By Pepe Escobar – posted with permission
On foreign soil, as a guest nation, US has assassinated a diplomatic envoy whose mission the US had requested
The bombshell facts were delivered by caretaker Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, during an extraordinary, historic parliamentary session in Baghdad on Sunday.
Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani had flown into Baghdad on a normal carrier flight, carrying a diplomatic passport. He had been sent by Tehran to deliver, in person, a reply to a message from Riyadh on de-escalation across the Middle East. Those negotiations had been requested by the Trump administration.
So Baghdad was officially mediating between Tehran and Riyadh, at the behest of Trump. And Soleimani was a messenger. Adil Abdul-Mahdi was supposed to meet Soleimani at 8:30 am, Baghdad time, last Friday. But a few hours before the appointed time, Soleimani died as the object of a targeted assassination at Baghdad airport.
Let that sink in – for the annals of 21st century diplomacy. Once again: it does not matter whether the assassination order was issued by President Trump, the US Deep State or the usual suspects – or when. After all, the Pentagon had Soleimani on its sights for a long time, but always refused to go for the final hit, fearing devastating consequences.
Now, the fact is that the United States government – on foreign soil, as a guest nation – has assassinated a diplomatic envoy who was on an official mission that had been requested by the United States government itself.
Baghdad will formally denounce this behavior to the United Nations. However, it would be idle to expect UN outrage about the US killing of a diplomatic envoy. International law was dead even before 2003’s Shock and Awe.
Mahdi Army is back
Under these circumstances, it’s no wonder the Iraqi Parliament approved a non-binding resolution asking the Iraqi government to expel foreign troops by cancelling a request for military assistance from the US.
Translation: Yankee go home.
Predictably, Yankee will refuse the demand. Trump: “If they do ask us to leave, if we don’t do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”
US troops already are set to remain in Syria illegally – to “take care of the oil.” Iraq, with its extraordinary energy reserves, is an even more serious case. Leaving Iraq means Trump, US neocons and the Deep State lose control, directly and indirectly, of the oil for good. And, most of all, lose the possibility of endless interfering against the Axis of Resistance – Iran-Iraq-Syria-Hezbollah.
Apart from the Kurds – bought and paid for – Iraqis all across the political spectrum are tuned in to public opinion: this occupation is over. That includes Muqtada al-Sadr, who reactivated the Mahdi Army and wants the US embassy shut down for good.
As I saw it live at the time, the Mahdi Army was the Pentagon’s nemesis, especially around 2003-04. The only reason the Mahdi Army were appeased was because Washington offered Sadr Saddam Hussein, the man who killed his father, for summary execution without trial. For all his political inconsistencies, Sadr is immensely popular in Iraq.
Hezbollah’s secretary-general Sayyed Nasrallah, in a very detailed speech, goes to the jugular on the meaning of Soleimani’s assassination.
Nasrallah tells how the US identified the strategic role of Soleimani in every battlefield – Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iran. He tells how Israel saw Soleimani as an “existential threat” but “dared not to kill him. They could have killed him in Syria, where his movements were public.”
So the decision to assassinate Soleimani in public, as Nasrallah reads it, was a psyop. And the “fair retribution” is “ending the American military presence in our region.” All US military personnel will be kept on their toes, watching their backs, full time. This has nothing to do with American citizens: “I’m not talking about picking on them, and picking on them is forbidden to us.”
With a single stroke, the assassination of Soleimani has managed to unite not only Iraqis but Iranians, and in fact the whole Axis of Resistance. On myriad levels, Soleimani could be described as the 21st century Persian Che Guevara: the Americans have made sure he’s metastasizing into the Muslim Resistance Che.
No tsunami of pedestrian US mainstream media PR will be able to disguise a massive strategic blunder – not to mention yet another blatantly illegal targeted assassination.
Yet this might as well have been a purposeful blunder. Killing Soleimani does prove that Trump, the Deep State and the usual suspects all agree on the essentials: there can be no entente cordiale between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Divide and rule remains the norm.
Michael Hudson sheds light on what is in effect a protracted “democratic” oil war: “The assassination was intended to escalate America’s presence in Iraq to keep control of the region’s oil reserves, and to back Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi troops (Isis, Al Qaeda in Iraq, Al Nusra and other divisions of what are actually America’s foreign legion) to support U.S. control of Near Eastern oil as a buttress of the US dollar. That remains the key to understanding this policy, and why it is in the process of escalating, not dying down.”
Neither Trump nor the Deep State could not fail to notice that Soleimani was the key strategic asset for Iraq to eventually assert control of its oil wealth, while progressively defeating the Wahhabi/Salafist/jihadi galaxy. So he had to go.
For all the rumble surrounding Iraqi commitment to expel US troops and the Iranian pledge to react to the Soleimani assassination at a time of its choosing, there’s no way to make the imperial masters listen without a financial hit.
Enter the world derivatives market, which every major player knows is a financial WMD.
