Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 06, 2019

The U.S. Led Coup Attempt In Iraq May Further Weaken That Country

The current unrest in Iraq began a week ago after a prominent general was removed from his post:

Lieutenant General Abdul Wahab al-Saadi was the great Iraqi military hero of the war against Isis, leading the assault on Mosul which recaptured the de facto Isis capital after a nine-month siege in 2017.

But at the weekend he was suddenly removed as the commander of the Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) shock troops, the elite corps of the Iraqi armed forces, by Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi. He was instead given what the general considered to be a non-job at the Defence Ministry.

Saadi has refused to accept the move against him, and described his new posting as an "insult" and a "punishment". His effective demotion has provoked a wave of popular support for arguably Iraq’s most esteemed general, on the streets as well as on social media.

The CTS is a force that often cooperates with the U.S. military. Abdul Wahab al-Saadi is a U.S. trained officer. He was suspected to be the head of an imminent overthrow of the government.

For months there have been rumors of a U.S. instigated coup in Iraq:

Republic of Sumer @Sumer_Iraq - 14:30 UTC · Oct 4, 2019
Over two months ago, Qays Khaz’ali said:

There’s plans to change Baghdad government in November, with protests erupting in October. Protests not spontaneous, but organised by factions in Iraq. Mark my words

Qays Khaz’ali is a leader of Shia groups who twelve years ago fought against the U.S. and British invaders.

Sharmine Narwani @snarwani - 00:34 UTC · Oct 5, 2019
Al Akhbar newspaper says the govt of #Iraq learned 3 months ago of a planned US-backed coup by military officers, to be followed by street action. Time to be skeptical about events in Iraq?

During the last five days there have been protest all over the south of Iraq where the majority of the people are Shia. The protest escalated within a few days into shootings with over a hundred killed. In several cities party and government offices were burned and various groups hustle to take a position in the "leaderless" movement.

There are legitimate reasons for protests. The majority of the people in Iraq is younger than 20 years. The people have little chance of finding a job. The state is weak and many of its actors are corrupt. Services the state is supposed to provide don't get delivered. Electricity and water supply is often sparse.

But those are not the reasons why the protests immediately escalated into violence:

Liz Sly @LizSly - 22:19 UTC · Oct 4, 2019
Many Iraqi protesters are complaining of unknown snipers targeting them from rooftops, and it's possible they are aiming at both the demonstrators & the security forces.

Quote: Reporting Iraq @TFPOI · Oct 4
Protestors are confirming the use of snipers from buildings, targeting protesters approaching Tahrir Square.
A young man was killed by the use of snipers. Evidence in the form of a photo can be seen.
#iraq #baghdad #save_the_iraqi_people

During the 2014 U.S. coup in Ukraine the same method was used to inflame the country.

Al Sura @AlSuraEnglish - 15:36 UTC · Oct 5, 2019
#BREAKING - #Iraqi special forces launch search and destroy mission against unknown snipers that have killed at least 4 protesters across the capital of #Baghdad.

The snipers are not the only sign that the protests are not genuine:

Marc Owen Jones @marcowenjones - 5:59 UTC · Oct 4, 2019
[#Thread] 1/ This one is on #Iraq. A few people mentioned suspicious activity on Twitter and I had a look into a few hashtags. One in particular begins, "Show your support for the right of Iraq people to protest peacefully". I have little doubt there is an influence campaign...
[...]
4/ Firstly, as you can see from the below graph, the hashtags started trending quite suddenly at 3.30pm UTC on October 2nd. However one of the first accounts to post the hashtag was the one screenshotted here > @AlshiblyRamy - who has a lot of photos of Saudi and Iraq flags...
5/ The most salient measure of inorganic activity is accounts created in a short time frame. Of the 6500 or so accounts in the sample, 1,118 were created in just 3 days - October 1st, 2nd and 3rd. That's astounding - around 17% of the sample! #Iraq

The protests are part of the conflict between the U.S., its Saudi proxies, and Iran.

The immediate aim is to bring down the government under Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi who strove to stay neutral in the conflict between the U.S./Israel/Saudi Arabia and Iran:

The recent decisions of Abdel Mahdi made him extremely unpopular with the US. He has declared Israel responsible for the destruction of the five warehouses of the Iraqi security forces, Hashd al-Shaabi, and the killing of one commander on the Iraqi-Syrian borders. He opened the crossing at al-Qaem between Iraq and Syria to the displeasure of the US embassy in Baghdad, whose officers expressed their discomfort to Iraqi officials. He expressed his willingness to buy the S-400 and other military hardware from Russia. Abdel Mahdi agreed with China to reconstruct essential infrastructure in exchange for oil, and gave a $284 million electricity deal to a German rather than an American company. The Iraqi Prime Minister refused to abide by US sanctions and is still buying electricity from Iran and allowing the exchange of commerce that is bringing large amounts of foreign currency and boosting the Iranian economy. And lastly, Abdel Mahdi rejected the “Deal of the Century” proposed by the US: he is trying to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia and therefore is showing his intention to keep away from the US objectives and policies in the Middle East.

The violent protest in Iraq are part of a larger undeclared war against Iran.

A recent attempt to kill Major general Qassem Soleiman, the leader of Iran's Quds force, is part of it:

The suspects had plotted to kill Soleimani during the Ashoura religious commemorations on September 9 and 10, according to Taeb.

They sought to buy a property near a mosque built by Soleimani's father in the city of Kerman, dig a tunnel underneath the site and rig it with "350 to 500 kilogrammes of explosives", he said.

The team planned to "blow up the entire place" as soon as Soleimani entered the mosque for Shia mourning ceremony.

Taeb said the suspects "went to a neighbouring country" and "large sums of money were spent to train and prepare them" to carry out the attack.

New U.S. sanctions against Lebanese banks who allegedly support Hizbullah are likewise part of U.S./Israeli/Saudi effort to squeeze Iran and its proxies:

The Trump administration has intensified sanctions on the Lebanese militant group and institutions linked to it to unprecedented levels, targeting lawmakers for the first time as well as a local bank that Washington claims has ties to the group.

Two U.S. officials visited Beirut in September and warned the sanctions will increase to deprive Hezbollah of its sources of income. The push is further adding to Lebanon’s severe financial and economic crisis, with Lebanese officials warning the country’s economy and banking sector can’t take the pressure.

“We have taken more actions recently against Hezbollah than in the history of our counterterrorism program,” Sigal P. Mandelker, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the U.S. Treasury, said in the United Arab Emirates last month.

Mandelker, who was born and grew up in Israel and is furthering its interest, recently announced that she will leave the administration. This might be a sign that the pressure policy against Iran and other countries will change.

Esfandyar Batmanghelidj @yarbatman - 18:06 UTC · Oct 2, 2019
Forget John Bolton, this may be the most enabling change in personnel if Trump wants to restart diplomacy with Iran and end “maximum pressure.” Mandelker is considered an unreasonable and dogmatic official by compliance officers worldwide.

But for now the riots in Iraq are likely to escalate.

Hiwa Osman @Hiwaosman - 21:16 UTC · Oct 5, 2019
Just in: Gunmen in balaclavas attacked the offices of the following TV stations in Baghdad: Dijla, NRT, Arabiya, Arabiya Hadath, Fallouja, Alghad Alaraby, Al-Sharqiya and Skynew Arabia. They ransacked the offices, destroyed their equipment and broadcast facilities. #IraqProtests

One demand of the protesters is a resignation of the government, another is the change of the election law to eliminate large party blocks in the parliament. Either would further weaken the country.

Posted by b on October 6, 2019 at 9:52 UTC | Permalink

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Thanks b for getting us an update on the Iraq coup process. No wonder the MIC went berserk when Trump mentioned pulling out of Syria even if it was a dopey bluff. With Iraq coup planning well advanced at that time his strategy would have deeply frustrated the coup plotters. The eroded cohesiveness of the Iraqi institutions and people are really vulnerable to the predations of USA stooges in uniform.

May they find peace.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 6 2019 10:03 utc | 1

If the Iraqi's want to get rid of corruption, first they have to get rid of the US. After a couple of centuries of divide and conquer in the middle east, they still play the game.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 6 2019 10:18 utc | 2

Am I not at all surprised that aspects of the protests against Iraqi PM Adel Abdel Mahdi resemble aspects of the "pro-democracy" protests in Hong Kong?

In both HK and Iraq, there are serious issues facing the youth (the housing shortage and the insane property prices in HK; the dismal work prospects for youth in Iraq), yet the demands of the protest movements in HK and Iraq do not include these issues and focus instead on the removal of the government and vague expectations of political reform.

In addition the Iraqi protesters are being targeted by hidden snipers, just as demonstrators and the police alike at the Kiev Maidan were also targeted by hidden snipers (apparently of Georgian and Lithuanian origins) in February 2014.

I would not be surprised either if the Iraqi protesters had been paid by US embassy "employees" to protest, just as the Kiev Maidan protesters had been paid to protest (and had also been bussed into Kiev from parts of western Ukraine) and the HK protesters had been paid to protest.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 6 2019 10:20 utc | 3

Another thing that The USA wants from Iraq is to permanently keep its Al Asad Airbase - "to be able to watch Iran" as Trump told CBS at the start of this year. He went to say about the airbase:

"we spent a fortune on building this incredible base. We might as well keep it. And one of the reasons I want to keep it is because I want to be looking a little bit at Iran because Iran is a real problem."

