Trump Warns That The U.S. May Hit 52 Iranian Sites Including Cultural Sites

President Donald Trump is often incautious in his language when speaking on the international stage. Words matter in diplomacy which often reflect important distinctions of international law. President Trump’s latest tweet is an example of this pattern. In pledging to strike back “very fast and very hard” to any Iranian retaliation for the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, Trump included striking Iranian cultural sites. Under international law, the targeting of cultural targets is viewed as a war crime. The U.S. military has a long history of avoiding such targets.

Trump tweeted:

“Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD.”

The President could fairly argue that he was referencing to legitimate military targets that also have cultural value. However, with a possible war imminent, it is even more important for the President to take care in the language that we use to justify any response to Iran.

Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions it is prohibited to “commit any acts of hostility directed against the historic monuments, works of art or places of worship which constitute the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples…to use such objects in support of the military effort…[and] to make such objects the object of reprisals.”

The Hague IV requires:

In sieges and bombardments all necessary steps must be taken to spare, as far as possible, buildings dedicated to religion, art, science, or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals, and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not being used at the time for military purposes.

It further states:

Art. 56. The property of municipalities, that of institutions dedicated to religion, charity and education, the arts and sciences, even when State property, shall be treated as private property.

All seizure of, destruction or willful damage done to institutions of this character, historic monuments, works of art and science, is forbidden, and should be made the subject of legal proceedings.

Other international resolutions and agreements amplify this long-standing principle. In 2017, the United Nations condemned in resolution 2347 “the unlawful destruction of cultural heritage, including the destruction of religious sites and artefacts, and the looting and smuggling of cultural property from archaeological sites, museums, libraries, archives, and other sites, notably by terrorist groups.”

The targeting of cultural sites would violate not just international but American values. Indeed, in World War II under the Truman Administration, the U.S. decided not to bomb Kyoto (made at the urging of Secretary of War Henry Stimson) due to its historic and religious significance.

This is why such statements by the President can be damaging to our effort to build a coalition to face any Iranian retaliation. I was hoping that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would clarify this point on CBS Face the Nation but the issue of threatening cultural sites did not come up. Jake Tapper raised it on CNN with Pompeo, but Pompeo seemed to brush it aside. It should be clarified by the Administration as we head into a highly dangerous period with Iran.

133 thoughts on “Trump Warns That The U.S. May Hit 52 Iranian Sites Including Cultural Sites”

    1. I noticed his phrase “Iranian backed protesters stormed the American embassy.”

      Iraqi’s “stormed” the American embassy. “Stormed” also seems to be an “interesting” use of words. I wouldn’t call what the Iraqi’s did much of an attack.

      And they really shouldn’t be referred to as “Iraqi’s” since that term is really a fiction as well.

        1. And don’t forget they were trespassing, excuse me “invading.” Heavens, we better launch a significant counter military strike.

          I believe there was a protest in Iran where “Death to America” was said. That street should be bombed immediately. No question about it.

          1. Actually, they always started the school day with that chant.

            If you’re looking for an argument against involvement, you might enjoy this article:


            It basically states that the author is sick to death of trying to nation build in the Middle East, and to let Iran exhaust itself fighting the Sunnies in Western Iraq and Northern Syria. He takes the Napoleonic position, “never interrupt your adversary when he is bleeding himself dry.”

            My natural inclination is to not get involved in foreign affairs that don’t threaten us or our allies. The problem is that we are all caught in a web of faraway nations.

            I can certainly see the wisdom of not interfering when your enemy is wasting its blood and treasure. But we also do need to take a strong stance against attacks.

      1. I noticed his phrase “Iranian backed protesters stormed the American embassy.”
        It was also about 40 Iraqi soldiers killed by US strikes in the last few days. Apparently, blaming Iran for things Iraqis do is the soup du jour of propaganda strategy.

        1. What the phrase translates to is Iranian backed Iraqi protestors. At no point did anyone say that Iraqis were not involved. Hence the straw man argument.

          Nation building does not work. Iraq and Afghanistan did not magically become Western nations that valued individual freedoms, religious freedom, tolerance, and women’s rights.

  1. Iran formally announced today that it was abandoning the nuclear treaty it had previously been in compliance with according to US intelligence, Israeli intelligence,and the IAEA which is doing on the ground inspections. Coupled with the Iraqi parliament’s vote to expel our troops, Trump has managed to make a bad but tenable situation untenable and dangerous. Threatening war crimes in his latest tweets will further serve to unite Iran and Shiites in the region just when cracks were beginning to show and demonstrates the danger this ignorant and compulsive fool presents to the US and the world. All evidence indicates there was no serious review of the possible results of his choosing this course of action, including that taken when he essentially declared war on Iran by upending the nuclear deal and jacking up sanctions. Our position in the region is weakened, not Iran’s, and that window of opportunity presented by the nuclear deal – as described by the Israeli head of military forces – gone. Iran is predicted to be 6 months to a year from a nuclear weapon once they get back on it. If we have a plan that doesn’t include war, what is it?

      1. Karen, unless you kill their scientists and destroy their legitimately peaceful nuclear program, you can’t make them further from that timeline. The deal kept them from starting that clock and their agreement to sign the additional protocols of the NPF treaty at its end – which also includes inspections, would have kept it that way. Trump started the clock

        1. Hmmm. Legitimately peaceful nuclear program by a terrorist regime? Are you kidding?

          Iran is 6 months away from a nuclear bomb expressly because their nuclear research was not peaceful.

          No. The NPF would not have kept Iran at anything. It expired 10 years after signing.

