War

Reminder: American Officials Lie About War

A humble and prudent foreign policy begins with recognizing the fog of war—and rejecting the dangerous paths of obedient belief and premature omniscience.

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"Don't trust liars—especially about matters of war and peace," writes Vox's Matthew Yglesias. "Today's a day," The Atlantic's David Frum posits, "when the most untruthful administration in US history will wish its statements could be believed."

It is appropriate, necessary, yet insufficient to remember that government lying is bad, that government lying about war is particularly bad, and that Donald Trump is one of the most bizarrely promiscuous liars ever seen in American political life. Insufficient, because laying the blame on one particular administration, or even one major political party, too often becomes a de facto credulousness about the war-related veracity of other administrations.

The truth, which literally hurts, is that every administration lies about war, particularly (though not only) about its reasons for initiating deadly force. It was literally only last month that The Washington Post's "Afghanistan Papers" project detailed how America's longest war has been a nearly two-decade festival of deadly bullshit. How many times are we going to accept on-the-record U.S. military quotes like "Every data point was altered to present the best picture possible"?

Too many times, I'm afraid. We enable the machinery of our own bamboozlement with our often partisan-based trust in the protectors of the flag.

Readers with long memories will surely note that David Frum wrote President George W. Bush's infamous "Axis of Evil" State of the Union Address in January 2002, linking Iran, North Korea, and especially Iraq in a rhetorical if not quite actual network of bad-guy regimes threatening to do the U.S. harm. "I was to provide a justification for war," Frum recalled in his memoir. The justification was…misleading.

It was also damaging in a way that relates directly to this week's escalation with Iran. Ryan Crocker, then the deputy chief of the U.S. embassy in Kabul, met the next day with a lead Iranian government official, who said (according to Crocker's memory, as recounted in a must-read 2013 New Yorker profile of Qasem Soleimani), "You completely damaged me….Suleimani is in a tearing rage. He feels compromised." More, from The New Yorker's Dexter Filkins:

The negotiator told Crocker that, at great political risk, Suleimani had been contemplating a complete reëvaluation of the United States, saying, "Maybe it's time to rethink our relationship with the Americans." The Axis of Evil speech brought the meetings to an end. Reformers inside the government, who had advocated a rapprochement with the United States, were put on the defensive. Recalling that time, Crocker shook his head. "We were just that close," he said. "One word in one speech changed history."

You don't have to accept that alternate history to understand that war propaganda can have all sorts of unforeseen consequences, as can the wars themselves. That may seem obvious to the point of tautology, but people accept this stuff again and again.

Like under our previous president. "We knew," Barack Obama said on March 28, 2011, "that…if we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world. It was not in our national interest to let that happen. I refused to let that happen….Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action."

We know now that the congressionally unauthorized, U.S.-led regime-change war in Libya was not, as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeatedly bragged on the presidential campaign trail, "smart power at its best." It was one of the major causes of Middle Eastern instability and misery over the past decade. But what we've forgotten, because our political discourse is cripplingly trivial, is that Obama's bar-lowering justication was hysterical.

"This policy," concluded a detailed and damning post-facto report by the British House of Commons, "was not informed by accurate intelligence. In particular, the [allies] failed to identify that the threat to civilians was overstated and that the rebels included a significant Islamist element. By the summer of 2011, the limited intervention to protect civilians had drifted into an opportunist policy of regime change. That policy was not underpinned by a strategy to support and shape post-Gaddafi Libya. The result was political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations, the spread of Gaddafi regime weapons across the region and the growth of ISIL in North Africa."

Western intelligence agencies, the report found, "could not verify the actual threat to civilians posed by the Gaddafi regime [and] selectively took elements of Muammar Gaddafi's rhetoric at face value….[S]trategy was founded on erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the evidence."

American administrations going to war routinely exaggerate threats, Hitlerize enemies, euphemize foreign casualties, and bend tales of U.S. heroism beyond all human recognition, as any spelunkings down the rabbit holes of Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman will reveal. The world has never seen an arsenal as powerful as ours, and Lord Acton had a point about that power stuff.

The purpose of bringing up past treacheries is not to sink into an enervating nihilism, or intellectually facile whataboutism, or even what the kids now sneer at as "both-sidesism." America is not Iran; Trump is not Obama; a drone strike is not the Iraq War.

But the fog of war, the temptations of power, the quickening heartbeat of fight-or-flight patriotism—these are, or at least should be, advertisements for human fallibility, for our stubborn inability to recognize certain patterns, particularly in the way each of us thinks. And it should make us more reluctant to give the commanders more authority.

Instead, too many people turn off their brains once the battle bugle calls. "Decisive shock therapy to revive the American spirit would surely come with a U.S. invasion of Iraq," current White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow wrote for National Review in 2002. "The world will be righted in this life-and-death struggle to preserve our values and our civilization." Or not.

As I tried to argue in one of those 9/11 anniversary columns some years ago, "If we are humble in the face of facts, and mindful of the unforeseen consequences that come with every grand plan, we might be more cautious about bending a sprawling nation's resources and will in one direction or another." That process necessarily begins by recognizing the limits of our own knowledge.

So no, don't trust Donald Trump. Or Mike Pompeo. Or Mitch McConnell. And for God's sake please don't trust David Frum or Matthew Yglesias or Matt Welch either. America will continue being a bull in a china shop for as long as the body politic has more heft than humility. Those audacious enough to wield that awesome power, or to influence the wielding of it, will only begin to earn respect when they acknowledge the mountain of their own lies.

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  1. “Reminder: American Officials Lie About War”*

    *This statement only applicable to those of the opposite party. See below.

    1. Take your tribalist shit elsewhere Tony.

      1. When does n’t the government lie?

        1. “When does n’t the government lie?”

          Lemme get back to you…

    2. All wars are lies from start to finish ! They lie about who caused it,they lie about who is winning,they lie about who has won ! The only real truth about any war is that people DIE….Us !!!!

      1. I couldn’t agree more and no point in my rewording it. I’m so sick of the wars and manipulations of governments to get more control of people. done…

    3. Poor eric. If this is Boehm, we all know he will lie for his own financial interests.

      If this is a sock troll…. see above.

      I would include the option of eric being a real person…but come on….its eric.

      1. I’m Tony, Shrike, Tulpa and all of their socks. There are really only 5 or six real people commenting here. As a more earnest but less intelligent Tulpa Jr. you should know that LC.

        1. It really doesn’t matter

          1. Agreed. Tell that to your intellectual compatriots constantly accusing everyone of being a sock.

            1. Being a pussy is no way to get what you want

              1. I’ll take your word for it.

      2. poor Eric.

        Leaves off the fact that sock trolls are obvious because they follow the actual commenters (like me) around.

  2. Reminder, so does the media.

    Welch.

    1. If you like your author, you can keep your author.

  3. Welch appears to be butthurt that commenters are offering better rational analysis than the “pros” at Reason, and it’s fucking up their narrative

    1. Something like that

    2. I bet that’s totally it dude.

      1. I’m sorry I made fun of the size of your nose 10 years ago and you’ve been secretly hating me ever since.

        1. Hahahah holy shit are you really still thinking about that comment from this morning? Christ man, get a life. I wasn’t even on here 10 years ago, you fucking sap.

