Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 24, 2020

Associated Press Sees "Hundreds" Where Pictures Show Millions

At 10:01 UTC today the Associated Press tweeted that "hundreds" gather in central Baghdad to demand that American troops leave the country.


Thirty eight minutes earlier CNN had already reported that "hundreds of thousands" are protesting in Baghdad against the U.S. troop presence in Iraq.


When AP sent the misleading tweet the commander of the Iraqi Federal Police Forces Jaffar al-Batat had already announced that the number of demonstrators exceeds one million.

That number may well be correct. Reports said that the column of protesters was already eight kilometers long even while many were still arriving.


Muqtada al-Sadr, who had called for the protests but is hardly a 'radical', demanded that the U.S. follow the decision of the Iraqi parliament and end its occupation. All U.S. bases in Iraq must be closed, all security agreements with the U.S. and with U.S. security companies must be ended and a schedule for the exit of all U.S. forces must be announced.

Meanwhile the U.S. is pulling strings and tries to carve a new Sunni state out of western Iraq.

Al-Sadr promised to temporarily halt the resistance against the U.S. occupation if the U.S. commits to leaving orderly.

Otherwise ...

Posted by b on January 24, 2020 at 11:32 UTC | Permalink

next page »

This seems more relevant here than on the open thread:

Apparently this is the new US policy in Iraq.

US seeking to carve out Sunni state as its influence in Iraq wanes

Incredible, isn't it? A policy of parcellisation which has already failed twice, in Iraq and then again in Syria. And now Trump is going to do it again, according to reports which could well be right. They're sufficiently stupid. They're actually expecting the poor suffering Fallujans, who suffered through more than a month of being tortured by US troops, are going to stand up and fight for the US.

It's a complete misappreciation of the situation, not unusual in the US. It is of course true that the Sunnis suffer from the unthinking policies of the Shi'a, and are treated like an occupied country. But that doesn't mean that the Sunnis think they can stand up an independent state. They don't, particularly if the US only stations a handful of troops there.

The US could of course militarily occupy the area, but that's not Trump's plan, as it would be too politically intrusive back home.

By the way I hear we're about to receive Trump's overall peace plan for the Middle East. Given that the first rollouts fell totally flat, I wouldn't be too optimistic about its new reception in the Middle East.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 11:22 utc | 188

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 11:44 utc | 1


Posted by: Soleimani's Ghost | Jan 24 2020 11:44 utc | 2

- Muqtada Al Sadr is a iraqi nationalist. As soon as he has become the prime minister in Iraq he will boot the iranians out the door.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 24 2020 11:56 utc | 3

- Carving out a state in North-Western Iraq is part of "The Biden plan" of 2006 (/2007 ?). The Biden plan was to divide Iraq into 3 parts: Kurdistan, "Sumnnistan" and "Shia-stan".
- Was this the reason why the US "created" ISIS (in 2014) ??

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 24 2020 12:03 utc | 4

The Shi'a can certainly get their people out - which by the way is why they have such effective militias. The Sunnis don't have similarly effective militias (though such would probably also be politically difficult).

The US certainly doesn't have much idea how to tackle such a movement. The renewal of the plan for parcellisation just shows up the bankruptcy of US policy, nothing spoke to me so strongly of the failure of US thinking. For all the number of Washington think-tanks concentrating on the ME, they can't come up with workable ideas.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 12:28 utc | 5

Willy2 @3: no, he is not likely to do that considering Iran gave him safe have after the Americans turned on him when his harassment of them became unacceptable following the illegal invasion in 2003.

Posted by: Ernesto Che | Jan 24 2020 12:32 utc | 6

Posted by: Ernesto Che | Jan 24 2020 12:32 utc | 6

Al-Sadr is indeed an Iraqi nationalist, and not particularly pro-Iranian, others are more. He more profited from Iran's safe haven, than became pro-Iranian.

On the other hand, he's unlikely to become Prime Minister, as too extreme. The US, if it gets a say in the choice of the next PM, will veto. And he's a sort who is in permanent opposition to everything, rather than in government, much like Corbyn in Britain.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 12:56 utc | 7

And the best thing about it is that we in the U.S. will blame Iran for the resulting chaos and bloodshed after we cause it.

[I actually here 'My Country Tis of Thee' playing in my head when I read these articles. You have no idea how much torment I endure knowing we are the bad guys while thumping our chest at how righteous we are. It gets louder when I see the morons on FOX like Brian Kilmeade and Sean Hannity chime in]

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Jan 24 2020 13:11 utc | 8

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 11:44 utc | 1

Surely, this has become obsolete with Saudi needing an agreement with Iran?

I just checked. On January 22 this happened in Yemen:

On January 18, Houthi rebels targeted the al Estiqbal military training camp, used by the Saudi-led coalition and forces loyal to Yemen’s UN-recognised government. The strikes resulted in at least 116 deaths and dozens (if not hundreds) of injuries. Those struck had reportedly just finished praying at the base’s mosque. According to Saudi media, the Houthis used a combination of ballistic missiles and drones.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 24 2020 13:17 utc | 9

The fake media are trying to trasvesticize these protests as antigovernment protests in the eyes of the Waestern and American population, fortunately, the images are worth thousands words:

Love these arabs´humor when they protest...

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 24 2020 13:23 utc | 10

Dissociated Press Sees "Hundreds" Where Pictures Show Millions

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 24 2020 13:32 utc | 11

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 24 2020 11:56 utc | 3

- Muqtada Al Sadr is a iraqi nationalist. As soon as he has become the prime minister in Iraq he will boot the iranians out the door.

Maybe you are right. Maybe not. In any case, Muqtada Al Sadr will never become the prime minister in Iraq without a support of Iranian authorities.

Posted by: Helmut | Jan 24 2020 13:33 utc | 12

Posted by: somebody | Jan 24 2020 13:17 utc | 9

Surely, this has become obsolete with Saudi needing an agreement with Iran?

How obsolete? and where's the Saudi movement for an agreement with Iran? I agree it may not happen; it's such a stupid policy. For the moment it's evidence of the bankruptcy and failure of US policy.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 13:37 utc | 13

Via Elijah Magnier Twitter...

The man under the hood....

I think that while the US is still in Iraq, the Iraqi general prosecutor should take advantage to judge all these abuses and get the US paying the unpayable compensations to those affected.
It is an insult which add to the agravation to the Iraqi people that Trump tries to get money from the Iraqi nation instead.

The US should go, not without previously paying all the expenses its heinous actions have provoked in this country.

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 24 2020 13:38 utc | 14

B - AP isn't the only outlet falsely reporting the protest. Please get screen shots from the other "reports" (like Bloomberg) and add them to this post to document the media manipulation.

Thanks for all your effort.

