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

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As far as I can see the the Iraq government is sitting on a resolution that has no force of law asking US troops to leave. It was a resolution where a good part of the parliament did not show up to vote. If the US is going create a Sunni state to block Iran's corridors into Syria then we know exactly which nation they are most concerned about protecting.

The US has no other avenue to counter Iran left other than to block its corridors into Syria. The fragmentation of Iraq was pretty much accomplished when Bremmer disbanded the Iraq Army after chasing Saddam out of power. Drawing lines religious sects will do little to change anything.

Mission accomplished, chaos reigns.

Posted by: dltravers | Jan 25 2020 2:16 utc | 101

Regarding US casualties, US had a bit of a run of boots in body bags coming from other fronts in the days following Iran's strike. The casualty figures slowly dribbling out will include more than concussion. Injuries stabilised in house and then flown out for long term hospital stays.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 25 2020 2:35 utc | 102

@108 Walter "The Ready reserve is not viable."

Can't see that being much of a problem: all the US Army / Marines has to do is to ensure that their equipment can fit into standard shipping containers.

Modern container ships would be able to carry more equipment that the entire ready reserve, so in a "crisis" the US would only need to requisition a handful of container ships, slap grey paint on them, and sail them to Saudi Arabia.

I mean, they won't be swarming onto beaches or even sailing into the Persian Gulf - they'll be unloading their stuff at one of the Saudi Red Sea ports.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 25 2020 3:22 utc | 103

Iran is the excuse, the petro dollar is the reason the US will not leave Iraq. That's the story.

Posted by: Joetv | Jan 25 2020 3:46 utc | 104

Below is a link to a Xinhuanet posting about the protest in Iraq.

It says the protest number was in the
Tens of thousands of Iraqis, mainly al-Sadr's followers, gathered to reject the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq, in response to an earlier call by al-Sadr.

Iraq's Shia leader calls for scheduled pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 25 2020 3:56 utc | 105

It seems that the US is transporting the soldiers injured at Ayn al Assad airbase in Iraq to several different hospitals in the Middle East and Europe so as to obscure deliberately the number of soldiers who either die or become permanently incapacitated as a result of the Iranian missile attack.

Several days ago, 16 US soldiers suffering severe, possibly even fatal wounds including burns and shrapnel wounds were taken to a US military hospital in Kuwait. If any die there, their deaths will be reported as if they had always been based in Kuwait.

On January 13, a couple of days after the missile attack, two US soldiers were found dead at an airbase in Germany. The deaths were being investigated at the time The contacted the airbase for more details but none was forthcoming. Could there be a possibility that these soldiers had come to the German airbase from Ayn al Assad airbase in Iraq just after the missile attack?

MoA barflies living in Germany and other parts of Europe where US airbases are present perhaps should start looking out for news items of US military personnel dying mysteriously in those bases and their deaths described as being under investigation, and then no further follow-up.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 25 2020 4:04 utc | 106

Lone Wolf @ 121

Did they vote on that new law? What what the vote tally? My English may be limited but...

At the Iraqi parliament, 173 MPs out of 328 voted for the withdrawal of the US forces. The suggestion of the caretaker Prime Minister is not binding. The government can only suggest and offer its opinion. The legislative decision goes back to the parliament, and its decision is a binding law applied to the present and future government (unless a new parliament revokes decisions of the previous one).


The parliament will meet again to read the resolution for the second time, ask all MPs to sign the document, and agree upon a deadline for the US withdrawal. The agreement doesn’t require the signature of the President in this case, as declared by the Speaker Mohamad al-Halbousi, but requires Halbousi’s presence, which is the case.

So at this point it is a resolution that has no force of law. It is a Resolution but it looks like it will have force of law at some point in the future as the parties absent will not make a difference. Do they need a 2/3 majority or a simple majority? What does it mean to ask all MP's to sign the law mean? A simple majority of all MP's?

No disinformation found, it is where they are now. I am very happy for the citizens of Iraq pulling away from the mayhem of the West and charting their own future. It has not happened yet.

It is a very sad reality that they may fair much better charting a course with Russia and China helping them to rebuilt their society. It may be trouble for Iraq at first but we have given them so much trouble for so many decades what can the West really do now to hurt them?

Posted by: dltravers | Jan 25 2020 4:14 utc | 107

BM #20

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

Retrospective effect of legislation is up to the legislature crafting the law. The west hates the idea with an enduring visceral hatred as it might include taxes. It could include interest rates ! imagine that!!