          1. Based on your commentary, it even sounds like you weren’t born yet. Sadly, you can’t use that as an excuse.

          2. He replied five minutes after you posted it. Not sure what you mean by thinking about something you wrote “this morning”.

    3. You go to war with the deep state you have.

  4. The comparison to Libya seems particularly ill-thought. There was no national security interest in ousting a secular dictator that for several years prior had been cooperating with the U.S. On the other hand, there is a significant national security interest in killing those who orchestrate and commit attacks on American embassies. This seems like a proportionate, justified response to a foreign attack on American soil. The U.S. did not commit an act of war; it responded to one.

    1. The USA has been committing acts of war in Yemen which is just a front in the Saudi Arabian and Iranian war for the region on behalf of Saudi Arabia; so lets not pretend that this happened in a bubble. My problem with this is it will drag us further into that conflict when I don’t care if the entire House of Saud burns to the ground. Fuck those camel fuckers. They are the mother fuckers who funded and provide support to the 9-11 hijackers and here we are fighting for them. Let the Middle East burn.

      1. US troops are in Yemen?

        1. Everything is our fault, and everyone but us is good and pure. Didn’t you know that?

        2. US weapons are in Yemen.

          1. And? The seller of goods is responsible for their use?

        3. US drones are bombing Yemen with no clear authorization.

    2. “Embassy”—right. It’s the headquarters of an occupation force.

      1. Feel free to take your beefs with the concept of embassies up with the rest of the world.

        1. So, if I take my magic marker and write “Maserati” on my Honda, it will go 180 mph?

          1. No. But parts will cost 20x more than they did before you took out your magic marker – and you’ll need them more often.

  5. Reminder: d.c. and NY media lie about everything.

    It is weird seeing this after Reason had a few dozen articles about trusting career bureaucrats during impeachment.

    1. And quoting Iglesias? The one who bragged about gaslighting Americans over trumps tax cuts?

      1. Followed by david fucking from? My god welcome boy. At least you advertised your dishonesty from the outset.

        1. I mean the only persons he could have quoted as worse representation is Ben rhodes or Rose McGowan.

          1. The article had a word limit.

          2. That dumb cunt apologized to The Iranian government today.

            1. Welchie or Rose? 😉

      2. The same Yglesias who wrote numerous genocide-denying articles in favor of Stalin, yes.

    2. Yeah, I’m supposed to trust David Frum?

      1. Yes, in the same way you can trust a snake to be a snake.

  6. So, what is being alleged here: was the attack on the embassy phony? Was the attack on Suleimani faked? Where is the lie we are supposed to watch out for? is Quds Force really like the Salvation Army?

    1. It’s more than just the embassy. There’s been a lot of Iranian backed attacks the last 12 months. Apparently this is unknown to Welch.

      1. In fact what reason is ignoring is the fact that trump called off a strike earlier last year when he was told it could harm 150 iranian citizens. Shortly after trump warned iran what would happen of they killed a US civilian. Which they did last weekend.

      2. No, no, no…but they’re all lying, you see!?! About all of it!!! It’s a classic XK-7 secret double cross tactic!!! You can never trust your government about anything!!! Iran is the real victim here!!!

    2. The lie that you’re supposed to watch out for is the one you already believe.

  7. To know why the Arabs want to clean up Israel
    http://msd-norge-as.com/

    1. Because Isamofascists are a bunch of bloodthirsty, subhuman deathcultists who try to murder and enslave everyone else and then whine and cry that they’re the victims when they lose because their illiterate, schizophrenic pedophile “prophet” told them the world belonged to them?

  8. Welch is right that government officials have lied about war. That has been true since before the founding of the Republic. Here is what we know about this particular situation.

    We know Soleimani has American blood on his hands. Whether it is 2, or 608, or 10,006….this man was directly responsible for American deaths. We also know who he was with when we killed him…The leaders of the groups who attacked our embassy just days earlier.

    I don’t see any serious dispute of these two facts.

    What happens next? Who knows.

    1. All I know is this…he’s dead, he deserved it, and now his successors are probably wondering just how easily we found Soleimani and how easily we can find them.

      And that makes the world a brighter place today.

      1. Did you see Pelosi tweet this morning? Calling the air strike a disproportionate retaliation? Soleimani has been linked to at least 600 american deaths. She things one general for iran is greater than 600 Americans.

        1. All I know is that I’m really looking forward to a Democratic ticket running on the “Let the terrorists do whatever they want, because America is evil” platform.

          Raising taxes, banning guns, attacking free speech, backing terrorists, demonizing American history, open borders, shit wherever you want, free healthcare for illegals, impeach the President because we can’t win in November…with the Democrats taking every unpopular position ever, Trump’s headed for a double digit popular vote win at this point, in addition to crushing it with the electoral college.

          The only thing that would make it better is if the leftists were so incensed by a Trump landslide that they tried an actual revolt and we got to hand those little twerps the physical beating that most of them should have received oh so long ago.

          1. UCrawford….They’re bastards – The only thing that would make it better is if the leftists were so incensed by a Trump landslide that they tried an actual revolt and we got to hand those little twerps the physical beating that most of them should have received oh so long ago. – but they are our bastards. I want to beat them at the ballot box, not upside their heads. 🙂

            Can’t wait for November 2020.

            1. Try living in Antifa land for awhile. It’ll change your views quick.

          2. Personally, I’m fine with it if they choose to choke our rivers with their dead. I’m pro choice that way.

          3. All I know is that I’m really looking forward to a Democratic ticket running on the “Let the terrorists do whatever they want, because America is evil” platform.

            It’s what scumbagetta Elizabeth Nolan Brown believes, and you can bet that she’s far from alone at Reason.

          4. “attacking free speech” I see cousinfucking cons complain about this all the time, but have yet to see any evidence anyone’s free speech is being stifled? Usually it’s just the inbred cons getting butthurt when we rightfully point out they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about. When Trump loses the popular vote, but wins the EC again it’ll be stupid inbreds like you with your head on a like first asshole

            1. *head on a PIKE

            2. Glad to see that you understand that Citizens United was a first amendment case and that hate speech laws are bullshit. Could you be a pal and let your fellow Democrats know?

            3. Now try being coherent, brainless Communist fuck.

    2. What happens next? Who knows.

      It appears what happens next is the US keeps blowing pro-Iranian militia leaders the fuck up. Let’s see if this one actually turns out to have happened or not: US airstrike kills Shibl Al-Zaydi, head of Iranian-backed Imam Ali brigades militia near Taji Road in Baghdad. And five of his friends, about half an hour ago.

      1. The only thing I would offer to Iran is this: Choose wisely.

  9. Reminder: Libertarians nominated a 60 year old pothead as their presidential candidate because they thought he was capable of negotiating with foreign leaders and being taken seriously.

    And then he proved he couldn’t handle basic interview questions.

    1. Go bake that Allepo cake elsewhere.

    2. I heard an interview with Rand Paul today which, unfortunately, showed why he can’t be president.
      He brought up some legitimate points, but they also show he hasn’t thought through the strategic situation deeply

      1. What strategic interests? All I see is us getting into conflict with Iran because of Yemen and Syria. And I could care less about those shithole countries. This furthers Saudi interests, not ours.