          “But if one were serious about non-proliferation, if one fully comprehended the consummate mendacity of the regime (as if we needed to see the nuclear archive that Mossad just snatched), why in the world would anyone agree to an accord that allows the clerical regime to develop advanced centrifuges? Why in the world would anyone agree not to put severe restrictions on ballistic-missile development in the JCPOA? Or allow the Iranians to soften the language in United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, so that there is no longer a blanket prohibition against the development of long-range ballistic missiles? In one of my favorite moments in the Washington debate about Obama’s diplomacy, I asked the undersecretary of state for political affairs, Wendy Sherman, why, for Allah’s sake, were we exempting missiles from the JCPOA’s purview. There wasn’t a soul in the Pentagon or the Central Intelligence Agency (with the possible exception of John Brennan) who believed the clerical regime wasn’t developing ever-longer range ballistic missiles to carry nuclear warheads. Her response: We decided to put the emphasis on preventing Tehran from developing warheads.

          To translate for those unfamiliar with such intelligence details: The United States was going to ignore that which is easy to detect—the design and testing of missiles—and focus on what is impossible to detect unless you get really lucky with human-intelligence penetrations or walk-ins—the development of warheads. And where have the mullahs probably put warhead design? On Revolutionary Guard Corps bases like Parchin. When we get a chance to review the Iranian archive snatched by Mossad (and I certainly hope the Israelis release all of the material), I suspect we will see in detail what we have long known: Nuclear-weapons research and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps are inseparable.”

          1. You know why Iran would produce a nuclear weapon quickly? Because Obama’s deal allowed them to develop advanced centrifuges.

            Israel has often employed sabotage of Iran’s and Iraq’s nuclear program. Good idea, since they openly bragged they were going to kill everyone in Israel as soon as possible. I have no problem with sabotaging their nuclear program. Why would you? Do you want terrorists to have nuclear technology for any reason? If so, why?

          2. Karen, under the agreement which Iran was complying with, they were not allowed advanced centrifuges. After the agreement ended they were to follow the same limitatiins, including inspections , which over 135 other nations which are parties to Non Proliferation agree to. At any point. failure to allow inspections or other violations of the Non Proliferation agreement would trigger new sanctions. If your answer is to deny Iran even peaceful nuclear technology, that’s not going to happen, and you are advocating for war. No one with knowledge of the situation thinks Iran’s technology can be easily taken out by force. If that’s what you advocate you should find candidates openly espousing war with Iran. Trump has not said that though he has now taken us to the edge by his reckless behavior.

            1. Iran blamed Trump for their adding more advanced centrifuges. However, these were domestically produced prototypes that they bragged were 50 times faster than those allowed in 2015.

              How long do you think it takes to develop these? It’s almost as if they weren’t complying with the nuclear deal, or that their end goal was a nuclear weapon all along. They were developing these centrifuges all along.


            2. By the book:

              I wonder if you knew that Obama admitted that the nuclear deal was not a signed treaty, or legally binding. This was in response to his being called out on circumventing Congress. I remember when this came out, because I was shocked that the nuclear deal wasn’t a binding agreement at all. There was no legal requirement for a terrorist nation to obey.

              He had his State Dept send the following:

              The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document. The JCPOA reflects political commitments between Iran, the P5+1 (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China), and the European Union. As you know, the United States has a long-standing practice of addressing sensitive problems in negotiations that culminate in political commitments.

              The success of the JCPOA will depend not on whether it is legally binding or signed, but rather on the extensive verification measures we have put in place, as well as Iran’s understanding that we have the capacity to re-impose — and ramp up — our sanctions if Iran does not meet its commitments.:

              “As our Joel Gehrke reported in 2015, “President Obama didn’t require Iranian leaders to sign the nuclear deal.” In short, there was nothing truly binding about this deal. From its inception it existed only so long it was politically or strategically expedient for the relevant parties. The only thing truly concrete that came out of the JCPOA was the substantial financial benefit to the world’s most dangerous jihadist state.

              Finally, let’s not forget that one of the justifications for the deal was the entirely faith-based belief that it could represent a turning point in American-Iranian relations, one that would ultimately lead to Iran “fully rejoin[ing] the community of nations.” That didn’t happen. Instead, Iran doubled down on jihad and doubled-down on its efforts to directly threaten Israel from bases in Syria. A foundational premise of the agreement went up in the choking smoke Middle Eastern war.”

            3. Bythebook:

              Did you know that neither the US Congress, nor Iran’s Parliament, agreed to Obama’s nuclear deal? I’ll bet Trump would be impeached (again) if he did that. This deal, that you think was going to contain a terrorist nation, was not legally binding. They were developing advanced centrifuges.

              PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA never submitted his Iranian nuclear deal for ratification by the Congress because he knew it would have no chance of passing. That does not make the United States unique: The Iranian parliament has never approved it either (that body passed a heavily amended version) and the Iranian president has never signed it. The Iranian cabinet has never even discussed it. And the other members of the P5+1 – Britain, China, Germany, France and Russia – have likewise given it short legal shrift. Indeed, President Obama “may end up being the only person in the world to sign his much-wanted deal, in effect making a treaty with himself,” as the Gatestone Institute’s Amir Taheri has said.

              In other words, Iran is not legally bound to do anything, something which a State Department official admitted last November in a letter to Kansas GOP Rep. Mike Pompeo of the House Intelligence Committee, in which she stated the deal “is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document.” Instead, the official wrote, its success “will depend not on whether it is legally binding or signed, but rather on the extensive verification measures” and our “capacity to reimpose and ramp up our sanctions if Iran does not meet its commitments.” And how is that going?

