Video: Trump Calls Upon Iran: “We Should Work Together”

Includes Full Transcript of Trump's White House Speech, January 8, 2020

On January 8, President Trump spoke from the White House following the Iran missile attack against two US military bases in Iraq in the night of January 8.

While US and Iraqi sources said “there were no known casualties” (CNN) (which is doubtful)  Iranian sources (Fars News) point to 80 US servicemen killed.

More than a dozen missiles were fired. According to the Guardian:

Al-Asad airbase in Iraq’s Anbar province was hit 17 times, including by two ballistic missiles that failed to detonate, according to the Iraqi government. A further five missiles were targeted at a base in the northern city of Erbil in the assault, which began at about 1.30am local time on Wednesday (10.30pm GMT).

The following Video was released by Iran TV

The number of casualties remains to be established.   Reports also suggest that Iran “intentionally missed areas with Americans”.  According to NPR, the strikes were very precise. Moreover, it would appear that the US air defense system did not prevent the missiles from reaching their targets.

Karako says he believes the strike deliberately avoided areas that house personnel. Given the apparent precision of the missiles used: “If they wanted a bunch of casualties they could have done something different,” he says.

Trump in his speech said that there were no casualties.

“No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties. All of our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases.”

Is that a facing-saving statement?

It should be noted that the Iraqi authorities were informed by Iran regarding the attacks. And according to reports Iraqi officials advised the US military, giving them time to evacuate military personnel.

According to both Iranian (as well as Western sources), the attack also caused severe damage to a number of drones, helicopters and military equipment. An NPR report points to substantial damage:

Satellite photographs taken by the commercial company Planet Labs for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies showed what appeared to be at least five destroyed structures at Al Asad. David Schmerler, an analyst at the Middlebury Institute, told NPR: “Some of the locations struck look like the missiles hit dead centre.” (indicating that part of the military facilities had been destroyed, emphasis added)

 

The NPR report confirms through satellite images extensive damage, pointing also to failures in the defence system

The Ayn al-Asad airbase. Source: Bing Maps

Retaliation: Punitive Bombings

Trump in his speech did not mention any form of retaliation or punitive bombing following Iran’s missile strike.

New economic sanctions are envisaged:  “the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions”. 

VIDEO. See full transcript below

Tehran reports that the 15 missiles which hit the US Ayn al-Assad military base were not intercepted by the US Army’s radar system, which (if confirmed) reflects a weakness on the part of the US defense system.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg.

The unspoken truth is that several of America’s military installations in the Middle East are “sitting ducks”. And this is recognised by US military analysts.

US military facilities in the Middle East are vulnerable, including USCENTOM’s forward base at the al Udeid US Air Force base in Qatar which is de facto located in enemy territory. Since 2017, Qatar has become a staunch ally of Iran.

Military analysts now admit that in the case of a conflict with Iran  The Al-Udeid base in Qatar would be an immediate target. “The base’s defence system is said to be ill-equipped to defend itself against the low-flying cruise missiles and drones…” Al Udeid is America’s largest US Airforce base in the Middle East.

Following the assassination of General Suleimani and Trump’s announcement that the US would bomb 52 targets inside Iran, Tehran stated that it was considering as well as identifying  “100 targets … in the region for America and its allies”. (see below map of US military bases in the Middle East)

Strikes on these 100 targets are contemplated in the case of US retaliation in the form of punitive bombings ordered by President Trump.

This 100 targets announcement no doubt had a bearing on Trump’s January 8  White House speech.

President Donald Trump placed emphasis on America’s achievements in combating ISIS (without of course acknowledging that ISIS was a creation of the US, funded by Washington and its allies).

At the end of his White House speech he stated that ISIS is also an enemy of Iran. And that “We should Work Together”.

Tens of thousands of ISIS fighters have been killed or captured during my administration. ISIS is a natural enemy of Iran. The destruction of ISIS is good for Iran and we should work together on this and other shared priorities.
.
Ironically, Trump had ordered the assassination of  General Soleimani who played a central role in countering ISIS-Daesh and Al Qaeda terrorists in both Iraq and Syria. In this regard, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force (IRGC) under the helm of General Soleimani consisted in waging a real counter-terrorism campaign against ISIS-Daesh mercenaries, who from the outset were funded, trained and recruited by the US and its allies. And that’s why they killed him?
 .
And Trump completes his White House speech on a “positive note”:
Finally to the people and leaders of Iran, we want you to have a future, and a great future, one that you deserve, one of prosperity at home in harmony with the nations of the world.
.
The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.

Does this constitute a turning point in Middle East Geopolitics?

A complete withdrawal of US troops from Iraq?

 

.Not a word on Israel in Trump’s speech.

 


TRANSCRIPT OF PRESIDENT TRUMP’S SPEECH

Source: White House

As long as I am President of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.

Good morning. I’m pleased to inform you: The American people should be extremely grateful and happy no Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties, all of our soldiers are safe, and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases. 

