Drag him out of office in handcuffs NOW.

He’s not even aware that he’s tweeting out promises of war crimes.

The UN passed a resolution in 2017 prohibiting this sort of thing, you know. As explained by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova:

“The deliberate destruction of heritage is a war crime, it has become a tactic of war to tear societies over the long term, in a strategy of cultural cleansing. This is why defending cultural heritage is more than a cultural issue, it is a security imperative, inseparable from that of defending human lives,” Director-General Bokova told the Security Council, as she spoke in support of the resolution, with Executive Director of UNODC Youri Fedotov and Commander Fabrizio Parrulli of the Carabinieri Italiani.

“Weapons are not enough to defeat violent extremism. Building peace requires culture also; it requires education, prevention, and the transmission of heritage. This is the message of this historic resolution,” she added.

The resolution was prompted by a number of tragic acts of cultural vandalism, many of them by Islamic state fanatics. Now we’re planning to be just like them.

The resolution urges nations to increase efforts to preserve historic monuments and sites in conflict zones. The onset of the 21st century witnessed attacks against global heritage sites increase significantly, including the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan and Timbuktu’s ancient shrines in Mali.

Previous efforts by the Council to safeguard cultural heritage focused on the illicit trafficking of looted cultural relics to fund terrorist activities in Iraq and Syria, where the “Islamic State” militant group destroyed UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Roman ruins at Palmyra.

However, Friday’s resolution called for further international cooperation in investigations and prosecutions of individuals and groups committing attacks against cultural heritage sites, monuments and relics.

The resolution affirmed that “directing unlawful attacks against sites and buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, or historic monuments may constitute, under certain circumstances and pursuant to international law, a war crime and that perpetrators of such attacks must be brought to justice.”

You may recall that religious fanatics in the US, particularly the likes of the Hobby Lobby fundamentalists, were actively looting cultural artifacts from Iraq…also a crime. Now Trump is threatening to bomb major cultural sites in Iran, confirming our status as a rogue state run by barbarians.

Do I need to point out the dishonor of using the Iranian hostages from forty years ago as a justification for destroying art and history, or the hypocrisy of telling Iran to not threaten us by threatening Iran? Very well, I do. Trump is a dishonorable hypocrite and a lying barbarian. He has to go. Soon.


  1. F.O. says

    Drag him out of office? He will be re-elected.

    But agreed, there is not much difference between his supporters and the Taliban at this point, other than he has much more power, so he gets more powerful bootlickers and better propaganda.

  2. Bruce says

    I want to imagine that in 12.5 months, Trump will have to move permanently to The Hague for his war crimes trials, which will probably drag on for the rest of his life. (I know this depends on a D winning the election, so that’s still what matters. But I can still dream.)

  3. frthtxcls says

    Not surprising that the core of devastating non-European culture in that hotbed we perpetually create has hubristic origin in good old Christian, evangelical support without which we would be free of this apocalyptic fool placed in the once greatest seat of power.

  4. hemidactylus says

    I think David Hawkes in Ideology had reflected on the significance of destruction of the idolatrous Bamiyan Buddhas as a warmup for the iconic Twin Towers and all they represented.

    Perhaps not to the level of a world heritage site because it was of recent vintage but the decapitation of a freethinking icon’s statue by radical Islamists hits home (and someone had gone through the trouble of sculpting it):


    In early 2013, Islamist militants in north-west Syria chose a peculiar target. They decapitated a statue of the 11th Century poet and philosopher Abu al-Alaa al-Maarri.


    “ **”Abu al-Alaa al-Maarri is regarded as one of the three foremost atheists in Islamic history,” says Syrian art historian Nasser Rabbat. “The majority of Muslims would shun him.”* “

    That was intentional. The unintentional consequences of conflict for cultural heritage are devastating too:

    Maarrat al-Numan, the birthplace of al-Maarri and home to his bronze sculpture, has been badly damaged during the war

  5. Akira MacKenzie says

    Trump is a dishonorable hypocrite and a lying barbarian.

    And that’s why his supporters LOVE him. They sincerely believe that a leader should a blustering bully and anyone who isn’t is a coward and a weakling.

  6. Reginald Selkirk says

    The USA wants no more threats, that’s why we are issuing these threats!

    “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here. This is the War Room!”

  7. PaulBC says

    Kyoto was spared from an atomic bomb attack because of its cultural significance. As Secretary of War Stimson wrote “… the bitterness which would be caused by such a wanton act might make it impossible during the long post-war period to reconcile the Japanese to us in that area rather than to the Russians.”

    Not, you know, that bombing civilizations is any more ethical than destroying heritage sites, but maybe someone could explain to Trump that even back when America was “great” we didn’t do this.

    It also sounds like the most effective way to unite all Iranians against the US, including those who fled after the 1979 revolution. Trump has made it clear that he is not declaring war on a government, but on a people. He is also presumably too ignorant to realize this.

  8. raven says

    What cultural sites is the orange fool even talking about?
    We aren’t going to be bombing their religious shrines and mosques, or are we?

