Iraq

The Voluntary Exchange Podcast: Just Play Football

Bright and early on a Sunday morning is a good time as any to record this week. I spend most of the time ranting about the situation with the NFL, and how the masses have taken over the political discussion in this country while solutions to the issues are put on the side. Virtue Signaling is the new activism. I also get into the Kurdish referendum and Catalonia’s attempt at it’s own.

Episode link here.

Full podcast archives can be found here. The podcast can also be downloaded from ITunes on any of the podcast apps you use.

Article to check out:

The Dancing Israelis – By Philip Giraldi

Sources

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Episode Preview: The Voluntary Exchange Podcast – Week of 9/28/2017

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Good morning!

This week was light on news, if you don’t really care about the NFL like me. I will speak on it a bit in this week’s episode though. I guess I have to. I want to talk more about the Kurdish Referendum and Catalonia. Along with a couple other stories I found interesting, this week’s episode will be more freeform then usual. Last week being ignored.

This week’s topics include:

Image source – Erbil

The Voluntary Exchange Podcast: Lords of War

In this episode I discuss the discovery of a gun running operation from The Balkans to Syria and the gangster Bulgarian reporter that uncovered it (and was fired). I touch on Trump and Kim never-ending over who has the bigger missile. Shifting gears, I explain what the president means by “take the gloves off” in Afghanistan by pointing to Mosul, Iraq. A place where that policy has already been implemented. The conflict in Syria is also noted, updating you on the new geopolitical struggle between Russia/Syria and Israel.

Episode link here

Full podcast archives can be found here. The podcast can also be downloaded from ITunes on any of the podcast apps you use.

I also want to take a minute to link to a few longer stories I think are worth your time:

350 Diplomatic Flights Carry Weapons for Terrorists – The story that got Dilyana Gaytandzhieva fired.

End Times in Mosul – Patrick Cockburn details the horror the civilian population of Western Mosul endured under ISIS control and during Mosul’s “liberation” by US-backed Shite forces.

Syrian Man Recounts 33 Days Of Torture At Hands Of CIA-Backed FSA – @sarahabed tells the story of a Syrian man named Shadi’s journey from Syria, back to Syria, only to be kidnapped and tortured by the US-back Free Syrian Army.

Memories of Palestine – @evehuman tell her story of her time in Palestine.

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Episode Preview: The Voluntary Exchange Podcast – Week of 8/31/2017

Good morning!

Tomorrow I will be putting out the most recent episode of the podcast. This week had some major escalations in different areas, along with the uncovering of a huge gun-running scandal, and Trump’s Afghanistan policy starts taking shape.

This week’s topics include:

I will still be offering to take listener requests for topics to discuss on future episodes. Submit your suggestions in the comment section!

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Episode Preview: The Voluntary Exchange Podcast – Week of 8/20/2017

Good morning!

Tomorrow I will be recording and posting this weeks episode of The Voluntary Exchange Podcast. This week has been light in geopolitical stories. This episode will focus on much of the same stories from last week. Of course, the bulk of the episode will be my breakdown of Trump’s speech on Afghanistan from Monday. I posted my initial thoughts on the speech earlier this week, so I’ll hit on these points again.

This week’s topics include:

I will still be offering to take listener requests for topics to discuss on future episodes. Anything can be requested, but I do like to focus more on war and locking people in cages than transgender bathrooms. Submit your suggestions in the comment section!

I’d also like to give a shout out to Scott Horton. He has his first book out on Amazon, “Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan”. If you don’t know Scott Horton, he is the editor of Antiwar.com, one of the founders of The Libertarian Institute, foreign policy Jedi, anarcho-capitalist, skateboard, and all around badass.

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Episode: Billy and The Boys

In this episode, I update you on India-China, North Korea and ask why no one on Facebook is sharing videos from Mosul, Iraq. I get domestic and discuss healthcare, Rand Paul’s good week, and the trans-ban.

episode link

Sources

China Adds Troops To India Border, Will Defend Sovereignty At “Whatever Cost”
Why Is the World Not Outraged at Mass Civilian Death in Mosul?
North Korea claims all of U.S. in strike range as Trump says China has done “nothing”
One in every 45 people in Yemen is expected to contract cholera, Red Cross says
Thousands of worshippers surge into Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, 113 injured
Rand Paul Blocks DOD Authorization Until September
White House Sacks Top Iran Hawk Amid Ongoing Disagreements

Bleeding Heart Americans Remember Aleppo, Clueless About Mosul

Remember when Facebook was filled with bleeding hearts sharing videos of the horrors being carried out by Russian-backed Assad forced in Aleppo, Syria?

Well, Barack Obama and Donald Trump did the same thing in Mosul, Iraq through US-backed Iraqi government forces. 
This is from an article over at Middle East Eye:

Over the last week, armoured bulldozers have trundled back and forth over the crumpled houses, grinding uncounted corpses into the rubble.

But the dead refuse to go away. Rotting body parts glow a reddish-brown amid the pale grey of the undulating heatscape of masonry, dust and broken buildings.

“There are many civilians among the bodies,” an Iraqi army major tells MEE. “After liberation was announced, the order was given to kill anything or anyone that moved.”

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the major says the orders were wrong, but the military had to follow them.

