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    Dateline – December 30, 2019

    Chanting “Death to America”, protestors attack U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

    Protesters broke into the heavily guarded compound of the United States Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday and lit fires inside to express their anger over American airstrikes that killed 24 members of an Iranian-backed militia over the weekend.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/31/world/middleeast/baghdad-protesters-us-embassy.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

    Dateline – November 4, 1979

    Protestors attack U.S. embassy in Tehran.

    A group of Iranian college students belonging to the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line, who supported the Iranian Revolution, took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Fifty-two American diplomats and citizens were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981, the morning of Ronald Reagan’s inauguration. Not coincidentally, Reagan campaign officials made a deal with the Iranian Government of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in the fall of 1980 , which led to "limited investigations." However "limited," those investigations established that soon after taking office in 1981, the Reagan Administration secretly and abruptly changed United States policy – which eventually led to the Iran-Contra scandal of 1985.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_hostage_crisis

    Diplomacy is always cheaper than military expenditures. For fiscal year 2020, the State Department budget request is $40 billion. For fiscal year 2019, it was $37.8 billion. For fiscal year 2018, it was $37.6 billion. In 2017, it was $53.1 billion, $15.5 billion HIGHER than the 2018 budget. Between 2010 and 2012 (the year of the Benghazi attack) Congress cut $296 million for diplomatic security and embassy construction.

    For fiscal year 2020, the proposed military budget is $750 billion. For fiscal year 2019, the budget was $693 billion. For fiscal year, it was $639 billion.

    The Ugly American is a 1958 political novel by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer that depicts the failures of the US diplomatic corps in Southeast Asia.The book caused a sensation in diplomatic circles and had major political implications. The Peace Corps was established during the Kennedy administration partly as a result of the book. The bestseller has remained continuously in print and is one of the most influential American political novels.

    To a very large degree, increased military spending does NOT lead to peace, for this reason:

    “We are creating enemies faster than we can kill them”. The article below explains a better way:

    https://tohell-andback.blogspot.com/2010/05/we-are-creating-enemies-faster-than-we.html

    Having embassies on foreign soil, of course, does not come without risk.

    In August of 1988, more than 200 people were killed in nearly simultaneous truck bomb explosions in two East African cities, one at the United States Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the other at the United States Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. The bombings are widely believed to have been revenge for U.S. involvement in the extradition, and alleged torture, of four members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) who had been arrested in Albania for an alleged series of murders in Egypt in the two months prior to the attacks. The group responsible for the attacks was al–Qaeda.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1998_United_States_embassy_bombings

    On 9/11/2012 (why does that date sound familiar?) the Islamic militant group Ansar al-Sharia attacked two United States government facilities in Benghazi, Libya, causing the deaths of 4 Americans. There were ten investigations into the Benghazi matter: one by the FBI; one by an independent board commissioned by the State Department; two by Democrat-controlled Senate Committees; and six by Republican-controlled House Committees. After the first five Republican investigations found no evidence of wrongdoing by senior Obama administration officials, Republicans in 2014 opened a sixth investigation, the House Select Committee on Benghazi, chaired by Trey Gowdy. This investigation also failed to find any evidence of wrongdoing by senior Obama administration officials

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Benghazi_attack

    To put the Benghazi investigations into perspective, they were longer than the investigations into 9/11. Watergate, the JFK investigation, and Pearl Harbor.

    https://www.ajc.com/news/national/congress-spent-more-time-investigating-benghazi-than-did/hlWHBsbtLlZz3UoZ5vSK9J/

    In July of 2015, the Obama administration, recognizing that more than 50 years of isolation had not been effective, announced the full restoration of diplomatic ties with Cuba.

    https://www.democratichub.com/posts/12743/american-embassy-in-cuba-set-to-open-after-54-year-hiatus

    On December 6, 2017, Trump announced that the U.S. Embassy in Israel would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which led to riots, and the death of 60 Palestinians. Mr. Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem isolates the United States on one of the world’s most sensitive diplomatic issues. It has drawn a storm of criticism from Arab and European leaders.

    When the embassy officially opened in May of 2018, Trump made matters worse by inviting Robert Jeffress, John Hagee, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, and David Friedman (the U.S ambassador to Israel) to the event.

    https://www.democratichub.com/blogs/369/a-long-and-winding-road

    We are at perilous times in our history. At a time when we need seasoned diplomatic officials to “calm the water”, we have Donald Trump as president and Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State. People smarter than me will have to argue who the best Secretary of State was, but it IS a fact that Hillary Clinton visited more countries (112) than any of her predecessors. Madeline Albright is #2, with 96 (Her recent book, “ Facism – a warning” is worth reading.)

    Now that you have suffered through close to 1000 words about this topic, set politics aside, and have a Happy New Year!

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    "Naturally, the common people don't want war ... but after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country." -- Hermann Goring

    One has to wonder about Trump's motives here. Were the American airstrikes that provoked the attack on the embassy carefully designed to entice the attack. Trump will play to American patriotism much the same as Bush did in getting us into the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Who in Congress is going to vote to remove Trump from office when the USA is at war with Iraq? Trump is threatening retaliation. He is unpredictable. "Bomb, bomb, bomb... Bomb, bomb Iran" to paraphrase John McCain's song in jest in 2007.

