Protests Of The Week

-And NO I am not going to write about the protests and the trouble that the slug Trump is having in California…….the protests that I am writing about occurred in that backward country that we brought democracy to after decades of authoritarian rule….Iraq.

People Power….ah the days of protests past….appears that Iraq may be the next country to do the talking from the streets, or what is left of the streets in the country…..

After months of relatively peaceful protests, anti-government demonstrations in Baghdad have turned violent.

A state of emergency was declared across the Iraqi capital following the storming of the Green Zone.

The heavily fortified area, home to government headquarters and foreign embassies, has been closed to most Iraqis for 13 years.

After more than a decade of fighting and dying…….It appears that the democracy that we brought to the country is starting to fall apart……

Hundreds of protesters climbed over the blast walls surrounding Baghdad’s highly-fortified Green Zone for the first time on Saturday and stormed into parliament, carrying Iraqi flags and chanting against the government. The breach marked a major escalation in the country’s political crisis following months of anti-government protests, sit-ins, and demonstrations by supporters of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, the AP reports. The Green Zone is home to most ministries and foreign embassies and has long been the focus of al-Sadr’s criticism of the government. Earlier Saturday, al-Sadr accused Iraqi politicians of blocking political reforms aimed at combating corruption and waste.

While al-Sadr didn’t call for an escalation to the protests, shortly after his remarks his supporters began scaling the compound’s walls. A group of young men then pulled down a section of concrete blast walls to cheers from the crowd of thousands gathered in the streets outside. Cellphone video uploaded to social media showed dozens of young men running through the halls of parliament, chanting slogans in support of al-Sadr and calling for the government to disband. Hours earlier, a bombing in a market filled with Shiite civilians in Baghdad killed at least 21 people and wounded at least 42 others, according to police and hospital officials. ISIS claimed the attack, saying it used a three-ton truck bomb.

Like I said….the fragile government, a democracy, in Iraq is starting to fray along the seams……

The democratic form of government is losing some luster….

The storming of the parliament building in Baghdad by protesters chanting the name of populist Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is a sign that the political system built up since the US invasion in 2003 is disintegrating. The Iraqi security forces stood back and did nothing as the protesters burst into the Green Zone, graphically illustrating the weakness of […]

Source: A protest that signals the demise of Iraq’s political system – The Unz Review

Is this the beginning of the end of America’s Iraqi experiment?

The War Without End

That’s right….I will keep harping on this war thing until someone realizes how pathetic and unnecessary it all really is……

Remember back in 2003 when there was this huge banner hung for all the world to see….”Mission Accomplished”…..

And since that day we have been up to our collective butts in conflict in Iraq…..I will not mention Afghanistan, that will be for another day…..we have pulled our troops out and almost immediately started sending them back in to the conflict……

This is becoming truly a war without end…..

Below is an interview about the war that the US cannot move beyond…..

The U.S. is at war with the same extremist group it claimed to have defeated five years ago, and it’s relying on sectarian extremists to “win” again.

Source: The Iraq War Never Ended: An Interview with Anand Gopal | Opinion | teleSUR English

Some Americans felt optimistic when the US started bringing our troops home….but that was just a momentary thing…..and Obama returned our troops into the sandbox……and there is NO relief in sight……

In a press conference during his visit to Saudi Arabia, President Obama talked up the idea of keeping the US military presence in Iraq, which continues to grow, deployed in the country for the long term, citing the country’s instability as proof that America needs to be more involved.

Iraq’s parliament is in a state of crisis over the past week, with a proposed cabinet leading to fist-fights on the parliament’s floor and the sacking of the speaker. Since then, Iraq’s parliament has not successfully had a single session.

Obama called on Iraq to immediately finalize a new cabinet so they could focus on the war, and suggested that increases in US funding for the Iraqi government were to be based heavily on Iraq’s ability to get a new cabinet in place.

It would appear that our attempt at nation building did not go as well as some had thought.  Not even a bribe of massive amounts of cash has brought about any stability……so see  money cannot buy everything.

This situation will not end well….no amount of promises and slogans will see this thing to a calmer conclusion…..

Our society is fragmented, our economy is rigged and the only thing my granddaughter has to look forward to is more war and more frequent wars….our children deserve better.

Is Hillary Clinton vulnerable over her vote for the Iraq War?

The 2016 battle has been long and tedious, especially on the Dems side….there seem to be a case to be made by Sanders against Clinton over her vote in 2002 to go to war in Iraq.

But let’s say she wins the Dem nomination and Trump wins the GOP…..does all this finger pointing over the Iraq vote give Mr. Trump a leg up if they face each other in November?

