Published On: Sat, Jan 11th, 2020

With the Iranian ballistic missile attack, America’s Millennium Challenge 2002 experience stops being virtual

After the Iranians did what they weren’t supposed to do (otherwise, there would have been a full-blown war!), the internet is awash with damage limitation on behalf of the military that is all mouth and trousers, and the administration whose braggadocio in respect of its supposed brilliance is consequently exposed to scorn and ridicule. Then, of course, there is the plane crash of flight PS752. The one certain thing about that incident is how it has presented an opportunity to bash Iran in what was in fact an epochal moment in history at that nation’s hands: the confirmation of spectacular American decline and a huge blow to the Anglo-Globalist ambition of New World Order. This site won’t be covering the crash, which occurred shortly after liftoff out of Tehran in the morning after the Iranian attack on US assets in Iraq, because to do so would be to contribute to the smokescreen. Whether it was an accident, or whether it was deliberately downed (all of a sudden, Boeing is not making planes that fall out of the sky by themselves?), the crash won’t make a blind bit of difference to geopolitical reality.

If the reader monitors the controlled-opposition stellar-alternative-media personalities, their comments sections, and/or Twitter threads, he will see that there are a number of talking points being employed to play down the significance of the Iranian action: there is the idea that the Iranians and Americans did a deal so that both would save face; there is the idea that the Americans let the Iranians get revenge out of their system (because the assassination of Soleimani was ultimately about “de-escalation”, right?); there is the idea that the Americans wanted to see how the Iranians could perform, and didn’t respond in order to hide their own capabilities; there is the idea that the Iranians calculated a hit that would precisely ensure that there would be no American retort, or Iran let the 9-D chess-playing Trump avoid a war.

We’ve seen this all before, of course, when cruise missile strikes on Syria by the US (with a little help from its friends) failed miserably (see here and here) – and it’s the usual suspects doing it. These controlled opposition “media influencers”, to use a current buzz term, rely on the preconceived idea in their audiences that the US Military is infallible (while never exposing its deep-seated flaws; i.e. the consequences of the “crisis of readiness” [please find a link to an explanation of this term in the footnotes]), and if they don’t use the talking points overtly†, they will nudge their audience into holding the required view‡.

Putting the Iranian action in perspective, no power since Japan and Germany in the Second World War has forcibly attacked US geopolitical assets outside of their own territory; if this is incorrect, the reader will please provide a disproving example in the comments. In terms of being able to project military might against the USA, Iran is up there with the Empire of Japan and the German Third Reich. So, it was no Pearl Harbour, or Battle of the Bulge, but what the Iranians did was still a military affront, and Trump had promised to retaliate to it.

On January 5th, he posted the following to Twitter:

These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner. Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!

But that wasn’t all, on January 4th, there was this:

The United States just spent Two Trillion Dollars on Military Equipment. We are the biggest and by far the BEST in the World! If Iran attacks an American Base, or any American, we will be sending some of that brand new beautiful equipment their way…and without hesitation!

And this:

They attacked us, & we hit back. If they attack again, which I would strongly advise them not to do, we will hit them harder than they have ever been hit before!

And the following was a tirade over three tweets, and includes the threat to commit war crime against Iranian culture:

Iran is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets as revenge for our ridding the world of their terrorist leader who had just killed an American, & badly wounded many others, not to mention all of the people he had killed over his lifetime, including recently….

….hundreds of Iranian protesters. He was already attacking our Embassy, and preparing for additional hits in other locations. Iran has been nothing but problems for many years. 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 USA wants no more threats!

So, in fact, Trump was unequivocal: should the Iranians act in the way that they ultimately did, the US would retaliate with unmitigated violence. As such, there is no way to interpret the actual American non-response as anything other than the result of having been intimidated into retreat. All mouth and trousers.

Lest we fail to notice, it is more or less the same people who relentlessly and tirelessly proclaim the imminence of the next world war (and as such, are promoting the perception of the US readiness for a fight) who are seeking to reduce the significance of the Iranian action. And how the irony of the situation doesn’t simply stroll up and knock these “down-players” onto their backsides is a mystery. Iran just expressly invited the USA to make war upon it – and the USA didn’t accept the invitation. Saddam Hussein didn’t do anything, but Iraq got invaded all the same. The meaning of this contrast should not be difficult to understand.

The fundamental truth is that the US Military doesn’t have the capability to fight Iran, and what we are seeing in the aftermath of this incident is a “parameter reset”, if we want to talk in terms of the disastrous Millennium Challenge 2002 prototypical war on Iranǂ. In terms of the real world version of Iranian inviolability, which has now been confirmed, the excuse-makers are effectively providing the soundtrack to the process of psychological coping for preservation of self-image that will be happening now in the US State Department and Military, with the ultimate objective being to project the delusion onto the public so it too perceives it as reality. Very simply put, to use the Millennium Challenge 2002 analogy, the US Military and its propaganda apparatus is refloating its computer-modelled warships and pretending that they weren’t sunk.