The derivatives are used to drain a trillion dollars a year out of the market in manipulated profits. These profits, of course, are protected under the “too big to prosecute” doctrine.
It’s all obviously parasitic and illegal. The beauty is it can be turned into a nuclear option against the imperial masters.
I’ve written extensively about it. New York connections told me the columns all landed on Trump’s desk. Obviously he does not read anything – but the message was there, and also delivered in person.
This past Friday, two American, mid-range, traditional funds bit the dust because they were leveraging in derivatives linked to oil prices.
If Tehran ever decided to shut down the Strait of Hormuz – call it the nuclear option – that would trigger a world depression as trillions of dollars of derivatives imploded.
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) counts about $600 billion in total derivatives. Not really. Swiss sources say there are at least 1.2 quadrillion with some placing it at 2.5 quadrillion. That would imply a derivatives market 28 times the world’s GDP.
On Hormuz, the shortage of 22% of the world oil supply simply could not be papered over. It would detonate a collapse and cause a market crash infinitely worse than 1933 Weimar Germany.
The Pentagon gamed every possible scenario of a war on Iran – and the results are grim. Sound generals – yes, there are some – know the US Navy would not be able to keep the Strait of Hormuz open: it would have to leave immediately or, as sitting ducks, face total annihilation.
So Trump threatening to destroy 52 Iranian sites – including priceless cultural heritage – is a bluff. Worse: this is the stuff of bragging by an ISIS-worthy barbarian. The Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas. ISIS nearly destroyed Palmyra. Trump Bakr al-Mar-a-Lago wants to join in as the destroyer of Persian culture.
Soleimani wanted to die a martyr, he did. Soleimani was not going to be given the chance to fight the last war against the Great Satan, he chose martyrdom, I not the one that will judge how that works out for him.
Iran can now leave Syria, followed shortly after by the US. Peace is coming soon.
No one asked, or wants US barbarians running about the ME.
Iran are in Syria by request of the legitimate Syrian government, fighting US proxies called ISIS.
Peace is coming, once the barbarians have gone back to lynching their own citizens.
What a disgusting comment which manages to tell two fairy tales in so few words !
The choice for Soleimani was to crawl under a rock, or to stand up and fight for what is right.
By counting on the protection of his diplomatic passport and a treaty called the Vienna Convention, signed by basically every nation on earth, Soleimani ensured that if he were to be murdered, his death would count much more than if he were slinking around incognito. You don’t get to judge anything.
If you think the Iranians will leave Syria before the American troops, you are ignorant. Perhaps you merely think the readers here are that ignorant, but they are not. Syria invited the Iranians, but the Americans are uninvited, unwanted suppliers, trainers, intelligence support, coordinators, and helicopter pilots for the terrorists. No one asks some of the cops to leave while the murderers are still in the house.
How about, perhaps, lurking instead of trying to disseminate this kind of drivel in this forum? Are you paid or unpaid to be here, sullying this sacrosanct space? What’s the old saw, “Better to keep your mouth shut, and be thought dumb, than to open it and remove all doubt. You’re in way above your pay grade here. So am I. I am awed by the brain power here. I try really hard not to be stupid. I listen and learn. I come here to have seriously analysis on what going on. There are views from all sides here. Perhaps if you reframed your post…..no, still wouldn’t work. Have a nice day.
This is disgusting!!!!
The delusions suffered by the author of your linked article is typical of a great many expatriates. This guy brings to mind the Iraqi National Congress, Juan Qauido, Fethula Gehlen, and all the others who have fled to safe havens where they could enlist the aid of foreign powers to war against their own people. “Disgusting” doesn’t begin to describe these jackals.
very very very disgusting. uncle tom’s make me sick
I think the better way to approach this is economically, the oil gathered over there was used for operations over there. If the operations stop, then the need to fuel them also stops. If not, then the balance of fuel needs would have to be derived from domestic sources and shipped over there. This would put a monkey wrench into the U.S. economy sending it on a downward spiral as the increasing cost of hydrocarbons would tap other sectors of the economy.
Trump is walking a tight rope but could end up smelling like a rose if we just gave up the cost of war.
If this is true and the assassination took place on an official diplomatic mission at the request of the Empire, this is an act of treachery of the highest order. Only the most unhinged of despots throughout world history have resorted to such acts. This is far beyond an Archduke Ferdinand moment. This is an unequivocal statement by the Empire that it recognizes no international boundaries and that all are subject to its whims. It is also a demonstration of insanity that should not be treated lightly by the rest of the world as even the most power hungry madmen throughout history have realized that normal diplomatic flow is necessary to achieve their goals. I am so ashamed of my country at this moment. I hope Russia and China also realize that this act was a statement to them that they either capitulate to the demands of the Empire or be destroyed. The Empire is stating that it unilaterally has the power and means to kill anyone at any time. No Diplomat or Head of State is safe now. Only a fool would think otherwise. Also keep in mind that the US Congress is moving towards declaring Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.
I just hope that China and Russia are both working with Iran behind the scenes.
