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?

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!

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?

Why Doesn’t The Military Speak Up?

I have heard this statement or should I say question asked many times….if they see something wrong why do they not speak up?

For one, they serve at the discretion of the president and most like their jobs so they smile and do what they are told….ever noticed that the generals that make the news are all retired before they speak up?

There is a big reason why….read on……

Blindspots mean no truth-telling until after retirement.

The United States is now engaged in perpetual war with victory nowhere in sight.  Iraq is chaotic and scarred. So, too, is Libya. Syria barely exists. After 15 years, “progress” in Afghanistan has proven eminently reversible as efforts to rollback recent Taliban gains continue to falter. The Islamic State may be fracturing, but its various franchises are finding new and horrifying ways to replicate themselves and lash out. Having spent trillions of dollars on war with such sorry results, it’s a wonder that key figures in the U.S. military or officials in any other part of America’s colossal national security state and the military-industrial complex (“the Complex” for short) haven’t spoken out forcefully and critically about the disasters on their watch.

Source: Why the Military Brass Can’t Face the Colossal Failure of Perpetual War | Alternet

What about military personnel?

When I was serving a soldier could not participate in any political campaign while in uniform….that included protests or rallies……

I’ve often wondered, can people who have spent their lives working in an institution, particularly in the military or some other part of the national security state, retire and suddenly see that same institution in a different and far more negative light?  Once outside, they become, in essence, critics of […]

Source: Why It’s So Hard for Members of the Military to Speak Out – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

A military person cannot be seen as showing favoritism for one side or the other while on active duty…..a soldier has a duty no matter the political leanings to carry out the orders of his commanders……any questioning of that authority will get them subject to punishment under the UCMJ…..

What they do in the voting booth is another matter……between him and his conscience…..

Why Does No One Care?

Before I begin the meat of this post I would like to commit on something in the news recently……I saw where Trump at one of his get-togethers held up a Purple Heart and said that some vet handed it to him…..I want to know who this vet was….none of the vets I know would give away their Purple Heart…for any reason!  If it is true….GIVE ME A NAME!

We have been at war footing for 15 years…..troops go die and are wounded or maimed….and NO one seems to give a shit.  Why is that?

Just recently I wrote an article about more troops for Iraq……

Step by step….inch by inch….we are returning to a full compliment of US troops in Iraq…..we are returning combat troops to “assist” the Iraqi army handle the day against ISIS….recently word came down that as many as 750 American troops would be returning to Iraq……and if you thought that was the end of the build-up…..think again!

Source: Slowly We Turn – In Saner Thought

For instance….we have troops fighting in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya….

US special forces have been on the ground in Libya for months, though when the war against ISIS was expanded into the country last week with airstrikes on Sirte, Pentagon officials were quick to insist that there was no ground component to the new operation. That didn’t last long.

Now, officials are conceding that a “small number” of special forces are operating out of a unity government base on the outskirts of Sirte, supporting the ongoing attempts by the unity government’s forces to conquer the city, as well as forwarding targeting information to US warplanes bombing the city.

Details are still scant, and the officials quoted in the media on the matter insisted on anonymity, because officially the ground forces’ involvement in the war hasn’t been formally announced. The troops were originally sent to Libya to find potential allies for a war that officials had been talking about launching for a long time.

Americans are even linking up with the opponents of ISIS…..

More than 100 Americans have traveled overseas to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) with local forces and militias, according to a new report.

The London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue estimates that more than a third of 300 foreigners who have traveled to Iraq or Syria to fight ISIS or the terrorist group formerly known as al Nusra are from the United States, with many of those being military veterans.

“Ex-military veteran fighters are also motivated by a desire to ‘finish the job’ and ensure previous sacrifices were not in vain,” says the report, released Tuesday. “This is true primarily among military veterans that have served in the region during the ‘War on Terror.’ Many fear that their previous efforts, and those of their colleagues that were killed or injured, will be in vain.”

The report is based on a database of 300 foreign anti-ISIS fighters compiled by the institute from open sources such as news reports and social media. The report cautions that it represents a sample, not a complete picture.

(thehill.com)

WE keep asking more and more of a finite amount of troops…..how long can this continue before a breaking point is reached?