Iraq

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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

“At Least She Isn’t Trump”

Watching Trump speak all I kept thinking is his lack of a foreign policy is still less George W Bush-like than Hillary Clinton. The Democrat. Who “sensible” people will vote for. Literally wants to repeat the Iraq War in Syria. Still. Even after ISIS. Still wants to overthrow the secular government. Still wants to surround Russia and place more missiles in Eastern Europe.

Stay Home America 2016

In Case You Missed It: 16 Articles That Expose How They Lied Us Into War In Iraq

Last week the anniversary of Iraq War 2. In memory, Scott Horton of Antiwar.com put together a nice list of 16 articles written over the past decade and a half detailing the lies told at the time by the administration, media, foreign intelligence (Israel) and even the supposed “source” proving Saddam had a connection with Bin Laden. I suggest you take the time over morning coffee and read every word. The wild scene taking place in Middle East makes a lot more sense when you know all the planning that went into the shit-storm was based on lies and false intelligence.

Dan Sanchez of the Mises Academy and Medium.com compiled the list here.

Thomas Friedman Asks, Why Not Arm ISIS?

Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist who has more interest in selling the American people on Israeli policy than keeping them safe, suggested that we discuss the following question. Why should America fight another war for Iran in Iraq?

Now I despise ISIS as much as anyone, but let me just toss out a different question: Should we be arming ISIS? Or let me ask that differently: Why are we, for the third time since 9/11, fighting a war on behalf of Iran?

In 2002, we destroyed Iran’s main Sunni foe in Afghanistan (the Taliban regime). In 2003, we destroyed Iran’s main Sunni foe in the Arab world (Saddam Hussein). But because we failed to erect a self-sustaining pluralistic order, which could have been a durable counterbalance to Iran, we created a vacuum in both Iraq and the wider Sunni Arab world. That is why Tehran’s proxies now indirectly dominate four Arab capitals: Beirut, Damascus, Sana and Baghdad.

ISIS, with all its awfulness, emerged as the homegrown Sunni Arab response to this crushing defeat of Sunni Arabism — mixing old pro-Saddam Baathists with medieval Sunni religious fanatics with a collection of ideologues, misfits and adventure-seekers from around the Sunni Muslim world. Obviously, I abhor ISIS and don’t want to see it spread or take over Iraq. I simply raise this question rhetorically because no one else is: Why is it in our interest to destroy the last Sunni bulwark to a total Iranian takeover of Iraq? Because the Shiite militias now leading the fight against ISIS will rule better? Really?

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Simple answer to this is, America shouldn’t.

But Friedman doesn’t want to NOT fight a war, he just fears Shite Iran running Iraq. Why? Because this is what the Israel state fears. Instead, like major players in Israel, Mr. Friedman wants us to ponder the idea of supplying ISIS (Al Qeada) with weapons to fight against the Shites. Israel is already providing medical aid to Syrian rebel fighters sworn to Jaba Al Nusra, Al Qeada’s wing in Syria. The lesser of two evils for Israel is having unorganized Sunni groups running rough-shot over the countryside. Thomas Friedman thinks you should agree.

Even ISIS Understands What “Fiat Currency” Does to an Economy

SIS wants to introduce its own currency and plans to bring back solid gold and silver dinar coins, it has emerged.

The Middle East terror group apparently wants to introduce its own Islamic currency as part of its attempts to solidify its makeshift caliphate.

Militants are said to want to bring back the original dinar, which is an ancient currency from early Islam, and religious figures in Mosul and Iraq’s Nineveh province have apparently announced its return in mosques.

ISIS apparently wants to introduce its own currency and plans to bring back gold and silver dinar coins (above)

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American Troops Back in Harms Way in Iraq: Helicopters Return to Combat

Mitchell Prothero and Jonathan Landay break the story over at McClatchy Newspapers. Obama and most Americans believe that American troops won’t need to go back to Iraq to defeat ISIS. That’s why public support is high for intervention in Iraq; because the majority of Americans believed that drones and “aid” to the Iraq army would be the extent of our involvement.

