Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 14, 2020

Iraq's Resistance Reveals How U.S. Troops Will Be Removed From Its Country

Yesterday the U.S. attacked five sites in Iraq and killed 3 Iraqi soldiers of the 19th Division, two policeman and a civilian. The strikes came after some 10+ rockets, fired by unknown people, had hit the joint base Camp Tali and had killed 2 U.S. and one British soldiers.

Today the U.S. received the revenge for its strikes.

The U.S. Central Command had argued that the "defensive precision strike" against the five sites created deterrence i.e. they would prevent other attacks:

We believe that this is going to have an effect on deterring -- on deterring future strikes of this nature. We've seen in the past what happens when you don't respond. Now people know that we're not going to -- we're not going to tolerate these direct attacks on American or coalition service members, and we're willing and able to respond.

Even hawkish analysts find that the argument is nonsense.

The U.S. claims that the group Kataib Hezbollah, part of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and under command of the Iraqi government, fired the missiles. But the positions the U.S. hit were not Kataib Hezbollah positions. U.S. intelligence in Iraq is not up to date with regards to where Kataib Hezbollah units or those of the other 20+ PMU groups are stationed.

TØM CΛT - 12:05 UTC · Mar 14, 2020

After asking a military source in 19th Commando Division about the Al-Atheer facility and presence of "Iranian missiles", the response I got was that KH withdrew from the site 7+ days ago and the unit took their place.
So yeah, the Mussayib site was under Iraq Army.

British forces were supposed to join yesterday's U.S. strike but the Wall Street Journal reports that the Brits were called back by their government because the attribution of the original rockets strike to Kataib Hezbollah was shady and because there was no legal justification for the strikes.

The Iraqi government announced that it would protest at the United Nation about the U.S. breach of its sovereignty. Ayatollah Sistani condemned the U.S. attack and even the Iraq Joint Operational Command, which includes coordinating U.S. officers, protested against the strikes.

The Iraqi parliament and government have told the U.S. to leave Iraq. The Trump administration is not willing to do that. In consequence more U.S. soldiers will have to die in Iraq.

That the "deterrence" strikes did not deter anything was proven today when another rocket salvo was fired at Camp Taji in broad daylight:

A hail of rockets landed on a military base housing U.S. and other coalition troops north of Baghdad Saturday morning, wounding three coalition soldiers and two Iraqi soldiers.

The same base, Camp Taji, was the target of a rocket attack on Wednesday which killed three servicemen, including two Americans and one British.

The U.S. in Iraq is not fighting some "Iran backed" groups but is an occupation force and therefore a legitimate target for Iraqi government forces:

“We can’t forget that the PMF is a recognized entity within the Iraqi security forces; they aren’t isolated from the security forces and often are co-located on the same bases or use the same facilities,” said Sajad Jiyad, a researcher and former managing director of the Bayan Center, a Baghdad-based think tank.

“Now the (Iran-backed) groups who supported the initial strike in Taji, who were the most outspoken, feel obliged, authorized, maybe even legitimized to respond, ostensibly to protect Iraqi sovereignty but really to keep the pressure up on Americans,” he added.

“There are no red lines anymore," Jiyad said.

(I bet $10 that the "(Iran backed)" in that quote is not from Sajad Jiyad but was added by the NBC/AP writer or editor. Sajad Jihad often stresses that these groups do have motive and means to act on their own.)

(Added: Sajad Jihad has now confirmed to me that the politicizing words in the parenthesis are not from him but were added by the NBC/AP writers.)

The Iraqi police found the launch site from where today's rocket volley was fired. Its pictures tell a lot about how this fight will go on until the U.S. occupation forces leave Iraq.

Source - bigger


Source - bigger

This is a fixed camouflaged position under a roof. It was probably built months if not years ago. The launcher cases were dug into the ground of some shed. They were already adjusted to the planned strike direction. To launch the rockets one had simply to clear the top of camouflage, pull up the rocket launcher from the front and set the height adjusting stick up. One man could do that within a few minutes. The electrical launch command would then come from remote by a wire or cellphone.

The setup of the position reminds one of similar positions the Lebanese Hizbullah has built in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. The people who set up this launch position in Iraq seem to have received some training from experienced staff.

If there is one well prepared positions aimed at Camp Taji how many others are there? Ten? One hundred? Or even a thousand? How many exist around other sites in Iraq where U.S. troops are stationed?

Previous strikes had come from mobile platforms. That the resistance in Iraq now revealed one of its fixed camouflaged launch sites is intentional. It is a warning to the U.S. to ponder about the above questions and potential consequences.

