Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 30, 2019

After U.S. Strike On Iraqi Forces Its Troops Will (Again) Have To Leave

Within Syria @WithinSyriaBlog - 17:43 UTC · Dec 29, 2019
Trump just made the mistake of his presidency.

That may be true or may be not true. Here is what happened.

On Friday a volley of some 30 107mm Katyusha rockets hit the K1 base which houses Iraqi and U.S. troops near Kirkuk, Iraq. One U.S. mercenary/contractor died, two Iraqi and four U.S. soldiers were wounded. Instead of finding the real culprits - ISIS remnants, disgruntled locals, Kurds who want to regain control over Kirkuk - the U.S. decided that Kata'ib Hizbullah was the group guilty of the attack.

Kata'ib Hizbullah is a mostly Shia group with some relations to Iran. It is part of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) which were founded and trained by Iran to stop and defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) when it occupied nearly a third of Iraq and Syria. KH is like all PMU units now under command and control of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense.

To take revenge for the death of one of its mercenaries the U.S. air force attacked five camps where Kata'ib Hizbullah and other Iraqi forces were stationed:

In response to repeated Kata'ib Hizbollah (KH) attacks on Iraqi bases that host Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) coalition forces, U.S. forces have conducted precision defensive strikes against five KH facilities in Iraq and Syria that will degrade KH's ability to conduct future attacks against OIR coalition forces.

The five targets include three KH locations in Iraq and two in Syria. These locations included weapon storage facilities and command and control locations that KH uses to plan and execute attacks on OIR coalition forces.

All of the KH positions that were hit were in the western Anbar desert, 450 kilometer away from Kirkuk. KH has bases on both sides of the Iraqi-Syrian border where it is engaged in fighting the still active ISIS. The results of the air strikes were devastating:

Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai - 6:20 UTC · Dec 30, 2019
32 killed and 45 wounded the count of #US violent aggression on #Iraq security forces brigades 45 and 46 last night on a military position established to counter-attack and raid #ISIS remnant at al-Qaem, the borders between Iraq and Syria.

The al-Qaem/al-Bukamal border station is the only open one between Iraq and Syria which is not under U.S. control. The U.S. was furious when the Iraqi prime minister Adil Abdul Mahdi allowed it to be established. It was previously attacked by Israel which had launched its assault from a U.S. air force base in east Syria.

TØM CΛT @TomtheBasedCat - 6:11 UTC · Dec 29, 2019
It wasn't just Hezbollah Battalions members who were affected, there are also wounded among the ranks of the Missiles Forces / Rocket Battalion which is considered a separate unit apart from the numbered brigades.

The dead include Abu Ali Madiniyah, the commander of the 1st battalion of the 45th Brigade.

The strikes were in total disregard of Iraqi sovereignty and against forces under direct command of the Iraqi state:

In a statement, Abdul-Mahdi said Defense Secretary Mark Esper had called him about a half-hour before the U.S. strikes to tell him of U.S. intentions to hit bases of the militia suspected of being behind Friday’s rocket attack. Abdul-Mahdi said in the statement he asked Esper to call off U.S. retaliation plans.

The statement said Iraqi President Barham Salih also received advance notice from a U.S. diplomat, and also asked unsuccessfully for Americans to call off it off.

The strikes were designed to kill those who still fight ISIS in its most virulent hide outs:

Rania Khalek @RaniaKhalek - 18:44 UTC · Dec 29, 2019
The PMF group that was hit by the Americans has been fighting ISIS for years. They were on the front lines protecting Iraq from ISIS in Syria and engaged in the ongoing battles with ISIS in the Syrian and Iraqi deserts. They were THE line of defense.
The American attack on this PMF group is not only a disproportionate act of revenge, it is also a threat to regional security. AND it’s pathetic for a so-called super power to get into a fight with a small militia.

Here is video of the bloody aftermath.

There are some 5,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq in bases which also house 10,000nds of Iraqi soldiers and PMF troops. Revenge attacks are now inevitable:

In the aftermath of the American strikes, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi said, “We have already confirmed our rejection of any unilateral action by coalition forces or any other forces inside Iraq. We consider it a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and a dangerous escalation that threatens the security of Iraq and the region,” according to a statement released on Iraqi state television.

Abdul-Mahdi now finds himself facing the nightmare possibility of Iranian-linked paramilitaries, whose political wings hold enormous sway over his government, going to war with American forces on Iraqi territory, which would compound a disastrous few months in which the deaths of hundreds of protestors have been laid at his feet, prompting him to hand in his resignation to parliament.

The coming days and weeks will answer a number of questions about how this perilous situation will play out, primarily how far are the paramilitaries willing to act upon their rhetoric which has endlessly stated that the American presence in Iraq is a continuation of the occupation, in addition to their readiness to take military action in order to force out the Americans, “once again”.

The U.S. and Israel have already killed hundreds of Iraqi forces that are aligned with Iran. But these were the most egregious strikes. There is no doubt. The U.S. forces will have to (again) leave Iraq:

Brasco_Aad @Brasco_Aad - 19:55 UTC · Dec 29, 2019
Iraqi PMU Asai'b Ahl al-Haq statement on the American attack on Iraq tonight:
''The American military presence has become a burden for the State and a source of aggression against our forces and therefore it has become mandatory for all of us to expel them from Iraq.''

U.S. President Donald Trump had declared that he wants U.S. troops to leave the Middle East. But the 'deep state', the Pentagon and State Department bureaucracy, have resisted any such move:

Pompeo, Esper and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, flew to Palm Beach, Florida, after the operation to brief President Donald Trump.

Esper said they discussed with Trump “other options that are available” to respond to Iran.
...
Trump was at Mar-a-Lago but did not appear with his top national security officials. After Pompeo and Esper spoke, the president traveled to his private golf club in West Palm Beach. The White House did not immediately say why Trump returned to the club after spending nearly six hours there earlier Sunday.

Yesterday's attacks guarantee that all U.S. troops will have to leave Iraq and will thereby also lose their supply lines to Syria.

One wonders if that was the real intent of those strikes.

Posted by b on December 30, 2019 at 8:03 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Yes, I agree V@6 <=the nation state system is the problem. Its a structure that divides and distributes fractional shares of the 8 billion people in the world into 206 jail like containers. Once in a container, an armed legal system enforces behavior and a private propaganda system controls beliefs; the governed become the slaves of the governors.
snake | Dec 31 2019 7:19 utc | 98

Yes, George said way back in June 1949; prescient to a fault spooky no less...
I said earlier Usians are property; humans as property taken out to the final conclusion = slaves.
Slow to wake to reality; early stirrings begin...

Posted by: V | Dec 31 2019 8:10 utc | 101

@59 &64

Yes, I am an American.

It should be recalled that Fallujah was destroyed because the natives had the temerity to kill 4 mercenaries. In a normal world mercenaries are the lowest scum imaginable, hired killers. Losing 4 of them should be good riddance. But no, this is America. Mercenaries are like sports heroes or Hollywood idols. And always "civilian contractors". Same as the crew that runs the kitchen. So an entire city for 4 casualties is just about right. And those ragheads died from American bullets, American explosives, American white phosphorus. They should feel honored to die by America. Nicest thing we could do for them.

I've no idea if the Pompeo endrun theory is correct. In any case massive reprisal, indiscriminate reprisal, indiscriminate rage, just all feel completely normal. Nothing unusual about this. Also remember we went to war with Iraq in first place because of 9/11. Which had nothing to do with 9/11 at all. But it just felt right to have a war about then and they were camel jockeys so let's go.

Posted by: oldhippie | Dec 31 2019 8:24 utc | 102

It's 9.30pm and I've got Bob Wills blasting out at full volume across the front paddock and the kids who have never heard the likes of Bob before are trying to jive, jitterbug etc. Tres amusant. Texas swing will bring in 2020 at our joint.

Just for a few hours I'm gonna remember a time when amerika's ruling class were as bad as they always have been, but most amerikans hadn't yet caught on, they weren't 'woke' or whatever to all that theft & murder, so they joyfully if naively celebrated their ignorant innocence.

Posted by: A User | Dec 31 2019 8:30 utc | 103

19
Iraq/Syria/Yemen/Afghanistan/Pakistan/Libya/Palestine/Venezuela/Bolivia/Sudan/Somalia/Ukraine

You missed out Serbia.
That was the beginning in many ways.
'Good' men did nothing as NATO attacked a sovereign state and murdered its innocent people on behalf of the KLA/ISIS.
Created ''Kosovo' - a narco criminal islamic European base - supplying thousands of jihadis to ISIS itself.
Now, officially Milosevic has been, barely reported, declared innocent.
Had the decent amongst 'the good' stood up as they illegally bombed Serbia 'back to the stoneage', stopped the neo cons then. maybe the people of the middle east would have their hoomes and not be refugees and incidentally a danger to the west.
http://johnpilger.com/articles/provoking-nuclear-war-by-media

Posted by: emily | Dec 31 2019 8:49 utc | 104

Posted by: Lozion | Dec 31 2019 0:33 utc | 79


"laguerre...I was about to defend you Vs Russ"

Defend against what? All I did was politely point out that this person was simultaneously saying the US leadership is very stupid (because he thinks the air strike was simple mistaken identity, as opposed to either deliberate calculation or willful nihilistic indifference) but also smart (he thinks the US would never try to overthrow the current Irak government because the US has calculated it can't do better), and he got pissy about it.

To repeat my own take as expressed in #1, I'd bet the leadership's goal is to escalate pressure on Iran toward provoking war, it's not 11-dimensional briar-patching on Trump's part (if Trump has a coherent idea at all, it's toward escalation, as proven by all his actions as opposed to some of his words), and if the Iraki government really tries to force the US military out the US will do all it can to change the regime. Laguerre's opinion to the contrary isn't borne out by the record of US action so far.

I don't understand how that difference of opinion turned into a (one-way) spat, but the internet sure is a weird place...


Posted by: Russ | Dec 31 2019 8:51 utc | 105

100
=the nation state system is the problem.