He also said that some of the US troops based in Syria would move to Iraq, saying "We have to protect Israel. We have to protect other things that we have."

Many Iraqis naturally weren't happy to hear this when they hadn't even been asked if they wanted their country to be used as a launchpad for American missions. The reaction of many was to call for the expulsion of all five thousand US military personnel currently in Iraq.

Posted by: Brendan | Oct 6 2019 10:42 utc | 4

It is so clear the US/UK/Israel coup d'etat attempt in Iraq, it follows, the now tiring, modus operandi of Syria, Libya, Ukraine, same one step by step...snipers stared to shoot yesterday on police and demonstrators...the traitor Haider al Abadi is calling new elections etc...all in one, the same murderous scheme, this time aiming to cut off Iran from Iraq, divert attention from KSA, pay back on Iran for helping the Houthis etc...All of it happening when Saudi Barbaria "promised" Yemen that it is studying a ceasefire proposal and at the same time...accepting a possible dialog with Iran....in my view all are lies from KSA to gain time to respond to Iran in different ways.
Should the Axis of Resistance do not approach this mess in a different way, the region will be engulfed in more death and killing, the Resistance has to keep on the offensive until KSA is finally on its knees, not other way to bring peace to the ME if the apartheid regime main ally and tool, KSA, is not placed in its place of neutrality.

Posted by: Canthama | Oct 6 2019 10:42 utc | 5

Actually I think the current Iraq protests are more comparable with the US-hijacked Syria 'colour revolution' in that some genuine domestic grievances among the population in 2011 were hijacked by the US & it's allies and turned into a violent regime change operation. I think I also read somewhere that Lieutenant General Abdul Wahab al-Saadi was a direct third party source that provided information to the US to assist Israel's recent targeting of Al-Hashd Al-Sha'abi (PMU) forces, and was even caught red handed doing so. These days there are very few reasons to suspect that violent protests somewhere in the world have nothing to do with US foreign policy.

Posted by: TEP | Oct 6 2019 11:06 utc | 6

The quickest way to bring down this coup in Iraq is for the Yemen to do a massive hit on the Saudis and bring down the House of Saud.

Posted by: Whozhear | Oct 6 2019 11:09 utc | 7

Thanks for the update.

This seems to be the indirect way the US/KSA/Israel have found to start a war on Iran, in the line of the past war Iraq/Iran, something that will not benefitt Iraq in the least, on the contrary, will increase the mgnitude of destruction, killings and chaos this country has suffered so far since bombed and ivaded by the US, and will project the eventual reconstruction of Iraq into undeterminate time in a too distant future.

The fact that the riotters are targetting images of the Supreme Leader of Iran, Khamenei, in the very same Shia holy place of Karbala, where it is usual to see these images, all the more being time of Arbaeen, debunks all the way that these riots are for electricity and jobs, but for to provoke sectarian religious hatred, which could eventually end in a direct confrontation with Iran itself. Thus, the US, in the impossibility of facing Iran by itself militarily, is trying to use the Iraqis, again, as cannon fodder, to attack Iran on its behalf. This is the way Trump, his son-in-law and all the swamp surrounding them, will attack Iran without damaging their electoral campaign.

Of course, this will never bring in any prosperity to Iraq. Indeed, the path to prosperity has more to do with the steps Abdel Mahdi have made so far. Opening the Iraq/Syria border could not but beneffit Iraq, as the commerce amongst these neighboring countries will gradually be restarted to the levels before the wars on Syria and Iraq started. Interchanges on matters of oil and electricity with neoghboring Iran could only go in the bebeffit if Iraqi population, since that is the way to get cheaper oil and elctricity while the Iraqi infrastructures get definitely rebuilt, a proccess strangely slowed during the past government ( whose head is calling for snap elections ) under US management. To trust the rebuilt of electricity facilities and infrastructures to those who made of them a main military targets during the invasion of the country, would be not only negligent but an insult to the suffered people of Iraq. That Abdel Mahdi has conceded the reconstruction of electrical infrastructures to a German company debunks the "riotters" claims on electricity, due the usual effectivity of the Germans and their mastering on electrical engineering. Not to mention that the fact that the "riotters" comunicate by social media, debunks totally that they lack electricity.

To this time, offices of all political parties have been set on fire...what points to to a military coup to instale a US puppet. While what the country needs is to rebuilt, not destroy what still stands on feet, what we see here is the same undiscriminated destruction we have seen in the Ukraine, we are seeing in Hong Kong ( with underground entrances, banks, and private business being set on fire, along with intends of burning people alive, concretely a police officer, the gurimbas´style...). See how much prosperity have come to the Ukraine and Hiong Kong and you wil easily guess what the future prospect for Iraq is, ethernal chaos and misery.

If the US would any time care for the Iraqis, would not have destroyed the country. Of course, idle people loving of easy money could care less for its own country, this in case these thugs would be Iraqis...recall that hundreds of thousands of ISIS operatives are currently "unemployed"....soon they will be sent to stab people in Europe too...

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 11:31 utc | 8

Thanks for the update B. This is pretty good info. It does seem to align with the western coalition's general strategy on the ground too. Leading Turkey along as long as they can, shipping in as many arms and supplies to the Kurds as they can (for as long as they can), keeping their bases in Iraq for as long as they can, continuing their harrassment ops/air strikes going in areas unprotected by air defense (using such strikes as retaliation for apprehending/eliminating isil cells/operatives, probably often foreign intel-ops and tactical commanders), remaining in Al Tanf, etc. Color revolution style looks familiar. The Iranians were very quick to notice the communication patterns and social media data regarding the protests (a very good sign).

Posted by: Joshua | Oct 6 2019 11:43 utc | 9

The fact that the well payed riotters are holding mobile phones in every video available on the riots to give a coup in Iraq, debunks that they are not able to understand who is behind their lack of electricity and jobs, i.e. the US, since they have at their dispossal all the information in the net the rest of us have, and since before the US invasion,with all its faults, Iraq was a quite a prosperous country with high standards of education and GDP, and since, with all its faults, they have in front of their very eyes/windows how neighboring Iran prospered after they expeled the US and its puppet government.

Under US management, only a sold to them oligarchy prospere, anywhere they put their dirty thieving hands.

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 11:46 utc | 10

Mandelker was one of the Justice Department officials who signed off on the sweetheart nonprosecution agreement with Jeffrey Epstein. Was she the superior of Acosta's who told him that Epstein belonged to intelligence and was above Acosta's pay grade? Maybe she's leaving government because this is bound to come out, thus strengthening the association between Epstein and Israel/Mossad.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 6 2019 12:09 utc | 11

I believe Elora mentioned al-Sadr also demanded the resignation of the Iraqi government.

Interesting b neglects to mention this rather pointed fact.

Surely the charismatic cleric is not on the CIA payroll, is he?

Or is he pressing for legitimate reforms to forestall an Amerikkkan coup?

Posted by: donkeytale | Oct 6 2019 12:34 utc | 12

The goal of the US in the Middle East isn't to stabilize the country and impose a US backed puppet, it's to create a failed state, an open wound that will bleed and infect the rest of the Middle East, weaken the EU, disrupt China and Russia growing economic integration. I think that the US Military Industrial Complex has become so addicted to war that it simply can't allow a state to even surrender and be occupied it must always be bombed and attacked, always on the brink of collapse, always depended on temporary US sanction waivers to import food, medicine and basic goods, always depended on US military forces to suppress rival factions and of course, always vulnerable to US overthrow if the US decides a new government would be more useful.

This is a although my description is accurate, it is a rather clinical description of the process that ignores the massive death toll this process creates, how many Iraqis have died over the past 30 years from US sanctions and warfare, 3 or 4 million (never forget Madeleine Albright describing 500,000 dead Iraqi children as "The price was worth it"). The average US citizen might be mind-numbing ignorant of this truth, but the rest of the world is not (especially in Russia, China and Iran), when the situation turns against the US (which it appears to be slowly turning now) the consequences for the United States will be severe, as the US will discover a surprizing lack of empathy for their situation.

Posted by: Kadath | Oct 6 2019 12:55 utc | 13

@Posted by: donkeytale | Oct 6 2019 12:34 utc | 12

Al-Sadr is highly likely trying to ride the protests...without leadership ( as the Yellow vests btw...) so far... To what end? I do not know, but sounds quite strange he is opposing the right steps done by Abdel Mahdi on restoring at least a bit of sovereignty and sure path to recovering...it is me personally who do not trust this man, because of his stare...I must say almost never I have been wrong on this...call it a gift...whatever...Of course, Al- Sadr would oppose any Iranian influence in the country...which could undermine his "authority" in a certain way...which with his interests conflude for a time with those of the US/KSA/Israel...He traveled to KSA before for "negotiations"....
This is not a man of religion, to my view, but an intrigant, a medicore student at Qom, he has mamaged to rise to quite astonishing positions....

The Supreme leader of Iraq, Al-Sistani, has also conceded on the right to protest peacefully on the legitimate grievances of the people, but he has fully condemned widespread violence which only could derive in chaos and more destruction, as we are seeing....