    I put the question into Google, What are the key Iranian cultural sites.
    They have 24 UN listed World Heritage sites.
    They include such places as:
    Armenian Monastic Ensembles.
    Gonbad-e Qābus.
    Lut Desert.
    + 16 others.

    None of these have any military significance at all. The Lut Desert? The Armenian Monastery?
    It would simply be a waste of Hi Tech military weapons costing millions of dollars.
    It’s a dumb idea for many reasons.

  9. microraptor says

    Bruce @2: A US politician actually being held accountable for war crimes they’ve committed? I’ll believe that when I see it.

  10. says

    By “cultural sites,” DFT probably means malls, multiplex movie theaters, McDonald’s drive-throughs, luxury hotels, foreign banks, anything plastered with gold leaf, and golf courses.

  11. hemidactylus says

    Though it was a fictional work there is a relevant backstory in Koji Suzuki’s Ringu that gets lost in translation to its sickening American bastardization.

    American occupation forces tossed a Buddhist statue into the sea and Sadako’s mom retrieves it and is given psychic powers which morph in the daughter into something very evil. Desecration of cultural heritage can have lasting negative consequences far into the future. That’s the gist.

  12. kome says

    Every day, Mitchell and Webb’s “Are we the baddies?” sketch runs through my head, and every day I cannot fathom any answer other than “yes.”

  13. says

    Basically he’s saying “we are going to be just like ISIS.”
    They’re not throwing people off buildings yet, but that’s only because they’ve got better gear.

  14. Artor says

    “Trump has made it clear that he is not declaring war on a government, but on a people. He is also presumably too ignorant to realize this.”

    No, I think he does get this point at least. But they’re brown-ish people, so he gets a tiny chub thinking about killing them.

  15. says

    Do I need to point out the dishonor of using the Iranian hostages from forty years ago as a justification for destroying art and history, or the hypocrisy of telling Iran to not threaten us by threatening Iran?

    Imagine what the USA would look like if all the countries you devastated in the last 40 years could and did take revenge on you in that style.

  16. unclefrogy says

    Look if the Iranian government really wanted to have peace with the U.S. and get rid of the sanctions they have an opportunity now that they would not have with any other U.S. president.
    With out giving any additional concessions to any of the agreements then they already have they just have to quietly give Trump the ability to put up a hotel in some nice place in Iran down by the sea maybe. then he can make a big show of being a peace maker and all will be well. I doubt they can do that though because they are run by religion and religious leaders who might even believe in their religion and their prophet and their god.
    this is not about politics nor national security or revenge it is always about Trump and how he appears. He is not nor never was patriotic in the least it is always about his personal gain nothing more.
    uncle frogy

  17. answersingenitals says

    What if Iran’s response is to fly a plane into one of Trump’s hotels or resorts and threaten to be prepared to do so to several other Trump properties. Patronage of his properties would surely then drop precipitously and could drive many into bankruptcy. How would Trump react to such a situation, i. e., if his actions wound up hitting him in the pocket book. Even if Trump anticipated such a response and place high level security around all his properties (at taxpayers expense), occupants would surely be made very nervous about staying there and would no doubt bail. Even Trump’s family might then criticize his actions.

  18. Ed Seedhouse says

    I am wondering, what if Trump gives the order to destroy his 52 sites and the joint chiefs refuse the order on the grounds that it is an order to commit a war crime and thus illegal. What happens next?

  19. stroppy says

    I don’t think you can overstate just how complicated and messy this situation is. If only one unified voice could do one thing and make this all go away…

    Alas, over simplified thinking would ordinarily make for casual amusement, but it’s what has been creating and exacerbating this mess in the first place. We did have a semblance of a path, long though it may have been, toward calming the region over time. Then in a typically raging episode of Republican premature ejaculation, you-know-who did you-know-what with the nuclear agreement, and fuckall.

    Even simple minded, self serving Trump is an amalgam of competing sources of mis- and dis- information with multiple options for ways to glorify himself. It’s not just about money, imo.

  20. says

    Arrest isn’t enough. I want to see a temporary military takeover until the election, with trials and sentences. Besides, Trump is a jackdaw, Maybe North Korea will distract him again.

    If Iran’s leadership is smart – and they certainly seem to be – their response will be things the US can do little about (e.g. cut off oil exports, block the strait). They’re far from the worst player in the region, and it looks like Iraq is willing to at least neutral and not a base for a US invasion.

  21. says

    Yes, Trump is publicly tweeting about committing war crimes.

    […] Destroying a country’s sites of cultural significance is classified as a war crime by not only the United Nations and the Geneva Convention, but also by Trump’s own Department of Defense per section 5.18 in its Law of War Manual.

    The U.S. is on the brink of a full-scale war with Iran after Trump authorized a drone strike on Iraq’s Baghdad International Airport last week to assassinate Qasem Soleimani, a top general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Trump insisted he ordered the assassination to “stop a war” and that he has a “deep respect for the Iranian people.”

    Defense Secretary Mark Esper claimed on Friday that Soleimani “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.”