              [ READ: Missile Test Just the Latest Iranian Provocation ]
              So far so good for the Islamic Republic. Per Taheri, Britain now has lifted the ban on 22 Iranian banks and their companies which had been blacklisted because of alleged involvement in nuclear-linked deals; German trade with Iran is up 33 percent; China has signed deals to help Iran build five more nuclear reactors; Russia has commenced delivering S300 anti-aircraft missile systems and is angling to sell planes to the Islamic Republic; and France has sent its foreign minister and a 100-strong delegation to negotiate big business deals. Nations that weren’t in the P5+1 are also scrambling to get into the act. Indian trade with Iran is up 17 percent, for example. And the country’s nuclear project? It is “fully intact,” the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, said in October.

              And with international inspectors last week certifying that Iran has, thus far, complied with the provisions of the agreement, oil and financial sanctions on the country were officially lifted and as much as $100 billion of its frozen assets were released. That all marks a substantial payoff for a deal whose ongoing strictures on Iran are, essentially, nonbinding. And the Islamic Republic was able to leverage the release of five Americans it had unjustly held, getting clemency for seven Iranians who had been at minimum charged and in many cases convicted in actual credible judicial proceedings, not to mention having 14 others removed from international most-wanted lists. U.S. officials have insisted that this doesn’t set a precedent, just as they once objected to the very idea of an exchange (even though it’s the second time it has cut such a deal with the Iranians), but it looks for all the world like an exchange rate has been established.

              Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry claim that their nuke deal with the “moderate faction” in Tehran might encourage positive changes in Iran’s behavior. That hasn’t happened. Instead, Iran has acted with impunity, safe in the knowledge that Obama will minimize and talk around its violations, lest his centerpiece foreign policy accomplishment prove illusory. “Obama won’t do anything that might jeopardize the deal,” Ziba Kalam, an adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, said in October. “This is his biggest, if not the only, foreign policy success.” And the deal has done nothing to soften Iran’s aggressive posture across many issues.”

            4. The particular manner in which President Obama crafted the Iran deal paved the way for President Trump to withdraw from it. Obama made the deal on his own presidential authority, in the face of significant domestic opposition, without seeking or receiving approval from the Senate or the Congress. He was able to do this, and to skirt constitutional requirements for senatorial or congressional consent, because he made the deal as a political commitment rather than a binding legal obligation. As Curt Bradley and I recently explained, a political commitment “imposes no obligation under international law,” a nation “incurs no state responsibility for its violation,” and thus “a successor President is not bound by a previous President’s political commitment under either domestic or international law and can thus legally disregard it at will.”…

              Sorry, but you don’t get to make an enormously consequential international deal in the face of opposition from Congress, and skirt the need for congressional consent by making the agreement non-binding under domestic and international law, and then complain about a withdrawal from the fragile non-binding agreement you made when a new president who ran on the issue and won does what a majority of Congress wanted at the time.”


        2. How interesting that you did not say that Iran attacking our bases or our embassy started any clock. Those are acts of war.

          1. Karen:

            1. He doesn’t know sh!t from apple butter.

            2. David Brock doesn’t pay him to suspend judgment.

            3. Because he’s a person from a certain subculture, it hardly occurs to him he doesn’t know sh!t from apple butter

            4. He’s a stew of confirmation bias, so anything written by Ben Rhodes’-27-year-olds-who-know-nothing will be believed, provided it comports with his worldview (which, in turn, is a function of his vanity; he is less abrasively obvious about it and less emotionally desperate than Jill, to be sure).

      2. Baloney. The IAEA performed the most intrusive and stringent inspections on Iranian sites. The Iranians passed all inspections. What’s not effective is this seat of the Depends administration. It’s been a failure.

        1. The IAEA performed the most intrusive and stringent inspections on Iranian sites. T

          And you were there.

          1. “The IAEA performed the most intrusive and stringent inspections on Iranian sites.”
            I think their predecessors did the same inspection of Catherine’s the Great’s Potemkin villages along the Dneiper. They found them as equally charming and effacious.

  2. This is just a Wag the Dog weenie waving contest thing. Need to change the subject from the drip drip of documents for more articles of impeachment and what looks like a Russian state bank backing tRumps loans so tRump could launder Russian money. And the reports are now that tRump choose the WORST action of all the choices he was given,

    And don’t forget we installed the Shaw and trained SAVAK, Iran has many reasons no to like us, so we just keep killing them until they like us I guess.

    1. Seaman Mike:
      “This is just a Wag the Dog weenie waving contest thing. Need to change the subject from the drip drip of documents for more articles of impeachment and what looks like a Russian state bank … blah, blah ….
      Wonder how he got the Iranian dogs to kill an American and storm the embassy? Omnipotence obviously. Or that rad favorite … RUSSIA!

  3. “Iraq’s Parliament votes to oust U.S. coalition troops.

    Iraqi lawmakers voted 170-0 on Sunday in favor of expelling American troops from their country, just days after a United States drone strike killed the leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force on Iraqi soil.

    Although the vote is not final until the draft bill is signed by Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi of Iraq, and Parliament was more divided over the issue than the vote tally might make it appear, Mr. Madhi had indicated earlier on Sunday that he would do so.”

    1. The Sunnis and the Kurds boycotted the vote — which ought to tell you something about the state of this so-called “Iraqi” government. It doesn’t exist in reality and it never did.

      1. Agreed.

        More from that article:

        “Although the vote was 170-0 in Parliament, many of its 328 members, primarily Kurds and Sunnis, did not attend the session and did not vote, showing the division in Parliament on the demands to oust American troops. While groups that grew out of Shiite militia organizations have pushed hard for the expulsion, Sunni Muslim factions and the Kurds wanted the United States to stay.

        “The legislation threads a fine needle: While using strong language demanding that the government “end any foreign presence on Iraqi soil and prevent the use of Iraqi airspace, soil and water for any reason” by foreign forces, it gives no timetable for doing so.

