Generational Dynamics: Modern Generational Theory Generational
 Modern Generational Theory


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 31-Dec-2019
31-Dec-19 World View -- American airstrikes on Iraq's Kataib Hezbollah provoke international fury

Web Log - December, 2019

31-Dec-19 World View -- American airstrikes on Iraq's Kataib Hezbollah provoke international fury

Iran may have purposely baited the Americans to make the airstrikes

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

US forces strike facilities of Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah in Iraq and Syria

Plumes of smoke rise after an explosion at a military base in Iraq on August 12 (AP)
Plumes of smoke rise after an explosion at a military base in Iraq on August 12 (AP)

On Sunday, US forces conducted airstrikes against five facilities in Iraq and Syria belonging to Kataib Hezbollah (Hezbollah Brigades). The locations included weapon storage facilities and command and control locations.

Iraq's Kataib Hezbollah (KH) is a different militant Shia organization than the Lebanon Hezbollah organization that is usually in the news, but both organizations are puppets of Iran and the militant Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The airstrikes were in retaliation for numerous KH artillery strikes on American military bases in Iraq, particularly for a strike on Friday on a US base in Anbar province in western Iraq, killing a US Army contractor, wounding four US armed forces members, and two members of the Iraqi Security Forces. Over 25 KH members were killed.

When ISIS was defeated in Iraq two years ago, the US pulled out most of its troops, leaving behind 5,000 troops at the invitation of Iraq's government to aid and support the Iraqi security forces as they search for and clear ISIS eleeper cells hiding in the deserts. One of these ISIS clearing missions coincided with the US airstrikes against KH.

During the war to eject ISIS from Iraq, US forces fought alongside the Iran-backed Shia Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), since the mostly Sunni Iraqi army soldiers did not want to fight against the Sunni ISIS fighters. After ISIS was defeated, some PMF fighters became Kataib Hezbollah (KH), and have been using violence to force the US to leave Iraq.

Kataib Hezbollah justifications and responses

Kataib Hezbollah on Monday sought to justify the artillery strikes killing Americans. According to KH spokesman Mohammed Mohieh on Monday:

"We are warning the United States as we've warned before -- that their illegal presence means that they're standing against the Iraqi people, and the Iraqi people have the right to confront them with all types of resistance."

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said:

"What we did was take a decisive response that makes clear what President Trump has said for months and months and months was that we will not stand for the Islamic Republic of Iran to take actions that put American men and women in jeopardy."

According to reports, the US warned the Iraq government half an hour before the planned airstrikes, and they said, DON'T DO IT, but the US did it anyway.

The Iraqi army is supposed to protect American bases from attacks by KH and the PMF. There have been numerous attacks in the past, although Friday's was the first where an American was killed. After each attack, Iraq promised to investigate the attack and determine what happened. According to analysts, the PMF are deeply embedded in Iraq's legislature and government, and so the "investigations" have gone nowhere although everyone knows which organization is responsible for the attacks.

After the airstrikes, Iraq's prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi issued a statement saying that the American attack on the Iraqi armed forces as an unacceptable vicious assault that will have dangerous consequences. His reference to the "Iraqi armed forces" reflects the fact that many of the PMF units have been incorporated into Iraq's army after defeating ISIS, and therefore the airstrikes targeted Iraq's army on Iraq's soil.

Not surprisingly, there have been the usual chorus of outrage against the United States for the airstrikes from the usual stellar peace-loving world community members as Iran, Russia and China.

Consequences of the airstrikes on anti-Iran anti-government protests

Pundits have been speculating on the consequences and outcome of the American airstrikes.

Some pundits have speculated that this is just the first step in a planned American action against Iran, possibly a war.

Others have speculated that the IRGC and KH will now have to retaliate against the Americans and that, once again, this will lead to war.

Neither of those speculations seems particularly likely.

