From the Washington Post:
NEW YORK — A federal judge has signed a default judgment finding Iran, the Taliban and al-Qaida liable in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Judge George Daniels in Manhattan signed the judgment Thursday, a week after hearing testimony in the 10-year-old case. The signed ruling, which he promised last week, came in a $100 billion lawsuit brought by family members of victims of the attacks. He directed a magistrate judge to preside over remaining issues, including fixing compensatory and punitive damages.
But I thought Iraq was culpable for it!
Suck on this!
We hit Iraq because we could!
Of course, war hawks (the same war hawks who wanted to hit Iraq — and succeeded in spending trillions of dollars on an expensive and fragilising conflict that did nothing whatever for national security) are always looking for compelling and emotive justifications for their war-mongering.
And in Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, hawks like Friedman have found a man who is in many ways their shadow. Flamboyant, provocative, over-the-top and fiercely combative Ahmadinejad gladly engages in anything that will piss the West off — holocaust revisionism, 9/11 trutherism, and now war games around a major international shipping lane.
“Suck on this!”, as Tom Friedman put it.
From Zero Hedge:
Iran is launching a “massive” 10 day war games naval exercise right in the belly of the beast.
Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari on Thursday announced the upcoming launch of ten-day massive naval exercises in the international waters.
“This is the first time that Iran’s Navy carries out naval drills in such a vast area”, he was quoted as saying. “The exercises will manifest Iran’s military prowess and defense capabilities in the international waters, convey a message of peace and friendship to regional countries and test the newest military equipment among other objectives”. He added that “the newest missile systems and torpedoes will be employed in the maneuvers, adding that the most recent tactics used in subsurface battles will also be demonstrated. Iranian destroyers, missile-launching vessels, logistic vessels, drones and coastal missiles will also be tested.“
There can be no question that this “exercise” may well be a cover for seizing and closing the Strait of Hormuz.
The real question is how America will respond.
From the National Post:
The Strait is a 50-kilometre wide passageway through which about a third of the world’s oil tanker traffic sails. Whoever controls this crucial choke-point virtually controls Middle East oil exports.
“The importance of this waterway to both American military and economic interests is difficult to overstate,” said a report by geopolitical analysts at the global intelligence firm Stratfor.
“Considering Washington’s more general — and fundamental — interest in securing freedom of the seas, the U.S. Navy would almost be forced to respond aggressively to any attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz.”
“Iran has built up a large mix of unconventional forces in the Gulf that can challenge its neighbours in a wide variety of asymmetric wars, including low-level wars of attrition,” said Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington.