US starts the Raging Twenties declaring war on Iran

by Pepe Escobar – posted with permission and x-posted with Consortium News

There cannot be a more startling provocation against Iran than what happened in Baghdad.

Protesters shout slogans against the United States following a US airstrike that killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in Iraq on January 3, 2020. Photo: Aamir Qureshi / AFP

It does not matter where the green light came from for the US targeted assassination of Quds Force commander Major General Qasem Soleimani and the Hashd al-Shaabi second in command Abu Madhi al-Muhandis.

This is an act of war. Unilateral, unprovoked and illegal.

President Trump may have issued the order. Or the US Deep State may have ordered him to issue the order.

According to my best Southwest Asia intel sources, “Israel gave the US the coordinates for the assassination of Qasem Soleimani as they wanted to avoid the repercussions of taking the assassination upon themselves.”

It does not matter that Trump and the Deep State are at war.

One of the very few geopolitical obsessions that unite them is non-stop confrontation with Iran – qualified by the Pentagon as one of the five top threats against the US, almost at the level of Russia and China.

And there cannot be a more startling provocation against Iran – in a long list of sanctions and provocations – than what happened in Baghdad. Iraq is now the preferred battleground of a proxy war against Iran that may now metastasize into a hot war, with devastating consequences.

We knew it was coming. There were plenty of rumbles in Israeli media by former Defense and Mossad officials. There were explicit threats by the Pentagon. I discussed it in detail in Umbria last week with sterling analyst Alastair Crooke – who was extremely worried. I received worried messages from Iran. The inevitable escalation by Washington was being discussed until late Thursday night here in Palermo, actually a few hours before the strike. Sicily, by the way, in the terminology of US generals, is AMGOT: American Government Occupied Territory.

Once again, the Exceptionalist hands at work show how predictable they are. Trump is cornered by impeachment. Netanyahu has been indicted. Nothing like an external “threat” to rally the internal troops. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei knows about these complex variables as much as he knows of this responsibility as the power who issued Iran’s own red lines. Not surprisingly he already announced, on the record, there will be blowback: “A forceful revenge awaits the criminals who have his blood and the blood of other martyrs last night on their hands.” Expect it to be very painful.

Blowback by a thousand cuts

I met Muhandis in Baghdad two years ago – as well as many Hashd al-Shaabi members. Here is my full report. The Deep State is absolutely terrified Hashd al-Shaabi, a grassroots organization, are on the way to becoming a new Hezbollah, and as powerful as Hezbollah. Grand Ayatollah Sistani, the supreme religious authority in Iraq, universally respected, fully supports them.

So the American strike also targets Sistani – not to mention the fact that Hashd al-Shaabi operates under guidelines issued by the Iraqi Prime Minister Abdel Mahdi. That’s a major strategic blunder that can only be pulled off by amateurs.

Major General Soleimani, of course, humiliated the whole of the Deep State over and over again – and could eat all of them for breakfast, lunch and dinner as a military strategist. It was Soleimani who defeated ISIS/Daesh in Iraq – not the Americans bombing Raqqa to rubble. Soleimani is a superhero of almost mythical status for legions of young Hezbollah supporters, Houthis in Yemen, all strands of resistance fighters in both Iraq and Syria, Islamic Jihad in Palestine, and all across Global South latitudes in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

There’s absolutely no way the US will be able to maintain troops in Iraq, unless the nation is re-occupied en masse via a bloodbath. And forget about “security”: no imperial official or imperial military force is now safe anywhere, from the Levant to Mesopotamia and the Persian Gulf.

The only redeeming quality out of this major strategic blunder cum declaration of war may be the final nail in the coffin of the Southwest Asia chapter of the US Empire of Bases. Iranian Prime Minister Javad Zarif came out with an appropriate metaphor: The “tree of resistance” will continue to grow. The empire might as well say goodbye to Southwest Asia.