    “This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” he said.


    Some media outlets are using headlines that say “52 sites,” and not “cultural sites.” This is unfortunate. We have to stress that Trump is talking about targeting cultural sites, as well as other targets in Iran. Also, Trump’s language that uses phrases like “hit them hard and fast” is an escalation.

  22. Dunc says

    Ed Seedhouse, @ #23: Do you really imagine he picked those targets himself? Don’t be daft. Besides, why should the Joint Chiefs suddenly develop scruples about committing war crimes now? Every single one of them has a long and distinguished career as a war criminal. Seriously, when was the last US military action that wasn’t a war crime?

  23. Porivil Sorrens says

    Presumably, pigs will start flying. We’ve never shied away from horrifically devastating civilian centers in any war we’ve taken part in, from nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki to napalming southeast Asia so thoroughly that people are still dying in womb from the effects, to effectively depopulating broad swathes of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    All the people who ordered those attacks went down in history as American Heroes and never faced a second of jail time or condemnation from the society at large. I simply do not have the optimism required to believe that this will somehow be the breaking point, unlike the dozens of other times we massacred innocents for real reason.

  24. PaulBC says

    “Cultural” or not, it should be a war crime to target sites in retaliation based on some asinine numerology rather than military significance. (No, I do not know what the relevant international agreements say about it.)

  25. says

    Best thread on the razor thin “evidence” Trump had for killing Suleimani:


    I’ve had a chance to check in with sources, including two US officials who had intelligence briefings after the strike on Suleimani. Here is what I’ve learned. According to them, the evidence suggesting there was to be an imminent attack on American targets is “razor thin”.

    In fact the evidence pointing to that came as three discrete facts: a) A pattern of travel showing Suleimani was in Syria, Lebanon & Iraq to meet with Shia proxies known to have an offensive position to the US. (As one source said that’s just “business as usual” for Suleimani)

    More intriguing was b) information indicating Suleimani sought the Supreme Leader’s approval for an operation. He was told to come to Tehran for consultation and further guidance, suggesting the operation was a big deal – but again this could be anything.

    And finally, a) and b) were read in the context of c) Iran’s increasingly bellicose position towards American interests in Iraq, including the attack that killed a U.S. contractor and the recent protest outside the American embassy.

    But as one source put it a) + b) + c) is hardly evidence of an imminent attack on American interests that could kill hundreds, as the White House has since claimed. The official describes the reading of the intelligence as an illogical leap.

    One official described the planning for the strike as chaotic. The official says that following the attack on an Iraqi base which killed an American contractor circa Dec. 27, Trump was presented a menu of options for how to retaliate. Killing Suleimani was the “far out option” […]

    More at the link.

    This comment was cross posted in the Political Madness thread.

  26. says

    Another predictable result of Trump’s latest temper tantrum: “Iran announces it is suspending all commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal.”

    BREAKING: Iran’s government said Sunday it was taking its final step away from the accord it negotiated with world powers, including the United States.

    It plans to abandon limits on uranium enrichment, research and development and its stockpile of nuclear fuel. Iran will continue to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog.

    This is a developing story and will be updated.

    Washington Post link

  27. wzrd1 says

    @PZ, other than UN Resolution 2347, attacks against cultural and social monuments, works of art or religious buildings, it’s worse.
    Trump has essentially announced that he is going to wipe his ass with the Geneva Convention of 1948.
    To wit:
    “It is prohibited:
    a. to commit any acts of hostility directed against the historic monuments, works of art or places of worship which constitute the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples;…”

    Frankly, disregarding the Geneva Conventions, yet again, instills grave concerns as to our viability in the international community, as there is a very true concern over his potential usage of thermonuclear weapons over what is, in all actuality, a petty annoyance that statecraft would be superior to resolve.
    Not that he has a clue about statecraft, instead, we have a Russian Mafia stooge, playing amateur night at the White House.

    @5, have a care. Military coups rarely end well for a national populace and indeed, would usurp the entire Constitution, leaving an unconstitutional force running the government for heaven knows how long. After all, until all unrest after such an action ends, elections would be impossible…
    He cannot be arrested while in office, as he’d actually have to order his own arrest, since federal law enforcement are all executive branch. Once impeached and convicted in the Senate, he could then be arrested.
    That was precisely the threat that resulted in Nixon’s resignation, resign or be successfully impeached and convicted, then arrested and charged with the felonies he so blatantly committed.

  28. springa73 says


    Interesting article – I tend to agree. This assassination by drone has actually overall been a gift to the government of Iran. Over the longer term, I wonder if US belligerence against Iran for most of the last 40 years has helped entrench the Iranian government in power by giving the government a foreign enemy to use in rallying support.

  29. Saad says


    Ed Seedhouse, @ #23: Do you really imagine he picked those targets himself?

    Exactly. He wouldn’t even know where Iran is or what it was before Islam. This is Stephen Miller and all the other scum he has surrounded himself with. This is their white nationalism plus his bigotry and ego.