Australia has retrospectively legislated for corrupt financial crimes. A rarity for sure. Many constitutions are silent on the applicability of retrospective legislation.

I would support/urge retrospective taxation law against all private finance institutions and the sequestering of all wealth and safety deposits held by private banks to the administration of the national government. This will be necessary when the next financial crisis breaks upon us.

It should be a global norm for illegal occupation, the crime of war, the crime of genocide, the crime of economic sanctions etc.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 25 2020 7:09 utc | 108

@ Lone Wolf | Jan 25 2020 5:44 utc | 128

Thank you for this well formulated and clear explanation, I learned something from it! What you say is obviously correct

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 25 2020 7:48 utc | 109

The Iranian national website (FARS) has been blocked by the US Treasury. The war against Iran deepens.

Posted by: krollchem | Jan 25 2020 7:48 utc | 110

Really?? | Jan 25 2020 4:39 utc | 127

Thanks, slept well. Any reason to give in to such alt-right sh...?

This morning in Germany: looking at Google News' overview and SPIEGEL online no mentioning of what happened yesterday in Baghdad. Googleing for "Muqtada al Sadr" gives only old stuff.

psychohistorian | Jan 25 2020 3:56 utc | 112

I do not know why but Xinhua plays it down as well. Contradicts what b reported.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 25 2020 8:10 utc | 111

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 25 2020 3:22 utc | 105

You said: "Can't see that being much of a problem: all the US Army / Marines has to do is to ensure that their equipment can fit into standard shipping containers."

OK now you have discovered the wheel...

In the US Army and Marines recently there are no pure "infantry" units, they all are all heavy mechanized units, so every big unit have a lot of Humvees, MRAP (Oshkosh, MaxxPross, etc,,), heavy transport trucks, IAV Stryker, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Abrams tanks, self propelled artillery, Apache Hellicopters, etc...that is the backbone of the US army way of making wars. They are not as Hezbollah or the Huties guerrillas; the american soldiers depends a lot of heavy equipment for transport, protection, fire support and attack.

So now try to put all of this in shipping containers and in "normal" transport ships with this heavy equipment, and try to load and unload from the ships...

The concept of Ro-Ro ships is Rolling-in, Rolling out that allow the heavy equipment to go inside and go out rolling, do you imagine the logistic nightmare that would be to send the Abrams tanks in small pieces in containers to the battlefield and mount then (Ikea style)? Do you have an idea of the complexity of the new fighting vehicles to be assembled, tested and get them ready to fight? Do you understand the number and quality of the personnel required to do this in a big scale and with time restriction because the needs of the battle?

No Ro-Ro ships, no force projection oversea, period.

About downloading in the Red Sea and then transfer to the Persian Gulf shores, it will be possible but very very complex and costly, they have to go through all the Saudi desert with very poor roads and infraestructure, they need to build many logistic centers to re-supply the transport columns. Of course with the Houties near, this will not be an easy task, they have a lot of anti-ship missiles and I am sure Iran will supply them many more.
Then after crossing the Saudi dessert, when they arrive to the destroyed US bases they will be (again) new cannon fodder for the Iranian rockets and missiles, and if they try to cross by land through Iraq inside Iran.... Oh my God!

Posted by: DFC | Jan 25 2020 8:51 utc | 112

dltravers #126

It is clear to me that there was a clear majority to support the demand that the USA leave. Too bad if some refused to show up but it was a clear majority.

No need for drivel dl, What is it about F#CK OFF that the USA does not understand.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 25 2020 9:59 utc | 113

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 25 2020 8:10 utc | 11

I can explain "Der Spiegel". They are rooting for the young "independent" demonstration. And they have no Iraq correspondent.

Wie wir recherchiert haben: Irak-Demonstrierende sind auf Instagram, Facebook und Twitter aktiv vernetzt – viele haben wir dort direkt angeschrieben. Gleichzeitig half uns eine kurdische Doktorin mit Kontakten vor Ort, gab uns Mails von Aktivistinnen und Aktivisten. Wir haben mit unseren Gesprächspartnerinnen entweder telefoniert oder, je nach Netzabdeckung, per Messenger Sprachnachrichten ausgetauscht.

Translation: How we researched this: Iraqi demonstrators are connected actively via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. We contacted them directly there. At the same time a kurdish women with a phd gave us local contacts and mails from activists. We interviewed our partners via phone or depending on connections via messenger.