You must be kidding.
Try being stuck in the EU for decades.
We Brits are finally breaking free from an historic nightmare of being governed by a completely unelected cabal of the NWO based on Brussels.
You are delusional if that is what you desire.

Posted by: emily | Dec 31 2019 8:53 utc | 106

remember, no embassy roof in Eastern Syria nor in Northern Iraq.

Posted by: nietzsche1510 | Dec 31 2019 8:58 utc | 107

100
=the nation state system is the problem.
V@100
I said no such thing...


...the nation state system is the problem. Its a structure that divides and distributes fractional shares of the 8 billion people in the world into 206 jail like containers. Once in a container, an armed legal system enforces behavior and a private propaganda system controls beliefs; the governed become the slaves of the governors.
snake | Dec 31 2019 7:19 utc | 98

I'll assume you're (emily | Dec 31 2019 8:53 utc | 105) confused (or maybe a reading comprehension issue)...but, I do agree within its context as stated.
You'all in the EU have your own problems, of which, I want no part...

Posted by: V | Dec 31 2019 9:33 utc | 108

You really are ignorant, russ, but you won't admit it, and you keep repeating yourself to justify it.

Anyway, for the others. Not really surprising.

Iraq protesters attempting to storm US embassy

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 31 2019 9:57 utc | 109

Posted by: snake | Dec 31 2019 7:19 utc | 98

the nation state system is the problem. Its a structure that divides and distributes fractional shares of the 8 billion people in the world into 206 jail like containers.

So what is your preferred alternative to this terrible problem of yours? A one world government?

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 31 2019 10:13 utc | 110

107
I presume you want a world government.
The EU om steroids.
The elites and the neo cons dream world.
No dissent.
They created communism and murdered millions in the USSR - largely Russians.
It failed.
So now 'globalism' is being pushed
You don't actually support it - do you?

Posted by: emily | Dec 31 2019 10:25 utc | 111

So what is your preferred alternative to this terrible problem of yours? A one world government?
Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 31 2019 10:13 utc | 109

Oh, come now!
"Its a structure that divides and distributes fractional shares of the 8 billion people in the world into 206 jail like containers."
How about sovereign states; not the cells created by the dictates of the unipolar USA!
Just what are you people smoking?
Or, are you genuinely blinded by the shit the USA is selling to this planet?
What snake proposes is the antithisis of a one world government! Jeeeezzzz...

Posted by: V | Dec 31 2019 10:28 utc | 112

So, attacking and killing an (arguably) allied country's citizens because you don't like their political affiliations? Seriously, what kind of bastardry is this?

Way to win hearts and minds, Mrika!

Of course, Mrika doesn't care. After all, it's half a planet away. We'll kill our self-declared enemies there, while those here that hate what we are doing we'll kill here, one way or another! Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and that poor person Chelsea Manning.

Poor Americans. They have such a fucked-up, wicked government. Most of them don't even realize it.

Posted by: Ant. | Dec 31 2019 10:54 utc | 113

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 31 2019 9:57 utc | 108

"You really are ignorant, russ, but you won't admit it, and you keep repeating yourself to justify it."

Well, I sure have no idea what you keep going on about or what your beef with me is.

Posted by: Russ | Dec 31 2019 11:04 utc | 114

i can see them circling the wagons back at fort apache...err, i mean fort Baghdad, the sprawling, heavily fortified 104 acre embassy compound with a contingent of god knows how many heavily armed marines, an anti-missile system, power plant, water treatment plant, and, oh yeah, an olympic size swimming pool, you know, to wash off the desert dust at the end of the day. i bet they could hold out there for a while...

certainly 'til the AC-130Us show up.

Posted by: john | Dec 31 2019 11:05 utc | 115

US embassy stormed in Baghdad amid anger at airstrikes
US Ambassador to Iraq leaves Baghdad: sources

Gee, who could have predicted this?

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 31 2019 11:23 utc | 116

@110 emily

"They created communism..."

Who are "they"? The Jewish-Bolchevist omnispresent globalist masterminds? Can you name a few please? Have "they" pressed a cabalistic button on a ideological super computer - et voila - communism appeared?

Questions over questions

Posted by: Vato | Dec 31 2019 11:29 utc | 117

Posted by: john | Dec 31 2019 11:05 utc | 114

"certainly 'til the AC-130Us show up."

Brutal, murderous raid for no purpose, street rage in response. If the protests continue we can expect the US to double down on the violent brutality, which in the end will be all the empire has left, anywhere. And since just letting go will not be an option...

Posted by: Russ | Dec 31 2019 11:38 utc | 118

@110 Emily

I will make no comment, but the following document I found interesting:

http://mileswmathis.com/marx.pdf

Posted by: Ant. | Dec 31 2019 11:38 utc | 119

@ emily

Capitalists killed hundreds of millions, including tens of millions in Russia and China, through war and starvation (sometimes intentional). Even today, with communism all but disappeared from the world stage, we see capitalists return to murdering each other for profit.

In the special case of civil wars between foreign capitalist occupiers and domestic pro-independence communists, the casualties count must be attributed entirely to *capitalists* — contrary to the oligarch-serving nonsense you repeat.

Posted by: oglalla | Dec 31 2019 11:49 utc | 120

Anybody preparing a forecast for the new year might want to start revising. Iraqi demonstrators have just invaded the US embassy in Baghdad. Hostages anyone? Funny, not ha ha for a sitting President if history repeats itself, this time a Democrat taking the presidency and definitely a farce of epic proportions in the making. Karl is proven right again!

Oh yea, there were 79 Iraqi military personal killed in the latest USAF attack purportedly on Hashd al-Shaabi Kataeb Hezbollah which directly led to this demonstration. Of the dead only 9 were with Kataeb Hezbollah. The rest were with the Iraqi army and police forces. Kataeb Hezbollah is under the command of the Iraqi Ministry of Defence. These soldiers were stationed at the border hunting down ISIS. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the rocket attack that killed one US contractor and injured several US and Iraqi soldiers.

This one strike has united Iraq. A protest against the “Great Satan” will be across the three divides of Iraq, Sunni, Shia and Kurd. Thanks Donald. A stopped clock is right once and a while. This just might be the silver bullet for the Democrats, and they get to hold the bag when the economy implodes. Lucky them. And we get to see the domino effect as the US starts to exit the Middle East. Next goodbye to US troops in Syria. Bibi will not be happy, but he has so much on his plate at the moment, trying to stay out of jail and all. Posted over at KFN earlier.

Posted by: Tom | Dec 31 2019 11:54 utc | 121

@ Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 31 2019 11:23 utc | 115 with the links to reports about the US Ambassador and other US flunkies being run out of Baghdad.

Thanks for that and yes, there are a few MoA barflies like you that could have predicted such.

Maybe the Roaring 20's for empire are going to be short and not so sweet......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 31 2019 12:02 utc | 122

Reports of fires at the US Embassy in Baghdad.

Gee, who could have imagined that a few of America's wonderful bombs would get people so upset? They should feel honored to be bombed by America!

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 31 2019 12:03 utc | 123

Elijah Magnier has a short video clip on his twitter feed of demonstrators chanting outside the gate of the US embassy in Baghdad. Turn UP the volume. That should put a chill into those only a few hours were praising the killing and wounding of 79 Iraqi soldiers. Awfully quiet over there in Occupied Palestine at the moment.

Another tweet from Eliah Magnier "If 79 killed and wounded Iraqi is the price of seeing the #US forces out of #Iraq, I think it is worth it." Yes, it will save the lives of millions around the world.

Posted by: Tom | Dec 31 2019 12:10 utc | 124

i too wondered who emily was referring to by "they".

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 31 2019 12:11 utc | 125

The US ambassador is out of the country. The last I heard is that no staff had been evacuated. Various ME twitter feeds I check.

Posted by: Tom | Dec 31 2019 12:13 utc | 126

By now, there are Hashd Al Shaabi flags in the roof of former US Embassy...

As we live in this IT era, especial forces entrenched behind the desk of the reception area of the embassy are being filmed by the protestors from the windows....Also many people making selfies of themselves in front of the embassy

It seems that the US had already reduced its embassy personel to the minimum weeks ago...thus all this was previewed as a consequence...and may be as a desired outcome...

To see what happens...

Ousting president Abdel Mahdi is saying that the protestors will be shot in case they enter the embassy by Iraqi Especial Forces...He should have protected better his own special forces in the Syrian border fighting ISIS...

As we approach the new year, I wish the Iraqi people a good outcome, and that thye can finally liberate themselves of US oppresion after having lost so much in lives and infrastructure and regression of the country to years behind in devleopment by Us destruction. God Bless you! Happy New Year!

Some Twitters account are calling the protestors terrorists, but this is Iraqi people fighting for their freedom against the common agression of the US and its terrorist product, ISIS.

https://twitter.com/PressTV/status/1211957268092055552

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 31 2019 12:16 utc | 127

For what it seems the mourners on the funeral procession in Baghdad for victims of U.S. airstrikes on PMU bases, decided after the procession to go on to storm the US Embassy...

https://twitter.com/PressTV/status/1211921495884095488

Video shows the moment that Iraqi protesters storm U.S. embassy in #Baghdad

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 31 2019 12:24 utc | 128

MSM cant ignore this any-more, sadr is joining the anti-usa forces, B was right, this went bad really fast and united the iraqi, anybody left in iraq who is pro-usa is in danger.
With the absence of trump tweets this is probably all on Pompeo. Democrats and the MSM stick for the moment in their pro-israel default mode but they will realize this is their golden opportunity to finish trump.

Posted by: gary mckinnon | Dec 31 2019 12:31 utc | 129

Trump accuses Iran of orchestrating the attack on the US Embassy and hopes that the Iraqi authorities are able to protect the US Embassy from the protestors...

For you to see that Trump is well aware of and on board with all this, after all, according to a former WH insider, it is Kushner who rules there now...