One would ask itself why the Syrians have managed to restore almost normal activity and infrastructures to whole cities, like Alepo, while being still at war, and Iraq not...Well, the Syrians do not have the destroyers of the country stablished into a huge Green Zone in the middle of Bagdad plus tropedozens US military bases around the country underminig government authority, plus count with a loyal army fully supported by the Russian Army and the full support of Russian government, who had not part in the destruction and invasion of the country, in reconstruction at all levels.....something Iraq has not....

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 13:08 utc | 14

Txs b. Sadr, according to Magnier, has not followed Sistani's wishes for a strong parliament to resolve the current issues. I think he is more an opportunist riding the wave of change for a power grab than an agent-double but who know's.. Laguerre?

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 6 2019 13:08 utc | 15

Update:

The Iraqi government announces a package of measures related to employment, housing, anti-corruption and credits in response to the protests that have taken place in the country since the beginning of this week and which have claimed more than 100 victims.

To see now if the riots calm down...I bet you they will continue... the HK way...

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 13:34 utc | 16

Some observations:
1. The attack on Soleimani timed with the protest nearly exactly seems a pretty good circumstantial evidence of a US/Israel and likely Saudi plan.

2. As Elijah also notes, Hashtags on Twitter were majority Saudi.

3. There is a growing nationalism in Iraq in the youth, leading to a first time (slight) chance, that this sectarian divide could get replaced by a true integrated national state and identity. The Shiite general is supported by Sunnites for example.

4. Sadly Point 3. Maybe an illusion like with the general. His support as a Shiite by Sunnites may be in part for his heroic deeds against ISIS, but more because he is a US trained and trusted man, and therefore allied with the Sunnites like the Saudis. So popular support from Sunnite youth because he is a tool for a Sunnite power.

5. Still, the majority in Iraq wants to stay neutral. This concerns not only the US, but also Iran. Iran and Soleimani have been seen as arrogant, and clumsy in their attempts to influence Iraq into their direction. This sparked major outrage in the majority of the population, as Elijah has reported before. The US besides Trump seemed to do their soft power influence operations in Iraq more cleverly and subtle, even though that now seems to have changed.

6. Al Sadr: Hard to say on which side he is. There is likely no more treacherous and politically jumpy politician/strongman in Iraq. He is on everyone's, and no ones side, only on his own. But a definitive motive behind his move to pull out of parliament is: He leads the biggest faction, and is as responsible for policy and therefore the grievances of the youth as the gov. He is stealing himself out of his responsibility, to deflect the anger from him and use it against his political opponents.
I only wonder why he calls for new elections, as his party is set to lose seats. This may point to him being in bed and expecting something better from the powers behind this unrest and possible coup attempt.

7. The democratic system in Iraq has failed. There is no social, ideological and cultural basis for it in Iraq, as in the middle east as a whole.
Additionally, to the missing cultural basis for it, there is also missing a much more homogenized society, which sees it self as more or less one.
The sectarian and tribal mindset are defining the middle east now as in the past, and likely in the future. It could only have a slight chance, if it would be a federal, decentralized country between e.g. a Shia, Sunni and Kurdish sub states.
But that won't fly either, because no sect or minority group would want to give up claim to the areas with the oil, as no state is viable without it.
The obvious "solution" is having a strongman rule Iraq, like Assad in Syria. Or as a famous correspondent once said: The best realistically possible option for countries in the middle east is an "enlightened despot". Like the Iraqi saw Saddam in his early days.
And as a matter of fact, many now carry pictures of Saddam on their demonstrations and riots.

9. The youth demonstration, like in other parts of the world, show extreme, unrealistic expectations; Seems unaware of the deeper issues and mechanism of power at play, and using themselves violence, while claim to demand "democratic rights".
But the fact that democracy means compromise, and that one is equal to any other citizen seems not to be their belief of ideology.
The demand that their will is full filled, without any compromise, or they will push their demands through with violence.

This maybe more understandable in a society like in Iraq and MENA in general, where in the tribal mindset violence is an accepted and encouraged tool of power. But it kills any prospect of democratic society leading to national unity and solidarity.
In the case of the hysteric cult of Greta, this undemocratic and in the method of mass pressuring a gov into obedience with extremist demands against the majority of the population, this issue is much more severe IMHO. Still, it shows where Iraqi society truly stands.

8. Conclusion: Either the US and Iran can agree to wind down their both respective influence operations in Iraq, or the country will continue to unravel. But as both countries see those influence operations as important, even existential, they are unlikely too.
And a "gentlemen's agreement" on the top-level between Trump and Rouhani is even more unlikely.

I can't see how the bad trajectory can be reverted realistically at this point.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Oct 6 2019 13:51 utc | 17

Liz Sly @LizSly - 22:19 UTC · Oct 4, 2019 Many Iraqi protesters are complaining of unknown snipers targeting them from rooftops, and it's possible they are aiming at both the demonstrators & the security forces.

A replay of the Third Force in South Africa in the runup to the 1994 elections. I saw it myself, I was there, with snipers targetting both ANC and Inkatha (Buthulezi's Zulu Party) supporters, firing on demonstrators from the rooftops in downtown johannesburg.

See: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/28646550_The_Historical_Significance_of_South_Africa's_Third_Force

Posted by: Barovsky | Oct 6 2019 14:02 utc | 18

On the measures taken by Iraqi government to placate protests Al Mayadeen reports:

The Council of Ministers of Iraq held an extraordinary session to discuss the demonstrations that turned violent in different cities of the country and efforts to respond to popular demands, as well as the letter of the religious reference.

According to the Iraqi News Agency, the session convened by Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi adopted a series of economic and social decisions as a first package of measures aimed at reducing unemployment, providing thousands of homes and fighting poverty.

Abdel-Mahdi announced on Friday his government's commitment to present the names of the Special Committee against Corruption with the highest degree of transparency and consultation in correspondence with what was proposed by the religious reference.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi government lifted the curfew from 5:00 am on Saturday.

The president of the Parliament, Mohammed al-Halbousi, for his part, said that the Legislature recommended facilitating investment to create a million jobs.

After meeting with representatives of the protesters, Al-Halbousi emphasized the need to grant tax-free loans to those without housing and return the displaced to their homes.

He also pledged to activate the decisions of the Council of Ministers on graduates with higher degrees.

Al-Halbousi had announced a plan to build 100,000 housing units to solve that problem. He noted that the risk of corruption is no less than the threat of terrorism and endangers the future of Iraq.

The parliamentary leader ratified his "full confidence in the role of the religious reference"

The Iraqi Human Rights Commission reported that the death toll from protests increased to 93.

In this context, the United Nations Mission in Iraq called for an end to violence in the country, underlining that those responsible should be held accountable.

In a statement, the special representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Jenin Hennes-Blachart, expressed her deep sadness over the unjustified loss of life and stressed that this must stop.

The statement called on all parties, emphasizing the need to judge those responsible for the violence.

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 14:13 utc | 19

b. I doubt it. you can always take data póints and connect them into some type of theory. I doubt that is what is going on on the ground.

Main point - who would be the US/Saudi candidate to take over? There is not any. Also none of the usual suspects pressures the Iraq government to "refrain from violence". The UN did as the UN always does including in Yemen.

My educated guess would be the professional part - snipers et all - have to do with failing to integrate Shiite "militias" into the army, the fact that the border to Syria has been opened and that "Iranian militias" are at the border point.

The protests seem to be backed by this guy

It is possible that Adel Abdul Mahdi's balancing act has become impossible by Iran, Saudi and US coming to an agreement.

Al Sadr is most certainly no enemy of Iran. He got most of the votes in the last elections. The snipers may be intended to stop his takeover of the government.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 14:25 utc | 20

@Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 14:25 utc | 20

But, in your under payroll linked article, where you try to prove Moqtada Al-Sadr is full on the side of Iran, from the few it is possible to read, for non subscriptors, it is, already blurring but well, still readable, said:

...

Sadr has criticized Iran’s regional policies, especially in regard to Iraq, since former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki took office for the second time in 2010. Sadr showed a clear divergence from Iran, leaning more toward the Arab world and calling for Iraq to return to its Arab environment. The Arab world welcomed Sadr's continued criticism of Iraqi Shiite militias backed b....

And we are not able to read more...

Thus, in spite of that the visible part of that under payroll article you link shows an apparent amicable stance of Khamenei with Al-Sadr, which could perfectly belong to the past, being a Shia cleric formed in Iran, it does not seem to be his current position...


Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 14:38 utc | 21

Thanks for the update. It is so difficult to find any real information on issues like this living in the West. I suppose in the West's minds it would be better to smash up Iraq internally than to sit by and watch it become independent working with its neighbors and the International community to facilitate trade and relations.

In effect this is nation building western style. Building a weakened subservient nation is better than an an independent, stable, and wealthy nation. As always, who benefits? That one is not hard to figure out. Sitting in the West comfortably it is hard in imagine the level of suffering foisted on people by what amounts to a handful of paranoid people in power.

Posted by: dltravers | Oct 6 2019 14:42 utc | 22

The protests seem to be backed by this guy

@Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 14:25 utc | 20

Well, the protests have been backed by everybody, in case they remain peaceful, including Seyyed Al-Sistani, Supreme Shia Leader of Iraq. With the difference that Al-Sistani has called for a Reconciliation Unity Governemnt, a la Yemeni, by uniting all Iraqi parliament factions for the peaceful future of Iraq, while Al-Sadr has tried to make gains out of the violence calling for sanp elections along with now ex-president of Iraq...

