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121

Soleimani did more to shape then re-shape the region than any king or prince or sultan or president or prime minister.

The man, quite simply, was a force of history.

He just wasn't on our side.

Will his assassination alter Iran's strategic ambitions? No.

Will it slow them down? Maybe.

https://edition.cnn.com/

EP-301039901 - Show Posts - islander

122

And he ran rings around all of us: Americans, Arabs, Israelis, Brits.
Let us be very, very clear: this man was opposed to America and absolutely everything it stands for.

He ached to destroy Israel itself, to take it out of existence, and he was opposed to the current balance of power in the Middle East.

His entire life was devoted to bringing all of it, and us, down.

If you doubt Soleimani's significance, his very assassination should tell you differently.

Washington understood his value, that is why President Trump ordered the drone strike.

123

Soleimani rose up the ranks of the military until he came to head, arguably, the most elite special forces outfit in the region, if not the world, called the Quds Force, which translates as the Jerusalem Force.

Iran has two armies, navies, and air forces. One, to protect the country. The other, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Force (IRGC), to protect the country's religious revolution.

And among the IRGC the Quds are the elite of the elite. Its members speak multiple languages.

They are spies, soldiers, and technical experts. In Western terms, they are a hybrid of Green Berets, SAS commandos and Delta Force operators all fused into one.

And Soleimani was their commander. For more than 20 years.

Qassem-Soleimani-%D9%82%D8%A7%D8%B3%D9%85-%D8%B3%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%8A - Show Posts - islander

124

A killer, but not a terrorist

Make no mistake, Soleimani was a killer. A calculating, patient, sophisticated killer. He was, most surely, plotting the deaths of many Americans.

But, despite what President Trump says, he was no terrorist. He sponsored them. He trained them. He armed them. But Soleimani was a military man to his bootstraps.

He fought in the horror of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war. The modern world's version of World War I; chemical gas attacks, suicidal human wave assaults, and a bloodletting we should hope the world never sees again.

BBYDMIj - Show Posts - islander
Will it slow them down? Maybe.

125

But when the US government checked and confirmed the bomber of their embassy was, in fact, in parliament, al-Muhandis fled Baghdad for the border crossing to Iran.

Al-Muhandis was there to greet Soleimani on Friday at Baghdad airport in Iraq -- a country the Iranian general virtually ran and controlled.

Soleimani's plane had just landed and he was with al-Muhandis in the convoy leaving the airport when the drone struck, killing them both.

czo2NjoiaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuYWxyYWlwcmVzcy5jb20vdXNlcl9pbWFnZXMvbmV3cy8wMy0wMS0yMC0zMTk5OTkxNDUuanBnIjs= - Show Posts - islander

126

Al-Muhandis, also known as Jamal Jafaar Mohammed, was twice elected to the democratic Iraqi Parliament the US created after the fall of the dictator Saddam Hussein.

47139_519 - Show Posts - islander

He was Soleimani's number one man in Iraq. In Parliament. Right under the noses of the US military.

It was CNN who revealed al-Muhandis' identity. At first, an unwitting US government did not believe CNN.

127

That same year an Iraqi man called Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis car-bombed the US Embassy in Kuwait.

2020-01-03T020452Z_1438706301_RC228E9JA7R5_RTRMADP_3_IRAQ-SECURITY-BLAST-425x328 - Show Posts - islander
Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

Though he escaped, with Iran's help, he was sentenced to death in absentia in Kuwait for the bombing. It's believed he then went on to help hijack passenger planes.

Western intelligence agencies also accuse him of involvement in the hijacking of a Kuwaiti airliner in 1984 and the attempted assassination of a Kuwaiti prince.

Do you want to know who was in the same convoy as General Soleimani on Friday when that drone missile struck? It was that same car-bomber, al-Muhandis.

128

When the Iranians revolted against the Shah, they overran the US Embassy in Tehran, taking dozens of American diplomats and Marines hostage, parading them on international television, as seen in the 2012 Hollywood movie "Argo."