  30. PaulBC says


    I wonder if US belligerence against Iran for most of the last 40 years has helped entrench the Iranian government in power by giving the government a foreign enemy to use in rallying support.

    Except for the “I wonder” part…

    I actually had some optimism over Obama’s agreement with Iran. It would be a very different world if relations with Iran were normalized and Iran could engage with the world economy. Anyway, that agreement is toast, just as Trump and assorted warmongers were hoping, and we are now at war.

  31. says

    @#10, microraptor:

    Can you imagine if the US started caring about war crimes? My god, even if you assume that the various Congressional assemblies would be tried en masse in sequence, Nuremburg would be kept busy for years. The 2001 AUMF would require trials, at least, for just about everybody; the creation of ICE (which has been guilty of attempted genocide by UN definitions) would bring the 2002 crowd back again, then there’s Iraq in 2003, the refusal to punish Bush is itself a war crime under the treaties we signed at the end of World War II, Libya, Yemen, Syria… Holy cheese on toast with jimmies and a lobster bib, you’d end up with half of Washington DC in prison. D’you suppose they’d let people like Jimmy Carter off on the principle that he’s going to die soon-ish anyway?

    @#19, Giliell:

    There are three ways to imagine that.

    Option #1: the countries we destroyed retaliate now — basically nothing much would happen, because we’ve always made a point of attacking countries which can’t hit back in any way.

    Option #2: devastation is visited upon us now to the same degree that we devastated other countries in the past — Iraq, Libya, and Yemen would doom most of us, all by themselves. The only upside is that practically all the people who ran our government for the last 2 decades would be dead or locked up for life at the end of it, which would be poetic justice and deeply satisfying to contemplate.

    Option #3: rework history with other countries retaliating at the time — oh, man, think how different this would have been! The Reagan administration smashed by the forced they unleashed, citizens menaced by wandering right-wing death squads, Congress desperately flailing and having a choice between addressing corruption or being dissolved… Think what it would be like if right-wing and right-of-center policy had its results return in real time and hit the US the hardest! By now we’d be at a point where Bernie Sanders would be derided as a right-winger!

  32. Susan Montgomery says

    @23 Then you wake up.

    @28 You may be thinking of the “defoliant” called Agent Orange.

  33. says

    Cross posted from the Political Madness thread.

    [head/desk] Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tried to blame Barack Obama for Trump’s escalation of war with Iran.

    […] “Jake, we’re trying to restore deterrence that frankly is a need that results directly from the fact that the previous administration left us in a terrible place with respect to the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Pompeo told CNN’s “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper.

    [Pompeo] said the Obama administration had “appeased Iran,” which he claimed “led to Shia militias with money, Hamas, the [Palestinian Islamic Jihad], hundreds of thousands of Syrians killed by Soleimani himself.”

    “This was the place we find ourselves in when we came in,” Pompeo said.

    He accused Obama of being too soft on the Iranians by entering the U.S. into the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), aka the Iran nuclear deal, from which the Trump administration withdrew as part of its “maximum pressure campaign” against Iran. […]

    The blame game continued during Pompeo’s other morning show appearances.

    “We’re trying to correct for what was the Obama administration’s appeasement of Iran,” he said during an interview with “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos. “And we have to-we have to do that. We have to continue to do that, or Americans will be less safe.”

    “The risk of terror is increased by appeasement,” Pompeo told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” anchor Margaret Brennan. “That’s what the Obama-Biden administration did. It’s what President Trump will never do, Margaret.”

    “What we are now having to correct for is the enormous economic activity that took place during this Iranian nuclear deal that President Trump rightly got out of in May of 2018,” he said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” with Chuck Todd. […]

    “It may be that there’s a little noise here in the interim, that the Iranians make the choice to respond,” Pompeo told Todd. “I hope that they don’t. President Trump has made clear what we will do in response if they do, that our response will be decisive and vigorous, just as it has been so far.” […]


    From the readers comments:

    Liar! There was no need to exit the JCPOA -none. What a sane administration would have done is gather allies and begin negotiation on the other issues wrt Iran’s adventurism. The Iranian people were extremely upset with the government, Soleimani and the economy before Trump exited the JCPOA. Unfortunately, this administration made Soleimani a martyr and has for now united the factions in Iran against the U.S. This is the height of stupidity and Pompeo needs to be out on his ass tomorrow.

  34. davidc1 says

    Iran has always hated America since the cia overthrew it’s elected PM ,at the behest of GB and America has hated Iran since they took the 52 Hostages .Maybe this will push Iran to get closer links with Russia and China.
    It is amazing how the actions of a moron like the snatch snatcher can have on the lives of millions of people .

  35. canadiansteve says

    The worst is that roughly 40% of american voters are cheering him on, not just reluctantly but enthusiastically. I have already seen RWNJ comments on the NYT site calling for outright genocide. “Bomb all their cities into rubble”, “Just turn the whole place to glass” This is the level that the USA has reached, where these opinions are considered legitimate by far too many people.