Posted by: mpn | Jan 24 2020 13:44 utc | 15

During the first of the various criminal attacks on Fallujah, Sadr famously promised to deploy the Mahdi Army there to defend the largely sunni community.
The US fears nothing more than nationalism in the middle east- all its policies are aimed at atomising communities and fostering sectarian division. It is a tactic that has worked well in the United States for centuries- preserving the absolute power of the capitalist oligarchy by setting black against white, catholic against protestant, settler against indigenous, migrant against native.
It is difficult to conceive of a more evil policy than that of encouraging shi'ites to bully sunnis and vice versa, while dissecting society into shreds of ethnic and sectarian entities , which are then armed and trained to fight and kill one another.
This was the basis of the surge under Petraus. Of course the British had established the practice themselves. Among other things they employed christian Assyrians as police.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 24 2020 13:48 utc | 16

An interesting view.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 24 2020 13:52 utc | 17

Al Mayadeen is reporting testimonies from all confesional sides on that this is an united clamor coming from the whole Iraqi society, who sees a clear link between occupation and corruption, in spite of their internal political differences, seeing no future while the US remains in the country corrupting and compromising Iraqi reconstruction and progress.

They are saying that the numbers seen demonstrating today in Iraq, in the anniversary of the other historical 1920 anticolonial demonstration, equates a popular referendum on the US illegal and forced presence in the country.

The representatives of the protesters are stating that there are being stablished diplomatic means for the US to go out, but, in case it refuses doing it by these means, the resistance will come into action. Thus a way of no return for the US is being delineated here...

Crowd demonstration against US military presence in Iraq

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 24 2020 14:16 utc | 18

Slightly? off subject

Since the assassination drones cannot fly all the way from US territory to their intended targets,
any country that harbors the drones is actually complicit to the crimes of the US of A.

They must be made to understand that these assassinations will cost them eventually as accessories
to these crimes.

Posted by: CarlD | Jan 24 2020 14:22 utc | 19

Possibly the most potent leverage Iraq can have on the US is for the Iraqi parliament to decree that all legal previously agreed immunity for US military guilty of crimes in Iraq is null and void. All US war criminals immediately liable to be tried in Iraq under Iraq law, unless the US commit to a prompt and orderly withdrawal. Right to prosecute still reserved in case of US non-compliance with any such commitment.

Whether or to what extent this could be made retrospective to the beginning of the current agreement (on the grounds that the agreement has been violated) I don't know. Maybe it might be possible to apply retrospectively at least to the first verifiable breech of the agreement by the US, I have no idea. Or maybe the agreement can only be deemed void with effect from a statement by the parliament, I have no idea. In any case, the US is now there illegally: any US soldier can legally be arrested and imprisoned at any time; and any US soldier from now on killing or injuring any person in Iraq is automatically a war criminal.

If it can so some extent legally be made retrospective, the US would automatically face a terrifying situation.

(Any prisons containing US prisoners in Iraq need full military protection though - I recall previously the US destroyed a prison with a tank where some soldiers were arrested).

Posted by: BM | Jan 24 2020 14:27 utc | 20

By the way I hear we're about to receive Trump's overall peace plan for the Middle East. Given that the first rollouts fell totally flat, I wouldn't be too optimistic about its new reception in the Middle East.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 11:44 utc | 1

Stumbled across that too, recentely. The trigger may have been Gantz shifting a little towards Israel voters dominent pro Trump and pro nationalist stance. Let us see what Kushner achieved via his high profile connections "in Arabia". Finally. We have been pretty patient concerning the unveiling of the Deal of the Century. Haven't we?

Posted by: moon | Jan 24 2020 14:48 utc | 21

It’s amazing all the money in the State Department and other intelligence agencies should
be attracting the best minds. Yet a bunch of us sitting here watching this from our boring office jobs realize how genuinely stupid US foreign policy
has been. A separate Sunni state in West Iraq would be doomed. We need to leave these people alone, we’ve made enough foolish mistakes and this will get a lot of people killed. That’s along with US troops being put in harms way for ridiculous reasons like stealing Syrian oil and now occupying Iraq against their parliaments wishes. Back in the day you told someone you were American and they wanted to shake your hand and ask you about this place or that. Now they want to spit in our faces

Posted by: Danny | Jan 24 2020 15:11 utc | 22

@ BM | Jan 24 2020 14:27 utc | 21

You are likely confusing the US with the UK. I tried to look up the tale of the "Basra bombers" again, but it appears to be pretty well scrubbed from the web.. Here's some of what I could scramble to find:

2 british soldiers caught trying to plant explosives (WaPo, via newsmine)
British soldiers dressed like arabs fired on police patrol (Guardian, via newsmine)

Were British Special Forces Soldiers Planting Bombs in Basra? (GlobalResearch analysis)

SAS propaganda trying to explain it away

Posted by: Lurk | Jan 24 2020 15:13 utc | 23

(CARTOON) The "Pax americana", in an image
"They made a desert and called it peace"
Tacit, in reference to "Pax Romana" after the destruction of Carthage.

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 24 2020 14:37 utc | 23

The Spanish-written twit is inaccurate.
Wikiquote: Calgacus, according to Tacitus, was a chieftain of the Caledonian Confederacy who fought the Roman army of Gnaeus Julius Agricola at the Battle of Mons Graupius in northern Scotland in AD 83 or 84.

Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium; atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.
Attributed by Tacitus in Agricola (c. 98)
Translation: To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace. — Oxford Revised

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 24 2020 15:14 utc | 24

US foreign policy is " You Break It - You Bought It" and once you bought it its yours and you can do whatever the heck you want with it.

Looks like theres some more breaking that needs doing.

Posted by: jef | Jan 24 2020 15:30 utc | 25

Cultural competence (not) by the Washington Post

Iraqi demonstrators demand withdrawal of U.S. troops

Around Baghdad’s Hurriyah Square, the streets were a sea of black, white and red, as protesters clutched Iraqi flags and wore shrouds around their shoulders to evoke the country’s dead.

White shrouds around their shoulders do not "evoke the country's dead" but a a sign of willingness for martyrdom. Those guys (vid) are ready to fight and die for their aim.

Posted by: b | Jan 24 2020 15:32 utc | 26

It's a Shi'te motif, b, wearing a shroud. Ready for martyrdom, like the Shi'a Imams. They have a big thing about death.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 15:38 utc | 27

Well, of course it is hundreds. 10,000 hundreds.

A Sunni state? Is that compatible with a Kurdish state? (seriously, I am that ignorant, and do not know)

Posted by: Amerikanski | Jan 24 2020 15:40 utc | 28

Cultural competence...
"It is likely to end up at the gates of the U.S. Embassy, the seat of U.S. power in Iraq..."

A more recent article had the same wording "USembassy, seat of US power in Iraq" but it was changed a few hours ago. The article does however end with this "Outside the U.S. embassy in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, a sign read “Warning. Do not cross this barrier, we will use pre-emptive measures against any attempt to cross”."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 24 2020 15:45 utc | 29

- Muqtada Al Sadr is an iraqi nationalist. As long as he can get help from Iran he will take it. But when that help is no longer needed then he will try to reduce the "influence" of the iranians as much as possible. Prehaps the words "boot them out" is a bit "over the top".
- But the relationship will Always remain friendly. But he is "his own man".
- In this regard this a re-run of what happened in the year 2003 & 2004. Back then the US wanted to pick their own sock puppet but the shiites out-witted the US.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 24 2020 15:47 utc | 30

- I consider this to be briljant move from Al Sadr.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 24 2020 15:48 utc | 31

A Sunni state? Is that compatible with a Kurdish state? (seriously, I am that ignorant, and do not know)

Posted by: Amerikanski | Jan 24 2020 15:40 utc | 31

In Iraq, that's not a problem, the Kurds have their own territory, with a defined border.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 15:58 utc | 32

Ah, thanks. I guess the Kurdish State is last year's news.

