ER Editor: See this Zerohedge report of one day later (January 6, 2020) titled Trump Says “US Will Not Leave” Iraq Unless Billions For Air Base Are Repaid, Threatens Baghdad With “Very Big” Sanctions for Trump’s initial response. Of note:
Just hours after Iraq voted to expel US troops stationed in Iraq, Trump made it clear that he has no interest in vacating the nation that has been a stalwart US military outpost in the middle east for nearly two decades ever since it was invaded by, well, the US in search of non-existent weapons of mass destruction, and speaking to reporters on Air Force One said “we’re not leaving” unless Iraq “pays us back” for a US air base built in Iraq.
“We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. Long before my time. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it.” Trump told the AF1 reporter pool.
That, however, wasn’t enough, and Trump also made it clear that that in addition to billions in reimbursements, unless the US left on a “very friendly basis”, the US would hit Iraq with “very big” sanctions like “they’ve never seen before ever.”
“If they do ask us to leave, if we don’t do it in a very friendly basis. We will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”
And just to make it abundantly clear, Trump also added that “if there’s any hostility, that they do anything we think is inappropriate, we are going to put sanctions on Iraq, very big sanctions on Iraq.”
This Zerohedge piece includes a link to the vast list of US camps in Iraq. Here we’re linking to it directly – List of United States Military installations in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
Soleimani murder SITREP: Funeral and Vote – IRAQI VOTE UPDATE IS IN – U.S. MUST OUT
For The Saker Blog
UPDATE – THE VOTE NEWS IS IN.
170 Iraqi lawmakers sign draft bill to expel US military forces from country
Note : there is a process to be followed. The lawmakers will now seek parliamentary approval.
Just in from PressTV while writing: US withdrawing forces from region despite contrary claims: Military sources
We will leave it to The Saker to analyze this move vis-a-vis a new ME war or not.
On with the SITREP:
Despite the further belligerence of Trump seemingly with no end, we note a full-out US social media war to further justify and malign General Suleimani as an ‘international terrorist’, whose killing was justified. There is a palpable sense of fear and perhaps even complete astonishment, in the cadre of American people that travel and from those that are aware.
The military draft in the US ended in 1973. Currently, all men ages 18 to 25 are required by law to provide basic personal information to the Selective Service System. The Selective Service site crashed with high traffic volumes of registrations and people inquiring if a draft will be re-instituted. The American people are beginning to realize that there might be war.
The US spin is in full force and social media wars rage across the spectrum, alternative news sources and legacy media with clear paid and unpaid troll armies flying high to establish the spin. This consists mainly of simple messaging;
– Suleimani was an international terrorist and if you question this, you are for the terrorists
– We have clear evidence that Suleimani was planning attacks against US forces imminently and that is why we took him out
and the poorest of poor excuses that I saw:
– If we did not take him out, then we would have wars between Sunni and Shia and that will create many more migrants.
– This is the only way that Trump eventually can withdraw troops from the ME. He is draining the swamp.
Then there are some that timidly ask, “but, why was this General so popular?”, only to be shouted down by the spinmeisters.
Formal justification and doubling down comes from Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US:
“We had clear, compelling, unambiguous intelligence to indicate Qassem Soleimani was planning, coordinating, and directing a significant campaign of violence against the United States in the coming days,” said Gen. Milley. –NBC News
Evidence for that statement is of course lacking.
US Americans were warned to leave Iraq and new warnings are out from Canada for Canadians to leave the area. There are rumors that American oil workers are fleeing Iraq, but I have not found reliable sourcing for this excepting the warnings from the US State Dept that Americans should leave Iraq now.
Tension is palpable around the Iraq military bases, where Iraqi soldiers and US soldiers are embedded together. There are conflicting reports on distances that people must maintain between themselves and a base, and conflicting reports on the real situation, but this report has been verified. NATO has stopped training Iraqi soldiers.
It seems as if there is a light youtube throttling of footage of General Soleimani’s funeral. Major legacy media is allowing clips only. (I have not searched the alternative sources of DTube or BitChute). Of course in the West, nobody wants anybody to see the masses of people and the outpouring of grief out in the streets at the General’s funeral. I have seen estimates of millions but there at least are hundreds of thousands.
– The best viewing at the moment, is on PressTV https://www.presstv.com/ but their video content cannot be embedded here.
– Another source which will soon indicate to you the level of the social media wars, is Twitter hashtag #Suleimani https://twitter.com/hashtag/soleimani?vertical=news&src=hash
– Sputnik has video as well : https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202001051077947844-body-of-general-soleimani-arrives-in-ahvaz-iran-for-farewell-ceremony—video/
– And RT – https://www.rt.com/news/477499-soleimani-procession-ahvaz-iran/
– SyrianGirl is keeping pace with all of this: https://twitter.com/partisangirl
The main message from yesterday was the raising of the red flag in Iran, described by Saker correspondent here: http://thesaker.is/sitrep-soleimani-and-al-muhandis-murders/
The second main message is that the US most probably did not expect this level of worldwide outrage, which again illustrates their very poor grasp of the real and actual zeitgeist in countries that they want to dominate. They are doubling down on their reasoning and justification for this, as well as desperately seeking some kind of diplomacy in the background. It almost looks like we see the proverbial penny dropping and the sound of that worming its way into the US national consciousness, that they are not seen as liberators and welcomed with flowers, but as oppressors.
The Vote from Iraq to expel or not, the US from their territory: We are waiting. The last information that I have is that this meeting to vote whether the US must leave Iraq forthwith has gathered.
China in the voice of Hu Xijin
Perhaps the war is not really far from us. Now whether it’s Iran or forces trying to pass off as Iran’s, attacking US target will trigger even fiercer attack from the US. So forces that hate the US or hate Iran are all likely to be tempted.
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