Protest - Anti-Iran War 11Jan20

Beginning of march
Beginning of march on Saturday, 11 January from Philadelphia's Dilworth Park.

We had a group called "Refuse Fascism" organizing this rally/march. Besides some of what I though were pro-communist sympathies they expressed during the rally, their whole platform seems to just be opposition to the current president. In this climate, that's a sufficient reason to support them.

Dilworth Park on the 9th
Rally on Thursday the 9th at Dilworth Park.

One of the early casualties of the whole mess after the aerial assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani was the fight against Daesh/ISIS. US troops training Iraqis to conduct that fight have had to pull back to their bases. What happens if the US has to leave Iraq? Looks an awful lot like ISIS will have a chance to revive.

9 Jan
9 Jan.

A Fox News panellist was terribly upset that General Soleimani was being described as a tragic martyr by the US news media.

"The Washington Post called Soleimani the most revered military leader. The New York Times had similarly flattering reports about Soleimani, and they talked about -- The New York Times in particular talked about Soleimani dedicating his life to the Iranian national security..."
What our panellist apparently failed to realize was that the President, by assassinating Soleimani, made him a martyr. Soleimani was popular anyway, but Trump made him a tragic and revered figure. Soleimani was given a three-day state funeral. Both Iraqis and Iranians turned out in huge numbers to mourn him. The US President's threat to attack Iranian cultural sites did NOT help matters as, for both Iraqi and Iranian citizens, it placed the President firmly into the camp of "villain."

One of the organizers, 11 Jan
One of the speakers, 11 Jan.

The President put out a tweet: "To the brave, long-suffering people of Iran: I've stood with you since the beginning of my Presidency..." This is grimly hilarious as the very first and the latest iterations of the January 2017 travel ban have all included Iran. If you're preventing the people of the country from entering the US, it's difficult to make the claim that you support those people.

It's understandable that we need to protect US national security and that we might suffer a revenge attack from Iran. Problem is,

In the state of Washington this weekend [This was published on the 8th], U.S. border authorities summarily detained and interrogated Iranian Americans and lawful permanent residents who were on their way home from Canada. Many were returning from holiday trips to visit family in Vancouver, which is also home to a large Iranian community. Many had gone there for a pop concert. Many were simply on vacation. But that’s not the point. The point is that these people — families, young and old, even small children — were singled out because of their Iranian heritage.
So yes, we need to protect ourselves, but these actions make a wildly inconsistent message.


Another largely self-inflicted wound has been the legal position of US forces in Iraq. Those forces are there by the invitation of the Iraqi government. The Iraqi government has now withdrawn that invitation. Initially, a local US commander on the scene sent the Iraqi Prime Minister a letter saying we'd be happy to pack up and leave. In its usual cluster%$#@ manner, the Trump Administration withdrew the letter and said we'd be staying. The presence of US troops in Iraq is now illegal. A blogger suggests that the President is trying to avoid the appearance of being "the one who lost Iraq," at least until after the State of the Union address on February 4th. After that, he might be more willing to have troops depart. As US troops are embedded with Iraqi troops as instructors, it's not like there's a US base that can be attacked to make a point.


Former Secretary of State John Kerry demolishes arguments against the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

House approves War Powers Resolution as Americans worry over what the President is up to.

Trump Administration makes the not-at-all believable case that the assassination of Soleimani was intended to prevent an attack on US embassies. A piece explains why Secretary of State Pompeo doesn't dare show up to testify to Congress on the many questions over the Trump Administration's actions.