        “It would end the mission approved in 2014 that gave the United States the explicit task of helping the Iraqi forces to fight the Islamic State. That agreement gave the Americans substantial latitude to launch attacks and use Iraqi airspace. But the measure would leave in place the Strategic Framework Agreement, which allows an American troop presence in Iraq in some form.

        “On Sunday, the American-led coalition in Iraq and Syria announced that it would pause its yearslong mission of fighting the Islamic State and training local forces in both countries. A pullout of the estimated 5,200 American troops could cripple the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS, and could allow its resurgence.”

      1. Wally:
        “Another sign of the failure of trump’s administration.“

        Yeah, those three militia leaders and the Iranian general are still alive killing Iraqis and plotting to kill Americans, right. Who you rooting for, Wally?

        1. Says someone who supports a president complicit with Russia; comrade, you are laying it on too thick. Don’t be so transparent.

  4. Below in the link is an explanation of why murdering a state actor such as Soleimani is a war crime.

    Trump has killed many people as president, ordering their death in unnecessary and unjust wars. We have actively supported ISIS. Gina Haspel is called “bloody Gina” for her participation in torture. That makes both of them evil, really evil. Yet it is not justified for any nation to send a drone to kill either of them while they are visiting the U.K., Germany, etc. That would be a war crime by whomever’s nation’s “leaders” order such a thing. Why US citizens keep excusing war crimes by the “leaders” of the US is beyond comprehension. Instead, we ought to be calling for their arrest and trial under our own Constitution, that whole rule of law thingy.

    We seem to no longer care about or have the will to defend our own law nor to engage in justice. That is shameful.

    Now you have Trump proposing another war crime. Instead of opposing it, many in this nation are cheering it along. Of course there are believers in lies. Even after every pretext for war has been exposed as a lie, this one is TRUE. Well it is not true any more than the others. Our young people will die. The people of other nations will die for these lies, lies that our own people will never examine to see if they are accurate or not.

    Snap out of it. It is time for the US to stop being a rogue nation. We are wreaking havoc throughout the world. Do you know who knew of the plan to murder Soleimani? Lockheed Martin stock went up Thursday. Some golf buddies at Mar a largo knew and the caretaker P.M.. of Iraq knew for about 2 mins. before it happened, told Trump he did not give permission but because the US does not recognize any other nation’s sovereignty, Trump ordered the killing of a state actor who was bringing a negotiation from Iran back to Saudi Arabia though Iraq–a negotiation to reduce tensions. Not only was this illegal and several levels, it was incredibly stupid.

    US citizens, take the log out of your own eye and bring your own nation back under the rule of law. Make ours a nation of justice. No more war.

    1. Taking out terrorists like Osama Bin Laden or Soleimani is not a war crime. He was designated the head of a terrorist organization, the Revolutionary Guard Corps.

      Once designated a terrorist organization, they are a declared enemy of the state.

      There are two completely unrelated issues at play. One, is it morally just to kill a terrorist, and two, was it done in a legal manner? As a military brat, and the relative and friend of people who have served, and currently serve, I emphatically support taking out terrorists just the same as I want any homicidal maniac or serial killer stopped. Ignoring them emboldens them, and that puts my friends and kin in more danger than they already are, in addition to the civilians they inevitably target.

      I have wondered about the legality of any drone strike, including Obama’s. An American citizen requires a trial unless they are actively serving in an army or organization fighting the US overseas, and are killed in combat. However, a terrorist may be killed at any time, and that is considered combat. Terrorist organizations can strike from any country, and in fact Soleimani struck at us from Iraq. Once deemed a terrorist, the responsible action is to either capture or kill them at the first opportunity.

      The lawyers can correct me if I’m wrong, but I consider terrorists to constantly be in a state of combat with us. An enemy combatant does not require a trial before being killed, else wars would really be long, drawn out, centuries long affairs and lawyers would be war profiteers.

      How else would you get the head of this terrorist organization, beloved son of Iran? You could give them another pallet full of cash and Iran wouldn’t turn him over.

      Which is better? Sending our men and women on the ground, to die or be maimed, to drag one of the most heavily guarded terrorists in the world all the way back to the US, or to take him out with a missile or drone strike, without risking American lives?

      Military. Boots on the ground. Ground forces. Military action. That all means people generally 18-25 who go get shot at while returning fire. Our military is valuable. They should be treated as valuable human beings, risked where the need is great. We should also use UAVs or missiles whenever we can.

      You should see the collection of war memorabilia my family has collected from our generations in service. It all represented trauma in service to our country, to protect loved ones at home.

  5. Remember the experts all told Pres. Reagan not to ruffle Russia with comments on the Berlin Wall and be cautious with kadaffi Both wer WRONG. Pres. Reagan did the oppisite, he challeneged Gorbachev to: “Tear Down that Wall”, and he also shot missles at Kadaffi’s head destroying one of his homes& Kadaffi stopped challenging the U.S. & exporting terror. Reagan was Correct & he used non concilitatory messages to achieve Peace thru strength. So too with Pes. Trump!

  6. How much diplomacy can you have with a terrorist nation that begins its day chanting for your death?

    Absolutely, shake that stick. Of course, with enemies all around him willing to lie about the contents of a simple phone call in order to try to undo the 2016 election, he should take care with his words.

    He really needs a similar team as is used for speeches. I think future presidents will learn from his Twitter missteps and form that team.

    1. How much diplomacy can you have with a terrorist nation that begins its day chanting for your death?
      That is of course a lie but even if it were true, what right do you think you have to tell people on the other side of the world how to begin their day?

      1. Of course it’s not a lie. I’ve known many Persians. They told me that’s how they started their school day. The guy I knew was born here, and then his parents returned to Iran with him as a baby. His father had been in America at the time getting a graduate degree. He said he was scared his classmates would find out that he was an American.

