To be sure, the Iranian air defenses were on high alert fearing an American attack in the wake of the U.S. government’s assassination of Soleimani on January 3rd followed by a missile strike from Iran directed against two U.S. bases in Iraq. In spite of the tension and the escalation, the Iranian government did not shut down the country’s airspace. Civilian passenger flights were still departing and arriving in Tehran, almost certainly an error in judgment on the part of the airport authorities. Inexplicably, civilian aircraft continued to take off and land even after Flight 752 was shot down.
What seems to have been a case of bad judgements and human error does, however, include some elements that have yet to be explained. The Iranian missile operator reportedly experienced considerable “jamming” and the planes transponder switched off and stopped transmitting several minutes before the missiles were launched. There were also problems with the communication network of the air defense command, which may have been related.
The electronic jamming coming from an unknown source meant that the air defense system was placed on manual operation, relying on human intervention to launch. The human role meant that an operator had to make a quick judgment in a pressure situation in which he had only moments to react. The shutdown of the transponder, which would have automatically signaled to the operator and Tor electronics that the plane was civilian, instead automatically indicated that it was hostile. The operator, having been particularly briefed on the possibility of incoming American cruise missiles, then fired.
We have to assume that Iran now has terminal guidance capability on many (most?) of its ballistic and cruise missiles and that they can destroy one specific building amongst many more buildings. Now, remember the Iranian reply that it had 35 US bases within missile range? Now imagine this first one:
- Iran fires 10-12 missile on each and every one of the 35 US bases listed and targets barracks, fuel and ammo dumps, key command posts, etc. How many casualties do you think that such a strike would result in?
Next, let’s try the same thing with Israel:
- Iran fires 2-3 missiles but carefully aims them as Israeli air force bases, personnel barracks, industrial sites (including chemical and nuclear sites, not even necessarily military ones! Dimona anybody?), the Knesset or even Bibi’s personal residence. Can you imagine the panic in Israel?
How about the KSA?
- Iran fires a large amount of missiles aimed at *truly* crippling the Saudi oil installations, National Guard barracks, airfields, etc. We already know what the Houthis could do with their very limited resources. Just imagine what Iran could do to the KSA (or the UAE and Kuwait) if it wanted to!
I think that the bottom line is clear: Iran can inflict unacceptable damage upon any party attacking it. Furthermore, and unlike having “a few” nukes, Iran has hundreds (or even thousands) of cruise missile and ballistic missiles, and you can bet that they are well distributed and well protected,as shown by this short video released by the IRGC and posted by the FARS news agency:
Kudos to Greg Abbott (R-TX) for becoming the first governor in the country to say no to more refugees after Trump gave local authorities the option.
Via Daily Caller:
“At this time, the state and non-profit organizations have a responsibility to dedicate available resources to those who are already here, including refugees, migrants, and the homeless,” Abbott wrote. “As a result, Texas cannot consent to initial refugee resettlement for FY2020.”
This is bad news for Democrats. Their strategy for achieving total national domination by flipping Texas blue and then abolishing the Electoral College relies on displacing the native population with “refugees.” Many of these welfare colonists invade across the underdefended border from places like Africa, then demand asylum.
Any Republican would be a fool not to fight this tooth and nail, since the point is to leave them politically marginalized. The Third World is never going to run out of “refugees”; import enough of them, and Democrats will win every election by running on their usual platform of confiscating wealth from those who create it to buy votes from those who don’t.