Posted by: Amerikanski | Jan 24 2020 16:09 utc | 33

@ Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 15:58 utc | 35

In Iraq, that's not a problem, the Barzani mob family have their own fiefdom, with a defined border.

There, fixed that for you

Posted by: Lurk | Jan 24 2020 16:13 utc | 34

The desert border regions are still ISIS territory. They will be the US proxies and like those at the Syrian oilfields, rebranded with new hats and flags to suit the new marketing policy.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 24 2020 16:19 utc | 35

The desert border regions are still ISIS territory.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 24 2020 16:19 utc | 38

More than that. Pretty well anywhere outside the towns, in the villages. Right over to Kirkuk. I have a Google alert on one town I'm interested in and it's every couple of weeks that a blow-up with Da'ish is signaled.

Whether the US could really, in fact, make a deal with them, I don't know. It would be kind of hard.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 16:27 utc | 36

One has to wonder how news items like the above come to be. I think it is not very coordinated or manipulative. The photographer knows his clients and knows by the seat of his pants that a small crowd has more chances of being used. The lowly editors cannot deviate from what the photo says (at least not in directions which are not condoned)because the objectivity rules tell them not to use their commonsense. It quickly ends up on twitter where it gets trounced by people who are better informed. The editors are slightly confused but quickly push it aside and move on to the next issue.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jan 24 2020 16:31 utc | 37


My thought is that for ISIS to operated as they are with guerrilla warfare type hit and run operations, they need support from locals for supplies cover ect. In Syria, the US Tanf base is likely to be their supply point and I guess some of this gets through to Iraq. The border region was where ISIS kicked off. In planting the US flag in the Syrian oilfields, Mcgurk brought in the Saudi's to do a deal with the local tribes who were aligned with ISIS.
Seems possible to do something similar in the Iraqi side of the border.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 24 2020 16:44 utc | 38

"Whether the US could really, in fact, make a deal with them, I don't know. It would be kind of hard."

That is not how organized crime gangs function. The don doesn't make deals directly with the disposable thugs the gang uses for their dirty work. They have other disposable thugs do that.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 24 2020 16:46 utc | 39

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 24 2020 16:44 utc | 41

The situation in Iraq is not identical to that in Syria. And who's to say that Mcgurk's plan is going to work even in Syria? Acquiescence and inactivity of the tribes is what it's about gaining. There's not the same interest in Iraq, and far more resentment, as in Falluja, as a result of what happened.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 16:56 utc | 40

The numbers game.
A million in HK (sometimes 2 million) is a place where there was room for 150k (the police estimate). The number was "an organiser estimate" for one day, and then became fact.
1 million Ujghurs in prison - but satellite evidence of less that 10k of prison space.
Gen Hodges reckoned 14,000 Russian troops in Ukraine, but no evidence of more than 5 in any one spot.
Everyone believed in the Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea, but no photos of more than 8 in any one place (though the BBC shows pictures of dozens which can be google image search to be in Sevastopol).
400-800k demonstrators at the Maidan - again 120k is tops in that space - and the source was Boris Nemstvov, the man who constantly promised proof of Russian troops in Ukraine but was killed conveniently before he could (having extended his deadline repeatedly).
And the other way around - nothing happening in France.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Jan 24 2020 17:22 utc | 41

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 12:28 utc |

The renewal of the plan for parcellisation just shows up the bankruptcy of US policy, nothing spoke to me so strongly of the failure of US thinking. For all the number of Washington think-tanks concentrating on the ME, they can't come up with workable ideas.

A large part of the problem, if not THE problem, is the requirement that the last words in any USian plan for MENA be "and the US will control the oil." Bonus points if the phrase "we will be greeted as liberators" or "will pay for itself" are included.

Where as the movers and shakers and decision makers in DC are likely to say the problem is the inability to gin up enough popular support for yet another go-it-alone war of choice in the Middle East.

Posted by: MkMark | Jan 24 2020 17:22 utc | 42

Wasn't ISIS a "Sunni state in the western Iraq"?

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 24 2020 17:30 utc | 43

@ 44 michael droy... re the numbers game...the whole pr exercise if meant for westerners who are supposed to remain ignorant of the reality...a key part of usa-israel agenda here is pr, or propaganda via the msm...that is never going to stop..they pay a lot of money for that! it is the focus of b's post in many ways too.. AP wire service is happy to lie, and no one will be calling them out on it either, other then alternative obscure websites like moa...

it's amazing how well ksa-uae work with usa-israel in this sunni-shite divide and conquer iraq-syria agenda.. they fund isis as the trojan horse to justify being in iraq... at some point the ordinary sunni must be getting hip to this.. maybe the money they throw around makes the difference though.. i imagine that is it - money, more then religious ideology, is what is really driving this...

Posted by: james | Jan 24 2020 17:44 utc | 44

The Iraqi government has told the Outlaw US Empire the only course of action it can take is to exit--nothing of yours can fly, no patrols, no training, nothing but conveying your troops and their gear out of our territory. Period! A likely Imperial drone was attacked by PMU in Western Iraq signaling anything Imperial will be attacked as the government's ordered everything Imperial grounded. That means no Iraqi-based helo support for stormtroopers in Syria, and no similar support for the Empire's Foreign Legion--Daesh.

How patient will Sadr be? At the moment, it appears to be a stare-down: Millions of eyes glaring at a few thousand. If it were up to me, I'd say if we don't see any movement toward evacuation by Sunday the 26th, then we're going to start pushing. Your time here is done; get out before you start taking casualties. And those words are on signs present in today's march.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 24 2020 17:58 utc | 45

@25, Danny
"It’s amazing all the money in the State Department and other intelligence agencies should be attracting the best minds. Yet a bunch of us sitting here watching this from our boring office jobs realize how genuinely stupid US foreign policy has been. "

The Saudis are throwing money at this Sunni-state project, so there is money to be made for the MIC. US foreign policy makes sense when we stop assuming it serves 'US' interests or even that the initiatives are supposed to succeed -- because the problem with success is it is too final.

An exit strategy from Iraq would mean loss of justification for massive spending the ME, while an ineffectual hail-Mary attempt to create a Sunni-state is great at keeping the tap running. Even better if it doesn't work, because you can throw more 'surges' at it.

This is the institutional logic of self-preservation and perpetuation. It's relationship to a larger rationale is largely irrelevant.

Posted by: occupatio | Jan 24 2020 17:58 utc | 46

I think much will depend of if the Trump admin has anybody who understands the tribal structure of the region. I suspect Mcgurk was very good at this.
I did a little research to find a bit about tribal links to the Saudi's.
Wikipedia has this...