  36. raven says

    Maybe this will push Iran to get closer links with Russia and China.

    Already happened.
    Xpost from Dispatches

    China, Russia and Iran hold joint naval drills in Gulf of Oman …
    https://www.cnn.com › asia › china-russia-iran-military-drills-intl-hnk

    Dec 27, 2019 – Hong Kong (CNN) China, Russia and Iran began a four-day joint military exercise in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman on Friday amid …

    Two of Iran’s new BFF’s are…China and Russia.
    The once superpower and the rising superpower.

    What were once our allies, the Europeans, are watching all this with horror and the fond hope that they don’t get dragged into the middle east with us.

  37. raven says

    “Just turn the whole place to glass”

    That explains why Iran is seriously thinking about making nukes. They might need them.
    Xpost Dispatches
    Iran just announced that it is suspending its part in the nuclear treaty, we first walked away from.

    Washington Post
    BREAKING: Iran’s government said Sunday it was taking its final step away from the accord it negotiated with world powers, including the United States.

    It plans to abandon limits on uranium enrichment, research and development and its stockpile of nuclear fuel. Iran will continue to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog.

    .1. This isn’t good news.
    I seem to see World War III on the distant horizon.
    .2. Iran is not as smart as they seem.
    If they develop nukes, so will their enemies in the middle east, notably Saudi Arabia.
    It’s what Pakistan did after India tested a nuke.

    .3. And oh yeah, Trump is an idiot!!!
    This whole spiral into the abyss started when Trump walked away from the 6 nation treaty with Iran, the one that was…working.

  38. says

    Well, this is just getting worse and worse:

    These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner. Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!

    “Disproportionate”! Sheesh.

    And no, I don’t think Trump just announcing this part of his shitstorm on Twitter is “legal notice.”

  39. says

    @#41, canadiansteve

    “Reached”? Those were common opinions on the right both during the Vietnam war and during the Iraq invasion.

    If we do get a chance to have a Democrat in the Presidency with a Congress which will back them up: prosecute the war crimes, people. Trump thinks he can get away with this because Reagan and Bush both got away with their war crimes thanks to Clinton and Obama deliberately looking the other way. We can’t let that happen again, because the Neo-Trump who will come next will be even worse.

  40. PaulBC says


    The worst is that roughly 40% of american voters are cheering him on, not just reluctantly but enthusiastically. I have already seen RWNJ comments on the NYT site calling for outright genocide. “Bomb all their cities into rubble”, “Just turn the whole place to glass” This is the level that the USA has reached, where these opinions are considered legitimate by far too many people.

    Uh, in retaliation for letting their general get killed by our drone? I am very confused.

  41. raven says

    By pushing Iran around as hard as we can, we make developing nuclear weapons go from an option to a necessity.
    They are now heading that way rapidly.
    It hasn’t escaped anyone that the US doesn’t attack nations which posses nuclear weapons.

    From Lynna 44
    These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike…

    Congress has been missing in action for decades when the executive branch decides to do something horrible to someone, somewhere. They never did anything about Iraq II even long after it was known to be a total counterproductive failure.

    Why would anyone bother to notify congress about anything?
    The congressional invertebrates without backbones far outnumber the…vertebrates.

  42. fishy says

    Scuttlebutt has it that Soleimani’s assassination might have been triggered by Trump trying to undermine Joe Biden’s foreign policy stances. It seems that Biden counseled Obama against killing Osama Bin Laden. Biden has denied this.

    Also, the Iraqi parliament has voted unanimously along sectarian lines to kick out U.S. troops.

  43. says

    The Vicar
    It was a rhetorical question. But I see you’re still happily playing the long game because Clinton would have been worse and all the brown people who will be killed are just another sacrifice you are willing to make.
    I won’t discuss these issues further with you because I find your menschenverachtende attitude unbearable.

  44. says

    Well, Iraq just voted to ask the US to get all its troops out of the country. So this is the most bass-ackward way of getting the US out of Iraq that I’ve ever heard of, but it just might work.

  45. Ragutis says

    A U.S. military official said on Sunday that he was unfamiliar with any list of exactly 52 targets. “There are different lists, depending on the nature of the possible targets — missile bases, nuclear facilities, naval bases, airfields, et cetera — but I don’t know of a list that adds up to that number or one that includes cultural or historic sites like Persepolis.”


    So, who’s feeding Dump the idea, not to mention a list of historically and culturally significant sites to target? Has Kissinger been to Mar-A-Lago lately?

  46. harryblack says

    He wants his tweets to be taken seriously in a legal sense?
    I’d be ok with that…

  47. raven says

    The hits just keep coming from Trump’s not too bright actions.
    The Iraqi Parliament just voted to kick us out of Iraq.

    Xpost Dispatches

    AP 01/05/2020
    The stark warning by Nasrallah came as Iraq’s parliament voted in favor of a nonbinding resolution calling for the expulsion of U.S. troops from their country in a move that that could pave the way for a resurgence of the Islamic State group.

