Iraq: “Ya Gotta Go”!

The mash-up in Northern Syria has the US troops packing up and heading to bases in Northwestern Iraq…..

Trump said the troops would be coming home and word came out they would be stationed in Iraq waiting for the situation in Syria to do something (no one is quiet sure what that is)……

There is one problem with troops headed to a base in Iraq……

A few days after sending US troops out of Syria into neighboring Iraq, and the Pentagon announcing those troops would remain in western Iraq, Defense Secretary Mark Esper has now confirmed that won’t actually be happening at all.

The plan was to shift them from eastern Syria to western Iraq, up until the point when the Iraqi government actually heard about it. The Iraqi government has issued a subsequent statement saying the US never asked if the troops could stay, and that by the way, they can’t. The troops can come to Iraq for transit out of the region, so they’ll be coming home after all.

This was a problem that should’ve been obvious during the transition. The US presence in Iraq is increasingly controversial, and while the exact US troop numbers in Iraq are classified, it’s known that it’s well above the “cap” negotiated with Iraq already, even before those extra troops started showing up.

There was no way the Abdul Mahdi government could afford politically to accept more US troops, particularly when they just started wandering in from Syria without permission. How long they’ll be in Iraq isn’t clear, but it’s not a permanent deployment.

This will complicate the ability of the US to reverse the pullout if they eventually decide to, though with at least 200 US troops staying put in Syria anyhow, that may matter less.

(antiwar.com)

Well someone just crapped on Trump’s falsehood parade…..looks like those troops cannot stay in Iraq and the Iraqi government wants ALL US troops out of the country….

Iraqi officials are very publicly unhappy at US troops just showing up in Western Iraq without permission. Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi says that Iraq intends to take “all international legal measures” over the matter, and called on the international community and UN to “perform their roles in this matter.”

Iraqi DM Najah Shammari suggested it was sorted after his meeting with Esper, saying that the unwelcome US troops are going to all be out of Iraq within the next four weeks.

The US troop presence in Iraq has long been controversial, and more US troops crossing in from Syria unbidden sparked a lot of annoyance from a government that’s already struggling to keep anti-government protests in check.

That Iraq has so publicly rebuked the US about the troops underscores what bad timing this was, and while officials are emphaasizing a four week deadline, even that seems a bit much, considering this is a relatively small US deployment.

(antiwar.com)

Iraq is once again headed for the headlines of the evening news….is it just bolster or is it serious?

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I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

BTW There Is Still An Iraq

We have news breaking every 15 minutes it seems but beyond that we should not lose sight of Iraq and the trouble brewing there……

Violence is returning to Iraq…it was never that far away but recently it has gotten more and more violent…..

Public protests were launched nationwide over the past two days in Iraq, growing in intensity as demonstrators slam the lack of a post-war recovery from the ISIS conflict, and continued corruption woes.

While Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi confirmed the right of protesters to assemble, Iraq wasn’t just going to have public shows of dissent, so troops were out in force quickly, opening fire with live ammunition on the people, wounding hundreds.

Protesters and their supporters were armed in places as well, where security situations quickly worsened, and battles erupted. While this started in Baghdad and the city’s immediate south, before long it was a nationwide issue.

Iraq’s government is responding as governments in the region so often have in similar situations, violent crackdowns, an indefinite curfew across Baghdad and some other cities, and cutting off more or less the entire country’s Internet access.

Protests have been a recurring issue for months, almost always culminating with the government promising some reforms, and those reforms having by and large been forgotten.

The more this escalates into violence, the harder it’s going to be for the Abdul Mahdi government to back down and make promises to end the unrest. Continued fighting risks the public demanding bigger, and real, changes.

(antiwar.com)

https://taskandpurpose.com/iraq-protest-mahdi-arab-spring

Update on the growing violence….

Demonstrations continued across Iraq on Wednesday. Casualty figures vary, but at least 22 were reported killed during a second day of protests and other violence. About 250 people were reported wounded.