"With the rise of the First Saudi State in the late 18th century, `Annizah were among the tribes that adopted a favorable attitude towards this new power, but took little active part in supporting it militarily, due to their geographical location. The royal family of Saudi Arabia Al Saud family are the from the 'Annizah tribe,[4] with Al Saud having ancestry from Wa'il, the region's native inhabitants as well as the migratory `Annizah. The Saud intermarried with their 'Annizah rivals, al Shammar, along with other powerful tribes to solidify their dynasty. Ibn Saud sired dozens of children by his many wives. He had at most four wives at a time, divorcing many times, making sure to marry into many of the noble clans and tribes within his territory, including the chiefs of the Bani Khalid, Ajman, and Shammar tribes, as well as the Al ash-Sheikh. [5]"

I also ran onto a pdf on the tribes of Iraq from the US veiw (long link that wont post properly using HTML).
As I cannot post the link, some sections of it.
"Awakening Councils
As the Iraq war enters its sixth year, the role of the Iraqi Awakening Councils (which
consists largely of Sunni groups financed by the United States to fight Al-Qaeda and other
militants in the country) has become vital for the stability of Anbar province. The
Awakening Councils started in Anbar Province more than a year ago in late 2006, but
became stronger after the surge in spring 2007and now scores of groups have effectively
taken responsibility for law and order in their neighborhoods.8
The province was formerly
one of the most restive areas within the Sunni triangle.
Experts argue that the troop surge and new tactics of holding areas after insurgents
were expelled brought a measure of calm to parts of Baghdad and other areas of Iraq.
They also believe that one reason for the decline in attacks is that many former Sunni
fighters have turned against Al-Qaeda and are helping U.S. forces maintain security. In
reference to the creation of the Awakening Councils and Al-Qaeda mishaps, they assert
in a recent interview with Anthony Cordesman, an analyst with the Center for Strategic
and International Studies (CSIS) that:
We capitalized on a spontaneous tribal uprising against Al-Qaeda. That allowed us to
create the "Sons of Iraq," a force that now has some 90,000 men, about three times the
size of our surge. Al-Qaeda helped us immeasurably. I think we have to give credit
to our enemy. They did so much damage to themselves in alienating tribal groups and
Sunnis, in driving former insurgents to work with U.S. troops, that oddly enough one
of our strongest allies in making this work was our enemy.9

The Shammar claim to be Iraq’s biggest tribal confederation, with more than 1.5
million people. Like other big confederations, it has tended to be unified only when
threatened from the outside, as in wartime. Shammar member tribes include the Toqa
(historically settled in central Iraq) and the Jarba (centered in the north). Shammar tribes
cover vast territories, from south of Baghdad to the Syrian border in the northwest. They
include Sunni and Shia groups and their reach extends from Yemen to the United Arab

The Anizah confederation is numerically believed to be the largest group of nomad
Arab tribes. They occupied a triangle of Syrian desert, near today’s Iraq-Syria border, to
the east bank of the Euphrates. The hereditary foes of the Anizah are believed to be the
Shammar. According to published reports, the history of nomadic Arabia has been
dominated for the last 150 years by the rivalry between the Anizah and Shammar

The Dulaym belong to a large group of tribes of Zubaydi origin and are connected
the Jannabiyin, Ubayd, and other confederations. They claim to have originally migrated
from Central Arabia. (Arab Tribes of the Baghdad Wilayat, issued by the Arab Bureau,
Baghdad, July 1918.) Many prominent Iraqis carry the last name “Dulaym,” signaling
they belong to this broad tribal confederation. Many Dulaymi tribes and leaders were
among the most important in supporting Hussein during his rule. Dulaym tribes reside
mostly in the western province of al-Anbar, around Ramadi. The Dulaym reportedly
orchestrated a failed coup attempt against Saddam Hussein in July 1992.

From wikipedia..
"Dulaim or Dulaimi or Al Duliam or Dulaym (Arabic: الدليم‎) is an Arab tribe, with over seven million members. The tribe's history goes back to pre-Islamic times and members reside today in Iraq and neighboring countries such as Syria, Kuwait and Jordan.[2]
The Dulaims are the largest Sunni Arab tribe in Iraq, living on the Euphrates from a point just below Al Hillah and southern Baghdad to Fallujah, Ramadi, al-Qaim, Samarra and Mosul.[3]

Dulaim is the largest tribe in Anbar province, which formed the nucleus of the resistance\insurgency against U.S. forces in Iraq.
The events of the war and the bombing of Fallujah and targeting the Sunnis in Baghdad and Basra and many other reasons pushed the Sunni Dulaimi clans to carry weapons against Iraqi government and U.S. forces in Iraq.

I suspect for the US, success or failure on their Sunni state will depend on how well they work the tribal angle.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 24 2020 18:14 utc | 47

A separate Sunni state in West Iraq will be an ISIS haven financed by Saudi Arabia, the US and Israel.
Iran will never let this to happen..

Posted by: Virgile | Jan 24 2020 18:28 utc | 48

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 24 2020 18:14 utc | 50

Yes, I was thinking about something along those lines, and was about to write a comment. There are conservative tribal leaders, who were at one point relatively favourable to the US, and who might be susceptible to this manoeuvre, and to Saudi persuasion. I was thinking in particular of Abu Risheh. However, unfortunately, their peoples along the Euphrates got flattened by the fighting during the Surge (after the period you're citing), so I don't know how enthusiastic they're going to be. It's a conventional problem, if the US makes a deal with a chief, indeed MbS is an example, they presume that they've got the whole people. They haven't.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 18:33 utc | 49

Below is a BBC link with an embedded Reuters picture that shows not all of Western media is misrepresenting the march in Iraq.

Huge rally as Iraqis demand US troops pull out

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 24 2020 18:55 utc | 50

please, do not try to search for US policy sense in the whole ME. all the moves there are done by the Israel firsters: destroy first then invent "senses". even the first Gulf War was lacking any policy consideration. I hope one day before she dies, to listen to what US Ambassador at that time, April Gillepsie, has to say about "her" entrapment of Saddam Hussein, a sort of McNamara hour of acknowledging.

Posted by: nietzsche1510 | Jan 24 2020 18:59 utc | 51

in the next 2 years, the U.S. will be leaving Iraq. It will not be safe to keep U.S. personnel on Iraqi soil.

First, it was "No injuries" resulting from Iran's retaliation
Then, it was only 11 "suffering headaches"

Now the Pentagon Says 34 Personnel Diagnosed With Concussions After Iran Strikes on Bases in Iraq

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Thirty-four US service members have been diagnosed with concussions and traumatic brain injuries after Iran conducted ballistic missile strikes on two bases in Iraq with half of them still undergoing medical treatment, Department of Defence spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a press briefing on 24 January.

"With regard to the number of recent injuries here is the latest update 34 total members have diagnosed with concussions and TBI [traumatic brain injury]", Hoffman told reporters.