    The resolution asks the Iraqi government to end the agreement under which Washington sent forces more than four years ago to help fight the IS extremists. The bill is subject to approval by the Iraqi government but has the backing of the outgoing prime minister.

    This could easily cause another civil war in Iraq, their third since the US invasion.
    The Iraqi government is weak, doesn’t have much of a military, and is Shia dominated.
    Most of the military power seems to be in various heavily armed militias that belong to opposing factions and sects.
    ISIS is Sunni and swept through Iraq with the support of Sunni Iraqis.
    They or something like them could easily come back without a US presence.

  48. wzrd1 says

    @54, no worries. Trump just threatened Iraq with worse sanctions than Iran is currently under, should they eject our forces.
    All is in hand, reaching for the rectum to wipe all with…

    @43, it’s rather difficult to develop a device that one’s own nation possesses none of the resources of which to construct it. Case in point, Iran has multiple uranium mines, they have their own processing plants, they even are making their centrifuges (after some were physically sabotaged before arrival and others, remotely sabotaged). Iran does require some high purity uranium for their medical isotope reactor, which is getting close to refueling time.
    Saudi has zero uranium ore available, no beryllium, tungsten, to name a few items rather handy for making a nuclear warhead, lithium isn’t even reasonably accessible. So, Saudi would have to import all of the above and more, plus equipment and get a breeder reactor, then personnel to operate all of that specialist equipment.
    Doable, given their wealth, over the course of a decade or two and quite noticeable as to what they’re doing, while still having no delivery system for any potential warhead.

  49. wzrd1 says

    Oh, totally OT, but humorous video I finally found. Saw it initially on the news, when Trump was signing executive orders and had the usual media event.
    Jeffrey Rosen was introduced, then stood behind Trump, most of the time in full view of the camera and every time Trump let loose a howler, the poor man was blinking some kind of Morse code sequence, plus facial twitches enough to make me feel almost sorry for him.
    Definitely not one with a poker face!

    I doubt he’ll voluntarily stay in that position for long!

  50. canadiansteve says

    @ PaulBC
    You are indeed very confused – it seems very obvious the him I am referring to us Trump, and the genocide advocated is americans advocating genocide of Iranians.

    @wzrd1, #55 No worries, Trump will happily hand over a few nukes to the Saudis

  51. PaulBC says


    No, not really. I understood. My point was that in a sane world, you would not demand retribution for an attack that you yourself initiated. Are Trump’s supporters oblivious to the fact that we are the ones who just started a war?

    And yes, I know we don’t live in a sane world. I’m sure Trump’s supporters are demanding some kind of retaliation against Iran for their general being in the way of our bomb. (“You did this to yourself.” as all bullies say) I was not disputing you on factual grounds. Please allow me a small amount of confusion while I adjust to the latest nuances of the hellscape we live in.

  52. PaulBC says


    Of course we’re the baddies. If it wasn’t already clear, the 1990 Gulf War was enough to make me see that Americans are prepared to cheerlead over any use of military force as long as they can do it from the safety of their living room. This was the first use of “smart bombs” and it was treated as triumphalist entertainment.

    Trump’s presentation is a little rougher, but nothing fundamental has changed. I’m not sure it makes Americans on average worse human beings than anyone else. But we’re as evil as anyone when we can be.

  53. mvdwege says


    You did so well. One whole post without blaming the Democrats, and then you had to go and break that streak.

  54. says

    @58 PaulBC –

    This was the first use of “smart bombs” and it was treated as triumphalist entertainment.

    I remember jokes at the time that our “smart” bombs knew more geography than our high school graduates.

  55. numerobis says

    mvdwege@61: impunity for war crimes is a problem around the world. Obama went all-in on that; just forget and let it disappear. Of course, it doesn’t disappear: it festers and returns.

  56. lotharloo says

    Remember when he floated the idea of killing the families of terrorists? Trump never needed any help to come up with war crimes.

  57. Frederic Bourgault-Christie says

    @64: And that’s exactly why I don’t think it matters if Trump or his cronies know. They don’t care.

    @unclefrogy: That’s assuming that Trump cares more about a hotel than the adoration of his fanbase. I don’t think that’s a viable assumption.

  58. lotharloo says

    Exactly, bombing cultural sites might actually increase his chances of reelection. His base loves stuff like that.

  59. says

    @#49, Giliell:

    It’s hilarious that you accuse me of not caring about “brown people” because I don’t like the Centrist Democrats who, in concert with Republicans, brought us first the embargo on Iraq which is estimated to have killed half a million Iraqi children (and which they literally said was “worth it”), then the Iraq War itself with its estimated one million dead and multiple millions turned into refugees, and then the Syria mess where we actively armed terrorists as long as they promised to destabilize Assad’s government, and of course the Libyan invasion which killed a few paltry tens of thousands and brought back slavery. Yeah, how dare I not support mass-murderers, because they oppose other mass-murderers. Don’t I know that Jeffrey Dahmer hated the Unabomber? Why can’t I support George Joseph Smith in his fight against Jack the Ripper? I’m a monster.