Our great American forces are prepared for anything. Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world.

No American or Iraqi lives were lost because of the precautions taken, the dispersal of forces, and an early warning system that worked very well. I salute the incredible skill and courage of America’s men and women in uniform.

For far too long — all the way back to 1979, to be exact — nations have tolerated Iran’s destructive and destabilizing behavior in the Middle East and beyond. Those days are over. Iran has been the leading sponsor of terrorism, and their pursuit of nuclear weapons threatens the civilized world. We will never let that happen.

Last week, we took decisive action to stop a ruthless terrorist from threatening American lives. At my direction, the United States military eliminated the world’s top terrorist, Qasem Soleimani. As the head of the Quds Force, Soleimani was personally responsible for some of the absolutely worst atrocities.

He trained terrorist armies, including Hezbollah, launching terrorist strikes against civilian targets. He fueled bloody civil wars all across the region. He viciously wounded and murdered thousands of U.S. troops, including the planting of roadside bombs that maim and dismember their victims.

Soleimani directed the recent attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq that badly wounded four service members and killed one American, and he orchestrated the violent assault on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. In recent days, he was planning new attacks on American targets, but we stopped him.

Soleimani’s hands were drenched in both American and Iranian blood. He should have been terminated long ago. By removing Soleimani, we have sent a powerful message to terrorists: If you value your own life, you will not threaten the lives of our people.

As we continue to evaluate options in response to Iranian aggression, the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime. These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior.

In recent months alone, Iran has seized ships in international waters, fired an unprovoked strike on Saudi Arabia, and shot down two U.S. drones.

Iran’s hostilities substantially increased after the foolish Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2013, and they were given $150 billion, not to mention $1.8 billion in cash. Instead of saying “thank you” to the United States, they chanted “death to America.” In fact, they chanted “death to America” the day the agreement was signed.

Then, Iran went on a terror spree, funded by the money from the deal, and created hell in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration. The regime also greatly tightened the reins on their own country, even recently killing 1,500 people at the many protests that are taking place all throughout Iran.

The very defective JCPOA expires shortly anyway, and gives Iran a clear and quick path to nuclear breakout. Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and end its support for terrorism. The time has come for the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China to recognize this reality.

They must now break away from the remnants of the Iran deal -– or JCPOA –- and we must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place. We must also make a deal that allows Iran to thrive and prosper, and take advantage of its enormous untapped potential. Iran can be a great country.

Peace and stability cannot prevail in the Middle East as long as Iran continues to foment violence, unrest, hatred, and war. The civilized world must send a clear and unified message to the Iranian regime: Your campaign of terror, murder, mayhem will not be tolerated any longer. It will not be allowed to go forward.

Today, I am going to ask NATO to become much more involved in the Middle East process. Over the last three years, under my leadership, our economy is stronger than ever before and America has achieved energy independence. These historic accompliments [accomplishments] changed our strategic priorities. These are accomplishments that nobody thought were possible. And options in the Middle East became available. We are now the number-one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world. We are independent, and we do not need Middle East oil.

The American military has been completely rebuilt under my administration, at a cost of $2.5 trillion. U.S. Armed Forces are stronger than ever before. Our missiles are big, powerful, accurate, lethal, and fast. Under construction are many hypersonic missiles.

The fact that we have this great military and equipment, however, does not mean we have to use it. We do not want to use it. American strength, both military and economic, is the best deterrent.

Three months ago, after destroying 100 percent of ISIS and its territorial caliphate, we killed the savage leader of ISIS, al-Baghdadi, who was responsible for so much death, including the mass beheadings of Christians, Muslims, and all who stood in his way. He was a monster. Al-Baghdadi was trying again to rebuild the ISIS caliphate, and failed.

Tens of thousands of ISIS fighters have been killed or captured during my administration. ISIS is a natural enemy of Iran. The destruction of ISIS is good for Iran, and we should work together on this and other shared priorities.

Finally, to the people and leaders of Iran: We want you to have a future and a great future — one that you deserve, one of prosperity at home, and harmony with the nations of the world. The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.

Finally, to the people and leaders of Iran: We want you to have a future and a great future — one that you deserve, one of prosperity at home, and harmony with the nations of the world. The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.

I want to thank you, and God bless America. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you

 


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About the author:

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal, Editor of Global Research.  He has taught as visiting professor in Western Europe, Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Latin America. He has served as economic adviser to governments of developing countries and has acted as a consultant for several international organizations. He is the author of eleven books including The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003), America’s “War on Terrorism” (2005), The Global Economic Crisis, The Great Depression of the Twenty-first Century (2009) (Editor), Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011), The Globalization of War, America's Long War against Humanity (2015). He is a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.  His writings have been published in more than twenty languages. In 2014, he was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit of the Republic of Serbia for his writings on NATO's war of aggression against Yugoslavia. He can be reached at [email protected]

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