Social media is reality, you have to speak English to count in Western media. What people vote for in parliament, what they walk for in their own language and what is talked in the mosques is irrelevant.

I use "Der Spiegel" to know the opinion of German secret services.

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.

Iranians have no military presence in Iraq. They are in Iraq same as Saudi and Turkey are in Iraq. There are cultural, religious and tribal links.
Iran does defend in Iraq, Syria (they are there on invitation) and Lebanon. They don't have troops in Lebanon either. There is military cooperation with home grown militias. To "get Iran out of Iraq" or "Lebanon" you would need a functioning army in these places - which was made non functioning for Israel to remain the main power in the neighbourhood. Iraqi army was proven non functioning by ISIS - which had full support of NATO Turkey (this is a case for the Hague as what they did - and were intended to do - was ethnic cleansing) and silent approval of the US. "Iranian" Iraqi militias were formed by fatwa of Sistani to defend Shiites. In the process they defended a lot of other ethnic groups, too.
I don't know about Sadrs policies but his coalition seems to integrate a few non religious, non Shiites groups. I doubt the concept of "nationalism" makes sense in the Iraqi context.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 24 2020 20:22 utc | 64
I guess if the alternative is to live in a Shiite majority state or an ISIS type Saudi state, you prefer the Shiite majority state escpecially if there is no state to speak of.

There are all types of stories but there are also stories like this.

There are differences between Sunni areas, however, including how they were treated during the war against IS. In Anbar, some of the local Popular Mobilization Units were trained and equipped by coalition forces; however, local fighting groups in Salahuddin have told this reporter that when they asked for help from the United States against IS, they did not get it. Iran, instead, stepped in. Yazan al-Jabouri, whose local Sunni-led PMU in Salahuddin was widely known for having received arms from Iran and support from Iran-backed Iraqi politicians, scoffed at what he said is a ridiculous idea by Sunni politicians for more autonomy. “We fought IS with all its military power and crushed its project to create a Sunni region,” he told Al-Monitor in a WhatsApp conversation. “I don’t think that some politicians with their childish play supported by a Gulf country can succeed in such a game,” he said. He did not want to discuss the tensions between the United States and Iran.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 25 2020 10:40 utc | 114

Probably has been mentioned elsewhere, but here's the transcript of Pompeo's interview with NPR regarding Iran and Ukraine. It's clear from the interview (which ended with the reporter being verbally assaulted afterwards) that he has no clue on how to achieve this administration's objectives.

And that is dangerous.

Posted by: never mind | Jan 25 2020 10:49 utc | 115

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 25 2020 8:10 utc | 11

add: FAZ has gone completely silent. They reported the last rockets on the Green Zone.

Xinhua has a different twist to the story and presumably got it right.

Security forces reopen areas blocked by anti-gov't protesters in Iraq ... The advance of the security forces came hours after the supporters of the prominent Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr began withdrawing from the demonstrations centers in the Iraqi cities, shortly after a tweet by al-Sadr, who accused some of the protester of being supported from outside Iraq.

"However, from now I will try not to interfere with them, neither negatively or positively, until they take into account the fate of Iraq," al-Sadr said in his tweet.

Al-Sadr's accusation came after some protesters refused to participate in his massive demonstration on Friday, in which he called for a scheduled withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq through using all peaceful means.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 25 2020 10:52 utc | 116

somebody | Jan 25 2020 10:40 utc | 117

"I use "Der Spiegel" to know the opinion of German secret services."

Thanks again! #MeToo!

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 25 2020 11:06 utc | 117

DFC | Jan 25 2020 8:51 utc | 115 in re "Yeah Right>

What you wrote about ro/ro ships, yes which I would critically add that logistics is the sine qua non...and that means lots of diesel fuel, and that means fat targets, er, "tankers". Bowsers, and ships full of juice.

At Cam Ranh the T-2's used to say in plain language what their cargo was, avgas, diesel, whatever, on the RT. VC obviously could listen and know. I always wondered why they didn't use artillery rockets on them - but I was glad they didn't.)

I used to read "Army Logistician" magazine...the stuff they planed to do! (They did Yugoslavia, I thought about it, and made plans to quit)

"Parameters" is also informative. (especially Vol 48 # 4 winter 2018-19 and "Coercion, New Means and Methods" Example> "...less impact because the societal differences are primarily economic. But in countries with a variety of cultural and historical cleavages, malicious civil discourse deepens existing divisions that make social relations more acrimonious...."

