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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Mr. Laguerre

And what do you call the edicts of Ayatollah Sistani which produced an Army where none existed before as well as demanded one-man one-vote?

He is an Iranian to boot.

The Kurds are followers of Tariqat, the Sunnis are followers of Shariat, the Shia are followers of Maria'ayat. There are also large numbers of non-Muslims like Christians, Sabeans, Ahl al Haqs, and Yazidis.

In such a polity, Velayat Faqih or an Islamic Republic is not practical, just as it was not in Lebanon.

Empirically, the wars of containment of Iran became a religious war of Sunnis against Shias and other religious minorities. The experience of 1700 Shia cadets being beheaded by that Iraqi Sunni tribe cannot be unlived. The daily experience of rapine, murders, and bombings against Shia communitirs and persons in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Sunni Muslims cannot be forgotten or forgiven.

Who are not enemies of Shia? The Orthodox and Catholic Christians and the Sikhs.

Posted by: Fyi | Feb 21 2021 15:58 utc | 101

Mr. M

Iran and Russia bent forwards and backwards to accommodate US, to no avail. Americans have a deep psychological need for domination. Let the Americans pit themselves against the rest of mankind, it only accelerates their decay, as we have witnessed in Texas this past week.

Posted by: Fyi | Feb 21 2021 16:08 utc | 102

@ oldhippie... i agree with you... the more upper class the better.. although sometimes the upper class helps a lower class - see elton john for an example...

Posted by: james | Feb 21 2021 16:55 utc | 103

One small quibble: the NATO forces aren't hostages.
They're tripwires.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 21 2021 18:09 utc | 104

oldhippie @ 98

Class is the primary route to success in the music business. The Police are toffs

Well, Sting grew up in the toxic shadow of a huge shipyard. His mom was a hairdresser, his dad an engineer...definitely working class.

No, dude, talent is the primary route to success in the music business...

...even if, yeah, there's certainly talent wasting on most every city block.

Posted by: john | Feb 21 2021 18:59 utc | 105

Grieved @46--

Have just read your now surfaced comment from yesterday. Hopefully later this afternoon I'll be able to formulate a better reply.

Norwegian @84--

I agree with Chomsky that without the Outlaw US Empire's illegal war waged on Cambodia and Laos, Pol Pot would never been able to do what he did; so, I see him as an agent of Western sponsored genocide aimed at Asians.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 21 2021 19:09 utc | 106

Fyi @ 61

Goes to show I should have done my homework before posting. Thanks for the info on the gas line and railway.

On another note, your closing sentence does suggest that prolonging conflict in the region is sound strategy for the empire.

Posted by: robin | Feb 21 2021 19:11 utc | 107

@ john - it is a business after all... talent often rises to the top, but the music industry has a way of screwing things up too... i have known a number of musicians that were able to continue there pursuit of music and study based on a more affluent background that allowed for this.. i am not saying all, but i have noticed it more then not... i am reminded of genesis - phil collins, peter gabriel and etc... i read phil collins book which came out recently.. he talks of the other guys in the band being all upper class and having a particular attitude toward him - phil who came from a lower class background.. phil went on to become more succussful them all of them in many respects - financially anyway... but in the end it is true the cream rises to the top.. i think the music industry has a way of screwing it up and pushing certain music to the fore for reasons other then talent... they are thinking what sells.... this is the kiss of death for an artist to be thinking of this, but it is how the music industry thinks... the industry doesn't always adopt the vision of the artists... the starving artist image is so long lasting! it's an interesting conversation piece with no definitive answers as i see it..

Posted by: james | Feb 21 2021 19:14 utc | 108

Mr. Robin

Most definitely as the strategic prize of Iran has become less and less achievable.

On the other hand, the Empire is teaching people across 6 countries to cooperate, stand on their own feet and fight the Empire.

Posted by: Fyi | Feb 21 2021 21:07 utc | 109

Fyi #101

Thank you for that passionate call to remember and respect.

The Sunni religious and political leadership have their vile hands on a very strategic element - religious belief and human mendacity. They never cease to demand allegiance, devotion, blood for their cause. They are living crimes against humanity as they pervert Islam to their ends, as they pervert tribal affiliations to their ends and as they subvert others (equally evil) to assist in their vile dominance. The west would be better off having no association with these Sunni leaders AT ALL.

As there is a perpetual case for BDS - Boycot, Divestment, Sanction then these be the nations and leaders that should be included.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 21 2021 22:51 utc | 110

Norwegian 78

Indeed, no-one apart from the Norwegians took back most of their country after WW2.