Concussions or Headaches.? When it's serious we have to lie -

Paging Dr. Donald J. Trump

Paging any available Dr. or resident at Mayo Clinic

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 24 2020 19:01 utc | 52

I wouldn't deny the US is capable of creating an Iraqi al-Tanf. The US is always capable of air-supporting isolated bases, as long as there is the determination to do so. It's been shown many times, from Vietnam to Afghanistan. More, I don't see. The Sunnis have seen the way the Syrian Kurds were abandoned, so nobody's going to be enthused. And the surge has not been forgotten.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 19:06 utc | 53

“The Shi'a can certainly get their people out - which by the way is why they have such effective militias. The Sunnis don't have similarly effective militias (though such would probably also be politically difficult).”

Wondering why ? Because the don’t want to live as minorities any more, specially where they are the majority. There is need for a collective security across the Shia community throughout the Western Asia and has nothing to do with US. Because US and UK, historically and continually have supported and inspired Sunni clients against Shia uprisings
For equal rights, US and UK and their clients have become a common threat to Shia resistance. This resistance and sense of common security within Shia communities is so strong and imbedded that killing one leader here one commander there will not change the outcome. As an example Abbas Mussavie was assassinated by IDF in 1992 who replaced him that became more dangerous and kicked Israel out of Lebanon, one Hassan Nassrollah
US will end up leaving like in VM No matter what she does

Posted by: Kooshy | Jan 24 2020 19:15 utc | 54


I was thinking along the lines of Saudi intermediaries doing deals with tribes as Mcgurk pulled off in the Raqqa meeting when he brought in a Saudi intermediary or envoy to do a deal with the tribes of Deir Ezzor. I see the tribe break down into clans, so suppose it would or may be the heads of clans that deals would have to be done with.

What strikes me about this though is that US are looking at retreating into the area ISIS have retreated to and where they arose - the Iraq Syria border regions.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 24 2020 19:18 utc | 55

the battle for the Green Zone will start the liberation of Iraq, that´s why the US embassy there has a lot of rooftops.

Posted by: nietzsche1510 | Jan 24 2020 19:19 utc | 56

@ peter.. anbar region is the perfect haven for isis and usa...

Posted by: james | Jan 24 2020 19:21 utc | 57

A photo essay of the Iraqi protests - plenty of images showing the scale and also close up images.

Posted by: Yonatan | Jan 24 2020 19:32 utc | 58

Interesting that the number of US troops suffering concussive injuries from the Iran retaliatory strikes has been quietly reassessed to 44 persons. That seems significant in light of the extensive threats beforehand that any injury to a US person would ignite thunderous reprisal. It seems, then, the Americans have no plan, the Soleimaini hit was not thought through, and they are not in any way prepared for a necessary readjustment of their position in the region. Trump at Davos dismissed the protests and again threatened sanctions on Iraq - the fulcrum of US power has now visibly shifted from the military to the dominance of the reserve currency in the form of economic reprisals (sanctions). Reduced to imposing or threatening economic blockades on adversary populations is not a winning long-term strategy.

Posted by: jayc | Jan 24 2020 19:33 utc | 59

A Sunni state? Is that compatible with a Kurdish state? (seriously, I am that ignorant, and do not know)

Posted by: Amerikanski | Jan 24 2020 15:40 utc | 31

In Iraq, that's not a problem, the Kurds have their own territory, with a defined border.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 15:58 utc | 35

Not only Kurds have a defined border, they have two! The linked article uses a map from AFP, vintage not provided, with Kirkuk province inside unnamed Kurdish territory. But Arabs and Turkomans of the province beg to differ, and official and de-facto border of the Kurdish region does not include Kirkuk province. That alone is a huge wedge for Baghdad to use. The military force that expelled Kurdish force from Kirkuk is ready for the next challenge. The strategic implications of the location of forces loyal to unitary Iraq suggest that only Anbar has a chance for quick functional "self-rule".

What I do not know is who controls quislings(?) in the Shia area. Some are claiming that al-Sadr... This "nationalist" has too many faces.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 24 2020 20:13 utc | 60

Likklemore @ 55 said; "in the next 2 years, the U.S. will be leaving Iraq. It will not be safe to keep U.S. personnel on Iraqi soil."

At this point in time, violence against the empire in Iraq should begin now. Unfortunately, the elites who own this empire are moved ONLY by violence, and it's about time It's forces take a few lumps.

The corporate forces that drive the empire should also take a few setbacks. The world is waiting for justice...

Posted by: ben | Jan 24 2020 20:17 utc | 61

@ Sasha, #63

Indeed the blackout on Iraq protest events is deliberate, I suspect it is also different in kind -- something like inability to formulate a response to spin it. Because the old narratives -- protesting against Iran influence, protesting against the Iraq govt -- just don't work. It's also hard to produce a photo to accompanying this story that doesn't give the goose away. Okay, let's not include the anti-America, 'get out' signs; let's crop the picture so the crowds don't look large...but if you're going to diminish and dismiss the crowd sizes, then just don't report it all. It's just a few hundreds guys after all...

What I learned today is that, in US math, a million Iraqis equals a hundred, and a thousand Hong Kongers equals a million.

Posted by: occupatio | Jan 24 2020 20:20 utc | 62

For the moment 34 US soldiers are being treated for brain injuries after de Iranian missiles attacks, some of them have been sent to US for further (specialiced) treatments (source Pentagon):

Drop by drop we will see the real consequences of the missile attack, but probably not fully until many years

Posted by: DFC | Jan 24 2020 20:21 utc | 63

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 24 2020 19:18 utc | 58

The point is not whether MbS can bribe the tribal leaders, it's whether those leaders will be followed. Tribal leaders aren't autocrats; they depend on keeping their people's support.

The Iraqi experience is very different from those in Syria. The Syrian tribes haven't suffered very much. The Iraqi tribes on the Euphrates suffered the Surge. It will take time to recover the details. Kimberley Kagan's The Surge: a military history (on google books) has quite a bit but has to be interpreted otherwise. Mowing through Ramadi in 2007, I'd forgotten that. My memory is of the battles in al-Qa'im, which flattened everything in sight.

My feeling is that the Euphrates tribes will do nothing, and remain neutral. They don't like the Shi'a, who treat them like an occupied people, and in any case are not present. But they will not rise for the US either, for obvious reasons. The leaders will continue to take Saudi subsidies, until the Saudis get fed up, fairly soon I imagine.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 20:22 utc | 64

1,5 to 2 millions according to a lebanese serious newspaper al-akhbar
US troops are all over the world. When you think of it maturely, it's really crazy. These guys need to go back to their families and enjoy their everyday lives

Posted by: ghassan1984 | Jan 24 2020 20:28 utc | 65

Posted by: occupatio | Jan 24 2020 20:20 utc | 66

What I learned today is that, in US math, a million Iraqis equals a hundred, and a thousand Hong Kongers equals a million.

I guess you could say it is not unexpected with Imperial units.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 24 2020 20:35 utc | 66

OK, why would the Pentagram tell Trumpty-Dumbdy there were no serious injuries when the Soleimani assassination was based on ONE US INTERPRETER being killed and the Orange Golem threatening Iran with major military reaction is any other US military are injured or killed in Iranian strikes?

