The Real Iraq SITREP

I recently reconnected with a friend in Iraq that I met in 1979 when I was in Iraq just after Saddam had taken control…….he is sending me info that the Western media seems to be shy about printing….

All the news we get from Iraq centers around the battle with ISIS and the US attempt to keep the government in power…..plus we keep sending small amounts of troops back to the country to assist in the fight…..but there is an issue that is not reported by many sources here in the West….

It seems that an old nemesis of the US has raised his head again…….

On July 22, Shia Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr stated that the United States brought the Islamic State to Iraq, and would now “seek to be the savior of the people.” Al-Sadr referred to any American presence as “unacceptable” and sees U.S. troops as “occupiers of our land.”

On July 22, Shia Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr claimed that his reform movement does not seek to stage a coup d’etat. Al-Sadr claimed that though “a large number of politicians and analysts” are capable of effecting a coup, the goal of the movement is “not Iraqi blood nor the acquisition of power”; rather, it is about “self determination and ridding the government of corruption.” On July 26, the cleric claimed that the time had not yet come for civil disobedience.

On July 22, Shia Cleric Sadr al-Din Qabbanji spoke out against the establishment of any American military bases in Kurdistan.

On July 24, Al Monitor reported that the Peace Brigades, a PMU loyal to Shia Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, made this claim in an interview: “We will target the U.S. forces anywhere they are in Iraq. We are not only keen on targeting them, but (are) thirsty for their blood.” Last week, ISHM reported that al-Sadr identified U.S. troops as a valid target for Shia militias when asked about how to respond to the recent deployment of 560 U.S. troops to Iraq.

(Education for Peace In Iraq Center)

Appears that US troops are once again in more cross-hairs then before…..how will this end?  Or will it ever end?

I hope to get regular updates from EPIC….as I do I shall pass them on to my readers……

Remember– it is NEVER as simple as they say……..

ISIS area of control keeps shrinking…….

The problem is once ISIS is run of of a region then the militias start taking revenge on the locals….especially it they are Sunni….

Solve on problem and create 2 more…..problems that the US will be tasked at solving……more troops…more money…..more problems…..

Why Millennials Have Less Faith in Democracy

This election has something that no other election has had in 40 years….the youth vote.

In the past Black voters have held the key or Hispanic or women….etc etc……but this year the young could be the deciding vote for who will get the nod to run this country…..

Believe it or not there is a pretty good article in The American Conservative on the youth vote or not…..

The latest media shock from the polls is that millennials have given up on democracy.
A quarter century ago only one-sixth of those between 16 and 24 years of age said democracy was  “fairly bad” or “very bad.” But today that has increased to almost one-quarter among millennials, according to the World Values Survey as reported by Roberto Stefan Foa and Yascha Mounk in a recent edition of the Journal of Democracy.
The main reason was that millennials do not think they can influence policy under democracy.

Source: Why Millennials Have Less Faith in Democracy | The American Conservative

I know…what is old professor doing reading a conservative rag like TAC?

Actually I give all comers a shot at trying to help the reader understand this world a little better and believe it or not….there are some pretty good writers in the magazine….

I may not always agree but I am willing to hear them out….so should anybody that truly cares about the direction of this country….

“When Will They Ever Learn?”

For years I have been trying to inform the American people, especially my regular visitors, that whatever news source you use that is nothing more than propaganda….that’s right CNN, NBC, FOX, etc…they all work as a tool of propaganda…..

There is a way to spot propaganda……a few posts that I wrote trying to help people understand the issue……

Source: What Is Propaganda? – In Saner Thought

Or if that one was not to your liking……

Source: Propaganda 2.0 – In Saner Thought

This began in full blown necessity with the Gulf War of 1990…..the government could NOT allow full access to the military as they did during Vietnam….they, the government, had to control the flow of information…..

It is getting worse today……..

Military’s ‘sock puppet’ software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda

The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an “online persona management service” that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.

Source: Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media | Technology | The Guardian

Not only are the intel services gathering info on the individual but they are also making sure that we have the “right” mindset……I guess the idea of “thought police” did have its contemporaries….

Is that report propaganda?

Take the IST posts I referenced and check out if it falls into the categories listed….if they do then you can be fairly certain that….It is PROPAGANDA!

 

 

 

Iraq And The World Of Tomorrow

This is an op-ed that I put together for my friends at Ace News Room…please stop by their site if it is news you look for then there is few better….

We do not hear much about Iraq these days unless it is all about the fight with ISIS over control of some city or region…..

Iraq has a future regardless of what the nose pickers have to say and there needs to be an understanding of the make-up of the country…..especially if we want the future to be successful that will keep us from having to repeat the last 13 years…….

In the fateful year of 2003 the US and its friends, especially the United kingdom, decided that they would bring democracy to a Middle East by force…..it was a year or choice….and we ch…

Source: Iraq And The World Of Tomorrow

There will be more op-eds to come…..please watch for them…..

What The “Experts” Get Wrong

Ever noticed that many of the “experts” on the Middle East have Anglo-Saxon surnames?  Most could not find the Middle East on a map……

When in my younger years I was employed by a Spanish newspaper and spent much of my time in North Africa and the Middle East……for 2 years I worked in Iraq beginning just after Saddam came to power and I got to know the people and the region as well as a Westerner could in that amount of time.

