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…..

Death Comes To Helmand(Afghanistan)

What was the headline in your preferred news source yesterday?

Was it about the idiot swimmer that gives a whole new definition to the term “Ugly American”?  Perhaps it was the health of a candidate or two…….or even some celeb did something they always do…something stupid…..what was your headline?

It should have been the story about the death of an American soldier in Afghanistan……

The US military says an American soldier has been killed and another wounded by a roadside bomb during an operation in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province, the AP reports. A statement says their patrol was struck by a roadside bomb on Tuesday in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital, and that six Afghan soldiers were wounded. The attack came a day after officials said that 100 US troops had been sent to Lashkar Gah to help defend the city, which appears to be at increasing risk of falling to the Taliban. Afghan officials say the insurgents effectively control around 80% of the province. The US military says the unidentified soldier was killed while “conducting train, advise, assist activities with Afghan counterparts under NATO authorities.”

He died in a region that has a major uptick in activity, armed activity….it is so bad that the US is sending more troops…..

With gains in the Helmand Province mounting for Taliban forces, and the Afghan military struggling to defend both that and the other provinces around the country which the Taliban are advancing into, the Pentagon has announced an additional deployment of US ground troops into the Helmand capital of Lashkar Gah.

Officials are trying to present the deployment as primarily a “training” operation, in keeping with a policy of claiming that everything they do is “non-combat,” but the reality is that there are very limited Afghan forces in Lashkar Gah, and a deployment of around 100 troops by the US is almost certain to mean direct combat roles.

Brig. Gen. Charles Cleveland insisted US forces were committed to not allow the loss of Lashkar Gah, and clearly they can’t do this with a little idle encouragement to Afghan forces who are increasingly out-numbered and have been beaten by the Taliban time and again in the area.

More troops….more activity….the chances are rising for the possibilities of more American deaths and injuries…

When will this ever end?

Really!  When?

Maybe never….why?  It seems that the rise of the Taleban may not be the only problem that our military will have to face…….

The U.S is monitoring Daesh and its affiliated groups in Afghanistan besides helping the latter’s security forces to fight out the terrorist organization which is trying to expand its base in Afghanistan, a top American official has said.

“We are always looking at ISIL’s (Daesh) ability to find safe haven and then expand to work with, these affiliate groups, factions of groups such as the Taliban that they might be able to exploit. We are monitoring it very closely,” State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner told reporters on Wednesday.

Source: US is Monitoring Islamic State Presence in Afghanistan: State Dept Official | World Affairs Journal

As long as we continue our deployments the more problems we will have to face…..and the chances for more American causalities….

Libya’s Chaos

I am proud to say that IST recently got a Libyan born person to comment and follow….I am pleased to have a person that can offer first hand observation and knowledge of the conflict raging in Libya…..I look forward to his input…..

Libya is a situation that has been made worse by the involvement of the US and its NATO thugs…..but they, powers that be, would prefer a “light footprint” in this conflict….meaning they want to work from behind the scene…..

Over the past two weeks, the Obama administration has introduced a significant escalation of U.S. involvement in the ongoing Libyan conflict. On August 1, U.S. forces launched Operation Odyssey Lightning, a campaign of limited airstrikes in support of Libyan militias against Islamic State fighters ensconced along the Libyan coast in Sirte, the birthplace of Muammar Qaddafi. This week, Pentagon officials also acknowledged that U.S. Special Operations Forces are on the ground in Libya, providing direct intelligence support to forces loyal to Libya’s fragile Government of National Accord (GNA). Those actions represent another manifestation of the Obama administration’s “light footprint” approach to military force—the use of standoff strike capabilities in support of allied ground troops—and they highlight the limitations of that approach.

Source: Libya and the Limits of the Light Footprint | World Affairs Journal

But once again the US has had to put troops on the ground in Libya……

A small number of U.S. special operations teams have been seen on the ground in northeast and western Libya for the better part of a year, conducting patrols and advising local militias as part of the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State — or ISIS or ISIL — picks up steam, even as the U.S. and its European allies revealed Monday they have begun shipping weapons and equipment to Libya’s fragile unity government to battle the jihadi threat, despite U.N. sanctions.

Source: U.S. troops deployed to Libya in campaign against ISIS – Washington Times

Once again the excuse is that we have only  “a small amount of US Troops” on the ground…..how many times has that one statement come back to bite us in the ass?