These secret launch sites are a real deterrence. In 2006 Israel attacked Hizbullah in Lebanon with the intention to disarm the group. But Hizbullah's defenses were stubborn and hundreds of rockets were fired each day against Israeli positions. Israeli bombers then tried to find the launch sites but those where hidden and not detectable from the air. In the end it was Israel which had to file for peace. Since then its forces have not dared to again enter Lebanon.

The U.S. in Iraq has no way to protect its troops from such unpredictable rocket volleys. It has no way deter or even win against the forces that are now working to evict it from Iraq as well as other places in the Middle East.

It should finally recognize that and leave.

Posted by b on March 14, 2020 at 16:48 UTC | Permalink

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@SharonM 98
Order of events are revers. The evil empire is already in bankrupcy, that is fallen, that is a huge military industry, there is no diplomacy organ, no cultural organ, no other organ to rescu the reptile. Millions collateral living beings connected to the dead zombie will perish afterward. That is happening now.

Posted by: Arata | Mar 15 2020 15:39 utc | 101

SharonM says:

Since, in my view, the US empire's economy is backed by its military, I presume that hundreds of millions of people(and billions of animals) would die first before the fall of the US empire

yeah, those trillion dollar defence budgets are a real killer...

...back in May of 2003 our congresscritters passed the 2004 Defense Authorization Bill which allocated a whopping 400.5 billion to the Department of Defense. inside this bill was the authorization for research into 'low-yield' nuclear weapons for battlefield use, thus overturning the 1993 Spratt-Furse amendment which had banned such research and development. contingency plans for an attack on Iran (or wherever) now have the green light to use tactical nukes.

seems these imperial miscreants aren't planning to fade quietly into the pages of history.

Posted by: john | Mar 15 2020 15:50 utc | 102

>in my view, the US empire's economy is backed by its military,

My view is a bit different. It is the labor of millions that create the food, fuel, and bullets that props up Uncle Sam's killing machine. Armies still march on their stomach, although the stomach is now a fuel tank. Money acts as lubricant so each cog in the machine can get access to resources needed to produce bombs and bullets.

The current financial panic is important to the war machine because a general financial crisis means that thousands of small military contractors will close their doors when they have no cash to pay workers or buy raw materials. Uncle Sam can order companies to make stuff all he wants, but if they have no workers (due to illness or unpaid workers) or raw materials they can do nothing. The Fed is attempting to order more activity by pouring in trillions of dollars, and it will be a massive failure. Maybe more massive than 1929.

I think of the financial system and accounting systems as models for the real economy of people making stuff and doing services. These systems are supposed to inform managers of what is really happening so they can make "correct" decisions. Endless money "printing" and financial fraud has completely distorted the system. Meanwhile Dear Leaders mistake the model for reality, and adjust the model instead of the real world.

Does the stuff sold by Boeing really have more value than the inputs of labor and material? That's what financial statements are supposed to show, but they don't, because of fraud. When investors finally figure that out, they head for the exits, all at the same time, hoping to find a more profitable investment.

US still wants to invade Iran, but the window is closing quickly, or it may already be closed. Dear Leaders may be deciding to do Plan B, Destroy Iraq Again, as the best they can do for the moment. But they still want to destroy Iran, every minute of every day.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 15 2020 15:53 utc | 103

Pam and Russ Martens are former Wall Street professionals (WallStreetOnParade). They have excellent analysis of the long running collapse.

"Since September 17, 2019 – six months ago, the Federal Reserve has loaned billions of dollars to Wall Street every single business day that the stock market has been open. This is the first time this has been necessary since the financial crisis of 2008. That fact, in and of itself, makes this very much on a par with the financial crisis of 2008.

Since the Fed began its repo loan operations on September 17, the tally of the Fed’s cumulative loans to Wall Street’s trading firms comes to more than $9 trillion (using the Fed’s own Excel spreadsheet of the data; you have to manually remove the Reverse Repo dollar amounts.)

According to the Fed audit conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), from December 12, 2007 to July 21, 2010, a period spanning more than 31 months during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the Fed’s cumulative loans to Wall Street tallied up to $16.1 trillion. (See chart below from the GAO audit.)

And here we are today, when everyone from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell to bank analyst Mike Mayo is telling the public that the banks have plenty of capital and yet the Fed has pumped out 56 percent in six months of the amount it funneled to the Wall Street banks over 31 months during the 2008 financial crisis. At this rate, it is going to top the money it threw at the 2008 crisis in no time at all.