You betcha the Iranians read these, and every other military in the world too.

A landing may be possible, but it will be a landing force entering a nuclear battlefield, and even that assumes quite a lot - depends on how the opponent votes...whether he casts an early "ballot". Depends upon entering a wasteland that offers no material resistance. It amounts to conquering the flypaper.


Pomperz got an interview with NPR that went badly...full audio and text (audio is best) @ NPR (CNN = Crypto News Net, while NPR = Nazi Propaganda Net)

Pompeo Won't Say Whether He Owes Yovanovitch An Apology. 'I've Done What's Right' January 24, 20205:31 PM ET
Heard on All Things Considered "

A semantic evaluation of the exchange is revealing of his character, but even more so when one examines the implied assumptions he holds. And he's dissembling when he avoids the matter of "how" can hear it in his voice. Apparently he subsequently projected his childish and false position in a crude and vulgar denunciation and veiled threats...."people will hear about this!"

Nazi is as nazi does... How Jolly, I do love the graceful rhymes of History's chosen stooges. Pompers' dep fear is that he knows he a coward and a fraud...and he'll do everything, shape his life around hiding this self-opinion, which is why he must personally smash any agency that confounds his effort. It's a psychological trap he's in, poor fella.

The "how" is obvious - a vast bombing campaign, probably atomic.

Speaking of imperial perceptions."They" have, according to a cold look, the sea to their backs. This guarantees that they must bring Iran to heel, no matter what the cost.

I'd like to repeat the truism that there are no or nearly no "secrets". Rather most secrets are public and in plain sight, simply not recognized for what they are. That recognition is the "secret".

Posted by: Walter | Jan 25 2020 12:11 utc | 118

erratum > for "Crypto News Net" read "Cryptonanzinews"

Posted by: Walter | Jan 25 2020 12:42 utc | 119

A genuinely telling indication of the true will of the people is the visibly obvious difference between this demonstration and the US instigated riots. It is like the difference between night and day.

Posted by: Joshua | Jan 25 2020 13:50 utc | 120

Maintaining and/or creating a Sunnistan or Kurdistan in Irag requires the airbases at Ain al-Assad and at Erbil. We have no detailed intelligence how much capability was lost at those bases. The missile strikes did paint a giant X on those locations for further action by popular forces. Any and all staff at those bases are running scared. The ability of the US military to do much is only sliding downhill. Only question is how fast.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jan 25 2020 14:04 utc | 121

#110 ?

Why would you think that your opinion (or Elijah Magnier’s) that the 2014 agreement has been broken, means anything, whether it is obvious or not? Someone in authority, a signatory to the agreement, the Iraqi government, has to state that the agreement has been broken. I don’t know Iraq’s Constitution, which presumably would state what those conditions are, but I would guess they will formally announce that the agreement has been broken, and that the US is required to leave. That’s when it will matter.

Posted by: SteveK9 | Jan 25 2020 14:44 utc | 122

uncle tungsten @ 116

I think that majority has hallways been there in the background. It is now clear to me thru reading the posters here that the time has arrived for it to be put into action. Doing that may require more bloodshed and wreckage in a country so thoroughly abused by the West.

The US will drag their heels, throw money around, use force and economic pressure but in the end it will have to back away into a corner somewhere and attempt to continue to play their weak hand in the region. I am so happy not to be relying on the Western media's BS.

Someone recently wrote that the West is at the entrance to its dark age again. It certainly appears that way.

Posted by: dltravers | Jan 25 2020 15:33 utc | 123

Iraq: "Leave!"
America: "You didn't say 'Please'!"
Iraq: "GTF out!"
America: "You need to fill out form 27B-6 first... in triplicate."

Hate to state the facts, but Iraq will have to do a 1983 Beirut barracks bombing sort of thing to get the idea across (Americans are really dense and slow on the uptake) and expedite US finding their way home.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 25 2020 16:29 utc | 124

Trump met with Iraqi president Barham Salih in Davos, despite threats. I anticipate a draw-down of US troops, but not a total retreat.

Posted by: Maracatu | Jan 25 2020 16:31 utc | 125

"Legal" is simply a fig leaf to disguise "all power flows through the barrel of a gun".