In the short term, Tehran will be extremely careful in its response. A hint of – harrowing – things to come: it will be blowback by a thousand cuts. As in hitting the Exceptionalist framework – and mindset – where it really hurts. This is how the Roaring, Raging Twenties begin: not with a bang, but with the release of whimpering dogs of war.


The Essential Saker IV: Messianic Narcissism's Agony by a Thousand Cuts
The Essential Saker III: Chronicling The Tragedy, Farce And Collapse of the Empire in the Era of Mr MAGA


    • I concur.
      Trump declaring war to Iran in election year.
      That is more than suspicious and dubious.

      Maybe the MSM are correct Trump is an idiot ?
      The MSM are not biased. That is a fact… (ironh intended)

      Like in NK case, Venezuela case and Syrian case.

      Fires missile on empty depots in Syria following the Chemical Attackbfalse flag.
      Threatening to Nuke NK 2 weeks before calling Kim his best buddy…

      It looks like staged PR between Trump and Iran for political consumption to justify US getting out of Syria and Iraq.

    • I did consider that but you did not finishing the rest of the ‘story’ it seems – what happens after US get out or get kick out of ME? What’s the hidden purpose of the show? Why now?

      Let’s cast our vision further and wider, not just focus on the content but examine also the context.

      I still think the whole show or actual event is about money. The FED is literally printing billions a day to keep the glue moist and relatively stretchy everywhere. They won’t reach half year before they need to print trillions a day to keep the insane leverage show going… and what’s the point then? Even to them who are ‘demoniacal’, the show is no longer value-driven growth-profitable or fun to watch the bots and the tweets.
      Just as being in ME is no longer profitable, now that a thousand cuts are waiting to happen everywhere anytime, thanks to Orange man. This is a pet project and side income stream is of his opponent. So he wins by getting out and saving money/lives, and cutting off ‘other ppl’s source of income’. He wins by cutting down the MIC – what JFK failed – now that he got his space force (private military assets).

      The other alternative to stretch the empire money show a few moments longer is to force negative rates on The PPL (since there is no where else that they can easily loot). But since The PPL are broke and busted, and they already maxed out all their credits, that would probably not last till xams, if it did not DOA. Neg rates will probably move the rest of the herds into cryptos and gold like mad rush, and the slush fund will find their new home in euro, rubles or even rmb. All scenario will be game on for those who has cast their surveillance web so very long and when the prey escapes, they many not have full control no more. So they will have to use the law to outlaw gold and cryptos and any non-usd currency. Standard script in the show. And as Tom Luongo ranted in his tube, this is the time all nation should be restructuring their debt away from US-denominated. Perhaps that the hidden agenda of war against Iran by da orange man.

      So there are many reasons to get out now, even if its a show and nobody died. Maybe its a signal.

      I think 20.20 could be the absolute deadline year USA has been allocated to declare official default… and the handlers are not even wasting one day, just one day after first day of new year… and we have war or declaration of war set as the theme of the rest of the year. War, to them, let us remember, means, order out of chaos. That means new world is coming. Gold spiked and the market spooked. Judging by the unrestrained gold reaction, this could be too real to be fake. I think Orange man could be the designated last president. I think that’s how they like the (ritualistic) story ends. Poetic!

      Now we are just concern how to deal with the 330million usa refugee and a whole lot of snow ppl, when the dollar officially ‘retire’. Rumour has it Barry was supposed to deal with it and even printed all the new domestic purposed rainbow dollar but something else happen. Now imagine all your new dollar will have orange man’s face on it. He would love it! He would achieve Trump’s (new) republic! The bankrupt KING will be ‘immortal’! (suiting to his personal image)

      The world is a theatre. Indeed.
      So if this is not the Iran show ONLY… we will need to re-calculated everything – the new money!