Is Al-Sadr trying to undermine the religious authority of Al-Sistani? To what end?
Not to reinforce Shia unity in Iraq and with it the "Axis of Resistance"...that´s for sure...

A mole in the Shia community, no doubt for me....

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 14:48 utc | 23

@Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 14:25 utc | 20

"The professional part -snipers et all", reminds all the way past "professional" ways to unseat governments who did not pledge to US wishes of letting be plundered through violent riots, not the usual way of Shia militias, for the time being dedicated to effectively combat ISIS within and outside Iraq.

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 14:59 utc | 24

Rather like somebody@20, I am somewhat doubtful of this theory. If it is a US-organised coup, it's about the most ham-fisted and idiotic piece of dark work the US has ever undertaken (and that's saying something). I'm sure the US is dissatisfied with Abd al-Mahdi, but if you want to get rid of him, you don't use the Shi'a youth to demonstrate, because they're just as likely, if not more likely, to turn against the Americans, rather than Abd al-Mahdi. Formerly the Shi'a took their view from Najaf, from Sistani. Now of course Sistani is very old, and probably no longer able to pronounce, even Delphicly. But his staff does comment; I saw one a couple of days ago, about the current scandal of mu'ta marriage, which is illegal in Iraq, but still conducted for cash by scholars in Kadhimiyya. I haven't seen any sign that the religious elite in Najaf (called the hawza) have lost confidence in Abd al-Mahdi.

The fact is, the Iraqis are on a knife-edge of wanting to throw the US out (not very easy to do). That isn't going to change, just because of putting in a new figurehead, who'll be isolated in the country.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 6 2019 15:04 utc | 25

Conclusion: Either the US and Iran can agree to wind down their both respective influence operations in Iraq, or the country will continue to unravel.

@Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Oct 6 2019 13:51 utc | 17

But the influence of Iran in Iraq is impossible to erradicate, being a neighboring country and moreover hosting a huge Shia community in itself and several of main holy Shia sites of pilgrimage.... On the other hand, the US has which links to Iraq?, neither cultural, nor social, nor religious, nor, the least, geographical...Any...

Iraq and Iran are so linked as they are Russia and the Ukraine, they are part of the same civilizational world, it is normal they influence each other, and this is why they both ( as it has been Hong Kong with respect to China...) have been selected to make of them a supurating abcess by a thousand miles residing foreign decaying superpower, so as to infect its main geopolitical opponents for its strategy of "full spectrum dominance"...

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 15:10 utc | 26

Elijah J. Magnier on the recent unrest in Iraq. Points finger at Saudi/US manipulation.

https://ejmagnier.com/2019/10/05/the-us-iran-silent-war-is-transformed-into-an-iraq-uprising/

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Oct 6 2019 15:11 utc | 27

b:

Mandelker ... recently announced that she will leave the administration. This might be a sign that the pressure policy against Iran and other countries will change.

Not likely. I expect there are many other 'Mandelker's' waiting in the wings.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 6 2019 15:11 utc | 28

One Contra indicator..... The protests and the mass shootings have not been on the front page of the NYT. At least AFAIK, since I refuse to read that fishwrapper. But usually I still see whatever they are pushing on a given day as its hard to avoid. These days, all CIA backed protests are on the front page of the NYT. Just like all MI-6 backed protests are on the front page of the Guardian. There should be screams of total outrage, similar to the cries that the evil Chinese have enacted the same anti-mask wearing law that exists in many American states. I don't read the NYT, but it doesn't seem as if this is the case.

Posted by: Frogman | Oct 6 2019 15:13 utc | 29

@Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Oct 6 2019 15:11 utc | 26

Already linked in B´s post here...In fact, some excerpts are posted as well....

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 15:14 utc | 30

@24 How so you explain the presence of snipers if this is an "organic" protest movement??
Its straight out of the the CIA/Mossad regime change playbook..

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 6 2019 15:16 utc | 31

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 14:48 utc | 22

Ali al-Sistani is not "Supreme Shia Leader of Iraq". He is an Ayatullah, and what they call in Iraq a marja' or reference. Iraq chose a different path from post-revolutionary Iran, and the Shi'a leadership refused to go into politics in the Iranian way. Sistani is where he is because of his personal influence, not because of a non-existent post.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 6 2019 15:16 utc | 32

Sorry, italics went wrong.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 6 2019 15:17 utc | 33

If it is a US-organised coup, it's about the most ham-fisted and idiotic piece of dark work the US has ever undertaken..

@Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 6 2019 15:04 utc | 24

To be honest here, all the last organized "thingies" by the US has been "ham-fisted and idiotic pieces of work", why would this be different?

The claims on elcectricity, along with the "professional snipers", and the young riotters Western indumentary shputs to the skies who is behind...Have you noticed that in the US they do not care any more on going subvtle, but, on the contrary, they enjoy in full offering a total display of their "powers"?

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 15:22 utc | 34

Ali al-Sistani is not "Supreme Shia Leader of Iraq". He is an Ayatullah, and what they call in Iraq a marja' or reference.

@Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 6 2019 15:16 utc | 31

Well, whatever, call it " Supreme Religious Reference" if you want, as has been called by the government itself while announcing the measures directed to calm down the "revolts", but his words are well taken into account by everybody in Iraq... and outside Iraq...

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 15:25 utc | 35

Well, at last an article again realy worth the time to read it. Very important information burried by the Relotius-media. Thanks a lot B.

I hope the regime change attempt, which is masked by all the gossip about the impeachment procedure being sought, which is dead on arival anyway, will fail. That would otherwise be a disaster.

Posted by: Pnyx | Oct 6 2019 15:26 utc | 36

From TEP @6: "...some genuine domestic grievances among the population... were hijacked by the US..."

There are "genuine domestic grievances" in literally every country in the world. For those with the grievances to organize themselves takes a tremendous amount of effort.

On the other hand, if you happen to have a few hundred thousand dollars there are event management companies (it is a global capitalist industry these days) who can manufacture a "protest" for you and even have it occur on a particular day. They have the efficiencies of scale and the organizational resources to collect together enough individuals with grievances of one sort or another to form a protest event. These event management companies usually focus on art/music festivals and business conferences, but increasingly they have been involved in geopolitical events as well (think pink pussy hat parades for activities a bit closer to home).

The point here is that the authenticity of the grievances is irrelevant. There is literally zero (0%) chance of those grievances being addressed if the imperial regime change operation they are contributing to is successful. As an example, consider gays in Ukropia (mainly from Lvov, the capital of gay prostitution in Europe) who joined the Maidan farce complaining of lack of recognition of their particular identity. Now they get murdered by Nazis if they wear their feather boas in public in Ukropistan.

The imperial regime change operations must be 100% opposed regardless of the authenticity of the grievances of the protesters who are being used as sacrifices in those operations.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 6 2019 15:35 utc | 37

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 6 2019 15:16 utc | 30

How so you explain the presence of snipers if this is an "organic" protest movement??
I don't. The proof of snipers is yet to be seen. It's easy for someone to claim there are snipers; you need some proof. Snipers are an absolutely standard meme, when you want to start making accusations, as mentioned by several posts above. The way people go round shooting in Baghdad, bullets whizzing in all directions, you don't need snipers.

Actually I'm quite open on who's responsible; I don't know who is. It is certainly true that US policy is capable of being completely bone-headed and ill thought-out, stirring up people who are only going to turn against the US. I guess my main feeling is that it can't possibly work as the US would want it to.

I was reminded of the riots in Basra two years ago (one or two?), when they burnt down the Iranian consulate. I was certain of outside intervention then, but was it the US or maybe Saudi? Not far from the Saudi border. At any rate the riots calmed down quite quickly after that. The essence there, as here, is the absolutely awful living conditions, corruption, lack of work, and environmental pollution, since the Turks cut the water in the Tigris and Euphrates. It's quite easy to set it off.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 6 2019 15:40 utc | 38

To be honest here, all the last organized "thingies" by the US has been "ham-fisted and idiotic pieces of work", why would this be different?

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 15:22 utc | 33

The difference is, you don't choose to stir up and champion people who could turn against you as soon as tomorrow. The US is not often that stupid. For example in Venezuela, at least Juan Guaido does actually support the US.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 6 2019 15:47 utc | 39

Is Al-Sadr trying to undermine the religious authority of Al-Sistani? To what end?
Not to reinforce Shia unity in Iraq and with it the "Axis of Resistance"...that´s for sure...

A mole in the Shia community, no doubt for me....

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 14:48 utc | 22

Moqtada al-Sadr is surely not a mole. He always tried to undermine the religious authority of al-Sistani, although this is a convoluted issue. Shia (twelver Shia?) personally choose clerics whom they regard as an authority, but such a cleric must have a sufficiently high standing determined by passing exams and some criteria I am to lazy or stupid to check. Moqtada does not satisfy those criteria, and he chose his majra' to be an Iranian ayatollah that is otherwise rather obscure. On the other hand, this majra' is not blacklisted by Iranian Supreme Leader (or some other Iranian clerical body). Thus Moqtada maintains the position of a loose cannon among the Iraqi Shia.