        1. I believe that that is all you see

        2. Great. Because Iran really doesn’t care about Yemen or Syria, either. Or much about the Saudis or Israel, specifically.

          Their main problem with the Saudis and Israel is see them as Western puppets, and see them as useful propaganda tools to challenge Western hegemony, while they fund and support all sorts of terrorist organizations around the world including Sunni organizations they’re supposed to be against according to common wisdom, like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

          One of the misleading ideas people have is “this is really just a conflict between Sunnis and Shiites” that America is getting their nose in. But in Friday prayers, Iranians don’t chant “Death to the Saudis”, they chant “Death to America”, and Saudi Arabia isn’t the “Great Satan,” the United States is.

          How we should engage this is another issue entirely, and you can argue that our foreign policy in the region is a huge mistake, that we could have had a détente with Iran, and many other things contrary to hawkish politicians — but the notion that really, really bothered Iran is not the US, but the Saudis, was always a naive idea.

          1. There’s always a Zionist to be found lurking.

      2. Where was Rand lacking? I’ve thought he was one of the more well-informed members of the Senate. I’d much rather see him compete for the Presidency in 2024 than someone like Romney.

        1. Oh yea, I’d definitely go for Paul over any of the usual suspects.
          But he was talking about getting drawn into more conflict, escalation, etc.
          He ignores that Iran has been waging war against the US in Iraq for 2 decades and ramped up in the last 2 months, that the only way to avoid getting drawn into more conflict is to convince the other guy it’ll cost him too much, and that Iran is in no position to draw the US into all out war.
          The US can and should smack Iran down every time they come at us, and the US can do that without investing in all out war.
          The only way the Iranian regime will cease attempting to kill Americans is if they’re punished every time they do so.

          1. There was no better course of action for what Rand Paul wants than what Trump did.
            He should realize that

            1. Yep, hurt them and take things away until they have nothing.

            2. Yup. I respect that Rand Paul’s objections are principled objections, and he’s consistent about them and occasionally raises a good point, but sometimes he’s just completely talking out of his ass because he’s done zero research into the details of the specific event he’s condemning.

              Trump was 100% in the right here. His actions were within the boundaries and the spirit of the laws governing use of force, and he’s categorically stated that we are not invading Iran and he isn’t looking to overthrow their government. Rand is just spouting his general libertarian boilerplate and it’s ignorant on his part and irrelevant to the situation.

    3. Johnson’s temporary confusion over a deliberately vague gotcha question in no way compares to four years of Covfefe style gaffes.

  10. dude the Politicians Lie Express left the station before there were trains or stations.

  11. This is pretty funny. The same russian pranksters that got Schiff got Maxine Waters pretending to be Greta.

    https://youtu.be/b5DpdWE9oKc

    Surely Maxine thinks she should be impeached for using a foreign national to seek damaging information for her party.

  12. I was going to Fisk this stupid article but I see that a bunch of people have beat me to it and have done an excellent job.

    Welch, why don’t you go back to figuring out some sophist argument for why libertarians should support mandatory cake-baking laws?

  13. But this presents a great opportunity to withdraw from Iraq, rather than get drawn into war. The killing of Soleimani has further inflamed [many in] Iraq and Iran against America. The Iraqis may well ask Americans to leave, to which we should quickly respond: “Yes!” We will have protected American lives and withdrawn our troops from a country where we have no business being.
    Then close the U.S. Embassy and go home. Let the Iraqis decide if they want to be run by Iran. Let the Iranian people decide if they are willing to continue to be suppressed by Ayatollahs and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard. Let the people in Iraq and Iran sort out their own futures, without any American involvement at all.

  14. I listened to a podcast today on the Iran-Contra Affair, which I only barely remember when it occurred, and never really understood. What an insane situation, and, ironically, connected to where we are today with Iran. Reagan lied to Congress, repeatedly, even after they passed laws telling him to not do what he was doing (arming the “freedom fighters”). They tried to convince us that drug-dealing Noriega was a good guy while at the same time faking drug deals with the Sandinistas to convince the public that that the Sandinistas were the bad guys. They paid mercenaries to do all of this, who earned millions off of these secret operations. And then they, somehow, decided to connect his operation to Iran in order to secretly negotiate with terrorists for the release of hostages, while publicly claiming they don’t negotiate with terrorists. The negotiations were a failure, but the part where we secretly sold arms to Iran was successful.

    And Reagan left office with a high approval rating after that insane fiasco, mostly because Oliver North fell on his sword for him.

    1. Your grasp of history is backwards.

      There was no general prohibition on US govt aid to the Nicaraguan freedom fighters. There was a specific prohibition on US intelligence agencies aiding them but Congress didn’t prohibit all agencies (e.g., the NSC) from giving aid because they wanted some quiet aid, just not too much.

      Iran-contra was all about Dems expressing shock and outrage at behavior that wasn’t illegal. That is why they had to manufacture all sorts of process crimes with which to hit Ollie North.

      No one faked Sandinista drug deals. There is lots of evidence that the Sandinistas and Cubans allowed and helped drug cartels run drugs. Do you really think that the commies wouldn’t be glad to make some money while running drugs to America?

      No one thought Noriega was a prince. We dealt with him for the same reason we deal with thugs all the time: We live in the real world and thugs run much of the world.

  15. When did we get so many Irano-philes at Reason?

    I mean, war with them would be dumb, but why pretend they weren’t trying to kill Americans?

    1. Because of a naive, knee-jerk contrarianism — where they think that if American foreign policy is bad, things must be completely 180° opposite of how the government says they are.

      That means if the US government sides with Israel, then they need to side with the Palestinians, and if the US sees Iran as bad actors in the region, then they must be good actors only maligned and victimized by America.

      Because only the US lies, and being a contrarian is the way to make the world a peaceful place!

      1. How contrarian is progressivism?
        (Ok, completely contrarian to nature)
        They are reflexively progressive, and have wholeheartedly cast aside such notions as personal responsibility in favor of the progressive victim/oppressor perspective.
        Strong and assertive is Evil
        Weak and passive-aggressive is Good

        1. What’s hilarious is that Mondoweiss actually believes that their progressivism will rescue Palestinians from government oppression. That’s LOL funny stuff!

  16. It is amusing to watch bystanders quip, when, not a word about the lies of war existed in the ether, during the previous administration. Where were these geniuses, such as this Welch guy, then? No nation has ever succeeded in avoiding war from a standpoint of weakness, except in capitulation. However, leftists, and pacifists, always scream ‘war is imminent’, when not in power. I thank God, that the Trump administration knows what cruelty lies in wait for the weak, and prepares for that eventuality, not only to protect Americans, but also, the entire world.

  17. The stink emanating from this “comments” swamp succeeds in keeping me from joining in.
    But I must say that my respect for Welch, which once was considerable, is severely curbed by his practice of using the expressions “immigrant” and “illegal immigrant” as if they were identical. This immigrant feels personally insulted by this shabby abuse of the English language.
    So nowadays I read Welch as I read anything in the Nation.
    But I don’t feel good about it.