The protesters are demanding better jobs and services, while denouncing corruption. Although protests turned deadly last summer as well, little has been done to help ordinary civilians. Despite the oil wealth, there is high unemployment particularly among the young. These are not the first protests this year, but the heavy casualties and violence have increased attention to them. Analysts have speculated that these protests arose spontaneously, without encouragement from any political organizations.

In Nasariya, four protesters and a policemen were killed on Wednesday. At least 33 people were wounded or tear gassed, including 11 security personnel. An exchange of gunfire between demonstrators and security personnel was reported.

In Baghdad, two people were killed, and 82 people were wounded on Wednesday, according to officials. With Tahrir Square — the site of Tuesday’s protest — sealed off, protesters moved into other neighborhoods such as Kifah, Shabb and Zaafaraniyah. Security forces were called in to protect the airport from being overrun.

Rioters attempted to break into a municipal building in Kut.

Ten security personnel were wounded in Hilla.

Curfews were imposed on Amara, Baghdad, Hilla, and Nasariya. The curfew in Baghdad began at 5:00 a.m. local time, Thursday, and movement throughout the city is restricted. Exemptions include travelers to and from Baghdad airport, ambulances, certain government employees, and religious pilgrims.

Demonstrations were reported in Basra, Diwaniya, Hilla, Muthanna, and Samawa, all to the south of Baghdad. To the north, peaceful rallies were reported in Diyala, Kirkuk, and Tikrit. Marchers blocked a highway near Taji.

Internet watchdog Netblocks reported that access to social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, and others were blocked by Internet service providers in Iraq “in a manner consistent with previous incidents of censorship.”

The country’s human rights committee admonished security forces for suppressing demonstrations, and the Iraqi government ordered an investigation into how the normally peaceful protests erupted into violence this week.

Iraq is a far from settled conflict……time to pay better attention or get caught up in this once again……

“I Read, I Wrote and now You Know”

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Why Iran?

It all began with the uprising in 1979 that eventually lead to the hostage crisis……to retaliate the US massaged Saddam’s ego and promised him lots if he would take on Iran and make him pay for the betrayal of 1979.

So in September 1980 Iraq invaded Iran……

The protracted war between these neighboring Middle Eastern countries resulted in at least half a million casualties and several billion dollars’ worth of damages, but no real gains by other side. Started by Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein in September 1980, the war was marked by indiscriminate ballistic-missile attacks, extensive use of chemical weapons and attacks on third-country oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. Although Iraq was forced on the strategic defensive, Iran was unable to reconstitute effective armored formations for its air force and could not penetrate Iraq’s borders deeply enough to achieve decisive results. The end came in July 1988 with the acceptance UN Resolution 598.

https://www.history.com/topics/middle-east/iran-iraq-war

To make it easier for my readers to understand……

One more to help….this guy cannot pronounce the two countries but the history is there……

I throw some history at you because of the Neocons beating the war drums with Iran…..the promise of a short conflict may be a bit of an overstatement…..we are talking about a country that used children armed with a Quran to check for land mines…..the war would be bloody and not all that “easy” for lack of a better word.

On July 29, President Trump tweeted: “Just remember, Iranians never won a war, but never lost a negotiation.” In just 12 words, Trump leveled a multi-layered, ahistorical insult against both his predecessor, Barack Obama, and Iran. 

More importantly, the remarks betray a dangerously ignorant understanding of Iran that could result in another careless Middle East war of choice.

The tweet invokes a clichéd, colonial-era stereotype that Iranians, like other Middle Eastern peoples, are wily swindlers—rapacious, greedy bazaar merchants who aim to take advantage of honest and unsuspecting Westerners. Trump is hardly the first American leader to dabble in such denigrating stereotypes. Wendy Sherman, a senior State Department official and former lead negotiator who helped forge the Iran nuclear deal in 2015, infamously quipped that Iranians could not be trusted because they have “deception in their DNA.” 

