Trump the Master Negotiator

As expected Iraq voted to kick out U.S. troops.

The Iraqi Parliament voted Sunday to obligate Iraq's government "to work towards ending the presence of all foreign troops on Iraqi soil," according to the media office of the Iraqi Parliament...
Iraqi officials were preparing a memorandum for the withdrawal of foreign forces Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi told French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in a phone conversation.
Muqtada al-Sadr, a leading Shia cleric and the head of Iraq's largest political bloc, Saeroun, called the Iraqi Parliament's vote Sunday a "weak response in comparison to American violations of Iraqi sovereignty."He called for Parliament to terminate the security agreement with the United States immediately and to close the "evil American embassy" and all American bases immediately.

Do you remember when you were little and you messed up so big that you were terrified of the consequences? So instead of acting like an adult, you threw around outlandish threats?

He said that if Iran strikes any Americans or American assets, the US has targeted 52 Iranian sites -- a reference to the number of Americans taken hostage in the 1979 revolution -- "some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture," he wrote.
"They attacked us, & we hit back. If they attack again, which I would strongly advise them not to do, we will hit them harder than they have ever been hit before!" Trump wrote.

However, this isn't grade school, and Iran isn't going to back down.

An organizer for a funeral procession for General Qassem Soleimani called on all Iranians to donate $1 each 'in order to gather an $80million bounty on President Trump's head'...
As tensions escalate after Soleimani's death, Iranian MP Abolfazl Abutorabi threatened to launch an attack on American soil in retaliation.

'We can attack the White House itself, we can respond to them on the American soil. We have the power, and God willing we will respond in an appropriate time,' Abutorabi said, according to the Iranian Labour News Agency.
Abutorabi went on to say that 'this is a declaration of war, which means if you hesitate you lose'.

Trump reacted like the man-child that he is, of course.

But the real kicker is how Trump has reacted to Iraq. Like a little bitch.

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President Donald Trump threatened to impose deep sanctions on Iraq if it moves to expel U.S. troops and said Sunday he would not withdraw entirely unless the military is compensated for the "extraordinarily expensive air base" there.

Trump's remarks came on the same day that Iraq's Parliament voted to support expelling the U.S. military from its country over mounting anger about a drone strike the president ordered last week that killed Iran's Qasem Soleimani and earlier U.S. airstrikes in the country. The vote was nonbinding.

"We've spent a lot of money in Iraq," Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One as he returned to Washington after spending the holidays at his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago.

"We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build....We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it."

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missile capacity has moved into the local waters.
I wonder what sanction leverage Trump has for the Air base, since Iraq didn't ask for it in the first place.
Sanctions have worked so well in...?

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PriceRip's picture

even happening. Not one diplomat, or military advisor is speaking up stopping this … how does anyone think any of this as acceptable?

RIP

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"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

Pricknick's picture

@PriceRip
we have a reasonable department of defense or government?
The empire is done as it should be. It's not acceptable but It's a failure at the highest levels and the ride is just hitting it's apex. It's downhill from here.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

PriceRip's picture

@Pricknick

          in the past the administrations were not so much like a cult. The dearth of individuals with ethical and moral standards is appalling. No serious fiction writer would have described such a rapid transition to this state affairs, because, they want to have some element of believability in their work.

RIP

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17 users have voted.

"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

OzoneTom's picture

@PriceRip
Trump says Tweet serves as ‘notification’ to Congress that U.S. may 'quickly & fully strike back’ against Iran

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PriceRip's picture

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"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

edg's picture

@PriceRip

Congress ceded war power to the president long ago.

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PriceRip's picture

@edg

 

          The erosion process started many years ago but the magnitude of the slope has increased dramatically.

RIP

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"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

edg's picture

@PriceRip

Reagan waging war on Nicaragua by selling missiles to Iran and trafficking in cocaine. Invading harmless little Grenada.

Bush Sr. waging war on Iraq after his ambassador gives Saddam the greenlight to invade Kuwait. "Self-defense" invasion of Panama and overthrow of Noriega.

Clinton waging air war on Iraq. No fly zones. Iraq "Liberation" Act calling for regime change.

Bush Jr. -- nuff said.