While I have no idea "what he truly wants" (is he just a compulsive trouble maker?), his pattern of behavior is very consistent, always "giving a voice" to discontent, but hard to guess how he can cooperate with others (perhaps he simply cannot? but he participated in the formation of the current government that was NEVER COMPLETED, so he can cooperate to some degree).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 6 2019 15:50 utc | 40

...at least Juan Guaido does actually support the US.

@Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 6 2019 15:47 utc | 38

Guaidó? Do you mean that idiotic lost bullet who goes around there taking pictures of himself with drug trafficant paramilitaries bosses?

With people like this full in the side of the US, who need enemies/moles?

We must honestly conclude that the US currently counts with not very smart people not only at strategic thinking level, but also on the allies part...Just see how they are falling all the Group of Lima governments they chose to harass Venezuela in group...

What at all light transluces is that the US currently is planning on such short term basis as the inestability, at all levels, of its system allows...The almost daily changes of cabinet does not paint well, short term planning increases the possibility of making huge errors, while not setting the world on fire...

We must be scared by this, not of what Greta points out,...This is why "seatbelts may prove innefective", as he said that obscure strategist I met on the net forums time ago...

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 16:06 utc | 41

Gruff @ 36

The point here is that the authenticity of the grievances is irrelevant. There is literally zero (0%) chance of those grievances being addressed if the imperial regime change operation they are contributing to is successful. As an example, consider gays in Ukropia (mainly from Lvov, the capital of gay prostitution in Europe) who joined the Maidan farce complaining of lack of recognition of their particular identity. Now they get murdered by Nazis if they wear their feather boas in public in Ukropistan.

The imperial regime change operations must be 100% opposed regardless of the authenticity of the grievances of the protesters who are being used as sacrifices in those operations.

Thus outside of the US and EU all protest movements must always be resisted says the reactionary ideologue Gruff, who knows without offering evidence the CIA/Mossad/MI6 is behind every single regime change movement everywhere. Very telling coming from the guy who automatonically accuses everyone else not in lockstep with his own rigid agenda of being paid fakes.

Well, actually inside the US and EU too for everyone knows these protest movements are false flags also sponsored by the CIA/Mossad/MI6.

Welcome to William Gruff's Brave New World.

Posted by: donkeytale | Oct 6 2019 16:14 utc | 42

Thank You b.
Your info & analysis are excellent as always.

Without a doubt, the MO-Modus Operandi is the standard, centuries-old(actually millenniums) Divide & Impera strategy employed by the "Londinium"-*City of London*.
i.e. paying-off a few instigators and killing a few of the locals, on both sides of the barricades.
In the modern-era, they are using their anglo-zionist bitches from Saudi Barbaria/ ZOG occupied jUsa/ Bauer family-colony in occupied-Palestine as their 'attack dogs'.
Ruuff-ruuff.
These inbred dynastic psychopaths aren't as smart as they think they are.
Kind'a like a 1-trick-pony.
But, considering they are dogs('kelp' in arabic), they've gotten use to shittin'-all-over-the-place. It's sooo obvious.

And.
Without a doubt, I believe there are some trolls/bots frequenting this thread.
To me, they stick-out-like-a-sore-thumb.

btw,
Sharmine Narwani who You- *b* cited above made an additional tweet which is exactly how I feel about the situation:
"1. Eject all US military and embassy personnel from the country.
2. Get Chinese investment, Russian weapons, Iranian know-how to jump start a new Iraq."
https://twitter.com/snarwani/status/1180433034606206976

‏Please excuse my use of some am.English colloquiums.
I want those responsible for this slaughter to read & see it.

Best Regards X-

Posted by: Veritas X- | Oct 6 2019 16:18 utc | 43

"Thus outside of the US and EU all protest movements must always be resisted says the reactionary ideologue Gruff," donkeytale.
What is the problem with this doctrine, dt?
Given the language of the blog and its presumed audience in the hinterland of the empire 'resisting''protest movements' in countries such as Iraq, Iran, China or Russia can hardly be accounted a hardship. Your problem is that you are so deeply embedded in the imperial culture that you can't resist the temptation of taking sides in disputes, in which you have already taken a side-that of the imperialists manipulating the societies which they intend to victimise.
The role of a US citizen in this matter is to call for the withdrawal of US troops and the dismantling of imperialist structures in Iraq. Once you have accomplished that noble aim you can start agonising over the rights and wrongs of the Iraqi government. Nothing in this respect has changed since 2003.
I liked your clever little essay on the week in review thread.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 6 2019 16:33 utc | 44

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 6 2019 15:04 utc | 24

My guess re:snipers is that someone tries to provoke Shiite militias to "protect" protests as a pretext to crack down on them.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 16:35 utc | 45

Laguerre @37: The proof of snipers is yet to be seen.

In the new Open Thread, b writes:

multiple videos of protesters being shot by snipers pic.twitter.com/gNJ9Hosljm

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 6 2019 16:54 utc | 46

I would start from here

US pushes Iraq to integrate Iran-backed PMU militias after strikes

The Donald Trump administration is calling on Iraq to keep up efforts to demobilize Iranian-backed militias after a volley of rockets attributed to Popular Mobilization Units struck near the US Embassy Sept. 24 despite Baghdad’s efforts to rein in the groups.

In a statement provided to Al-Monitor, Mick Mulroy, deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East, expressed the Pentagon's concern that the militants are operating “semi-autonomously” and “destabilizing the liberated areas and prioritize extortion for personal gain over fighting ISIS.” The rocket attacks into Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone were the first such strikes since May.

The PMU consists of as many as 40 groups under Iraqi and Iranian authority, the Pentagon says, possibly totaling some 160,000 fighters. Iraq’s government issued an executive order in July to bring Iranian-backed factions of the PMU under Baghdad’s control, and the United States plans to assist with identifying elements that will be demobilized.

Mulroy, who is set to leave the Trump administration next month, called Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s order to rein in the group “an important step towards ensuring Iraq's future as a strong, sovereign, unified, democratic, and prosperous state.” The Pentagon’s top Middle East policy official cautioned, however, “Implementation of the decree will be key, and we will continue to engage with the Government of Iraq on the need to enforce this Executive Order.”


Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 16:56 utc | 47

My guess re:snipers is that someone tries to provoke Shiite militias to "protect" protests as a pretext to crack down on them.

@Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 16:35 utc | 44

And this has been probably previewed by the militias...and so, armed groups has been formed amongts the south cities communities to grab the snipers and protect the people...

One would say that when the US go...the "Axis of Resistance" is already coming back...

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 17:00 utc | 48

bevin @43: Copy-pasting material he finds on the web is hardly clever. Failing to provide minimal attribution in the form of a link is even less clever.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 6 2019 17:02 utc | 49

@Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 16:56 utc | 46

Well, if we would need to know "US-Middle East relations through the lens of the Defense Department", we would have asked for it.

But we do not need it, we have already the MSM and DoD...

So far the only people caught red handed by several world actors "destabilizing the liberated areas and prioritizing extortion for personal gain over fighting ISIS" is the US and its various alphabet and pentagram factions.

What the US has against the PMU is that they liberated and took over the Iraqi/Syrian border to intercept all the illegal smuggling of oil/weapons from US occupied zones to proxy armies and viceversa.

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 17:19 utc | 50

Laguerre you are deflecting my original question, why are there snipers involved? Who gains the most by severing Iran-Iraq military and economic links? Israel of course.
The Mossad doesnt need CIA's green light to act imo...

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 6 2019 17:28 utc | 51

@Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 16:56 utc | 47

From Wiki....

Al-Monitor is a media site launched in February 2012 by American Arab businessman Jamal Daniel and based in Washington, DC, United States.

For to start from there, we would not need such saddlebags we are carrying already years ago...do not you think?

Launched in 2012...to illustrate us on the US/ME relations seen through the lens of DoD...

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 17:31 utc | 52

[if the protests where directed by CIA] There should be screams of total outrage, similar to the cries that the evil Chinese have enacted the same anti-mask wearing law that exists in many American states. I don't read the NYT, but it doesn't seem as if this is the case.

Posted by: Frogman | Oct 6 2019 15:13 utc | 28

I do read NYT, not extensively. Iraq in NYT today: front page, nothing. Click "World". Nothing. Click "Middle East". Quite a few articles, no doubts about the motivations of protesters or lethality of the security forces in the headlines. Domestically, the screen area is dominated by impeachment and related news, in the world, Hong Kong (to a lesser degree). Impeachment investigation was openly instigated by "whistleblowers" on CIA payroll, Hong Kong is a typical color revolution, so one could conjecture that CIA has to prioritize which of its activity has the media precedence.

Also, were CIA behind the protests, the goals can be furthered without international publicity (making the government that is shaky and which will be shaky under any possible configuration to desists from "anti-American moves"), while in the case of impeachment and Hong Kong, with no publicity these actions are a total flop.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 6 2019 17:32 utc | 53

The Mossad doesnt need CIA's green light to act imo...

@Posted by: Lozion | Oct 6 2019 17:28 utc | 51

But they intertwin non-stop since ages, along with the mafia, as the last Epstein episode has proved. Coups, international terrorism, world size economic scams...

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 17:35 utc | 54

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 17:31 utc | 52

For to start from there, we would not need such saddlebags we are carrying already years ago...do not you think?

Launched in 2012...to illustrate us on the US/ME relations seen through the lens of DoD.