  18. The shit is hitting the fan for the IRGC in Iraq. In addition to the confirmed-by-Fox News-dead militia leader a few hours ago on the Taji road, north of Baghdad, unconfirmed reports are coming in of additional explosions in Ninevah province, as well as near Mosul, and just to make things interesting, the head of the IRGC in Yemen is reported to have had his motorcade struck from the air.

    I guess Trump wasn’t one and done with killing Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen or their allies.

    1. Don’t fuck with US embassies

      1. Hmm
        Apparently US officials have denied that we authorized that strike.
        So either
        A) they’re lying (lol, there you go, Welch), or, I guess, those officials were out of the loop
        B) it was CIA
        C) it was another nation (Israel? Turkey?)

        1. There is an obvious alternative:

          Fox News is not a reliable news source for anything that originates outside the US. In particular if the original story is not in English.

          Their sole news function is to play one side of the domestic politics stuff – to people who view the entire world in terms of domestic politics.

          1. But I assume YOU have a reliable source?

    2. Boom goes the dynamite.

    3. Trump is a real man murdering people in the ME from his golf cart.

      1. Eat shit you weak little pussy. You’re with the terrorists.

        Kill yourself.

      2. Go ahead and side with the terrorists. Do it. And make sure everyone knows you do, and which politicians you support.

        That’s a winning campaign strategy and you should totally go for it.

      3. “Trump is a real man murdering people in the ME from his golf cart.”

        Where was Obo when he murdered the US citizen, scumbag?

        1. Eat shit you weak little pussy. You’re with the terrorists.

          Kill yourself.

          Or if you’d perfer

          Go ahead and side with the terrorists. Do it. And make sure everyone knows you do, and which politicians you support.

          That’s a winning campaign strategy and you should totally go for it.

        2. +100

  19. In 1953 Iran had democratically elected government for two years, led by Mohammed Mossadegh. Then they started talking about taking back their oilfields, and the US and UK worked to overthrow the government an install a king (Shah), who was happy to let the Iranian oil flow. This set back the course of democracy in the middle east for decades. It caused intense hatred of the US in Iran. And we have the nerve to complain about a foreign power trying to influence an election. The US had a nuclear deal with Iran in place, and Iran was complying. Then Trump came along, revoked the deal, and made it clear to the world that an agreement with the US meant nothing. We have no business over there, and all we can do is prop up a government to keep it from falling, like in Afghanistan for the last 20 years. If only national defense could be limited to actual defense of the nation! If only we had a leader who does not break agreements made by the US! If only we had a president who does not fiddle with international agreements as if they were toys, and lead us down the path to even more war. Both parties are to blame for endless war on the other side of the world. but Trump alone, ignoring State Department experts, took a stable situation with Iran, broke the treaty and started the march toward war.

    1. The joke of an agreement wasn’t between the US and Iran, it was between Barack Obama and Iran.
      I agree with you about defending the US, specifically the homeland, but I reject your progressive “America deserves it” attitude.

      1. Chocolate Jesus bought himself a Potemkin ‘treaty’ with pallet loads of foreign currency.

        Beyond that I ran didn’t agree to jack shit.

    2. Both parties are to blame for endless war on the other side of the world. but Trump alone, ignoring State Department experts, took a stable situation with Iran, broke the treaty and started the march toward war.

      The situation with Iran was no more “stable” than the situation with Germany was “stable” in the 1930’s.

      1. WHY DON’T YOU GO AND FIGHT OVER THERE THEN, ASSHOLE?

        1. They are fighting over there, perhaps you prefer they fight here?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_alleged_Iran_assassination_plot

        2. LeaveTrumpAloneLibertarian
          January.3.2020 at 9:23 pm
          “WHY DON’T YOU GO AND FIGHT OVER THERE THEN, ASSHOLE?”

          Why don’t you grow up, you pathetic piece of shit?

        3. I merely pointed out that declaring Iran to have been stable before Trump is delusional. It is such delusions of the Obama administration that have caused so much unnecessary fighting in the Middle East.

          I’m opposed to any Americans fighting on the ground in the Middle East. That sh*thole is not our responsibility; let the Europeans deal with it or let it blow up on its own.

          1. It may be obligatory for me, as a libertarian, to be pedantic, but Iran is not in the Middle East.

            1. Apparently it’s obligatory for me, as a libertarian, to be pedantic, and wrong at times, especially when I am cocksure of something. Iran is indeed in the Middle East.

    3. No, no, no.

      The Shah already was in power in 1953 and had the legal ability to remove Mossadegh, assigned to him by Iran’s constitution.

      What was happening was that Mossadegh was creating sham referendums, which everyone knew were shams, because he was winning them by 99%. The first one was to dissolve the parliament, and word was that he was readying a second one to abolish the Pahlavi dynasty. These were widely viewed as illegal and unconstitutional, and there were protests on the street. Those included in the protests were the very same conservative clerics that later participated in the 1979 Revolution. They welcomed American involvement at the time, because they believed the Shah was the rightful ruler and Mossadegh was aligning himself with the Communist left. Years later in 1981, Khomeini gave an official broadcast where he argued Mossadegh deserved to be taken out because “had America not slapped Mossadegh, Mossadegh would have slapped Islam.” The right actors were also in place to lead a coup with or without American involvement, and a lot of historians think it would have happened even without it.

      Eisenhower, on its part, was reluctant to get involved, despite the British urging him to save their oil deal. He believed Iran was a good counter to the Soviet Union. The thing that convinced him was evidence of Mossadegh’s involvement with Communists, and the widespread anger at the illegal referendums. So the US did get involved — and I think there are good arguments they shouldn’t have — but all they did was enable the Shah to return to Iran and enact his legitimate Constitutional powers, against someone who was coming under increasing criticism in his own country for being undemocratic.

      After that, parliaments continued being elected, and prime ministers kept on being elected, but the Shah acted with extra-large authority, and the CIA worked with Iran’s intelligence service, SAVAK, which was used in a brutal fashion to support the Shah. Something that in itself can be owed due criticism.

      But in any case, you’re repeating a dumbed-down propaganda version of history.

      1. “… and the CIA worked with Iran’s intelligence service, SAVAK,..”

        To this day, when I mention the word SAVAK, the Iranian friends I have, that are my father’s age, shudder at the sound. Who knew that as bad as SAVAK was, the thing they were oppressing was 10x worse. That’s the only thing that the perspective of time will reveal. You sound very knowledgeable about the recent history of Iran, makes me think either your parents escaped the revolution in time or you know someone who had intimate knowledge of what was happening at the time. Thanks for the post.

    4. Funny, a treat requires a vote by the senate. That never happened. So Obama only had some worthless piece of paper that progs like you pretend means anything.

      And no, the phony agreement was never working. All it did was give Iran $150 billion that never belonged to those mullahs. Which is now being used to murder people, Americans included, all over the globe.

      Barack Obama has a lot of blood on his hands. And since you support him and enabled him, so do you.

      All these deaths are YOUR fault.

    5. . If the 2015 Nuclear Agreement was still intact with American still adhering to it, Iran would not now be increasing its uranium enrichment. World opinion now is mostly that Trumps’ withdrawn 2015 Nuclear Agreement and punishing economic sanctions against Iran, have left Iran with little choice now, but to take some action. Trump and others’ view that sanctions would force Iran to quickly renegotiate a new deal were very unrealistic and are now putting Trump in a very poor position.