Obama sanctioning assassination of American citizens. Continuation of existing wars. Expansion of wars into additional countries.

Trump merely follows in the footsteps of predecessors. His rhetoric is high-voltage, but his actions are just more of the same old same old.

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PriceRip's picture

@edg

 

          I remember well. I harbored refugees with a clandestine group(s). Staying one step ahead of the federal authorities is my speciality. The reality is sobering, but most people either don't want to listen, or they simple do not believe me. So here we are. I feel like I am on a treadmill and I am getting too old for this shit.

RIP

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12 users have voted.

"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

edg's picture

@PriceRip

A treadmill that is gradually increasing its speed as each Congress further abrogates its responsibilities and as citizens slowly become number to the lawlessness.

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snoopydawg's picture

@PriceRip

Pence and Pompeo are end time Christians and they think that when Israel is destroyed then Jesus will rapture them and it will be the beginning of the end times. This is why the evangelicals are supporting Trump. There was a celebration recently where people laid hands on Trump and prayed over him.

This is right out of Revelations and people who think like this think that gawd is taking his time setting this in motion and are doing it themselves. Barr is part of Opus Dei and..oh hell this is just too out there to finish. This is the cultists behavior.

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“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

PriceRip's picture

@snoopydawg

          Here is the thing: If what you are saying represents objective reality, then the highest moral choice is for those of us that are still in touch with objective reality to remove (forcibly if necessary) these objectively mentally disturbed individuals from their positions of power.

          As a member of the scientific cognoscenti I and others like me should be allowed (no, be required) to remove the various idiots from positions of authority in various government agencies. Actions (including free speech) have consequences, in this case, you, @snoopydawg , exercising the prerogative to write what you have written, generates the concomitant obligation that you support the notion of a meritocracy to correct the very ills you mention.

          The dilemma is that the very troglodytes that have brought us to this untenable situation are the very marching morons that will fight to the death to thwart any effort to establish the very social order they abhor.

RIP

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7 users have voted.

"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

@snoopydawg The French people put to use a pretty efficient Rapture machine for the royals. With a low carbon footprint too.

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PriceRip's picture

@Snode

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"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

Cassiodorus's picture

Makes you think about what Bernie is saying these days about war.

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"Every election is fake." -- Janna Ordonia, from "Star vs. the Forces of Evil"

Lily O Lady's picture

@Cassiodorus

who bring you coal. /s

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

I emailed an Aussie friend a few days ago, have gotten no response.
I am so cynical. Will they take care of their country or join the US in the fight to come?

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Cassiodorus's picture

@on the cusp Maybe their Internet is down for an extended period.

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"Every election is fake." -- Janna Ordonia, from "Star vs. the Forces of Evil"

In the '60's.
Now, it has officially transitioned to killing my body.
40 years. All my adult life.
I hate it, regret it, that I not only made no difference, but didn't know what was going on.
None of us did.

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@on the cusp Participate in democracy. Vote! You have a choice. Pick a party!

I hear you, and I have the same regrets. We did what we were told by those that exploited us, and we were told that it was a good thing, and we believed it.

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GreatLakeSailor's picture

Done and done.

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Compensated Spokes Model for Big Poor & Big Peace.

CB's picture

@GreatLakeSailor @GreatLakeSailor
It can be converted to a hospital to care for the hundreds of thousands, men, women and children who have been maimed and crippled by America's War of Terror.

We can even call it the Trump War Crimes Hospital. He likes to have buildings named after himself.

[Fixed typo]

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

That literally made me go, "WhHO-HOah!"

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

CB's picture

genetic damage to Syrian children from the use of depleted uranium by US Forces in Faluja? How many billions of dollars will be required to clean up the country.

How can we send a copy of this video to Ivanka? Do you think she would be willing to adopt and take care of several of these infants?

Eric Trump Says Syria Strike Was Swayed By 'Heartbroken' Ivanka

Trump's 33-year-old son, Eric, told The Daily Telegraph on Monday that the strike was influenced in part by Ivanka, who he said was "heartbroken and outraged" by the chemical attack.

"Ivanka is a mother of three kids and she has influence," Eric Trump said, speaking with the newspaper at Trump Turnberry golf resort in Ayrshire, Scotland. "I’m sure she said, 'Listen, this is horrible stuff.' My father will act in times like that."