True, but also: look at internet.
Note all the cheerleaders for this thuggery, who indeed.
Note also that majority of those loudly opposing it are radical Progressives. Who do this mostly because “Orange Man Bad”, and those are crocodile tears: they support any sort of barbarism in other cases, as long as a certified Party megaphone told them “think of teh children!” or something. Remember fake sarin attack? Or cheering for ISIS? And they still clamor for a massive genocide campaign in their country and abroad (because that’s what Morgenthau Plan was, and Green New Deal/Gretinism is simply Morgenthau Plan 2.0 with a fig leaf of Lysenkoism)?
People sane enough to plainly say “I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!” seem to be a minority.
Thus what you described, while quite unsavory, merely provides a rude awakening to what really goes on.
this just in
saying that the US forces will leave Iraq. Confirmed by US and Iraqi sources.
Then this just in.
These people are unhinged. Talking from two sides of the mouth
It’s a late stage of organizational schizophrenia.
As in, a government that lost ability to govern even itself. Which is part of why it was “non- agreement capable” long ago. Since the official power structure weakly overlaps with the real one, those who have authority to speak don’t have authority to enforce anything; and it cannot be dealt with unofficially either, because there’s a hundred of corrupt sub-factions, all trying to out-shout, out-blackmail or out-grift each other.
Welcome to late USSR.
The rebellion won’t just have to deal with the Kurds but Isis as well.
A way to hurt the empire and their Isis bully boys is to burn their poppy fields in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
It’s how they fund Isis off books apart from Obama leaving millions and millions of dollars worth the armaments in the desert and walking away from it.
War is expensive. Cut off one of the income streams that feeds it.
While it had been previously stated that his mission was diplomatic, this seems to be the first report that he literally was carrying a diplomatic passport. Although this might seem like a semantic point, it is an extremely important and effective one. If anyone can find proof, then please make it available.
(Please note that this request does not imply doubt.)
To me it does matter who ordered the assassination. I’m not saying Trump is a Jesus reincarnation, but if the guy is trying to change things, if he really wanted Soleimani to negotiate a de-escalation, and that process has been sabotaged by “the usual suspects” killing Soleimani, then I have to recognize Trump as someone who fight the war criminals, or attempts to, and has to be, at least, somehow supported. Unless we don’t care he goes full neocon as the others do. I’m not an expert but I perceive Trump is trying to make things better, as much as the situation, both domestic and foreign, allows him, which I think is not much, it’s a narrow and dangerous path, and too much to change. My two humble cents.
I would support (and have given thought to) your point if Trump hadn’t made a new round of threats but instead declared moving forward with a US withdrawal. To those thinking Trump is playing some deep game to take down the Deep State, this must come as a disappointment…the opportunity had presented itself in the form of accepting blame (due or not) for a blatantly illegal act and leaving “foreign entanglements” as he had campaigned on.
Ayatollah Ali khamenei is the cultural target that Donald trump is referring to. He is planning to assassinate the person to whom Qassim Suleimani directly reported.
Can you imagine the impact of such an assassination?
Don’t underestimate the cruelty or stupidity of the Americans!!!
That’s exactly what happens in an old Tom Clancy novel… “executive orders”, maybe
This is probably one of two best geopolitical analyses on this state-instigated terrorism slash geopolitical game-changer. The other article can be found here: https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/terrorist-attack-against-eurasian-integration
Two quibbles about Escobar’s post.
One, I think Soleimnai will be memorized as the “Soleimnai of the world” and NOT as the “Persian Che Guevara”. To equate Soleimmnai with Che diminishes the significance of what the former has accomplished in life and, more importantly, what he will effect with his death. Che also did fight against the Yankee genocidal imperalists, but he was neutralize the moment he was assassinated by the Yankees because they turned him into a pop icon afterwards, selling t-shirts.
Two, the market crash Escobar is referring to, I believe, happened in 1929 and not 1933. And it happened in the great United States of Death, Disease and Destruction. Not Weimar Germany (although the effects there were devastating too.)
Excellent geopolical analyses!
Pepe interesting article however the statement “the US Navy would not be able to keep the Strait of Hormuz open: it would have to leave immediately or, as sitting ducks, face total annihilation.” Is completely false. The Navy would be able to keep the straights open and would never face annihilation by Iran. The weapon systems in a carrier group alone could wipe out Iran in a weekend. I am not agreeing with the Orange man and his BS but if the US military is cut loose again in the middle east, I am afraid it will be more pain and suffering for millions. It is my hope that cooler head prevail.
A side note: a ‘nuclear’ option for a big oil supplier could be to request being paid in gold for energy, done properly this would implode the (petro) dollar and thus ‘should’ cripple the empire, but only when being backed up with big guns, so that only leaves Russia….
Even if the US were able to keep the Strait of Hormuz open Washington faces an even grimmer scenario if the course of events leads it into confrontation with a Sino-Russian alliance. The derivative markets will disappear as will the world.