Welcome To Fallujah (Again)

Fallujah…..a term that will strike many chords to many people….Fallujah has been the focal point of several major battles….especially in the 21st century…..

The first battle for Fallujah was in 2004 or Operation Vigilant Resolve…..was an operation to root out extremist elements of Fallujah and an act of retaliation to, as well as an attempt to apprehend the perpetrators of, the killing of four U.S. contractors in April 2004.

On 1 May 2004, the United States withdrew from Fallujah, as Lieutenant General James Conway announced that he had unilaterally decided to turn over any remaining operations to the newly formed Fallujah Brigade, which would be armed with U.S. weapons and equipment under the command of former Ba’athist Army General Jasim Mohammed Saleh. Several days later, when it became clear that Saleh had been involved in military actions against Shi’ites under Saddam Hussein, U.S. forces announced that Muhammed Latif would instead lead the brigade. Nevertheless, the group dissolved and had turned over all the U.S. weapons to the insurgency by September

The second battle for Fallujah……or shall we call it Operation Phantom Fury……it became one the bloodiest battles since Tet in Vietnam and the battle for Hue.

Nevertheless, the battle proved to be less than the decisive engagement that the U.S. military had hoped for. Some of the nonlocal insurgents, along with Zarqawi, were believed to have fled before the military assault, leaving mostly local militants behind. Subsequent U.S. military operations against insurgent positions were ineffective at drawing out insurgents into another open battle, and by September 2006, the situation had deteriorated to the point that the Al-Anbar province that contained Fallujah was reported to be in total insurgent control by the U.S. Marine Corps, with the exception of only pacified Fallujah, but now with an insurgent-plagued Ramadi.

After the U.S. military operation of November 2004, the number of insurgent attacks gradually increased in and around the city, and although news reports were often few and far between, several reports of IED attacks on Iraqi troops were reported in the press. Most notable of these attacks was a suicide car bomb attack on 23 June 2005 on a convoy that killed 6 Marines. Thirteen other Marines were injured in the attack. However, fourteen months later insurgents were again able to operate in large numbers.  (Thanx to Wikipedia)

Now the ISIS franchise has been in control of the city for a couple of years…..after many skirmishes the Iraqi Army is now attacking the city to re-gain control…

With the fall and virtual destruction of the Anbar Provincial capital city of Ramadi earlier this year, Fallujah is the major ISIS city that is closest to the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, and is the target of a new offensive announced by Iraqi PM Hayder Abadi this weekend.

Fallujah is actually the longesst-held ISIS city in Iraq, falling in January of 2014, when public protests against the Maliki government provided an opening for the ISIS forces to take over parts of the city. Iraqi forces have been surrounding the city in recent months, pending this offensive.

Iraqi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul ordered all civilians to flee the city of some 200,000 people, adding that they are providing “corridors” to escape through. This call came in spite of weeks of Iraqi officials claiming ISIS wasn’t allowing anyone to flee.

The Army prediction is that it is only a matter of time before it falls to the Iraqi Army…..

ISIS is retaliating in the only way they know……

Isis execution squads have appeared in the streets of Fallujah, a city 40 miles west of Baghdad, with orders to kill anybody trying to flee or surrender as government forces advance towards this Isis stronghold. “Groups of Isis fighters are saying they will kill anybody in Fallujah who leaves their house or waves a white flag,” says Ahmed al-Dulaimi, a political activist who spoke by phone to relatives and friends in the city.

Iraqi army units started an offensive east of Fallujah on Monday morning after heavy shelling and airstrikes overnight. Mr Dulaimi said that Shia militias known as the Hashd al-Shaabi were joining in the bombardment with a home-made-rocket called “the Nimr”, named after the leader of the Saudi Shia minority, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who was executed by the Saudi authorities in January this year.

Source: Isis unleashes death squads as Iraqi forces advance on Fallujah – The Unz Review

Now the tally is starting to filter out of the city from the news action to re-take it……Although the offensive was launched on Monday, Iraqi government forces have besieged the city and its suburbs for several months now, resulting in shortages of food and medicines.

At least 15 civilians have been killed so far during the offensive, sources told Al Jazeera.

At least 35 soldiers and allied militiamen have also been reported killed. More than a dozen Shia militias are taking part under the umbrella of the Popular Mobilisation Forces.

Source: Fallujah: Déjà vu all over again

The battle is under way….how will this end?  Will ISIS be removed from the city?  How many Americans are part of this operation?

 

Down The Rabbit Hole

I recall the reports after the 2003 invasion and the occupation of Iraq that the US sent in palettes of cash to be used in the after war programs that the US was planning……and somewhere down the line palettes starting disappearing with millions of dollars and to this day few seem to know where this money went….probably into the bank accounts of the many private contractors that were crawling all over Iraq like maggots on a corpse…..

Source: Missing Iraq money may be as much as $18 billion

I bring all this up again because it appears that Iraq was not the only time that American cash has disappeared when “aiding” another country with its pro-American policies…..

Ukraine’s oligarch-owned propaganda TV channel Ukraine Today announced to the world a milestone in the fight against corruption. In response to the solicitation of two Verkhovna Rada parliamentarians (members of president Petro Poroshenko’s cabinet), the Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s Office (GPO) initiated an investigation of the missing two million dollars of U.S. and EU aid that was originally allotted to reform the country’s judiciary.

While two million dollars is chump change in comparison to size and history of Ukrainian corruption, such quick action by the (until now) very shy Ukrainian prosecutors has raised eyebrows in political circles around the world. This is in sharp contrast to 2014, when in one of the biggest heists of aid money anywhere—an estimated two billion dollars in IMF aid for Ukraine—speedily exited the country via PrivatBank, owned by the politically-connected oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky.

Source: The U.S. Is ‘Missing’ Millions in Ukraine | Observer

Granted the cash missing in Ukraine is chump change as compared to the billions lost in Iraq……however the point is that taxpayer money is being thrown down an abyss when it could be made useful in this country.

How long will this type of crap continue?

The War Delusion

Can anyone tell me the name of the last American killed in Iraq?  Don’t give yourself a finger cramp hitting the Google button….his name was Lt. David A, Bauders of the 176th Engineering Company…..and it has been only a couple of days since his death….

Since I study war and its causes and solutions I have been impressed that the Iraq War of 2003 has become a campaign issue…..most of the interests is solely for political gain but the fact that some are talking about the most moronic decision that has been made in the last 25 years is enlightening…………

We know that candidate Bernie Sanders was a NO vote for going to war in Iraq…..there were others….even some Republicans were against the move to war.

I recently read an op-ed by one of those GOPers that voted against the war…..it is an interesting piece and it is quite enlightening……it should be a template for ALL Congress when war is on the table……

Our next president must choose peace and prosperity over war and debt.

Source: The War Delusion | The National Interest

But I am not optimistic with this election……it will be just move of the same….or “Same sh*t, Different Day”……sort of thing.  Sadly, if Americans are not war weary after 15 years of war then they may never feel the need to end this crap.  More young Americans to die for no reason other than hubris.

All I can hope is that my anti-war voice will not die with me…..my granddaughter is showing an interest in my writings….she would be my choice to continue my work……

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.