Yet Abbott stands alone. Other Republican governors are eager to help destroy their party not to mention their country by volunteering their states for colonization. Via Breitbart:
To date, these Republican governors in 18 states have asked the Trump administration to continue resettling refugees in their states:
• Mike DeWine of Ohio
• Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas
• Kim Reynolds of Iowa
• Charlie Baker of Massachusetts
• Gary Herbert of Utah
• Doug Burgum of North Dakota
• Chris Sununu of New Hampshire
• Doug Ducey of Arizona
• Eric Holcomb of Indiana
• Bill Lee of Tennessee
• Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma
• Pete Ricketts of Nebraska
• Kristi Noem of South Dakota
• Jim Justice of West Virginia
• Mike Parson of Missouri
• Brad Little of Idaho
• Larry Hogan of Maryland
• Mike Dunleavy of Alaska
Maybe they are trying to drive down wages on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce. Worse yet, maybe they are trying to signal their “virtue” by broadcasting their willingness to put the interests of foreigners ahead of their own people.
In his new book “Triggered,” Donald Trump Jr “pushes the trope that American kids are all dumb and in debt” because they got PhDs in “basket weaving” but praises H-1B visa workers as the world’s “best and brightest,” Progressives for Immigration Reform reports.
These programs are established as distinct from and at odds with the rest of the academy. Grievance studies scholars describe the rest of the academy as “a hotbed for racist, sexist theorizing, research, and practices since its inception.”
Considering the accomplishments in other fields as due to white supremacy means that the standards in other fields reflect white supremacism as well. As a result of rejecting the standards in other fields, dismissing rigor as sexist, and deeming excellence as white supremacist, the “lack of legitimacy given to ethnic studies continues to plague not only the programs, but also the professors who created and maintain them.”
Basically, lots of people, even inside the ivory towers, think that they are charlatans.
Yet how much respect do proponents of gender studies, masculinities studies, queer studies, sexuality studies, psychoanalysis, critical race theory, critical whiteness theory, and fat studies actually expect?
Last night Iran fired 22 Qiam missiles towards two U.S. bases in Iraq. Between 1:45 and 2:15 local time (~22:00 UTC) seventeen missiles hit the Ain al Assad airbase west of Ramadi. Five missiles were aimed at Erbil airport in the northern Kurdish region of Iraq. There were no casualties.
The Swiss embassy in Tehran, which represents the U.S., was warned at least one hour before the attack happened. Around 0:00 UTC the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) which prohibited civil U.S. flights over Iraq, Iran, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
This attack was the “open” and “proportional” response for the U.S. assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani which Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had promised. It will certainly not be the only response but represents the opening shot of a long and much more silent campaign to kick the U.S. out of the Middle East.
The Grayzone held a live discussion of the US escalation of war on Iran and Iraq, with Trump’s assassination of General Qasem Soleimani and PMF commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Aaron Maté is joined by Rania Khalek, Max Blumenthal, and Ben Norton.
Chelsea Clinton’s charmed life (surely not based on nepotism & name recognition alone!) continues without impediment, in full view of an American public that just doesn’t seem bothered.
As reported by Barron’s, Chelsea Clinton’s stock in the internet conglomerate IAC/ InterActiveCorp has recently been valued at $9 million. That’s on top of the $50,000 annual retainer she receives, and the $6 million windfall she secured for becoming a board member in 2011.
That board membership at IAC is but one of many extremely lucrative posts that the daughter of Bill and Hillary has lucked upon since college.
Why are so many intelligence veterans throwing their weight behind a young Indiana mayor with such a thin foreign policy resume?
By Samuel D. Finkelstein
These questions continue to loom large over the 2020 Democratic primary field: Who is Pete Buttigieg? And what is he doing here?
Seemingly overnight, the once obscure mayor of Indiana’s fourth-largest city was vaulted to national prominence, with his campaign coffers stuffed with big checks from billionaire benefactors.
The publication of a list of 218 endorsements from “foreign policy and national security professionals” by Buttigieg’s campaign deepened the mystery of the mayor’s rise.
Some observers have raised questions about Pete Buttigieg’s intimate relationship with the national security state, after it was revealed that his campaign had paid nearly $600,000 for “security” to a Blackwater-style military contractor.
Buttigieg’s new roster of endorsements from former high-ranking CIA officials, regime-change architects, and global financiers should raise more questions about the real forces propelling his campaign.