Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 20, 2021

NATO Deployments To Iraq Are Supposed To Put Pressure On Iran - They Will Instead Become Hostages

The U.S. is increasing pressure on Iran by surrounding it with NATO troops.

On Thursday, after a meeting of NATO defense ministers, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced a larger occupation force for Iraq:

Today, we decided to expand NATO’s training mission in Iraq. To support the Iraqi forces as they fight terrorism and ensure that ISIS does not return.

The size of our mission will increase from 500 personnel to around 4,000. And training activities will now include more Iraqi security institutions, and areas beyond Baghdad.

Our presence is conditions-based, and increases in troop numbers will be incremental.

Our mission is at the request of the Iraqi government. It is carried out with full respect for Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

I spoke with Prime Minister Al—Kadhimi this week and assured him that everything will be done in full consultation with the Iraqi authorities.

There is no doubt that the idea for this is coming from the U.S. side:

Earlier this week, a senior US defense official told reporters on the condition of anonymity that Pentagon leadership was “enthusiastic about and welcomes NATO’s increased focus on Iraq.”

Al-Kadhimi is a weak prime minister Iraq has asked for a new $6 billion IMF loan. The U.S. will have conditioned that on a request for an 'incremental' NATO occupation force.

After the U.S. murder of Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in January 2020 the Iraqi parliament adopted a resolution that called for all foreign troops to leave the country. The U.S. has ignored that. Resistance fighters in Iraq then started to fire missiles on U.S. occupied encampments. Earlier this week a rocket barrage hit a U.S. base in Erbil:

A volley of projectiles targeted the main military base inside Erbil’s airport, which hosts foreign troops deployed as part of the US-led coalition that has helped Iraq fight the armed group ISIL (ISIS) since 2014.

But the rockets struck all over the city’s northwestern sector early Tuesday, killing one foreign civilian contractor and wounding at least nine others, including an American soldier.
...
A shadowy group calling itself Awliya al-Dam – or the Guardians of the Blood – claimed responsibility and said it would continue to attack “occupation” American forces in Iraq.

The attack was the first in nearly two months after a series of similar incidents – blamed on pro-Iran Shia militias – directed at Western military installations or diplomatic missions in Iraq since 2019.

Like the at least 2.500 U.S. troops in Iraq the new NATO 'trainers' in Iraq will become targets of such attacks. The attacks 'by Iranian proxies' will then become the justification to send more 'incremental' NATO troops. After a few month a full NATO division will be on standby at Iran's western border.

There are also 10,000 NATO troops on Iran's eastern boarder in Afghanistan. These are supposed to leave by May 1 according to the peace agreement the Trump administration made with the Taliban. But that agreement also requires negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government. The Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is persistently stalling those talks. He hopes to keep foreign troops in Afghanistan to further feast on the bribes and 'development' monies that come with them.

Some factions in the Iraqi parliament have protested against Al-Kadhimi's troop request to NATO. But there is no unity in the rather chaotic Iraqi political environment. But outside of parliament there are many Iraqis who really want to see all foreign troops gone. They will take their own measures to achieve that.

It is likely that the U.S. sees the additional troops in Iraq and Afghanistan as a pressure point that can be used against Iran in the rather hopeless attempt to renegotiate the nuclear agreement with Iran into a larger surrender document. Iran will not surrender.

The NATO troops will become hostages of U.S. policies and may well take casualties.

Why the European NATO countries agreed to put themselves into this no-win situation is beyond me.

Posted by b on February 20, 2021 at 17:41 UTC | Permalink

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"Why the European NATO countries agreed to put themselves into this no-win situation is beyond me"

Because "reality" is driven by the headlines, and the headlines are driven by the politicians and the corrupt magnates who control the media. A perfect clusterfuck.

Posted by: groucho | Feb 20 2021 17:46 utc | 1

On Thursday, after a meeting of NATO defense ministers, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced a larger occupation force for Iraq:

I can only apologize on behalf of my country that this puppet is being used to re-start US wars and create more suffering in the world.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 20 2021 17:47 utc | 2

thanks b.. quote "Why the European NATO countries agreed to put themselves into this no-win situation is beyond me." it is what slaves to the empire do...

i read an article 2 days ago that kind of surprised me... IED Attack on a US logistical convoy in Iraq what surprised me is this line in the article... "On February 17, a logistical convoy of American terrorists was attacked in Naseriyah area." that is the type of language that needs to be used more frequently, although we never see that in the western msm...

the money machine and military industrial machine must love the imf and nato....

Posted by: james | Feb 20 2021 17:51 utc | 3

Good report. Empire is taking the Heston route to resist the pry of imperialism from its 'cold dead hands.'

But, hey come on it's a 'training mission' to 'fight terrorism'. Empire is the good guys! Hooah!

Posted by: gottlieb | Feb 20 2021 17:52 utc | 4

Does anyone know the status of Iran seeking revenge for Soleimani’s killing? Are there still public discussions/vows of seeking vengeance coming out of Iran for that? Or did subtle vengeance happen that I didn’t hear about?

Posted by: Hickory | Feb 20 2021 17:58 utc | 5

@ b who asked
"
Why the European NATO countries agreed to put themselves into this no-win situation is beyond me.
"

As others above note, European NATO countries are owned by the same folks that own America. When the global private finance elite have the political leadership in NATO by the money balls, they do the bidding of the owners and the public be dammed.

Same shit show civilization war, different day. And yes, the NATO troop are cannon fodder for the ME circus ring show coming up.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 20 2021 18:01 utc | 6

"Why the European NATO countries agreed to put themselves into this no-win situation is beyond me."

I can explain that. There was the so-called Atlantic pandemic in Europe after World War II, which, strange enough, led to a genetic change, often recessive, but always dominant in political leaders, which leads to a behavior in them known among psychologists as poodle-ness.

Posted by: pnyx | Feb 20 2021 18:14 utc | 7

"Earlier this week a rocket barrage hit a U.S. base in Erbil"

Whoa, Erbil? I saw headlines about that rocket attack, but I didn't realize it was in Erbil.

Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, has been the safest place in the country, during the last decade. Yeah, rocket attacks in Erbil, that's bad.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Feb 20 2021 18:17 utc | 8

As long as the numbers are quite low, say 20K troops put together on both sides of Iran, this is actually reasonably good news, because it would be sheer madness to attack Iran - be it NATO or Israel, and obviously with bombing campaign, not land invasion -, because these troops would basically be either hostages or target practices for Iran. If there are more than 50K gathered in some place, on the other hand, it would be very worrying because it would mean some idiots are really considering war and ground assault.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Feb 20 2021 18:30 utc | 9

Calling this a "NATO division" is utter nonsense. A division is a combined arms fighting formation with heavy weapons, not some military schools and training facilities.

I have browsed a bit through the presser of Stoltenberg and this seems rather un-concrete to me. We don`t know which countries agreed to provide what kind of trainers or at what time. It seems the 4000 troops are rather an upper limit and not a concrete commitment.

My guess is that mostly eastern European NATO countries agreed to increase their troop level in Iraq if required and received in exchange from the USA the promise of additional support against an increasingly assertive Russia.