My late father in law flew Norwegian civilian officials in his RNAF Catalina from Dundee to first Bergen and then onto Trondheim to accept the German's surrender. No other nationality involved. Being a lad from a farm east of Bergen this was the first confirmation that his parents had that he was alive, following his fishing boat escape in 1942. He recalled that the flight north the following morning, with everyone on board with serious hangovers, as they 'buzzed' all the towns on the route, was one he tried to forget. That he was the Norwegian military representative on that trip made it an event he was proud of for the rest of his life.

Lovely people you Norwegians.

Posted by: JohninMK | Feb 21 2021 23:58 utc | 111

@Arch Bungle | Feb 21 2021 6:10 utc | 67
It is a fallacy that air power could have saved the French in that battle… air cover …would not have changed that, just prolonged the outcome.

I do not argue that air power would have saved them after the battle began, but that they had none, the US refused to provide it, and it would have been the usual way to detect and counter being surrounded by artillery. So the lack of air cover appears to have led to their being surrounded by artillery (as well as miles of tunnels for surprise attacks and escapes), but may not have prevented defeat by late intervention.

It does appear likely that air support would have detected the massing of forces around them, allowing them to escape before the runway was destroyed, but I do not know.

Posted by: Sam F | Feb 22 2021 2:21 utc | 112

James @ 108:

In Britain from the 1960s to 1980s, having an art college education (subsidies by the govt) seems to have been de rigueur for aspiring rock and pop stars.

Working class people, and esp those from Birmingham, the Black Country (old Industrial Revolution areas near Birmingham) and parts of historic Yorkshire, tended to go into hard rock and heavy metal. I do not know what the situation is in the UK these days as the metal scene is very underground and splintered into many sub-genre. Technology also makes it easier for individuals to form solo metal projects, playing all instruments using computer programs and databases that help them to write songs, perform them and do multi-tracking and recording.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 22 2021 3:23 utc | 113

Posted by: Sam F | Feb 22 2021 2:21 utc | 112

I do not argue that air power would have saved them after the battle began, but that they had none, the US refused to provide it, and it would have been the usual way to detect and counter being surrounded by artillery. So the lack of air cover appears to have led to their being surrounded by artillery

Dear Sam, this also, is not true :-(

The very first thing Navarre did, months before the actual defeat, was create airstrips to host his very adequate air power in preparation for the intended battle at Dien Bien Phu.

His mistake was in the assumption that Giap had no access to anti-aircraft weaponry ...

Unfortunately for him it turned out that Giap had gotten his hands on quite a fine supply of AA weapons with which he proceeded to decimate the otherwise adequate air power available to Navarre.

There was no need for additional air power until it was discovered (too late!) that Giap had access to AA, and the presence of AA was one of the major reasons the US refused to send additional air aid.

So you see, it is a fallacy that the French could not locate or gather intelligence on the location of Giap's artillery because of Air Power - they had sufficient air power for intelligence.

The reason why they could not locate Giap's artillery was something quite unrelated to air power, it was this:

The Viet Minh then dug tunnels through the mountain and emplaced the artillery pieces hidden in the foliage overlooking the French encampment.

The French did not have the foggiest clue until too late how the Viet could have dragged heavy artillery and anti-aricraft weapons up steep hills through jungle territory, dig through mountains and position their weapons out of site of air surveillance.

By the time the realised what was up it was too late.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Feb 22 2021 12:05 utc | 114

A footnote to my spelling-error ridden post at 114 (remedial penance):

As in Korea, it appears there was serious discussion between the French and Americans around the use of nuclear weapons to break the siege of Dien Bien Phu:

Drew Pearson, the well-respected syndicated columnist who was known for his close connections to Washington officialdom, noted in his diary on April 11 that “the Pentagon is definitely considering the use of small atomic bombs in [Southeast Asia].”

On the other side of the ledger may be put Eisenhower’s alleged assertion to hardliners Radford and Twining in this same time period. Sensitive to the scant time that had passed since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he reportedly told them: “You boys must be crazy. We can’t use those awful things against Asians for the second time in less than 10 years. My God!” Likewise, some members of the NSC voiced concerns about political problems with allies and increased risk of general war in the event the A-bombs were used. A document in the files of John Foster Dulles, undated but clearly penned sometime that spring, asserts that “any use of atomic weapons will raise very serious problems of Asian opinion and attitude of our allies.” Moreover, “if US intervention results in war expanding to China, and [the] Soviet Union becomes involved, British and NATO opinion might well be split as to support [the] US in any use of British and NATO bases.”