Trump himself was "deeply affected" by the pictures of children being "sprayed down by hoses to keep their skin from burning," according to his son. "It was horrible. These guys are savages and I’m glad he responded the way he responded."

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked about Ivanka at the daily press briefing and said, "There's no question Ivanka and others weighed in to him" after seeing horrific pictures of the victims of the chemical attack.

The real savages are in Washington and Mar-a-Lago.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

"We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build....We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it."

Trump is putting thousands of US troops in harm's way.

WTF?

Here's a thought. Pull out ALL the troops and the money saved on the deployment will pay for the airport on the very first day.

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The current working assumption appears to be that our Shroedinger's Cat system is still alive. But what if we all suspect it's not, and the real problem is we just can't bring ourselves to open the box?

CB's picture

Short “intermission” of sorts with a few (apparently needed) explanations

Dear friends,

I feel that there is a need to clarify a few things here which apparently baffle and perplex many. Since the beginning of this crisis the Saker Community worldwide (literally!) has been crazy busy trying to keep up with the events and make sense of what seems totally insane. I have been working nonstop for the past 2 days now and I ask you to forgive me for being even more curt than usual (nevermind my typos and grammar!). Here we go:
...
CONCLUSION

I hope that these pointers will be useful, especially when you are going to be hit with a massive Tsunami of US flagwaving propaganda (Trump “we are THE BEST”). Simply put: this is bullshit. Modern wars are first and foremost propaganda wars, and what you see as the output of US ruling elites are just that – “information operations”. Let them wave their (Chinese made) flags, let them declare “United we stand” (for what exactly they stand is never specified) and let them repeat that the US military is the MOST FORMIDABLE FORCE IN THE GALAXY. These are nothing but desperate attempts to control the narrative, nothing else.

Oh, and one more irony: while the GOP controlled Senate is most unlikely to ever impeach Trump, is it not pathetically hilarious that Trump has now, indeed, committed acts ought to have him removed from office? Of course, in the real world, the US Neocon deep-state controls BOTH parties and BOTH parties fully support a war against Iran. Still, this is one of those ironies of history which should be mentioned.

I will resume my work tomorrow morning.

Until then, I wish you call a good nite/morning/day.

The Saker

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Wally's picture

@CB

BOTH parties fully support a war against Iran.

Even Tucker Carlson is calling out Trump on this shit.

Bernie, Khanna, Tulsi and more than a few other Dems have made forthright statements against Trump's belligerancy, introducing legislation to stop the lunatic. Other candidates have also taken variously wishy-washy stands but still clearly against Trump's actions and war. Even Pelosi seems to be ready to support legislation against Trump's actions which she has termed “provocative and disproportionate,” suggesting the attack was illegal under international law and could constitute a war crime.

Maybe this episode will push the party towards a more anti-war stance, even if it is most widely predicated on Trump's idiocy.

Is the shift a bad thing? Shouldn't we encourage it at this point rather than with too wide a paintbrush diss Dems when they finally seem to be getting some backbone?

Isn't it mighty important at this point to go after Trump with all we've got right now?

On the other hand, let's not forget that Trump is a graduate of the Rowdy Roddy Piper School of International Diplomacy. Lots more bark than bite. But certainly, assassination seems to be a step more than a bit more belligerant than shaving off someone's hair.

Will Iran retaliate? Will Russia advise Iran to cool it? I really don't know. Who can say?

[Edit -- Added tweet / video]:

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@Wally 20 or more Ds in Congress who have condemned, in various tones, this latest assassination and provocation.

On the R side of Congress maybe only Rand Paul, who had a prior record of favoring diplomatic means with Iran. Perhaps if we checked closely, we could find the bold and courageous senator Susan Collins somewhere expressing her "concern" over these recent events.

So, yeah, the bothsidesism fails here too.

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CB's picture

@Wally
and the MIC controlled Wurlitzer of War cranks up it's seductive tune, both parties dutifully fall in line in the march to war save a few hold-outs like Bernie.

If we had a REAL anti-war left in the US, we would not now be in this handbasket.