Posted by: m | Feb 20 2021 18:48 utc | 10

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Feb 20 2021 18:30 utc | 9

I agree, this is more like giving them hostages than making a threat. It's all theater.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 20 2021 18:59 utc | 11

Yankeestan is running out of cannon fodder to send to its outposts to defend the interests of the corporations who bankroll its politicians' election war chests and who also help prop up its favoured rulers like the Killer Klown Prince and his family in the KSA and the Satanyahus desperate to stay out of jail in Israel. NATO is to become a recruitment centre for new blood to send to Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East / North Africa region. Plus NATO countries are now expected to start pulling their weight to support the US by spending billions into their militaries and enrich the likes of Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman and their Wall St investors by buying up US hardware.

This might also explain why border controls between the US and Mexico and other Latin American countries are either relaxing or going slack. The US war machine's appetite for money and blood is insatiable.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 20 2021 19:19 utc | 12

M @ 10:

Your third paragraph sounds right to me.

The experience of Georgia in the early 2000s, in its invasion of South Ossetia (in the belief that if Russia reacted and invaded Georgian territory, the US would send troops to aid Tbilisi) in 2008, though would suggest that if Russia decided to retaliate against provocations by, say, Poland and Lithuania in Kaliningrad and Belarus, no help will be forthcoming from the US, even if Warsaw and Vilnius try to invoke Article 5 in the NATO Charter.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 20 2021 19:31 utc | 13

There is no “training mission”. The Iraqis do not need and do not want training. What is being begun is logistical support for a campaign in Syria. Which will not get off the ground.

Biden’s reach exceeds his grasp. Nothing will happen because nothing is possible. After a time the generals will let it be known the orders coming from above will not meet reality. Unless before we get that far someone provokes a conflict with Russian troops in Syria. Or the Turks figure out a good scheme for chaos. Or the Israelis find a pretext for something stupid and unexpected.

So the best outcome is we parade around in the sand accomplishing nothing. The worst outcome is WWIII.

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 20 2021 19:32 utc | 14

As said earlier, @8, it's very surprising that any opposition can hit Erbil airport. It is far from Baghdad controlled territory, and the Kurds are supposed to be able to control their land. The only way you can explain it is that Kurdish dissidents were willing to let militias in to do it, or did it themselves.

It sounds like a warning to the US; things are not as peaceful as supposed. Nothing to do with Iran, of course. The militias in Iraq are largely anti-American, for their own reasons.

Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 20 2021 19:45 utc | 15

I'm curious which countries are the lucky duckies for this. UK, Netherlands, France ? Poland maybe? Who's really desperate for US approval these days?

Posted by: Stephen T Johnson | Feb 20 2021 19:58 utc | 16

Posted by: m | Feb 20 2021 18:48 utc | 10

>>My guess is that mostly eastern European NATO countries agreed to increase their troop level in Iraq if required and received in exchange from the USA the promise of additional support.

Dunno about EE, but german parties have being begging for US occupation troops to stay in their country. Since Germany has been psychologically broken by WW2, now it can not exist without a master, because "when europeans were independent they did bad things".

Ergo, they can not be allowed to think for themselves, now someone better than them (the US liberator who liberated them from themselves) should think instead of them.

So europeans are psychologically trapped. If "everything good happened because the US came here", as Heiko Maas claimed, then they will remain forever puppets of the US.

I said many times - do not expect independent EU, it has a battered wife syndrome and it needs abusive Big Daddy for "protection", to keep "order", rationalising its own abuse.

Posted by: Passer by | Feb 20 2021 20:10 utc | 17

This is a counter-headline to match the headline that the empire is crawling back on it’s knees to talk to eye-ranians.
No amount of troop change will change anything in the equation, that, Iraq, was, is, lost. What are the 10,000 troops in Afghanistan going to do to Iran? They can’t even beat the Talibs.
Iran is achieving it’s goal of kicking the empire out of SW Asia, in a manner of death by a thousand cuts. Not in blood, but money spent on troop, which will eventually bankrupt the empire.
Let them send in the hostages. More leverage for Iran.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Feb 20 2021 20:12 utc | 18

The increase of US forces by 4000 must be protection for those already there. Not enough for that purpose.

The reason for Kadhimi giving in is that Iraq is broke, in spite of the oil income. Salaries and pensions are not being paid. I would have said corruption, but that is not going to go down well with the IMF, if they are asking for a $6 billion loan.

Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 20 2021 20:14 utc | 19

Related to this matter, there is a link to a very recent interview w/ the Russian Foreign Minister here.

An excerpt:

Sergei Lavrov: Regarding multilateral talks, first of all, this should not annul Russian-US agreements because we have several times more nuclear weapons than other nuclear countries. Second, if we make this a multilateral process, then all prospective participants, primarily the five nuclear powers, should reach a voluntary agreement. We will never try to persuade China. We respect the position of Beijing, which either wants to catch up with us or proposes that we first reduce our arsenals to China’s levels and then start on the talks. All circumstances considered, if this is a multilateral process, then we will get nowhere without the United Kingdom and France. The Trump administration insisted that China should take part and at the same time said about its allies that they were the good guys, literally. This sounds funny. Apart from the complicated and lengthy disarmament process, we do not have so many promising spheres where we can cooperate constructively.

Question: Does this mean that their vision of the issue is entirely different or that they are reluctant to negotiate?

Sergey Lavrov: They think that they are the boss ..

Posted by: groucho | Feb 20 2021 20:31 utc | 20

NATO is a military mask wrapped round the faces of ordinary people so that they cannot talk to each other.

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 20 2021 20:33 utc | 21

I guess Hunter Biden has landed a director position on the Hallibuton board just in time for 6 billion IMF loan to come through.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 20 2021 20:35 utc | 22

As for who will be part of this - look up for who was part of the previous mission in 2019.

Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Canada, Croatia, Australia, UK, etc.

You see a protestant country - you see a country of US cargo cult worshippers.

The locals do not appreciate puppets presence, though.

A rocket attack hit a military base hosting NATO troops in Iraq, local media reported on Saturday.

Three foreign contracted personnel were injured when three rockets struck Balad Air Base in the Salah al-Din province, north of the capital Baghdad, according to Iraqi media.

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/rockets-hit-iraq-military-base-hosting-nato-troops/2151716

Posted by: Passer by | Feb 20 2021 20:38 utc | 23

Posted by: Hickory | Feb 20 2021 17:58 utc | 5

Does anyone know the status of Iran seeking revenge for Soleimani’s killing? Are there still public discussions/vows of seeking vengeance coming out of Iran for that? Or did subtle vengeance happen that I didn’t hear about?

I would hope that Iranian authorities are smart enough to eschew any actions based on ego. Vengeance simply won't get you very far. What matters, is establishing a credible level of deterrence.

Posted by: robin | Feb 20 2021 20:47 utc | 24

Laguerre | Feb 20 2021 20:14 utc | 19

Trump tried to do a deal with Iraq for 50% of the revenue from their oil. It was for the "protection" of Iraq. (and they wouldn't kill the Iraqi PM) The usual mafia tactics. Sounds a bit like the same old same.

At the start of the war in Syria there were already "coalition" planes flying about. One country (Dutch I think, but could be mistaken) pulled out when they got fed up bombing empty villages and seeing the US claiming they were fighting ISIS. The Aussies,the UK and France were all there, and presumably still are (?). I'm too lazy tonight to check that out.

NATO wants more cash for the US military-industrial complex, and will probably oblige "participants" to use only F-35s, so they need to buy more of them.

***
Of course the Europeans with their short supply of enlisted soldiers will just send in a few holograms of "terminators", to fill the quota. 2% of the active population?