Posted by: Arch Bungle | Feb 22 2021 14:17 utc | 115


For a quick summary of Gordon Summers place in the peerage try If you need more try geneanet. Only the free services will be plenty.

The rags to riches story is invariably a lie.

Back in 1977 as stated previously I met them, helped them carry the amps into the club. No way were any of the three even remotely working class. Do not believe publicists.

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 22 2021 17:16 utc | 116

@ 113 jen.... thanks.. that is interesting!

Posted by: james | Feb 22 2021 17:52 utc | 117

Re: Copeland and rock music connections to Intelligence services

Anyone interested in this subject should read Weird Scenes Inside The Canyon: Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops & The Dark Heart Of The Hippie Dream
Book by David McGowan

The number of US rock musicians who are either descended from US/British aristocratic families and/or offspring of US intelligence officers is simply astounding.

The number of such military intelligence offspring in the industry is simply too large to be mere coincidence.

    "What you make of McGowan’s criteria in and of itself (which ranges fairly widely, and at times wildly, from a “tell-tale” preoccupation with the occult to heavy military-industrial family ties), to my mind the virtue of Weird Scenes dwells in the ensuing atmosphere of incredible fairy-tale strangeness—not unlike Joan Didion’s own famous look at California in the late sixties, The White Album.

    On almost every page, movie-star mansions, knitted with secret passages, spontaneously combust; murders, suicides and overdoses spread through the celebrity populace; cults spring up peopled with mobsters and spies… and all the while, this timeless, intriguing music keeps on geysering away. I contacted McGowan about his bizarre book earlier this week…"

Posted by: C4 | Feb 22 2021 17:59 utc | 118

CIA Hippie Mind Control: Inside Laurel Canyon with Dave McGowan

"Published on 23 Feb 2015
The hippie movement of the 1960s, which began in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles and peculiar military and political ties to prominent figures in the scene like Jim Morrison and Frank Zappa are looked at with Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon author Dave McGowan. We also discuss movement pioneer Vito Paulekas, Charles Manson and the Manson Family murders, and the theory that the CIA manufactured the hippie counterculture to undermine the anti war movement, in this uncensored Antidote interview, hosted by Michael Parker."

Posted by: C4 | Feb 22 2021 18:04 utc | 119

In the seventies I loved to listen to Albert Ayler's saxophone.he played it right from the heart,and is very different from other free jazz players.I was really shocked that he drowned in the Hudson river.News reported he still clang to his saxophone case when they dragged him on the riverside.

As for popmusicians being upper class or born with a silver spoon,I do not know about that,but I surely was annoyed when all those singers got together doing christmas songs and we are the world,in the eighties,when MTV and the like undid all spontaneity from popmusic.

Eric Burdon 's father was a coalminer in Newcastle,and this singer has always been a favourite of mine for his being in one piece and staying the same decades later.Van Morrison comes to mind as well. Listen to Tobacco Road,with War,or It's my life,with the Animals.

Posted by: willie | Feb 22 2021 18:46 utc | 120

Hey C4, James, Jen and willie ( and everyone else )
Interesting conversation about music! Jen is the first person from whom I learned about inside the LC. I am a fan of the sharp edges of music. Hence my love for Black Sabbath, the godfathers of metal and to a certain extent punk. Punk is what really began to expose me, at probably too young an age, to the topics which are discussed at MoA. Crass, Flux of Pink Indians, Conflict, Dead Kennedys, MDC, Subhumans... the list could go on. I used to hear it on KFJC, Foothill Junior College. They also used to broadcast Mae Brussells' World Watchers International. Metal has progressed in many ways. There are some rather unsavory corners in the NSBM scene - National Socialist Black Metal. Satanic Warmaster are a NSBM band from Finland who I happen to like. There is another band from Sweden who did metal versions of Nestor Makhno's anarchist anthems. But overall metal is outsider music. Black metal being the outsiders of the outsiders. Gorgoroth and Craft are my favorites in the black metal genre. Metal also to my ear has a lot of similarities to Albert Ayler and a lot of the free jazz musicians. Impulse records!!
Thanks everyone!

Posted by: lex talons | Feb 22 2021 19:11 utc | 121

Mr. uncle tungsten

Thank you for your kind words.

The actions of the Sunni Muslims across Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan - reviving the practices of Omavid dynasty - have made the word "Islam" mud all over the world.

The searing news transmitted all over the world of Yazidi females being sold into slavery will not be forgotten soon by the wider world.

And certainly not in Iraq, not in Iran, not in Lebanon, and not in Syria.

Even in Iran, we have Takfiris/Jihadists.

The less-religious in Iran have started referring to mohajabeh women in Iran as "Daeshi" - even though most are not.