For those that have NO idea what is going on in Libya….other than the Benghazi attacks of several years ago…..maybe this will help explain what is happening in the country.

Source: Libya’s chaos, explained in five graphics – CNN.com

Another problem for the US in Libya is their hand-picked crony to run the country…..

As the US war in Libya moves into its third week, officials and analysts are seeing a lot of problems with their plans, but perhaps the biggest problem is one of their own creation, the Libyan Army and its leader, long-time CIA asset Gen. Khalifa Hifter.

Hifter was a general of Moammar Gadhafi until 1987, when he was captured by Chad. The next year, he became a US proxy for an anti-Gadhafi insurgency, and after that collapsed, moved to Virginia, with occasional trips back to Libya for other failed US-backed plots.

When NATO imposed regime change in 2011, Gen. Hifter was quick to make his grand return, and has been trying to consolidate his power ever since. He announced a coup in 2014, which didn’t amount to much, and is now at the head of the army loyal to the UN-backed Tobruk government.

(antiwar.com)

The last time the CIA did anything right as far as “regime change” goes was the 1950’s and in Guatemala….since then it has been one disaster after another…..so how do you think this situation will play out?

It Is Always About The Money

Life is strange…but there is one constant…..the pursuit of money……we start wars because of it…..we run for office to gain access to it…..we write books in search of fame and fortune……and that is where I pick up with the news….

A former Navy SEAL who wrote about taking part in the mission that killed Osama bin Laden will have to pay all current and future profits from the book—and possible movie rights—to the government, the AP reports. It’s an amount already exceeding $6.6 million. In addition, Matt Bissonnette, who wrote No Easy Day under a pseudonym in 2012, will have to pay the government $1.3 million to cover its legal fees, according to ABC News. Bissonnette was in trouble for violating non-disclosure agreements he signed when he was a Navy SEAL and not clearing the book with the Defense Department before publishing it. Bissonnette signed the settlement Friday.

As part of the settlement, Bissonnette agreed to make a formal apology. “I acted on the advice of my former attorney, but I now fully recognize that his advice was wrong,” NPR quotes Bissonnette as saying. “It was a serious error that I urge others not to repeat.” In return, the government dismissed other claims against Bissonnette. It also stated what happened “does not discredit Mr. Bissonnette’s military service.” Bissonnette has four years to pay off most of the more than $6.6 million he currently owes the government. But he only has 30 days to pay the government $100,000 he made giving presentations on his experiences.

This douche broke protocol and gets a slap on the wrist……

There are some things that are done by the military that the public just does not need to know…..parts of this situation are apparently still classified…..if that is the case then this is treason and should be punished accordingly.

When I left the military I had to sign the same document….apparently it is not as important as it was in my day….for it was a mandatory jail time and a fine…….

Apparently the lure of lots of cash will make some do anything to achieve it….

I do NOT care who this person is or what he says he has done………This dick should be in prison and ALL cash confiscated.

Peroid!

Relying on Millions of Dollars in Food Stamps

How many times have you read something by the nose picking bunch on the Right that makes you feel dirty?  Well….most of it……..

Mostly they go on and on about all those people that are looking for hand-outs…all the freebies the government has to offer….it really gets their goat when a poor family needs food stamps just to feed their children….and of course they say if they weren’t so damn lazy then they would have a good job and not need any government help….ever read this ranting crap?

Remember an attack on one is an attack on all…….

I cannot wait to hear what moronic excuse they have for not showing any interest in this story….

The Department of Defense has shown little concern about food security among active-duty military personnel.

Military service members on active duty spent $24 million in food stamps at military commissary shops from September 2014 to August 2015, and 45 percent of students in schools run by the military are eligible for free or reduced-price meal programs.

For years, the military has been embarrassed by reports showing that some active-duty service members struggle to feed their families and use government benefits to get by. A recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Department of Defense (DoD) does not fully understand the scope of the problem.

Source: US Soldiers Are Relying on Millions of Dollars in Food Stamps to Survive

Well what does the “Patriotic Right” have to say about this?

I realize that the troops are only important at rally times or during some holiday in their honor…..

We ask out troops to “defend” this country with their lives and yet we cannot see that their families do not have to depend on food stamps to feed their children…..kinda pathetic.

But what can you expect from a country where 98% has no idea what it means to serve?

Our troops and vets deserve so much more than this country is willing to give them and yet their fate depends on the cowards that hide behind them….the American way!