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 20 2021 20:47 utc | 25

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Feb 20 2021 20:12 utc | 18

No amount of troop change will change anything in the equation, that, Iraq, was, is, lost. What are the 10,000 troops in Afghanistan going to do to Iran? They can’t even beat the Talibs.

Indeed, Iraq and Afghanistan are both lost. For the time being, perhaps, but lost none the less.

Presently, there is no hope of including these two countries in a continent wide plan for trade. Do you think a truckload of oranges could make it across Syria and into Anbar? I honestly doubt it.

We can forget plans of motorways, railways, energy and information corridors because as it stands, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan are lost.

Posted by: robin | Feb 20 2021 20:51 utc | 26

Just a recall, to explain why we are where we are. After the US invasion, a Shi'i government was put in place, as the majority. Each time there's a new leader, there's an American representative in the room in the decision. The Shi'a power is supported by a good number of religious militias, who may or may not support the government. In the Sunni areas north of Baghdad, there are resistants of Da'ish who launch attacks on the Shi'a militias who treat them as a defeated people (I was nearly taken by Da'ish there in 2017).

All of that explains why Kadhimi kneels to US decisions, but their militias don't. Nothing to do with Iran. Iraqi Shi'a are not slaves of Iran.

Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 20 2021 20:58 utc | 27

Why is this mission necessary?

1. To provide cover and meat shield for the US Empire in Iraq.

When a rocket hits some wannabee euro "civilisator" in Iraq, then cries and howling will start in the EU, demaning vengeance against "evil barbarian" Iran.

2. To create a US dependent military, to recruit spies from the local police and military, to educate local leaders in "euro-atlantic civilisation" in military colleges, to push for military hardware dependence, and to use that dependent and "atlantised" iraqi military for future coups in the country.

Posted by: Passer by | Feb 20 2021 21:00 utc | 28

Iraq has asked for a new $6 billion IMF loan

That will be the final nail in its coffin. The country that borrows from the IMF is destroyed by the IMF, with all its revenue and resources sluiced off into the hands of the New York bankers.

Posted by: traducteur | Feb 20 2021 21:02 utc | 29

Well, it isn't like we were not expecting the occupation to find any way that it could to increase its forces in Iraq while binding as many UN member states to the situation in which the occupation forces find themselves.
It is also worth noting that the situation in Iraq is in no way disconnected from the situation in eastern Syria, as it is in fact part of the exact same deployment of forces, and is obviously regarded as the same theater of operation, for any commander who is rationally competent.
Dien Bien Phu comes to mind...
Does it not?

Posted by: Josh | Feb 20 2021 21:18 utc | 30

Yes, this is related to NATO, the EU and Outlaw US Empire, yet not so much to Iraq. However, it's seriously important nevertheless. It appears Lavrov might be conducting weekly interviews given that this, "Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the RBC Media Holding, Moscow, February 19, 2021," seems to be a substitute for Russian participation at Munich. Lavrov's tamer than in his interview with Solovyov, but his words are perhaps more important given what he reveals in greater context. The answer to each question is explosive in some manner. Here's just one example:

"Question: Do we have to pay for this [Ukraine] geopolitical project? Why do they think we have to pay for it?

Sergey Lavrov: Because they don’t feel like lashing out on it. They need the Ukrainian regime for the sole purpose of constantly irritating Russia and finding new reasons to support their Russophobic policy. They want to weaken anything around us – Belarus, Central Asia, and now also the South Caucasus, as they got nervous after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s successful mediation mission between Armenia and Azerbaijan: why was this done without them? They are now trying to infiltrate this region and step up their activities there. All of that has nothing to do with the Cold War-era ideology of a showdown between the two systems you talked about a few minutes ago. It has to do with the fact that our Western partners are unwilling, unprepared and unable to speak on an equal footing, whether with Russia, China, or whoever. They need to create a system where they will be the boss regardless. This is why they are taking an increasing dislike to the United Nations since they cannot have total control of it." [My Emphasis]

Yes, as Lavrov related above, this interview covers the past 30 years, not just the past 10. Enjoy the read!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 20 2021 21:19 utc | 31

"...increasingly assertive Russia."

It seems those representing the establishment (think Jen "Sad Sack" Psaki) are contractually obligated to use specific canned phrases like this.

It is all about narrative to them. NATO deployment must be spun to sound like they are sending some bespectacled old school marms to teach hygiene and social graces to the head choppers rather than the truth of them being a bunch of self-styled rambos to act as an officer corps for the empire's rabid dogs.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 20 2021 21:34 utc | 32

Posted by: traducteur | Feb 20 2021 21:02 utc | 28

Iraq is broke. The main reason they are broke is corruption, their oil income still being considerable. I was involved in an affair in 2015, where $25 million was allotted to a project, but when it came to carrying it out, only less than a $1 million was left for the actual work. Evidently it did not happen.

The Iraqis learnt from the US in 2003. Accounting is not necessary.

I don't know though whether that will work for a new application for an IMF loan.

Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 20 2021 21:35 utc | 33

Posted by: Hickory | Feb 20 2021 17:58 utc | 5

Posted by: robin | Feb 20 2021 20:47 utc | 23


Ayatollah Mike got taken out within days. The Iranians are not to be underestimated.

Posted by: John Cleary | Feb 20 2021 22:25 utc | 34

Ayatollah Mike got taken out within days. The Iranians are not to be underestimated.

Posted by: John Cleary | Feb 20 2021 22:25 utc | 33

D'Andrea among other things like the drone, the missile attack on our airbase, which we were guarding against drones, and they have stated a number of times that our ejection from the Middle East will be the final punishment. (Although if I was Trump or Pompeo or anybody else involved in those assassinations I would keep my guard up.)

At present "Biden" seems to think of forming a bulwark against them along the south border of the "Shi'ia crescent", using the UAE as point man. MbS is no longer the go to guy.

Things are getting very hot in the Horn of Africa too, and Yemen.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 20 2021 22:40 utc | 35

William Gruff @31--

As Lavrov intoned 5 times in his interview:

"Yes, and they want to be the boss. Everything boils down to this once again."

Biden's "America's back" literally means Meet the New Boss, same as the Old Boss, and is entirely meant for domestic consumption as the world beyond NATO isn't being fooled.

Biden must have watched the episodes of Fantasy Island for that's where his entire administration's mindset is living. Just look at the Outlaw US Empire's attitude toward rejoining the WHO as just one example.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 20 2021 22:42 utc | 36

Ayatollah Mike got taken out within days. The Iranians are not to be underestimated.
Posted by: John Cleary | Feb 20 2021 22:25 utc | 33

Yes, D’Andrea was a part of it, but don’t forget the bigger picture, that Iran can bitch-slap the empire, to induce “head trauma.” This, leaves no troop safe, in their bases/ships/embassies, as they were shown to cower in their bunkers instead of being out defending their forts, even when they knew the attacks were coming.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Feb 20 2021 23:13 utc | 37

Engine of Boeing 777 explodes over Colorado. Plane lands safely in Denver. But this is not good news for Boeing.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 20 2021 23:14 utc | 38

In The indivisible land of pretend USA, the left criticizes the right as the leaders exercise the will of the CFR elite. Likewise, when the left has control the right does likewise to the left.

I dream of marching soldiers obediently marching; left right, left right while the band plays their favorite marching tOOn. May I be so incorrect as to assume to say God Bless?