    Trump would like nothing better than to go to war with Iran, and now he doesn't have "the adults in the room" to talk him out of it. Just the likes of Stephen Miller...

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    Schmidt:

    Here's two things to consider:

    1) On June 8, 2019, 59 year old White House insider, David Goldberg, was found dead in his New York apartment. His claim to fame was that he predicted the Iran False flag operation. Friends of Mr. Goldberg were given access to his accounts before his passing. They will be maintaining them, and posting new information as it comes in. At this time, they are reviewing many documents in Mr. Goldberg’s possession, some of which appear to be top secret government documents.

    2) George W. Bush ended his presidency with an approval rating of 25% at the end of 2008, but he hit a high of 90% on 9/21/2001, 10 days after the 9/11 attack. In our nation's history, the only president who has come close to a 90% approval rating was George H.W. Bush, who hit 89% on 2/28/1991. which is the EXACT date that Operation Desert Storm ended.

    https://www.democratichub.com/posts/17043/default?em=rp&rplid=113725

    FDR hit his highest approval rating (83%) on 1/23/1942, less than a month after Pearl Harbor, and Harry Truman hit his highest approval rating (87%) on 8/22/1945, less than 2 weeks after we dropped a nuclear bomb on Nagasaki. Since Trump's approval rating has essentially "flat lined" his entire presidency, and has NEVER above 50%, he seems to be seeking military confrontations in order to boost his popularity.

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    Due to the fact that this country is an "island" in this big world and that "religious" idiots get elected to be in the government, (who know nothing about the world), then you get this situation; at least Obama had knowledge and studied elsewhere. But the present idiots have no clue. The strange thing is that each time wars are started that most of the time it is under an Republican President. How long has the US meddled in the middle east? And what is the result? The mess gets only bigger because Trump sees "money" and "votes" somewhere. What did all of this fun cost in "lives" and "money". Sorry to say, thanks to the dumb "evangelicals" here we will stay in this vicious circle. At least give Pompeo and Pence an medal for being the most stupid naive asses in this country.
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    Dutch asks: "How long has the US meddled in the middle east?"

    U.S. Policy in the Middle East: 1945 to 2008

    It is generally agreed amongst some scholars that Harry Truman begin America's involvement in the Middle East starting in 1945. Then it was about Iran's oil but quickly it became the "defense of Israel". Those two factors -- oil and Israel -- have been the catalysts for America's involvement (mostly military) in the Middle East under every president since Truman. While the war in Afghanistan could be seen as retaliation for 9/11, Osama bin Laden's reason for attacking the twin towers in New York is tied to both of these factors -- US troops in Saudi Arabia and America's support to Israel in it's ongoing war against the Palestinians.

    PS -- And yes America's support for Israel is strongest amongst the US "dumb evangelicals" -- driven by Biblical prophecy.

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    UhOh, back to Iraq. 700+ fine fighting people, marines. More American casualties, more Iraqi citizens killed, because #43 decided to take down a country's leadership that had nothing to do with 9/11 attacks. Trump wants to kill Iranians too? Again, America is stepping in it again/repeatedly.
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    Both Schmidt and Dock got it right; but this country wants to stay ignorant and continues with these ridiculous policies. What is there to gain for this country? Like Schmidt says all of this only to satisfy the "evangelicals" and act like an bully in the world? Just let all these "religions" zealots fight it out there on their own and not here?
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    Here's a few more facts about Benghazi:

    Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on whose watch the Iraqi embassy invasion happened, was on the House Select Committee on Benghazi when it investigated Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the sixth time in the House (and, for the sixth time, found no wrongdoing). This was the investigation Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) now House Minority Leader, told Fox News personality Sean Hannity was intended simply to keep Benghazi in front of voters to hurt Clinton before the 2016 election. (It has recently been revealed that McCarthy took Russian money from indicated political operative Lev Parnas.) And now, Pompeo and Trump have their own incident.

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    I just wonder if the Dem's research these things at all. If they want to invite Pompeo to testify in the Senate "case" he will absolutely lie. It is in the "blood" of this guy. An real "evangelical" for sure. Thus all what he's doing, is it protecting Israel?; I doubt it. Were are the brains in this country?
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    New York Times, January 2, 2020: Trump Orders Strike Killing Top Iranian General Qassim Suleimani in Baghdad

    "BAGHDAD — President Trump ordered the killing of the powerful commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, in a drone strike on the Baghdad International Airport early Friday, American officials said."

    “General Suleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “General Suleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more.”

    ==============================================

    The US military was capable of taking General Suleimani out many times in the past but chose not to. Now Trump has ordered the attack, but one has to wonder about his motive and whether there was any consideration to the strategic longer term impact of removing what many have considered the second most powerful man in Iran. Certainly, he has taken American lives, but America thus far under Obama and Trump has chosen a "hands off" approach because of possible retaliatory attacks almost anywhere. That and the uniting effect on Iranians who regarded Suleimani with affection.