Sure. So you think they are lying when they say the US wishes for Iraq to demobilize the PMU's ?

Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 17:57 utc | 55

@Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 17:57 utc | 55

No, it is discounted that a DoD speaker always will inform us on US wishes...

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 18:15 utc | 56

Neglected in this analysis by all is what Iraq had to say at the UNGA in a speech where an English language transcript was not provided for some unexplainable reason, meaning you had to listen to the live translation during its broadcast. That video can be viewed/listened here beginning at the 29min mark. My assessment of the speech from the video I provided at the time along with other UNGA speech assessments and other commentary on that very long, productive, thread. As I said at the time, Iraq and many other Persian Gulf regional nations would favor Rouhani and Russia's collective security/HOPE program which would boot the Outlaw US Empire and its NATO vassals out of the region and which the Empire's "defense" doctrine cannot abide whatsoever.

What's happening in Iraq is Outlaw US Empire instigated. Canthama suggested the one way it can be beaten. Furthermore, UAE has announced it will pursue an offensive to consolidate its military position in Yemen. IMO, both UAE and Saudi at the Empire's prodding are calling what they believe to be Yemen's bluff of more attacks. Thus, as Canthama suggests, it's time for the Houthis to launch a new wave at both aggressors.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 6 2019 18:26 utc | 57

add to 55

You can also have a look at WINEP, if you prefer, to know who they hate .-)) From 2018. Hint: It is not the Iraqi government.

Yet the timing of any such decision is important. Placing sanctions on AAH right away could prove very problematic for the group and Iraqi government, especially if the group winds up controlling a key ministry that requires significant international aid or involves regular international travel. It is now up to the Treasury Department and the rest of the Trump administration to ensure that sanctions are most effectively applied. Given that Iraq faces a contentious vote recount and negotiations over governing coalitions, Washington should consider delaying punitive measures until after the government is formed and AAH’s role in it is clear.

Or here recent.

Lastly, the United States should work with Baghdad to explore ways to empower law-abiding elements of the Popular Mobilization Forces and isolate rogue factions, including legal measures to make it harder for rogue factions to receive salaries from Baghdad. The forces are not a monolith, and there is an apparent rift between the political and the militant leadership over attempts by the latter to drag Iraq deeper into Iran’s side of the conflict. This presents an opportunity to support Baghdad’s recent initiatives to reshape the institution into a disciplined and accountable force.

This crisis demands an adjustment in the way the United States deals with Iraq. Helping Baghdad assert its authority and put its shaky democracy back on track has its rewards. It can create a strong, U.S.-friendly Iraq, strong and independent enough to resist Iranian manipulation from within and without. Failure to act now, though, gives Iran the chance to turn Iraq into another Syria. It’s critical that the United States and its partners on the ground in Iraq not let this happen.

Sounds to me the US are on the side of the Baghdad government and not creating a color revolution against it. That does not mean they don't pressure them or switch if they have better options.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 18:30 utc | 58

@Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 18:30 utc | 58

Helping Baghdad assert its authority and put its shaky democracy back on track has its rewards.

You are trying such US DoS and DoD propagandists here...Well, if the assistance is to come from the shaky democracy in the US...well, what to expect, God to assit us instead.
More or less the plan is to aplly "electoral reforms" so as the final result would throw a puppet government to the US, by bringing in "moderates" which translates like "meddling" all the way to eliminate sovereignists for a more maleable obeying parliament....

Failure to act now, though, gives Iran the chance to turn Iraq into another Syria..

He means, obviously, the chance that Iraq grows a pair to fight and liberate itself from US opression, occupation and plundering.

If the US is on the side of the Baghdad governments, why then they are upset with the measures on remaining neutral, continuing usual commercial interchanges by not applying to Iran sanctions dictated to everybody US behalf, why they are upset on the opening of Iraq/Syria border?

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 19:02 utc | 59

@ karlof1 | Oct 6 2019 18:26 utc | 57

Just now catching up with this thread, nicely arriving at your useful summation. Thanks for highlighting Canthama's point, it was worth repeating.

Agreed, this is an action simply to throw Iraq into more chaos and thus further backwards along the evolutionary path - anything to stall the growth of the ME into a coherent - indeed, even civilizational - unity.

And of course it's the US, KSA and Mossad with their well known, signature paw marks all over the op, and with UAE as you report succumbing to the pressure. There is - perhaps - no specific outcome intended other than chaos, as the antidote to the growing order of Iraq.

~~

Speaking of the esteemed Sharmine Narwani, in her recent interview with Ross Ashcroft that I have cited several times, she stabs at a theory to explain US policy, after remarking that analysts all over the world have been trying to find coherence in it for some years now.

She says that, perhaps as the empire is declining, if it can strike wounding and disabling blows at, essentially everyone else in the world, then they can all fall a little to match its own fall, and thus it retains its relative dominance.

Personally, I find this the only explanation of the US today, and the best articulated in the brief surmise she offered.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 6 2019 19:04 utc | 60

@ Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 19:02 utc | 59

You have been fighting a good and strong fight. Many thanks.

Salute.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 6 2019 19:06 utc | 61

@Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 6 2019 18:26 utc | 57

Could you give us an idea on what point in time the speech by the Iraqi representative starts?

I am not interested in hearing Zelensky now...

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 19:07 utc | 62

No idea why this post of mine got jibarized in such a way...highly likely DoD IT bots here are behind this....

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 19:09 utc | 63

@Posted by: Grieved | Oct 6 2019 19:06 utc | 61

Sure, but not without a price....all my housekeeping tasks neglected...

A little help would not hurt, the whole DoD, DoS, and tropehundreds "think tanks" are here....

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 19:13 utc | 64

@64 Elora Danan

Ignore them. They flourish on attention, and wither from neglect. The net result is that over a thread, the wise voices predominate and those readers who are not sure of things can more easily see the foolishness for what it is.

In my opinion, when you continually engage the enemy, you give it more life, and the semblance of respectability.

Your house needs you too :)

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 6 2019 19:21 utc | 65

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 19:02 utc | 59

All I am saying is that the US are not carrying out a color revolution AGAINST the Iraqi government. They might pressure the Iraqi government to control Shiite militias but the present Iraqi government is the best bet they have.

There are some influential Iraqis who want new elections or blame the Iraqi government and they are not US puppets.

Moqtada al-Sadr, a populist Shia politician and former militia leader who was a key powerbroker in convening the government after months of political wrangling last year, heaped pressure on Mr Abdul Mahdi on Friday, calling for the government to step down and for fresh elections.

His parliamentary bloc, Sairoon, which won the largest number of seats in last year’s elections, boycotted an emergency parliamentary session on Saturday.

Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s most important Shia religious figure, blamed the government for the protests but did not call for the administration’s resignation.

My guess is that the present Iraqi government is US agreed, and the US has lost influence recently. Or how come that the biggest block is not represented in the government. A new Iraq government might reflect the shift of power.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 19:23 utc | 66

@Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 19:23 utc | 66

Well, this Moqtada could be only, say, "difficult to stare" for me, and he may even want a sovereign Iraq, but going against neighboring Iran when it is being harassed y the US and capitalizing a US managed riot it´s not definitely the way. His "unorthodox" ways may prove smarty on gaining that degree in Qom, but not be the most effective always for the peaceful development of the country...

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 19:46 utc | 67

I told you so!

In spite of the measures announced by the government...the protests continue! Like in HK!

The attacks on media carried out during yesterday have made it much more difficult to obtain information on the ground, but at the moment the protests continue and there have been at least 8 deaths in Baghdad.

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 19:53 utc | 68

Or how come that the biggest block is not represented in the government.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 19:23 utc | 66

Because Iraq is a US occupied country and the US wants only give the appearance of "democracy" but managed by them?

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 19:59 utc | 69

This is the usual manual of US color revolutions, someone wants to start a civil war in Iraq to continue plundering... the Biden way...the Ukraine "heavenly hundred" come to mind...

Baghdad denies firing at protesters after GRAPHIC videos of shot Iraqi demonstrators go viral


Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 20:20 utc | 70

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 19:59 utc | 69

Some 10.000 US troups as advisers and trainers under Iraqi command for 40 million people? There was a withdrawal in 2011, you know. The US did not even manage to privatize Iraqi oil.

If Iraq is non souvereign, Iraqi leaders don't know it. This here is Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi joining the Chinese belt and road initiative.

The total trade between China and Iraq exceeded 30 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, as China is the biggest trade partner of Iraq. And Iraq is the second biggest oil supplier to China, and the fourth biggest trading partner of China in the Middle East.

You need a lot more than military power to build an empire.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 20:28 utc | 71

Thank you Canthama #5 perhaps this is the new protection the USA is sending to KSA. Every situation can and will be weaponised in the USA military "intelligence" complex.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 6 2019 20:35 utc | 72

Elora Danan @62--

As I wrote in my comment, "beginning at the 29min mark". Do take Grieved's advice @65!

Grieved @60--

Thanks for your reply! Sharmine's hypothesis is plausible, except that vis-à-vis its two primary competitors Russia and China, the Outlaw US Empire mired in its morass of corruption is sinking into that slime and falling further behind. For example, the video and its transcript here document the deployment of Russia's first portable nuclear power plant, the Academik Lomomnosov, further expanding the other ROSATOM information I recently provided (do note the mild rebuke given the Empire's backwardness at the end). Further contradictory evidence is here, "No Evidence of Security Holes in Huawei's 5G Technology - UAE Telecom Firm," thus putting the lie to the Empire's accusations and further sinking its already deeply listing credibility.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 6 2019 20:37 utc | 73

- The iraqi is very right to be "angry". The current iraqi government is very corrupt.