      • this is the time all nation should be restructuring their debt away from US-denominated. Perhaps that the hidden agenda of war against Iran by da orange man. […] I think 20.20 could be the absolute deadline year USA has been allocated to declare official default…

        Obviously, just about everything those outside Middle East do about it almost for a century was and is really about oil. The stickiest, stinkiest and hottest bog is still petrodollar, not oil as such. It’s not like someone announced “screw petrodollar” half a year ago (like it was with Saddam) and now we see a reaction. So it does look like some move to actively rearrange that old mess may be a part of this new mess.
        Though as a bonus maybe Trump will jump on some excuse to leave UN when they’ll say something about it (and they probably will). Shutting down the Progressive Vatican as mere collateral damage in an apparently stupid war would be a fitting end to it.

        • “really about oil” – Not !

          Recall how people thought the 2003 invasion of Iraq was supposed to be all about the oil, but that theory was largely disproved because the US oil companies didn’t even bother to bid on the post-2003 oil contracts. Maybe not even later. The real beneficiaries were the American military-industrial complex, and the Israeli government because ruining Iraq was part of the 1982 Oded Yinon plan. And of course Israel did 9-11 which started the whole series of wars.

          • I think you forgot or did not know… that the UK and USA fully pumped out 3x chambers underground…so when the Iraqis took back their fields they found them empty….
            so even if it was not entirely about oil, oil WAS stolen, to pay for the war the UK and USA started…

  1. in memorial of the general a little history:

    Let’s look at a few facts about Qasem Soleimani, the hero who Donald Trump just assassinated.

    Soleimani came from a peasant family, worked in construction in his youth to pay off his dad’s debts and lifted weights in his spare time.

    He joined the Revolutionary Guard briefly after the revolution, to serve his country.

    When his country was at war with Iraq, he rose up quickly through the ranks, took part in every major operation.
    He described Operation Fath ol-Mobin as the best battle of his life, due to the odds being against his people and yet triumphing despite that.

    When he was working close to opium fields in Afghanistan, he fought against the drug trade.

    In 1998, he was put in charge of the Quds Force, Iran’s extraterritorial intelligence and military body.

    During the 1999 student revolt, he signed a letter to the president saying that if he did not put down the revolution, the military would overthrow the government and do it themselves.

    After 9/11, he briefly worked with Americans and captured or killed high-ranking al-Qaeda members, but the collaboration ended when George Bush declared Iran “evil” in a 2002 speech.

    He is considered a principal figure in the development of Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia, and he was in Lebanon during Hezbollah’s war with Israel and oversaw the conflict.

    He was the leading figure behind the destruction of ISIS by Syria and friends.

    He was the definition of a hero, and a kind of idealized form of the New Man
    He was probably the single most respected military man in the Shiite world, and was considered one of the most powerful. He has been universally recognized as one of the most influential military commanders in the region for decades.

    Assassinating a man of such honor using a missile strike is about the most cowardly thing I’ve ever heard of in my entire life.

    Andrew Anglin
    Daily Stormer
    January 3, 2020

  2. Soleimani’s death will turn out to be a gift for the resistance movement and all who wanted to see the US out of Iraq. It may be that in death he is able to accomplish more on that front than when he was alive. Whether that makes it worth it for him or not, I don’t know. It is a huge loss either way.

    Trump is really, truly, doing everything he can to accelerate the collapse of the Anglo-Zionist empire at a truly rapid rate. Once the US is gone from Iraq, they will be forced to leave Eastern Syria as well. Of-course, they can refuse the Iraqi government’s order, but then they truly will be nothing more than tyrants and occupiers, and the entire world will see them as such. It will no longer be possible to deny this image.

    What happens next will be very interesting. I don’t think Iran will escalate to full-scale war just yet. “Death by a thousand cuts” is right. Iran is probably waiting to see the outcome of the election in 2020. Trump might be gone, infact, he probably will be, now that he has lost his anti-war base, millions of swing voters, that voted for him will now be looking for alternatives.

    • “It may be that in death he is able to accomplish more on that front than when he was alive. Whether that makes it worth it for him or not, I don’t know”.