The Iraqi prime minister told them to leave. Huge public demonstrations keep saying "LEAVE". The people who control the gun barrels are saying "LEAVE OR DIE" and that is what will happen. "Legal" is irrelevant.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jan 25 2020 16:57 utc | 126

Posted by: Walter | Jan 25 2020 12:11 utc | 121

Hi Walter, thanks for sharing your experiences; I have not direct experiences of any conflict but analysing the history of wars one can see how logistics is the base probably of the defeat of nations.
In fact, for example all the notions around blitzkrieg is about to cut a good chunk of the enemy army from their supplies, and then make them surrender by lack of armor, fuel, food, fact what they achieve is the end of the "will to fight" when the generals and officers see that they cannot be re-supplied.
Other example is the allied bombing campaign on Ploiesti to try to deny the Third Reich of the refined products to sustain the war machine, at the cost of bombers' crew. The scarcity of fuel was probably the main reason the German Ardenas offensive was halted.

What I consider less probable in you comment is the use of nukes against Iran. I think that will be suicidal for the US establishment, and I am quite sure it will means the sudden end of the US Empire, anyhow may be some kind of Jack D. Ripper could launch an isolated attack...accident happens

Posted by: DFC | Jan 25 2020 20:29 utc | 127

These protests are Iraqi Democracy in action!

No wonder then that the Americans and Europeans are either trying to downplay the magnitude of these protests in their "Free Press" or spindoctor the issue to avoid facing the reality that the majority of Iraqis want the American imperial stormtroopers to leave Iraq.

The Americans and Europeons will instinctively exaggerate and pimp for (Western-financed and sponsored) protests in "enemy" nations like Russia, China, or Iran--while minimizing those in their own lands (like the Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matters, and Yellow Vests movements) or in their occupied vassal states like Iraq.

Posted by: ak74 | Jan 25 2020 20:36 utc | 128

"resolution that has no force of law "by: dltravers @ 102 <= I am afraid this demonstration shows man's laws have failed mankind.
Trailer Trash @ 129 expresses it as "leave or die".

I observe that the people in Iraq are no different than the mass of humanity that occupy the rest of the world. Humanity in Iraq seems prepared to hold court in the streets with angry human rights warriors for a jury.

I think I hear the prosecutor reading the charge:
Your honor, ladies and gentlemen in the Jury, and my fellow humans, the accused have sorted Earth's 8 billion humans into one of 206 nation states. The sorted were divided: governor vs governed and a system of governance was installed that does not serve humanity. The right of self determination appoints humanity guardian of its own destiny. Let the record show, those who have abused the power to govern have been summoned.

Humanity petitions for redress. .

Seems like [Qasem Soleimani, Aba Manhda al Muhandes, and Jamal Kashoggi have; from their graves , organized human rights defenders into a sizeable army.

Posted by: snake | Jan 25 2020 20:37 utc | 129

We talk here about a cartel of silence. Therefore it is not off-topic to mention another example of it: downplaying the OPCW scandal. This critical summary is in German, though: ">"> Multipolar Magazin
But it is worth the effort.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 25 2020 21:52 utc | 130

Hopefully I did not kill the line-feed.
Multipolar Magazin

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 25 2020 21:54 utc | 131

never mind #118

Probably has been mentioned elsewhere, but here's the transcript of Pompeo's interview with NPR regarding Iran and Ukraine. It's clear from the interview (which ended with the reporter being verbally assaulted afterwards) that he has no clue on how to achieve this administration's objectives.

And that is dangerous.

Thank you for linking that NPR interview with Pontious. It must be a first robust interview on NPR for some time.

I could detect the aroma of Dien Bien Phu aftershave as I read that. Haven't smelt it in years. That man must be using Saigon mouthwash for the all the sense coming out of his maw.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 25 2020 22:28 utc | 132

uncle tungsten | Jan 25 2020 22:28 utc | 135

I listened to the audio... he gets rattled. And angry. But withal my take was that he was dissembling. He knows the way to achieve the objective and is afraid to say it...well, it might make some people object to the method. These people always double when their ideology fails them they increase force. In their view, I think, their backs are to the sea with OBOR and zionist blackmail and nuttychristers and oil petro buck all coming due on their horizon.

He's liable to get a graduate level tune up to that worthless degree...

Posted by: Walter | Jan 25 2020 22:37 utc | 133

Walter #121

Conquering the flypaper

Loved that one. Sometimes its just a simple bonmot that makes the day.