In 1983, Iran blew up a Marine barracks at the US Embassy in Beirut, killing dozens.

beirut-embassy - Show Posts - islander

President Ronald Reagan abandoned Lebanon and it appeared Iran had chased the US out of the region.

129

It is a war with an origin story that dates all the way back to 1953. That's when the Iranians believe America truly picked this fight.

iran-coup-1953-mosaddeq - Show Posts - islander

For, in 1953, the US staged a coup d'etat in Iran to take down a popular, secular and nationalist prime minister, only to put an indulgent monarch, known as the Shah, in charge.

It's that American coup that led to the 1979 revolution that placed an ayatollah on the throne and the rule of the mullahs still in power today. The very same mullahs that the now-dead General Soleimani served.

130

A decades-long war

Why? Because the war between the United States of America and Iran has been underway for more than 40 years.

None of this is a secret. It's just that most Americans don't know they've been at war with Iran.

It's been out of their sight and, so, out of their minds.

Friday's drone strike that took out Soleimani is but merely one more bump on a well-worn, long, and winding road of a conflict that's been killing people for generations.

131

The killing of Iran's top general won't stop a war. The US and Iran have already been fighting for more than 40 years

Opinion by Michael Ware

Michael Ware is a former Time magazine and CNN correspondent who was based in Baghdad from 2003 to 2009.

(CNN)US President Donald Trump says he ordered the assassination on Friday of Iran's top general, Qasem Soleimani, "to stop a war." But that's simply not true.

Rather than stop a war, Trump just called Tehran's bluff and wagered all in with the single most daring American act in a conflict that's been raging for years.

No American president has ever taken the fight to Tehran like this. It's bold. It's provocative.

And it could set the Middle East aflame -- but it is most definitely not stopping a war.

197237983_350 - Show Posts - islander
The coffins containing Qasem Soleimani and others killed in the US drone strike are carried in the city of Mashhad, Iran on Sunday.

132
Asia | Middle East / Re: Soleimani is no anti-imperialist hero
« on: January 06, 2020, 01:12:20 PM »

Soleimani's significance: Soleimani did more to shape then re-shape the region than any king, prince, sultan, president, or prime minister.

For more than 20 years, he commanded the Quds Force -- arguably, the most elite special forces outfit in the region, if not the world. They are spies, soldiers, and technical experts. In Western terms, they are a hybrid of Green Berets, SAS commandos and Delta Force operators all fused into one.

Washington understood his value -- that is why Trump ordered the drone strike.

Will his assassination alter Iran's strategic ambitions? No. But will it slow them down? Maybe.

PRI_115826106-e1578030960166_433947_medium - Show Posts - islander

https://edition.cnn.com/

(full op-ed in another thread)

133
Asia | Middle East / Re: Soleimani is no anti-imperialist hero
« on: January 06, 2020, 01:06:13 PM »

5b76d4b7fc7e9337098b45c5 - Show Posts - islander

Decades-long war: The war between the United States of America and Iran dates all the way back to 1953 when the US staged a coup d'etat in Iran to take down a popular, secular and nationalist prime minister.

This coup then led to the 1979 revolution that placed an ayatollah on the throne and the rule of the mullahs still in power today -- the very same mullahs that Soleimani served.

When the Iranians revolted, they overran the US Embassy in Tehran, taking dozens of American diplomats and Marines hostage, as seen in the 2012 movie "Argo."

That is when this war began. Not with this week's drone strike.

134
Asia | Middle East / Re: Soleimani is no anti-imperialist hero
« on: January 06, 2020, 01:00:24 PM »

OPINION: Soleimani's death won't stop a war that's been going on for more than 40 years

Opinion by Michael Ware

Editor's note: Michael Ware is a former Time magazine and CNN correspondent who was based in Baghdad from 2003 to 2009. The views expressed in this commentary are his own.

President Donald Trump says he ordered the killing of Iranian top general Qasem Soleimani "to stop a war." But that's simply not true.