In the other FBEL article on this subject – the one that was written immediately prior to this – it was explained that the Iranian ballistic missile strike on Ayn Al-Assad airbase, on what now has been confirmed as a drone operations centre – was a backfiring on the US and of its intentions, because the assassination of Soleimani was supposed to have a detrimental effect on Iranian capacity to oppose the US presence across the Middle East; or, in other words, to reduce Iranian sphere of influence. Iran is proving problematic to the entire Anglo-Globalist project for the Middle East; the high profile and well known disruption is in Syria and in Yemen, and soon to be in Iraq, but in fact the Iranians lead an “axis of resistance” that is more extensive than that. And to remind us, during the press conference* given on Thursday 9th January, in which he discussed the Iranian attack, General Hajizadeh, commander of IRGC’s Aerospace Force, stood in front of the flags of the Hashd al-Sha’abi (Popular Mobilisation Units) or Iraq, the Hezbollah of Lebanon, the Ansarullah of Yemen, the Hamas of Palestine, the Fatemiyoun of Afghanistan and the Zeinabayoun. of Pakistan. So, quite on the contrary to US intention, as it turns out, and as a result of the unanswered Iranian action, the standing of Iran, being the power to lead the expulsion of the US presence from the Mediterranean to Central Asia and India, can only have benefitted enormously. In fact, the general made it clear that the Iranian action was a precursor to something else:

 The missile attack against America’s military bases during Operation Martyr Soleimani were the beginning of a greater operation that will target their illegal presence all over the region.

Moreover, the array of flags would no doubt help concentrate the mind of the watching US analyst when Hajizadeh said:

We could’ve imposed 500 casualties on them [the Americans], and we were ready to make it up to 5,000 in less than 48 hours in response to their retaliation.

Twitter reports on the night of the bombing stated that Iran had issued threats against Dubai and Haifa should the US retaliate, but this looks like garbage by disinformation merchants exploiting scud missile era prejudices, especially in the light of the intelligence provided by Hajizadeh. He said that the primary target was military equipment – and in fact, this is what any sensible planner will have prioritised, at any stage of escalation, if it wanted to limit the capability of retaliation and maintain the initiative.  Revealing that the number of missiles that actually hit Ayn al-Assad was 13, Hajizadeh said that Iran also “had 100’s of missiles ready to shoot.” He went on:

We were expecting the US to retaliate and we were ready to fight back. And naturally our next moves were going to be harsher.

The hundred missiles on stand-by were expected to be launched in the first one or two hours, but fascinatingly, the general classified that a “limited battle” (as opposed to an “extensive one”) would last for 3 to 7 days, “and we were prepared to fire thousands of missiles in that case”.

The first thing to take from this is the use of the figure of 5000 for casualties. This amounts to the US deployment in Iraq, and so symbolically promises the effective end of the US occupation in Iraq (and all within a week). Realistically, the Iranians would have other more pressing targets at other US bases rather than concentrate on Iraq. Which then provides a segue to the revelation that Iran believed that it could render US opposition ineffective in the region within seven days. We can understand this by appreciation that the extensive battle mentioned would be the one that followed the limited one, which would end when there was no more targets, and no more fighting to do in the meanwhile. Impressively, the Iranians appear to have a firm grasp of when this limited battle would terminate – meaning that they felt confident of maintaining the initiative throughout, and being able to control the outcome.

The extensive battle, however, would not be guaranteed, because of the question of how the US would be able to execute it all the way from its own shores: after all, from whence would it comprehensively launch with a good deal of its regional bases having been denied to it? And if the US were to stage shock and awe bombing (bearing in mind that there is not a snowball’s chance in hell it would send a nuclear barrage), it couldn’t guarantee that the Russian and Russian/Iranian air defences that have recently won great respect (see Syria [links above], and also July 2019’s shooting down of the American drone) would not necessarily have yet been spent in fending off American retaliation in follow-up phases (of the limited battle) – if it could be mustered at all (the US Navy in the Gulf would have been a primary target). This is the bloody nose scenario that has been imagined at this site before, where the Americans, faced with shocking losses, will develop an aversion to a continuation of hostilities.

On the contrary, the Iranian success in any initial escalation would be assisted by the apparent uselessness of US air defences (which on this occasion, rather like the spectacular event in Saudi Arabia when the Yemenis hit the Amraco oil facility, was ultimately, and ludicrously blamed on the defences being absent). General Hajizadeh reported that all Iranian missiles hit their targets, and the US offered not even a “single bullet”; in fact, “12 unmanned drones and several planes were protecting Ain Al-Asad airbase, but they couldn’t respond when we started the operation.”