To me this comes with the same goal that the other "protests" which have been taking place lately, to provoke a civil war in Iraq that could in a way sprinkle Iran by proximity...The PMU HQ have been being attacked constantly by the alleged "protesters" whom we could see offering money in the streets to the people to get them to participate...The US has been provoking the PMU since weeks ago, hence they have already reduce their embassy personel...This all is aimed at justifying a war on Iran...

The Iraqis should unite to oust the US occupation forces once for all and that these last PMU martyrs are the last ones...Start a new year with a bit of hope...

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 31 2019 12:41 utc | 130

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday called US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to congratulate him on air attacks against pro-Iranian militias in Iraq and Syria, the Israeli leader’s press office said.
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke today with American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and congratulated him on an important US action against Iran and its regional proxies,” the statement said.

DECEMBER 30, 2019 4:38 PM 0
Israel’s Netanyahu Praises ‘Important’ US Strikes Against Iran-Backed Militia in Iraq and Syria
Algemeiner Staff <--Check that article for the picture of Pompeo and Netanyahu meeting, Pompeo gazing at his partner like he is deeply, hopelessly in love.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 31 2019 12:43 utc | 131

What they're saying: The Israeli concern was kept behind closed doors until a speech last week by Israel Defense Forces chief of staff Aviv Kochavi:
Zionist perspective in Axios Report (they say they are Zionist, I use the term narrowly):

“It was better if we were not the only ones acting against the Iranians, but unfortunately for now this the reality."
— Aviv Kochavi
But, but, but: Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said yesterday's U.S. airstrikes were “a turning point in the regional response to Iran and its proxies, and if Iran fails to understand the power of the U.S., they will be making a big mistake."

What’s next: Despite Katz's framing, Israeli military and intelligence officials are not sure yet whether the strikes represent a shift or were an isolated incident motivated by the killing of an American contractor by a pro-Iranian militia in Iraq.

“Let's see if they continue attacking the Iranians," one senior Israeli intelligence official told me.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 31 2019 12:50 utc | 132

What Trump can not pretend is that the Iraqi people and PMU security forces respect the sovereignty of the US Embassy when he has just violated Iraqi sovereignty by attacking the Iraqi security forces in the Syrian border who moreover are the front line against ISIS infiltration in the country.

Seems legitimate from the Iraqi people´s part to respond...although this seems the desired outcome...

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 31 2019 12:54 utc | 133

From HispanTV.

The mourning protesters have removed and stepped on a sign installed there that read: “The US Embassy Forbidden to stand”. The protesters have also burned the American flag in front of the embassy and installed the Al-Hashad Al-Shabi flag on the wall.

Enraged by the new US aggression against their armed forces, Iraqis have called for the expulsion of deployed Americans in their country and the closure of the embassy. In addition, they have raised tents in front of the American legation to make a great sitting.


Posted by: Sasha | Dec 31 2019 13:04 utc | 134

Something has been nagging me for a while now.

Russia delivered and installed some S-300 systems to Syria more than a year ago. I think it is reasonable to believe that training the SAA was part of that deal. Yet both the occupiers of Palestine and the uninvited guests from the US seem to have a free run to fly into Syria to cause havoc and murder people.

What am I missing?

Posted by: augrr | Dec 31 2019 13:07 utc | 135

Headline from THE Mother Corporation CBC "Iraqi supporters of Iran-backed militia attack U.S. Embassy in Baghdad". They just have to link it to Iran don't they. It's a reaction similar Peter Sellers character. He just can't stop giving that Nazi salute and saying Mien Fuhrer.


https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/iraqi-supporters-iran-backed-militia-attack-us-embassy-1.5411329

Posted by: Tom | Dec 31 2019 13:35 utc | 136

augrr | Dec 31 2019 13:07 utc | 135

That's one hell of a question; I have no idea the answer...

Posted by: V | Dec 31 2019 13:37 utc | 137

The US calling on the Iraq government to respect the sovereignty of an embassy compound, is well, more than ironic. Pot, meet kettle. Expect another "look a squirrel moment" as the MSM will likely avoid that little inconvenient fact.

Posted by: Tom | Dec 31 2019 13:39 utc | 138

@Posted by: Tom | Dec 31 2019 13:39 utc | 138

Yeah, not to mention the record by the US on storming and invading other countries´sovereignty embassies and soil...Irak, Lybia, Syria and Afghanistan come to mind, but also several Russian compounds, then, you have the assault of DPRK facility in Spain even with hostages kept and documents stealing included, several Venezuela´s compounds and requisition of national businesses in the US, and late assult on Mexican Embassy and Spanish diplomats trying to get there in Bolivia by the US appointed fascist interim government ...

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 31 2019 13:52 utc | 139

#135 and 137. They are saving them for a serious confrontation, keeping their powder dry as they say. The most recent strike was on Iraqi's. Iraq I hear is in discussion of purchasing something from Russia. Again, the Zionist regime has a habit of using Jordanian and Lebanon airspace to launch from. Just like Iran Syria is not taking the bait that will allow the situation to escalate. All they had to do was wait for the US to offend another of their partners. Looks like the waiting has paid off. If the US escalates and kill more Iraqi soldiers, it wont matter one wit what the Whitehouse says. The streets of Iraq will trump them. They are dead in Iraq. If they don't we are seeing the start of the process that will force the US out of Iraq with a domino effect across the region. Oh that will get a few anti-Communists from the Vietnam War era to spin in their graves. The old domino effect!

Posted by: Tom | Dec 31 2019 13:54 utc | 140

augrr @135: "...the US seem to have a free run to fly into Syria..."

You are missing a couple points. First is that the Israelis don't actually fly into Syria. They launch stand-off weapons from outside of Syria and then run away. The Syrians then have to destroy glide bombs and missiles that are incoming. If the Syrians were to shoot down Israeli warplanes over occupied territories then idiots in the US would think that is being mean to the Israelis and would support open aggression against Syria.

As for the US, keep in mind that the US forces in Syria serve no other purpose than being tripwires for open US aggression against Syria. The US forces are utterly ineffective at actual combat and are only there to complicate efforts by the Syrians to re-establish order. The Syrians have to stay clear of places with these ineffectual US forces because any harm that comes to those forces would be used as grounds for open air campaigns against the Syrian military and civilian population. The same is goes for American aircraft over Syria. If the Syrians were to actually engage US aircraft illegally overflying Syria then the morons in the US would see that as an excuse to launch total war and uninhibited slaughter of the Syrian civilian population... Americans absolutely love murdering civilians by the millions as North Korea remembers but South Koreans have been brainwashed into forgetting.

If not for concerns about this "tripwire" effect the Syrian military could steamroll the US forces illegally in Syria in a matter of hours. Wisdom involves tiptoeing around the psycho killer with the nukes, though.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 31 2019 13:58 utc | 141

Posted by: snake | Dec 31 2019 7:19 utc | 98
the nation state system is the problem. Its a structure that divides and distributes fractional shares of the 8 billion people in the world into 206 jail like containers.

So what is your preferred alternative to this terrible problem of yours? A one world government?
by: Norwegian |@ 109

<= I posted my solution sometime back.. a second government, one the 8 billion living on earth independently operate and separately fund. Each government would have a different purpose, a different set of authorities and be charged to execute a completely separate, independent body of law (human invented authority vs our makers' authority). Rights Inalienable to mankind, enjoyed by all living humans cannot be abused or denied by a lesser civil authority

A reciprocal set of governments: one to promote economic progress, the other to deny human abuse; one to coordinate and regulate human behaviors to promote quality of life, the other to deny those who promote economic progress any opportunity to abuse human rights of any living human being.

Human rights attach to humans at birth, and detach at death, but are inalienable during one's lifetime.

There would be two classes of laws. Nation state local vs human rights global. Laws that nation state apply to those it governs, and the laws that apply to all living humans. All governments sit at the pleasure of humanity.

A 2nd proposed government would enforce appropriate civil authority behaviors whenever a human right is threatened and punish those responsible for human rights infringements that occur. The authority of the nation state would be made to accord with a uniform, highly defined set of international laws that could protect humanity from abusive or destructive clutches of the greedy or the corrupt.

In this way the nation state system, and all of its members, retain its (their) local, regional, national and international character relative to what I call civics [economics and politics], but those who animate the nation state would themselves become subject to a set of laws administered by the global mass of humanity. The nation state would govern its human citizens, the human citizens would govern those who govern. The governors would write laws to promote the wants and needs of the nation state, but human rights would dictate and enforce laws that protect and serve every human in the global human community from abuse.

A civil government governs its citizens, but an independent human rights government governs the civil government governors as well as all of its institutions.

Some might say religion used to be the 2nd government, but religion never had a chance, because religion is divisible, not globally uniform, and often uses or refers to non living beings, or non earthly beings, to define its authority. Humans come with a one size fits all bundle of rights; there are no half or 10% humans and no humans that are not experience enhanced products of their genetic composition. One cannot divide or separate living humans from their humanity,; and human rights are universal and equally possessed by humanity, are always updated, because only living humanity possess human rights..

Posted by: snake | Dec 31 2019 14:41 utc | 142

Fancy that; another war point in Iraq as we call it these days. The Venetians and their new Doge are doing well all these centuries later. Doge Trump is performing according to plan, no need to strangle any of his family just yet. On with business and keep on killing. SAD

Happy New Year comrades.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 31 2019 14:41 utc | 143

@ 141 WGruff

Thank you for that perspective.

At its root, what you are saying is that the US relies on intimidation to deter potential responses to its aggression. That works if dealing with an entity that lets itself be intimidated.

Here is a totally fictitious (but oh so delicious) scenario of intimidation in reverse. The Russian military very formally and properly, via the UN and other channels, gives notice to Pompeo & Co. that illegal aggression against Syria will no longer be tolerated and will be forcibly resisted. It also states that any US attempt to respond to such resistance will be answered by the destruction of x number of designated US bases in the area with Russian hypersonic missives as recently demonstrated and commissioned by Russia's forces. A demonstration of this can be arranged at your request.

Might that convince the remaining sceptics in the Pentagon that the era of military intimidation by the US has been turned on its head. This single show of backbone may prevent many analogous situations around the world.