MoA and many of its contributers make it such a great and refreshing site.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 25 2020 22:38 utc | 134

Walter #136

These people always double when their ideology fails them they increase force. In their view, I think, their backs are to the sea with OBOR and zionist blackmail and nuttychristers and oil petro buck all coming due on their horizon.

Yes to that PLUS with the Fed printing billions of $US per day to keep the hulk of private screw you capitalism afloat they are likely mighty desperate. They have keep this $$$ printing business going for NINE MONTHS yet.

This is an alarming time as they are desperados as you say and they must get re-elected in all forums (Pres, Senate, House) or they could suffer a terrible reversal and be seen to have betrayed their mission.

There is an elevated probability that they will resort to tactical weapons. We seem to be in the age of muscular chauvinism for the USA and its vassal servants.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 25 2020 22:55 utc | 135

Here is a link to FARS English page. .com is down but .ir works.

Posted by: Tom | Jan 25 2020 23:04 utc | 136

uncle tungsten @138--

The way I read the Iranians is it doesn't matter the type of munition that hits Iranian soil first; whatever it's made of will immediately spark the massive response. Why do I think that? It's been Iran's announced policy position since the drone shootdown. Bomb Iran, Zionistan and Wahhabbiland get destroyed. The equation's that simple.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 25 2020 23:31 utc | 137

Flies Conquering Flypaper is not my bon mot..but it is Steinbeck's...coined when he wrote The Moon Is Down for the's propaganda intended to foment partisan 5th columns. There's also a movie.

The full quote runs>

"Tonder said, "Captain, is this place conquered?"

"Of course," said Loft.

A little note of hysteria crept into Tonder's laughter. He said, "Conquered and we're afraid; conquered and we're surrounded." His laughter grew shrill. "I had a dream - or a thought- out in the snow with the black shadows and the faces in the doorways, the cold faces behind curtains. I had a thought or a dream."

Prackle said "Make him stop!"

Tonder said, "I dreamed the Leader was crazy."

And Loft and Hunter laughed together and Loft said, "The enemy have found out how crazy. I'll have to write that one home. The papers would print that one. The enemy have learned how crazy the Leader is."

And Tonder went on laughing. "Conquest after conquest, deeper and deeper into molasses." His laughter choked him and he coughed into his handkerchief. "Maybe the Leader is crazy. Flies conquer the flypaper. Flies capture two hundred miles of new flypaper!"

(they drop dynamite and caps and the people begin sabotage. Well done propaganda.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 25 2020 23:37 utc | 138

Walter @141--

Used it once awhile ago, 2017 perhaps--the Tarbaby metaphor. It even rates its own definition:

"A inextricable situation or difficult and pressing problem that often grows worse as one tries to deal with it."

The obvious solution is to let go of the Tarbaby.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 26 2020 0:03 utc | 139

Meanwhile, the Outlaw US Empire's Foreign Legion is getting rolled up as Idlib Dawn moves forward relentlessly. Even in urbanized Western Aleppo, excellent progress's being made. It won't be too long before the SAA will begin to hunt the Foreign Legion's trainers unless they leave while they can.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 26 2020 0:10 utc | 140

karlof1 #143

The trainers are likely all in Tripoli along with a few thousand conquering urban fighters chancing a win on the flypaper in that region. I do hope Erdoghan the Wretched has blundered here and thinned out the Idlib ranks a tad too much for safety. That would be justice and then to lose the Libya conquest would be justice doubled.

Here I was thinking he was doing a contemporary rerun of the Armenian clearances in eastern turkey to make home for the Jihadis. Perhaps they just aren't Turkish enough for him.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 26 2020 2:48 utc | 141

karlof1 #140

The way I read the Iranians is it doesn't matter the type of munition that hits Iranian soil first; whatever it's made of will immediately spark the massive response. Why do I think that? It's been Iran's announced policy position since the drone shootdown. Bomb Iran, Zionistan and Wahhabbiland get destroyed. The equation's that simple.

Agreed. I suspect they will promptly terminate the sunni butcher of Bahrain and enable the Shia majority there to secure self determination. That would be mighty uncomfortable for the remnants of KSA for many years after they emerge from the rubble and ashes.

The Iranian statements are direct and clear. All the real cards are on the table and the USA bluff has been called. Meanwhile the sniping and taunting of the invading and occupying US army continues.

