit to themselves, they are defeated. This is done historically by occupying their territory after defeating their military. With irregular warfare, where you are not willing to create a desert and call it peace, you don't have a lot of good solutions. The current buzzword is 4th generation warfare, where irregular forces are used. The US has shown that in a straight out fight, as in the Gulf Wars, the US will win.

Iran has been allowed to play the irregular warfare game with continual attacks against the US, using deniable proxies, basically since the 1979 revolution, with the US fearing a war with Iran. The only exception, until recently with Trump, was Reagan's actions in the Gulf against Iranian Naval Forces.

>another reason that assassination was banned was because it was not terribly >effective at winning wars.

Howard said...

J Farmer: yes but it was such an effective program, targeted liquidation helped end the War on Terrorists on time and on budget.

Ray - SoCal said...

With all the political challenges of Prisoners, Guantanamo Bay being the prime example, it was just politically easier for the US to kill them in combat. Or to outsource the trials to local governments, as has happened in Iraq and Syria, that also end up with the combatant dead, just not by the US's hand. In Afghanistan when the US gave custody of prisoners to the Afghanistan Government, they could bribe their way out.

>and just whited out the "or capture" part

Howard said...

Bullshit. War of attrition of which assassination is a subset (attrition of command), is lost by the side that values their people's lives more. Bragging about kill ratios is so 1945.

chuck said...

>> Two-three months ago they were "our greatest allies ever" <<

Whose greatest allies ever? That would depends who you talk to. Convergence of interests is normal in relations between nations, it is seldom permanent. Remember our dear ally, the Soviet Union?

Chuck said...

I just got a fundraising call from a Trump group using a Sterling, VA (703) area code number. It was fundraising specifically off of the killing of Qassem Soleimani. With Trump's voice from his recent Miami evangelical appearance, and with an announcer's voice claiming that Trump's action prevented attacks on Americans.

I didn't think that anything could be so grossly, cravenly repulsive. I do hope that somebody records it and puts it out on the 'net.

narciso said...

they worked with us, against bagdadi, where are all these freed Islamic staters on the loose, in paris like this week, in London three weeks before,

narciso said...

you would think getting rid of a whole crew of butchers who worked in Syria, and had contacts with the Russian regime would matter, but you'd be wrong,

Gospace said...

Chuck, I can guarantee that fundraising call didn't come from the official Trump reelection campaign, the RNC, or any group associated with either of them.

Most fundraising calls, especially of that sort, are groups using the money to fund their own lavish lifestyle. Percentage of funds spent on actual effective campaign work- zero or close to it.

Remarkably like many charities such as the Clinton Foundation.

The RNC and Trump's official campaign have put out many warnings to people that if they want to donate, make sure it is to them and not a scammer. I'm sure the DNC has done the same thing. Though it's hard to tell their current crop of candidates from scammers. "Vote for me for more free stuff!"

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

The Wall of Shame

Jim at said...

I didn't think that anything could be so grossly, cravenly repulsive.

Yeah. I mean it's not like he's raising money off the still-warm bodies of kids shot in some school somewhere.

Sam L. said...

"By the way, WaPo calls it an "assassination," in that editorial and in at least 7 other pieces. If you use the word "assassination," aren't you implicitly saying it's wrong? Click to enlarge and clarify:" No, it just means the WaPoo hates Trump!!!!1111111!!!!!

narciso said...

some perspective,


https://amgreatness.com/2020/01/03/war-with-iran/#.XhD-qDzbAZw.twitter

narciso said...

lets understand what happened in Iraq, for a generation or two, the sunni tribesman, disenfranchised the shia and the kurds, that drove them into communism or the dawa and sciri parties, after the invasions, these same rank and files waged war against those communities, they formed militias, for self defense, some of whom were organized by the likes of suleimani,

Chuck said...

Sam L. said...
"By the way, WaPo calls it an "assassination," in that editorial and in at least 7 other pieces. If you use the word "assassination," aren't you implicitly saying it's wrong? Click to enlarge and clarify:" No, it just means the WaPoo hates Trump!!!!1111111!!!!!


So too did Senator Rand Paul (R-KY). He called it an "assassination."

https://www.nationalreview.com/news/rand-paul-suggests-soleimanis-death-will-lead-to-more-instability-in-the-middle-east/

phantommut said...

They're going to neuter the word "Assassination" and by extension the actual act. Unintended side-effect.

J. Farmer said...

https://amgreatness.com/2020/01/03/war-with-iran/#.XhD-qDzbAZw.twitter/

That started out decently enough but quickly descended into laughable territory. The conclusion was basically that we institute a starvation blockade against Iran.

narciso said...


Well if we're serious which obviously were not


https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/8933482/The-Quds-force-man-who-inspired-the-British-embassy-outrage-in-Tehran.html

J. Farmer said...

Well if we're serious which obviously were not

Right, if we were serious, we would starve millions of Iranians to death. Of course, Codevilla never gets around to explaining how we could possibly build an international consensus around such a course of action.

Martin said...

Was WaPo upset when Obama assassinated al Awlaki, a US citizen, in 2011? I don't recall any such reaction.

MadTownGuy said...

If the WaPo keeps throwing shade, democracy will die in darkness.