Posted by: augrr | Dec 31 2019 14:46 utc | 144

Does the US embassy in Iraq look more like a fortress or more like a prison? Very telling either way.

Posted by: paul | Dec 31 2019 15:19 utc | 145

As an addendum to my post @141 above, I would like to mention a point that many people might overlook.

At first analysis, to the degree that most westerners can analyze, many will apply their own motivations and behaviors to the Chinese and assume that they are just doing a territory grab by building island bases in the South China Sea. But the Chinese are far more sensitive to the threat posed by the approaching Thucydides Trap than are westerners. To begin with, westerners almost universally disregard the massive suffering among the civilian populations that they pretend to be trying to help in the wars that they launch. While the people of the West like to pretend that the slaughter of civilians and destruction of infrastructure is just an unfortunate side effect of "American justice", this is a foolish perspective for those who may end up being targets of American aggression to maintain. Wise people will understand that violence directed at the target's civilian population has been entirely the point of all of America's war efforts since Sherman's "March to the Sea" in America's Civil War. To subjugate a population, one must first "Shock & Awe" that population.

The Chinese understand this about Americans. They may not understand why Americans are such bloodthirsty psychopaths, but they accept the reality of it even if they cannot yet explain it. The Chinese also understand that conflict with the US is inevitable if they continue to grow their economy, regardless of what the Chinese themselves might do to try to defuse tensions and avoid that conflict. The stark choice facing the Chinese is to either sabotage their own economy or prepare for the inevitable war with the US.

Since kneecapping their own economy isn't fair to their own people, the Chinese are preparing for war.

But the Chinese don't want to give the psycho killer Americans any possible excuse to attack their civilian population in mainland China.

And the Chinese have no intention nor inclination of aggressively pursuing that war so that it can be fought on mainland American territory instead.

This leaves the Chinese with the task of making the geostrategic arrangements to assure that the war will be fought somewhere other than where the Americans want it to be fought, which is of course in China's cities and countrysides where civilian suffering can be inflicted. Towards this end the Chinese are building their bases far off in the seas a safe distance from mainland China to be the flash points for the inevitable Thucydides Trap war. When that war does start the Americans will be frustrated to find that there are no civilians nearby for them to "accidentally" slaughter. The war will then be forced into the form of a traditional and old fashioned military-to-military slug-fest. If America cannot target China's civilian population and infrastructure in the war, then it is a war that America will necessarily lose.

"Why would America lose even if they could sink more of China's ships and shoot down more of China's aircraft? That doesn't make sense!" the western reader might ask.

It boils down to industrial capacity. Even if we ignore the impact of the reverse "Shock & Awe" to the American population of the sinking of several American warships and the loss of thousands of their crew, the fact is that the loss of such military hardware is irreplaceable by the US in time spans less than those measured in decades. When Japan's Admiral Yamamoto observed "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve" he was speaking of the difference in industrial capacity between the US and Japan of the period. In those days America had excess industrial capacity and could quickly retool it to rapidly mass-produce ships and aircraft. America had a large shipbuilding industry that could be quickly repurposed to building warships. America no longer has any civilian shipbuilding industry anymore. It now takes many years for America to build each warship. America can barely maintain the navy that it currently has, much less launch a crash program to build a number of replacement ships.

The point here is that any losses in the upcoming Thucydides Trap war will have a long term crippling impact on the American Empire (and there will be plenty of losses), while if the losses are just in military personnel and equipment, they will just be a speed bump for the Chinese.

This is one of the "secret" reasons why the Chinese are building their bases in the South China Sea. This is also why America is keeping its aircraft well away from western Syria where the S-300s are.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 31 2019 15:27 utc | 146

A retwitt by Elijah Magnier reminds us that during the alleged "legitimate protests" of the past weeks in Iraq, Iran Embassy in Najaf was stormed and burned, and then it seemed perfect to the US...

https://twitter.com/FGny15/status/1212027423736442880

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 31 2019 15:35 utc | 147

Well, Happy New Year to all peoples of good will!

Especially to those currently at war...well, we are all at war, but I mean those suffering hot war in their homes..
That the new year brings in more hope and prospects for progress and freedom.

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 31 2019 15:42 utc | 148

Some things just happen...but don't bet on it. Assuming the US attacks were undertaken as Strategy, this may be seen as a ploy to create a plausible casus belli - for example the "Iranian" assault on the "Embassy" and so on with rhetorical flourishes...and as a mousetrapping of Trumpie - who's way out of his intellectual or educational depth, a naif and beholden to zionists that seem indistinguishable from their nazi "teachers" (except the races are swapped, sorta)...a ploy to force the US to bomb or attack Iran - start WW3 (?) Anyway, lookit WSWS

and imagine that these events are not coincidental. Happy new year, Comrades.

>The impeachment crisis and US war plans against Russia

>The US sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and the danger of World War III

(once I thought I met a "troll", but it was an oak. I was on acid, I think... does this naming say anything?)

But do consider the overall sitrep...I am sure Ivan does. Is dangerous time.

Posted by: Walter | Dec 31 2019 15:50 utc | 149

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 31 2019 15:27 utc | 146

Very interesting analysis! Thank you.

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 31 2019 15:54 utc | 150

MSM are already identifying Kata'ib Hezbollah as the same guys that are Hezbollah from Lebanon,who are also fighting ISIS in Syria.The fact that they are integrated in the Iraqi Army,is given once,and then in following articles it is not mentioned.Many commentators on those media don't seem to notice it's a different group.Anyway,all things anti-Iran are hailed.The point most kept in darkness is the fact that the american army bombed the Iraqi army,like they did in 1991 and 2003.We just are not entitled to know this,but I'm sure the all the other rising nations'media mostly all countries except Northern America,and Europe,will tell their public.I feel a bit tragic about this,that we are the best misinformed nations on planet Earth.

Posted by: willie | Dec 31 2019 15:54 utc | 151

Humans come with a one size fits all bundle of rights; [...]

Posted by: snake | Dec 31 2019 14:41 utc | 142

... and moments after birth the bundle is expertly detached from the infants body.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 31 2019 16:05 utc | 152

Below is a tweet from Trump that says to me that he is playing his role

"
Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!
"

I don't see the US leaving Iraq and Syria like b writes over on The MoA Year in Review easily or quickly.

I still think this is Good Cop - Trump and Bad Cop - Pompeo et al with more killing kabuki

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 31 2019 16:45 utc | 153

This calls to mind the attack that killed around 100 Syria n troops in DeZ a few years back, another provocation designed to start a war. I'm going to hazard a guess that Iran will still refuse to strike the first blow.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 31 2019 16:58 utc | 154

First, with respect to the attack on a US base: Only a handful of presonnel were killed/wounded…from a 30 katyusha rocket attack? Either damn good luck, or more likely the base was hit by a couple of mortar rounds or an unguided, simple rocket or two. But this then became “30 rockets” because, well, Iran.
Which seems more plausible— (a) an Iraqi PMU, busy fighting ISIS remnants, armed with all sorts of quality military hardware and no need to “smuggle” anything anywhere, decides to manufacture a lone clandestine launcher, load it with none of the other munitions available to it except for newly manufactured “Iranian” rockets, bypass numerous Yankee targets to travel 450 km, launch an attack, and then fail to exfiltrate the launcher it had cleverly designed to be able to infiltrate/exfiltrate without detection, yet with the attack team obviously able to exfiltrate with their other vehicle(s) since they weren’t caught on site; or
(b) Cognisant of the standing order to link/escalate any conceivable hostility to Iran, when disgruntled locals lob a couple of old, unguided missiles into basecamp, with a handful of casualties, one of the clandestine rocket launchers which are being manufactured on site to be supplied to various terrorist groups infiltrating into Syria (which DO have a reason to have clandestine rocket launchers) is hastily loaded with a few “Iranian” rockets which are apparently common in the area, and parked a few hundred yards off base to be “discovered” with its smoking tube evidence against evil Iran.

And then strikes against that particular PMU, which is doing particularly good anti-ISIS work in a particularly strategic location? After all, aren’t all PMUs associated or supported to some degree by Iran? Could have been any of them, but no, it was one with Hezbollah in its name, and which is a thorn in the side of the unholy alliance. The whole thing is painfully transparent. Of course, the primary reason ISIS was supported and allowed to grow in Syria and spill over into Iraq was precisely to force the Iraqis to ask for the reintroduction of more US troops. I can only hope b is correct that the level of anger at US troops in Iraq has reached the level that something will actually be done about it.

Posted by: J Swift | Dec 31 2019 17:22 utc | 155

Why can I no longer comment with my Android? I prompt my moniker to appear in Name and then every time I type something the dialogue box covers the Preview and Post prompts preventing me from posting. This has been happening for weeks now! I never had this problem in the past. I'm going to post my comments on Trump's STUPID bombing in Iraq and threats against Iran on Saker in a few hours when my time permits, since I can post there with my Android and there is less bullshet going on in terms of the issue of Iran and Zionist Trump.

Stop defending Trump, already!!! He has been against Iran since day one of his Presidency! Iran is his fcking obsession! QUIT PRETENDING DEEP STATE BULLSHET! Trump ripped up the deal and has been decimating Iran's economy with illegal sanctions. Quit defending this asshole and pretending he's not 110% responsible! This is the very reason I suspect this is a Zionist site! How can I not when you keep pretending some deep state is twisting Trump's arm. This bullshet excuse is INSULTING TO ANYONE'S INTELLIGENCE.

I will have to comment on this at Saker's and elsewhere despite the problem posting with my Android here because you have no credibility left on Trump's responsibility in this. ZERO--NONE.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 31 2019 17:48 utc | 156

It seems to me that it is not noted that Iran had made some provocative pronouncements the day prior to the rocket attack.
Which made perfect opportunity for USrael response.
Not much hope for Iran. They have crap weapons and crappier strategy. They were winning, it seemed.

