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The dominos are lining up for an invasion or bombing of Iran...

praktik

TRIBE Member
The Iranian Protests
Posted on December 31, 2017, 9:35 AM Daniel Larison

Protests broke out in several cities across Iran last week:

The demonstrations began Thursday to oppose high unemployment and rising costs, including a 40 percent jump in the price of eggs. But they swiftly expanded to take on a system many protesters have said is corrupt.

“Down with the dictator!” some demonstrators chanted, as they tore down posters of the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, in central Tehran. Protesters defied police from Kermanshah in the west to the holy city of Qom in the north and Ahvaz southwest of the capital, according to footage uploaded onto social media. Many of the images could not be confirmed.​

At least two protesters have been killed so far. The protests obviously show some significant discontent with the regime and economic conditions inside Iran, and frustration with both may have been made worse by unmet rising expectations. Based on initial reports, it appears that there is also some dissatisfaction with the government’s diversion of resources to foreign conflicts rather than using them at home. It remains to be seen how representative these protests are and how enduring they will be.

The key thing that U.S. politicians and policymakers need to keep in mind is that internal protests in Iran are not about us, and they are not an “opportunity” for us to exploit. The U.S. should publicly say as little as possible about the protests except to condemn the use of force against peaceful protesters, and it should not otherwise attempt to insert itself into the situation or interfere. There is not much that the U.S. could practically do in any case, and none of it would be helpful or constructive. The Trump administration in particular has no credibility with Iranians, and any expressions of support it offers are likely both unwanted by and harmful to the intended recipients. The administration cannot ban Iranians from the U.S. at the start of the year, and then suddenly pretend that it respects them and supports their aspirations at the end. It will be a serious error if the Trump administration concludes that the U.S. needs to “make up” for Obama’s handling of the Green movement protests, but after eight years of hawkish myth-making they might do exactly that. It would be far wiser and better for the U.S. and the Iranian people if our government allowed events in Iran to unfold without comment from Washington.
 

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
At least 13 dead, hundreds arrested as Iran cracks down on widening protests


More than a dozen people are dead amid continuing nationwide protests in Iran. The demonstrations are the largest in the Islamic Republic since 2009, when there was a disputed presidential election. The state has started cracking down in some ways, blocking Instagram and Telegram, a messaging app used by activists organizing protests, and President Hassan Rouhani said that the government is prepared to apprehend people it considers as lawbreakers. One of the primary causes for the protests, which outside of the capital of Tehran has been driven by working class Iranians, is the lack of an expected economic boom after international sanctions were lifted in early 2016. Unemployment is officially at 12.5 per cent but non-government estimates suggest that in reality the rate is higher. Inflation is also nearly at 10 per cent.
 

wickedken

TRIBE Member
At least 13 dead, hundreds arrested as Iran cracks down on widening protests


More than a dozen people are dead amid continuing nationwide protests in Iran. The demonstrations are the largest in the Islamic Republic since 2009, when there was a disputed presidential election. The state has started cracking down in some ways, blocking Instagram and Telegram, a messaging app used by activists organizing protests, and President Hassan Rouhani said that the government is prepared to apprehend people it considers as lawbreakers. One of the primary causes for the protests, which outside of the capital of Tehran has been driven by working class Iranians, is the lack of an expected economic boom after international sanctions were lifted in early 2016. Unemployment is officially at 12.5 per cent but non-government estimates suggest that in reality the rate is higher. Inflation is also nearly at 10 per cent.
It's just some girl.

 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
Trump, Iran, and ‘Moral Clarity’
Posted on January 2, 2018, 10:52 AM Daniel Larison

The Trump administration’s defense of offering public support to protesters in Iran is not very persuasive:

Mr. Hook pushed back on the notion that energetically backing Iranians’ right to publicly express their views would give ammunition to the regime.

“It doesn’t matter what we do, they will blame us,” he said. “For us, this is not a complicated question. We want to take a position with moral clarity and let the protesters know they’re not alone.”​

The Iranian government will try to blame outside actors for the protests (Khamenei did just that today), but it doesn’t follow that this makes it right or smart for our government to offer public backing. It does matter what “we” do through our government, and it matters how “we” do it. The U.S. should be very careful that its statements and actions can’t be used as weapons against people protesting their own government, and the surest way to avoid blunders that benefit the regime is to say and do as little as possible. This is contrary to the ingrained Washington impulse to “do something” in response to whatever shows up in the news, but it is the right thing to do.

Whenever government officials begin talking about “moral clarity,” you can be reasonably sure that the policy in question has little or nothing to do with morality. The same administration that claims to want “moral clarity” in its position on protests in Iran couldn’t care less about the crime against humanity being committed by its clients in Yemen. This is the same administration that told our despotic clients in Riyadh that it wasn’t interested in “lecturing” them about their internal affairs. “Moral clarity” is the phrase that is used whenever someone in Washington wants to denounce adversaries for actions that he ignores or excuses when they are committed by governments on “our” side. It is a signal that our government is about to engage in some highly selective and cynical public criticism.