Propaganda (1928) by Edward Bernays
...
This is the main manual of the public relations industry. Bernays is kind of the guru. He was an authentic Roosevelt/Kennedy liberal. He also engineered the public relations effort behind the U.S.-backed coup which overthrew the democratic government of Guatemala. - Noam Chomsky
...
CHAPTER I
ORGANIZING CHAOS

THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
...


'Today freedom fighters are considered terrorists, and terrorists are considered peacemakers. The capitalists have always created instruments to make people believe their lies. This is globalization, a new invention.'
— Leila Khaled

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Wally's picture

@CB

While the demonstrations haven't grown to what we(?) were part of in the 60s and 70s, they are springing up here and there.

I think most lefties, a critical mass like I've never experienced before, are pinning our hopes on Bernie and electoral politics right now rather than "direct action."

I dunno if we can pull off a miracle but I don't see how trying can hurt.

Iowa?

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CB's picture

@Wally

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Wally's picture

@CB

What about propaganda in undemocratic and/or otherwise authoritarian societies?

I wonder if Vladislav Surkov drew/draws upon Bernays' analysis?

I've cued it up to the exact spot where the matter is focussed upon:

Wow. I see Mosfilm blocked it on this website. WTF? You can still watch it on YouTube starting at 2:22:14 // https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fh2cDKyFdyU

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WoodsDweller's picture

@Wally

Iranian government official raises eyebrows with tweet listing locations of Trump’s properties

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/01/iranian-government-official-raises-eyeb...

An Iranian government official seemed to suggest that President Trump’s properties could be potential targets in retaliation for the US targeted killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.
Hesameddin Ashena, who is an adviser to Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, tweeted a link this Saturday to a Forbes article that lists many of Trump’s properties in America and Europe, including Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
In a tweet the following day, Ashena wrote that the Iranian regime has “ZERO problems with the American people.” ... “Our sole problem is Trump. In the event of war, it is he who will bear full responsibility.”

I can't imagine that it will actually work out that way, but it's a remarkably mature attitude.

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"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." -- Albert Bartlett
"A species that is hurtling toward extinction has no business promoting slow incremental change." -- Caitlin Johnstone

@WoodsDweller
A spat of arson attacks on Trump's properties would enrage him while the American people wouldn't really care.
Inevitably Trump would try to convince the people to care about a billionaires wealth. Bernie would eat it up

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Lily O Lady's picture

@gjohnsit

calling themselves, would be up in arms. I volunteer them to protect Trump’s properties.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

OzoneTom's picture

@gjohnsit
If he were do do something resulting in war crimes charges. It would likely have to be something more egregious than the run-of-the-mill war crimes committed by his recent predecessors.

First-use of nukes for instance. Only the United States and Israel possess such weapons in the ME so any use in the region is likely to be be such.

After all, the recent NDAA dropped most restrictions of the use of low-yield devices and he is probably itching to make some go "boom."

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Lily O Lady's picture

@WoodsDweller

of the guy hurling the threats.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

RantingRooster's picture

to wake up today with news that somewhere we launched a tactical nuke at Iran or Iraqi forces somewhere.

Trump is a clear and present danger to the US. Can we not use his same logic to take him out, to save many beautiful lives?

Every member of congress should be lined up to impeach this man child. This blatant murder of a top Iranian general is clearly a violation of our constitution, US law, the UN Charter, International law, but hey, the Empire must carry on....

I think we need to take a page out of the French Revolution, and have a some night time Jacobin parties on CEO's of the Walls Street banks. Maybe when the money stops flowing, we'll get their attention.

This is just insanity on steroids.

Aaron Maté and Max Blumenthal discuss how US Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that the Barack Obama administration intentionally let ISIS grow to try to weaken the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. Iran and Qassem Soleimani — who was just murdered by Donald Trump — stopped the so-called Islamic State in its tracks.

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C99, my refuge from an insane world. #ForceTheVote

snoopydawg's picture

@RantingRooster

He told them that it was Obama's decision to sit back and watch them grow in strength. I forgot you posted this so I posted it in your essay. I think..

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“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

TheOtherMaven's picture

Diablo

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

CB's picture

@TheOtherMaven
fucked in the head. Did Melania cut him off?

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Lily O Lady's picture

Mexico ponies-up for that stupid wall.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"