I have tried to tell my story about the people and region but usually I am met with the ignorance that most Westerners show…..most seem to think they are experts and that they get the expertise from people with names like Smith, Jones, Strickland and Schmidt and most have never set foot in the region to get this false expertise…

It is not that these people are stupid…..but rather they just do not want to hear or believe that the info they have on the Middle East is flawed….it minds me of one of my fave quotes….”Stupidity Is The Deliberate Cultivation Of Ignorance”….

A very good site, War On The Rocks, has a great 2 part series and then a rebuttal, if you will,  about what is happening in the Middle East written by someone who is there….on the ground…..

If you read Western media outlets, includingWaronthe Rocks, you might think that most of the problems in the Middle East can be traced to Sunni disenfranchisement, especially in Syria and Iraq. The broader Western debate about the ongoing civil wars in the Middle East is plagued by a false understanding of sectarian identities. Washington elites imagine a broader Sunni sense of identity that does not exist outside the confines of Saudi Arabia and territories held by jihadist groups. This has the malign effect of encouraging polices that add fuel to the fires consuming Syria and parts of Iraq. Alongside this narrative exists another that portrays Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces as bloodthirsty sectarian militias engaged in constant abuses against Iraq’s Sunni Arabs — but this is simply not the case.

Source: Washington’s Sunni Myth and the Civil Wars in Syria and Iraq

And the second part of the series……

I was not surprised to see my first article greeted with so much outrage by those who adhere to the conventional Western narrative of the civil wars in Iraq and Syria as well as the larger tumult of the Middle East. In truth, these conflicts are not so easily defined by the easy sectarian narrative offered in the Western press.  I argued that Western elites were surrendering to and even embracing the Saudi definition of what Sunni identity should mean. And I provided accounts of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq that do not comport with what you likely have been reading in the newspapers.

Source: Washington’s Sunni Myth and the Middle East Undone

This will probably fall on deaf ears….but that is okay….for those same deaf ears are the reason that we are destined to fight in Iraq for a generation….maybe longer….all because of ignorance and stupidity….and sadly it could have been avoided….

To be fair….War On The Rocks published a rebuttal to this series…..

The smug implication, of course, was that Syria under the Assad regime was different: Contrary to the fractured polities of Lebanon and Iraq, it had achieved a superior sense of national belonging and purpose, a genuine supra-confessional identity. Sectarianism was not an issue, I was told. Syria was no democracy, to be sure, but Bashar Al-Assad had married a Sunni woman who wore stylish Western clothes, women could walk around unveiled, and alcohol was available (that’s a lifestyle liberalism of the kind that appeals to Western audiences but actually obscures more than it reveals). Many Sunnis populated the high spheres of business, politics, and the military, and minorities could worship at will as long as they remained loyal to the Assads. No wonder that this image of Syria, marketed ad nauseam, partially hid the country’s unraveling during the previous 15 years. While admitting it was not perfect, many of those who bemoan the Syria of yesterday cannot seem to find the link between this romanticized narrative and the current catastrophe.

Source: “Assad or We Burn the Country”: Misreading Sectarianism and the Regime in Syria

It is always best to have both sides of an argument…..that is if one wants the whole picture and not just a corner……

The Federalists’ Revenge

It is common knowledge that I am a bit of a history nut (some say that is an understatement)…..I have been writing for years about the early days of this republic and why certain things were done…..like the Bill of Rights it was an add on to the Constitution……I focused one such paper on the 2nd amendment….

Source: Why The 2nd? – In Saner Thought

But like my paper their was much debate on the Constitution….the pros and cons…..this was the birth of the state’s rights movement from the anti-Federalist…..in case you have forgotten about this valuable debate then I give you the two sources so you can see the debate and how valuable it was…..

Source: The Complete Federalist Papers < 1786-1800 < Documents < American History From Revolution To Reconstruction and beyond

And the opposition……

Source: The Anti-Federalist Papers < 1786-1800 < Documents < American History From Revolution To Reconstruction and beyond

I read an interesting article on the subject recently printed in the American Conservative……

America’s Counter-Revolution, dedicated “To the constitutionalists of all parties,” gives new meaning to the word pithy. In 20 short chapters (most of which were previously columns in the Freeman and elsewhere) Sheldon Richman achieves a remarkable thematic coherence, giving the reader a nice window into American constitutional argument and thus into American history.

Building on Arthur E. Ekirch’s Decline of American Liberalism (1955), Richman concludes that the Federalists gave America a vague constitution having the appearance of limited powers but marred by implied ones: a “living constitution” for conservative nationalists. The Federalists, recall, set imperial greatness above liberty and thought real limits on power “impossible”; so-called Anti-Federalists opposed the rule of self-nominated aristocrats and believed in dispersed power.

Source: The Federalists’ Revenge | The American Conservative

This is what is missing today there is NO political discourse….instead we get name calling, platitudes, slogans and one liners…..until we learn to return to the days of political debate this country cannot move forward….NO matter who gets elected or which worthless party is in power.

But apparently this is what the voting public wants…….we keep making the same mistake election after election and we pretend it is because we are angry……anger and ignorance are not the same thing….