However, it's possible that the airstrikes will further destabilize Iraq's government. Iraq has been facing massive anti-Iran and anti-government protests, as I've described several times. (See "29-Nov-19 World View -- Spiraling bloodbath in Iraq, as anti-Iran and anti-government riots spread")

Most of protesters have been objecting to Iran's influence in Iraq, blaming Iran for Iraq's impoverishment. Most of the protesters are from the predominantly Shia southern Iraq, and are young kids who are well aware that their grandfathers and grandmothers were attacked, raped, tortured, and killed by Iranians during the Iran/Iraq war.

Iran may have purposely baited the Americans to make the airstrikes

A couple of analysts have suggested that the KH attacks on American bases were ordered by Iran purposely to bait the Americans into conducting exactly the kind of airstrike that occurred, so that Iran could unify the Iraqis against the Americans.

This would be typical of Iran's playbook. During the 1979 Iran civil war, the clerics were able to unite the Iranians by taking over the American embassy in Tehran and keeping the Americans hostage (the Iranian Hostage Crisis). Since then, as Iran's younger generations have grown increasingly pro-Western and pro-American, Iran's hardline geezer leadership has been desperately using one trick after another to achieve the same result. What they've discovered, as I've described many times, is that what works in a generational Crisis era fails in a generational Awakening or Unraveling era, and today, most Iranians today see through these desperate attempts by Iran's leadership.

Although the press is describing the KH attacks and retaliatory airstrikes as a conflict between the US versus Iraq and Iran, it's really a conflict between Iraq versus Iran, replaying some of the bitter, violent clashes of the 1980s Iran/Iraq generational crisis war.

The United States has played the role of Policeman of the World since the Truman Doctrine was announced in 1947. Whenever the US plays policeman, it has always received blame for not doing it right, or for doing it for the oil. Today, we're hearing pundits blame the problems in the Mideast on the US because the US has been withdrawing from the Mideast. Presumably these people believe that we should somehow intervene between Iraq and Iran in the current mess. I'm sure that would go well.


Related Articles:

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the Generational Dynamics World View News thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (31-Dec-2019) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

Web Log Pages

Current Web Log

Web Log Summary - 2020
Web Log Summary - 2019
Web Log Summary - 2018
Web Log Summary - 2017
Web Log Summary - 2016
Web Log Summary - 2015
Web Log Summary - 2014
Web Log Summary - 2013
Web Log Summary - 2012
Web Log Summary - 2011
Web Log Summary - 2010
Web Log Summary - 2009
Web Log Summary - 2008
Web Log Summary - 2007
Web Log Summary - 2006
Web Log Summary - 2005
Web Log Summary - 2004