      Trump’s critics and opponents will be pointing out that Iran is now increasing its uranium enrichment as a direct result of Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 Nuclear Agreement. Trump knows that if a shooting war with Iran occurs, he will be blamed for all American losses and for causing a war that could have been avoided simply by adhering to the Nuclear Agreement. A major point made by opponent of the 2015 Nuclear Agreement, was that at its expiration Iran could have resumed uranium enrichment. A costly war would emphasize the fact that but-for Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 Nuclear Agreement, that war could have been avoided. When the 2015 Nuclear Agreement expired in the future, if necessary, that could be dealt with by a united front of all of the signatories to 2015 Nuclear Agreement.

      Iran has played its very weak hand smartly, by signaling that any war will be very costly. First, Iran demonstrated that it can attack targets such as oil tankers, in such a way that it cannot be definitely proved that Iran was responsible. Next, Iran shot down a $176 million RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drone. American military forces and their allies are still fighting opponents Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria as well as minor actions in Africa. A great advantage that American military forces and their allies have, is provided by surveillance drones. The Taliban, Al-Qaida, Isis and other enemies would have loved to shoot down a Global Hawk surveillance drone, and thus possibly, temporarily deny American military forces the great advantage the Global Hawk provides. However, shooting down a Global Hawk was far beyond their capabilities, as the RQ-4 flies far above the range of ordinary anti-aircraft weapons .

      Iran signaled that it can shoot down RQ-4 Global Hawks. Iran says it was over Iranian territorial waters at the time. The Americans say it was in international waters. Many nations that in the past would automatically accept America’s version of such events, have expressed doubt as to which side is correct. This illustrates the degree that Trump has reduced America’s credibility in the world. To the extent that the Global Hawk was further from Iran, than Iran asserts, it suggests that Iran can shoot down Global Hawks at a greater distance from its territory. This demonstrates that any ground war in Iran will likely have to be fought without some of the advantages that Global Hawk provides against less sophisticated opponents.

      If America’s allies were even considering aiding an effort to invade Iran, this makes them less likely to participate in such a potentially costly undertaking. While, Iran’s military is no match for even America without any allies, invading and occupying Iran could make the fiasco of the second US-Iraq war look like a picnic. Military experts are almost unanimous that the only way to eliminate Iran’s nuclear capability would require forces on the ground. Simply employing air strikes, armed drones and/or missiles could not assure the destruction of the hundreds of well-hidden underground nuclear facilities…”
      The recent demonstration by Iran that it can do serious damage with drones and cruise missiles, has given Trump and Saudi Arabia reasons pause and seriously consider the costs of any retaliation they might otherwise consider. It is likely that Trump’s decision to call off the air strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing the RQ-4 Global Hawk, was motivated less by concern for casualties in Iran, as Trump claimed, but rather by fear of possible American losses that Iran’s newly shown antiaircraft capabilities, suggested could occur during those strikes, had they taken place.
      It appears that Trump’s response to the very significant damage to the oil facilities in Saudi Arabia will be more sanctions, on top of the current “maximum sanctions” already in place. If there is no military response to this major attack by Iran, it is highly unlikely that gradual increases in Iran’s nuclear capability could prompt a military response that could effectively prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. The American military could win a war that would effectively prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. However, that would entail tens of thousands of dead Americans in a ground war. As it would be so obvious that it was Trump’s choice to withdraw from the 2015 Nuclear Agreement, that was the direct cause of that loss of life, the hatred of Trump by the families of the casualties of the unnecessary war, could force Trump to spend the rest of his life in hiding, probably outside of the United States.

      Those factors do not preclude some horrendous military conflict from still occurring, as Trump feels possibly boxed-in or some other event triggers such a war. This probably is now the biggest risk for both investors and everyone else…”
      https://seekingalpha.com/article/4110727

      1. “If the 2015 Nuclear Agreement was still intact with American still adhering to it, Iran would not now be increasing its uranium enrichment….”

        Isn’t that cute? Do you use it to pimp your services everywhere? You been flagged as a pimp.

      2. JFC, that’s an idiotic take.
        No wonder you’re spamming Reason articles, I can’t imagine your investment strategies have gone well

      3. The globalist/private contractor perspective. The early warning is much appreciated, thanks!

    6. “…This set back the course of democracy in the middle east for decades…”
      Pretty sure you have a cite for that wild assertion, right? I mean the mid-east was on the *verge* of democracy until the CIA blew it!
      Uh, you’re full of shit.
      —————————————-
      “…The US had a nuclear deal with Iran in place, and Iran was complying…”
      Obo was never king of the US regardless of your fantasies.
      ——————————————–
      “… If only national defense could be limited to actual defense of the nation!…”
      Now we’re getting somewhere!
      ——————————————–
      “…If only we had a leader who does not break agreements made by the US!..”
      Obo’s ‘agreements’ are not the US’ agreements; he really wasn’t king.
      I’m tired of your bullshit…

  20. “…rejecting the dangerous paths of obedient belief and premature omniscience.”

    LOL, yeah sure.

    How was that?

    Once again?

  21. [CNN transcript, Dec 5, 2019…]
    So, Speaker Pelosi, you resisted calls for the impeachment of President Bush in 2006… why did you oppose impeachment in the past?”

    PELOSI: … when I became Speaker the first time, there was overwhelming call for me to impeach President Bush, on the strength of the war in Iraq, which I vehemently opposed [incoherent rambling]
    I was Ranking Member on the Intelligence Committee even before I became part of the leadership of Gang of Four. So, I knew there were no nuclear weapons in Iraq. It just wasn’t there.

    They had to show us now – to show the Gang of Four all the Intelligence they had. The Intelligence did not show that that – that was the case. So, I knew it was a – a misrepresentation to the public…in my view, not a ground for impeachment. That was – they won the election. They made a representation. And to this day, people think – people think that that it was the right thing to do.

    ***

    Who are these “people” who tell Pelosi what’s the right thing to do?

    Killing Iraqis By The Millions Is Cool; Nancy Pelosi A Murderous Racist?

    So Pelosi knew the “Public” was lied to to justify the invasion of a country. Not a ground for impeachment, she claims. Killing 2.4 million Iraqis is not a ground for impeachment. Why? Would killing 2.4 million US citizens be a ground for impeachment? Nancy Pelosi would probably agree that killing 2.4 million Americans should be, no doubt. Conclusion: killing 2.4 million non-US citizens is OK, but not 2.4 million US citizens. Thus, Nancy is a racist not fundamentally different from the Nazis, who thought killing six million Poles was not a ground for impeachment (of Adolf Hitler).

    Those people who think that was also “the right thing to do”, not to impeach a mass murderer, Bush, are very similar and in no way fundamentally different from the Nazis killing Poles (the Nazis, though, had good reason to hate Poles: part of Poland as created in 1919, occupied lands which the Germans considered to have been German for centuries… And Germany was cut in half…)

    And who are those “people” who have so much influence on the extremely wealthy Pelosi? “People” wealthier than her and her 400 million dollar (minimum) family fortune?