That’s no exaggeration. Just this past Thursday the Fed said it would make $1.5 trillion available to Wall Street over just the next two days. The banks didn’t take all of that money but the Fed clearly thought there was a big enough crisis to offer it.

The Fed’s balance sheet is back to $4.3 trillion, just $200 billion short of the $4.5 trillion peak it set following the financial crisis."

Posted by: daffyDuct | Mar 15 2020 15:54 utc | 104

I remember the protests with the NVA flags and the anger at the troops coming home. There was real homegrown antiwar terrorism going on. Draft cards were burned along with many getting deferments. There was also a large military community back then with many bases in my area. Our dads were WWII vets and we had great respect for them. Hollywood was cranking out movies glorifying WWII battles. Ones choice was to go and fight or protest.

The media was focusing on carnage of the war then much more than today. There was a large antiwar community ready to hit the streets. Embedded reporters reported more freely than today. I drank the koolaid back then and after. It is much more difficult to recognize failure when powerful forces are pushing failure.

Vietnam was a failure and it was a war pushed by a megalomaniac leadership and the MIC for profits and control. Iraq is no different.

Now Hanoi looks like LA. If we leave in a generation Baghdad may look like a first world city again.

Seoul Korea is one of the few examples where the MIC did its job. They could have had the whole country if they stopped in Pyongyang and stayed away for the Yalu river.

Posted by: dltravers | Mar 15 2020 16:05 utc | 105

Question to b, William Gruff, Jared

In 1983 it took a massive truck bomb at a barracks in Beirut killing 300+ US and coalition soldiers that finally convinced the US to withdraw all their forces from Lebanon. I think if a similar surprise happened at the US embassy in Baghdad you would see a similar result.

Posted by: Carciofi | Mar 15 2020 16:07 utc | 106

We feel that the murder of Soleimani was not enough. It needed more and a boost which came in shape of a virus.
The image of the US worldwide will never recover or be the same upfrom both events.
Not only because of what they will likely do from coast-to-coast to deal with it but because of the constrasting brilliant Chinese reaction to an otherwise overwhelming problem.
A country where the central ruling comes from a Communist Party... and where as many as 50 thousand state owned companies work and shine for all the world to see. A brand new city shining on the hill, to be sure.
And where the people's confidence in private businesses goes just until page 3.

Posted by: augusto | Mar 15 2020 16:24 utc | 107

Here's an account of the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing

Posted by: Carciofi | Mar 15 2020 16:31 utc | 108

1983 Beirut barracks bombing

Well, the US did invade Grenada to change the subject.
But that was a wake up call.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Mar 15 2020 16:40 utc | 109

thus overturning the 1993 Spratt-Furse amendment which had banned such research and development. contingency plans for an attack on Iran (or wherever) now have the green light to use tactical nukes.

seems these imperial miscreants aren't planning to fade quietly into the pages of history.

Posted by: john | Mar 15 2020 15:50 utc | 102

I have a vague recollection of Putin delivering a speech, in the 2nd half of 2019 iirc warning all and sundry that if Russia or one of it's allies is hit with Nuke weapons of any size our response will be swift and deadly.
So the Yanks will have phone Vlad before they start Nuking anyone, imo.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 15 2020 17:20 utc | 110

"U.S. Central Command
· Mar 13
I would caution Iran and its proxies from attempting a response that would endanger U.S. and coalition forces or our partners. – Gen Frank McKenzie, CDR CENTCOM"

"Rockets again target base in Iraq"


Posted by: arby | Mar 15 2020 17:53 utc | 111

Re:Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 15 2020 17:20 utc | 110

A note for you and Walter (Wally) and others - the diminutive of Vladimir is NOT Vlad. DYOR

Posted by: tucenz | Mar 15 2020 21:17 utc | 112

@ Arata and john:

Thank you both for your comments to me:)

And Areta, there is no such thing as bankruptcy for the US empire.

Posted by: SharonM | Mar 15 2020 21:30 utc | 113

dltravers @48:

Spitting on grunts returning from Vietnam had nothing to do with sympathy for the Vietnamese people (there was none), and everything to do with the fact that Americans hate losers -- and everyone knows we lost that war.

Posted by: corvo | Mar 15 2020 22:48 utc | 114

I feel stunned by the simplicity and efficiency of the used system to shoot those rockets. Such systems can be hidden everywhere. Their numbers will be unknown to everybody. Planting them in the ground seems not so difficult.
The only catch is you need to have an excellent map, quiet weather conditions and a good and precise tool system to give the rockets the correct elevation. Theoretically, it's basic physics.
US in Iraq have a serious problem.
Their deterrence with bombing of presumed accomplices of the perpetrators will only proof that the perpetrators were right.
The situation on the field is complicated and ugly. It looks like a detonator system for a hot world war. It will become uglier.