Web Log - December, 2020
Web Log - November, 2020
Web Log - October, 2020
Web Log - September, 2020
Web Log - August, 2020
Web Log - July, 2020
Web Log - June, 2020
Web Log - May, 2020
Web Log - April, 2020
Web Log - March, 2020
Web Log - February, 2020
Web Log - January, 2020
Web Log - December, 2019
Web Log - November, 2019
Web Log - October, 2019
Web Log - September, 2019
Web Log - August, 2019
Web Log - July, 2019
Web Log - June, 2019
Web Log - May, 2019
Web Log - April, 2019
Web Log - March, 2019
Web Log - February, 2019
Web Log - January, 2019
Web Log - December, 2018
Web Log - November, 2018
Web Log - October, 2018
Web Log - September, 2018
Web Log - August, 2018
Web Log - July, 2018
Web Log - June, 2018
Web Log - May, 2018
Web Log - April, 2018
Web Log - March, 2018
Web Log - February, 2018
Web Log - January, 2018
Web Log - December, 2017
Web Log - November, 2017
Web Log - October, 2017
Web Log - September, 2017
Web Log - August, 2017
Web Log - July, 2017
Web Log - June, 2017
Web Log - May, 2017
Web Log - April, 2017
Web Log - March, 2017
Web Log - February, 2017
Web Log - January, 2017
Web Log - December, 2016
Web Log - November, 2016
Web Log - October, 2016
Web Log - September, 2016
Web Log - August, 2016
Web Log - July, 2016
Web Log - June, 2016
Web Log - May, 2016
Web Log - April, 2016
Web Log - March, 2016
Web Log - February, 2016
Web Log - January, 2016
Web Log - December, 2015
Web Log - November, 2015
Web Log - October, 2015
Web Log - September, 2015
Web Log - August, 2015
Web Log - July, 2015
Web Log - June, 2015
Web Log - May, 2015
Web Log - April, 2015
Web Log - March, 2015
Web Log - February, 2015
Web Log - January, 2015
Web Log - December, 2014
Web Log - November, 2014
Web Log - October, 2014
Web Log - September, 2014
Web Log - August, 2014
Web Log - July, 2014
Web Log - June, 2014
Web Log - May, 2014
Web Log - April, 2014
Web Log - March, 2014
Web Log - February, 2014
Web Log - January, 2014
Web Log - December, 2013
Web Log - November, 2013
Web Log - October, 2013
Web Log - September, 2013
Web Log - August, 2013
Web Log - July, 2013
Web Log - June, 2013
Web Log - May, 2013
Web Log - April, 2013
Web Log - March, 2013
Web Log - February, 2013
Web Log - January, 2013
Web Log - December, 2012
Web Log - November, 2012
Web Log - October, 2012
Web Log - September, 2012
Web Log - August, 2012
Web Log - July, 2012
Web Log - June, 2012
Web Log - May, 2012
Web Log - April, 2012
Web Log - March, 2012
Web Log - February, 2012
Web Log - January, 2012
Web Log - December, 2011
Web Log - November, 2011
Web Log - October, 2011
Web Log - September, 2011
Web Log - August, 2011
Web Log - July, 2011
Web Log - June, 2011
Web Log - May, 2011
Web Log - April, 2011
Web Log - March, 2011
Web Log - February, 2011
Web Log - January, 2011
Web Log - December, 2010
Web Log - November, 2010
Web Log - October, 2010
Web Log - September, 2010
Web Log - August, 2010
Web Log - July, 2010
Web Log - June, 2010
Web Log - May, 2010
Web Log - April, 2010
Web Log - March, 2010
Web Log - February, 2010
Web Log - January, 2010
Web Log - December, 2009
Web Log - November, 2009
Web Log - October, 2009
Web Log - September, 2009
Web Log - August, 2009
Web Log - July, 2009
Web Log - June, 2009
Web Log - May, 2009
Web Log - April, 2009
Web Log - March, 2009
Web Log - February, 2009
Web Log - January, 2009
Web Log - December, 2008
Web Log - November, 2008
Web Log - October, 2008
Web Log - September, 2008
Web Log - August, 2008
Web Log - July, 2008
Web Log - June, 2008
Web Log - May, 2008
Web Log - April, 2008
Web Log - March, 2008
Web Log - February, 2008
Web Log - January, 2008
Web Log - December, 2007
Web Log - November, 2007
Web Log - October, 2007
Web Log - September, 2007
Web Log - August, 2007
Web Log - July, 2007
Web Log - June, 2007
Web Log - May, 2007
Web Log - April, 2007
Web Log - March, 2007
Web Log - February, 2007
Web Log - January, 2007
Web Log - December, 2006
Web Log - November, 2006
Web Log - October, 2006
Web Log - September, 2006
Web Log - August, 2006
Web Log - July, 2006
Web Log - June, 2006
Web Log - May, 2006
Web Log - April, 2006
Web Log - March, 2006
Web Log - February, 2006
Web Log - January, 2006
Web Log - December, 2005
Web Log - November, 2005
Web Log - October, 2005
Web Log - September, 2005
Web Log - August, 2005
Web Log - July, 2005
Web Log - June, 2005
Web Log - May, 2005
Web Log - April, 2005
Web Log - March, 2005
Web Log - February, 2005
Web Log - January, 2005
Web Log - December, 2004
Web Log - November, 2004
Web Log - October, 2004
Web Log - September, 2004
Web Log - August, 2004
Web Log - July, 2004
Web Log - June, 2004

Copyright © 2002-2020 by John J. Xenakis.