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No to War with Iran! The Wounded Beast Syndrome…U.S. Assassinates Iranian General Qassim Suleimani in a Heliocopter Attack.

January 3, 2020

US bases around Iran. Who is threatening whom? Keep in mind these bases have just gone from military outposts…to targets.


What is the wounded beast syndrome?

Based on the idea that a wounded beast will do whatever, act irrationally to save its life as it is dying. Applied to international politics it refers to the tendency of a nation whose policies are failing, to act irrationally and out of desperation to commit unpredictable and “irrational” acts to save its skin.

Kazerooni and I in our monthly radio program – KGNU – Hemispheres – Middle East Dialogues – have used the term to describe some of the zig-zags in U.S. (and Israeli) policy in the region.

Last night on returning from a family dinner that included good news on the personal front, and having watched our seven month old grandson’s latest developmental breakthrough (taking the glasses off of his aunt’s face, finding the wonders of dinner place mates) I made the mistake of turning on my computer to see the latest news.

There it was: In Baghdad, the United States had assassinated-by-helicopter Iranian General Qassim Suleimani, leader of that country’s Quds Force along with several top members Iraqi Shia militia leaders, including Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al Muhandis.

Iran has promised retaliation at the time and date of its own choosing. Suleimani’s words will come back to haunt Washington: “The United States might start a war (with Iran), but we will finish it.”


In any event it is not my purpose here to give detailed analyses of the situation. We (Kazerooni and I) will do so during our next one hour radio program, now scheduled for January 28. Besides there will be plenty of analyses out there that are solid and informative. I find the tendency to want to get “the first analysis” of events like this almost always shallow and off the mark. Here in the U.S. even solid anti-war analyses often miss what is happening in the Middle East region. Already, the day after this assassination, a whole series of regional shifts is taking place.

Also for those of you in Colorado – which is about half of the audience – I will update people with the anti-war demonstrations, forums, and other activities as I learn about them. I am certain there will be many and the peace movement here will flex its muscle once again as it will and must.

For now only a few comments to help people understand the current situation.

a. The United States (and Israel) has long been under the illusion that to assassinate the leader of an opposition movement will kill the movement. This is pure hubris. It is undoubtedly based on the experience of the 1960s and the dramatic assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, John F. Kennedy and his brother Bobby Kennedy, in the Congo, the torture, killing and boiling his body in acid of Patrice Lumumba.

However, It no longer works. And certainly doesn’t work in the Middle East.

–  Obama – and his staff – watched as Special Forces moved in for the kill against Osama Bin Laden. Al Qaeda did not collapse, but morphed into more sophisticated, lethal forms that we are still dealing with.

–  The Israelis assassinated what was the early leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon, the sophisticated and wiley, Abbas al Musawi in 1992; Hezbollah immediately produced the even more sophisticated and more wiley (or is it wilier?) Hasan Nasrallah, who fourteen years after Musawi’s death, in 2006,handed Israel is biggest military defeat in that nation’s history from which Tel Aviv is still reeling.

– The assassination – the cold blooded murder, without Congressional participation or approval – of Iran’s Suleimani – will not, as with the examples mentioned above, shift the regional power balance in any way in U.S. favor.

To the contrary.

b. Suleimani’s assassination puts the U.S. military presence in the region in greater danger, much greater as Washington is scampering to withdraw U.S. personnel from the region. The fortress embassy in Baghdad is shutting down, with the U.S. ambassador there running for his life – an echo of a similar scene in Vietnam in 1975.

Washington has troops and ships all over the region, not just in Syria and Iraq, some known others secret. Add to this an even larger number of U.S. “private contractors”, otherwise known as mercenaries. All of them have now become prime targets and not just from the Iranians. There are too many of them in too many places for Washington to withdraw them. In the weeks and months ahead, watch how members of the U.S. armed forces in the Middle East return to the country in body bags.

Finally, these assassinations (remember there were high level Iraqis killed too) over night changed the political situation in Iraq itself. Using the finely honed methodology of Gene Sharp the United States appeared to have undermined to a certain degree Iran’s position in Iraq, splitting the country once again along religious and sectarian lines over issues of domestic corruption, etc. That is now history as Iraqis are beginning to unite against the U.S. military presence and on-gong occupation.

This is enough for now. I won’t do daily updates but will try to offer some insights to help people understand the growing crisis.

  • Most people know the basics – any war between the United States (and Israel) against Iran should be prevented. It must be stopped before it is started
  • We (the American people) have been lied to before and are being lied to again. Stay tuned for details. Let us resist ALL media cheer-leading for war.
  • And obviously, time to hit the streets, to contact our weak, morally bankrupt legislators who passed the largest military budget in U.S. history and to call for cutting – slicing that military budget to address the mounting problems at home…

To Peace with Justice…In the Middle East and everywhere. To a new, more humane U.S. foreign policy!

Onward to peace!


Part Two

2 Comments leave one →
  1. William Conklin permalink
    January 3, 2020 10:29 am

    Thanks Rob for the concise analysis of the situation. It gives me a more focused outlook as I watch events develop.


  1. No to War with Iran! The Wounded Beast Syndrome…U.S. Assassinates Iranian General Qassim Suleimani in a Heliocopter Attack – 2 – “Asymmetrical Warfare” | View from the Left Bank: Rob Prince's Blog

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