Posted by: DidierF | Mar 16 2020 8:16 utc | 115

USA's fight with Iran has made it favor Sunnis:

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

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 15 2020 14:23 utc | 95

I didn't say the US didn't favour the Sunnis in Iraq. I said the Sunnis were cool, nay extremely cool, about the US. And so unlikely to go for a US attempt to create a Sunni statelet. Even without the bloody affairs of Falluja and the Surge, who there would believe the US after what to Rojava?

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 16 2020 12:27 utc | 116

The people of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Lebnanon and Palestine have done lot of dying and it's very likely that they are mindful about budgetting the dying that will occurr in the near future. It is doubtful that there will be human wave assault on foreward operating bases. Based on the limited response of Iran on US bases in Iraq it seems like punishment by a thousand cuts until they leave will be most likely tactic. As stated above many times, the USA has no appetite for body bags. The brass have been warned: you can be struck at the time and location of our choice and we can bring large amounts of kinetic force to bare.
The sense I get is that resistance forces would rather use less force to get the desired result, especially given the fact that they poke the hornet's nest everytime they strike a US target.

In regard to the larger picture, nations that have been targetted by the USA are fed up. With the global pandemic scare and the extreme response to this, the game of commerce and diplomacy is being altered by the hour. Some have argued that this is a smokescreen for a global reset, and a tightening of control. Considering that almost every war and crisis has been used to consolidate power, this is not un unreasonable assumption. Given that, it is possible that the various players in this conflict will take this opportunity to make their moves. Perhaps these moves will be coordinated. Whatever happens there are millions of people quite close to US military bases who wish very much that they would leave. My gut feeling is that rockets are being moved into position and have been for quite some time.

Posted by: Chevrus | Mar 16 2020 15:36 utc | 117

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 16 2020 12:27 utc | 116

*Even without the bloody affairs of Falluja and the Surge, who there would believe the US after the way they abandoned Rojava?

Oh yeah, and re Jackrabbit | Mar 15 2020 14:23 utc | 95

Don't believe Middle East Eye. Just because the Saudis arranged a meeting or meetings with Iraqi Sunni tribal leaders (and no doubt promised money), it doesn't mean that the tribes would follow their leaders, even if the leaders were successfully seduced. It's the same idiot error that Israel and the US both make when Israel claims to have made allies with Saudi and the Gulf. Yes, the autocratic leaders like MbS, but not the people, who hate Israel viscerally, and consequently the "alliance" cannot be made public. That's my repeat, unfortunately necessary, of what was said weeks ago.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 16 2020 16:04 utc | 118

the usa would like to divide and conquer... they are trying via the so called shia, sunni divide... in fact, that is the way the usa operates... divide and conquer...i am not sure the iraqis are that easily duped... all they have to do is look at the track record of the usa in the middle east and realize siding with the usa is a recipe for disaster..

Posted by: james | Mar 16 2020 16:22 utc | 119

@corvo 114
I lived through those days, and it is just not true that there was no sympathy for the civilians on the 'other side' - there was much more than in any Western war of aggression since. TPTB since then have got much better at diverting natural human sympathy into pro-war directions, with fake stories of babies thrown from incubators, children killed by 'Assad's poison gas' and so on.
The leading anti-war musicians were Country Joe and the Fish. It's true that their most famous song, "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag (Take 1)" was written from the point of view of an American conscript. ("And it's one, two, three,/ What are we fighting for?/ Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,/ Next stop is Vietnam;/ And it's five, six, seven,/ Open up the pearly gates,/ Well there ain't no time to wonder why,/ Whoopee! we're all gonna die.") But their best track, "An Untitled Protest", is very much from the point of view of the Vietnamese victims, and I don't know of anything like it from any later war, and, amazingly, it actually got mainstream radio play, at least in the UK. Here are the lyrics:

Posted by: kgbgb | Mar 16 2020 17:00 utc | 120

Red and swollen tears tumble from her eyes
While cold silver birds who came to cruise the skies
Send death down to bend and twist her tiny hands
And then proceed to target "B" in keeping with their plans
Khaki priests of Christendom interpreters of love
Ride a stone Leviathan across a sea of blood
And pound their feet into the sand of shores they've never seen
Delegates from the western land to join the death machine
And we send cards and letters.
The oxen lie beside the road their bodies baked in mud
And fat flies chew out their eyes then bathe themselves in blood
And super heroes fill the skies, tally sheets in hand
Yes, keeping score in times of war takes a superman
The junk crawls past hidden death its cargo shakes inside
And soldier children hold their breath and kill them as they hide
And those who took so long to learn the subtle ways of death
Lie and bleed in paddy mud with questions on their breath
And we send prayers and praises.