Posted by: Willy2 | Oct 6 2019 20:39 utc | 74

Smokescreens like these usually signal some sort of us withdrawal. So yes, the events could simply be a cover up for the relocation of troops from syria to iraq.

Oh ..and there is dead people as well.

Posted by: braindead | Oct 6 2019 20:49 utc | 75

Willy2 @74 & et al--

Lots of accusations of "very corrupt", "deeply corrupt", and so forth, but no evidence of such is provided--the "likely" school of evidence apparently.

Any Iraqi official colluding with the Outlaw US Empire is going to be properly deemed a traitor to Iraq. Many Tens of $$Billions in civilian specific infrastructure was targeted and deliberately destroyed first by GHW Bush, then by Clinton, and what remained by GW Bush--War Crimes one and all, and little has been rebuilt. For Iraq to properly provide the essential services its citizens require, it must eject the Outlaw US Empire from its lands and take all the offers from Iran, China, Russia, and elsewhere to rebuild regardless of the initial monetary outlay as such is requisite for civil peace AND redevelopment. But to do all that, the Empire and its forces must be ousted--that requirement cannot be reiterated enough!

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 6 2019 20:56 utc | 76

Thanks Elora Duncan for all your posts. As I see it the USA is furious that its puppets cant control Abdul Mahdi. The Moqtada spoiler is in their pocket and well rewarded no doubt(for now).

The yankee war criminals are there to stay (for now).

See how they work, the USA selects countries that are sandwiched between their target and then commence a colour revolution.

Indonesia in 1966, Iraq was a full frontal attack as Saddam was too strong. Then Ukraine to frustrate Russia, then Afghanistan to break trade and pipeline routes between middle east and China. Now circling Mongolia. Failed in Thailand, Vietnam.

Give no thought to the toads chirping from the swamp. The silence of the python is their demise. Peace

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 6 2019 21:13 utc | 77

@Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 20:28 utc | 71

In your new neoliberal US think tank contribution, this US think tank stooge regrets that there is a law in Iraq which provides a certain sharing for the populaton from oil national revenues....

Then, here he is projecting all the way:

Iraq’s dilemma is in the inability of its political class to offer a vision for state-building and institutional governance, rather than being driven by short term gains from one election to the next.

That is precisely the US more accute problem...May be it is transferring it to Iraq now...

But, as Elijah Magnier retwitts:

US Embassy in Baghdad issued a travel/security alert on 09/24/2019, just one week before protests began.

Prescient, no?

https://twitter.com/OlivesStones/status/1180930962282164224

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 21:14 utc | 78

It's all about controlling the oil and has been that way since Great Britain switched from coal to oil for their navy. WW1 didn't start because of some Duke being assassinated in Sarajevo, it started with European powers attempting to grab the greatest prize in the world, ME oil. Among the first troops Great Britain deployed at the start of WW1 arrived at Basra to secure ME oil for themselves. Iraq has spend the majority of its existence since the Peace to End All Peace (David Fromkin) carved up the ME for the benefit of western powers occupied by those same powers. So we have a pretty good idea of who is behind event in Iraq, or the MENA for that matter, FUKUS and their satraps. This is how they have operated for the last hundred years. The west has been bombing resistance to their occupation starting with aerial bombing Kurds with chemical weapons in the 20's. Iran is the only country to have escaped the grip of the west in the region and therefore must be destroyed by any means necessary. For this to end, the US must be thrown out of the region, and the Houthi might just be the ones that will push the first domino over to start a chain of events the like we haven't seen since the Sykes-Picot agreement and the Balfour declaration. The only sensible solution has been put forward by Russia. Russia pushing peace and FUKUS pushing war. No wonder the exceptional leaders of the west hate Russia so much.

Robert Newman's History of Oil explains it all. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIpm_8v80hw

Posted by: Tom | Oct 6 2019 21:26 utc | 79

Thanks Elora Duncan for all your posts.

@Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 6 2019 21:13 utc | 77

ROFLOL! I am sure you had in mind great Isadora Duncan when you wrote that...and I do not mind being confussed with her, for a while, with permission of great little Princess of Tir Asleen...of course...

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 21:26 utc | 80

Posted by: braindead | Oct 6 2019 20:49 utc | 75

This is possible. It is also possible that Saudi wants to change the conversation from Khashoggi. Or from caving in to Iran. Or it is a huge smokescreen over burying the Shia-Sunni conflict which never existed anyway. Though Saudi supporting a youth protest at its border would be suicidal.

There is a twitter campaign targeting journalists (it is certainly not from on the ground in Iraq as the internet there was supposed to be off.) It looks and feels completely astroturfed.
It is working! Western journalists who are not on the ground, don't speak Arabic simply quote them not even wondering why the tweets are in English.

Mind you, there are similar protests in Lebanon, too. Plus, in Egypt, again.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 21:33 utc | 81

the Houthi might just be the ones that will push the first domino over to start a chain of events the like we haven't seen since the Sykes-Picot agreement and the Balfour declaration

@Posted by: Tom | Oct 6 2019 21:26 utc | 79

Indeed, Tom, thanks for your comment, the Houthies really are showing the path, a National Unity Government and all the tribes united behind it...as showed the other day in Saada for the "Victory of God"...:

https://twitter.com/Ruptly/status/1180213499403718658

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 21:36 utc | 82

Reported by HispanTV on Iraqi government social measures in response to protests:

Abdul-Mahdi is determined and firm to change the economic situation of the people and fight corruption. An example of this is that a few days ago he fired 1000 officials per bribe.

The US and his allies invasion of Iraq shattered the country's economy. The United States maintains a hidden occupation of Iraq, in such a way that it controls the distribution of the oil revenues of the Arab country, its banking and monetary system and its commercial relations with other States.

In the wake of Iraq's problems, a wave of demonstrations in Baghdad (capital) broke out on Tuesday to protest against corruption, unemployment and problems in public services.

However, certain people diverted protests from their peaceful course, which turned violent into clashes between a group of Iraqi protesters and police, leaving several dead on both sides.

Faced with this scenario, Ayatollah Sistani urged Friday to avoid violence in protests. The top Shiite cleric also called on the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of Iraq to fulfill their responsibility in the fight against corruption and to implement real reforms in the country.

Although some Western and Arab media, particularly Saudi Arabia, tried to incite greater violence and take advantage of protests to achieve their political goals, now the peace of mind is returning to Iraq, so the Iraqi authorities lifted the curfew imposed on Thursday.


Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 22:03 utc | 83

Thanks, karlof1 @73, for that link! I have been loosely following the development of the Academik Lomomnosov for a few years, but I had never really bothered to think very deeply about the implications. One passage caught my attention:

"The FNPP can carry sufficient enriched uranium to power the two reactors for 12 years. Then, it, with its spent fuel, should be towed back to Russia, where the radioactive waste will be processed.

This means that to continue maintaining uninterrupted electricity and thermal energy (somewhat important in the arctic, I would assume!) supplies to the city of Pevek, a second similar portable power plant will be needed to keep the city going while the Academik Lomomnosov is being reprocessed/refurbed.

The article also suggests that these portable power plants will be produced for a number of locations along Russia's northern coast. Each of these locations will likewise require a substitute portable power plant for when their original one goes back to the manufacturer for rehab.

First impulse might be to think "Wow! What a hassle!", but ponder this situation for a moment. This means that Russia is going to be building a freakin` fleet of these things! Dozens!

The most immediately notable aspect of this is that when you scale up production to that quantity then costs come down and quality goes up. But here is a point that might not be immediately apparent: If Russia scales up production, then these things could very well become commodities... items that could practically be purchased or leased "off the shelf", so to speak. Think about it, when a used one is returned for maintenance and its replacement is on site, the manufacturer has twelve years before they have to have the old one recycled and sent back out. That means they will almost certainly end up with a stockpile of used portable power plants, some fresh back from service, some partially rehabbed, and some polished up and ready to go. This is totally ignoring what new ones they might be producing.

I am not big fanboi over nuclear power (I think solar power is the only civilized solution, and orbital solar is the only civilized industrial solution), but this is exciting! Think of the possibilities! Indonesia gets hammered by another tsunami and the power is wiped out to a whole province (or two). Quick fix? Russia sends a portable power plant and the lights are back on in short order! (It took a year for America to restore power to Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria). People living without power in the bombed out ruins of America's latest target victim? Well, maybe Russia cannot rebuild all of their houses overnight, but they can get juice flowing again real fast! Just deliver one of these power plants.

Maybe one can see how this relates to the current situation in Iraq. If not, then revisit what some of the complaints are (power outages). It is frustrating that this portable power plant project wasn't half a decade more mature as if it were then Russia could potentially provide the Iraqi government with a package solution for a portion of the problems that they face.