Hajizadeh also offered the valuable insight that although the Iranians considered the Americans as being “completely and 100% prepared” (they had been on “high alert for several days”, with “their 12 reconnaissance aircrafts… monitoring”), and despite how “Americans always bragged about their anti missile systems and their military equipments”, he said that “in reality, we witnessed how surprised they were.”

Some of that surprise may have come from the facts disclosed in this revelation:

During the missile attack against the US military sites in the Ain Al-Asad airbase, we initiated a cyber attack that deactivated their jet fighters’ and drones’ aviation systems.

What happened here might be getting lost in translation. Another Twitter correspondent called it an “electronic warfare operation”; “cyber attack” is how the incapacitation of American military equipment (see the USS Donald Cook) by Russian/Iranian jamming technology has previously been characterised for purposes of damage limitation. No wonder Trump looked so grim in the White House situation room.

If there was indeed an element of surprise – and the author couldn’t find anything said by the general that would indicate the Americans had been notified prior to the assault – then it is quite possible that the claim of deaths and casualties that appeared on Iranian state TV after the attack has something in it. Indeed, Hajizadeh maintained the assertion: “dozens of their troops are definitely killed, even though we weren’t looking for any casualties”.  He elaborated with this:

We know at least 9 planes have transferred their wounded troops to Jordan and the Occupied Palestine and a few helicopters took them to the American hospital in Baghdad.

In the footnotes of the previous article, an idea was expressed that any casualties involved the deaths of, and injuries to intelligence assets. In that way, perhaps, the US could deny them all without fear of being embarrassed later by service families making a stink after, for instance, multiple army wives and girlfriends stopped getting their weekly phone calls from their husbands and boyfriends. The bottom line about this particular aspect of the incident is that even if we think that there is no way that the US could hide the deaths of their servicemen, it doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. The truth of this might be something that will come out with the passage of time.

We will conclude this piece with a question: if the US Military did find itself in such disarray and incapable of dealing with the Iranian ballistic missile attack, why doesn’t Iran just launch an all-out war to expel the Americans from the places it doesn’t want them; i.e. force them to respond and risk being annihilated? And after a little thought, we could come up with an answer like this: on the “point of contact” that consists of its borders, Iran doesn’t necessarily have to do anything (so why expend any blood and treasure?) While it is a country under siege (because a full frontal assault by the US is impossible), it is one that is confounding its besiegers. In these situations, if the besieged can wait it out, then the siege will inevitably dissipate. On the other hand, however, on the rather more literal point of contact that has been generated by friction where the areas of US and Iranian influence bump into one another, action is indeed necessary – but history shows that it is all important to be seen to be the side that is not the aggressor. Besides which, it’s like General Hajizadeh said:

Our martyrs’ blood is worth more than a few American planes or military bases or even Trump’s life. The price of their blood, as our leader said, is the removal of their presence from this region. And all the resistance movements will aid us.

The last sentence is key. The goal isn’t necessarily a nail to be hit with an hammer, but something that can be more subtly achieved by denial of territory to, and harassment of the enemy, attrition to the enemy’s men and materiel, diplomacy and the leverage gained by it, and politics. The method is one which is slowly grinding out a result in Syria; moreover, it is, since the Americans and allies began operations for conquest in the Middle East and North Africa through proxies in 2011, fighting fire with fire. It may be that it is, by a mote, not sufficient, and a new element would be required, but whatever happens, there won’t be the terrible conflagration, nor indeed the world war that both sensationalist corporate and alternative media likes to frighten its (sucker for punishment) consumers with.


† For example, “I think a deal might have been arranged between Washington and Tehran via a third party.”

‡ A dissertation is required to reveal the method with specific examples, but one day the author’s patience will surely run out, and there will be no tolerance left to prevent it being written. For the time being, here is a small illustration: you can’t write, after Trump has stood down for fear of a very one-sided trouncing and the ultimate humiliation, “BOTH the USA and Iran don’t want a fullscale (sic) war”, when you have been teaching your audience that i) the USA was at war, not only de facto, but also de jure, with Iran by the act of the assassination of Soleimani (so it follows that the US must have wanted a war), and ii) the prospect of Iranian aggression in answer to the Soleimani assassination meant a 90% chance of a full scale war (where the 90% is clearly about creating expectation of US readiness to go to war, and the 10% is about Iranian expectation of US readiness to go [making Iran deterred from acting]).

ǂ The Millennium Challenge 2002 is written about in the FBEL article, The American military’s “readiness crisis”: why war won’t be waged on Iran. There’s need to go over it again here.

* The statements made in the press conference were gleaned from and corroborated across the Twitter accounts of “Zahra Shafei”, or @shafei_d, and “Abas Aslani”, or @AbasAslani, amongst others, and also from an article in an online publication called the Middle East Observer.

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