    Pelosi: If people think that Iraq had something to do with the 9/11, I mean it’s as appalling what they did. But I did – and I’ve said, if somebody wants to make a case, you bring it forward.

    Well, I accuse you, Pelosi to have taken part in a conspiracy to commit a crime against humanity who killed millions, just to increase the profit of some on Wall Street and the fossil fuel frackers financed by them.

    1. So, yeah, Pelosi was insufficiently militant on prosecuting the war criminals who started the Iraq War. That’s a good reason not to vote for her. I didn’t vote for her when she was my Congresswoman. So check and check.

      It’s kind of funny though when you move to the subject of the culpability of the GOP though when I talk to people like you. You’re more than willing to go after Democrats who either supported the war or didn’t oppose it strenuously enough… which, hey, more power to you. But when you talk about GWB or Dick Cheney and their responsibility you go all soft. If we’re to prosecute Pelosi for not impeaching GWB for the Iraq War how should we treat its architects and instigators? Hang them from a noose? Draw and quarter them? I’m curious what you would do, friend.

      1. You’re from California. Explains why the retardation.

        1. He’s also a scumbag who bailed on his mortgage and left the rest of us to cover it for him.
          Figure a mental age of 5, whining that ‘mommy should give him a pony’.

          1. Trump actually did that on a massive scale.

      2. So, yeah, Pelosi was insufficiently militant on prosecuting the war criminals who started the Iraq War.

        Her “no” vote on the Iraq war wasn’t some kind of principled or conscientious decision, it was a political calculation. Pelosi paid lip service to the lie that Iraq had WMDs, and she has supported Obama’s wars just fine. Pelosi is a hypocrite, a liar, and a political opportunist, nothing more. I’d call her a “war monger”, but that would attribute too much consistency to her political positions.

  22. Sorry — but for me, this is just the analytic equivalent of vomit. Is this a criticism of Trump, or the people criticizing him, or both?

    From my perspective, what’s important to point out is that rather than being a continuation of the lies and lying that got us into Iraq, the current foreign policy focus that Trump is on was the one pushed by the critics of the Iraq War.

    If anyone remembers, one of the objections to Bush back then was that Iraq wasn’t the real problem — Iran was — and that by getting rid of Saddam Hussein, the US would not only destabilize the region, but that this destabilization would then allow Iran into Iraq, which would then become a foothold for them on the rest of the Middle East. This prediction turned out to bear true.

    Does it make sense to conclude that because people lied to get us into Iraq, that the people knew Iraq was a mistake are also wrong? No.

    Does it make sense to conclude that because the US has at times acted on the world stage inappropriately, that Iran doesn’t and isn’t a problem? No.

    Not only those conclusions not make sense, but Iran is relying on you buying into them. The core problem with Iran is that its a reactionary regime, and it justifies every single act of aggression by claiming they’re just doing what other powers are doing. “The West is imperialist, so we must be imperialist, too.” “The West bends international law to their benefit, so we must bend international law, too.” “The West lies, so we must lie, too.” So Iran lets itself become a dark mirror of how it views the United States.

    Except the problems with Western use of power, though they do exist, are often exaggerated, and the problems with Iran’s use of power are, on the other hand, often whitewashed and ignored. And anti-war libertarians are Iran’s best friend right now, exaggerating the problems with the West, and whitewashing and ignoring the problems with Iran.

    I don’t think its impossible that this couldn’t have been solved peacefully in the past, since, by 9/11, the regime’s outlook towards the West had already softened and they were at least outwardly ready to engage in détente. I think GWB is responsible for closing that window of opportunity by lumping in Iran with the “Axis of Evil.” However, by Obama’s Presidency already they had already gone back to their reactionary model, redefined themselves as the “Axis of Resistance” contra Bush’s “Axis of Evil”, had spread their footsoldiers through Iraq and Syria, and, by then, the JCPOA was little else than appeasement. I am still hopeful that this can be solved peacefully, and I believe its what the current administration wants. Trump wants to get them back to the table for a new deal, while biding time, building alliances in the region, and increasing sanctions against their proxies.

    In the end, its less of an issue of me “trusting” anyone in government. Its more a issue of having an understanding of what’s going on in the region and knowing what the motives of the actors are.

    1. “In the end, its less of an issue of me “trusting” anyone in government. Its more a issue of having an understanding of what’s going on in the region and knowing what the motives of the actors are.”

      ^this

  23. It was also damaging in a way that relates directly to this week’s escalation with Iran.

    Iran escalated; the US finally responded.

    “You completely damaged me….Suleimani is in a tearing rage. He feels compromised.”

    Yeah, completely believable story, bro! /sarc

  24. They know that without lies there can be no war.

    1. You’re probably just sad no Jooooooossssss were killed.

    2. “They know that without lies there can be no war.”

      Aww, still trying to pin WWII on the JOOOZE, you pathetic piece of shit? Do you give the salute when you face the Hitler photo in your room?

  25. So many great big war boners in the comments section. Boy the government tells you dicks something and you’re hopping up and down to demonstrate how much you love war and guns. Why don’t you guys pay for it and go fight in Iran.

    1. I apologize that I’m not fucking ignorant like you.

    2. You sure are I to cocks, aren’t you? Maybe Tony can hook you up, and plow your ass for you.

    3. I’d rather just plow your mom again and maybe give her a kid that isn’t a piece of shit.

    4. LeaveTrumpAloneLibertarian
      January.3.2020 at 9:20 pm

      Honor your commitments, scumbag. After you do, come back and perhaps your rep will be other than a juvenile POS who takes no responsibility for his actions.
      IOW’s grow up, and perhaps we won’t spit in your face.

    5. So many great big war boners in the comments section.

      Your understanding of people’s policy positions is as delusional as your understanding of the pre-Trump situation in Iran.

  26. Petraeus says this is BIG

    Again, it is impossible to overstate the significance of this action. This is much more substantial than the killing of Osama bin Laden. It’s even more substantial than the killing of Baghdadi.

    https://www.pri.org/stories/2020-01-03/gen-petraeus-qasem-soleimani-s-killing-its-impossible-overstate-significance?fbclid=IwAR1TRggBoSyN-la1qkv013IY2k4ZybZhXoA8KMlI-1ZYIUg-mi0tUoKhbYg

    Is he lying? Or is this what has Welch, ENB, and all the rest so missed off? Did Trump do something they cannot tolerate?

    1. …Pissed off…

    2. He’s not overstating it. Think of Soleimani as the General Vo Nguyen Giap of Iran’s efforts to gain hegemony in their part of the world, for at least the last 20 years. No one’s irreplaceable, but it’d be like the NVA having to find a new Giap. Or the IJN a new Yamamoto.

      1. Its bigger than Bin Laden for a variety of reasons.
        Bin Laden was basically a hermit who lived long past his influence. Taking him out was a symbolic and moral victory, but wasn’t exactly a risk and didn’t change much. It was a box to check off.
        Taking out the second most powerful guy in Iran and the orchestrator of their foreign policy, their brightest military mind and most capable commander, is a game changer.

  27. Poisoning the well much in this article?

    Got it: people lie, politicians lie; warmongers and pacifists lie; hell, most of history is a lie. Let’s even concede that Diogenes is still roaming about in endless search of an honest soul.