This escalation exposes that myth, and makes the cause for non-intervention. There is no solution. You can’t defeat a insurgency that grows with every bomb dropped on a Sunni village. The only way to bring “control” to Iraq is to re-invade. And for what? What does that accomplish? It didn’t work the first time. It wasn’t until the Sunni tribal leaders turned their backs on Al Qaeda In Iraq that some semblance of order returned to the Northern Iraq. The country will still never be the same.

So what does our government do? The predictable thing. It puts American troops back in harms way. These Apache helicopters can be shot down from the ground. Unlike the F-15s & drones. ISIS has already produced a booklet on how to shoot them down! What happens when a pilot is taken hostage and beheaded? You know what will happen. Not one American will blame the sociopaths in the Pentagon for sending troops back into a lawless piece of sand that has no national interest to America. Please read the full scoop below:

— The United States sent attack helicopters into combat against Islamic State targets west of Baghdad on Sunday, the first time low-flying Army aircraft have been committed to fighting in an engagement that the Obama administration has promised would not include “boots on the ground.”

The U.S. Central Command, in a statement about U.S. activities against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, provided few specifics about the helicopters. But they were likely AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, which were deployed to Baghdad International Airport in June to provide protection for U.S. military and diplomatic facilities.

Until Sunday, U.S. airstrikes in Iraq have been limited to fast-moving Air Force and Navy fighter aircraft and drones. But the use of the relatively slow-flying helicopters represents an escalation of American military involvement and is a sign that the security situation in Iraq’s Anbar province is deteriorating. Last week, the Islamic State militants overran numerous Iraqi bases and towns and were becoming a widespread presence in Abu Ghraib, the last major town outside of Baghdad’s western suburbs.

Jeffrey White, a former senior Defense Intelligence Agency analyst who closely follows developments in Iraq, said the use of helicopter gunships by the United States means that U.S. troops effectively are now directly involved in ground battles.

“It’s definitely boots in the air. This is combat, assuming U.S. Army guys were flying the helicopters,” said White, a defense fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a center-right policy institute. “Using helicopter gunships in combat operations means those forces are in combat.”

Moreover, the Obama administration’s decision to authorize the use of U.S. helicopter gunships indicates that nearly two months of U.S.-led airstrikes by fixed-wing fighters and bombers have failed to stop the Islamic State from massing ground troops and launching offensive operations, he said.

“It means however we were applying air power previously didn’t work to stop them from putting together offensive actions. One of the hopes was that using air power would impede them from using offensive operations,” White said. “But apparently, they have been successful in doing that despite the airstrikes.”

At the time the Apache squadron was deployed to Iraq, Pentagon officials said the aircraft would be used to protect American military and diplomatic facilities at the airport and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

But the advance by the Islamic State into the Abu Ghraib area just outside the airport complex threatens to put the militants within rocket and artillery range of the facility, which houses hundreds of U.S. military advisers and a joint operations center. Any sustained shelling would likely force a closure of the airport, posing a hazard not only for American troops working in the joint operations center, but for plans to evacuate U.S. diplomatic personnel.

Although the administration has repeatedly said that no “ground forces” would be used in the fight against the Islamic State, the use of the AH-64 represents a blurring of that promise.

The helicopters carry a two-man crew and with their missiles and powerful canon, increase the amount and accuracy of the firepower that the U.S. military can bring to bear against the Islamic State in support of Iraqi ground troops. But because helicopters fly relatively “low and slow,” the Obama administration is taking on greater risk in terms of exposing U.S. forces to casualties, White said.

“The Iraqi air force just lost a brand new Russian helicopter (to Islamic State ground fire). So it’s significantly higher risk for whoever is flying the mission,” said White. “It’s certainly crossing another threshold. The U.S. is conducting strikes that are directly involved in combat.”

In its announcement, Central Command said the U.S. had employed “bomber, fighter and helicopter aircraft” to attack six targets northeast of Fallujah and southeast of Hit, both Islamic State-occupied towns in Anbar. It also said an Islamic State Humvee had been destroyed northeast of Sinjar, in northern Iraq.

In Syria, the Central Command said, U.S. aircraft struck Islamic State positions described as northwest of Mayadin and northwest of Raqqa. The targets included “a large ISIL unit” and “six ISIL firing positions,” the Central Command said.

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