Posted by: Al Howl | Feb 20 2021 23:15 utc | 39

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 20 2021 22:42 utc | 35

Thanks for that link, I've been following the Munich Conference, the Navalny court cases and lots of work too, so I missed that one. It is quite evident the tone has changed for good, especially concerning Europe, they've had enough, and funny how he rightfully compares the EU to a "Central Comittee" that is above the individual countries with whom generally there are relations, except for the Rumfsfeldian "New Europe".

Too bad for Europe, for me personally there is a feeling of bitterness since I've experienced the visa nightmare and the restrictions in relations not only at the state level but more importantly, at the personal level, careers, businesses and personal relations have been hindered for the senseless policies imposed by that "new Europe" that has ended screwing up Europe as a whole of which lest we forget, Russia is the biggest part. What a reveling quote when Barroso in Siberia after a 13 hour flight says, "But we are in Europe". Yes, Lisbon to Vladivostok was not a figure of speech, it was reality but sinister forces ruined that project that eventually might come back, but for other generations, not mine.

Posted by: Paco | Feb 20 2021 23:15 utc | 40

traducteur @28

"That will be the final nail in its coffin. The country that borrows from the IMF is destroyed by the IMF, with all its revenue and resources sluiced off into the hands of the New York bankers."

true enough!
I happen to think of the CIA and the IMF as perhaps the two absolute worst agencies (villains) in the world post WWII who have done the most damage to third world/Global South countries: the IMF by creating an entire slew of indebted nations who will never ever be able to pay off the loans and who have also sold out much of their national patrimony/resources etc to cover these loans; and the CIA of course for its subversion of democratic/nationalist progressive movements, psycho-ops, coup e'tats, buying off journalist and gov't officials, drug-running, and a world-wide torture/murder/rendition regime.

All that at the feet of the so-called liberal western powers, especially the US, the UK, France and Germany

Iran will never bend or kneel to a re-negotiated nuclear deal that gives an inch of their ballistic missile program.


Posted by: michaelj72 | Feb 20 2021 23:17 utc | 41

Passer by | Feb 20 2021 20:38 utc | 22

Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Canada, Croatia, Australia, UK, etc.

You see a protestant country - you see a country of US cargo cult worshippers.


Croatia? Protestant?

Posted by: Ash Naz | Feb 20 2021 23:34 utc | 42

Paco @39--

Thanks for your reply! Yes, it's tragic that so many lives were ruined and continue to be disrupted in the treatment of Russia since 1989. Lavrov revealed more about the timeline of the negative relations. All that work done then trashed because of the Ukraine gambit. What he had to say about Russia's "liberal" media was quite raw for Lavrov and shows it aspires to be like the West's BigLie Media:

"Our liberal media promote a tough pro-Western line. In looking for objects of criticism in Russia, they are infringing on the threshold of decency and getting personal. They are very crude, and behave not like journalists but like inveterate propagandists, accusing others of propaganda."

I saw TASS published some of Zakharova's comments about the Munich Security Conference:

"'Considering that the announced agenda had such global items as ‘Priorities for Global Action,’ ‘Fighting the Pandemic’ and ‘Tackling the Climate Crisis,’ the list of participants is at the very least puzzling,' she underlined. 'Essentially, the problems faced by the whole humanity are planned to be discussed in a very narrowed format. The organizers invited the US and EU leadership as well as the UN secretary general and the WHO director general to join the discussion. There was no mention of inviting other countries, including Russia and China. On the contrary, they were viewed by the discussions as threats and opponents who need to be countered.'

"'We once again are forced to note the trend of the past few years when our Western partners seek to resolve issues in a narrow circle and advance decisions that they are comfortable with, which will later be imposed on other members of the international community through the prism of the ‘rule-based world order.''"

I know Putin said "Golden Billion" because that's easier to say than "Golden 750 Million," but as Far as the organizers for Munich are concerned, they seem incapable of seeing beyond that constrained horizon.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 20 2021 23:40 utc | 43

Posted by: Ash Naz | Feb 20 2021 23:34 utc | 41

No, i mentioned Croatia for the sake of objectivity, but many of the rest are, especially the trusted puppets, those who took command of NATO training mission Iraq, such as Denmark and Canada.

Posted by: Passer by | Feb 20 2021 23:40 utc | 44

@ michaelj72 | Feb 20 2021 23:17 utc | 40

RE: I happen to think of the CIA and the IMF as perhaps the two absolute worst agencies (villains) in the world post WWII...

Controlled Hollywood is a very mixed bag, but one clear message that managed to slip out from there, loudly/clearly to the world, was sent in the Jason Bourne film series, which showed the most of the western world, and especially Europe, is the CIA's rampant *playground*.

Posted by: gm | Feb 21 2021 0:01 utc | 45

@30 karlof1 and @39 paco

Yes. That is the definitive, conclusive, totally useful interview with Lavrov. He takes all the things that everyone has discussed, but while we were all conjecturing from his previous remarks how cohesively he represented Russia or how finally his remarks were to be taken as Russian policy (which we know, once announced, is solid), now he repeats everything, including the conjectures of the world's commentariat, in even more clear terms, and states the view of Russia in unmistakable terms.

I read it today over at Saker, where it receives this conclusive title:

FM Sergey Lavrov gave an extensive interview to the RBK Media Holding – Communication between Brussels and Moscow has completely fallen apart

My speculation is that the RF Security Council has deferred to Lavrov all along on this call, waiting for him as the canary in the mine. Everything he says matches the realpolitik that the Kremlin has long understood, but they were waiting for Sergei to limp home one day and say, "Comrades, there's nothing left for me to try. It's over."

And so it is. And so they've been told. Over to the EU now (and actually, also, the US) to make the next move, abjectly crawling for favors from Russia.

~~

The final paragraph that Lavrov speaks is something that goes far beyond anything that has ever been stated out loud in the diplomatic world. I was going to wait for an open thread - because I really don't want to go off topic in this thread - but it's so important, and the interview has now been introduced here, so here goes.

We have only recently discussed the reduction of global population by the rich. It has long been discussed at the deeply theoretical level of conspiracies, but only now after the obvious inaction and lack of caring of recent years can it be made as a logical conclusion from a logical argument based on observation.

So now, Lavrov brings it up, as the stinger in the tail of an already formidable performance, and pushes the global paradigm to a wholly different place. Quote (my emphasis):

"... This is another example of rules on which ‘order’ will be based.

"There are attempts to start similar groups outside the WHO. But people’s health is not a field where one can play geopolitics. Unless there is a conspiracy behind this to reduce the population of the Earth. Many are now starting to develop such theories and concepts."

~~

I have much to say about this but I'll wait for an open thread because it's pretty off-topic - if anything Lavrov says can really be off-topic in this world of affairs.

karlof1, I think of the Kirby piece you linked a few days back, where he speculated as a conservative himself that conservatives in the US could find common cause with Russia. That last comment by Lavrov I quoted here adds a lot of fuel to that scenario. Maybe Russia blows the Great Reset out of the water and into the clear light of day?

Food for thought - a feast served up by Lavrov.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 21 2021 0:02 utc | 46

karlof1 & paco - I just made a lengthy comment about that interview, but I included a link to the Saker where it also appears, and the comment was grabbed by Typepad for moderation. When it appears tomorrow it'll be around this number.