Rather than stop a war, Trump just called Tehran's bluff and wagered all in with the single most daring American act in a conflict that's been raging for years.

135
General Topic / Re: Don't abbreviate 2020. It's for your own good
« on: January 06, 2020, 12:53:44 PM »

images-33-1 - Show Posts - islander

It's still early in the year and there's no evidence yet that anyone has been scammed in this manner. But it's better to be safe than sorry.

"It's just another precaution, another chance to warn people that there are folks out there who will take advantage of you," Rheingold said.

https://edition.cnn.com/

136
General Topic / Re: Don't abbreviate 2020. It's for your own good
« on: January 06, 2020, 12:50:03 PM »

Or, let's say you sign a credit contract — an agreement between a borrower and a lender — and date it 1/4/20. Say you then miss a month or two of payments, and the lender goes to collect the debt that's owed. Theoretically, they could add "19" to the end of that date and argue that you owe more than a year's worth of payments, Rheingold said.

We could go on, but far be it for us to give any scammers out there more bright ideas.

We'll just leave you with a PSA that consumer advocates, auditors and police departments around the country have been issuing: When you write a date on a document, don't shorthand the year 2020 to just "20." Write out the whole thing (it's only two more numbers, after all).

137
General Topic / Re: Don't abbreviate 2020. It's for your own good
« on: January 06, 2020, 12:44:19 PM »

When the year 2020 is abbreviated on official forms and documents, those looking to exploit unsuspecting people can easily manipulate those numbers and leave people potentially vulnerable to fraud.

For example, a document dated 1/4/20 can easily be changed to 1/4/2021 by adding two numbers at the end.

There are several ways that could pose a problem. Rheingold cited the example of a stale check or one that was written more than six months or so ago. If you have an old check lying around that's dated 1/4/20 and someone finds it, they could add "21" to the end of that date, and voila, the check is no longer stale.

80825132_3636019726423340_8458413154274115584_n - Show Posts - islander

138
General Topic / Don't abbreviate 2020. It's for your own good
« on: January 06, 2020, 12:40:54 PM »

Don't abbreviate 2020. It's for your own good

By Harmeet Kaur, CNN
January 4, 2020

(CNN)2020 is finally here, and it's coming with its own set of challenges.

Not only do we have to break the habit of writing 2019, when we really mean 2020, but the dawn of a new decade also creates a unique opportunity for scammers, says Ira Rheingold, executive director for the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

How exactly, you ask?

139
Science and Research / Re: The best space images of 2019
« on: December 31, 2019, 03:21:01 AM »

We are sailing

502956_41362504 - Show Posts - islander
Image copyright PLANETARY SOCIETY

LightSail is a project developed by the non-profit organisation The Planetary Society. Its purpose is to demonstrate solar sailing in low-Earth orbit. Solar sails are a long-discussed way of propelling spacecraft. The sails exploit the fact that sunlight exerts pressure on a mirrored surface. This can, in theory, be used for propulsion in a way that's akin to a sail being blown by the wind.

LightSail 2 was launched on 25 June 2019. This image shows the sail after its deployment on 23 July.

Follow Paul on Twitter.

https://www.bbc.com/

140
Science and Research / Re: The best space images of 2019
« on: December 31, 2019, 03:16:45 AM »

A galactic rival

4DQpjUtzLUwmJZZPHZZr9N69ANC6zWURzshqxFzHlmRv - Show Posts - islander
Image copyright EPA/HUBBLE & NASA, A. SETH ET AL.

This image taken by the Hubble telescope shows a spiral galaxy called NGC 772, which lies 130 million light-years away. NGC 772 has much in common with our own Milky Way galaxy. For instance, both the Milky Way and NGC 772 have small satellite galaxies, which closely orbit their parent galaxies.

However, the two are also different in a few key ways. For example, NGC 772 lacks a central feature called a bar, which is built of gas and stars and is thought to help funnel material through the core of a galaxy - perhaps fuelling star formation.

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