    Will this assassination provoke another war in the region -- not a conventional war but rather a more clandestine one in which strategic American embassies or outposts are attacked without warning?

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    Again as usual; their is no "policy" or "planning" or consulting with the Congress on anything. Trump did this on his own; he knows it all , like any dictator. Under Obama there was an good deal with Iran and did not escalate. All our "partners" even Russia signed off on that deal. Only idiots like Trump know how to make a mess out of everything. Like the writer of an book said: Everything Trump touches dies.

    I predict that as long as the US meddles in the middle east and "pretends" to protect Israel, because of the idiot "evangelicals" here, then there will be never an peaceful solution. Amen

    All of this again an self inflicted wound as always.

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    Schmidt Wrote: Will this assassination provoke another war in the region -- not a conventional war but rather a more clandestine one in which strategic American embassies or outposts are attacked without warning?

    The first thing I thought last night when this news broke is "damn, Republicans sure do love starting wars during an election season."

    What can possibly go wrong in yet another Middle-Eastern war?

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    WFR

    War for reelection. Sad.

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    The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran and the P5+1 and the European Union was announced on July 14, 2015. Up until the time that Trump announced his intention to withdrawal on May 8, 2018, Iran was in full compliance.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_nuclear_deal_framework

    Trump's decision to assassinate Qassem Soleimani, along with the deputy head of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, was in RETALIATION for the invasion of the U.S. embassy in Iraq. That invasion was RETALIATOIN for the U.S. air strike that killed 24 Iranians. The air strike was RETALIATION for the Iranian attack on Americans in Iraq, which killed ONE person.

    Apparently, the Gang of Eight was not briefed about the assassinations. The Gang of Eight is an informal name for the eight leaders who must be briefed on classified security issues. They are the leaders of each major party in each house—so Nancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy from the House, and Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer in the Senate—along with the top members of each party from both the House and the Senate Intelligence Committees. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was not told, although McConnell’s spokesman refused to comment on whether or not he was. (Eric Trump, who holds no security clearance, might have been: on December 31 he tweeted: “Bout to open up a big ol’ can of whoop ass.” The tweet has now been deleted.)

    Lindsey Graham learned about the attack in the middle of a round of golf this past week with Trump. Not because Graham is his best pal, or because he felt some solemn duty to do so, but for a much scarier reason: he was excited. So why tell Graham? Simple — he believes that this step is going to get him reelected, and he just couldn’t keep his scheme to himself. He’s proud of it, excited about it, and absolutely convinced it’s going to work.

    https://politicaltribune.org/even-though-there-was-no-congressional-knowledge-graham-claims-he-was-told-about-soleimani-strike-while-in-florida-to-play-golf-with-trump/

    On December 27, Iran participated in its first joint naval drill with Russia and China, underlining a new power structure in the Middle East. Trump is close to Russia… he would not have done this without thinking through what it means for his relationship with Putin. It seems to me unlikely he would’ve done this on national security grounds alone at this particular time, when so very much is at stake.

    Iranian state TV used the word “martyred” when it announced their deaths. Tonight, the NBC News Tehran Bureau Chief & correspondent Ali Arouzi tweeted that “State TV in Iran has cut all broadcasts and is showing pictures of Qassem Soleimani on a loop accompanied by prayers.” Iran has promised “severe revenge” for the killing.

    The "adults in the room" wasted no time in calling Trump's actions "reckless". Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Thursday that President Donald Trump has "tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox" with the targeted killing of Iran's top general in an airstrike at Baghdad's international airport.

    https://www.newsmax.com/politics/iran-qassem-soleimani-democrats/2020/01/03/id/948238/?ns_mail_uid=55284481-e237-4dcf-a870-3b9d22910c8d&ns_mail_job=DM79578_01032020&s=acs&dkt_nbr=010102mqjw57

    All I can say at this point is this:

    Trump is one dumb m***** f****r.

    Der Spiegel tried to warn us in February of 2016 - but not enough people paid attention.

    https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/donald-trump-is-the-most-dangerous-man-in-the-world-a-1075060.html

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    The U.S. Military is deploying 3,500 more troops from the 82nd Airborne Division to U.S. Central Command in Kuwait, according to NBC News. The deployment in the wake of a U.S. airstrike that killed a top Iranian military commander, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, appears to be in addition to some 650 soldiers from the division deployed just days ago, bringing the total to about 4,000 additional U.S. troops in the region.

    Trump supposedly wanted to reduce the U.S. imprint in the region when he announced a troop withdrawal from Syria last year. But even as some U.S. troops left Syria, more arrived. All told, about 900 U.S. soldiers are now in Syria, only 100 shy of the 1,000 troops Trump pulled out.

    So bottom line: Trump decreased our troop level in Syria by about 100 soldiers but raised it by some 4,000 in Kuwait.

    https://www.alternet.org/2020/01/military-deploys-3500-more-troops-to-middle-east-after-u-s-assassination-of-top-iranian-commander/?utm_source=push_notifications