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RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: Ignore the red flags of revenge over Iran… now is the time to keep calm and carry on
By Richard Littlejohn for the Daily Mail, 7 January 2020
As news broke that Iran’s top general had been fast-tracked through departures at Baghdad Airport by an American drone strike, the heart sank.
Not that the vaporisation of a bloodthirsty Islamist psychopath responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent people should be anything other than a cause for celebration.
It’s just that I could have predicted what would follow. And I’m not talking about the ritual sabre-rattling, wailing and gnashing of teeth from Tehran.
No, it’s the tedious, knee-jerk condemnation from Iran’s useful idiots here in Britain that is so depressing.
As news broke that Iran’s top general (pictured) had been fast-tracked through departures at Baghdad Airport by an American drone strike, the heart sank
Naturally, O.J. Corbyn was first out of the blocks with one of his boilerplate anti-American diatribes. And his terrorist-loving sidekick McDonnell took to the streets five minutes later with the usual suspects from the Stop The War rabble.
Of course he did. McDonnell and Corbyn have never met an enemy of Britain they didn’t like.
Frankly, who cares what either of Labour’s losers thinks about anything any more? They’re history, but they just don’t know when to leave the stage.
Given five minutes’ notice of the drone strike, I could have told you precisely how it would be received.
Donald Trump would be accused of trying to start World War III, violating international law and deliberately escalating tensions in the Middle East. Meanwhile, TV coverage would concentrate on the grieving rent-a-mobs vowing retaliation. How many times have we seen assorted Iranian ‘lawmakers’ chanting ‘Death to America’ over the past 40 years?
Naturally, O.J. Corbyn (left) was first out of the blocks with one of his boilerplate anti-American diatribes. And his terrorist-loving sidekick McDonnell (right) took to the streets five minutes later with the usual suspects from the Stop The War rabble
One of the funniest things on Sky News yesterday was the detailed analysis of the crowd at the funeral march in Tehran. We were told we should especially look out for red flags among the sea of flags being raised. Never mind the black-and-white banners, these were the Shia ‘Red Flags of Revenge’.
Aaargh! Beware the Red Flags of Revenge!
The fact that they had been unfurled meant Iran now had to strike back. As if they weren’t going to, anyway.
Iran doesn’t so much strike back as strike first. For at least four decades, Tehran has been pursuing an unrelenting campaign of terror, particularly against American targets, much of it orchestrated by Qassem Soleimani until that American missile finally caught up with him on Friday.
Yet after paying lip-service to the fact that Soleimani wasn’t exactly Iran’s answer to the saintly Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a conga-line of ‘experts’ was wheeled out to explain why killing him was a threat to world peace.
Donald Trump (pictured) would be accused of trying to start World War III, violating international law and deliberately escalating tensions in the Middle East
Somehow, though, Iran’s regional expansionism, sponsorship of terrorist organisations and responsibility for countless murders as far afield as Indonesia and Buenos Aires keeps getting put on the back-burner.
The narrative is always about American aggression, just as Israel is always blamed for ‘perpetuating the cycle of violence’ every time it reacts — proportionately — to thousands of rockets being fired at its civilian population by Iran’s proxy terror groups in Palestine.
Trump is accused of violating Iraq’s sovereignty by taking out Soleimani in Baghdad. But what was the Iranian-inspired attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad last week if not a violation of sovereignty? And what the hell was Soleimani doing there in Iraq in the first place?
Trump is already being warned that destroying ‘cultural sites’ in Iran will amount to a war crime. Why flatten an ancient mosque, rather than a nuclear enrichment plant or a terrorist training camp?
This kind of nonsense is right up there with the constant warnings during the Iraq War about the dangers of violating ‘holy cities’ and disturbing the sanctity of ‘Friday prayers’.
Soleimani’s body was returned to Iran on Sunday. People are seen carrying his casket upon arrival at Ahvaz International Airport in Tehran. The casket was greeted by chants of ‘Death to America’ as Iran issued new threats of retaliation
Turned out just about every city, town or hamlet in the Middle East qualifies as ‘holy’.
I can remembering wondering at the time why we never describe Canterbury or Winchester as ‘holy cities’ or talk about Christians taking part in ‘Sunday prayers’. It’s just another manifestation of the cultural cringe which promotes all other faiths and beliefs above our own.
We are also told the President’s recklessness will drag Britain into war with Iran, as if the mad mullahs don’t hate us enough already. In the aftermath of the Iraq invasion, nearly 200 British troops were killed by roadside bombs and munitions supplied by Iran.
And how many people now remember the taking of Royal Navy hostages in the Shatt-al-Arab waterway in 2007? They were paraded on Iranian TV in a deliberate attempt to humiliate Britain.
Coincidentally, we have just learned of the death of special forces hero Tom MacDonald, who took part in the SAS operation to rescue hostages taken by Islamist terrorists loyal to Ayatollah Khomeini during the Iranian Embassy siege in London in 1980. That’s a poignant reminder of just how long Iran has been exporting terror beyond its borders.
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It came after an Iranian mob invaded the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, holding more than 50 hostages for 444 days. More recently, Iranian-backed jihadis attacked the U.S Embassy in Benghazi, killing the ambassador.
But the abject failure of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to punish Iran for the Benghazi atrocity only emboldened the bloodthirsty Iranian regime still further. Obama even tried to appease the Iranians with billions of dollars for a non-proliferation deal Tehran never had any intention of honouring.
It’s fair to say, though, that if Obama had ordered a drone attack on Soleimani, he’d have been hailed as a hero, striking an historic and measured blow for peace and stability.
Most of the antagonism levelled at America’s action in taking out Soleimani has been motivated by pure, visceral hatred of Trump, both here and in the U.S. He’s been monstered for not telling the British government in advance of the attack. So much for the so-called special relationship, eh?
Yet given the leaking last year of our former Washington Ambassador Kim Darroch’s confidential cables containing withering criticism of the President, who can blame him for not trusting the usual diplomatic channels?
For all we know, Trump called Boris at his holiday hideaway on Mustique. They do have telephones in the Caribbean.
As regular readers are aware, this column doesn’t do honeymoon periods. But I won’t join in the criticism of Boris for not cutting his holiday short.
For a start, he deserved a break after the travails and eventual triumphs of the past few months.
Anyway, what was he supposed to do? My fear was that Boris would channel his inner Churchill complex and turn up in a siren suit and a homburg, puffing on a large cigar and pushing toy tanks round a sandpit in the Cabinet war rooms.
After all, Blair, Brown, Call Me Dave and even Mrs May would have been unable to resist such an opportunity for grandstanding.
Yet Boris, wisely, stuck to his sun-lounger, poured himself another rum punch and monitored events from the pool side, while trusting his ministers, aides and generals back in London to do their jobs.
Never mind how much point-scoring politicians and TV producers desperate to fill their rolling news schedules might protest. This was grown-up government.
Boris has given his full support to Trump, and reassured the Europeans, while refusing to over-react and maintaining a commendable spirit of independence.
Nobody really knows what is going to happen next. My best guess is that Trump will have seriously rattled Tehran. The mullahs now know they can no longer attack U.S. targets with impunity.
Yes, there will probably be some kind of retaliation met by further retribution from the U.S, but it’s not the beginning of World War III. And even if it is, Boris has made a decent start worthy of his hero.
Keep Calm and Carry On
The Army has blown a few million quid on yet another fatuous advert attempting to persuade millennials to enlist. Here’s a better idea: bring back conscription. Snowflakes, your country really does need you!
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