    @#51, Ragutis:

    The NY Post apparently reports that — and I wish I was making this up — Soleimani was posting memes mocking Trump on Instagram. So it is actually remotely plausible that ultimately this was yet another short-sighted Trump grudge over Internet bullshit, conveniently used as an excuse for policy by an opportunistic Steve Miller (or whoever).

    @#53, harryblack:

    They already are — don’t you remember how he threw a hissyfit because he wasn’t permitted to block people on Twitter? And how his supporters got all upset because Democrats in Congress were blocking people and the courts didn’t step in? That arose precisely because he is the head of the executive branch and was using them to announce policy. (There’s no requirement for how a President announces policy, so a careless Tweet is policy. But a member of Congress cannot actually do any of their major job functions over Twitter, only in session, so a Congressional Tweet is never an official policy statement, even if it repeats an official policy statement made elsewhere.)

    @#55, wzrd1:

    At this point? I suspect that either China or Russia has agreed to sell Iran some nukes. Or even just to give them some nukes, in exchange for agreements over oil — remember, Iran found a huge new oil field back in November.

    @#65, Frederic Bourgault-Christie

    Trump, it is increasingly clear, can’t keep two ideas in his head at the same time, like Reagan. It’s probably Alzheimers — there was an excellent comment over on a thread on Salon:

    What are his symptoms? He’s clearly showing early signs of dementia. Both his Mother and his Father died of Alzhiemer-related illness. If you ever paid attention to him in the 80’s and 90’s, you know that he shows a marked deterioration in his verbal functioning, possibly due to cognitive decline. He forgets names of people and places, reportedly failed to recognize a succession of old friends at Mara Lago, and gets generations and details mixed up regularly. He exhibits phonemic paraphasia, which is linked to the moderate to severe stages of Alzheimer’s, and is described as “the substitution of a word with a nonword that preserves at least half of the segments and/or number of syllables of the intended word.” For example, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu becomes “Betanyahu,” big league becomes “bigly,” anonymous becomes “enenamas” or “anenomynous,” renovation becomes “renoversh,” missiles become “mishiz,” space capsule becomes “capsicle,” midterm elections become “midtowm” and “midturn” elections, and Christmas becomes “Chrissus.”

    Therefore: what Trump cares about most is whatever has most recently been brought to his attention and seems to effect his interests of any kind. If the Iranians start bombing/flying unmanned full-size planes into/attacking his hotels, that will probably become the most important thing to him for most of the duration.

  60. wzrd1 says

    @57, illegal, as more illegal than Nixon ordering and covering up a burglary, times a thousand.
    At one point, the US government wanted to share permissive action link technology, but Congress had passed a number of laws prohibiting that.
    So, India and Pakistan nearly did come to blows, where local commanders were gods, capable of releasing their ordinance to a level where multiple cities would be destroyed.
    What stopped them? A report of a fireball (aka exploding asteroid) over the Med.
    A few hours earlier and primitive detections in place, it’d have been thermonuclear warfare.

    @68, precisely as how we shared our initial nuclear weapon, which British explosive engineers actually made work?
    Kindly do investigate nuclear weapons laws in the US, rather than handwave nonsense.

  61. says

    @#69, wzrd1:

    What do nuclear weapons laws in the US have to do with China or Russia potentially turning over nukes to Iran? We don’t have jurisdiction over any of them, and no third parties would need to be involved.

    I suppose we could stop China from shipping them across Afghanistan or delivering them by sea, maybe — I’d hate to trust my life to “the US military can stop illegal arms shipments taking place to the east-northeast of Iran” — but Russia is just on the other side of the Caspian and could just dismantle nukes, send the pieces over redundantly — via submarine if necessary — and reassemble them in Iran, and we’d definitely have a hard time stopping them. (And that’s ignoring airplanes entirely. I doubt very much that we could enforce a no-fly zone large enough to cover the entire Iranian border.) Heck, they could even just ship the things Iran couldn’t manufacture on-site (obviously fissile materials primarily) and turn over blueprints for the rest, and Iran would be up and running relatively quickly.

  62. unclefrogy says

    well I would not expect him to take the bribe on live TV or anything like that it would be strictly private need to know for now after he is out of office some appropriate time… because he brought peace and is a great deal maker
    he will continue to lie to his fan base and everyone else under the sun as usual his fan base will accept what ever he says as the real truth. He could just withdraw from Iraq and let Iran do what they want. He wants to get out of their anyway at least he has said so in the past.
    if he can spread enough money around he might even get support from some hard core republican war hacks.
    I would not be surprised with anything he does or says when things reach this level of irrationality and madness all bets are off.
    uncle frogy

  63. Kagehi says

    @33 wzrd1

    Lets be perfectly clear here. There is nothing explicitly denying the state from arresting the bastard while in office, literally at all, just a lack of a clear ruling on how to do so, and possibly cowardice on choosing to do so, lest the next idiot (from their own party) find himself similarly arrested. What the F is impeachment supposed to even do, if you can’t arrest them? Ask them nicely to step out of office, then just stand their ringing your hands if they say no? Mind, as things stand, you do have to impeach first, which… this ass is proving, over and over, again is a horrible standard, since, if he had been a total gun nut, on top of everything else, he almost certainly would have, “Shot someone, thinking he could get by with it.”, already.