“It was not the right thing to do,” he says. “Most of the Daesh fighters surrendered. They gave themselves up, and we just killed them.”

Anyone? I know it’s not on CNN….

Episode: Turkey-NATO & Gaza in the Dark

Quick update on the situation in northern Iraq, how it relates to Turkey’s turn towards Russia, and how a population of 2 million people are in the dark with no place to go.

Episode link

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Sources:

Darkness in Gaza as last power plant shuts down
House Approves $696 Billion Military Spending Bill

Trump Wants Authority to Build New Bases in Iraq, Syria

Turkey Ousts Over 7,500 More, Mostly Troops, as Post-Coup Purge Continues

US cannot prove IS chief is dead: Mattis

Ankara denied German lawmakers permission to visit Bundeswehr troops stationed at a NATO base near the Turkish town of Konya

Turkey Chooses Russia Over NATO for Missile Defense

Trump envoy announces Israeli-Palestinian water deal

Episode: Sunni? Shia? Shite? Kurds?

Episode link

I try to get my thoughts together long enough to give you a quick breakdown of the fallout of Mosul, Iraq being “liberated”.

The sectarian divide is expanding, and it is confusing. As this episode is proof of.

I also talk about the G20, and how I don’t understand everyone’s obsession with being the cool kid at the big criminal party.

After Mosul: The coming break-up of Iraq and end of the Middle East

Two firms win bids on new $600 million US consulate project in Erbil

Turkey’s Erdogan says Iraq should avoid independence referendum

Dead again? Syrian group claims ISIS leader al-Baghdadi is gone

Video Shows US-Backed Syrian Kurds Torturing Detainees

Australian Journalist’s Trump Teardown Goes Viral Amid Interest in G-20

Russian Oligarch Who Plotted to Aid Trump Was Named in Private Intelligence Dossier

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Business As Usually for the US Empire Under Trump

Now I know it is shocking to read an article title such as this with a Republican in the White House. With all of Trump’s talk of trying not to get bogged down in Middle East conflicts and business of empire, he is doing a terrible job so far.

Save maybe his stance toward Russia, Trump’s administration is continuing to signal that not much is going to change in the next four years.

Starting with his first week in office, Mr. Trump signed off on the raid in Yemen without any intelligence which left civilians dead, including the young daughter of previously slain Anwar Al-Awlaki. This raid was a sloppy mess, producing no usable intel and included even a US casualty; the US Navy Seal Trump attempted to use as a political chess piece at his first speech to Congress.The target of the raid was not even killed, as in early March he released audio taunting the president.

Trump’s next Clinton-like idea came in the form of “safe zones” in Syria. An idea which much like Clinton’s “no-fly zone” would need to be administered over sovereign Syrian terrorist. All to help destabilize the hold the government has on it’s own country there.

Moving to this week, we see the rest of the policy coming into form. I previously wrote about the US airstrikes in Mosul that killed dozens of civilians. Well, that number is now in the HUNDREDS and has been confirmed by coalition forces. Any idea that Trump would be shifting policy in Iraq seemed to go out the window when the man that Trump defers to on all things military, General Mattis, stated that US troops will need to stay in Iraq “for years”. This will not be nation-building Mattis says, but just “stabilization”. We don’t know to pull out like that wimp Obama and create another vacuum for ISIS to fill…

As we move to the African continent, we are introduced to the great military mind US African Commander Gen. Thomas Waldhauser. This genius is petitioning the president to keep US forces in Libya to help combat ISIS, which has a presence of 200 total men in a country the size of the Northeast. This is to help “stabilize” the nation, and also to keep Russia from influencing the government there. Something that is supposed to the job of the United States.

Commander Walhauser also wants expanded presence in Somalia. Doubling down on the Syria-type engagement strategy here. Arming rebels, embedding US Special Forces, airstrikes and drones. This keeps the Marines off the ground and allows for some PR space back home.

As you can see from the laundry list of bad ideas, not much is going to change under Trump. Not that this is shocking to anyone. If anything, it helps to highlight how the empire works. No matter who is sitting in the Oval Office, the policy stays the same.

The only saving grace with Trump was supposed to be his views on Russia and NATO. But even that seems to just be window dressing. Yes, he is annoying our NATO and EU allies with his brash behavior during his meeting with German Chancellor Merkel and his applause for Brexit. But this isn’t keeping his underlings from moving the status quo forward.

Newly confirmed Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley can be found on video threatening sanctions on Russia unless they “give back” Crimea and “leave” Ukraine:

Lets not forget about the rouge-element within Congress in the form of John McCain. Sen. McCain has been cheer-leading for more NATO expansion in eastern Europe, including the welcoming of Montenegro into the alliance. A move that will surely be approved by Congress and the president, no matter what Rand Paul’s feelings are on the subject.

Sen. McCain has become the leading voice for Neo-Conservative, Liberal-Internationalist wing of Washington with Trump in office. Just this Friday, McCain spoke out in Brussels repeating his support for more EU and NATO cooperation in the region. Going as far as to say that the world “cries out for American and European leadership” and that “The New World Order is under enormous strain”. Music to my ears but disaster in McCain’s eyes.

As the Trump presidency continues to unfold, focus at least some of your attention away from the dumpster-fire which is domestic politics, and watch to see if there is any change in the foreign policy of the Empire.