To the horror of almost everyone in mainstream US politics, it seems increasingly likely that by the close of the Republican National Convention in July, Donald Trump will have snatched the prize he has long coveted: the Republican presidential nomination. The party’s leadership is no longer asking whether Trump can win, but whether he can be stopped.

Although quickly lost among the string of controversies that have punctuated his campaign, in late February Buzzfeed released a 2002 radio interview with Howard Stern, who asked Trump whether he supported Saddam’s overthrow. “Yeah, I guess so,” replied Trump.

Source: Is Hillary Clinton vulnerable to Trump over her 2002 vote for the Iraq War? | Informed Comment

Will this be her Waterloo?  Will her vote in 2002 come back to bite her in the butt?

Yet More News From The Battlefield

My continuing series of news from our on-going wars that the media seems to think is unimportant…….I learn so that you can learn.

A few months ago the Iraqi military was preparing to go into Mosul in Iraq and retake it from ISIS….at that time some general was boasting on the fact that it would be a short conflict and that the Iraqi military would soundly defeat ISIS and take back the city…..

Well the long anticipated action began last week and there is news about the Iraqi success…..there was NONE…..

The notion that ISIS fighters are unrivaled on the battlefield doesn’t always stand up to close scrutiny, but the ISIS leadership can certainly continue to push that narrative this week, after routing an Iraqi military offensive near Mosul.

As has so often been the case, the Iraqi troops didn’t handle coming under fire particularly well, and fled en masse as soon as the shooting started in earnest, with analysts warning that the Iraqi troops simply aren’t combat ready, and lost what little ground they took almost immediately.

Having ISIS drastically outnumbered by most estimates, Iraqi officials have been talking up the idea that the entire war would be won by year’s end, only to have this preliminary offensive put on indefinite hiatus, as they wait for reinforcements to replace the deserters.

I would say that the cash we are spending on their training is money flushed down a toilet.

After many mont6hs of denial on the fact that we will escalate our troop[ involvement in the Middle East….news has come out……

Speaking today during a visit to the naval command ship USS Blue Ridge, Defense Secretary Ash Carter insisted that the ongoing political battles within the Iraqi government will in no way impact the ongoing efforts to escalate America’s war against ISIS on Iraqi soil.

We’re going to accelerate the military campaign as fast as we can,” Carter declared. It is believed that the escalating US involvement is going to include significantly more ground troops, along with the introduction of Apache attack helicopters.

So much for the pledge of NO Troops……how many times have I , as well as others, said they were lying when that stated NO Troops?

Spring and a young Afghan’s thoughts turn to…..war……

The Taleban has announced that it will get serious about their attacks……

Margherita Stancati for The Wall Street Journal reports: Taliban’s announcement of their spring offensive occurs just days after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited the capital Kabul to reaffirm U.S. support for the government led by President Ashraf Ghani.

The Islamist movement usually begins its jihad operations backed by suicide and guerilla attacks with the onset of spring, when the mountain passes get cleared from snow, making it easier for combat groups invade many parts of the country. This year’s offensive is going to commemorate the Taliban leader Mulah Mohammad Omari’s death, which occurred two years ago.

“With the advent of spring it is again time for us to renew our jihadist determination and operations,” read the Taliban statement, saying fresh military operations would “employ all means at our disposal to bog the enemy down in a war of attrition.” It was estimated that now the Taliban forces are stronger than ever since they were hit by U.S.-backed forces in 2001.

Source: Afghan Taliban Announce Spring Offensive

More chances of Americans dying……..and for what?

The US has had many problems arming the “moderate” rebels in Syria…it seems these weapons get into the hands of ISIS and other bad guys…..so you would think that we would look for a way to get these weapons in the right hands, right?

Think again!

While most people are focusing on the Syrian ceasefire, which has held since February, as an opportunity to negotiate a settlement to the civil war, the US and its “vetted rebels” are looking beyond it, making plans for the day when it collapses.

According to officials familiar with the situation, the CIA has been drawing up a “plan B” for the collapse of the peace talks, which will see a massive new influx of US weapons to “moderate” rebel factions, in another attempt to shift the war in favor of those groups.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because the CIA already had programs for arming “vetted” rebel factions earlier in the civil war, programs which ended with those groups no more powerful, and large amounts of US weapons winding up in the hands of ISIS and al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.

What;s that old saying about doing things over and over and expecting a different outcome?

All the news the media deems unsuitable for public consumption…..and that is why I am here.

More Battlefront News

Since the election is all consuming for the media I have taken it upon myself to keep my readers abreast of what is happening in our many wars….since few others seem to care…….

First, our attempt to train “moderate” rebels in Syria was a dismal failure…the Pentagon has decided in their infinite wisdom to double down….