        I remember he showed me his childhood stamp collection once. I collected stamps with queens and ducks on them when I was a kid. His had bloody Stars of David and violence. He said he never remembers his stamps being so brutal.

        Of course not every Persian feels this way. After all, the Persians I’ve known had immigrated to America, typically having been educated there.

        1. What right do I have to tell people on the other side of the world how to start their day?

          They can brainwash children to chant for our death if they want to. My point is that it is rather difficult to negotiate with a country who brainwashes children to want every man, woman, and child in your country dead.

          Also, I tend to take people at their world. If the government says it wants all of us dead, I believe them. And believe we should act accordingly.

          It’s like a serial killer. The serial killer says that he will keep killing, and he’s got your neighborhood in his sites. He’s already starting to hit outlying houses, killing people inside. Do you beg him to stop? Plead? Bargain? Or do you put him away or in the ground?

          What tends to work with serial killers?

          1. My point is that it is rather difficult to negotiate with a country who brainwashes children to want every man, woman, and child in your country dead.
            That seems to be what you want.
            Or at least it seems to be what you are advocating for.
            It doesn’t sound like you will be satisfied until they are all dead.

            1. Where did I say I wanted every man, woman, and child in Iran dead?

              What I said was that Iran has its schoolchildren chant that they want every US man, woman, and child dead.

              Since when are we guilty for what other people say? That’s ridiculous pretzel logic.

              1. You’re assuming whatshiname from Gainesville is not going to be playing games with you in these discussions?

                1. I assume that she is, and wish to call it out. It’s not like she’s going to stop. Might as well point a spotlight at it.

                  1. Karen, have you considered ignoring the trolls since, as stated many times, all they seek is the attention you give them?

                    i see little intelligent, academic, thoughtful discussions on the forum these past few days since the onslaught on Turley by Media Matters et al a few weeks ago given his national stature

                    From the Civility Rule page

                    Like all sites, we attract trolls and juvenile posters who want to tear down the work of others. It is a sad reality of the Internet and the worst element of our species. Don’t feed the trolls. Ignore them. They are trolls and live under cyber bridges for a reason.


              2. Are you forgetting that I mentioned a pro-Western faction who protested the authoritarian regime, and got shot? Or that that there are pro-Western Persians, since the ones I know emigrated from Iran.

                If you have to deliberately misrepresent what someone said to support your point, then that’s a bad thing. Address what I said, not what you wish I did. Still trying to pigeonhole me in some evil category, but it just won’t fit.

              3. Where did I say I wanted every man, woman, and child in Iran dead?

                I’m stating the only possible outcome from pursuing the strategy you are advocating. You are not honest enough to examine the end game of what you are preaching so you will never say that

                1. jinn:

                  “I’m stating the only possible outcome from pursuing the strategy you are advocating.” The United States has never killed every man, woman, and child in a country. Not even in Nazi Germany or to end the war in Japan. Once the fighting stopped, we stopped.

                  Obviously killing literally everyone in the country is not what I’ve advocated, nor is it the only possible outcome.

                  Again, if you have to deliberately misrepresent what someone said to support your point, then that’s a very bad thing. You’ll have to deal with this.

                  1. But thanks for the example of a straw man argument, in which you try to argue against a point no one’s made.

                    Bet you wish you were a real djinn…

                  2. Once the fighting stopped, we stopped.
                    The fighting is not going to stop…
                    They have the moral high ground.
                    The US govt invaded their lands
                    The US govt has killed their people
                    They have done nothing to Americans to deserve this treatment.

                    I am trying to give you their point of view.
                    if you want Persians to not hate America, you will have to get your govt to stop killing them.
                    You cannot win their hearts by murdering them. Pursuing that logic will mean you have to kill them all.


              4. What I said was that Iran has its schoolchildren chant that they want every US man, woman, and child dead.
                And you won’t get them to stop doing that by killing Iranians. You will have to kill every one of them.
                Since when are we guilty for what other people say?
                You are guilty of supporting murder in a futile attempt to get them to stop saying things you don’t like.

      1. Oh my God, that was a breathtakingly ignorant article.

        If they meant “stop American foreign policy” then they would have chanted that. The author is confusing Middle Eastern hospitality, and the existence of a pro-Western faction of the Iranian population, with the deadly serious opposition to the US.

        There are indeed interesting sayings in Iran. For instance, everyone says “I would die for you” as a figure of speech. When you negotiate with a tradesman, he’d die for you. Your friend doing you a favor would die for you. Your neighbor would die for you. In a lot of cases, I think they actually would, as dying for a cause is promoted as a virtue. It is a figure of speech denoting the undying and brave fanatical loyalty that is such a part of its culture that they laugh a bit about it as a joke.

        Did you know a woman can’t walk down the street in Tehran without being seriously harassed and followed? This is not a Western country, with a semi arid climate. You’re not in CA when you visit Iran. Those in charge are vehemently anti-American. You can see how many this comprises by looking at all the mourners turned out for the terrorist Soleimani.

        Pro-Western factions are put down, hard. Sometimes literally, at the point of a gun, as in the latests protests. Boys get arrested for having Western haircuts. I knew a girl who told me she’d been arrested when visiting Iran for having pink nail polish, and for being a passenger in a car with a boy with a different last name than hers (he was a maternal cousin). Her Dad told her that if she gets arrested, she MUST get word to him before they take her away, or he might never find her. They wouldn’t let her call anyone. Her father had to bribe an official to get her out. For nail polish and driving around with her own cousin.

        Bribery is considered a form of tipping in Iran. You bribe everyone you engage in financial or governmental transactions with, all day long.