Posted by: jared | Dec 31 2019 18:29 utc | 157

William Gruff @| 146


America no longer has any civilian shipbuilding industry anymore. It now takes many years for America to build each warship. America can barely maintain the navy that it currently has, much less launch a crash program to build a number of replacement ships.


US Navy proposes decommissioning first 4 LCS more than a decade early

12/19


In the same document, the DoD outlined plans to slash construction of Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, cutting five out of 12 of the Burkes planned over the five-year future year defense program.

The memo amounts to a back-and-forth between the Defense Department and OMB on areas of disagreement inside the DoD’s 2021 budget request, which has yet to be finalized. Bloomberg News and Breaking Defense have previously reported on aspects of the memo.

The plan, which an administration source told Defense News was driven by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, was not greeted warmly by OMB, which directed the DoD to come back with a plan that would get the Navy to 355 ships as per the original program.

The Pentagon’s plan shrinks the size of the fleet from today’s fleet of 293 ships to 287 ships. The 355-ship goal was also made national policy in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.

But the plan to decommission the first four LCS will upset the Navy’s plan to use them as test ships for the still-to-be-fielded mission modules, a key part of the 2016 reorganization of the program prompted by a string of major casualties caused by system failures and operator errors.

. . .

Bryan McGrath, a retired destroyer captain and analyst with the defense consultancy The Ferrybridge Group, said the plan to reduce the size of the fleet is a sign that the Defense Department isn't willing to put the resources required toward growing the fleet.

“If what you are reporting is true, this is a sign of the tension between the grand desires for a much larger fleet and the modest resources being applied to the problem,” McGrath said. “There simply is no way to grow the fleet as it is currently architected while maintaining the current fleet at a high state of readiness with the given resources."

McGrath said if 355 is still the goal, the Pentagon has to either dramatically restructure the fleet to switch out large surface combatants such as cruisers and destroyers with smaller, less expensive ships, or it has to change what’s counted as a ship – both moves that have been signaled by the Navy in recent years.

“This is why it’s so hard to grow a Navy,” McGrath said. “You have to decide it’s a national priority, you have to devote a lot of resources and you have to do it over a period of years. None of that has happened.”

Posted by: pogohere | Dec 31 2019 18:30 utc | 158

Below is a Mark Esper quote
"
“We have taken appropriate force protection actions to ensure the safety of American citizens...and to ensure our right of self-defense. We are sending additional forces to support our personnel at the Embassy.”
"

When one is the invader of another country, who believes the lie "....and to ensure our right of self-defense."?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 31 2019 18:38 utc | 159

Pompeo out, MacGregor in?

I don't know if Trump is actually on top of all this 'false flag' stuff, which the rocker strikes on the K1 base last Friday possibly was. Is the purpose to escalate against Iran? Was it just an excuse to kill the people (in response) who are fighting last remnants of ISIS? I personally think Trump is too self-interested to properly represent the interests of the large banks, oil companies, mining companies and arms manufacturers. In other words, too self-interested to sign off on this 'false flag', if it was indeed one. Or indeed, if he even knew about the US strike in response.

The President doesn't actually matter too much in US foreign policy. To be sure, he has an executive function to fulfill, but that's mainly to obtain the broad-spectrum consent of the real power centers who dictate USFP, and to get them to broadly agree on specific strategies for continued capital accumulation.

That's why I'm not so concerned about how sincere Trump is, or his personal ability to carry out a policy. It's about the balance of forces in the imperial apparatus, and what is politically possible to accomplish there, given certain constraints (a militarily resurgent Russia, the rise of China, a still defiant and surprisingly strong Iran, DPRK with nukes, etc.)

I think Pompeo and others can keep Trump 'out of the loop' on such developments, but they /do/ still need to push him in a certain direction, like he were an untrained dog. Which Trump is -- he wasn't groomed to serve the interests of the large bourgeoisie like Obama before him was, and Obama was an excellent manager of US Empire. Trump himself comes from the lower levels of Capital, representing an historically weaker, less entrenched class which doesn't derive its unearned income from loan capital, arms manufacturing... They're opposed to foreign wars in a realist sense ("boots on the ground") because they don't see a cent of that income.

This is also why I think the heavily compromised "Left" wing of corporate media hysterizes about Trump about betraying supposed American values, undermining a 'progressive' facade -- Trump just isn't good at managing the Empire like Obama was. Withdrawal from Syria? Never mind about the countless, nameless victims of indiscriminate US bombing -- withdrawal is a danger to our national security! It makes us look weak! We're betraying our Kurdish "allies"! Playing into Putin's hands!

Of course, the withdrawal from Syria was never completed, much less started to a meaningful degree. But that's because the people /around/ Trump can just circumvent him.

We saw these sorts of contradictions under Obama (Pentagon-backed Kurdish militias versus CIA-backed Islamist contras), and indeed past Presidents, but it's turned farcical under Trump, perhaps almost unmanageable. It seems the US can now only overthrow weak governments in Latin America (Bolivia) and Africa, which doesn't bode well. Can't really confront Iran or even Syria militarily. Can't do it for Iraq, they're supposedly a US ally. But a color revolution to oust an increasingly restless government is still possible, maybe.

I doubt Trump is doing some 5D "good cop/bad cop" chess to appeal to his dwindling base or fool his enemies or whatever -- he really is just an untrained dog, and effectively offloading that institutional weight of the Presidency (regards foreign policy) to people not equipped or used to handling it, probably hampers US imperialism overall.

It's not like the Bush era where everyone knew Cheney ran the show, where many key State Department enemies were still weak in the conventional theatre (Russia, DPRK), among other factors which enabled the Afghanistan + Iraq wars and occupations (which still resulted in over-extension, and at least opening the door to imperial decline).

And I'm sorry if this sounds a bit disorganized. Lots of compelling points made from people who disagree.

Posted by: David | Dec 31 2019 18:40 utc | 160

***BREAKING NEWS***

"Watch: Apache Gunships Attempt To Disperse Iraqi Mob As Kataib Hezbollah Flags Erected Over Embassy Walls"
less than 40 minutes ago
https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/watch-aphache-gunships-attempt-disperse-mob-kataib-hezbollah-flags-erected-over
X-

Posted by: Veritas X- | Dec 31 2019 18:51 utc | 162

It's a bit early, but you know I think we may have a budding hostage situation here. It looks at least that the Democrats intend to hype it that way,

U.S. Sending Troops to Protect Iraqi Embassy Following Protests in Baghdad

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 31 2019 18:51 utc | 163

In any negotiation, things can get heated, but you quickly realize that this is all part of the strategy and there is an element of theater to it all.

We all know that Trump can't look like a puss. This has been his MO since Day 1.

He is biding time for a moment when all the sides can get together and deescalate and save face. In the mean time, you have a global affair that is raging but that doesn't mean that those pulling the levers are.

I think wait and see.

Bringing additional troops in means very little other than, "stay out until we can resolve this."

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 31 2019 19:04 utc | 164

The so called neoconservatives are 99% dual citizen jews, many direct descendants of Russian and Polish Jews that immigrated to the United States during the 1930's, then controlled Democratic politics. In the 1970s their sons constructed the mask called neocons, and gained control of the Republican party.. Though they all claim to be American patriots, they're lying, they are Israeli firsters, whose purpose is to keep America's military budget huge, and her armies embroiled in the ME to protect Israel, and further the Yinon plan for a greater Israel. They are charlatans that will take the world to war for the sake of saving Israel. They must be unmasked for what they are, and stopped.

Posted by: Joetv | Dec 31 2019 19:47 utc | 165

Hear, hear!

"J Swift | Dec 31 2019 17:22 utc | 155" wrote:

First, with respect to the attack on a US base: Only a handful of presonnel were killed/wounded…from a 30 katyusha rocket attack? Either damn good luck, or more likely the base was hit by a couple of mortar rounds or an unguided, simple rocket or two. But this then became “30 rockets” because, well, Iran.
Which seems more plausible— (a) an Iraqi PMU, busy fighting ISIS remnants, armed with all sorts of quality military hardware and no need to “smuggle” anything anywhere, decides to manufacture a lone clandestine launcher, load it with none of the other munitions available to it except for newly manufactured “Iranian” rockets, bypass numerous Yankee targets to travel 450 km, launch an attack, and then fail to exfiltrate the launcher it had cleverly designed to be able to infiltrate/exfiltrate without detection, yet with the attack team obviously able to exfiltrate with their other vehicle(s) since they weren’t caught on site; or
(b) Cognisant of the standing order to link/escalate any conceivable hostility to Iran, when disgruntled locals lob a couple of old, unguided missiles into basecamp, with a handful of casualties, one of the clandestine rocket launchers which are being manufactured on site to be supplied to various terrorist groups infiltrating into Syria (which DO have a reason to have clandestine rocket launchers) is hastily loaded with a few “Iranian” rockets which are apparently common in the area, and parked a few hundred yards off base to be “discovered” with its smoking tube evidence against evil Iran.

And then strikes against that particular PMU, which is doing particularly good anti-ISIS work in a particularly strategic location? After all, aren’t all PMUs associated or supported to some degree by Iran? Could have been any of them, but no, it was one with Hezbollah in its name, and which is a thorn in the side of the unholy alliance. The whole thing is painfully transparent. Of course, the primary reason ISIS was supported and allowed to grow in Syria and spill over into Iraq was precisely to force the Iraqis to ask for the reintroduction of more US troops. I can only hope b is correct that the level of anger at US troops in Iraq has reached the level that something will actually be done about it.

Excellent summary of the bigger picture. Thanks!

Some other, very relevant details were reported by Elijah J. Magnier:

FYI:
From brigades 45 and 46 of the Iraqi security forces Hashd al-Shaabi Kataeb Hezbollah there are only 9 killed in the #US crime.
The other killed are part of the #Iraq/i Army and the Iraqi federal police.

So stop your idiotic rhetoric justifying "Iran-militia" hit.

If the Iraqi political class fails to act on this incident, then it will become abundantly clear what the nature is of the "corruption" and "foreign influence" that demonstrators have been protesting against.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 31 2019 19:59 utc | 166

@ Walter | Dec 31 2019 15:50 utc | 149

Re: But do consider the overall sitrep...I am sure Ivan does. Is dangerous time.