Don’t Underestimate Iran’s Ability to Fight a Bloody War

The Neocon puppet masters are working Trump masterfully…..they whisper lies and BS into a willing ear and war rhetoric pops out of Trump’s mouth.

I really believe that diplomacy is far more effective than wild chest thumping…..diplomacy cost less lives than an armed conflict….and that should be the biggest concern……apparently it is not.

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

 

Closing Thought–13Aug19

I try to post whenever I read or hear about another US soldier dies in our many years of intervention….my readers need to know….

The Pentagon is investigating the combat death of Marine Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer/

The latest is a Marine from 2nd Raider Bn. killed in Iraq….

The Pentagon identified a US Marine killed in Iraq this weekend as Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer.

Koppenhafer, 35, of Mancos, Colorado, was killed Saturday by enemy small arms fire while conducting combat operations, the Department of Defense said in a Sunday news release.
Koppenhafer was killed while advising and accompanying Iraqi Security Forces on a planned operation in Nineveh province, Iraq, according to a press release from Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.
 
According to Marine Corps Times, Koppenhafer was named “Marine Special Operator of the Year” in 2018 by the Marine Corps Association for his role in guiding elite Iraqi Special Operations Forces in northern Iraq.
Koppenhafer was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the official name for the US-led operation fighting ISIS. A Pentagon inspector general’s report on the fight against ISIS released earlier this month warned that “despite losing its territorial ‘caliphate,’ the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) solidified its insurgent capabilities in Iraq and was re-surging in Syria.”
 
(cnn.com)
Now there seems to be some question about his death…..

He was first reported to have died by small-arms enemy fire. The Pentagon is now looking into whether he was accidentally shot by U.S. or Iraqi forces instead.

Most of the 5,200 U.S. troops in Iraq train Iraqi security forces and conduct counterterrorism operations, according to the newspaper. A report by the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General released earlier this year said ISIS militants were waging an “effective clandestine” insurgency in Iraq and Syria and still pose a significant threat

Death by friendly fire……

Too many of our best are maimed and killed in these useless conflicts….conflicts that are not needed only to pad some back accounts.

Take a few moments to give some thought for the family…..may their loved one Rest In Peace.

“Lego ergo Scribo”

Troops Out Of Iraq?

AS an opponent of war I want our weary troops out of Iraq….but of course I am pretty much alone since the government, M-IC and the media will do whatever it takes to see that our troops remain…..

Do not get me wrong it there was a good reason for the troops to be there then I would reconsider my stand….but I do not see that good reason.

Besides the media and the M-IC would go batcrap crazy at the thought of our troops coming home…….does anyone remember 2008…Obama is president and troops were being pulled out…..and the M-IC turned to the media to help the GOP fight to keep the troops in country…..most of their stuff was lies….but I expect that from the GOP…..but I wrote about in 2008……https://lobotero.com/2008/06/15/iraq-may-ask-us-to-leave/

I know who care about something that was a mere blip on the geopolitical radar?

Well the Iraqis may be in the process of throwing the US out of the country……

Iraq has spent the better share of the last 16 years under US military occupation. Despite this, time and again US-Iraqi relations have come to be defined by US hostility toward neighboring Iran, and Iraq’s desire to not get mixed up in that.

So while Iraq’s parliament was already bristling under Pentagon talk of staying in Iraq, and Trump saying that the US was staying in Iraq to “keep an eye on Iran,” the recent escalation of US rhetoric about a war against Iran has sparked action within parliament.

It has been said for awhile that Iraq will be voting on a bill that would aim to expel all foreign troops from Iraqi soil, and singles out US troops in particular as needing to leave. The bill is endorsed by Iraq’s top two Shi’ite blocs, and is expected to pass fairly easily. Exact timing of the vote is unclear, but it is expected to be sooner rather than later.

What happens then is the real question. Iraq’s parliament is already being spun as “pro-Iran factions,” and it’s been a long time since US officials, Pentagon or otherwise, gave any indication that they thought staying in Iraq was up to the Iraqi government.