Posted by: kgbgb | Mar 16 2020 17:01 utc | 121

 F.R. | Mar 15 2020 1:09 utc | 59

This is what I think was the origin of the corona virus epidemic. I think it is virtually certain that the US military developed a corona virus, particularly adapted to attacking East Asian lungs. It is the sort of thing they are known to have been working on. Last September the US CDC closed down a number of US Bio-war labs as “dangerous, leaking”.
They said that “no one” had been infected, that there was “no danger” to the public, but they would say that. Wouldn't they? Closing these labs down was a pretty drastic action and they must have had a pretty good reason for doing so. I think, someone or some people were infected and two of them went to the World Military games in Wuhan, where they were treated for “high fevers”. I.e. They did not infect the Chinese deliberately, because they did not know that they were infected when they went.. They were billeted about 200 yards from the Wet Food market. They were there until late October. The reason I think it was not a deliberate attack is that the US and its allies seem to have been totally unprepared. The reason I am fairly sure it started in the US are these videos:

Posted by: foolisholdman | Mar 16 2020 17:21 utc | 122

A note for (Hoarsewhisperer) and Walter (Wally) and others - the diminutive of Vladimir is NOT Vlad. DYOR
Posted by: tucenz | Mar 15 2020 21:17 utc | 112

Rest assured that were I ever to find myself in the company of Vladimir Putin, with the opportunity to converse face to face, I would put my normally self-indulgent abuse of language and formal protocols on the back burner and ask him how he prefers to be addressed. Until then I'll adopt any nickname which enables the reader of my trivia to identify the individual under discussion.

I prefer Vlad to "Vladimir" or "Putin" because it reminds us of that folkloric hero Vlad The Impaler which I find both uplifting and ironically amusing.
Hope this helps :-)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 16 2020 17:22 utc | 123

Xymphora sometimes refers to Vlad as "that rascal Putin" which is also deliciously amusing. Imo.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 16 2020 17:34 utc | 124

Below is a link from the BBC showing that the pressure is starting to make a difference

Iraq military bases: US pulling out of three key sites

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 16 2020 17:43 utc | 125

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 16 2020 17:43 utc | 125

A tactical re-deployment, if the fire start they should be closer to Dunkirk to be evacuated, just in case.

The Syrian garrison will be in a very very bad position, I suppose they would try to scape to Jordan, but now they are sorrounded by hezbollah (lebanese) and IRGC guys, not easy escape

Posted by: DFC | Mar 16 2020 18:24 utc | 126

@Hoarsewhisperer, 123
The thing is, Vlad is the diminutive (i.e. familiar form) of a different name, Vladislav. The diminutives for Vladimir are Volodya and Vova. Calling him Vlad isn't being over-familiar -- it's getting his name completely wrong. If you're talking to him face to face, using his imya (personal name) and patronymic would be appropriate, so Vladimir Vladimirovich. If talking about him to others, calling him Putin will avoid annoying annoying pedants like tucenz and me.

Posted by: kgbgb | Mar 16 2020 18:32 utc | 127

kgbgb - thanks for the country joe and the fish quotes... i am old enough to remember listening to that song you quoted on the radio way back when..

Posted by: james | Mar 16 2020 19:45 utc | 128

james and kgbgb
I remember listening to Country Joe at the The Roundhouse, must have been 1970.
How do you like this song:

Hamish Henderson who wrote it also wrote,those old Canadian favourites, The 51st Highland Division's Farewell to Sicily and the D Day Dodgers.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 17 2020 1:09 utc | 129

Better yet!

Posted by: bevin | Mar 17 2020 1:12 utc | 130

@ bevin - that last video @130 is truly amazing! thanks.. i never got to see country joe, but was familiar with the bands music from an early age..

Posted by: james | Mar 17 2020 1:59 utc | 131

Laguerre @118:

doesn't mean that the tribes would follow their leaders, even if the leaders were successfully seduced.

One could say the same thing about every country. But most of the public/"tribe" goes along.

USA got Sunni and Kurd Parliamentarians to boycott the vote to demand that USA leave Iraq. That is significant.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 17 2020 13:08 utc | 132

Costliest and losingest military in the history of the world. Hasn't won a war since 1945 unless you count Panama and/or Grenada.

Posted by: stevelaudig | Mar 18 2020 16:54 utc | 133

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