OK, I think I know, but I gotta ask: is "Ivan" a typo for "Iran", or is it a demonym for "the Russian government/military"?

Posted by: Ort | Dec 31 2019 19:59 utc | 167

The US is now saying that it will not abandon its Baghdad embassy and are sending more troops to protect it. Along with this Trump has tweeted that Iraq people need to drive Iran out instead of the US.

I see the embassy in Baghdad as becoming a symbol of resistance to empire and hope Iraq continues to gather steam in throwing the US out of their country. If they can get the US out of the embassy, then they can get the US out of their country.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 31 2019 20:49 utc | 168

167 naming is cheap shot, Ivan is Ivan. No bet. Address substance. > war proximate and Imperial Intent is organic and obvious. So is Ivan's intent... Mitigate so long as this is possible...

Tass>""I do not think that anyone will venture now to indicate the date. Objective force majeure circumstances occurred," the press secretary said. Russia faced "actions of a third state running counter to international law, norms of international trade and commercial relations," Peskov noted."

Force majeure. That defines what war is. Ivan is aware. As is obvious from Ivan > "Valery Gerasinov, said the increased tempo of US exercises in Eastern Europe indicates that indicates the US is making plans for “using their forces in a large-scale military conflict.”
and goes on
“Military activities are increasing in the Baltic States and Poland, in the Black and Baltic Seas,” Gerasimov said. “The intensity of the [NATO] bloc’s military exercises is growing. Their scenarios point to NATO’s deliberate preparation to use their forces in a large-scale military conflict.”

Or does anyone imagine war is not?

Kindly make false dichotomies more subtle.

Kindly attempt attacks on word choice to your classroom.

Posted by: Walter | Dec 31 2019 20:57 utc | 169

From Veterans Today by Gordon DUff
"
The attack Trump claims to be retaliating against was against an Iraqi base, not an American base, an attack by ISIS where an American oil worker was killed on an Exxon oil facility…where oil has been stolen from Iraq for years.

By the term “contractor,” the US is careful not to identify who he actually worked for and there is absolutely no reason for any Americans to be in Kirkuk. Iraq seized the K1 base which was taken from ISIS and their Kurdish allies in 2017. The Kurds have, since that time, threaten the base and were most likely complicit in staging the recent attack. From the BBC:

Here, the BBC admits that the K1 base housed PMU militias who were there to protect K1 from the Kurds…and ISIS.

It is also more than possible that, if ISIS and Kurdish forces attacked K1, they were aided by Israeli commandos who are now training Kurdish troops and who have largely replaced the US as the force backing the Erbil government.

From the Times of Israel, 2019:

“Israel has been providing aid to the Kurds in northern Syria since the US withdrawal from the area, a senior Israeli politician said Wednesday, warning that their defeat would allow Iran to further entrench itself in the area.

‘Israel has received many requests for assistance, mainly in the diplomatic and humanitarian realm,’ Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hatovely told the Knesset Wednesday in remarks reported by the Reuters news agency. ‘We identify with the deep distress of the Kurds, and we are assisting them through a range of channels.'”

The KI base, held by the Iraqi military and representative groups of both Sunni and Shia militias, is tasked with keeping Kurd in check. However, the Israeli website, Debka Files, has published articles and maps carefully citing the US domination of Kirkuk through K1, something sources on the ground find quite astounding.

“We haven’t seen an American in months.”

When ISIS hit Iraq in early 2014, the Kurds joined with ISIS against Baghdad and seized oil fields around Kirkuk and began shipping oil into Turkey, not by truck but by pipeline.

To provide cover, Turkey claimed the pipeline had been destroyed in an explosion but in reality, Turkey, working with Azerbaijan, used “pigs” that identified the stolen oil as Azerbaijani while the money went to Erdogan family members, Kurdish leaders and ISIS with key American political leaders, neocons, getting a cut of the action.

The base which was attacked housed not just Iraqi regulars but PMU units, who were also attacked, the same units Trump says staged the attack….on themselves.

This wasn’t a military base….but rather in Kirkuk, at Iraq’s oil fields, hundreds of miles from any US military facility and hundreds of miles from the facilities Trump ordered attacked.

Macgregor says Trump was misinformed, we say it is worse, so much worse. This is the US retaliating against Iraq for an ISIS attack where an American oil worker was killed.

The attack was using a Romanian built 122mm rocket, one supplied to ISIS by the US. All nations use similar launchers but most are supplied through Turkey and Ukraine by US allied fake NGO’s to terrorist groups in both Syria and Iraq.

Iran builds its own missiles, and doesn’t buy them from Romania. The US, however, does.
"

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Dec 31 2019 22:45 utc | 170

MIC mission statement “If you want to keep the money flow’n, then keep the problem go’n.” (from Puker on KFN blog) Lets hope this is one provocation by the US will blow back on them in a serious way. Next step is political for Iraq. Democracy throwing out the Yanks in Iraq. Bet they didn't plan on that back in 2003.

Posted by: Tom | Dec 31 2019 23:05 utc | 171

Dr. George W Oprisko @ 170

I'd appreciate links to the sources you cited. Thanks.

Posted by: pogohere | Dec 31 2019 23:06 utc | 172

pogohere... it is easy enough to find.. link to @170 dr. georges post..

Posted by: james | Dec 31 2019 23:31 utc | 173

james @ 173

Thanks.

Posted by: pogohere | Jan 1 2020 0:26 utc | 174

Re: Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Dec 31 2019 22:45 utc | 170

Know this, before you read anything written by professional purveyor of disinformation Mr Gordon Duff:
Gordon Duff publicly admitted that he deliberately spreads disinformation


Gordon Duff of Veterans Today being interviewed by talk show hosts Mike Harris (Short End of the Stick), Kevin Barrett (Truth Jihad) and Jeff Rense (Jeff Rense Program).

Recording dates - October, November 2012

At 70m35s into the Mike Harris interview Duff makes the following statement:

    "I don’t know know any imaginable way you can get information…First of all…Because, about 30%, based on what I believe…and you know what? Who says I’m right?

    According to my belief, and I have as good of, uh access to information as anyone in the world, probably, anyone I know of.

    About 30% of what’s written on Veterans Today, is patently false.

    About 40% of what I write, is at least purposely, partially false, because if I didn’t write false information I wouldn’t be alive. [?????]

    I simply have to do that. I write…anything I write I write between the lines."

So, even Gordon admits that he's full of shit . . .

Posted by: Realist | Jan 1 2020 1:33 utc | 175

In the spirit of recursive circularity, form is sometimes asked to mimic content --or is it vice-versa? Maybe both.

The mission of US troops in Iraq and Syria is to BE THERE for the purpose of catching incoming rockets fired on some pretense (the ME has no shortage both of pretenses and rockets) so that the mission can really find its legs and advance into full-blown war.

Or, for those who prefer formal, descriptive titles: Operation Tail-Eating Serpent.

Posted by: FSD | Jan 1 2020 2:25 utc | 176

From Twitter (because pictures...)
Me, Replying to @CalibreObscura

Iran's 2016 Lot 570 must be really good rockets. Remember when Turkey found 30 cases of them in a YPG bunker in Afrin last year? Getty does, until they delete this: https://gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/ammunitions-are-seen-after-turkish-military-and-free-syrian-news-photo/933525858

https://twitter.com/CalibreObscura/status/1211016719218675712

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 1 2020 3:27 utc | 177

Psychohistorian # 85

Monotheism is no fun.
Polytheism is fun.

It's that simple.

Posted by: Really?? | Jan 1 2020 3:43 utc | 178

One wonders how many Western consumers of MSM Fake News believe the tosh about Iran being responsible for making Iraqis angry enough to storm the "Embassy" of the Satanic Vampire Squid in Iraq?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 1 2020 4:09 utc | 179

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 1 2020 4:09 utc | 179

I see the Israeli press doing exactly that, "Iran has outplayed Trump again", like it was an Iranian plot to make us look bad. Of course, no such plot is necessary, we will make ourselves look bad, a routine habit now.

Trump doesn't appear to have a clue, or perhaps he is just beginning to wise up. Pompeous may regret messing up Trump's New Year.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 1 2020 4:19 utc | 180

First, asserting as fact that US will leave, when in fact it hasn't yet. (Has it ever, and how did that change, historical context would be nice.) The US always has a spooky presence of some kind, doesn't it, at bare minimum, along with various sponsored seperatists, jihadis, and so on?

Then, "wondering" if the US attack was a 12 dimensional ploy by the Great Again leader to force the withdrawal previously predicted from disgust alone.

Award Winning Journalism at it's finest.

I have trouble selling this blog to my government friends, not without some reasons sometimes.

It would be nice to believe in some kind of justice, independence from imperial ops finally at long last for the Iraqi's and whoever their friends may be. But that's philosophy, not reporting, or even analysis.

Wishful thinking describes it aptly.

Chaos almost certainly describes the situation at HQ, and chaos does tend to favor karma in the long run. The Wrestling Champion is devoting a lot of his time to championship wrestling, by many reports, and certainly isn't mucking with the small ops, wouldn't look good for sure.

Everyone know how they best serve the Empire, and does it as hard as the table shaking from up top demands. When the table is really shaking is where wars are always started. That's a more historical and common sense explanation than b's, we can only hope that somehow it isn't true this time, though the evidence for such careful chessmastery behind events seems more assterted here than demonstrated, plain dumb luck so far is still probably the best explanation so far for continued human survival so far, despite powerful and cataclysmic forces at constant standoff, not diminishing at all through any claimed "leadership" of the inherently anti-social oligarchy through constitutional mechanisms rather than, as always and everywhere, endless supply of cold hard cash to collaborators as they are needed.