Meanwhile, to anyone who reads the interview, it's the final paragraph about reduction of global population that has caught a lot of people's attention - go check it out from karlof1's link @30

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 21 2021 0:10 utc | 47

@laguerre26
Laguerre I have a question for you. In my semi-informed mind I equate the shia-iraq-iran dynamics to my perception of the Irish. As an Irish catholic on my dad's side my sympathies and support of the colonized Irish were/are strong although I never actually did anything to support their struggle. Can you parse some of how the Shia in both countries-- Iraq and Iran-- see each other? thanks

Posted by: migueljose | Feb 21 2021 0:18 utc | 48

A ground invasion would be the first stage of an utter disaster for NATO. It would probably require more than a million men even to attempt it. The terrain of Iran makes Afghanistan look flat with a 2,000km mountain range running the length of the country and deserts. Iran will fight a guerilla style war to make it as costly as possible for the attacker. Then we have the reaction of China and Russia - directly involved, indirect support or observe?

Posted by: Nexus321 | Feb 21 2021 0:31 utc | 49

The US never does what is right. It only does what serve its own crooked needs. It promises are worth shit.
The only thing that can rock the boat and force a change in policy, is body bags. Plenty of body bags, because the feeble-minded US public will react, and some Congress or Senate Gollum will lose their seats, the good bribes and all the perks.
Hang the bastards before you need a license to own a rope.

Posted by: Den lille abe | Feb 21 2021 0:32 utc | 50

Grieved @45--

Here's Lavrov's final sentence:

"Many are now starting to develop such theories and concepts."

Of course, Lavrov knows such theories and concepts have existed for several hundred years, yet are confined to Europeans. Once Hominids migrated from Africa, human populations have always been much greater in Asia than Europe, but no Asian to my knowledge has ever advocated for population reduction along Malthusian lines, nor has any African. It seems European elites's views about us common people have almost universally seen us as a threat to their position--Wealth--since if there're more of us, then there's less for them. That sort of thinking goes back to Mesopotamia and the Gilgamesh Epic. Such thinking seems to have become ever more concentrated amongst English speakers since the Norman Conquest given elite behavior toward commoners since that time. Lavrov clearly has no reasons to trust any English speaking elite or their zoo of European poodles, and his remark might be in relation to Bill Gates's invitation to the Munich Conference which Zakharova also questioned in her briefing.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 21 2021 0:50 utc | 51

The Americans are hungry, I hope the Iraqis feed them more rockets.

Posted by: Smith | Feb 21 2021 1:15 utc | 52

Thanks for exposing the dimwit aspect of NATO's clueless embrace of Neo-conned AmeriKKKa's Full Spectrum Dominance daydream, b. The best that can be said of the 4th Reich's obsession with creating hundreds of military outposts around the globe is that it's a mixed blessing. It might look like a good idea as a Peacetime Pantomime, but if major hostilities break out it could quickly become an unnecessary and superfluous distraction from its Homeland Defense Obligations.

The hypocrisy of obsessive-compulsive base-creation is summed up quite nicely in the lyrics of a pop song from Yesteryear...

Every breath you take,
Every move you make,
Every bond you break,
Every step you take,
I'll be watching you.

Every single day,
Every word you say,
Every game you play,
Every night you stay,
I'll be watching you.

Oh, can't you see
You belong to me?
How my poor heart aches
With every step you take.

Every move you make,
Every vow you break,
Every smile you fake,
Every claim you stake,
I'll be watching you.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 21 2021 1:28 utc | 53

thank you, karlof1@ 49. it's been a stunning day. the revelations & comments on many boards & sites has been tremendous. between the 5 or 6 interviews by both putin & lavrov, as well as the editorials on GTs, the air is very different. thank you again for your sane level presentation of events. it's essential to keep abreast & your efforts are much appreciated & important.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Feb 21 2021 1:32 utc | 54

@ Josh | Feb 20 2021 21:18 utc | 29

Dien Bien Phu forward base in N Viet was lost by France because they had no air cover and were surrounded by artillery that destroyed the runway preventing escape. No such situation here.

@ Passer by | Feb 20 2021 21:00 utc | 27

Your explanation of US preparation for a coup seems very likely.

@ traducteur | Feb 20 2021 21:02 utc | 28

Yes, the IMF loan may be the extension of economic war by NYC/Israel, that destabilizes for that future US coup. Surprising that Iraq can't pay its bills despite oil income.

@ karlof1 | Feb 20 2021 21:19 utc | 30
So Lavrov is right that this creates "a system where they will be the boss regardless" until the US debt crashes.

@ Laguerre | Feb 20 2021 21:35 utc | 32

Indeed they may be broke by corruption, likely a common path to wage economic war by IMF loans. But can the US collect, or does it become an excuse for sanctions, or just occasion a coup?

Posted by: Sam F | Feb 21 2021 1:45 utc | 55

karlof1 @ 30; Thanks for Lavrov article. It's clear, that it's the same old problem when dealing with the U$. We, at all cost, must ALWAYS be the "boss", in any discussions with the Russians. Glad my neighbors don't feel this way in our neighborhood discussions..

Will this nation ever grow up? Highly questionable..

Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 21 2021 2:12 utc | 56

Hoarsewhisperer @ 51:

Funny how you quote lyrics from an old Police song. I assume you do know about Police drummer Stewart Copeland's family background and his growing up in Beirut in the 1950s?

Posted by: Jen | Feb 21 2021 2:42 utc | 57

Posted by: Jen | Feb 21 2021 2:42 utc | 55

Regrettably, no. I have a hazy recollection that Sting and Police are connected, but that's it. I like the song because it's a sort of love song BUT it's actually about Stalking - especially when compared with Max Merrit & The Meteors' giant Oz hit Slippin' Away, which is about regret and helpless resignation...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 21 2021 3:24 utc | 58

robin @23

"Vengeance simply won't get you very far. What matters, is establishing a credible level of deterrence."

Very nice and logical but this forgets that masses of people, huge numbers, have to be mobilized and motivated to achieve that. Hard to do that without at least hinting that vengeance has been, or is soon going to come.

Posted by: Piero Colombo | Feb 21 2021 3:28 utc | 59

karlof1 @ 30 - Many thanks for the Lavrov interview. Very interesting, have forwarded to friends. For people who saw the geopolitics in the early 2000s, it became clear that a new Cold War was coming. This was even the title of a book (actually a chronology of the years 2002-2008) by Peter Scholl Latour (Der Weg in den neuen Kalten Krieg, Propyläen Verlag, 2008). The russophobia was clear, before the Kiev´ putsch and "invasion" of Crimea. Lavrov outspokenness has a flavor of desperation. If a WW3 should be some stupid mistake happen - his words will be remembered.

I have a comment to karlof1 @49 - "...no Asian to my knowledge has ever advocated for population reduction along Malthusian lines...,"this statement seems not to jibe with the China´s policy of population reduction.

Posted by: bystander04 | Feb 21 2021 3:45 utc | 60

Mr. Robin

The process of rebuilding of state institutions in Iraq is slow, but the private sector is functioning. The state may be unable to pay salaries due to the pandemic, this is temporary. Getting loans from IMF is not a bad thing, in the absence of the ability to issue bonds.

Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan have a future tied to Iran. The gas pipe lines from Iran to Iraq were built and made operational in spite of all issue facing Iraq. Likewise for the railway to Herat in Afghanistan. More rail ways will be built and more gas pipelines as the wars are wrapped up.

Posted by: Fyi | Feb 21 2021 3:47 utc | 61

Mr. Paco

The European World has never recovered to the state obtaining in 1913.

On the other hand, their Second Thirty-Year War freed the colonized people from under their yoke. While all those Europeans bled and died, non-Europeans obtained their opportunity to chart their own destiny.

