ABC Stands in Awe of Iranian Politicians Chanting ‘Death to America’

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ABC News kicked off Sunday’s Good Morning America by marveling at the sea of mourners in the streets of Iran and hyping the Iranian politicians who gathered on the floor of their legislature to chant “death to America;” in the wake of the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani on Thursday.

This comes as President Trump takes his saber-rattling to a new level,” chided co-host Whit Johnson after they showed off the massive crowd. “[In] a series of tweets, the President warning Iranians that if they strike back, quote, ‘we have targeted 52 Iranians sites representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago.’”

Senior foreign correspondent Ian Pannell was somber as he reported on the gatherings in Iran. “This morning, thousands of mourners on the streets in Iran. Symbolic caskets aloft. Weeping and chanting, ‘I am Soleimani.’ Three days of mourning declared after a U.S. drone strike at the Baghdad Airport killed Iran's top general and other major officials on Thursday night,” he reported. Of course, no mention of those in Iranians who hated Soleimani and the murderous regime.

He then hyped how, on Sunday, “members of the Iranian parliament unanimously chanted ‘Death to America’ with raised fists as their late leader's body was returned to southwest Iran.” Adding: “A red flag, symbolic of a declaration of revenge or war, raised above a key Iranian mosque, Saturday.”

Moving on, Pannell discussed the “small scale” retaliatory actions already being taken by Iranian proxies in Iraq, along with the threats from Iran itself. “And overnight, perhaps the first signs of retaliation. Rocket attacks on the green zone in Baghdad, that houses the U.S. Embassy, and near Balad, a military base. Though, no U.S. diplomats or troops were harmed. Iran and its allies have sworn harsh revenge against the U.S.,” he said.

 

 

Pannell concluded by gawking at how there were Iraqi politicians looking to kick the U.S. out of the country:

PANNELL: Well, one more thing to bring you up to speed on, the Iraqi parliament has been in session and one of the items that some of the parties wanted to discuss was the possibility of expelling U.S. troops from the country. Now, that doesn't look like that’s going to go through, but it does show you the strength of feeling right here in the region.

A few minutes later, and after a segment designed to get viewers afraid of being targeted by Iran, White House correspondent David Wright boasted about “scattered” anti-Trump protests in American cities. He also elevated a conspiracy theory that the airstrike that killed Soleimani was in violation of international law:

There are also questions about the legality of the strike under international law, according to a French human rights expert, who reviews extrajudicial killings for the United Nations. In a series of tweets, she raised questions about the Pentagon's rationale for this operation saying, “it seems far more retaliatory for past acts than anticipatory of imminent self-defense.”

The person Wright was quoting had no access what so ever to the intelligence information that spurred the U.S. to eliminate Soleimani, so she had no way to make the determination. It was only newsworthy to ABC because it fit the anti-Trump narrative.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

ABC’s Good Morning America
January 5, 2020
8:01:54 a.m. Eastern

DAN HARRIS: Hey, good morning and let's get straight to our top story. As we come on the air they are marching in the streets in Iran, angry mourners at a funeral procession for General Qasem Soleimani the powerful, notorious military official taken out in that American drone strike.

WHIT JOHNSON: This comes as President Trump takes his saber-rattling to a new level. [In] a series of tweets, the President warning Iranians that if they strike back, quote, “we have targeted 52 Iranians sites representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago.”

EVA PILGRIM: We have team coverage this morning, including the increased security precautions being taken here at home. Also, George is standing by with analysis but we begin with ABC’s senior foreign correspondent Ian Pannell, who's in the ground in northern Iraq. Good morning, Ian.

IAN PANNELL: Good morning, Eva. That's right, Iraq is on edge today. Perhaps, we've seen the first signs of small scale retaliation overnight. But everyone here is expecting a decisive response. With clear warnings from one of the key pro-Iranian militias here, that attacks against Americans will begin from this evening.

[Cuts to video]

This morning, thousands of mourners on the streets in Iran. Symbolic caskets aloft. Weeping and chanting, “I am Soleimani.” Three days of mourning declared after a U.S. drone strike at the Baghdad Airport killed Iran's top general and other major officials on Thursday night.

In a meeting today, members of the Iranian parliament unanimously chanted "Death to America" with raised fists as their late leader's body was returned to southwest Iran. And a red flag, symbolic of a declaration of revenge or war, raised above a key Iranian mosque, Saturday.

And overnight, perhaps the first signs of retaliation. Rocket attacks on the green zone in Baghdad, that houses the U.S. Embassy and near Balad, a military base. Though, no U.S. diplomats or troops were harmed. Iran and its allies have sworn harsh revenge against the U.S. The head of the Revolutionary Guard threatening to put an end to American presence in the region.

(…)

[Cuts back to live]

PANNELL: Well, one more thing to bring you up to speed on, the Iraqi parliament has been in session and one of the items that some of the parties wanted to discuss was the possibility of expelling U.S. troops from the country. Now, that doesn't look like that’s going to go through, but it does show you the strength of feeling right here in the region.

(…)

8:09:38 a.m. Eastern

DAVID WRIGHT: Democrats in Congress are going to have a lot of questions for the administration. There are also questions about the legality of the strike under international law, according to a French human rights expert, who reviews extrajudicial killings for the United Nations. In a series of tweets, she raised questions about the Pentagon's rationale for this operation saying, “it seems far more retaliatory for past acts than anticipatory of imminent self-defense.” Dan.

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