You know the old saying: if at first you don’t succeed, keep trying the same dumb thing over and over and wonder why you are still not succeeding. Well, at least that’s the Beltway version of that old saying.

We know what happened last time the Pentagon launched a program to train rebels to fight ISIS (and overthrow Assad) in Syria: they spent half a billion dollars and ended up with five fighters.

Source: They’re at it Again: Pentagon Training New Syrian Rebels « Antiwar.com Blog

Second, things are going so well with the Iraqi military that the US is proposing opening more bases and sending more troops into Iraq…..

Rear Admiral Andrew Lewis talked up a single significant new base, to be operated similarly to the existing Firebase Bell, near Mosul, and also would consider other, smaller outposts to provide more artillery support in the fighting around Mosul.

Lewis downplayed the move to ground troops in Iraq, a war in which President Obama repeatedly ruled out the introduction of “boots on the ground,” insisting that the ground troops are no different than war planes conceptually, and that they’re just conducting surface-to-surface strikes instead of air-to-surface strikes.

It’s hard to tell, indeed, if such bases aren’t already happening, as Firebase Bell was operating for quite some time before the Pentagon was forced to admit to its existence when ISIS attacked the site and killed a Marine. They insisted they were planning an official announcement later that week.

The US has a treaty with Iraq capping the number of ground troops in the country at 3,870, though the Pentagon has conceded that they usually have in excess of 5,000 troops in Iraq at any given time.

Back about a year or so ago the US deployed some Marines to Iraq in the days when the Iraqi military was not up to speed (as if they are today)……their deployment was a temporary one……but then……

Under a negotiated deal with Iraq, the US is allowed to deploy a maximum of 3,870 ground troops in the nation at any given time. In spite of this, the Pentagon has conceded that they have closer to 5,000 troops inside Iraq. They insist this isn’t technically a violation, because those extra troops are just “temporary.”

Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren today conceded that the 200 US Marines at Firebase Bell are all “temporary,” but that there is no scheduled end date for their operation, saying they are just going to stay until there is an “enduring solution.”

That potentially means a deployment lasting years on end, of course, and means that the “temporary” troops are no more temporary than any other US troops deployed anywhere else, staying as long as the Pentagon figures they need to.

Not so temporary?  Go figure.

Now you know what the media does not want you to know….

IST Battlefield Report

My final post of the day is one that every American should care about deeply…..but for some reason they do not seem to care……

Since the media seems to want to ignore the fact that there are US troops fighting in more countries than we can count….I feel someone needs to step up and report the stuff that they want us to forget…..and that person might as well be me.

These reports will be on our major conflicts of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Libya…..more will be added as needed……

Let’s start with Syria……

Pentagon officials have repeatedly made clear in recent weeks that they are pushing the Obama Administration for further escalations of the ISIS war in Iraq, envisioning a significant increase in ground troops there. Apparently, this doesn’t stop at Iraq.

Officials today confirmed the administration is also considering a massive increase in US ground troops in neighboring Syria as part of the plan, in the form of a large contingent of special forces to be sent to Syria’s northeast.

Exact details are scant, and officials wouldn’t offer any amounts for the number of troops to be sent, beyond saying that there would be “many times” more troops being sent to Syria than are presently there now. Official figures on current numbers are “around 50.”

On to Iraq……

Iraq has been acting like an over-sexed primate about their soon to be victory in Mosul…..But………

Less than a week ago, Iraqi officials were touting a new military offensive against some villages near Mosul as a major sign of progress in the war against ISIS, and their success in taking three villages was proof of ISIS being “in retreat.”

Today that offensive is stalled outright, on the brink of collapse, as low morale has many Iraqi troops leaving their positions, with Kurdish officials who were involved in the fighting saying the army “have no will to fight.

US officials are downplaying the concerns, insisting that the Iraqi troops are performing up to expectations. Locals are complaining that the troops showed up, looted their villages, and then just left, insisting they are no better than ISIS.

You realize what this could mean?  More US Troops to “aid” the Iraqi military…..

What’s happening in Libya?

Further complicating Libya’s status as an ungovernable desert full of warring factions, the UN-backed “unity government,” which was established in January, has finally managed to sneak into Libya, landing in the capital of Tripoli and setting up shop at a naval base.

The “unity government” was the result of tentative agreements between the two existing Libyan governments, though both ultimately rejected the unity cabinet, and the group was quickly relegated to third-place status among governments with little real control.

Local officials blasted the “infiltration” of this new faction into the capital, but the group managed to get to a naval base, and is now one of three governments, two of which are officially “UN-backed,” and which don’t like one another.

The US loudly endorsed the arrival of this new government, and condemned the other governments as “obstructionists” for opposing the group, which itself was formed in Tunis with neither elections nor any real imprimatur from the Libyan people.

