A Tale of Two Assassinations

For Zionists and neoconservatives, it’s been a miraculous few weeks. No sooner did the corporate media assassinate the political career of Jeremy Corbyn, probably the only chance in my lifetime that we’ll ever see an anti-imperialist head of state in a major western power, then Donald Trump literally assassinates Qassem Soleimani, the most formidable opponent of the American, Israeli, Saudi axis of power in the Middle East. Suddenly Trump, who’s under impeachment, and Benjamin Netanyahu, who’s under indictment, can breath a sigh of relief. After a brief pause, the American empire is once again on the offensive.

The New York Times tells me that “Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei” has “promised retaliation against those who killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani in Baghdad.” I suppose the Iranians do have a few options. They can attempt to create an oil shock and a recession in the United States by blocking the Straights of Hormuz. There’s been some speculation among online military experts, and take them for what they’re worth, that Iran has the capability of sinking a Nimitz Class super carrier. The Iranian government can sponsor terrorist attacks in the United States, something I’m sure the American ruling class would welcome as an opportunity to revive the flagging “war on terror.” Nothing says “the reelection of Donald Trump” like bringing back Orange Alerts. The Iranians can continue to counter punch against America’s low-intensity dirty war in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.

If I had to guess, I’d bet that Khamenei bides his time. Surely part of the reason the United States assassinated Qassem Soleimani was to provoke Iran into an all out war, one Iran would surely lose. Then there’s the old cliche about how “Iranian hardliners benefit from increased tensions with the west.” I’m no expert on Iran. I’m not even a well-informed amateur. I couldn’t name you 5 people in the Iranian government. Until yesterday, I had barely even heard of General Qassim Suleimani, but I doubt that the “rally around the flag” principle works much different in Iran than it does in the United States. Over the past few months there have been large scale protests in Iran, many of which have expressed a growing discontent over militarism and economic inequality. With Iran under renewed attack by the United States, pro-government counter protesters will almost surely gain the upper hand.

As far as the English speaking world goes, the British people have made their intentions clear, imperial nostalgia and withdrawal from the European Union. The United Kingdom  has one operational super carrier and is building a second, both of which will almost certainly be available to contribute to any future “no fly zone” over Iraq, Syria and Iran.  In the United States, short of an all out invasion of Iran, and probably even in the event of an all out invasion of Iran, most Americans will either “rally around the flag” or simply ignore what their government is doing in the Middle East. After all, “talking about politics is rude.” Indeed, the gigantic anti-war protests of 2002 and 2003 seem like a thing of the very distant past. I haven’t ready any studies about why the anti-war movement in the United States simply disappeared — most people on the left simply blame it on Obama — but perhaps it would be better to approach the question from another angle. Antiwar protests in an imperialist country like the United States are the exception, not the rule. It’s trivial for the corporate media to convince Americans to hate whoever their ruling class wants them to hate. The anti-war protests of 2002 and 2003 came out of a perfect storm, the disputed Presidential election of 2000, the coming to maturity of a generation of organizers who cut their teeth at the WTO in Seattle, the backash to George W. Bush’s gas lighting of the American people after 9/11 to push for the invasion of Iraq. We’re not likely to large scale protests like that again.

So I don’t expect my fellow Americans to protest their government. I would, however, like to see my fellow leftists and liberals just shut the fuck up about how much Trump’s bellicose policy in the Middle East scares them. Americans are unlikely to face much violence as a result of the assassination of Qassim Suleimani. We don’t have a draft and we’re unlikely to get one. The death toll from any terrorist attacks the Iranians could stage in the United States is likely to be insignificant compared to the death toll we experience every month from American gun nuts going on mass shootings. The people who are going to suffer live in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and above all in Yemen, not New Jersey or California. So stop being narcissistic little crybabies and think about the real victims for a change. And if you support what Trump’s doing, if you’re the type of person who plans to put a bumper sticker on your car saying something like “Freedom isn’t Free” or “Nuke Mecca,” well I guess there’s not much I can do about it. So have fun. I’m sure your fearless leader will do more than enough to satisfy your blood lust in the coming few months.

12 comments

  1. Stan,
    For once, I agree with everything you say. I suspect the West is more threatened than they admit with the growing friendliness between China, Russia, and Iran. As usual, the US wants the targeted enemies to make the first moves, although the assassination of Qassem Soleimani tells me Trump has really gone over the edge. A desperate measure. Like you, I hope Iran refuses to take the bait.

  2. The dedicated anti-war activist group CodePink organized nationwide protests today –https://twitter.com/MsJodieEvans/status/1213502790632263681– but we Americans need to make our demonstrations much more uncomfortable, inconvenient, and worrisome to ruling elites.

    Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Ro Khanna (D-CA) introduced legislation to restrain No.45, if Congress will take action on it. –https://twitter.com/RepRoKhanna/status/1213278372215672832–

    Corbyn/Labor 2019 loss was devasing.