Maybe because the Pentagram didn't want Trumpy's big Tweety-mouth writing military cheques the Pentagram suddenly realized it couldn't cash?

Maybe because the Pentagram realized that Iran had, in one very small efficient operation, knee-capped the drone program in Iraq and damaged a LOT of personnel, aircraft and infrastructure. And this could be repeated ad infinitum across the entire ME until the US public revolted and started seriously considering fitting the chickenhawks in DC for lamp-post neck-tie parties?

There is also the possibility the injured were actually CIA/Mossad/"civilian" black-ops or drone joystick jockeys and a story had to be concocted while they were magically enlisted in the military on the trip to the hospital? Remember the quiet when a bunch of US/Israeli/EU "advisers" were killed in Syria? Plus the CIA/Mossad operatives and US mercenaries would be considered illegal combatants and not covered under Status Of Forces Agreement immunity from prosecution.

The US is setting up CIA/Mossad black drone operations all over Africa, why would they not do the same in Iraq where they think they are in control?

Posted by: A P | Jan 24 2020 20:43 utc | 67

ghassan1984 @69--

Agreed. The problem is the reasons they enlisted--known as the Economic Draft--still exist at the Homefront, although the ranks are depleted of the key NCOs that form the backbone of the military edifice--you can't perform required maintenance if nobody's trained to do it, and so forth. And combat infantry skills don't transfer well into a civilian economy. Ideologically, a vast gulf exists between the Outlaw US Empire on the one hand and Russia/China on the other in the way they treat their human capital--the former doesn't give a damn while the latter two bend over backwards to aide their personnel and thus their nation's development.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 24 2020 20:43 utc | 68

It is accurate to say hundreds (plural),,, thousands, and maybe millions. All true. Course the AP did it for Americans who aren't so good at language or maff.

Posted by: charliechan | Jan 24 2020 20:43 utc | 69

The war against Iran is on. No turning back, unless Iran pre-empts and take out the Saudi Family and then onward to encircle Israel. Otherwise we are looking at total destruction of Iran in case of a hot war. As for China and Russia, they will just sit on the sidelines and get the popcorns.

This article by Jim Kavanaugh is a must read.

Posted by: Alpi | Jan 24 2020 20:48 utc | 70

Posted by: A P | Jan 24 2020 20:43 utc | 72

Remember in the next day after the Iranian missile attack on Al Assad base the Pentagon said :"there were only iraqi casualties", so they say that because probably a lot of people could saw many medevac helicopters flying from the US base that night and they want to conceal the truth. The PMU's and Iranians have spies inside all the US bases, so they probably know all the truth, as the Iranian commander of the Iran's strategic forces said in the presentation after the strike: "there were many US casualties in the attack, but that was not our objective"

We will see more in the coming weeks

Posted by: DFC | Jan 24 2020 20:55 utc | 71

To karlof1: The legacy of fragging in Vietnam may be making many potential NCOs avoid taking the job, or at least doing their best to not send their troops into obvious meatgrinder situations. The Iran missile raid was a complete surprise (other than the 1 hr warning via the Swiss) and must have all the US military in the ME wondering if they are next.

Hence Trumpy sending the urgent "deescalate" message. CIC Bonespurs shows his true colours... no reelection while body bags return from the ME.

Posted by: A P | Jan 24 2020 20:58 utc | 72

"..please, do not try to search for US policy sense in the whole ME. all the moves there are done by the Israel firsters: destroy first then invent "senses". even the first Gulf War was lacking any policy consideration. ..."

Posted by: nietzsche1510 | Jan 24 2020 18:59 utc | 54

In the article pointed to by Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 11:44 utc | 1
there are a number of unnamed spokespeople, but amongst the named there are -
US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker
Stephen Fagin, the US consul in Erbil
Guaranteed kosher services (servicing) the US is getting? Iranians say "it smells British' when deviousness is suspected. Do they also say "it smells jewish"?

It is my understanding that most Kurds are Sunni and their dialects are related to Farsi. So sources of commonality for peoples in the region are not missing. An overriding contempt for the US is another one that should help Trump get US troops out!

Posted by: tucenz | Jan 24 2020 21:04 utc | 73

Meanwhile, SAA has restarted Idlb Dawn:

"Syrian army has restarted the operation in Idlib province. Tiger forces have made great progress in the first hours of battle. The main goal is to liberate the entire M-5 road and Marat Al Numan city. The Syrian army is expected to open new direction of attack in western Aleppo."

Canthama believes as many as 6 different attack axes will be employed as all negotiations with between Russia, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq broke down over the Idlib issue.

I hope Canthama's intel on that's correct as the Outlaw US Empire's Foreign Legion in Idlib must be eliminated before Syria can move to oust remaining stormtroopers from its soil as its port of ejecting the Outlaw US Empire from the region.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 24 2020 21:09 utc | 74

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 11:44 utc | 1

They're sufficiently stupid.

referencing 'they' with the US government I guess. But in fact 'they' are not stupid at all. They are very clever.

What they lack is a general understanding of life. Many of 'them' had a life in security and some wealth. They never suffered hunger, they don't even know what real hunger means by own experience. They spent most of their time in central-heated homes, they rarely ever experienced cold environments during night and in the morning. They lived a secure and protected life since they've been born.

Later, after finishing school, they were hired by the military or agencies. They often went straight from high school to this new job, again in a well heated building isolated from nature. They never really experienced how life is in reality. They live and have lived in some sort of virtual reality. Which emphasises the fallacy of thinking that their culture is the only relevant culture. All other cultures and nations are low-grade and negligible.

Recently I picked up a comment in a documentary from an US citicen, who was on a film set in the desert: 'and this is where we are, in the middle of nowhere. There's no stoplights, there's no ... no anything. It's completely empty. Just a lot of sand and dirt and rocks.' I find this comment rather revealing. First, it shows that this person is simply lost when there is no civilization nearby. Second, this person lacks direction (the stoplights). Third, this person is ignorant (and here we may use the word stupid) of a great many things, because this desert he is in provides many resources for his daily life. Silicium (sand) is used in microprocessors, other minerals (rocks) is again used in chemistry and technology this person uses every day.

The relation to the roots is lost for those poor individuals. They suffer from emotional and spiritual poverty. They can't make the connection from the consequences that result from what they think, feel, and do.

Posted by: Phil | Jan 24 2020 21:14 utc | 75

utc #76
"Otherwise we are looking at total destruction of Iran in case of a hot war. As for China and Russia, they will just sit on the sidelines and get the popcorns."

I think it's an open question what the China response would be besides signalling, like taking the issue up in the UN. A US-Iran hot war would be the dramatic end of US hegemony -- a perfect time for the PRC to take Taiwan. Not because Taiwan, by itself, has great value (relative to the status quo) but because it would definitively demonstrate that the US security guarantee for Taiwan and for East Asia is worthless, leading to the unraveling of the US military occupation or arrangement in Japan and South Korea. Why allow foreign troops on your sovereign territory if they can't or won't defend you? This would effectively be the end of any meaningful anchor for the US military in East Asia.

The US in a Iran quagmire coupled with the disintegration of the East Asian 'order'. Precipitating the US decline by decades.