Posted by: Charles Peterson | Jan 1 2020 4:55 utc | 181

Circe #156

I get similar android quirks so I use portrait mode or tinker with the landscape mode. Annoying but better than I used in the late 1980's :)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 1 2020 6:01 utc | 182

Hi everyone.
i wish i could wish us all a happy 2020, but i can't. honestly, I wish it would just end. regardless of my grown child.
i'm so tired of it all. i don't know why i read so much. i don't know why i visit this site to learn about the details of this hideous situation for which we humans have created. it makes me so sad. i'm so tired of it all. but i fear that if i ended it, i would just wind up here again but in a worse place. probably one that practices female circumcision as opposed to the male version.
i really wish the plug would be pulled. it would be beyond my control, and i'm cool with that. how sad is that.
i am depressed. my new years resolution is to

yeah.
thank you everyone.
here is a song i loved from my misspent youth
angry samoans - lights out

by the way, this isn't some cry for help. i am unfortunately too strong to end it. but i hate life. the buddhists were right. it is suffering. god is laughing at our misfortunes. we are his her it them's cosmic sitcom.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 1 2020 6:26 utc | 183

PavewayIV @177: Turkey found 30 cases of them in a YPG bunker in Afrin

LOL.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 1 2020 6:31 utc | 184

oops.
should have gone to the open forum.
sorry. hopefully our host removes it.
sorry to be a bummer.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 1 2020 6:33 utc | 185

and the link was broken thru my screw up, plus a bonus of grammatical errors. i won't bother you all with with San Pedro California punk rock link. the meagre amount of money i can send to our host maybe compensates for the therapy this site and all the super smart people who take the time to write here offer. first world problems talking about the evil we bring.

sorry in advance. pregret.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 1 2020 6:53 utc | 186

Lex Talionis is this right?:
angry samoans - lights out

Sane in an insane world, you and most or all here must be despite how much arguing goes on, and how we all disagree and most of all with the powers that be. So much for anyone being smart, smart is wrong, the foolish open vocal opposition against all odds that this bar is is what's right :)

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jan 1 2020 9:52 utc | 187

By Gordon Duff - Veterans Today:
"
The attack Trump claims to be retaliating against was against an Iraqi base, not an American base, an attack by ISIS where an American oil worker was killed on an Exxon oil facility…where oil has been stolen from Iraq for years.
By the term “contractor,” the US is careful not to identify who he actually worked for and there is absolutely no reason for any Americans to be in Kirkuk.  Iraq seized the K1 base which was taken from ISIS and their Kurdish allies in 2017.  The Kurds have, since that time, threaten the base and were most likely complicit in staging the recent attack.  From the BBC:

Here, the BBC admits that the K1 base housed PMU militias who were there to protect K1 from the Kurds…and ISIS.
It is also more than possible that, if ISIS and Kurdish forces attacked K1, they were aided by Israeli commandos who are now training Kurdish troops and who have largely replaced the US as the force backing the Erbil government.
From the Times of Israel, 2019:
“Israel has been providing aid to the Kurds in northern Syria since the US withdrawal from the area, a senior Israeli politician said Wednesday, warning that their defeat would allow Iran to further entrench itself in the area.
‘Israel has received many requests for assistance, mainly in the diplomatic and humanitarian realm,’ Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hatovely told the Knesset Wednesday in remarks reported by the Reuters news agency. ‘We identify with the deep distress of the Kurds, and we are assisting them through a range of channels.'”
The KI base, held by the Iraqi military and representative groups of both Sunni and Shia militias, is tasked with keeping Kurd in check.  However, the Israeli website, Debka Files, has published articles and maps carefully citing the US domination of Kirkuk through K1, something sources on the ground find quite astounding.
“We haven’t seen an American in months.”
When ISIS hit Iraq in early 2014, the Kurds joined with ISIS against Baghdad and seized oil fields around Kirkuk and began shipping oil into Turkey, not by truck but by pipeline.
To provide cover, Turkey claimed the pipeline had been destroyed in an explosion but in reality, Turkey, working with Azerbaijan, used “pigs” that identified the stolen oil as Azerbaijani while the money went to Erdogan family members, Kurdish leaders and ISIS with key American political leaders, neocons, getting a cut of the action.
The base which was attacked housed not just Iraqi regulars but PMU units, who were also attacked, the same units Trump says staged the attack….on themselves.
This wasn’t a military base….but rather in Kirkuk, at Iraq’s oil fields, hundreds of miles from any US military facility and hundreds of miles from the facilities Trump ordered attacked.
Macgregor says Trump was misinformed, we say it is worse, so much worse.  This is the US retaliating against Iraq for an ISIS attack where an American oil worker was killed.
The attack was using a Romanian built 122mm rocket, one supplied to ISIS by the US.  All nations use similar launchers but most are supplied through Turkey and Ukraine by US allied fake NGO’s to terrorist groups in both Syria and Iraq.
Iran builds its own missiles, and doesn’t buy them from Romania.  The US, however, does.

"

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Jan 1 2020 10:39 utc | 188

To the troll who dismissed my repost here of Gordon Duff's analysis of the origin and purpose of the
ongoing crisis in Iraq.

You admit 60% of Gordon's posts are accurate.....

In this one he cites other sources including the BBC.....

That the site of the original attack was a combined Iraqius Military PMF post monitoring oil flows should not
be in doubt. He gives sources for that.

That the dead contractor works for Exxon should also not be in doubt. He gives sources for that too.

That the entire crisis is an Israeli op for the purpose of taking advantage of current disarray in the Iraqui government over domestic unrest to steal lots of oil for the benefit of Israel, is his analysis.

So far, I see nothing to counteract or obviate his analysis, and much to corroborate his analysis, including the disproportionate US response against the Iraqui border posts, manned by Iraqui police, border guards, and PMF. May I remind the trolls here that most of the casualties were Iraqui police and border guards...

May I also remind one and all that Pompeo and his ilk were behind this while the boss was golfing....

This has all the aspects of an Israeli op approved by Pompeo and the acting SecDef, with little thought as to the consequences thereof.

I think my post hits the nail on the head, and I stand by it.

Regards,

INDY

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Jan 1 2020 10:53 utc | 189

Hi Sunny Runny Burger,
thanks for fixing that! thanks for being nice, too. i really appreciate it. angry samoans.
i will put the rest of my thoughts in the year in review. i know that i have posted on the wrong forum here before, and i am loathe to anger anyone, especially the boss, b. what is discussed here is far too important.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 1 2020 12:04 utc | 190

I say again............ Gordon Duff's attributions by "Realist" are rubbish!

Duff said no such thing!

What we have here is a Pompeo -- CIA ---- MI6 operative who trolls from behind the curtain.....

Spewing difficult to counter falsehoods for the purpose of obfuscating......

He trolls anonomously..... because he is a chickenshit yellow bellied coward.... who is hell bent on taking
those of us..... like myself, who went into harms way.....

He cannot stand the body public..... knowing the actualities of this crisis..... just as he and his ilk
find it acceptable.... nay wonderful.... to incarcerate Manning and Assange for the "crimes" of telling the world the atrocities committed by the US Army in Iraq..... which at this moment are continuing and ongoing...

In contrast....

China's goals for 2020..........
What China plans to achieve in 2020
(People's Daily Online)    18:32, December 31, 2019
The year 2020 looks to be a marvelous one for China, as the country has set a series of targets to ensure a successful conclusion to its 13th Five-Year Plan and success in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
Poverty Alleviation
By 2020, the state is committed to ensuring that the impoverished rural population has stable access to adequate food and clothing, compulsory education, and basic medical services and housing, and the per capita disposable income of those in impoverished regions will be double that in 2010.
Indices of major basic public services are expected to be close to the national average levels. In addition, the country is also committed to ensuring that the rural population living below the current poverty threshold and all impoverished counties are all lifted out of poverty; and to solving the problem of regional poverty.
In the next year, the country will witness an obvious growth in the education capability of impoverished regions, and the basic public education services in these regions are expected to reach national average levels.
By 2020, at least one county-level public hospital will be built for each impoverished county, at least one standardized hospital will be built for each township and at least one clinic will be built for each administrative village.
By 2020, garbage in over 90 percent of impoverished counties will be properly disposed of, and over 85 percent of toilets in rural regions will be made sanitary.
By 2020, basically every household in rural China will have access to digital radio and television services, and 98 percent of registered impoverished villages will be covered by broadband internet services.
Pollution Control
By 2020, 23.04 percent of China’s territory will be covered with forests, and the country’s forest growing stock will reach 16.5 billion cubic meters.
By 2020, the emission of sulfur dioxide and nitric oxide will be reduced by at least 15 percent, and chemical oxygen demand (COD) and ammonia nitrogen emission by at least 10 percent, compared with in 2015.
By 2020, the carbon dioxide emission per unit of GDP will be reduced by 18 percent from that of 2015.
By 2020, total coal consumption will be controlled to within 4.2 billion tons.
By 2020, the total capacities of hydraulic, nuclear, wind and solar power generation will respectively reach 350 million kilowatts, 58 million kilowatts, 200 million kilowatts and 100 million kilowatts. Meanwhile, the consumption of nuclear power, wind power, solar energy and biomass energy will account for over 8 percent of total energy consumption.
By 2020, the air quality of cities at and above the prefectural level will be good or excellent for 80 percent of the year.
By 2020, the annual production of pure-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will reach 2 million, and a total of 5 million will be sold.
Education
By 2020, the number of students receiving higher education will be raised to 38.5 million, and the gross enrollment rate will stand at 50 percent.
By 2020, a number of universities and disciplines will be developed into world-class ones, and a number of disciplines will be in the leading position among world.
By 2020, all students from economically-challenged families will receive subsidies.
Medical services
By 2020, China’s total population will be controlled at around 1.42 billion.
By 2020, the average life expectancy will reach 77.3 years.
By 2020, a basic healthcare system that covers all rural and urban residents will have been established, offering basic healthcare services for all.
By 2020, a hierarchical medical system will be developed.
Elderly Care
By 2020, China’s Urban Employees Basic Old-Age Insurance and the Pension System for Urban and Rural Residents will cover 90 percent of the population, and basic medical insurance will cover more than 95 percent of people.
By 2020, over 35 percent of China’s comprehensive hospitals above Grade II level will establish geriatric departments.
By 2020, cities above county-level will each build at least one university for the elderly.
Science & Technology
By 2020, all prefecture-level cities will be covered by 5G networks.
By 2020, China will have completed the 35-satellite Beidou navigation system and launched services for global users.
By 2020, China will become an innovative country and rank among the top 15 countries in the world regarding innovation capability.
By 2020, China will have launched its first Mars exploration lander.
By 2020, China will have delivered its large passenger airliners and new regional passenger airliners.
By 2020, China will be able to independently produce over 70 percent of major important materials, completing the transition from a major material producer into a major power in this regard.