Posted by: Fyi | Feb 21 2021 3:52 utc | 62

Mr. bystander04

This is not a Second Cold War.

It is an attempt to Subtract Russia from the European politics, China from the Far Eastern politics, and Iran from the Near Eastern politics. This attempt has failed but it has too much emotional backing among the Euro-American Protestants to end; until, perhaps, when US is bankrupted.

Posted by: Fyi | Feb 21 2021 3:58 utc | 63

@ Jen | Feb 21 2021 2:42 utc | 55... one would have to be a drummer really into copeland to know that!

..."his father, Miles Axe Copeland II; musician, raconteur, international businessman… and secret CIA operative." i did happen to know that, but i doubt many others do!

Posted by: james | Feb 21 2021 4:08 utc | 64

@31 William Gruff
You are right. The correct phrase would have been: "expansionist Russia".

Posted by: m | Feb 21 2021 5:35 utc | 65

Like dog chasing it's tail, NATO will spin between threats from Russia and threats from China.

Rushing madly back and forth from East Asia to East Europe shedding billions along the way.


NATO Chief Says ‘the Rise of China Is a Defining Issue’ for the Alliance
NATO released a report last year that called for the alliance to put more focus on China by partnering with Asian countries
Dave DeCamp Posted on February 19, 2021Categories NewsTags China, NATO

In an effort to stay relevant, NATO is looking towards Asia to join the US in countering China in the region. During Friday’s Munich Security Conference, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg made it clear that Beijing is a top priority of the alliance.

Occasionally Iran will stick a foot out to trip NATO over in central asia.

Poor confused bastards ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Feb 21 2021 5:44 utc | 66

Posted by: Sam F | Feb 21 2021 1:45 utc | 53



Dien Bien Phu forward base in N Viet was lost by France because they had no air cover and were surrounded by artillery that destroyed the runway preventing escape. No such situation here.

False.

It is a fallacy that air power could have saved the French in that battle:

Dien Bien Phu was an inevitable defeat and all the air cover in the world would not have changed that, just prolonged the outcome.

The French were losing ground all over Vietnam before Giap drove them into the cauldron of Dien Bien Phu.

They were cut off from all ground supply and essentially boiled alive, despite HEAVY US air aid along with their own!

Bear in mind that Operation Castor was the biggest airborne operation since the end of WW2 - they threw everything they had at it and it was futile.

In fact, one could factually state that Dien Bien Phu was lost *because of the over reliance on air power* while making numerous other tactical and strategic blunders, some lethal like the loss of ground supply.

Giap knew that in the end only the air supply route would remain and it could never be sustained no matter how much the French and their American allies threw into it.

Ultimately, Diem Bien Phu was lost due to the racist arrogance and stupidity of General Navarre, whose sense of racial superiority led him to underestimate General Giap in multiple areas and resulted in his suicide through shame once he realised he'd been bested by an 'inferior' colonial subject.

Looking at the bigger picture, it should have been clear that attempting to occupy a valley floor deep in enemy territory with no strategic objective in mind, while being defeated everywhere else in Vietnam during a period when the French government had already come to grips that it could not win in Vietnam and were preparing to negotiate with Ho Chi Minh ... spelled out defeat from the very start.

Further analysis here:

https://web.mst.edu/~rogersda/umrcourses/ge342/Miltary%20Geo%20Presentations/Bill%20Louie/DBP/The%20French%20Defeat.htm

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Feb 21 2021 6:10 utc | 67

bystander04 @58--

China's aim was birth control, which of course is population control. It differs vastly from the sort of eugenics advocated by English speaking elites, and certainly from genocide which English speakers are definitely guilty of. But in essence you are correct. An aspect of China's recent history I completely spaced.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 21 2021 6:18 utc | 68

Re the Lavrov interview (thanks Karlof)

It seems to me that the Russians have realised that the collective West had gone full retard (Great Reset) and have stopped using diplomatic niceties and are being quite blunt (very not like Lavrov) to get their message across.

The fact that he even said this, as pointed out by Grieved, is huge

Unless there is a conspiracy behind this to reduce the population of the Earth. Many are now starting to develop such theories and concepts.
He’s not a tinfoil hat conspiracy theorist. He would have not even said this had he not had solid evidence that this is the plan.

Posted by: Down South | Feb 21 2021 6:19 utc | 69

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Feb 20 2021 23:13 utc | 36


Yes, D’Andrea was a part of it, but don’t forget the bigger picture, ...

Speaking of Ayatollah Mike, has there been any confirmation of his death or are "rumours of his demise greatly exaggerated .." ?

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Feb 21 2021 6:37 utc | 70

"Why the European NATO countries agreed to put themselves into this no-win situation is beyond me."

As Putin said, the so called leaders of those entities are 'bobbling heads'.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 21 2021 6:48 utc | 71

@ Arch Bungle #68
To my knowledge there has been no confirmations of D’Andrea’s death. Hence he seems to have been either captured, or his body removed from the site such that his demise can’t be confirmed. Either way, I would guess this threw a big wrench in anything the CIA had planned for Iran in 2020.

Posted by: HD | Feb 21 2021 7:34 utc | 72

@ Arch Bungle

Thanks for the brief coverage of Dien Bien Phu, one of the greatest battles in Viet Nam's history.

Posted by: Smith | Feb 21 2021 7:40 utc | 73

Hoarsewhisperer @ 56, James @ 61:

As a CIA officer, Miles Copeland had some involvement in the 1953 coup against Iranian PM Mohammed Mossadeq.

He was an amateur jazz musician as well. All his sons (Miles III, Ian, Stewart) pursued careers in the music industry. Miles III managed The Police and a few other bands. I'm not quite sure what Ian actually did but it mighr have been something like concert and tour management. At least the sons all stayed out of the regime-change business.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 21 2021 8:02 utc | 74

re: Arch Bungle | Feb 19 2021 13:23 utc | 108 re Memetic Infection detection S/W and is elaboration of my " Posted by: chu teh | Feb 19 2021 4:22 utc | 79 " talking abt Carefully Taught from SouthPacific mentioned earlier by Karlof1...
Here goes...

I think it went like this: Badass Type A decided to get rid of Badass Type B. Leader A calls mass meeting of best coders and compilers.

Leader TA: We have been fighting Type B for eons. Since spirits cannot be killed, we have now a plan. If we simply trap Bs forever, it is equivalent to killing them. To accomplish this, our mathematicians determined to 99.999999999999999994 % certainty that using cascading divide&conquer routines, it will work at least for a virtual infinity of time. Your job is to design the ultimate trap so it is impossible to escape.

As we round-up TBs, the 1st D&C routine [no pun intended] itself will make escape nearly impossible. Namely, we will make them "know" they are meat bodies that "naturally" wear out.

D&C2 is: We make 2 types of bodies; male and female. That is the basic form of Plug and Play and always works. Now, no matter how TBs plan or organize or even do figure-figure [will be eons before they can even begin to "think"] or form large groups, the P&P division will yield unresolvable chaos. Eventually, when they begin to alter the male/female limitation, it will be the wildest soap-opera to watch the results.

D&C3 is: Give the meat-bodies different shades of different colors. This alone will cause us great hilarity as we get back first reports of how it is working-out.

D&C4 is: Guide them to create languages. Lots and lots of lanuages. Observe the guaranteed confusion over impossibly correct translations.

D&C5 is: guide them to "discover" there are particles and electromagnetic waves. This will enthrall them to find the "smallest" particle, shortest wavelength and longest wavelwngth. Surely result in endless wasted effort to blow things up, bombard meatbodies with particles and search for energy beams to find the biggest effects.

