Connecting the Dots, Part 9…

In my last Dots post, on April 11, 2018, I talked about racism, antisemitism, and Facebook’s role in boosting the signal. This time I’m taking on Iran.

Why Iran?

WHY IRAN???

THIS is why Iran.

I wrote this post in October, 2016. The post contains my first concrete declaration that chances were good Trump would win, but it also contained another in a series of allusions to the Iranian Hostage Crisis that eventually cost Jimmy Carter his presidential seat back in 1980.

How did Trump get the idea that this attack was necessary, 40 years after Reagan took office? Who wrote him the treasure map that outlined the dastardly retribution for acts Iranian students took against us because WE interfered in THEIR politics??!

We won’t even see the contents of the 1978 political files from the Iran actions back when Reagan and Bush ran for the Oval Office against Jimmy Carter (if they still exist – remember: G. H. W. Bush was with the CIA), but I believe that I’ve been right all along.

It’s no accident that there’s a connection between today’s Republicans and that long ago act of hostage taking. Even if it wasn’t an inside job, Bush took advantage of it to ensure Reagan would win in 1980, and everything that’s happened since (the GOP’s plan to destroy our safety net, fair democratic elections, and security for billionaires) was the result of action we provoked.

Image of a bumper sticker with the letters IRAQ/N and text below that says "The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous." -George Orwell

Stolen from the Internet

Someone online dared to play the WhatAbout game with me over Benghazi and had the gall to suggest Hillary Clinton’s role in Benghazi was worse.

I object.

Unlike the absolutely hideous waste of taxpayer money and time that the investigation into the 2012 Benghazi attack represented in 2012, the Trump administration has been found guilty of ACTUAL corruption and represents over thirty indictments and seven guilty pleas (to date) plus two Articles of Impeachment for Trump (so far).

I pray this exceeds the absolutely colossal ineptitude of that time in history and results in the conviction of Trump, Pence, Barr, Kavanaugh, Mulvaney, Pompeo, and every last one of the traitorous sycophants who put us where we are today.

But please, tell us more about Hillary Clinton.

The Republicans have had a plan to destroy the Democrats for over 40 years. They have worked hard to smear or obstruct every time a Democrat has taken over the Oval Office. My very favorite thing about the impeachment process is that the GOP are complaining loudly that the rules THEY put in place to impeach Bill and investigate Hillary are still in place to investigate and impeach Trump.

The GOP never once said the things Trump did were wrong. The only thing they complained about during the Impeachment process were the unfairness of the rules and the theoretically questionable character of the witnesses Democrats were able to call to testify during the hearings. (Hot tip: Many of those witnesses have impeccable backgrounds and spotless records of civil service, unlike the records of the GOP Representatives on the Impeachment committees. [I’m looking at you, Devin and Jim.]

Karl Rove and Trey Gowdy should be proud.

So how does this spin work? Well, let’s take a look at the last week in the news:

January 2, 2020:

NY Times: U.S. Strike in Iraq Kills Qassim Suleimani, Commander of Iranian Forces

Suleimani was planning attacks on Americans across the region, leading to an airstrike in Baghdad, the Pentagon statement said. Iran’s supreme leader called for vengeance.

January 3, 2020:

Washington Post: When the United States and Qasem Soleimani worked together

The U.S. government has killed one of its most significant foreign adversaries in decades, with the death of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

But the U.S. relationship with Soleimani, like many in the Middle East, has been a complicated one, and he wasn’t always on the opposite side. They even worked together.

Washington Post: Iran vows revenge after U.S. drone strike kills elite force commander

Iran on Friday vowed “severe revenge” in response to a U.S. drone strike that killed Tehran’s most powerful military commander, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, and dramatically sharpened tensions across the Middle East.

But wait…Rewind to August 20, 2013:

USA Today: CIA formally admits role in 1953 Iranian coup

The CIA, in recently declassified documents, has formally acknowledged that the spy agency helped to plan and execute the coup in Iran in 1953 that overthrew the democratically elected prime minister who was in the process of nationalizing the country’s British-controlled oil industry.

So we have established that we have an existing, ugly history with Iran. Meanwhile…

January 5, 2020:

AXIOS: Iraqi parliament calls on government to expel U.S. troops

The Iraqi parliament passed a resolution Sunday calling on the government to expel U.S. troops from the country in response to the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and the leader of an Iraqi militia on its soil.

NBC News: Iran pulling out of nuclear deal commitment after U.S. strike that killed Soleimani

State TV reported that Iran will no longer restrict uranium enrichment, part of the 2015 deal limiting its nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions.

It’s no surprise that these steps were next in the process. Getting the US out of the region leaves it wide open for Russia. But how can you tell what’s real and what’s not? This is an information war and we are not prepared to understand what’s happening if we take everything at face value. For that, we have to learn how to interpret. Reading between the lines is absolutely necessary to our survival.

Current Affairs: How To Avoid Swallowing War Propaganda

Cutting through bad arguments, distractions, and euphemisms to see murder for what it is.

And then…

January 7, 2020:

Washington Post: More than a dozen missiles hit two bases in Iraq, Pentagon says

Iranian forces launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against two military bases in Iraq, the Pentagon said Tuesday evening, marking the most significant Iranian attack in the growing conflict with the United States.

