Democrats seem thrilled that John Bolton – a leading neoconservative, an advocate of bombing Iran and North Korea, and, briefly, Trump’s National Security advisor – has said he would testify at Senate impeachment hearings, if subpoenaed. They seem to hope Bolton will be another John Dean, who, during the Senate Watergate Committee hearings, provided explosive testimony that ultimately helped lead to the downfall and resignation of President Richard Nixon. Don’t count on it Is it just a coincidence, that after resisting calls to testify in the House impeachment hearings, Bolton announced his willingness to testify in the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump only days after Trump ordered the assassination of Iran’s top military commander, Quasem Soleimani? Would Bolton, a leading advocate of bombing Iran, suddenly decide to help bring Trump down, at the very moment when Trump is taking action that could lead to a regime-change war with Iran, the fulfillment of Bolton’s greatest aspiration? Don’t forget who John Bolton is. For decades, he’s been one of the leading advocates of preemptive American military action around the world. There’s hardly an international crisis for which Bolton doesn’t advocate pre-emptive war. He has advocated a pre-emptive strike on Korea that could easily have precipitated a nuclear war. He opposes a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. And he advocated tearing up the Iran nuclear treaty and bombing Iran. The Washington Post reports Bolton “wants a future in Republican politics and does not want to be seen as someone who is trying to ingratiate himself to the president’s critics.” So wake up, Democrats. Stop expecting help from Bolton and his neocon kin.
Iran Launches Limited Attack On Iraqi Bases
Iran's strikes seem intended to avoid US deaths. Here's why that might be the case. CNN: "It is perhaps the most brazen attack Iran has launched against the United States in four decades of simmering covert and overt conflict. The timing. The target. The threats of heavy retaliation already "locked and loaded," as President Trump would have had it. Yet Wednesday morning's missile strikes against al-Asad airbase and Erbil airport -- both of which play host to US troops -- were clearly not an act designed to kill the most Americans possible. Iran will have known that the troops are normally asleep in the early hours of the morning. Choosing to attack then likely minimized the number of personnel roaming around the base who could be killed or injured. It will also have known the US has a strong air defense system that would have been on high alert. Tehran should have a grasp of how well its missiles would fare against such technology. The missile attacks don't make sense if Tehran's goal was to really hurt US troops in large numbers -- as some had been pledging to do. They do make sense, however, as the execution of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's order to strike back openly, military-to-military, in response to the killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani."
House Pushes To Block War Funding
Progressives push for votes to block funding for war against Iran. The Hill: "House progressives on Tuesday called for votes on legislation to block funding for military action against Iran and on repealing the 2002 authorization of military force that would go beyond an expected vote this week to limit President Trump's actions in the country. Freshman Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), a former CIA and Pentagon analyst who served multiple tours in Iraq and represents a competitive district, is expected to lead a still-unreleased resolution stating that the Trump administration's military hostilities with Iran must cease within 30 days if no further congressional action is taken. Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are expected to back that resolution but are also pushing for votes on additional bills to restrict the Trump administration's actions against Iran following an airstrike last week that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus called for "immediate floor action" on two other measures. One from Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) would prohibit funds for offensive military force in or against Iran without prior authorization from Congress. The other bill, previously introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) last year, would repeal the 2002 authorization of military force against Iraq, which the administration used as legal justification for the Soleimani strike."
Street Protests To Prevent War With Iran
'We Need Everyone in the Streets': More than 180 events planned across U.S. to protest Trump's march to war with Iran. Common Dreams: "After Iran's retaliation for the killing of Gen. Qasem Soleimani intensified fears of another catastrophic Middle East war, a coalition of progressive advocacy groups Tuesday reiterated their call for massive demonstrations across the U.S. to protest President Donald Trump's "military brinksmanship" and demand immediate de-escalation of tensions. 'We will not be forced into another war,' said the coalition, led by MoveOn, Indivisible, Win Without War, and other groups. "On Thursday, January 9, at 5 p.m. local time, the anti-war majority in this country will get visible to oppose Trump's war and say #NoWarWithIran.' As of Wednesday morning, more than 180 demonstrations have been planned across the U.S.—up from just 50 when the protests were first announced Tuesday afternoon.
EPA Seeks To Reveal Confidential Patient Information
EPA’s proposed ‘secret science’ rule directly threatens children’s health. The Conversation: "The Trump administration is working to weaken U.S. environmental regulations in many areas, from water and air pollution to energy development and land conservation. One of its most controversial proposals is known as the “secret science” rule because it would require scientists to disclose all of their raw data, including confidential medical records, in order for their findings to be considered in shaping regulations. This proposal would drastically limit what kinds of scientific and medical research the Environmental Protection Agency can draw on as it makes policy. According to press reports, an EPA advisory panel with many members appointed by President Trump has criticized the rule, saying it will do little to increase transparency and may limit what kinds of research get done. As director of a center on urban health, I study issues including human exposure to toxic substances such as lead and mercury. Confidential patient information is a key resource for my work. If the secret science rule is enacted, I believe that children’s health will suffer as a direct result."