        You can’t claim that “death to America” really means some figurative Western tolerant philosophy, that they really dig us but want us not to meddle. They aren’t Western. They have been raised to think differently, and with very serious bias. Anti-semitism is virulent and the norm in the region. The hatred against Israel and Jews is palpable, inherent to their religion and culture.

        These are the factions in play:

        Shiite Iran has allied with Russia, China, and North Korea.

        Wahabi Saudi Arabia has allied with the US and UK.

        The West does not share the values of the Middle East. However, this is a global slow speed battle with occasional jumps. Iran wants to break the Saud’s power over the ME. It envies its power and wealth, and influence. The Sauds don’t want Iran to usurp its power.

        See where this is heading? See how ignoring the actions of Iran could lead? This is a very long game.

        1. For the guy who thinks Iran doesn’t really mean the chant, “Death to America”…

          What would happen if the US completely disarmed, and abandoned all military? What would the terrorists, including the terrorist nation of Iran do, if they were absolutely sure there would be no repercussions?

          When someone says they want you dead, what kind of fool wouldn’t believe them?

          The regime supports terrorists and want to take control of the Middle East. That’s why they don’t like us interfering.

          1. The regime supports terrorists and want to take control of the Middle East. That’s why they don’t like us interfering.
            The US created the “regime” by interfering. The Persians had a democratically elected govt which the US destroyed and replaced with a brutal dictator. Then the Persians kicked the dictator out and the US has been harassing them ever since for having the nerve to not knuckle under to US rule. The US supplied Saddam Husein with chemical weapons to be used against the Iranians. That far surpasses any terrorist act that Iran has ever supported. Soleimani was instrumental in helping defeat the terrorists in Iraq and Syria that were being backed by the US.

            Your statement is equally true if changed to this:

            The US supports terrorists and wants to take control of the Middle East. That’s why they don’t like Iran interfering.

            1. The US absolutely hung the Shah out to dry. The clerics did not take kindly to Shah taking away their control for the markets. Carter was a fool.

              I asked my father once why we ever get involved in foreign affairs. Why don’t we wait until trouble reaches our borders?

              He explained the game of thrones of international politics, all the major players, and how they have been positioning themselves for decades, as well as how each of them could affect us.

              The US has often helped someone who turned on them. Osama bin Ladin, for example, received US training to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. As my father explained, there is a difference between a long term, faithful ally, and the guy who’s helping you in the moment, but will very likely turn on you. Our country has ignored terrible behavior, before, stalling getting involved.

              Your avatar and bias against America is rather telling. You have ignored any viable reason to oppose Iran, and instead misrepresented the situation. You think the US opposes Iran for “having the nerve to not knuckle under to US rule?” That’s what you think this is all about? In what way do we rule Iran?

              You sound like you’ve been brainwashed. That’s very difficult to overcome.

              Control of the Middle East is being fought over between Saudi Arabia and Iran, with their various allies fanned out behind them.

              Your line of reasoning reminds me of another person. After 9/11, he said that Jews knew in advance of the attack, and that they all stayed home, without warning anyone. In pretzel logic, instead of blaming the terrorists, he blamed the Jews. No amount of showing him a list of Jewish victims would move him. That’s what brainwashing does.

              1. You think the US opposes Iran for “having the nerve to not knuckle under to US rule?” That’s what you think this is all about?

                That is exactly what it is about.
                This is a pretty simple formula: either you play ball with the US or the US will bomb your country back into the stone age. In the MiddleEast the US has done it to Iraq and Syria and Libya and Yemen. And they want to do it to Iran.

        2. You can’t claim that “death to America” really means …. that they really dig us but want us not to meddle.
          That is what it means no matter how many times you lie about it.

          And meddle is just a euphemism for the murder their people.

          You have absolutely no reason to believe that if your govt stops murdering their people they will ever do anything to harm you.

      2. The author the article posted at 2:13 PM

        ‘Reese Erlich received a grant for his Iran reporting from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. His latest book is “Inside Syria: The Back Story of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect.”

        “Erlich’s book Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn’t Tell You, co-authored with Norman Solomon, became a best seller in 2003. His book The Iran Agenda: the Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis was published in October 2007 with a foreword by Robert Scheer. In a San Francisco Chronicle book review, Ruth Rosen wrote, “Some people are treated as pariahs when they tell the truth; later, history lauds them for their courage and convictions. Reese Erlich is one of those truth tellers.”[3] Erlich’s book Dateline Havana: The Real Story of US Policy and the Future of Cuba came out in January 2009.

        “Erlich’s fifth book, Inside Syria: the Backstory of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect (Promtheus Books, foreword by Noam Chomsky), was published in 2014. In a starred review of Inside Syria, Publisher’s Weekly wrote, Erlich’s “insights and conclusions are objective and valuable. The book is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the current turmoil in the Middle East.”[4]

        “The Iran Agenda Today: the Real Story from Inside Iran and What’s Wrong with U.S. Policy, was published in September 2018.

        “Erlich worked with Walter Cronkite on four public radio documentaries. Cronkite has written, “Reese Erlich is a great radio producer and a great friend.”[5]

        “Since 1995, Erlich has produced Jazz Perspectives for public radio stations and online through Jazz Corner.[6] Jazz Perspectives are produced features profiling jazz, blues and Latin musicians. From 2015-17 he wrote an arts and culture column for The East Bay Monthly magazine.[7]

        “Erlich is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the Media.”

          1. Reese Erlich has a very strong bias in favor of Iran. This journalist whom you so admired claimed that Soleimani’s strikes against our bases and embassy was in response to economic warfare. That’s the line of reasoning that claimed justification for the 9/11 terrorist attack. Then he went back to the Liberal talking point that we hate Iran because of oil. No. Iran has openly planned to nuke us.