Newsweek: Iran Says It Has Concluded Its Response To U.S. Strike, Does Not Seek Escalation

After Iran launched a missile attack against air bases in Iraq that housed U.S. and coalition forces, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif tweeted that Iran was finished fighting and was not actively pursuing any kind of escalation to the conflict.

January 8, 2020:

Business Insider: Trump has run out of options and is asking US allies for help with Iran, but they’ve already abandoned him

After spending much of his presidency insulting and pushing away the closest US allies, President Donald Trump now wants their help with Iran. But in many ways, they’ve already abandoned him.

It seems the Iranians are smart enough not to take the bait. Thank god. Seems like odd behavior, though, until you read this blog post (which also hit my FB feed on the 8th)…

Death to America Explained & Other Persian Phrases Related to Death

This, too:

January 31, 2019

NPR/Throughline: How The CIA Overthrew Iran’s Democracy In 4 Days

On Aug. 19, 2013, the CIA publicly admitted for the first time its involvement in the 1953 coup against Iran’s elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh.

Spin. It’s al about spin. And we could just leave it all there, except that this happened next…

January 12, 2020:

Washington Post: Ukraine knew Flight 752 had been shot down, but it was careful not to antagonize Iran

KYIV — Within hours of Iran’s stunning admission Saturday that its missile mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane, Ukraine made a big reveal of its own. The country put out photos, taken a day earlier, showing wreckage riddled with small holes, suggesting damage from shrapnel.

Know why this is problematic? Because it doesn’t take long to figure out that the software controlling Iran’s military equipment comes from Russia. And that’s where we have a problem. Because it’s also becoming clear that Trump had no proof that the murder was necessary. Russians are pulling our strings and we’re all dancing like marionettes,

So why did Trump do it? And how is he getting away with actual, literal murder?

Let’s travel back in time to 1970, shall we? Are you old enough to remember what it was like to watch TV back then? What were your viewing options? CNN’s series on The Seventies is as enlightening as it is depressing. I’ll tell you why we are where we are today.

You’re staring at it.

Not Facebook. Not the blog. Your personal device. Your connection to the Internet. Computer or phone, take your pick. This same device delivers distractions moment by moment, and nobody gets the same experience because we all get to pick and choose exactly what distraction we want whenever we feel like it. There are hundreds of ways to avoid reading the news and even if we don’t, how can we be sure what we’re hearing is the truth and not more lies?

Sinclair Broadcasting is buying up local broadcast stations. Not everyone has access to cable or Dish, and if you’re stuck in the airwaves, you are at risk for receiving propaganda without even knowing it.

Seriously. When was the last time you can recall making sure you were home to watch the news at 6? Are you even old enough to remember that there was a time when the news was on one of four channels or in a paper you read in the morning or afternoon, and that war was in living rooms instead of reality shows?

The Viet Nam war ended when our people finally figured out how much waste and how little benefit there was to staying. It was an unmitigated disaster that cost millions of lives, much of it founded in lies.

Our actions in the Middle East are no different. We went to war in Iraq over fictional weapons and surrendered our rights to privacy against the recommendations of our own founding fathers, on the basis of lies. We rose up and marched in DC, but nowhere near at the same levels as we did during the Seventies because we are constantly distracted. We don’t have to pay attention to the politics in DC as long as it isn’t costing lives or affecting us directly. It’s not our problem.

Right?

Wrong.

It WILL cost lives. It HAS cost lives. Just not American lives, on the same scale as with Viet Nam.

Collateral damage in Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and throughout the region in general is our fault. We go to war because we are told that the people we are fighting are evil. And we are all to blame for the actions our leaders say are the fault of others.

When are we going to get tired of this endless parade of bullshit and throw Republicans out of office for good? When will we cease to waste our time and blood and children supporting the billionaires and their oil?

This is not the world I want to live in, not the world I want for my kids. It’s pure, unadulterated insanity, and it supports the Russian agenda.

Make no mistake: This was a test and we failed. Trump proved that he can shoot someone on 5th Avenue, and that nobody will aid us if we ask, because why should they place their citizens at risk for our petty complaints? Mark my words: If we start a war with Iran, we will go in by ourselves, and we will lose a generation of our children to senseless violence if we do.

Elections are this year. The next Democratic debate is Tuesday. The first primary is less than a month from now. We have to stay focused on the goal: Throw the GOP out of office for good at every level from dogcatcher to President, change our laws to reverse lifetime judicial assignments, throw every last corrupt politician in jail, and confiscate the estates of the billionaires who have taken our children’s lives away for the sake of their own personal greed. Add two seats to the Supreme Court if we have to. Ensure a two thirds majority in the House AND Senate. Reverse the damage and destruction the GOP have visited upon our country and start to make progress towards reversing climate damage. We were able to repair some of the damage to our ozone layer. We can try to fix our climate, but not as long as oilmen control our politics.

It’s time to take the robber barons out for good. Destroy the gilded cage and give our people something to work towards besides hate.

This attack should be a call to arms, but not against Iran. We should take this as a sign that it’s time for Trump and his followers to go.

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