So while the Iraqi Prime Minister is warning the US that they can’t use Iraq to launch a war on Iran, the US is browbeating Iraq over its government-aligned Shi’ite militias, and doing everything they can to try to portray that Shi’ite-dominated Iraqi government as effectively in league with the Iranians, and subsequently a threat to US interests. No matter what happens, it seems certain US-Iraqi ties will suffer for it.

(antiwar.com)

Deja vu all over again!

How will the M-IC and media spin this to have it overturned?

If it happens there will be a massive attempt to change the narrative.

The Iraqi Debate

Once again the old debate on whether the invasion and then occupation of Iraq in 2003 was worth the cost…..plus the reason for the invasion in the first place…..

The debate returns because of a report that has been published……

As Iraqis mark 16 years since the US invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq on 20 March, the US Army has recently made public a long-awaited Iraq war study.

The study, though ready for release in 2016, had been delayed due to concerns over airing “dirty laundry” about decisions made by some of its leaders during the conflict.

The 1,300-page, two-volume history, which includes hundreds of declassified documents, highlights both the mistakes and successes of the US involvement in Iraq, from the 2003 invasion to the rise of the Islamic State (IS). It is a detailed testimony of the impact of the Iraq war on that nation and the entire Middle East. 

As someone with Iraqi origins, reading the entire two-volume history was an emotional journey – a painful testimony to the vicissitudes that have ravaged Iraq since 2003. Reading it as a historian, on the other hand, was gratifying, as it vindicates the value of the discipline of history.

 
Why did the US invade?  Oil, WMDs or democracy?
 

Sixteen years after the United States invaded Iraq and left a trail of destruction and chaos in the country and the region, one aspect of the war remains criminally underexamined: why was it fought in the first place? What did the Bush administration hope to get out of the war?

The official, and widely-accepted, story remains that Washington was motivated by Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programme. His nuclear capabilities, especially, were deemed sufficiently alarming to incite the war. As then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, “We do not want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

Despite Saddam not having an active WMD programme, this explanation has found support among some International Relations scholars, who say that while the Bush administration was wrong about Saddam’s WMD capabilities, it was sincerely wrong. Intelligence is a complicated, murky enterprise, the argument goes, and given the foreboding shadow of the 9/11 attacks, the US government reasonably, if tragically, misread the evidence on the dangers Saddam posed.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/03/20/why-did-bush-go-war-iraq-answer-more-sinister-you-think

Of course we can always find someone who will justify the invasion and I will post them as I find them…..

Today is the 16th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and Twitter is alive with condemnations of the conflict — countered by precious few defenses. Yet I believed the Iraq War was just and proper in 2003, and I still believe that today. When Donald Trump condemned the war during the 2015 primary campaign and claimed that if Saddam was still in power we “wouldn’t have the problems you have right now,“ I believed he was dead wrong. As I argued then, from the moment Hussein took power until he was deposed in 2003, there were few greater instruments of instability in the world than Saddam Hussein.

Before he was allegedly “contained” by constant, substantial American military deployments, he invaded his neighbors, gassed his people, harbored and supported terrorists, and was responsible for not one but two of the largest conventional military conflicts since World War II — the horrific Iran–Iraq war and Operation Desert Storm. Even after American containment efforts attempted to lock into place and limit his malign reach, he was a prime supporter of a deadly Palestinian suicide-bombing campaign that caused proportionately more Israeli civilian casualties than American civilians lost on 9/11, he tried to assassinate an American president — George H. W. Bush — and he routinely fired on American pilots enforcing lawful no-fly zones. He violated the Gulf War cease-fire accords, interfered with weapons inspections, and hid away chemical weapons by the thousands. No, his WMD program wasn’t nearly as extensive as we thought, but it is fiction to believe his weapons were entirely gone. Americans were injured by Saddam’s chemicals during the war.