Meanwhile I wonder what is emerging in Oman. By now every state and statelet in the ME must be deeply concerned at the oil thievery of the USA.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 26 2020 3:00 utc | 142

@dltravers | Jan 25 2020 15:33 utc | 126

Someone recently wrote that the West is at the entrance to its dark age again. It certainly appears that way.

To me it appeared the West was at the entrance about 30 years ago, before the first invasion of Iraq. The door was opened and shut with 911, and now we are somewhere in the unlit basement.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 26 2020 8:27 utc | 143

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 26 2020 3:00 utc | 145

The statelets only exist because of British/US oil thievery. They are designed around oil resources. Yemen taking over KSA will solve a lot of poverty.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 26 2020 10:38 utc | 144

Trump met with Iraqi president Barham Salih in Davos, despite threats. I anticipate a draw-down of US troops, but not a total retreat.

Posted by: Maracatu | Jan 25 2020 16:31 utc | 128

Barham Salih is a Kurd, so no. Trump was more probably trying to make a side-deal with the Kurds, to undermine the Baghdad government.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 26 2020 11:34 utc | 145

: karlof1 | Jan 26 2020 0:03 utc | 142

Tar-Baby / Flypaper/ zuswang / all quite similar. Also useful in understanding (and actually feeling sorry for) the stooges whose flawed characters and star-crossed fates have placed them in, caused them to aspire to, the impossible situation...which under the circumstances, is going to get more violent and more difficult...and for which those same foolish and flawed men will surely also be blamed.

Apropos of nothing in particular> A criticism I hold for Texas Bentley (who has now posted another essay at Fort Russ - about the Ukie/Iran airplane affair) ...a criticism is that his Communism does not seem to include a basic Marxist feature - that ethics is primarily determined by circumstance (and this mitigates guilt in individuals).

Posted by: Walter | Jan 26 2020 12:27 utc | 146

somebody | Jan 26 2020 10:38 utc | 147

„Yemen taking over KSA will solve a lot of poverty."
When will Yemen take over KSA?

Walter | Jan 26 2020 12:27 utc | 149
Could you understand what this Bentley guy intended to say? I see only confusion.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 26 2020 13:39 utc | 147

@ Hausmeister | Jan 26 2020 13:39 utc | 150

Texas' essay lacks coherence, but includes many points of interest. More a list than an essay.

It's important to bear in mind the man's character and his position as an officer in the Donbass Militia or army or whatever we may call it. This is a man who's cast his fate to revolution and the defeat of his native country... A desperate situation. If they get a chance they'll murder him, a dead man walking.

I am minded to recall VVP on Politics... "It's a bit like mathematics."

There are things best kept secret, or quiet, so as to create "space" for dialogue, compromise, diplomacy. Lies for the greater good. Especially in an atomic arena, world, where it is vital to avoid sequential processes that lead to suicide.

For example, the MH17 was shot down deliberately using jet airplane by the nazis. If this were the official story it would reduce the freedom of political action.

Texas' character is blunt. Honest. He's morally offended by lies. This seems to tie into his flawed Marxism (I think). He's got himself an ideology, and he's strident about it. This is "the mark inside, the mark you cannot beat". Also ordinary.

Hope that helps.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 26 2020 14:37 utc | 148

Walter | Jan 26 2020 14:37 utc | 151

Yes, that is a possibility. At the first days after the MH17 incident there was a report claiming that an Ukrainian jet fighter pilot came back, pale, said „I shot the wrong plane“. They cancelled the publication on the Internet and made him unavailable. Later he was dismissed from the army and lately he committed suicide. Whether true or not I cannot find out. So Texas' opinion is: it is clear what happened but in order not to kill any future dialogue Russia does not want to publish it? They just rejected to admit they were guilty. Same for the latest accident in Teheran? As his sermon cannot explain how this accident could have been filmed in a proper way unless there was prior knowledge about it.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 26 2020 14:54 utc | 149

MH17 The cockpit was riddled with bullet holes. The autopsies of the pilots were not published. As generally true for all murders, the bodies are some of the best evidence. No BUK missile was launched. There are dozens of eye-witnesses to the airplane. The general outline of the event is obvious. The official stories are fairy-tales - but also it's important to pretend they're real. This offends me too...but my circumstance is easier and my character far less strident. I can afford to pretend, nobody is trying to kill me. Now then, if I had grown up in Texas and followed his pathway through prison, I too might be more strident. Circumstances drive not only what people do, but what they need to believe, and what they choose to say.