            Iran is sanctioned because it’s been deemed a terrorist nation. Did you know that it tested long range ballistic missiles with “Death to Israel” scrawled in Hebrew?

            Reese Erlich is a progressive who has allowed his personal bias to color his reporting, unfortunately. This is a topic that requires straight news.

            Notice how I expressed my reasons for disagreeing with Erlich, while you provided a brief summary of his CV? Got any points of your own to make?

            Why do you think that Iran doesn’t really mean it when it says “Death to America?” Should we allow them to develop nuclear weapons? If not, why not? After all, they don’t really mean all those death threats agains the US and Israel, right? They are a poor, peaceful nation that has been unfairly sanctioned because they did some stuff. Shall we just leave them to it then? Sanctions are economic warfare, according to Erlich, right? Let’s stop persecuting the poor, innocent Iranian nation, then?

            1. “What’s really going on with the US and Iran?”

              “Reese Erlich, who has reported from the region for 20 years, sorts out the impact of Trump’s drone attack that killed a popular Iranian general.”

              BY REESE ERLICH -JANUARY 3, 2020


              On Jan. 2 a US drone fired a missile on a car caravan leaving the Baghdad airport, killing Iranian Major General Qassem Suleimani and leaders of Iraqi militia groups. The Trump administration claims the attack eliminated terrorists planning attacks on US forces. But many Iraqis and Iranians consider it an act of war. Who is Suleimani and what impact will his assassination have on the region? 48 Hills talked with Reese Erlich, author of our Foreign Correspondent column, who has reported from Iran and Iraq for 20 years.

              48 Hills: Who was Qassem Suleimani and why is his assassination significant?

              Erlich: Suleimani was a top leader in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and headed up the Quds Force, Iran’s elite troops fighting in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere in the region. He played an important political role, for example, recently negotiating with Iraqi political parties to select a new prime minister. The US claims he was responsible for killing US soldiers during the 2003 Iraq War.

              Suleimani was extremely popular at home, enjoying a 83 percent approval rating within Iran. It’s as if Iran had assassinated Eisenhower during World War II. The Iranians will almost surely retaliate.

              48 Hills: What form will that retaliation take?

              RE: I don’t have a crystal ball, but we can see what Iran and its allies have done recently. We may see more large demonstrations against the US Embassy in Baghdad, attacks on US-allied shipping in the Persian Gulf and/or assaults on US forces in the region. Ironically, before the most recent US attacks, tens of thousands of Iraqis were demonstrating against Iran’s presence in Iraq. In November, protestors even burned the Iranian consulate in Najaf, Iraq. Recent Trump administration actions, however, have swung Iraqi popular opinion against the US, and the anti-Iran demonstrations have stopped.

              48 Hills: Is the recent attack an example of “Wag the Dog,” in which Trump seeks a war in order to divert attention from his impeachment and the 2020 elections?

              RE: In the days ahead, we’ll learn more about the internal discussions in the White House leading to the attacks. Trump undoubtedly hopes to rally the country round the flag in his new offensive against “terrorism.” But the current actions are also the logical outcome of Trump’s maximum pressure campaign against Iran launched in 2017. Since Iran hasn’t buckled under unilateral US sanctions, military action is the next logical step for him. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter about Trump’s intentions. His actions are illegal under international law and a disaster for the people of the US and the Middle East.

              RE: From 2003-2011, the Pentagon spent billions of dollars training the Iraqi Army. But when the Islamic State attacked Iraq in 2014, the US-trained army collapsed. With ISIS approaching Baghdad, the call went out to form self-defense groups. Iran, with ISIS also approaching its borders in northeastern Iraq, armed and trained some of these militias. The various armed groups later formed the Popular Mobilization Units and formally affiliated with the Iraqi Army. Today the Iraqi government pays their salaries and provides them with ranks equivalent to the Army.

              The US trained and armed its own factions within the Army, most notably the Iraqi Counter Terrorism forces. In Syria, the US armed the Kurdish-based Syrian Democratic Forces and has trained and armed the Kurdish Peshmerga in northern Iraq. It’s rather hypocritical to blame Iran for training armed groups while the US does exactly the same.

              In response to US economic warfare against Iran, its allies in Iraq launched mortars and rockets at several bases billeting US soldiers. Then on Dec. 29, the Pentagon bombed the base camp of one militia, Kataib Hezbollah, claiming the group was controlled by Iran. Kataib Hezbollah is also a unit of the Iraqi Army.

              Just prior to the Dec. 29 bombing, which killed 19 and wounded 35, the Trump administration consulted with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Israel–but not Iraq. Understandably, Iraqis across the political spectrum criticized the bombing and assassination of Suleimani as a violation of Iraqi sovereignty. The US seems intent on fighting Iran on Iraqi soil.

              48 Hills: Does Iran pose a danger to US national interests?

              RE: Iran’s government is a right-wing, religious-based regime that represses its own people. It seeks regional influence, mainly in countries with large Shia populations such as Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and Bahrain, but also Syria. Washington cares little about human rights violations in Iran or anywhere else. It wants to reestablish a pro-US regime in Iran that will allow US oil companies to once again dominate the economy. The people of the US have no national interest in protecting oil company profits. Recent events have shown that people in the region don’t want to be dominated by any foreign power, whether the US or Iran.

              Reese Erlich’s nationally distributed column, Foreign Correspondent, appears every two weeks in 48 Hills. He is author of The Iran Agenda Today: The Real Story Inside Iran and What’s Wrong with U.S. Policy. Follow him on Twitter, @ReeseErlich; friend him on Facebook; and visit his webpage.