The problem with U.S. backing for domestic protesters in another country isn’t just that it risks undermining them, but that it inserts the U.S. into internal political disputes that are not really any of our business. There is a danger that our interference will end up harming those it is intended to “help,” but there is an even greater danger that it strengthens the belief among our policymakers that our government somehow has the right to “shape” the internal political life of another country. The U.S. doesn’t have that right, and the presumption that it does is one of the reasons why our government is viewed with so much mistrust and suspicion
 

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Pro-government rallies staged across Iran


After days of protest over Iran's weak economy left 21 people dead, tens of thousands of Iranians took part in pro-government demonstrations in several cities across the country on Wednesday, Iranian state media reported, a move apparently seeking to calm nerves.


State TV said in Farsi that the demonstrations served as an "answer to the protests" by "servants of the U.S." as the pro-government demonstrators called the protesters. The rallies come after Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday blamed days of protests across the country on meddling by "enemies of Iran."


The protests, the largest seen in Iran since its disputed 2009 presidential election, began on Dec. 28 in Mashhad, Iran's second-largest city and a bastion for hard-liners. While initially focusing on Iran's flagging economy and rising food prices, they've morphed into demands for wholesale change in Iran's theocratic government. Here's a primer on how the protests began, what's at stake and how they compare with previous unrest.
 

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Trump is beta. Iran is another Iraq. They can absorb the financial and human cost his problems on their own dime. Chump is a hack.
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
The Iranian Reaction To The Killing Of Soleimani
Daniel Larison, January 3rd

LINK

The Iranian reaction to the Trump administration’s killing of Soleimani has been predictably angry and full of talk of revenge:

The U.S. has a poor track record when it comes to anticipating how an adversary will respond to our actions. The administration is absurdly portraying this escalation against Iran as a “defensive action,” but to the Iranians it seems like excessive and outrageous attack and they are reacting accordingly. U.S. officials are claiming that killing Soleimani is a preventive measure intended to stop future attacks on Americans, but it is practically guaranteed to have the opposite result. The administration has made it clear that Soleimani was the intended target, so we have to conclude that they didn’t understand the implications of what they were doing.

Most Americans probably don’t realize how well-respected and popular Soleimani was inside Iran. Mohammed Ali Shabani explains:
By 2014, when he successfully halted Islamic State’s attempt to overrun Iraq, Suleimani was feted as a hero among Iraqis, alongside the local commanders including al-Muhandis. The same response was evident in Iran, where he quickly became a household name and was rumoured as a potential future president – a trend that was strengthened by the Trump administration’s unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018.
So the US has not merely killed an Iranian military commander but also a highly popular figure, viewed as a guardian of Iran even among secular-minded Iranians.
Imagine how angrily we would respond if a foreign government assassinated a high-profile, well-liked military officer while he was traveling inside an allied country, and that might give us some idea of how Iranians perceive this attack. That matters because it means that there will be tremendous pressure on the Iranian government to respond to the attack, and it also means that there will be political support for retaliation. If the administration wanted to find a way to trigger a war with Iran that bolsters the Iranian government’s standing at home, this is how to do it.
The U.S. also has a record of achieving tactical military successes while failing horribly at achieving our strategic goals. Killing Soleimani obviously doesn’t put a stop to Iran’s activities in the region, and if anything the attack will increase Iran’s influence in Iraq. Once again, the U.S. violated Iraqi sovereignty and attacked one of their own militia leaders in the same strike. Barbara Slavin comments on the implications of the assassination:
Killing General Suleimani will not destroy this network of partners and proxies, but it will give them a celebrated new “martyr” to avenge. Both Lebanon and Iraq will experience more violence; the American presence in Iraq will become increasingly untenable; the biggest beneficiaries will be Sunni fundamentalists like the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, which will be thrilled to see their two biggest enemies coming to blows.
The U.S. is constantly outmaneuvered politically by other states that understand their own regions far better than we ever will, and our government’s reflexive response is to try to kill our way to success. Yesterday’s attack was a colossal mistake that will haunt the U.S. for years to come, and it is the result of cultivating relentless hostility towards a country that doesn’t pose a real threat to the security of the United States. This war didn’t have to happen and it could have been easily avoided many times in recent years, but the Trump administration chose provocation and escalation instead. Judging from what Iranian officials are saying, we should expect Iran to respond in kind before long.
 
I wonder if John Bolton is walking along somewhere right now, bitterly kicking a can down the street, pissed that he's not gonna be involved in a war against Iran.

Americans are going to retake the stupidity cup back from the English snatched it with Brexit if they swallow the whole "THEY WERE ABOUT TO ATTACK" excuse Pompeo is bandying around. Weapons of mass destruction excuse 2.0.
 
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alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Trump just escalated the situation by saying they are targeting 52 Iranian sites for attack.
 
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