Makes me less confident on success when the government has to infiltrate Tripoli under the cloak of darkness.  Just another intervention waiting to happen?

Finally a look at America’s “Forgotten War”, Afghanistan…….

The Obama Administration’s lack of focus on the Afghan War is symbolized by the fact that it is no longer even listed as one of the “Top Issues” on the Department of Defense’s website. It only gets passing attention on the White House’s website—to the point where the “defense” section still refers to the President as having, “ Developed a comprehensive new strategy on Afghanistan and Pakistan and authorized deployment of more than 33,000 “surge” troops to Afghanistan”—a statement that dates back to March 27, 2009. Another White House Fact Sheet dates back to May 27, 2004 and is entitled “Bringing the U.S. War in Afghanistan to a Responsible End.”

Source: Afghanistan: Shift to a “Conditions–Based” Strategy or Lose the “Forgotten War” | Center for Strategic and International Studies

US Troops still fighting and it is not important enough for anyone to care about?  Typical…..so typical!

There you have your update and please keep reading there will be MORE!

News From The Battle Front

There is so much happening in the Middle East and our conflict with ISIS, et al……the newspapers would prefer to report on award shows or some B/Ball game or other such nonesense…..so I have taken it upon myself to try and report those “minor” irritants that the MSM avoids…….

For instance, 3500+ US troops will return to combat duty in Iraq and the MSM barely notices…..and then some love sick veterinarian hijacks a plane to Cyprus to talk to his ex-wife and the MSM gives 6 hours of coverage and speculation……can you now see why I do not use the MSM as a reliable news source?

Syria is a fascinating piece of work especially if you are interested in international affairs…..

It is common knowledge that the US is arming and training those “moderate” rebels that are fighting Assad….but did you know just how pthetic this scenario is?

Syrian militants backed by different arms of the US government have fought just outside Aleppo—a recent headache highlighting the difficulty of intruding on a disastrous war, the LA Times reports. Backed by the Pentagon, the Syrian Democratic Forces in February pushed the CIA-armed Knights of Righteousness out of the town of Marea, just north of Aleppo, according to rebel leaders and US officials. Similar battles have ensued in Aleppo and a town called Azaz, where supplies are moved and rebel fighters transported, rebels say. “Any faction that attacks us, regardless from where it gets its support, we will fight it,” explains Maj. Fares Bayoush, a leader of Knights of Righteousness.

“It is an enormous challenge,” says Rep. Adam Schiff, who notes that battles between US-backed fighters is “a fairly new phenomenon.” Rebels are already known to fight each other around Aleppo in northern Syria, where ethnic tensions have long existed between Turkmen, Arabs, and Kurds. The Syrian Democratic Forces consist mainly of Kurdish units mixed with a few Arabs to keep it “from looking like an invading Kurdish army,” the Times says. The SDF scored a major victory in February by taking the town of Al-Shadadi in Hasakeh province from ISIS, Yahoo News reports. Meanwhile, the CIA has a center in Turkey where it arms Syrian rebels with TOW antitank missiles to use against the Assad government.

What a great plan….one our proxies fighting another of our proxies…..explain to me how this is a WINNING plan.

While our proxies are fighting each other there seems to be a rift within the fighters of ISIS also……

Rift is growing between Islamic State’s foreign and local fighters with recent battlefield setbacks in Iraq and Syria exacerbating latent strains within the terror group as it contends with financial hardships and territory loss, according to a media report.

Foreign fighters, long welcomed by Islamic State as essential parts of its global mission, are generating greater internal discord and even violence just as the group pivots outward to target Europe and the US, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“With time, and because of the financial and management differences between them, the locals started to complain” about the foreign fighters, a Mosul resident was quoted as saying. “We all hope to see the day when this division among the fighters ends them.”

“Throughout Islamic State-controlled territory in Iraq and Syria, tempers are flaring, showing how recent battlefield setbacks in Iraq and Syria can exacerbate latent strains within the group as it contends with financial hardships and loss of territory,” the report said.

At least 38,200 foreign fighters from at least 120 countries have travelled to Syria since the beginning of the five-year conflict, according to US intelligence reports.

Many of them, particularly those from Europe, offer little regard for local traditions or rigid tribal structures of western Iraq and eastern Syria.

The growing resentment tends to bubble up following battlefield defeats, said Patrick Skinner, a former Central Intelligence Agency official who is senior associate at the Soufan Group, which follows Islamic State closely.

(Hindustan Times)

Could it be that all our hard work would be for naught….just wait and maybe they will defeat themselves?

Just a couple of stories that the MSM does think are newsworthy…..