Posted by: occupatio | Jan 24 2020 21:14 utc | 76

A P @81--

Thanks for your reply. IIRC, it was NCOs who did most of the fragging of overly avid officers to protect themselves and their men in 'Nam. I don't recall much fragging of officers in Iraq. I do know from military self-reporting that the shortage situation of senior NCOs is close to critical, particularly in USN and USAF, and is reflected in readiness reports that detail the erosion of the entire military's combat ability. The result is neither Russia nor China need to seek militaries large enough to defeat the Outlaw US Empire as it's crumbling from within due to its own internal corruption like all previous empires.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 24 2020 21:23 utc | 77

To karlof1: Thanks for clarifying the NCO situation in Vietnam... not a military person, so don't care which level the idiot orders were coming from and who took it into their own hands to locally eliminate the problem...

The Draft had a lot to do with it, whereas the current "volunteer" US military will have fewer personnel annoyed at being needlessly put in the line of fire. That may change as the obvious task in Iraq and Syria is to grab the oil... the operation in Iraq was originally tagged "Operation Iraqi Liberation, or OIL. Of course that was quickly changed when even the MSM couldn't spin that goof away.

Posted by: A P | Jan 24 2020 21:32 utc | 78

I wouldn't be surprised to hear that recruitment to the armed forces is failing in the US, as it is in Britain. It's not a nice choice, if you have an option.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 21:33 utc | 79

I recall reading that an Italian news station was on the ground in Iraq and reported that something like 180 US troops were killed in the Iranian attack. Don't have a link to support this although I have seen it referenced a few times in ZeroHedge comments.

Posted by: frances | Jan 24 2020 21:44 utc | 80

While we read and write here a search with Google for “Baghad“ or „Baghdad news“ shows only English MSM media reporting from today. Not a single German media outlet including SPIEGEL Online. The result of a local soccer match, finished 15 minutes ago, is shown correctly.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 24 2020 21:45 utc | 81

To DFC, 79: A good interpretation. While there may be many Iran-friendly spies, militia or civilians in/around the US bases, it would be a good bet Iran has been monitoring US military in many ways, to the extent they may know which people are actual US military, which are CIA/Mossad and which base sections/buildings belong to each.

The US refuses to officially acknowledge CIA/Mossad presence, therefore those "assets" don't exist, therefore the buildings Iran hit were "empty". The US is trying to backpedal this for later use as an excuse, but it stands to reason Iran would see it as a major "slap" if they eliminated not only the assassination drone base/equipment, but the spooks that committed the crime... instant justice... and the US can't cry to the MSM about it.

Posted by: A P | Jan 24 2020 21:46 utc | 82

IMO, barflies will appreciate this GIF from the march. Other tweets tell of the surprising lack of violence given the massiveness of the march and its intent. My mind recalls the Collateral Murder video as I observe aerial vids of the march.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 24 2020 21:47 utc | 83

@ Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 11:44 utc | 1

”It is of course true that the Sunnis suffer from the unthinking policies of the Shi'a, and are treated like an occupied country.”

It is also true that under Sadaam, whose tribe is Sunni -- a minority of the Iraqi population, the majority Shia were treated like an occupied country, suffering under the unthinking policies of the minority Sunni.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jan 24 2020 22:00 utc | 84

TASS still has a story from 8 January that claims

80 people were killed in Iran’s missile attack on US bases in Iraq, Reuters reported with reference to Iran’s state television.

Of course is a game of Chinese Whispers but I wonder, if this is ever categorically shown to be wrong, would TASS bother to update or remove the story? What about other news sites? And how would Iran know how many were killed, other than Iranian observers on site? Iraqi soldiers perhaps?

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jan 24 2020 22:20 utc | 85

Wrong google search Hausmeister. "Muktada al-Sadr" does the trick.

Deutsche Welle reports "thousands".

Deutsche Welle balances the reporting with anti-government protesters who supposedly had tried to prevent Al-Sadr's demonstration quoting "a teenager" and Ayatollah Sistani demanding a new government and reforms.

Swiss Neue Züricher ups the "thousands" with "hundreds of thousands" in one and the same article. Neue Züricher reports that anti government protests are supported by Muktada al-Sadr and both protests took place.

Züricher comes to the conclusion that the US would not be able to hold out against popular will.

I would say Neue Züricher has better information.But yes, no one in Germany wants to discuss if their soldiers are welcome.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 24 2020 22:41 utc | 86

In autumn 2019 the USN made an activation of the strategic sealift fleet, I suppose to be ready in the event of a war on Iran, and the results were very bad:

The USN is not prepared at all for a big logistics efforts, as for example a war with a country with more than 80 milliom people (Iran) and sustain a continuous flow of men, weapons, ammo, etc...that this would require; and much less with a peer adversary (China or Russia). Anyhow any of these transport ships will never be inside the Persian Gulf in the event of a war on Iran, they will be sitting ducks in the Strait of Hormuz, Iran will use supersonic anti-ship missiles, rockets, artillery, mines, subs, etc...and would sink all of them.

One of the biggest problems for the Ro-Ro fleet is the lack of technicians to manage and repair the steam powered ships:

"Retired Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, who heads the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD), which is responsible for maintaining the reserve fleet, told Defense News in November that a major problem of reactivating these aging ships is a shortage of engineers qualified to run the steam-operated vessels, which are all-but-nonexistent in the commercial world"

The empire is crumbling after many decades only fighting COIN wars, so now do they really think they can fight a 80 million people country with a well entreched army (Hezbollah style) in his own soil?
Good luck with that

Posted by: DFC | Jan 24 2020 22:46 utc | 87

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jan 24 2020 22:00 utc | 98

Not that I particularly want to defend the point, but it wasn't the same. There were Shi'a ministers in Saddam's government, as there is one Sunni minister today. They're all as corrupt as the rest.

The Shi'a do have a peculiar idea of righteousness, born of ignorance of the outside world, I would say. By consequence, they have imposed closure on the shrine in Samarra, for example. The roads to the old city are closed, the Sunni majority population excluded. That didn't happen under Saddam.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 22:47 utc | 88

re fragging in Vietnam
The people who were targeted were first lieutenants in large measure based on what people who were there told me at the time.

Posted by: frances | Jan 24 2020 23:03 utc | 89


That's a saying the historian Tacitus puts in the mouth of Caledonian chieftain Calgacus: "Ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant"; "They create a wilderness and call it peace."

Posted by: lysias | Jan 24 2020 23:16 utc | 90

DFC | Jan 24 2020 22:46 utc | 103

USN has got rid of all the steam turbine ships, and the snipes that kept them going. A pal is one - chief in the engine room on an LSD in Gulf 2. And the civilians are mostly retired...the US merchant marine is tiny.

They did get some ships out in the exercise, but as to their ability to sail in convoy...well, you know...seagoing steam plants take some getting used to, and they tend to shut down when you don't quite know the plant. They're not simple to run, not to repair.

I think some are converted SL-7's - twin screw twin turbine and capable originally of something like 33 kts. Needs experienced people, spare parts, young guys with stamina. No available, (NLA).