    Which means, if I’m following the convoluted logic as scripted, that Trump’s saber-rattling is necessarily built on a house of cards and a pack of lies.

    Hogwash. Indeed, the real lying drips from this article. The lie is in trying to discredit a specific ( the measured martial response to a bonafide enemy) by wholesale indictment.

    The lie exists by assailing an acknowledged general condition of fake news and fictions, and then ( comically) tethering that condition to a specific act that deserves a truth of its own accord.

    I’m sorry for those who are still agonizing over the Pentagon Papers, WMD or Axis of Evil designations; aka, Crocker’s Lament. But Trump’s only lie in this instance is that he should’ve dropped these bombs on a few more heads.

  28. Bin Laden was a has been. Soleimani was moving up, heading for top leadership of a nation, with tremendous knowledge and contacts across the middle east. Eliminating him has altered the course of history. We cannot know yet exactly how, but we know it is substantial, and we know who is responsible.

    Trump has made history and it is eating people up.

    1. They’re really clearing the slate for the Iraqi government. I wonder if the US made a large breakthrough in obtaining Intel on these guys’ whereabouts, and are in a ‘use it or lose it’ paradigm? Sure are a lot of high-ranking guys getting killed tonight in Iraq.

      1. Gonna be hard for Iran to mount a response when all their proxies are going to ground. Responding to any communication attempts carrying the strong possibility of a Hellfire reply.

        1. This is Trump’s 3rd Benghazi with 1 American contractor already dead in this episode.

          1. Aren’t straws that thin hard to grasp?
            If you want to be other than one more TDS victim, you’re going to have to provide some cites for those claims.

          2. Benghazi was a scandal due to the Obama administration not providing basic military protection and lying about the causes of the attack. Where has Trump ever done this?

            1. “Multiple failures led to ambush of American soldiers in Niger: Military investigation”

              https://abcnews.go.com/US/multiple-failures-led-ambush-american-soldiers-niger-military/story?id=55072326

              1. Care to explain how that is in any way like Benghazi, other than that people got killed?

                1. Pod can’t explain how US Special Forces relying on French assets in Niger is the same as Obama’s failure in Benghazi.

  29. “The Atlantic’s David Frum posits, “when the most untruthful administration in US history will wish its statements could be believed.””

    That wanna-be king died in office, and it’s a shame he didn’t die 4 terms earlier; the US would be much better off.

    1. I would’ve chosen WW, but yours isn’t a poor choice.

    2. He’s full of it. How does he arrive at that assertion?

      How do you quantify ‘most untruthful’? Did they monitor such things in the past? It’s amazing. You just had one of the biggest shit head administration in history under Obama and you barely heard a peep from this folks. But Trump….JFC, it’s like a shot of heroin for them. TDS is one helluva drug.

      Go back where you’re Frum!

      /waves little Canadian flag furiously.

      1. these

  30. The nature of human beings is to lie. In my lifetime I have lied an infinite number of times to preserve/protect/promote myself. Have you ever lied?

    1. Almost never and never about anything important. It may be in your nature, it’s not in human nature.

  31. Nice article.
    To know how I shifted my home click the link below
    http://simplymoveit.in/

    1. You been flagged as a pimp.

  32. I don’t lie about war, much. Perhaps Iran won’t retaliate in tit for tat style to the assassination. My advice is to follow the advice of Sun Tzu, who lies even less about war than I do:

    The highest form of war is to attack the enemy’s alliances. So rather than yet another military strike, expect perhaps an Iranian diplomatic initiative aimed at restoring peace and calm to the region, of course, but really to further deepen the US/European divide and isolate the US from the rest of the world. Trump with his anti-Europe rhetoric has made this more doable, though I don’t know what the chances of it being successful are. Higher than effecting a US/Israel split, anyway.

    1. I would hope for a US/European split, followed by a US withdrawal from the Middle East, and Europe taking over (and paying for) its own defense. If Iran can make that happen, it’s a win for the US.

      But the Europeans are not going to go for it, because despite their long-standing contempt for the US, when all is said and done, they don’t want to pay for their own defense, and they don’t want to justify European kids getting killed in the Middle East.

      1. Of course the Europeans won’t go for it. It would take away the ‘I’m shocked’ PR schtick for France whenever the U.S. does something.

        The Europeans are very good at hiding behind American power.

        My memory may fail me, but I think they were critical of America after Clinton agreed to help them out during the Kosovo issue. I seem to recall them asking (and I believe France in particular was demanding the U.S. step in) for help and when the U.S. did (it was called as close to an altruistic war as they come by The Economist at the time) they (that is, France) criticized the tactics.

        It opened my eyes to the dynamic between American power and how the Europeans managed it.

        It’s like, ‘if you don’t like it, then YOU do it. Why did you call me for if you’re gonna criticize?’

        1. “Of course the Europeans won’t go for it.”

          Perhaps they will. What if they convinced themselves that the alternative was a nuclear armed Iran? Or maybe the Europeans will look at the potential number of refugees a big war will send their way.

          “My memory may fail me, but I think they were critical of America after Clinton agreed to help them out during the Kosovo issue. ”

          I remember that too. Isn’t that when the US bombed the Chinese embassy in Serbia and, in retaliation, US missions across China were attacked by irate demonstrators?

          1. That I don’t recall.

            Murky.

            1. “That I don’t recall.”

              Chinese stormed American missions in response to the attack on the Belgrade embassy and the deaths of several Chinese citizens. The ambassador was forced to hide in the bowels of the building subsisting on a sub-standard diet designed as food for soldiers. It was over 20 years ago while Clinton was in power.

              Any recollection of the much more recent (Oct. 2019) storming of the US embassy in Seoul? Much the same reasons, opposition to American militarism and meddling.

    2. “expect perhaps an Iranian diplomatic initiative aimed at restoring peace and calm to the region”

      The horror!

      1. And just to be clear, trueman is claiming that Trump’s hit on Suleimani will provoke the Iranians into bringing peace and stability to the middle east…
        He says this as an attempt to criticize Trump.

        1. In the absence of American (and Israeli 😮 ) hegemony. More horror!

        2. “And just to be clear, trueman is claiming that Trump’s hit on Suleimani will provoke the Iranians into bringing peace and stability to the middle east…”

          To be even clearer, you misunderstand me. I am not an Iranian diplomat so it won’t be me who is claiming to offer peace and stability. It will be an Iranian diplomat. How is speculating about Iran’s future moves in any way critical of Trump? Trump himself has undoubtedly pondered the same questions and may well have come up with the same idea I put forward here.

    3. A US-Israel split would strengthen the US. We can only hope.

  33. Remember the left has made lying a major part of their quest to regain political control, cheat and steal are also in their repertoire..the simple fact that this POTUS has destroyed most of their previous gains and TDS is now a mental obsession that invokes hate and intolerance, fear of being outed beyond the norm…Politicians lie but some remember that every word they utter is recorded in some way or other, a dangerous running file that many would like to destroy….if the msm was not such damn crooked brown nosers they might be a credit but that is to be a startling discovery when the left can no longer control the……

  34. Huh? Quoting vox about the dangers of the administration lying….. really bringing a heckofa pot to the kettle cleaning party there, aren’t we?