              The revised edition of his book ‘The Iran Agenda: the Real Story of US and Policy and the Mideast Crisis,’ came out in 2018.

        1. There are academics who support socialism. Being an academic, or a journalist, does not grant wisdom. I’ve known academics who hated the KKK, and believed America to be a racist country, but completely supported the culture of the ME where some of their laws could have been written by some Grand Wizard from the 20s.

          Claiming that when a terrorist regime claims it wants to kill us all, they don’t really mean it, is extremely dangerous. One day, we could be standing in smoking, radioactive ruins, and Erlich would pop his head up and say, “You were serious about that?!”

          1. “Being an academic, or a journalist, does not grant wisdom.” -Karen

            Nor does being Karen, as we see from many of her comments.

            1. Anonymous – you are clearly incapable of explaining exactly why you disagree with any of my points.

              All you’ve got is, but this guy published a book, and Walter Cronkite said he was a great friend, and insults against me.

              Are you aware how bad this makes you look?

              You’ve supported some questionable positions, but backing a terrorist regime against the US, after it’s attacked our bases and our embassy, is pretty low.

              You’ve gone beyond questioning the legality of striking out at designated terrorists, and instead posted articles claiming how unfair it is for Iran to be sanctioned at all.

              1. Karen is the same gal who supported Rocky A$AP, by the way.

                And she also offers this about me:

                “You’ve supported some questionable positions, but backing a terrorist regime against the US, after it’s attacked our bases and our embassy, is pretty low.”

                Karen in her infinite wisdom offers yet another wild distortion. What I’ve provided is simply food for thought, as it were, and Karen decides that I’m “backing a terrorist regime against the U.S.” — which isn’t true, of course. But that’s the way she “argues” and it’s why I waste very little time with her.

                1. Sure, I supported Rocky A$AP. He was chased and harassed by a guy who repeatedly assaulted them, while he and his bodyguard repeatedly pled with him to leave them alone. A couple said that this was the same guy who terrorized them and harassed the woman.

                  Yes, of course I think your backing a terrorist regime is low. If you disagree, then explain why. “Food for thought?” Are you trying to say you’ve been arguing a position you don’t have? You are the one who provided an article stating that Iran doesn’t really mean it when it says it wants to kill us all, and that sanctioning them is unfair and economic warfare, which justified their attacks upon us. When I disagreed, you replied that the author published a book (!) and that Cronkite thought he was a good friend. You’re stuck with that. Now you think it’s unfair that I called you on it?

                  So…you have really great points and facts to provide, but you’re too superior to do so? That’s funny!

                  1. Karen wrote: “You’ve supported some questionable positions, but backing a terrorist regime against the US, after it’s attacked our bases and our embassy, is pretty low.”

                    A baseless accusation and absolutely false, but that’s Karen S in a nutshell and it’s why she doesn’t merit any consideration or time.

  7. Trump tells it like it is. There was a song on Saturday Night Live about 30 years ago called bomb bomb Iran. Gilda Radnor. Look it up on Google and listen.

  8. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Propaganda at FOX are hard at work telling their useful idiots that the “stable genius” has made the world safe, The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said ” Everyone should remember and understand that U.S politicians have their interests , considering that this year is an election year”

    1. Iran was firing on our bases, and attacked our embassy. Who do you think Trump is? Hillary Clinton? Why don’t you feed your friends and relatives to the desert to get bombed without any defense, along with our men and women whom Soleimani went after? Or better yet, go yourself.

  9. I am sure @POTUS was referring to the places where the Iranian government resides. Letting these Mullahs know there will be no safe havens.

  10. Gee, we didn’t feel bad about bombing Monte Cassino to rubble or making
    Dresden a fireball.

  11. Words matter, huh? Then stop lying. The President did not say Trump included striking Iranian cultural sites. Sites important to their culture could be anything. Damn, after 3+ years with this President’s communication style, so many people still allow themselves to be triggered by what they feel he’s saying.

  12. OH please, the term international law and anything resembling logic is a tragic waste of verbage. The only thing that years of cuckolded diplomacy got us is the mess we see expanding out of Iran. Those types only respond to a forceful message, Trump did just what was needed. Period.

  13. JT knows, he just has never cared. JT has been downplaying, excusing, and dancing around legal technicalities to defend Trump for quite a while. If Trump shot someone on 5th Ave, JT would say “murder is un-presidential and possibly a violation of his oath of office”.

  14. Pres. Trump has introduced uncertainty into our Iran conflict.

    In the past, the Iranians could rely on a temperate response from the U.S. (remember Pres. Carter?). Less so today.

    Iranian leaders today can no longer confidently assume that the airplane overhead is full of holiday goers on their way to Ibiza.

  15. That’s ‘warns’, not ‘declares’. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but those governments aren’t particularly interested in peace or coalitions. As with anything Trump does, there will be a torrent of fake news and hyperbole. That would be fine if we weren’t talking about human life in this scenario. Your TDS is milder, prof, but it’s there. It actually makes me appreciate your objectivity even more.

  16. Mr Turley, what took you so long to become aware that you support an unbalanced, mean-spirited, man with deep character flaws? He should be no where near the most powerful position in the world and you know it.

    1. Maybe you should have worried more about this guy,
      “Mr. Obama is the liberal law professor who campaigned against the Iraq war and torture, and then insisted on approving every new name on an expanding “kill list,” poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre “baseball cards” of an unconventional war. When a rare opportunity for a drone strike at a top terrorist arises — but his family is with him — it is the president who has reserved to himself the final moral calculation.” NYT. 5/29/12

    2. Prissy – if you think that Professor Turley never criticizes President Trump, then you don’t read his blog.

      If you don’t like our President, then there is this fantastic method called “voting” as remedy.

Comments are closed.