America’s Forgotten War

That would be Afghanistan…..that little war that No one seems to give a crap about….a war that still has Americans in harm’s way……a war that Americans will continue fight….a war that few know why we continue to fight…..

It is Summer and the Taleban has decided to make another push in southern Afghanistan…..

With the Taliban controlling most of the southern Afghan province of Helmand, the capital city of Lashkar Gah has looked less and less secure. It looks like that city could be facing another direct offensive quite soon, as major battles were reported just south of the city.

The Afghan government is rushing military reinforcements into the area, and insists the district of Nawa, where the fighting is ongoing, has yet to fall. US officials have similarly insisted they will “not allow” the city of Lashkar Gah to be captured, but whether they can do anything about it is unclear.

The largely rural Helmand Province is the center of the lucrative opium poppy farming operations in Afghanistan, and Taliban control over many districts, including the districts bordering neighboring Pakistan, allow them to control the flow of opium traffic out of the country

we have de-fanged Al-Qaeda and the Taleban can only operate one region at a time without massive losses…..just what was our objective in Afghanistan…..the boss of the group that did the 9/11 attacks is dead…dead….dead…..

Afghanistan is a money pit…..do you know what that is?  A hole in the earth into which you pour money.

What the US needs is a way out of this quagmire, right?

The failure of U.S. policy in Afghanistan has been obvious for years, but neither President Bush nor President Obama wanted the defeat hung on them, so the bloody folly goes on, a test for the next president, says Alon Ben-Meir.

Two weeks ago, President Obama announced that the U.S. will draw down its troops in Afghanistan from 9,800 to 8,400, altering his original plan to reduce the number to 5,500. His decision suggests that conditions on the ground are not as promising as he expected them to be, and maintaining a larger number of troops is important as he believes “it is in our national security interests … that we give our Afghan partners the best opportunities to succeed.”

The President, however, did not spell out what success actually means. If he meant that Afghanistan will eventually become a stable and functioning democracy, he is fundamentally mistaken. Indeed, even if the U.S. stations three times as many troops for another 15 years or more, given the multiple conflicts, ruthlessness and duplicity of the players involved and the country’s long history, the U.S. cannot rescue Afghanistan from the quagmire in which it finds itself.

Source: Needing an Exit from Afghan Quagmire – Consortiumnews

This election will bring NO relief for our troops and their families and most Americans will just keep thumping their chests and waving their flags and the troops keep living dangerously….

Time for someone to step up and make the government face reality….we had such a person, Chuck Hagel, but he would not play ball with the M-IC so he had to go in favor of the bobble head yes man Carter.

If not your grandchildren will be fighting this unwinnable war….is that what you desire?

Yemen? Is That A Country?

Most Americans could not find Yemen on a map if given a check to do so….the ones that know anything about the country know that AQ attacked the USS Cole in the harbor of Yemen….after that they have NO idea.

For more than a year the Saudis have been bombing Yemen back into the Stone Age, according to some small minded Americans it was not a difficult task…….but as far as why this conflict is on-going….you will get a vacuous stare if you ask anyone…..

It is only a matter of time before the US will be sucked into this conflict to preserve the integrity of the Saudi royal family…..those that pretend to know this issue will write it off as simply two sects fighting for supremacy…….maybe this will help my reader understand this situation a bit better……

For more than a year, Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, has been wracked by a bloody war between the Houthi rebels and supporters of Yemen’s internationally recognised government.

The Houthis and the Yemeni government have battled on-and-off since 2004, but much of the fighting was confined to the Houthis’ stronghold, northern Yemen’s impoverished Saada province.

In September 2014, the Houthis took control of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, and proceeded to push southwards towards the country’s second-biggest city, Aden. In response to the Houthis’ advances, a coalition of Arab states launched a military campaign in 2015 to defeat the Houthis and restore Yemen’s government.

Here are some key facts about Yemen’s complex war:

Source: Key facts about the war in Yemen – News from Al Jazeera

Earlier in this post I said that the US could be drawn into this conflict…..I was mistaken….we are already taking part……

A “small number” of U.S troops are deployed on the ground in Yemen to help fight the al-Qaida affiliate there that was controlling a major port city, a defense official said.

A Pentagon spokesman declined to say how many U.S. troops are there supporting operations led by the Yemeni military and the United Arab Emirates around the port city of Mukalla.

Source: U.S. reveals troops on the ground in Yemen

How many wars has the US been involved in that started with “small amount of troops”?

How long before this gets uglier than it is now?