    At what f-ing point do we hold a president actually accountable, instead of just playing stupid politics, because we don’t have some “rule” to, supposedly, define how and when to cuff the bastard?

  64. Susan Montgomery says

    @ 72 “then just stand their ringing your hands if they say no?” Why would the Democrats change their most cherished tactic?

  65. Allison says

    Intransitive @25

    Arrest isn’t enough. I want to see a temporary military takeover until the election, with trials and sentences.

    Please don’t suggest stuff like this, even meant as hyperbole.

    This stuff has been tried all over the world, and it always ends up (a) making things worse in the short run and (b) setting a precedent and justification for future military takeovers.

    Moreover, the use of excessive military force as a substitute for intelligent policy has been a practice of the USA for as long as I’ve been alive (6 decades.) What reason do you have to suppose that the military (in particular, the sort of generals and other officers who would be willing to do a takeover) would act with more wisdom than Trump & Co. (i.e., any wisdom at all)?

    No matter how bad you think things are, they can always be worse. Much worse.

  66. F.O. says

    @Kagehi #72: what can be done to a president can be done to any other president and in fact, to any other politician in a position of power, and you wonder why politicians in position of power don’t do anything about it?
    In the end, they protect each other, they protect their power.
    Laws apply to us lower classes, not to them.

  67. F.O. says

    Addendum to my #75:
    We white people act all surprised when we discover that our power over the state is a lot smaller than we thought, that the powerful can commit whatever crimes they want without facing consequences.
    This is another reason why listening to oppressed minorities is so important: they understand how power works and see through the propaganda much more than we can.

  68. mvdwege says


    Last I checked Obama hasn’t been president for almost 4 years, so what has he got to do with what Trump did?

    And where exactly did I defend Obama?

    Good grief, the playbook is exactly the same for all of you, isn’t it? You’re failing the Reverse Turing Test, hard.

  69. says

    Cross posted from the Political Madness thread.

    From Kara Voght:

    On Sunday afternoon, […] Trump achieved what might be the apex of a weekend full of reckless Twitter diplomacy. As best I can tell (bear with me, it’s a weird one, folks): The president went to Twitter…to tell Congress…that he can attack Iran…without its permission (?)

    These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner. Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!

    Setting aside the fact that these assertions are based on a backward reading of the Constitution (Congress gives the executive branch the “legal notice” to declare war, not the other way around), what are we even supposed to make of memos to Congress delivered via Twitter? What if some lawmakers are practicing mindfulness in the new year and turned off their notifications? What is a “Media Post?” What the hell is any of this?

    Yesterday, Trump tweeted that he was contemplating some international war crimes. Today, his brain is just leaking onto his phone keyboard. […]


  70. tezcat says

    It seems like a clever strategy to me, at least in terms of domestic politics. Threaten war crimes and threaten to start a war. All the Democrats get in a tizzy and we forget all about Ukraine and impeachment. Tomorrow the Fox News talking points will be about the lying Democrats accusing Trump of war crimes. And they’ll be right. The Republicans will love to talk about how effective a negotiator Trump is instead of his corruption.

  71. raven says

    In letter, U.S. military tells Iraq it will withdraw
    Ahmed Aboulenein
    2 MIN READ

    BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The United States military wrote to Iraq on Monday saying it would pull out of the country and would be repositioning forces over the next few days and weeks, a letter seen by Reuters showed.

    Well, we are out of Iraq.

    US insists military not withdrawing from Iraq after confusion over leaked letter
    Andrew BuncombeSeattle @AndrewBuncombe
    1 minute ago
    The US’s top military official has insisted America is not “withdrawing” from Iraq, after the emergence of a letter that suggested troops were preparing to pull out.

    Defence secretary Mark Esper told reporters at the weekend he knew nothing of a letter – apparently signed by a one US general..

    Followed immediately by a story denying that we are pulling out.

    I don’t know what to think about all this.

  72. says

    My guess: Somebody tried to calm things down, appease the Iraqis, and maybe work out something sensible. Then Trump heard about it, said “no, we’re going to do the clusterfuck version,” and here we are.

  73. Kagehi says


    All the Democrats get in a tizzy and we forget all about Ukraine and impeachment.

    I would be finding grounds to tack on, “Incitement to commit war crimes”, to the existing impeachment, if it was me, or drafting another one to hit him with, with all the crap they left out of the first one. Seriously though, this “distraction” might work, if it was being done by an actual politician, who was clever about it, but this is like watching some idiot pull a hidden gun and shoot someone in a court room, on the theory that it will distract everyone from the murder trial they are already sitting as the defendant in. He’s a flipping idiot.

  74. Howard Brazee says

    War crimes are when we attack stuff that rich and powerful people like.

    Bombing regular people is just business as usual.