  3. John Thurloe · · Reply

    “I would, however, like to see my fellow leftists and liberals just shut the fuck up about how much Trump’s bellicose policy in the Middle East scares them.”

    Too much really. Very well put. Except they are not “my fellow[s]” at all and yours neither, I reckon. The democrats when in power behaved in the same manner. So, this incident is nothing new. And the identity toadies won’t do anything that might jeopardize their ‘funding’.

    Domestic America isn’t at the tipping point yet so this won’t move them much. The Congressional Democrats are put in a most uncomfortable position because they are very much a War Party. And this business has restored the political initiative to Trump further undermining any impeachment momentum. Which increasingly is making the Democrats look ridiculous.

    While some of their supporters will undertake local actions, Iran will keep to ceremonial stuff and the U.S. will keep its head down until things cool off. But behind the scenes, inspired by Putin’s style, they will be more aggressive in laying in new weapons, preparing their asymmetric capabilities and digging ever deeper. Remember those drone attacks on Saudi which showed amazing skill and expertise. The current flashpoint will be Iraq which might indeed order the U.S. military to evacuate. And woe to any legislators that don’t support that. Today the current and former Prime Ministers marched at the funeral with the chief of national security. The vote is tomorrow.

    1. Domestic America isn’t at the tipping point yet so this won’t move them much.

      What scares Americans about war is the idea it might affect them personally.

      Interest was so high that it apparently crashed the website for the Selective Service System, the independent government agency that maintains a database of Americans eligible for a potential draft. “Due to the spread of misinformation, our website is experiencing high traffic volumes at this time,” the agency said on Twitter, adding, “We appreciate your patience.”

      https://www.yahoo.com/news/draft-young-people-worry-military-151901397.html

      Without a draft, the usual suspects (Code Pink, Answer) will mount protests but I doubt they’ll catch on among the general public

      I agree that the Iranians will probably just keep doing what they’re doing. They’re not stupid. The most likely effect of this assassination will probably mean that the anti-government protests in Iran so meticulously cultivated with propaganda and economic sanctions will go quite for the foreseeable future. It will probably also strengthen Iran’s hand with Shiites in Iraq and around the Gulf in general. This is not going to help the CIA or the US military to win “the hearts and minds” of local Shiite and tribal leaders.

      But this and the defeat of Corbyn clearly strengths the hand of neoconservatives in the United States. Ironically it gives the people who are probably too blatantly aggressive to project American power overseas the upper hand over people like Obama. So in the short run it will do nothing. In the medium run it will help neoconservatives. In the long run it will probably weaken the American empire.

      And oh yeah, look for liberals to start calling for a draft with one of two justifications. It will reignite the antiwar movement. It will force the rich to serve in the military along with the working class.

  4. John Thurloe · · Reply

    We won’t be seeing the elite wannabees of the identity movements speak out. The washed up progressives, liberals and ex-leftists. Tied to the War Party of Democrats, generals without an army this lot will go no further than tongue clucking. They are all on the payroll now.

    The immediate opportunity is to call the traitors out. Show how the toadies of the feminist, gay, environmental, labour, black constituencies sell their causes out and in service of the regime. As they do over austerity, gig-work, pensions, health care, education their role is that of prison trustees.

    Piss on them all. They are the enemy. Sinn Fain!

    1. Props to Colin Kaepernick though. He’s 100% right. Trump just normalized assassination as state policy but only against people who have been sufficiently demonized. They couldn’t just kill Jeremy Corbyn. They had to assassinate his character in the media.

  5. “Nothing says “the reelection of Donald Trump” like bringing back Orange Alerts.” Good one! Maybe he’ll call them Bronze Alerts, which he can peddle on late night TV for $99.99, home installation included.

    1. This coming Presidential election is starting to look like a weird replay of 2004 with Biden as Kerry and Trump as George W. Bush. The color “orange” probably triggers Trump because it’s his color. So perhaps he’ll issue “Gold Alerts” (nothing but the best for the USA USA USA).

      1. Maybe the whole thing — the election, the war on Iran, the looming swift boating of Joe Biden — can be turned into a monstrous FOX gameshow.

        1. I literally can’t remember one thing Kerry stood for other than “I support the war too but I’m a war hero and I can do it better.” Kerry’s kind of a tragic figure. He was an antiwar protester. Then he documented the CIA’s drug trafficking years before Gary Webb. He also negotiated the deal with the Iranians. So he’s not a totally bad actor as far as I’m concerned, just someone who got sucked up into mainstream neoliberalism later in life. Biden, bleh.

          1. Biden has no chance. The son thing would kill him on the post primary campaign trail, apart from his own (many) issues.

            1. I’m not sure. Bush beat Kerry because the Republican Party under Karl Rove was a well-oiled attack machine that got the initiative early in the Summer with the Swift Boaters and never let up. Trump doesn’t have anybody as remotely as competent as Bush had.

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