      From what the Iranians have been saying I think it’s very possible that he did think it worthwhile. His death was a genuine sacrifice for his people.

    • Be very very careful of what you think you see or what you wish for, for you have no knowledge of what comes after,and one things for sure it won’t benefit the working class.The orange clown is in it for his own benefit and no ones else,one only needs to look at his past for he would have made a Godfather in gangsterland rather than a president.Hell for the trumpster’s he could murder the pope and they would say it was all prearranged to benefit the people rather than the system>!!

    • Dude, it doesn’t matter who becomes President next, their actions are the same. Besides, it’s too late for peace, Jan 3, was a day of infamy, where the US declared war on Iran. End of discussion.

  3. “Iraq is now the preferred battleground of a proxy war against Iran that may now metastasize into a hot war, with devastating consequences.”

    A critical and true statement. Exactly what the US is looking for.

    The required response by Iran should not give the US what they want.

    The required response should not be of a nature to drag Iraq and Syria deeper into more war and suffering.

      • I am an American Citizen and veteran so I do not propose anything, I am not a traitor to my country.

        What I am saying is that if Iran is a friend and ally to Iraq and Syria they would not craft a response which drags either of those 2 countries deeper into more war and hardship.

        When I say required response, does not mean I support a response. Only that I know it is inevitable and Iran could not let such an action go unanswered.

        There are a number of responses that could be done but I sure as hell wouldn’t share them.

          • ” Is a corporation and your military service was not to defend the country. ”

            Dont make him think about that, he might do himself in from guilt and the sense of betrayal. Its better for his mental health to watch football and guzzle beer while the ” Greatest Democracy the world has ever seen” kills tens of thousands of people in his name. Its not his fault though, the American populace is only the best armed population on the planet, how could they stop their out of control government ?

        • The biggest traitor to a country is one who turns his head and like the three monkeys sees no evil,hears no evil,speaks no evil,while the true patriot sees all of those signs and responds to them,now two things are coming for only two things are possible at this point, one is the easy way a depression the second is the hard way a revolution,now the question I pose is what kind of a patriot are you?.!!

          • He’s obviously the kind who ” supports ” his country no matter what. I wonder how he would respond if Russia killed the Secretary of Defense in the US. I’m sure he would be for ” calm and stability ” then also. ZioAmericans are so brainwashed as to be brain dead at this point. They have betrayed their Constitution and are cowards because they wont do what their forefathers expected of them in a time like this.

            • Amon Ra, I think you went too far with saying, “the kind who ” supports ” his country no matter what.”

              ActivePatriot looks to me more like someone who is making a big U-turn in his thinking, but has not yet finished the job. U-turns can take a few years to complete, and I say this from having made a couple of them myself.

              If he recognizes the suffering in Syria and Iraq like he says he does – and obviously everyone now knows the US has a huge responsibility for that suffering, then he will certainly finish his U-turn. And if he doesn’t offer suggestions to Iran because he thinks his suggestions might actually be used, that’s quite silly. If he won’t suggest anything because he thinks it seems bad for anyone in the US, well, that is a little less silly.

        • Well, a few of you make some assumptions about me that miss the mark.

          1 – I don’t watch much football or guzzle beer
          2 – I think about quite a bit. I speak out about quite a bit.
          3 – I’m as vocal against Syrian conflict as most here.
          4 – I’m a Gulf War era Vet who was against Iraq war vocally
          5 – I support my brothers in arms by opposing unjust wars
          6 – My opposition to such will never cross line to aiding and abetting adversaries

          I don’t care how wrong US is in starting a war, I would never root for Americans to get killed.

          I say my piece, shake my head, what makes me different than you who post?
          Lot of people going to get killed on all sides. Iran going to retaliate, that’s the way it is.

          We have garbage leadership that keeps getting worse, same as many other countries. Iran’s leadership is not a stellar example of how it’s supposed to be either.

