The Decentralization Equation

Let me see….we have been trying to mop up the crap in Iraq since 2003….then there is the manure pile that is Syria since 2011….no matter what we try…..it is wrong.

In the beginning of the war in Iraq there was a couple of plans that would bring federalism to Iraq…..so far none of them have gone very far but the Iraqi military has had its hands full for a few years now…..I am sure it is still on a back burner some place.

The there is Syria and some have floated a similar plan of partitioning of Syria….. to save time and space…….

Source: Would Partitioning Syria Be Folly? | Ace News Room

So far these plans have been all talk……and now there is new talk about a plan for both Syria and Iraq….it is called “decentralization”……

The term “decentralization” embraces a variety of concepts which must be carefully analyzed in any particular country before determining if projects or programs should support reorganization of financial, administrative, or service delivery systems. Decentralization—the transfer of authority and responsibility for public functions from the central government to subordinate or quasi-independent government organizations and/or the private sector—is a complex multifaceted concept. Different types of decentralization should be distinguished because they have different characteristics, policy implications, and conditions for success.

Source: Different Forms of Decentralization

I bring this issue up because of several articles I found while doing research…..these writings bring up the possibility of Iraq and Syria being able to profit from a program of decentralization…….

Source: Iraq’s regional decentralisation debate is heating up – Al Jazeera English

Source: No Going Back: Why Decentralization is the Future for Syria | World Affairs Journal

Could this truly be a godsend for these two countries?

But the one thing to keep in mind…..this is not a cure all…..

Obstacles will be many….but if a workable plan can come to light then why not give it a try?  I mean could not be any worse than the situation these days….

Once again…it should be the people that decide the future not the powers that are looking for some sort of benefit….whether is is natural resources or location…..the people will know what is best and the people will make any plan either work or fail…….

ISIS, Who’s Your Daddy?

2016 has brought about many a debate….most is just words to elicit some sort of applause and yells……but one of the better accusations was the one made by Trump that ISIS was created by Obama and Clinton….

Trump was asked by host Hugh Hewitt about the comments Trump made Wednesday night in Florida, and Hewitt said he understood Trump to mean “that he (Obama) created the vacuum, he lost the peace.”
Trump objected.
“No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS,” Trump said. “I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.”
Hewitt pushed back again, saying that Obama is “not sympathetic” to ISIS and “hates” and is “trying to kill them.”
“I don’t care,” Trump said, according to a show transcript. “He was the founder. His, the way he got out of Iraq was that that was the founding of ISIS,
(cnn)
His words were a bit off topic…..I know that will not please those the drink from the Trump cup but nonetheless accurate…..

To understand why Trump’s claim that Obama “founded” ISIS is so off base, you need to understand the group’s actual origins.

ISIS has its origins in a Jordanian group called Jamaat al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (JTWJ), founded in 1999 by a militant named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Zarqawi, himself from Jordan, was a kind of thuggish figure, known more for brutality than theological sophistication. Initially, his group was fairly marginal in the global jihadist movement, especially compared with al-Qaeda.

The US invasion of Iraq in 2003 changed everything. The American-led war, by destroying the Iraqi state, left much of the country in chaos. Foreign fighters and extremists began moving into Iraq, assisted by Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, which sought to bog down the United States. Zarqawi and his group were among those foreign fighters.

Maybe Trump is referring to an intel memo from 2012…….after a little research I found this info….I can see where the mistake could have occurred…..

US military intelligence warned the White House in 2012 that the West’s covert war in Syria would produce “an Islamic State” (precisely what Daesh (Isis/Isil) claimed to be creating two years later in 2014)

The following was revealed in a declassified Pentagon ‘Secret’ Intelligence Information Report (US Defense Intelligence Agency). Note that the ‘Salafists’ (aka Wahhabis) mentioned are followers of the ultra-conservative state sect of Saudi Arabia – which has inspired al-Qaida, Daesh, and other jihadi groups on the ground in Syria.

A. Internally, events are taking a clear sectarian direction.

B. The Salafist [sic], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [al-Qaida in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.

C. The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China and Iran support the regime…

8.C. If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).

8.D.1. …ISI [Islamic State in Iraq] could also declare an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria…

I would like to be fair(I know a concept that is not really embraced these days)……..It is possible that this is where the confusion originated…..

I know that the accusation makes great news fodder…..and as long as the news is talking about the accusation he wins this round.

Iraq: To The Victor Goes The Spoils

Another op-ed that I wrote for my friends at Ace News Room…..if you like this op-ed please stop by and poke around Ace they have new3s for everyone…..

Recently Mr. Trump made a speech that was labeled as a foreign policy speech….as usual it was slap full of platitudes and one liners made for applause…..slogans for the nose picking ass scratchers…..