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/iraq-war-just-cause-saddam-hussein-threat-stability/

I am watching and listening to the talking heads on the Tube….most are asking how did we get this so wrong?  A silly question!

These are the people that went before the nation and sold the public on a lie and Americans die.  They want to appear as if their hands are clean when in reality theirs are drenched in blood!

AS we recognize the 16th anniversary of the invasion we are still having the same excuses for the invasion…..none can be justified in my mind….but keep trying maybe they will hit on something that will resonate with me.

Peace Out!

Trump Goes To Iraq

By now everyone knows that Our Dear Supreme Leader made a visit to the troops in Iraq (a war zone?)…..anyway with everything that has been going on maybe you, my reader, have forgotten what it was all about…luckily I enjoy catching you up……

If President Trump’s Twitter feed seemed uncharacteristically quiet on Wednesday, now we know why. The president made a surprise trip to Iraq to visit US troops, his first visit to a combat zone, reports the New York Times. First lady Melania Trump accompanied him as he spoke to service members at Al Asad Air Base near Baghdad. Trump was expected to make a second stop as well. Details:

  • Defiant: The president struck a defiant tone in his remarks to the troops, notes the AP. “We’re no longer the suckers, folks,” he said. “We’re respected again as a nation.”
  • Staying put: Trump said he had no plans to withdraw the approximately 5,000 US troops stationed in Iraq, and he defended his controversial decision to withdraw troops from Syria. “I think a lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking,” he told reporters, per Reuters. Besides, he said, the US could always deploy the troops in Iraq to fight ISIS if necessary. “In fact, we could use this as the base if we wanted to do something in Syria.”
  • Official reason: “President Trump and the First Lady traveled to Iraq late on Christmas night to visit with our troops and Senior Military leadership to thank them for their service, their success, and their sacrifice and to wish them a Merry Christmas,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted.
  • Long awaited: Trump had been under increasing pressure to visit troops abroad, notes Politico. Barack Obama and George W. Bush, for instance, visited Iraq and Afghanistan multiple times. Earlier this year, Trump had said he didn’t think making such a trip was “overly necessary.”
  • Tumultuous times: The visit, of course, comes on the heels of the resignation of defense chief James Mattis over the Syria decision, making this the “biggest week of turmoil the Pentagon has faced during his presidency,” per the Washington Post. Trump said Wednesday that acting chief Patrick Shanahan “could be there for a long time.”

As a news junky I watched his speech from Iraq….it was a damn campaign speech and all about him…..how sad hopefully the troops saw this as well.

I bring this up now because of the report that is coming out of Iraq…..

It seems that there were conditions to Trump’s visit….and they were broken by Trump…….

US President Donald Trump’s visit to Iraq did not abide by conditions set by the Iraqi government, the prime minister confirmed to reporters on Sunday.

Trump’s team told Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi about the impending visit on Wednesday morning, at which time they were given two conditions.

“First, he shall land on Iraqi land and be given an Iraqi reception like any other foreign official,” said Abdul-Mahdi. “Second, there shall be an agenda with specific matters and a short meeting.”

The US delegation initially agreed to the terms, but later backed out.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/301220182

The demand is for 5200 US troops be withdrawn….almost immediately…….

Iraqi MPs have condemned the surprise visit of US President Donald Trump to American troops stationed in the country, calling for them to leave.

MPs from the two largest parliamentarian blocs condemned Trump’s visit, which was not arranged with the Iraqi government, considering it a “violation of Iraq’s sovereignty”. They also set a date to discuss the evacuation of US troops from Iraq, Arab48 reported yesterday.

Saleh Al-Saadi, head of one of these blocs, said that “Trump has to know his limits. The American occupation of Iraq has ended,” adding: “Trump infiltrated Iraq as if it is one of the American states.

https://theantimedia.com/iraqi-politicians-demand-withdrawal-us-troops/

This whole “visit” thing was mishandled and the president did nothing to give the troops hope that they were foremost in the mind of their commander in chief……NOTHING!