  4. My guess would be that the Houthis will shut down Saudi Arabia’s cross country oil pipeline again and attack the Saudi export terminals on the Red Sea. This would mean that all exports from the Gulf States would have to be through the Straits of Hormuz.
    Then the battleground will shift to the Persian Gulf and it will be for all the marbles!
    Iran will make the Persian Gulf the main battlefield knowing well that even if the USA manages to absolutely clobber them, the Iranians can at minimum guarantee that oil and LNG shipments out of the Persian Gulf will be disrupted for months…in the middle of winter.
    The damage to the economies of American allies in Europe and Asia will be devastating and the unrest that will be generated in the Gulf States would likely see several governments fall. The sharp rise in oil prices would also put Trump’s re-election in doubt.
    Even if the USA were to “win” the military conflict it will face such hostility across the Middle East that it will be forced to drastically shrink its footprint in the region. Not just at a military level but US corporations will not be able to carry on business as usual…and God know’s best.

  5. I think you are correct that the retaliation will be “death by a thousand paper cuts” type of response.

    The real reason for this now was so Trump can get the support of the Zionists to get re-elected. It was the price he had to pay and was willing to do so. The Zionists put Trump in power in 2016 by cheating better than the Clinton campaign. No election is the USA is legit with those black box voting machines and all the other chicanery.

    The rank and file Jews in the USA are about 90% registered Democrats and voted for Clinton but she was going to leave the Iran deal in place and the Zionists want war with Iran or failing that extremely weakened. So the Zionists ignore the “vote” of their own “plebes” and put Trump in.

    Now it looks like 4 more years of Trump. Question is will he start a full out war with Iran after he is re-elected? Will his owners throw him under the bus once he’s done the dirty deed?

    • If you have any good reason to think Clinton would have left the JCPOA in place, that would be news to me, and probably to lots of other people. That’s before we get to the next question, of whether this dazed psychopath would have been able to rationally carry out any plan whatsoever.

  6. Thanks for your analysis Pepe. Deeply troubling times.
    Reports just in that there has been an airstrike on a PMU base near the Iraq – Syria border with 5 killed.
    Iran has identified 35 possible United States targets in the Middle East region as well as Tel Aviv as being within range of a response. This was reported at Sputnik News last night. Sorry, unable to do links.
    We will soon find out what the Iranian response will be. Right now, I feel like we are all standing right on the edge of the precipice.
    I hope this is the beginning of the end for this evil cabal of psychopaths. They have gone too far this time.

    • Os Curdos, por esta altura, devem é estar a rezar para que não dêem por eles quando a coisa aquecer.

      yandex translate — mod

      The Kurds, by now, must be praying that they don’t notice when it gets hot.

  7. One thing to note.
    The Donald has the two Mikes (Pence and Pompeo)
    These guys believe that bringing on the “End of Days” is a good thing.
    They believe that the “End of Days” can only happen if the Temple in Jerusalem is rebuilt.