The one thought that I most liked (sarcasm) was the one about the invasion of Iraq and the oil…..

Source: Iraq: To The Victor Goes The Spoils

Lies Make The War

Lies are a large part of the political sphere here in the good old U.S. of A. but no more so than when it comes to war.  Most Americans do not like a history lesson for it usually bites their dicks off and they have to come up with some lame excuse for why it was done….

I recently helped a professor friend over the Summer by teaching a lesson on the first Gulf War….I was amazed at how little is known about a war people think we won.  About the only incident they remember is first that Saddam invaded Kuwait and second that his army raided a hospital and stripped it bear even leaving a baby behind after they stole its incubator…..this story was told by a young woman as an eye witnessed the problem was she was a diplomats daughter who had been in Kuwait only for her first five years and has never been back.

The war had its moments when it possibly could have been avoided….I wrote an article for my fiends at Ace News Room on this subject…..

I have been writing about the Middle East for decades….I hit my stride back in 1990 with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.  Most of my saved writings were lost in Katrina…the winds took out a window in the room where I did my research and writing, my office, if you will……I had files upon files of saved material that was lost to wet damage….or so I thought…..I was doing some spring cleaning and found 5 plastic storage bins that I had no idea what is within…after a thorough search I located all my saved articles and stuff from the Desert Storm days…..a eureka moment!

Source: 1991: Operation Desert Storm: A Look Back

Just a bit of negotiation could have saved lives….but nope war was on the bill and it was going to happen no matter what….

Now about the “incubator baby” thing……

Many Americans whose memories reach back to the Dark Ages of Gulf War 1 remember the “incubator babies” story: according to a weepy testimony of a Kuwaiti “nurse,” Saddam Hussein’s soldiers threw newborn babies out of incubators in a Kuwaiti hospital and left them to die. The “discovery” so outraged the American public, it helped generate public support for turning “Desert Shield” (originally sold as protection of Saudi Arabia from a phantom Iraqi attack) into “Desert Storm.”

There was only one problem with the story: none of it was true.

Source: Gray Falcon: The Real Incubator Baby

Ah the power of propaganda……is it possible that they would be lying to the people now?

“Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”  George Orwell

Now You See ‘Em….Now You Don’t

I would like to state something that I have been saying for several years….that the American care little about the plight of our troops fighting these useless wars…..last week I posted a piece about the recent combat death of a US soldier in Afghanistan….sadly very few read it or commented on the post….it was disappointing but it kinda proved my point……I had to get that off my chest.

We have been up to our fat ass in the Middle East for 13 years….and there is NO evidence that it will ever be over…..EVER!

Stuff sent to Iraq has a tendency to disappear down some rabbit hole……like after our invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq the Pentagon sent millions of dollars to Iraq to pay for the “reconstruction” on palettes and somewhere down the line some of it disappeared…..and now news has come out that we are sending weapons to Iraq to help arm the Iraqi military…..and other allies……

The Pentagon has spent billions of dollars since 2001 funneling roughly more than a million assault rifles, pistols, shotguns, and machine guns into Iraq and Afghanistan, helping to fuel lasting conflict there, according to a new report by a London-based nonprofit research and advocacy group Action on Armed Violence.

At least 949,582 of these small arms were given to security forces in Iraq, and at least 503,328 small arms were given to local forces in Afghanistan, the group said. They called this an “under-estimate” based on the information they were able to acquire.

Source: The Pentagon has shipped more than a million small arms to Iraq and Afghanistan’s defense forces | Center for Public Integrity

To be fair some of these weapons are bound for Afghanistan as well….

But now news has come out that some of these weapons are missing in action (sorry for the pun)…….

More than 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols distributed to Iraqi forces by the US are missing, feared fallen into the hands of insurgents, a congressional watchdog warned today.

The highest previous estimate of missing weapons was 14,000, but a new report from the government accountability office (GAO) said US military officials did not know what had happened to 30% of the weapons the US had given to Iraqi forces since 2004.

“They really have no idea where they are,” Rachel Stohl, a senior analyst at the Centre for Defence Information, told the Washington Post, which reported the GAO’s findings. “It likely means that the United States is unintentionally providing weapons to bad actors.”

Source: 190,000 US weapons reported missing in Iraq | World news | The Guardian

All this is NOTHING new….the US is notorious for their shoddy practices….

Should not the people, the taxpayer, demand more accountability in our practices?

This government keeps pissing money away and keeps slicing budgets…….does anyone else see the stupidity in all this?

The people that worry about the so-called “fraud” of welfare recipients should be more worried about the sloppy practices of the Pentagon….don’t you think?

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…..

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…..