The Ready reserve is not viable.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 24 2020 23:40 utc | 91

A young guy at work has a band. I wanted to inspire him so I wrote this:

Fake news, fake tits, fake history, fake life, fake celebrity, fake fucking, Real bills, real crap jobs, real minimum wage, real broadband costs, real rent, real landlords, real fucking fucking reality. Fake Jihadis, fake Russians, fake media. Fake Trump, fake Hillary, fake Bernie, fake Boris, fake Macron, fake Merkel. Fake the fuck out of the lot of them.

Fake JFK investigation, Fake Martin Luther King investigation, Fake Robert Kennedy investigation, fake the fucking supreme fake moon landings. Fake fucking Neil Armstrong.

Fake Nixon impeachment, fake Vietnam,fake 9/11, fake Iraq. Fake Iran, fake Ukraine, fake Syria, fake Honduras, fake Venezuela fake fake fake.

We’re into fake, fake, fake becos you have to fake it to make it...

Posted by: Lochearn | Jan 24 2020 23:49 utc | 92

Posted by: frances | Jan 24 2020 23:03 utc | 106

"re fragging in Vietnam
The people who were targeted were first lieutenants in large measure based on what people who were there told me at the time."

Grinders got fragged. As all grinders, in any walk of life, should be. They're the source of 100% of evil.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 24 2020 23:52 utc | 93

In a related issue, Houthi rebel leaders state that they anticipate America will soon spread its assassination campaign from Iraq to target Houthi officials inside Yemen--in which case they will respond with similar attacks on American troops.

Houthis Anticipate US Assassination Attempts

Posted by: ak74 | Jan 25 2020 0:39 utc | 94

The Iraqi people owe a debt of gratitude to Iran for defending their country in the face of US backed terrorists. This interview of Elijah Magnier by Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton reveals that ISIS and Al qaeda were only defeated once the Iranian IRGC advisors created a force that was willing to take on the US backed headchoppers with the knowledge that it was “a good day to die” that b @29 pointed out wearing a shroud ready for martyrdom. Previously the Iraqi forces fled the terrorists because they were only motivated by the paycheck (time stamp 39:20 to 48:45.

The Iranian advisors will have no problem leaving when asked as they have been providing support as needed to what may be called the Axis of Resistance in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen etc. Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has often stated that Martyr Soleimani never asked anything from the Lebanese Resistance for Iran’s interests throughout all these years

While I expect that many thousands will die in efforts to expel the US occupation of Iraq there is a better way. Once the Iraqi government is reformed with a new Prime Minister it can formally demand the US and its NATO and Israeli allies to leave.

"The Iran-linked Binaa parliamentary voting bloc has nominated Asaad al-Edani, a former minister and governor of oil-rich Basra province. Binaa’s bloc is mostly made up of the Fatah party led by militia leader turned politician Hadi al-Ameri, who is close to Tehran."

The Kurdish President of Iraq has stated that “Out of an eagerness to spare blood and preserve civil peace, I apologize for not naming Edani prime minister,” the letter continued. “I am ready to submit my resignation to parliament.”

Currently, the rival Sairoon bloc, headed by populist Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, said it would not participate in the process of nominating a new premier.”

However, "Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr demanded that Iraqis stage today’s “million-man march” against the continued US military presence in the country"

The way forward would to blockage the Western bases and deny them food and other goods currently delivered by Iraqi’s. This would force the Occupying forces to take on the task of resupply. If the roads to these bases are destroyed then the resupply would have to be made by air. Subsequently, the Iraqi government can cut off diplomatic relations with the US and any allied powers that refuse to leave. Only after these steps are taken would military action against these fire bases be required. Good point by BM @20 on the arrest of US soldiers as war criminals and their placement in prison awaiting criminal trial.

In the meantime the Iraqi government could be asked for a line of credit from China and Russia to make up for the frozen oil assets in western banks. From that point forward the oil trades would be conducted in Rubles, Yuan or in kind reconstruction and barter deals. If China can build a thousand-bed hospital for treating the SARS outbreak in six days, imagine how fast the Iraqi reconstruction will happen under their direction. My wife when visiting family had the opportunity to watch the Chinese build their Brussels embassy from the ground up in seven days. Several years ago the Chinese sent engineers to Basra that spoke the local dialect. Furthermore, Iraqi engineers were better than the US ones, according to Tom Ochs who was in charge of restoring power in Iraq following the US bombing war which should help.

Once Iraq is liberated the US troops in North East Syria would be trapped, especially if the Iraq forces have S-400 defense systems and Pantsir short-range support to protect the Iraq troops. This would protect against Israeli attacks on the Iraq-Syria road and pipeline route via the T4 pumping station area. This effort would liberate Eastern Syria and allow the Turkish troops to withdraw after a period of joint patrols with SAA and Russian forces.

If drones are used from the secret base in Northern Saudi Arabia or from Qatar the missiles can be used to destroy the bases tit-for-tat.

This realignment of the Middle East would force the Iranian HOPE dialog to continue with the ultimate goal of economic recovery of the region. Eventually the dictatorships of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain would collapse.

Posted by: krollchem | Jan 25 2020 0:40 utc | 95

Re: mpn@15

ABC Australia are in on the act...

"Tens of thousands of Iraqis rallied on Friday (local time) in central Baghdad calling for the expulsion of US troops, but the protest mostly dissipated after a few hours despite a cleric's call for a "million-strong" turnout."

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 25 2020 1:04 utc | 96

Americans coming home in body bags won't help Trump get reelected.

Posted by: Deathevokation | Jan 25 2020 1:09 utc | 97

Breaking News

Including president Trump, the number of US servicemen with serious brain injury from Iranian missile attack on US bases is increased to at least 35. New update will be released whenever a new parent calls CSPAN asking for help to locate their loved ones

Posted by: kooshy | Jan 25 2020 1:57 utc | 98

In my comment #53 on this thread I provided a BBC link that reported a more accurate representation of the protest but didn't provide a take away quote that I now am doing below. I also want to add that the story is already off the BBC main page of stories, many of which pale in comparison, but this is BBC.......

The take away quote
The demonstration threatens to eclipse a separate protest movement involving mainly young people who for several months have been demanding a complete overhaul of the Iraqi government, says the BBC's Martin Patience in Baghdad.

Earlier this month, Iraqi lawmakers passed a non-binding resolution calling for foreign troops to leave the country.

So the BBC is admitting that the protest in Iraq just might be bigger than the empire supported ones.

And don't you just smile at the "non-binding" descriptor on the actions of the Iraq parliament...true legal hubris...just like bailing out private banks, which Obama told us was legal.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 25 2020 2:02 utc | 99

Below is a link to a ZH posting about the Iraq protest so there is growing coverage. The initial estimates they provide are around 600K but later quotes in the posting refer to millions....enough to make it hard to hide well

"No, No America" - Mass Protests Erupt In Baghdad Demanding U.S. Troops Withdraw

But, but, BUT, you can't interfere with reporting on the Impeachment process or Davos!!!!!!

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 25 2020 2:12 utc | 100

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