[pjw] NEWS: Keep an eye on Iraq/Iran and the US war machine as 2020 starts

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Tue Dec 31 14:54:05 EST 2019

Hello Iraq Affinity Group supporters

I meant to send something out Sunday after the US bombed targets in Iraq 
and Syria, mainly focused on (allegedly) Iranian based militias in 
retaliation for the death of a US mercenary-- er, "contractor." Then I got 
wrapped up yesterday in Copwatch news about Chief Outlaw and sending out 
our newsletter for PJW, which announces we'll be cosponsoring the Friday, 
March 15 PPRC weekly march and rally for peace to mark 17 years since the 
invasion of Iraq (but, a typo in the newsletter says 16 years, ouch).

Anyway, I'm now forwarding the most recent part of this story in which 
President Trump is promising retaliation against Iran for attacks on the 
US Embassy in Baghdad, even though as usual has has zero evidence the 
Iranian government had anything to do with it. Maybe, as this article and 
others are finally pointing out, it is because the US has the world's 
largest embassy in a country less than 1/10th the size of the USA.

Anyway, if things do escalate we'll likely take to the streets in 
response, at the very least I plan to be at this Friday's rally to promote 
the Guantanamo event on the 10th...

Let's hope for a better new year and that cooler heads prevail.
dan handelman
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

Trump says Iran will be held 'fully responsible' for attack on the US embassy
in Iraq
    Published Tue, Dec 31 20197:11 AM EST
    [127]Thomas Franck[128]@tomwfranck
    Key Points
      * "Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They
        will be held fully responsible," President Trump wrote on Twitter.
      * His tweet came after dozens of angry Iraqi Shiite militia
        supporters stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad shouting
        "Down, Down, USA!"
      * The Iraqi protest followed deadly U.S. airstrikes that killed 25
        fighters of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq, carried out in
        retaliation for the killing of an American contractor.

    President Donald Trump on Tuesday blamed Iran for planning an
    attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq and promised to hold Tehran "fully

    "Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly
    responded, and always will," the president wrote on Twitter. "Now Iran
    is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be
    held fully responsible."

    "In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy,
    and so notified!" he added.

    Trump's tweet came after dozens of angry Iraqi Shiite militia
    supporters [131]stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad and set
    fire to a reception area on the grounds earlier in the day.

    The Iraqi supporters, many dressed in military apparel, pushed into the
    compound using cars to break through its gate. The protesters hung a
    poster on the wall saying, "America is an aggressor."

    Though the mob stopped short of entering the main building of the
    compound, many shouted "Down, Down, USA!" and flung water and rocks
    over the embassy walls. About 30 Iraqi soldiers in armored vehicles
    arrived near the embassy hours after the violence, according to an
    Associated Press report.

    The attack followed deadly U.S. airstrikes on Sunday that killed 25
    fighters of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq, carried out in retaliation
    for last week's killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on
    an Iraqi military base that American officials blamed on the militia.

    "The President is in close touch with his national security team and is
    receiving regular updates," said White House Press Secretary Stephanie
    Grisham. "As the President said, Iran is orchestrating this attack and
    they will be held fully responsible. It will be the President's choice
    how and when we respond to their escalation."

    Later Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said the U.S. would be
    sending additional troops to the compound to assist in its protection.

    "We are sending additional forces to support our personnel at the
    Embassy. As in all countries, we rely on host nation forces to assist
    in the protection of our personnel in country, and we call on the
    Government of Iraq to fulfill its international responsibilities to do
    so," he said in a statement.

    "We have taken appropriate force protection actions to ensure the
    safety of American citizens, military personnel and diplomats in
    country, and to ensure our right of self-defense," Esper added.

    The U.S. strikes over the weekend were the latest to target the Iraqi
    state-sanctioned and Iranian-backed militia and appear to mark the
    start of a more fierce power struggle between the U.S. and Iran
    throughout the Middle East.

    While Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday's strikes were
    designed to convey that the White House will not turn a blind eye to
    actions taken by Iran that jeopardize American lives, the Iraqi
    government deemed the attack a "flagrant violation" of its sovereignty
    and said it will reexamine its relationship with the U.S.-led
  131. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/31/supporters-of-iran-backed-militia-storm-the-us-embassy-in-iraq.html

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