Mark Armstrong’s Weekly News Review – 3 January 2020

 Greetings from Tyler,

            This new calendar year began with a BOOM heard round the world.  President Trump pulled the trigger on the bloodiest terrorist this side of al Baghdadi, the Iranian leader Soleimani, blowing him and his convoy to bits at the Baghdad International Airport.   He was the “brains,” the organizer and commander of Iranian militias instigating mayhem in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza.  What was he doing there?

            This comes hot on the heels of the “demonstrations” at the American Embassy inside the Green Zone.  Iraqi guards were supposed to be protecting against incursions into the Green Zone, but went missing amid the onslaught that we all witnessed outside the walls of the American compound.  Though it hasn’t been reported explicitly, the angry “demonstrations” that took place on January 1st were likely the brain-child of Soleimani.  Apparently he’d come to Iraq to take control of further actions against the American contingent in Baghdad, and probably had designs on using Iranian leverage to insist that the Iraqi government demand the immediate removal of all American assets.  Kicking the American military out of Iraq was already part of the narrative, and the attempted attack against the embassy was part of that plan.   

            It is being reported that both previous American presidents, Bush and Obama, had the intelligence and the logistical opportunities to take out Soleimani in years past, but chose not to risk whatever reaction might occur in Iran.  President Obama tried to make friends with Iran with the now defunct “nuclear deal,” and then by sending them a billion dollars in untraceable currency.  We’d hate to know how that money was spent.  It not only propped up the theocratic Islamic regime, but was no doubt used to further the efforts of Iranian militias and terrorists wreaking havoc all over the region.   

            President Trump was asked a couple of days ago whether he was afraid of kindling a war with Iran.  He replied that it would be a stupid move on Iran’s part, and declared that such a war, “wouldn’t last long.”   

            As everybody knows, Iran has vowed retaliation.  Harsh REVENGE, says the Ayatollah Khameini.   There will be massive rallies calling for death to Israel, and death to America.  But what’s new?  They’ve been spewing the most heinous of threats for thirty some years!  It is obvious that President Trump believes that we now have all of our military assets staged.  The cover of our third quarter 2019 edition of 21st Century WATCH featured a convoy of American warships en-route to the Persian Gulf and environs.  You’ve probably seen that squadrons of airplanes have been delivered to American bases in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. 

            Prime Minster Netanyahu of Israel cut short his visit to Greece and returned to Israel upon the news of Soleimani’s death.  He expressed support and appreciation for the action that took out Soleimani and his entourage.  The Jerusalem Post describes the men killed as “irreplaceable.”  It describes Muhandis, the Iranian proxy leader in Iraq who came to the airport to greet Soleimani upon his arrival, as even “far more irreplaceable,” in that he was the prime example Iran’s dependable proxy in a neighboring country.  The J Post talks of retaliatory moves that Iran could take, all of which have no doubt been considered by the Pentagon and the President.  They could mine the Persian Gulf.  They could once again attack Saudi Arabian assets with rockets.  They could launch rockets and missiles at Israel, or at American bases.  Or maybe they’ll just go quiet for the time being.  This is the first time since Ronald Reagan that Iran has had its nose bloodied.  When Reagan sank a third of the Iranian navy, the Mullah’s got real quiet for a period of several years.  So that’s also a possibility. 

            Some irony in the equation is the fact that Muhandis and his paramilitary force in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Unit actually fought alongside American forces in the recent effort to drive ISIS (Sunni Arabs) out of Iraq.  But, as we mentioned, Muhandis was Iran’s proxy in Iraq.  The mullahs want the U. S. out of Iraq so it can be in full operational control.  With ISIS gone, Iran and its proxies intended to drive American military assets out of Iraq in order to exert complete control.   

            To go back over all the provocations and responses that led us to this point would be futile, because there’s no end to them.  But the most recent were a dozen rocket attacks against U. S. bases killing hundreds of Iraqis, wounding thousands, with some American casualties that we’ve been hearing about.  These guys, Soleimani and Muhandis were undoubtedly the architects of the recent incidents.  Indications are that Soleimani had come to Iraq to coordinate further moves against American forces within the “Green Zone.”  Iran wants the U. S. out of Iraq so they can rule it as a proxy state, and they intended to do so with the claim of Iraqi cooperation.  It looks like they’ll need a new plan. 

            A disaster is playing out in Australia with some two hundred wild fires burning out of control.  The shame is that “green” laws have been enacted (similar to the situation in California) where people are not allowed to clear trees or brush around their properties.  The flora and fauna just wouldn’t be amused.  So the fires sweep across the landscape without sparing anything in their path.  People are stranded in some locations, particularly in the small beach front communities between Sydney and Melbourne.  People don’t have electricity, they don’t have phone service, and some are being rescued by the Australian navy.  What a shame, especially knowing that some of it was at least partially avoidable.


P. S.  We’ve received a bulk shipment of the new Watch magazine that features the smoky insignia of Iran on the cover.  We went that route largely because of the recent wave of rage that swept cities and towns across Iran.  But that choice seems to have been made even more relevant by the action that has been taken against a couple of Iran’s bloodiest commanders, responsible for the loss of untold American lives and the lives of people all across the Middle East.  The dead guys were planning further attacks against our troops, probably intending to go after the embassy grounds, according to a statement just delivered by President Trump.  If you don’t have the new magazine yet, it’s on the way!