D&C6 is: guide them to discover DNA and helix folding. That will segue into slterations of the working algos. Surely, there will be a contagious effect that of the kind "who could have predicted that". At that point, D&C6 enters into an endless loop of non-stop, contagious disasters. Some scientist will even write a novel called "Ice-9" and no one will guess how soon it will actually happen.

Dearest coders and compilers, when done with T&C6, we will quickly add looping D&Cs at least to D&C100,000. Then we begin TB implanting, ....errrrr.... inducation.

Enough for now. You coders have your orders. Get to work and TBs will be just a "memory".
All HAIL TA.!

Posted by: chu teh | Feb 21 2021 8:05 utc | 75

"Why the European NATO countries agreed to put themselves into this no-win situation is beyond me." Really, b?

Posted by: Steve | Feb 21 2021 8:54 utc | 76

"Woke colonialism" is what I call the mentality that allows the Western left to hold these two inherently contradictory ideas:

1) White people are bad, largely because of things their ancestors did to non-white populations.
2) It is the duty of the primarily white, European NATO countries to "liberate" non-white countries via warfare, sanctions, and other forms of sabotage. Russians count as honorary non-whites.

Posted by: Carl | Feb 21 2021 9:00 utc | 77

@Passer by | Feb 20 2021 20:10 utc | 17

So europeans are psychologically trapped. If "everything good happened because the US came here", as Heiko Maas claimed, then they will remain forever puppets of the US.

People outside Europe (Europe is not the same as EU) should keep in mind that Europe is much more than Germany and the legacy of WWII is not the same everywhere.

We were occupied by the Germans until May 8, 1945. Nobody really came to "rescue" us from the germans, if you ignore the soviets who liberated the northern part of Finnmark province from the germans and then left soon after. The heads of the german occupation blew themselves up in a bunker using 50 kg of dynamite. The issue of being psychologically trapped does not apply everywhere.

I said many times - do not expect independent EU, it has a battered wife syndrome and it needs abusive Big Daddy for "protection", to keep "order", rationalising its own abuse.

The EU is a tool for modern day occupation of Europe, it is the civilian part of NATO. However, now that the UK is out of EU, the EU/NATO duality is cracking and will hopefully fall apart soon.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 21 2021 9:12 utc | 78

Posted by: chu teh | Feb 21 2021 8:05 utc | 73

Thanks for your contribution. I have placed this in my memetic containmentfacility for the interim to prevent any contagion while I study it ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Feb 21 2021 9:14 utc | 79

Posted by: Smith | Feb 21 2021 7:40 utc | 71

My pleasure. Giap is a personal hero of mine.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Feb 21 2021 9:16 utc | 80

Posted by: HD | Feb 21 2021 7:34 utc | 70

I've set up a virtual tombstone for D'Andrea which I hope can one day be marked with a large black "X".

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Feb 21 2021 9:18 utc | 81

@Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 21 2021 1:28 utc | 51

The hypocrisy of obsessive-compulsive base-creation is summed up quite nicely in the lyrics of a pop song from Yesteryear...

Every breath you take,
Every move you make,
Every bond you break,
Every step you take,
I'll be watching you.

And Bono, the guy who sang the song and now working for the globalists was right. They are indeed watching every breath we take, every move we make, ensuring there is no privacy left.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 21 2021 9:33 utc | 82

I may have confused Sting and Bono. Sorry.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 21 2021 9:36 utc | 83

@karlof1 | Feb 21 2021 0:50 utc | 49

Once Hominids migrated from Africa, human populations have always been much greater in Asia than Europe, but no Asian to my knowledge has ever advocated for population reduction along Malthusian lines, nor has any African.

Although I generally agree with your post and its message, I would note that you have the small matter of Saloth Sar (also known as Pol Pot) in Cambodia who may not have preached population reduction, but sure enough practiced it. Perhaps it was because he was educated in France.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 21 2021 9:43 utc | 84

Nah. I wouldn't take the passer by-psychology to serious. He and many other commentators here have a relatively simple dualistic worldview. A western camp, led by Washington, vs. an eastern camp, led by Moscow. Stuck in time. Everything that doesn't fit into this pattern has to be shoehorned into it: Either you are with Moscow or you are an American "vassal", "puppet" etc.

The reality is that we are living in an emerging multi-polar world, not a dualistic world. The power of the USA is declining, but we are not yet right there. Even after the USA will have shrunk to size it will still remain a greater power (just like Russia remained a great power after the downfall of the Soviet Union).

Iran and Russia have decided to go on full confrontation to the declining USA. That's their choice. China is perceived as the main competitor by the USA and doesn't have a choice.

For most other countries it makes sense to co-operate in a cordial manner with the USA to a varying degree, depending on the concrete circumstances.

Posted by: m | Feb 21 2021 9:50 utc | 85

>>>> oldhippie @ Feb 20 2021 19:32 utc | 14

There is no “training mission”. The Iraqis do not need and do not want training.

If I was head of a national government and I could to chose any military in the world to train my army, the US would near the bottom of my list of preferred candidates somewhere near Vanuatu. Higher up the list, you'd find the NATO countries but at the top I'd put Russia at the moment after seeing what they've done with the SAA in Syria.

After seeing what has happened in Syria, I would pay the US military to train any insurgents opposed to my government as it would make them easier to kill

So oldhippie, there is no training mission in Iraq for which the US/NATO military is even required.

BTW, just re-watched Saving Private Ryan for the first time in twenty years and the best IED the US military could come up with were "sticky bombs".

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 21 2021 10:00 utc | 86

The distinction with Syria is educational. US troops in Syria are a tripwire, evidence of eagerness to escalate on incidents, but also lack of freedom: hard to avoid escalation if you don't want it. NATO troops in Iraq are in a way the opposite: Put NATO troops in between to reduce this tripwire function and to give freedom of action, but at the same time put NATO in a subordinate role where they have to absorb violence while the other players decide what happens.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Feb 21 2021 10:00 utc | 87

The Iraqi's don't need training with the latest kit. ISIS does though.

Posted by: Tom | Feb 21 2021 10:07 utc | 88

Arch Bungle thank you for the refresh on General Giap and his excellent victory at Dien Bien Phu. A true hero of the Vietnamese people and a great militarist support for Ho Chi Minh.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 21 2021 11:11 utc | 89

Я хочу прививаться добровольно.Только мне нужна эта вакцина как собаке пятая нога. Просто хочу измерить количество антител. Мне не нужна вакцина Потому что я сам ходячие вакцина-лекарство
с неограниченным временным действием
У меня 4 заболевания 1) сахарный диабет 2) несахарный диабет 3) органическое расстройство личности 4)
Оливопонтоцеребеллярная дегенерация с атрофией мозжечка. Эта болезнь ведёт к неминуемой смерти.
Хочу перед смертью спасти человечество но мне не позволяют. Обращение от Ахметвалеева Ришата! Обращаюсь ко всем, кто заинтересован в лечении Covid-19! У России есть лекарство от коронавируса со 100% эффектом, и это лекарство во мне. Целенаправленно укрепляю иммунитет более 6 лет. . У меня очень сильный приобретенный специфический (адаптивный) иммунитет сконцентрирован в селезёнке
Голландскими и немецкими исследователями из Утрехтского университета создано экспериментальное моноклональные антитело, нейтрализующее не только SARS-CoV-2, который является возбудителем COVID-19, но и другой вирус SARS-CoV.Моноклональные антитела производятся из клеток селезёнки и клеток злокачественной опухоли. Размножаются при помощи биореактора. Моноклональные антитела можно выработать против любого природного вируса. Мои моноклональные антитела будут в несколько раз мощнее. Для получения моноклональных антител мышь искусственно иммунизируют, а мой иммунитет поднят естественным путём. Лекарством из моноклональных антител вылечили бывшего президента США за 3 дня.
сокращённая версия моей статьи

Posted by: Rishat | Feb 21 2021 11:23 utc | 90

Posted by: m | Feb 21 2021 9:50 utc | 85

The world is dualistic in that there is a US Empire and a free world outside of the US Empire. Western Europe has been part of the US Empire since 1945. This is why there is US military in Germany, and not european military bases in the US.