It's interesting to recall that Malcolm X was "radicalized" in the prisons, as was Texas. Empires tend to have such problems.

The Iran/Ukie affair claimed video seems to me liable to be deception.

The State of Texas (and its stridency)has been a curse for the US - as Grant seems to say in his autobiography, where he says that accepting Texas and the Mexican War guaranteed the US Civil War. And also that the war resulted in military occupation of the States by federal armies - armies which even now garrison especially "the South".

One might say that the US Civil War has devolved to a low level incipient conflict that's been simmering ever since...(Lee said after the Armistice that he's have led a guerrilla force if he'd known what was going to happen under "reconstruction".)and thus see "Texas-the-Communist man" in the context of the ongoing US civil war, and even that some American Revolutionaries are being inadvertently curated by means of the large members of young disillusioned returning soldiers as they are demobilized... Comrade Texas is an extreme example, but there may well be many more in the "pipe-line". Not every one will decide to expatriate as time change. Not every one will become a Communist...most will I think, become fascist dupes "Schlagwortnazis"...under the sway of opportunists and criminals.

It's a pity. It's the times.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 26 2020 16:19 utc | 150

Walter | Jan 26 2020 16:19 utc | 153

Thank you for the detailed answer.

"The official stories are fairy-tales - but also it's important to pretend they're real. This offends me too...but my circumstance is easier and my character far less strident. I can afford to pretend, nobody is trying to kill me."

There is another context where nobody can afford it. In a democracy theoretically voters should decide what is to be done. And their decision must be based on reason and on an adult balanced opinion. In a society that can no longer talk to itself as nearly all the media are corrupt and sell only narratives such an opinion cannot be built. This seems to be the basic cancer of all Western societies right now.
Look at MH17, the OPCW scandal and the fact that in Germany and in Turkey the Friday events from Baghdad were not reported at all. It looks like that on a grey cold sunday afternoon. It is not easy having a good time then.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 26 2020 17:10 utc | 151

@ 154 Hausmeister... Yes. As you say. It's not easy. You're right.

But about that theory, the reality is more like democracy is misunderstood in the semantic sense...I think.

We are told the theory of "democracy" as rule by the people. But what rules the people?

Recall the similar sounding terms from Greek >Phobos (Panic) and Deimos (Fear).

In America we have "Deimocracy" - people don't realize the difference, but American multitudes have always been ruled by panic and fear...

(yes, it's tongue-in-cheek, but also substantially true)

Now to having a try at having a good time...writing cards to send for Groundhog Day, with original cartoon drawings...

Posted by: Walter | Jan 26 2020 17:55 utc | 152

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 26 2020 13:39 utc | 150

„Yemen taking over KSA will solve a lot of poverty."
When will Yemen take over KSA?

There is always hope.

My point was that none of the "statelets" would stand a change against impoverished neighbours without western help. They were carved out for being completely dependent.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 26 2020 18:24 utc | 153

alSadr has called for more protests in Iraq on Sunday but I am not seeing any reports yet.

And in the mean time Trump is getting together with Occupied Palestine to push their "peace plan" for the ME

I would not be surprised to read of an attempt on Trump's life while he is in Occupied Palestine given the money being offered to do so in the ME

Interesting times indeed

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 26 2020 20:56 utc | 154

Posted by: somebody | Jan 26 2020 18:24 utc | 156

The Saudis seem to be going down on the Yemen frontier, but the Houthis don't seem to have the power, or perhaps the desire, to exploit the open road and even take Najran, only a few kilometres away.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 26 2020 21:37 utc | 155

Below is a quote from Reuters that shows obfuscation of the protests in Iraq

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi security forces fired teargas and live bullets in clashes on Sunday with protesters angered by high-level corruption who resisted with stones and petrol bombs, Reuters witnesses and security sources said.

Reuters goes on to write that the the protests over the murder of Soleimani are over and the folks that are out now are protesting the Iraq leadership like before the murder.

This is in spite of recent rockets into the Green zone which is not where the Iraq government resides......I guess more US soldiers need to get "headaches" to convince Reuters that Iraq protests are not the color revolution they continue to spin stories about.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 26 2020 22:20 utc | 156

psychohistorian @159--

That Reuters report's a brazen bald-faced lie.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 27 2020 0:40 utc | 157

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