  35. war starts with a big lies

  36. Welch: We need humble foreign policy with lotsa pie.
    Trump: I want out of Syria. It’s a dumb place to be.
    Reason: You’re going the wrong way!

  37. Theories are spouting like flowers in Spring as to Trump’s reasons for killing IRGC commander Salam. Every single one is a joke. They range from:
    1. Trump is crazy
    2. Trump is so afraid of a Senate trial he is trying to divert people.
    3. Impeachment by the House has made him lose his support, even if no polls show this.
    4. Iran has oil. He wants oil.
    On May 22 of 2019 I did this photo album on Facebook, The War With Iran Has Already Begun.
    Do I have magic powers? No, but I am not a reactionary either.The left and liberals having abandoned logic, reason and strategy are left to only react to events. I examine what is happening and then go from there. I bet you a dollar to a donut that none of these people with “theories” posted anything about Salam ever on their page in their life. They have zero idea what is going on. Just click on the pictures, and you will get the information you need from attacks on us the pro- Hillary and Obama press did not tell us, to what a war would look like with Iran. Iran did not declare war on us, as all Democrats are pretending just happened, but they don’t know their strategy has been exposed right here on Facebook and now Reason. Do not waste time speculating or reading the liberal press, use this photo album to get the facts.Oh and by the way:
    1. Trump is not crazy. He’s a jock. You were the ones who said for decades anyone could be President. It is only in the last 3 years you have said you didn’t mean it.
    2. There isn’t going to be a Senate trial that leads to impeachment.
    3. He hasn’t lost 1 point of support because of the impeachment. After billions spent every day 24/7 to smear him he hasn’t either.
    4. We are not sending troops in for a ground war in Iran. There is no sign of this. To see how a war with Iran would happen you must read my photo album. Who got Iraq oil? We didn’t. The Chinese and British did. Our nation is like a teenager with atomic bombs, we are young and want to be loved. Why else would Obama bring in immigrants we have been bombing a decade or more? Can you imagine in the middle of World War 2 FDR bringing in boatloads of Nazis?
    In my opinion, if we were going to stay this long in Iraq, we should have taken Iraqi oil. We are not taking Iranian oil.
    It just may be that hundreds trying to take over the embassy caused this. Or all the attacks which I list in the past 7 months. They think we don’t understand war by proxy, but we do.
    Here’s your chance to find out who, why and how. If you can handle the truth.
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/thepondjoe/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2251261025094469

  38. I just read the first two paragraphs of the linked New Yorker story of Suleimani from 2013. Trump was justified to do what he did.
    “Last February, some of Iran’s most influential leaders gathered at the Amir al-Momenin Mosque, in northeast Tehran, inside a gated community reserved for officers of the Revolutionary Guard. They had come to pay their last respects to a fallen comrade. Hassan Shateri, a veteran of Iran’s covert wars throughout the Middle East and South Asia, was a senior commander in a powerful, élite branch of the Revolutionary Guard called the Quds Force. The force is the sharp instrument of Iranian foreign policy, roughly analogous to a combined C.I.A. and Special Forces; its name comes from the Persian word for Jerusalem, which its fighters have promised to liberate. Since 1979, its goal has been to subvert Iran’s enemies and extend the country’s influence across the Middle East. Shateri had spent much of his career abroad, first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq, where the Quds Force helped Shiite militias kill American soldiers.

    Shateri had been killed two days before, on the road that runs between Damascus and Beirut. He had gone to Syria, along with thousands of other members of the Quds Force, to rescue the country’s besieged President, Bashar al-Assad, a crucial ally of Iran. In the past few years, Shateri had worked under an alias as the Quds Force’s chief in Lebanon; there he had helped sustain the armed group Hezbollah, which at the time of the funeral had begun to pour men into Syria to fight for the regime. The circumstances of his death were unclear: one Iranian official said that Shateri had been “directly targeted” by “the Zionist regime,” as Iranians habitually refer to Israel.”

  39. More:
    “Suleimani took command of the Quds Force fifteen years ago, and in that time he has sought to reshape the Middle East in Iran’s favor, working as a power broker and as a military force: assassinating rivals, arming allies, and, for most of a decade, directing a network of militant groups that killed hundreds of Americans in Iraq. The U.S. Department of the Treasury has sanctioned Suleimani for his role in supporting the Assad regime, and for abetting terrorism. “

  40. Suleimani has been responsible for the deaths of countless Americans over the past 20-plus years. American troops are legally in Iraq, Suleimani was in Iraq, Trump is responsible for protecting American troops overseas, he had a chance to prevent countless more deaths of Americans. No problem.

    1. “American troops are legally in Iraq”

      When did Congress declare war on Iraq?

      1. and we have not declared war on England but US troops are there legally there as well

        1. When did we shoot our way into England?

    2. If I remember correctly he was in charge when the RG murdered their fellow citizens for protesting a rigged election.

      And if I’m not mistaken they just killed more protestors a few weeks ago.

  41. Reminder: American Officials Lie About War

    Yes. And you lie about practically everything.

  42. the hypocrisy of the “main stream” foreign policy elites on this is obvious. Time and again we hear “we can’t go isolationist” and need to spend treasure (ok it’s just printed fed notes) and blood (no matter to the elites as their kids go to Ivy League schools and then get a good gib at Goldman or in the media/hollywood) of mostly rural American Christians and huge numbers of foreigners to do “fill in the blank.” Recently the stupid media has been selling scary stories of China taking over Africa..hell let them have it. And then you have Russia…a country with the GDP just above Spain and a historical regional power which must be “checkmated” by working with perhaps the most corrupt country in Asia…Ukraine. As for the middle east what the hell is the end game here except to keep the “wokes/wonks” at CRF and others enriched.

    I look at this action as similar to President Jefferson’s attack on the Barbary Pirates…we have no reason to be in those god forsaken places but they can’t attack our ships, planes, and people in international or other countries..period. Bring the troops home…keep the largest and most deadly Navy and Air Force in the world…you f with us and you get slapped hard.

    1. You didn’t mention Israel. There’s no understanding our being quagmired in the “Middle East” without going there.

      1. I sense the snark there.

        82nd airborne deployed to…

    2. “we have no reason to be in those god forsaken places but they can’t attack our ships, planes, and people in international or other countries”

      Washington DC’s policy is nothing but douchebaggery, but we have to make sure that we’re the dominant douche, right?

  43. and Reason lies when the stock market is down 1% and intellectually lightweight Reason writers claim the market crashed

  44. Reminder: American Officials Lie About War
    Reminder: American Officials Lie About taxes
    Reminder: American Officials Lie About Health care
    Reminder: American Officials Lie About the cost of regulations
    Reminder: American Officials Lie About drug wars
    Reminder: American Officials Lie About poll results
    Reminder: American Officials Lie About lies
    etc

    1. your point?

  45. “… the most untruthful administration in US history will wish its statements could be believed.”

    Obama: What am I, chopped liver?

  46. The difference with all those other times is that Trump never lies. He’s literally George Washington.

  47. Note to editor: The next time you want to find a quote about not trusting liars… avoid using a Vox as a source.

  48. Good article and well-written. Thanks!

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