It dominates a large part of the world with 800 military bases, with the main world reserve currency, via the IMF, where alone it has veto power, with cultural hegemony, and with the hegemony of the English language. Whatever starts in the US, usually it comes to Europe later. Thus it culturally terraformation of Europe. Nut surprisingly the majority of the french thought that the USSR had the biggest role in defeating Hitler's Germany, while today's french thought that the US had the primary role in defeating nazi Germany. This is very clearly cultural brainwashing, coming from the dominant (US) culture, movies, education instituions, etc.

On the other hand it is not a dualistic world because countries outside of the US Empire have different views on it, and on the world in general.

There is no Eastern Block led by Moscow, rather a multipolar world outside of the US Empire.

>>Iran and Russia have decided to go on full confrontation to the declining USA. That's their choice. For most other countries it makes sense to co-operate in a cordial manner with the USA to a varying degree, depending on the concrete circumstances.

I wouldn't call what is going on between european countries and the US cooperation.

Germany said that there can not be european defence independent from the US. Sorry, but this is puppetry, not cooperation. Most of the world does not find it normal that it should have 40 US military bases in their country, that their defence should be under the command of a US general (NATO Commander), and that the US should be listening to their leader's phone. Not to mention that it appears that there is a post war treaty stipulating that Germany should be a US satellite up to 2099.

It was disclosed in a book by the head of German military intelligence, Gerd-Helmut Komossa. Germany will gain its sovereignty from the US in 2099.

Russia wants to be left alone and to have good relations with the US, but if someone attacks it, it fights back. I wouldn't call fighting back "seeking a confrontation".

Same for Iran. It wasn't Iran that got out of the JCPOA, it was the US. Iran always wanted to stay in the nuclear agreement.

Posted by: Passer by | Feb 21 2021 11:32 utc | 91

The US is always looking for a fig leaf to brand itself as leader of the West’s combined or coalition forces (aka Coalition of the willing) to politically legitimise its military interventions and assuage anti-war feeling at home whether it’s the Multi-National-Force MNF-1 (the US led coalition i.e. the Iraq occupation forces from 2003 to 2011) the current US Global Coalition force in Iraq or the International Security Force ISAF US led occupation forces in Afghanistan. It appears that the continued presence of US occupying forces in Iraq and Syria is to be maintained and reinforced under a NATO umbrella to fight terrorism and a resurgent ISIS in the Middle East according to the NATO chief at the request of the Iraqi Government. Following the demise of Trump and the reinstatement of the neo liberal warmongers in Washington does this ominously portend a new level of military engagement against pro Iranian Iraqi and Syrian forces in combination with more Israeli provocations and military aggression against Iran or is it the reaction of a military organisation devoid of real enemies but desperate to flex its muscles and prove its political utility to the Empire? Except for the US and UK military the majority of countries that deployed military forces to Iraq and Afghanistan were generally confined to their respective military installations in supporting roles and training because of the widespread violence instigated by the US/UK military interventions.

Posted by: rick | Feb 21 2021 12:41 utc | 92

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 20 2021 20:47 utc | 25

"Trump tried to do a deal with Iraq for 50% of the revenue from their oil."

Like most of Trump's attempted deals, there was not the slightest chance of that working. The Iraqi parliament would never have voted for it. They spent most of 2008 voting repeatedly against the Oil Law demanded by Bush. They are not likely to change now.

Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 21 2021 13:14 utc | 93

@Grieved | Feb 21 2021 0:02 utc | 46

Thank you for linking to the Lavrov interview, which I have now read. I agree with your highlighting (last sentence), it is explosive. Looking forward to hearing analyses about what this means in an appropriate thread.

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 21 2021 13:16 utc | 94

Arch Bungle @70
D’Andrea’s status — we may not know for another 50 years, till his secret status is declassified. The bigger picture that I mentioned, was in the open for all to see though. No secrets there.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Feb 21 2021 13:17 utc | 95

"Can you parse some of how the Shia in both countries-- Iraq and Iran-- see each other? thanks"

Posted by: migueljose | Feb 21 2021 0:18 utc | 48

Iraq is the homeland of Shi'ism, the holy land if you like, and the Shi'a are the majority population in the country these days. Iran is a more important political power, but only became Shi'a by political decision in the 16th century (hope the century is right). So they're allies, not one a slave of the other. In particular the Iraqis didn't like the religious nature of the regime in Tehran. Mullas shouldn't take part in politics, in the Iraqi view. So they have wanted to stay clear of too close an involvement.

It just suits American propaganda to put the Iraqis under the control of Iran. Soleimani was advising his allies, not more.

Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 21 2021 13:25 utc | 96

"@ Laguerre | Feb 20 2021 21:35 utc | 32

Indeed they may be broke by corruption, likely a common path to wage economic war by IMF loans. But can the US collect, or does it become an excuse for sanctions, or just occasion a coup?"

Posted by: Sam F | Feb 21 2021 1:45 utc | 55

I should think the US will stay well clear of deep involvement in Iraq. They tried all that under Bush, and it didn't work. Keep Iraq weak, must be the aim (as Israel wants), while supporting the operation in Syria. A coup wouldn't work, they already have a veto over the election of the PM.

Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 21 2021 13:35 utc | 97

Jen @55, James 64

Class is the primary route to success in the music business. The Police are toffs. Both of Copeland’s names are family names.

I was lucky enough to hear them twice before they were big. Saw them carrying their equipment into Katzenjammer Kids tavern at Lincoln/Belden/Orchard and helped them carry and setup. No cover, no minimum. Even then, when the three of them all had major acne scars and looked properly rock and roll it was as plain as day they were upper class. Having a CIA father same as having built in promotion.

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 21 2021 14:00 utc | 98

MSC 2021: US of Today No Longer The One of the 'Cavalry is Coming' in Europe's Eyes, Analysts Say

"[With] his call for the allies to follow and support his 'America is back' and 'Build Back Better' strategy, he concluded the 'long telegram' re-exhuming the dreams of Apollo spacecrafts with the attempted exploration on Mars", he says, adding that contrary to some expectations "European leaders, particularly Merkel and Macron, did not abide to the gentle protective American cloak".

Looks like Biden's speech to the Munich Securtiy Conference was more pitiful than I thought. That's a new low for a new POTUS, at least in the imperial era (1932-present).

Posted by: vk | Feb 21 2021 14:22 utc | 99

It seems to me that insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan are left with one strategy: capture foreign hostages and leverage them to get NATO out.

Perhaps the US expects this. However, how effective can their occupation be if they are confined to closely guarded bases?

Posted by: Eighthman | Feb 21 2021 15:08 utc | 100

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