That said, going forward this will be a diplomatic tool Russia can employ.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 6 2019 22:03 utc | 84

Also reported by HispanTV:

Leader: Enemies failed to sow discord between Iran and Iraq

“The enemies are trying to divide the two nations, but they have failed and their conspiracy will have no effect” says a message from the Office of Preservation and Publication of the Works of the Iranian Leader, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Jamenei, published this Sunday to via Twitter

The note comes at a time when millions of Muslim pilgrims, including Iranians, are preparing to travel to the holy Iraqi city of Karbala to commemorate the 40th day of the martyrdom of Imam Husein (peace be upon him), grandson of the prophet of Islam, Hazrat Muhamad (peace be upon him), at an event known worldwide as Arbain.

Along the same lines, the Persian Leader has described Iran and Iraq as two inseparable nations entwined by their love for the family of the Prophet of Islam, especially the Imam Husein (P).

“Iran and Iraq are two nations whose bodies, hearts and souls are connected to each other through their faith in God, their love for Ahlul Bait (family of the Prophet of Islam) and Husein ibn Ali (P) and these relationships are strengthened daily”, Highlighted Ayatollah Khamenei.

some Arab and Western media, including those in Saudi Arabia, have tended to exaggerate what actually happened in the protests with the objective of benefiting politically from it, in addition to accusing the forces of the Popular Mobilization Units (Al-Hashad Al-Shabi, in Arabic) to repress protesters and promote violence in the Arab country.

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 22:10 utc | 85

Smokescreens and mirrors.

Saudi Arabia and Iran have taken steps towards indirect talks to defuse tensions in the Middle East, with Riyadh asking Iraq and Pakistan to speak with the Iranian leadership about de-escalation, according to the New York Times.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 22:21 utc | 86

Western and Saudi media targeted in Iraq

The Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya said that carloads of gunmen arrived at its offices on Saturday evening, ransacked the building and beat up employees who fled. The offices of Dijla, NRT, Arabiya Hadath, Fallouja, Alghad Alaraby, Al-Sharqiya and Sky News Arabia were also reportedly targeted.... Among the networks targeted were Kurdish, Jordanian, international and locally-owned outlets.... The identity of the attackers is unknown, though NRT claimed that they belonged to “security forces.” On the other hand, Al-Arabiya claimed that the attackers actively “prevented the federal police from helping” its staff.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 22:26 utc | 87

@ 85
re: “Iran and Iraq are two nations whose bodies, hearts and souls are connected to each other through their faith in God

The Arbaeen Pilgrimage has begun. Every year, millions of Shia Muslims even Sunni Muslims, Christians and Zoroastrians, etc. from various nationalities depart for the holy Iraqi cities of Najaf and Karbala in Iraq to commemorate the 40th day (Arbaeen in Arabic) after the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS) in the battle of Karbala on Ashura Day in 680 AD. It is considered the greatest march in the world. It is predicted that more than three million Iranians will visit Karbala. It's reported that more than two million Iranian pilgrims have enrolled as of Saturday for the Arbaeen trek this year on a website designed for this Arbaeen dubbed 'Samah'.

The Tehran Times editorialized with
Arbaeen March and rise of new Middle East
Excerpts: "Eight years ago, in March 2011, a bloody civil war broke out in Syria. . .But, September 2013 was a turning point for failure of the mentioned plan. . .Heavy attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil installations on September 14, 2019 can be considered as the second turning point in creation of new Middle East. . .The above-mentioned huge and history-making developments have turned a very vast region, including Iran, Iraq, and Syria with 2, 270,000 square kilometers of area of land and with a population of nearly 140 million, into a commonwealth region. Inside this large region, it takes 22-24 hours by bus or 2-3 hours on plane to travel from Tehran to Beirut, Lattakia or other Mediterranean Sea’s ports utilizing a visa similar to Schengen visa in Europe. Iran and Iranians can easily attain eye-catching political, cultural, economic and trade achievements by promoting their interactions among this large region.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 6 2019 22:31 utc | 88

More Saudi Iranian Trump fun

Diplomacy has now become the only viable option for drawing up the map of the Middle East, and Saudi Arabia seems to be looking for possible mediators for negotiations with Iran. Shortly after the annual UN General Assembly, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said he had been requested by Prince Mohammed and Trump to try to mediate between Riyadh and Tehran. Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei reported that Iran had received letters from the crown prince through a third country, but he did not name it.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 22:32 utc | 89

@Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 22:21 utc | 86

MBS is of so treacherous and doubling nature as he is Trump, while he performs he wants negotiations.... he has bombed a wheat cargo in Yemen...

Non agreement capable as their patrons...

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 22:41 utc | 90

It just struck me considering what the pro-empire guy above just posted: What is to prevent there being two opposing covert operations going on in Iraq at the same time? To start with we have the imperial regime change operation... or considering the very significant point raised by Frogman @29 that the CIA Mockingbird mass media isn't jumping on it perhaps it is one of the empire's more rabid attack dogs (which one could be more rabid than Israel?) that has slipped its leash.

B pointed out that there was word of a potential coup about this time being circulated months ago. It could very well be that Iran planned a counter-operation to coincide with the coup attempt. The Iranians are certainly well acquainted with the West's state-of-the-art in regime change operations as they are having to constantly defend against them, so it wouldn't be so tough for them to copy the technique but modify it somewhat to suit their own needs. Rather than trying to change regimes, though, maybe they are using the western regime change operation itself as cover to do damage to the Saudi and the American assets in Iraq?

Just a though that I have no evidence to support.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 6 2019 22:53 utc | 91

@Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 6 2019 22:31 utc | 88

Although not a muslim myself, I will be glad of joining this pligrimage one day, when it is possible....

The ambiance has to be great, for sure...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2-wO77ASxw

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 22:54 utc | 92

@Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 22:54 utc | 92

Since, as it is said in this video, the Arbaeen pilgrimace is increasingly joined by more people, multiplicating the gathering numbers in the millions each new year, it occurs to me if this was not as well an intend to prejudice the afluence to this pligrimage, described in the video as the "World´s Largest Peaceful Gatherings Ever in Human History"...

Who, if not those who reign of perpetual war so as to plunder the globe, would benefit from disturbing this peaceful gathering of peoples, especially muslims, when their strategist theories tell us these are peoples incapable of having peaceful relations amongst each other, and that Islam is in itself belicose by nature?...

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 23:11 utc | 93

Grieved posted--
"She says that, perhaps as the empire is declining, if it can strike wounding and disabling blows at, essentially everyone else in the world, then they can all fall a little to match its own fall, and thus it retains its relative dominance. "

I think the empire does not see itself as "declining".

It thinks that problems with upstarts has been going on for 500 years and they have always managed to put out the fires one way or another.

Posted by: arby | Oct 6 2019 23:33 utc | 94

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 6 2019 22:53 utc | 91

It certainly does not pass the smell test.

- protesters - seen in the photos - are completely unorganised -
basically a few scruffy Baghdad kids
- if you believe the news only Shia areas affected
- all Iraqi politicians support the protesters
- strange twitter campaign aimed at Western journalists
- western/Saudi media offices attacked
- strange experts on Al Jazeera knowing exactly what protesters want talking from London
- timing before huge (millions!) Iranian and Iraqi Shia pilgrimage to Kerbala

It could be an Saudi/UAE/Israeli plan that got infiltrated by Iraqi secret service and/or aborted because Saudi needs to negotiate.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 6 2019 23:37 utc | 95

@ ED 92
Thanks for the video. Impressive. But it's most likely not something we'd ever see on the nightly news, although being the world's largest public event, mainly because the people young and old appear to be totally dedicated to simple acts of charity toward their fellow humans, some kind of commies. That's why the US has cluster bombs and knows how to use them.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 6 2019 23:47 utc | 96

Posted by: Elora Danan | Oct 6 2019 22:54 utc | 92

Thanks for the video. Wonder though why the song seems like in Urdu or Hindi rather than in Arabic or Farsi??

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Oct 7 2019 2:37 utc | 97

Posted by: Elora Danan @ 64

...the whole DoD, DoS, and tropehundreds "think tanks" are here....

Yup...this 'somebody' and 'donkeytale' are putting up so much flack here on an ongoing basis that it is useless trying to read through comments...nobody would go to such lengths without an agenda...and most likely compensation...

Makes me sick...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 7 2019 3:12 utc | 98

@ flankerbandit who wrote
"
Yup...this 'somebody' and 'donkeytale' are putting up so much flack here on an ongoing basis that it is useless trying to read through comments...nobody would go to such lengths without an agenda...and most likely compensation...
"

Thanks for that. I can only hope that newbie barfly Elora Danan gets the message to not feed/respond to those known trolls at MoA

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 7 2019 3:16 utc | 99

Trying to stir up sectarianism for the second time. This time it is more complex.
It cannot be done in the name of Sunnis, as ISIS is still fresh in their minds. So now
It is more Maidan like. Yes, US is furious with Iraq, and the fury shows. It is not hard to
imagine derp unhappiness with waiting and waiting for some hope in getting economy
back kn track. But NOTHING can be done while US troops are in the country. Nothing.
US authority is being challenged in Iraq — listed in the article. Open Syria border for commerce,
Trade with Iran. Contracts with China. Weapons talk with Russia.

But — while punishing Iraq feels good — it also will not make it a viable partner for fighting
Iran. Saudis after bombing are a mess as well. King of Jordan in Russia — conferring
with Putin. Israel with its own mess. Anybody left — to tackle Iran?

Posted by: Bianca | Oct 7 2019 5:18 utc | 100

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