  8. Ante-scriptum: peço imensa desculpa por não escrever em Inglês.

    E eis que chegámos aqui: um país com um Governo de atrasados mentais encabeçado por um atrasado mental e que governa atrasados mentais (que me desculpem aqueles cidadãos estado-unidenses que ainda têm um cérebro funcional) acaba de levar o Mundo a um centímetro do abismo da III Guerra Mundial.
    Há uma máxima que, na vida dos homens como na vida das nações, jamais deve ser esquecida: nunca ponhas o teu adversário na situação de já nada ter a perder. Pois o que faz o Palhaço que reina na Casa Branca? Faz exactamente o contrário do que aconselha a tão velha quanto sábia máxima.
    Que poderá fazer o Irão? Não responder e continuar a ver os seus filhos e filhas serem assassinados numa guerra não declarada? Ou chegar à conclusão de que, sendo a guerra inevitável e tendo a plena consciência de que está em jogo a aniquilação do seu país e da sua cultura, há que destruir por todas as formas possíveis o inimigo? Nunca, mas nunca deixes o teu oponente com a convicção de que nada mais tem a perder a não ser… TUDO O QUE FAZ SENTIDO NA VIDA.
    Contudo, ele há gente que pensa que os iranianos morrem de medo do “poderio” dos EUA. É o que dá ser criado a ver filmes de Hollywood.
    Esses filmes, diga-se de passagem, foram e são o mundo virtual onde se “educaram” gerações e gerações de estado-unidenses (e de ocidentais) que nunca souberam o que a verdadeira guerra é. Só assim se podem compreender os despreocupados “comentários” que, aqui e em outros sítios da “internet” vão sendo escritos por ocidentais que pensam que o que verdadeiramente interessa nesta vida é saber se se come mais um hambúrguer ou se se segue a última moda e se passa a comer “vegan”. Eu, que li da primeira à última página o último livro de Andrei Martyanov e conheço por experiência própria aquilo que a guerra faz a países e a pessoas, desconfio que, brevemente, os cidadãos daquilo a que se convencionou chamar “Mundo Ocidental” vão acordar para um sangrento pesadelo que nunca viram nos ecrãs de Hollywood. Que Deus tenha piedade das almas dos seus filhos e das suas filhas.

    yandex translate … mod

    Ante-scriptum: I am so sorry for not writing in English.

    And here we have come: a country with a government of mental retards headed by a mental retard who rules mentally retarded people (who forgive me those U.S. citizens who still have a functioning brain) has just taken the world one inch from the abyss of World War III.
    There is one maxim that should never be forgotten in the lives of men as in the lives of nations: never put your opponent in a situation where he has nothing to lose. For what does the Clown who reigns in the White House do? You do exactly the opposite of what advises the old woman as wise as she is.
    What Can Iran do? Not respond and continue to see your sons and daughters murdered in an undeclared war? Or to come to the conclusion that, since war is inevitable and is fully aware that the annihilation of your country and your culture is at stake, the enemy must be destroyed in every possible way? Never, ever leave your opponent with the conviction that nothing else has to lose but … everything that makes sense in life.
    However, there are people who think the Iranians are dying of fear of us “might.” That’s what you get for being raised watching Hollywood movies.
    These films, by the way, were and are the virtual world where generations and generations of Americans (and Westerners) who never knew what the real war is were” educated”. Only in this way can we understand the carefree “comments” that, here and elsewhere on the internet, are being written by Westerners who think that what really matters in this life is whether to eat another hamburger or if you follow the latest fashion and start eating vegan. I, who read Andrei Martyanov’s last book from the front to the back page and know from my own experience what war does to countries and people, suspect that, soon, the citizens of what has been termed the ‘Western world’ will wake up to a bloody nightmare they have never seen on Hollywood screens. May God have mercy on the souls of his sons and daughters.

  9. “There’s absolutely no way the US will be able to maintain troops in Iraq, unless the nation is re-occupied en masse via a bloodbath.”

    That was precisely the point. You can’t have a war with Iran unless you have tens, scores, even hundreds of thousands of US troops inside either Iraq or Afghanistan – and Afghanistan is way over on the over side of Iran from all the main Iranian assets and infrastructure. Even if you don’t intend to actually invade Iran – and I believe the neocons *do* intend that, at least at some point when the air campaign clearly has not worked – you need those troops on the Iraqi border.

    This was a deliberate escalation – whether knowingly done by Trump or Trump was manipulated into doing it is irrelevant – to enable the US to send vastly more troops to the Middle East in preparation for a war which has already been decided to occur. The only question is whether it will be before the election or after – regardless of who wins the election (short of Tulsi Gabbard – and that ain’t gonna happen.)

  10. This criminal act show clearly now that Trump is at the hands of the Deep State. There is not escape for him now. No one in the world can ride two horses at the same time for long.