The US plans to use 2020 to intimidate and dominate Syria/Iraq/Iran.... while China plans on building hospitals and clinics and schools....

INDY

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Jan 1 2020 12:18 utc | 191

"Realist" seems to have great resources for digging up dirt on Gordon Duff.....

But he has incredible ignorance regarding what Duff said during that podcast....

Case in point: "About 40% of what I write, is at least purposely, partially false, because if I didn’t write false information I wouldn’t be alive.

Gordon acknowledged, that unlike Manning/Assange, he walks a fine line between spilling secrets, and irritating the US/UK deep state to the point they choose to take him out.... This specifically means he uses hyperbole, satire, and alliteration to get the message out, when it's too dangerous to print bald facts...

I know Veterans Today quite well... The reader must take them with a grain of salt.... but by and large...
Veterans Today tells stories the main stream media have buried.... and guides the reader to sources for more, should they desire to pursue them...

I stand by Duff WRT the current Iraq Crisis.... Iran has nothing to do with it.... Kurdish/Israeli oil theft is ongoing... is the root cause of the people of Iraq being in the streets.... caused the PM to resign... and the Kurds/Israelis are hoping to take advantage of the situation to steal more.... with the USG chiming in to enable their theft...

INDY

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Jan 1 2020 12:32 utc | 192

@ Charles Peterson | Jan 1 2020 4:55 utc | 181

Excellent.
And unwarranted optimism is pacified and contributes to poor judgement and lack of understanding.
It is as it has always been. There are winners and losers.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52773.htm

Posted by: jared | Jan 1 2020 15:20 utc | 193

@ lex talionis

The world will change tremendously in the next 15 years. It’s worth suffering the fools around us (outside the bar) until then, If only to see what generations could only dream about. I promise, bro.

Posted by: oglalla | Jan 1 2020 15:35 utc | 194

dr george w oprisko... don't worry about anyone accepting realist comment at face value... without the context, anyone can say anything they want to and it could mean anything..

paveway - apparently they're the shit, lol... they can be used for as many false flags as one wants!

Posted by: james | Jan 1 2020 18:03 utc | 195

NYT wishes you Happy New Year and provides diversion from Day One. As Expected.

North Korea Is Not Done Trolling Trump
Kim Jong-un just restarted his dance of death with America.

By Nicholas Eberstadt, Nicholas Eberstadt is a political economist at the American Enterprise Institute and a founding director of the United States Committee on Human Rights in North Korea. Some prescription:

Now that the United States is out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, why not start placing medium-range missiles within reach of North Korea? Those would be in reach of China, too, of course. Could this incentivize Beijing to be more helpful with what we mean by North Korea’s denuclearization?

---------------

I do not make a hobby of studying the output of reactionary think tanks, but I got curious about AEI in the period before Iraq invasion. They have theology department! And their in-house Roman Catholic theologian proved that New Testament is not pacifist, and made a trip to Rome to convince the Pope (not a success). While more normal folks get aroused by erotic images (or actual eroticism, that happens too!), these guys get that effect through the study specs of nuclear weapons etc.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 2 2020 0:12 utc | 196

vous avez tout faux les ricains subventionnent l'armée irakienne donc le gouvernement irakien aurait pu depuis longtemps chasser l'armée américaine car se n'est pas leur première bavure et se ne sera pas leur dernière.dans ce gouvernement il y en a qui mange les miettes qui tombent de la table des ricains alors un de plus ou de moins,cherchez l'erreur à bon entendeur salut.

Posted by: Franç | Jan 2 2020 3:08 utc | 197

It is remarkable how frequently the US attacks whomever is threatening ISIS/Daesh/Al Quaeda extreme Sunni forces.

Trump's comment that the situation with the US Embassy in Baghdad isn't and won't be "another Benghazi" is unintentionally revealing, as usual with Trump. "Another Benghazi" is exactly what it is. It's maybe even the same one.

In both places, the US Embassy/Consulate is pretty openly the CIA station house, "dark site" torture prison, and headquarters for whatever we're calling the same group of extremist Sunni mercenaries. And it's exactly the same guys. The US let them get from Afghanistan to Yemen. Transported them from Yemen to Libya to take out Gadhafi. Then moved them from Libya to Syria to make sure the war there got ugly and lasted a long time.

And now in Baghdad, the groups storming the US Embassy are obviously backed by the Iraqi military.

As soon as one faction gets the upper hand in the US State Department, with a new global strategy to replace the obsolete "Grand Chessboard" strategy even Zbigniew Brzezinski himself disavowed before he died; maybe then we'll see all US forces out of the Middle East.

That disastrous, demented strategy is to thank for the US destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya; the Ukraine coup; the way "Al Shabab" and "Boko Haram" suddenly turned up with lots of money and new weapons right after the Libya hit happened.

And just look at an atlas. Everywhere the US has destroyed a nation, it's been on top of energy deposits or the path such resources have to travel to get to market in either the E.U. or China. Funny coincidence, isn't it? Capped off with last week's sanctions imposed on the construction of Nord Stream 2, and the complete change in the US relationship with Turkey, once Sud Stream was agreed-upon by Turkey and Russia.

All Empires end, and all for the same reasons. Military over-reach which destroys the military, and military over-spending with destroys the home economy. At the point it becomes obvious there's no going back to the "good old days" which never existed, a loud group in each Empire becomes like a Cargo Cult and becomes extremely dangerous. They'd rather take everyone down with them than admit the future won't be exactly the way they imagine the past.

The decline and fall is inevitable and only takes a few paragraphs in a history book. Living through it in real time, however, can be very dangerous and very scary.

US troops will leave the Middle East and the entire Muslim world. Soon. The only thing left unclear is whether it will be planned and orderly, or a total catastrophe. Watching the deepening and intensifying fundamental crisis of the US political class doesn't give much cause for optimism.

Posted by: swmnguy | Jan 2 2020 3:16 utc | 198

Mafia Boss Barzani made two trips to the UAE last month. As much as I would like to blame Israel for the latest K1 false flag, I have to point the finger at the UAE/MbZ/Barzani/KDP Kurds this time.

Barzani must be sweating about Netanyahu losing any chance for immunity this Wednesday (supposedly - time limit? IDK). Barzani will become increasingly useless without his buddy Netanyahu whipping the dual-citizens in Washington D.C. for unlimited financial support for Erbil. Pompeo is also passing his 'best if used by' date and the dustbin of history approaches. Might be wrong on Pompeo, but I think he sandbagged Trump. Orange man angry!

Netanyahu was absolutely livid when Iraq liberated Kirkuk, K1 and the local Kirkuk oilfields from Barzani's merc KDP Peshmerga. Not a smear on Kurd Peshmerga by any means - just the units on Barzani's payroll and loyal only to him, not the Kurds. Barzani Pesh are essentially usurped Peshmerga serving as personal mercs for the Barzani business empire, which included selling Kirkuk oil to Israel. There are (much poorer) PUK Peshmerga and somewhat unaligned Peshmerga that would slit the throats of Barzani's lapdogs given half the chance. Since the PUK/unaligned Pesh have no personal financial interests in the Kirkuk oil, they are more amenable to letting Baghdad manage it and NOT the Barzani Mafia. They are not obsessed with 'owning' the oilfields or Kirkuk itself - unlike Barzani.

So why the UAE? Barzani is just doing what all parasites and chislers do: sniffing out his next benefactor with a sack of coins and influence in DC. MbZ's interest is kind-of the oil, but mostly denying Iran and the PMUs any resources or influence in Iraq. That includes supplying ISIS or anyone else willing to shoot at those Iranian-loving Shi'a. MbZ is the region's premier death merchant. He has access to tons of western weapons to hand out to loyal servants (and the US will sell him as many more as he can ask for).

Those faked Iranian-marked Lot 50 107mm rockets didn't just fall out of the sky - either in Afrin or Kirkuk. I suppose, in total, there's really nothing directly implicating the UAE. It just seems like something slimy and degenerate they would do, especially if it meant the US attacking Iran for them. Because it would take Iran, maybe... twenty minutes to level Abu Dhabi with old-fashioned conventional rockets.

Oh, and the Emiratis are pathetically broke (cash-wise) just like the Saudis - all their wealth is on paper. Fire sale on everything there now, including the paper. No reasonable offers refused!

The UAE is easily as threatened as Israel and Saudi Arabia by the Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon 'Shia Crescent'. And since they didn't kill any Americans in Kirkuk, Pompeo would have no problem green-lighting the false flag. Besides, perfect opportunity for the US to use those really big hard-target penetrators on those deep Iranian 'caves' they're supposedly digging in the so-called Imam Ali Compound/Base near al Bukamal and al Qaim. Same one Israel bombed in September. Iran can't really complain if it is (was) a huge missile base, so the US 'preemptive defensive' strike against Iraqi PMUs is good enough cover for CENTCOM's deep-state-approved warmaking powers. And if Israel doesn't string up grifter and war criminal Netanyahu, well... he'll be happy, too.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 2 2020 4:03 utc | 199

PavewayIV 199

Pompeo most likely clocked up a few browny points rather than facing the chop. Trump's interests in the region are Israel and control of oil. Iraq is a basket case, clerics interested in small time domestic gains and weak politicians. Hitting anti Israel - anti US militias will gain Pompeo a pat on the back.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 2 2020 5:35 utc | 200

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