We are not going to see the end of this anytime soon.

Posted by: fyi | Feb 22 2021 20:38 utc | 122

Dave McGowan's research into Laurel Canyon is a must-read. Sixties rock music has a wide appeal to all kinds of "average people". The haunting deconstruction of everyone's familiar rock icons is easily the most accessible entry to conspiracyverse for normals. A rabid eyeopener to the depth of everyday propaganda psyops. The little detail of Jim Morrison's father's cardinal role in the Gulf of Tonkin is a gem. Read it. Recommend it to others.

The original web based series is still freely available here:

Posted by: Lurk | Feb 22 2021 20:50 utc | 123

C4 et al

Over forty years ago they simply told us outright that CIA had complete control of all print publication, to include small literary and arts publications. Anyone with half a brain could see that Hollywood was once controlled by the mob and later ceded to CIA. Why would they not take control of popular music? The star making machinery and the hit making machinery was and is right there for them to use. Otherwise useless children of the rich get roles to keep them busy.

Even when it is right out in the open as with Jim Morrison, using his real name, not hiding who his father was, who the rest of his family was, no one notices. It is crimes committed in broad daylight and the suckers never notice.

Some seventeen years back when I was a single guy for a while had a summertime romance with a much younger lady. A May-September thing in both senses. She was not quite entitled to be a capital L Lady but she was peerage. It was a first cousin who was the baronet. Her father an optometrist, her mother an RN. Her uncle had controlled casting and new talent in Hollywood for fully fifty years. She had been to Hollywood, had made five movies and ditched it. She had known she was family, once she was there discovered it was the only only thing that mattered. Not Six Degrees of Separation, more often two or three. Inside the club six degrees was as far as it went, for them there was a complete world inside that frame. And the family were all filth. The young lady only made it to age 38 and the family was the biggest part of that. She drank mostly to escape the horror of that family.

It goes more than one way. Another friend just died this winter. Age 62. Homelessness, exposure, starvation. Oh, and alcohol. His brother was a billionaire macher in Hollywood. His nephew an A-list movie star. His cousin had a good decade as a singer and pop star, after our friend had taught her to play guitar. We tried, a lot of friends tried to keep him alive. The billions were right there and he was family. Our Lords and masters are not nice people.

But they sell us happy stories about rags to riches and we believe them. BS.

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 22 2021 21:16 utc | 124


The only common virtue shared by successful musicians(yes, including those relatively few with a couple drops of blue-blood who became zillionaires), is called talent. If you don't have that nothing else is gonna work for you. It was true for Michael Jackson, it's true for the dudes who come down from the Rif to play the World Music Festival in Essaouira. It's a relative thing.

Talent, as I'm sure you've noticed, is distributed randomly by our gracious maker amongst all of his creatures, regardless of station.

The Music Business,Inc. is an entirely different kind of enterprise.

Probably Robert Fripp was correct when he said,

"If you love music, become a plumber."

Posted by: john | Feb 22 2021 21:36 utc | 125

@ 6 Robin The crossing into Anbar is the Al Quaim crossing, near Al Bukamal, Deir Ezzor. It was reopened September 2019, controlled by the Syrian & Iraqi Armies. It has been targeted by terrorists & isis airforce, but remains open.

Posted by: boon | Feb 22 2021 22:36 utc | 126

@126 boon @ Robin I meant to type "26" not "6"

Posted by: boon | Feb 22 2021 22:43 utc | 127

The current geopolitical situation led me to re-read Oswald Spengler´s "Jahre der Entscheidung" (Years of decision - my translation of the title). It came out in 1933. It is a collection of 20 essays - these are amazingly "current" - Many statements can be quoted now. For example - "Wird Chikago das Moskau der Neuen Welt sein?". To read Spengler is one of great benefits of learning and knowing German language!
No wonder that Kissinger was a big fan of Spengler.

Posted by: bystander04 | Feb 23 2021 4:59 utc | 128

oldhippie @ 98

Class is the primary route to success in the music business. The Police are toffs
No, dude, talent is the primary route to success in the music business......even if, yeah, there's certainly talent wasting on most every city block.
Posted by: john | Feb 21 2021 18:59 utc | 105

Thanks. You said that for me...
I don't want to offend anyone but, imo, the opposite is ~true:
i.e. Music is a primary route to success in the Social Climbing business.
A Toff background might put a wannabe muso at the head of an audition or Gig queue but only talent will keep you there.
It might be worth trolling through the extremely long list of One Hit Wonder pop-music individuals from the late 1950s to see how many met the Toff criteria...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 23 2021 14:12 utc | 129

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