Why am I celebrating January 4, 2020, the grim anniversary of the assassination of Iranian General Soleimani and Iraqi commander of the Popular Mobilisation Forces Mohandis, the two leading anti-ISIS fighters? And January 8, 2020, Iran’s answer? (I’m not celebrating January 6!)

It is notable that the anniversary passed in the US without so much as a howdie-do, either by Trumpers or Democrats. It also was downplayed during the viciously contested 2020 US presidential election. 

I'm sure Trump did this blatant war crime with two aims.

First, to show what a clever, fearless leader he is, what a solid friend of Israel. Surely that would let him sail through the electoral slog, guarantee his reelection (with Zionist media support), and let him get back to serious golfing.

But he and Pompeo had another motive. They were counting on Iran falling into the Saddam trap. When the Iraq dictator invaded Kuwait in 1990, that was the perfect excuse for Bush I to move into the Middle East big-time (brought to fruition by Bush II). 

Considering the shambles that Trump inherited in 2016, he would have been wise to step back and stop this madness. Pull out of Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq. He wanted to! He famously bought a full-page ad in the New York Times Washington Post and Boston Globe in 1987, calling for pulling all US troops out of Japan, maybe even South Korea. Captain American even tried, when elected in 2016, meeting with North Korean rocketman Kim Jong-un, and threatening to dismantle NATO. 

He even announced the end of US involvement in Syria in 2019. Trump tweet: Getting out of Syria was no surprise. I’ve been campaigning on it for years. But not because he's a peacenik, as the assassination of Soleimani January 4, 2020 proved in spades. His radicalism was all about making a leaner, meaner empire. Led by The Donald.

Casino America

Of course, he was lifted gently by the Pentagon back into the playpen and soon forgot all about Syria. But Trump is a gambler -- by profession, and decided to throw the dice one more time. Go for broke. 

Do a targeted killing of a US-labelled terrorist, which would surely provoke Iran into retaliation, maybe even a few deaths in the US (you get where I’m going with the treason label). That would be the perfect excuse to invade Iran (and get reelected!). He was holding his ace, the Bush-era executive order allowing him to attack without Congressional approval (which Biden decided he liked after all). 

Wartime presidents always get reelected. It looked too tempting to pass up. Surely Iran was on its last legs, crippled by his sanctions, with understandable domestic unrest, and MEK and Reza Pahlavi ready in the wings. The military, for all its pretend disapproval of Trump, would be delighted to move back into the Tehran embassy and make Iran once again the 'Espionage Den', Grand Central Station for US-Israel, the Jewel in the Crown. That would clinch US-Israeli hegemony and put paid to the silly Palestinians once and for all.

But Trump miscalculated. There was little reaction in the US or abroad. Biden and Boris Johnson welcomed the assassination but disapproved of the method. Even MEK, the genuine Iranian terrorist group (now safe under US protection in Albania), disapproved. Only US citizen Reza Pahlavi was solidly behind Trump, anxious to reclaim the Throne of Thrones.

It's as if the seriousness of the egregious schoolboy prank still hasn't registered in the US et al.

It was such a blatant war crime, that it is too dangerous to discuss or mention rationally. Like a sacred defilement, a heresy, yes, treason. Trump is actually a dystopian Lone Ranger, an outlaw in an America still fighting the Wild West with gunfights at the OK Corral. Gandhi famously suggested that 'yes, western civilization would be a very good idea.' 

Unwoke America

The US (or at least Trump et al) is living in the 19th century post-reconstruction. The fastest gun is the Law. Elections are circuses, full of shouting and subterfuge, promises royally broken by one and all. And the president, congress and senate constantly in turmoil, making treaties, agreements moot. 

The post-reconstruction era from 1877 was when the then-Democrat slave-owning south refashioned electoral laws to legally disenfranchise blacks, leaving them worse off than before the civil war and Lincoln. Now it's the Republicans in the midwest and the Dixie south refashioning the electoral laws and terrorizing election officials, pushing them to resign, so that any that are left will be quaking in their shoes or card-carrying fascists, ready to carry out the ‘will of the masses’. (not)

Trump is like Zeus, obsessed with Pandora, and when spurned, sending her a box, a nasty surprise. Of course, the curious Pandora couldn't resist opening it, unleashing all the evils of the world. Trump's gift was more in the line of Hades. Fast forward to January 6, 2021. Trump pulled the plug on what was left of the US democratic bathwater. But there was no baby to throw out. The water just drained away, leaving a naked populus where anarchy was the new norm.

Retribution America

Iran didn't have to lift a finger! But it did have to. When your top military leader is assassinated, you can't just lay down and die, no matter how overwhelming and vicious your opponent. 

On 8 January 2020, in a military operation code named Operation Martyr Soleimani, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps launched over 12 ballistic missiles at the Ayn al-Asad airbase in Al Anbar Governorate, western Iraq, as well as another airbase in Erbil. The strike was the largest ballistic missile attack ever against Americans.

Initially, the US was not willing to concede the seriousness of the attack ('I'm fine, ma. just a scratch.') While it initially assessed that none of its service members were injured or killed, the Department of Defense ultimately said that 110 service members had been diagnosed and treated for traumatic brain injuries (mainly concussion) from the attack. 70 of them were later awarded the Purple Heart. Iran had informed the Iraqi government of an imminent attack shortly before its beginning.

Yes, the accidental downing of a Ukrainian airplane at the height of the nightmare was a tragic byproduct (what an ill-starred country is Ukraine!). Eggs tend to get cracked when you make an omelette. 

But Iran showed (and had to show) it was fearless, well-armed, resolute, and most important sure of itself as embodying the Truth of the Middle East today. It is the only anti-imperialist country there. And if there is any Truth about the Middle East, it is that there is no room for a US-Israeli pseudo-caliphate, where Muslims are kept in terror, governed by Quislings, betraying their people, refusing to join the side of Allah, with Iran, in the battle of 20th-21st century Islam. If ever there has been a just war, it is to liberate Palestine from the usurpers.

Treason America

Which brings me back to Trump as traitor. Trump pulled the plug on US democracy. He has no remorse, no scruples, eager to return to the White House and leave a Republican dictatorship in place. No point in elections when they might be rigged. Especially if Republicans might lose. 

I remember reading an upbeat piece a decade ago about how demographically, the US was poised to become a one-party Democrat country. Hispanics and blacks supposedly vote en masse for Democrats and whites would soon be a minority. But that's not true anymore. 

An unreconstructed America, now the world capital for gay parades, gay and transwomen politicians (why can't they just be people, without the social media stardom!), transgirls demanding their bathroom 'rights' ... Trump's acolytes eat this up. And just as bad, it distracts from the real need to finish the racial struggle, which was never won, and in the Trumpian chaos seems to have lost out to the much more exotic men-as-women fad.

Circus America         


That brings me to January 6. Trump sicced his ‘deplorables’ on the Capitol, the bastion of US ‘democracy’, destroying what was left of it. That's treason, heresy, defilement of what is supposedly sacred in America. 

It still hasn't registered in American minds. It hasn’t registered in my mind. Americans, you are headed for a Republican dictatorship. Biden is a pathetic, bumbling captain, going down with the ship. It's Titanic time.

Which brings me back to January 4, 6, 8. 4 stands for treason. 6 stands for anarchy. 8 stands for measured retribution. Not enough to invoke invasion. But enough to show that David is not cowed by Goliath. We all know how that legend ends. And I don't mean Israel uber alles.

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Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s.

He has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a commentator on Voice of the Cape radio.

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Eric's latest book The Canada Israel Nexus is available here http://www.claritypress.com/WalbergIV.html