Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 05, 2021

On 'Shia Backed', 'Iran Backed' Nonsense And Other Warmongering Journalism

The recent U.S. airstrike at the Syrian-Iraqi border and the missile attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq were followed by many examples of bad journalism.

U.S. media, as FAIR documents, have purged inconvenient facts from their coverage of Biden's 'first' airstrike:

The less clear the US population is about the frequency and scale of murderous violence its government carries out, the easier it is for the US ruling class to go about its wars. Fortunately for the US state, corporate media help manufacture collective amnesia by expunging US aggression from the record.
...
Securing consent for running a lethal, worldwide empire requires unremitting propaganda: Redacting the historical record and playing the victim are two useful strategies.

The dozens of examples in the FAIR piece are telling. FAIR gets one thing wrong though. The attack was not in Syria, as the U.S. claimed, but on the Iraqi side of the border.

Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai - 6:01 UTC · Mar 3, 2021
Analysts keep making this mistake: 1st Biden's bombing was in #Iraq not #Syria. An Iraqi military delegation sent by @MAKadhimi verified & confirmed that the #US bombed Iraqi security forces on the Iraqi borders with #Syria and not on Syrian territory.

Nearly all U.S. media use 'Iran-backed militia' when describing the groups that allegedly launched the missiles. The Pentagon now wants to change that. A press briefing with spokesman John F. Kirby had several exchanges about that:

Q: Just going back to -- to the rocket attack, could you describe roughly the distance that the rockets were coming from? And what does that say about the tactics -- and how does that -- of the -- whoever fired those? And to what degree does this resemble previous attacks by the Iranian-backed militia?

MR. KIRBY: I'm not qualified to do the forensics, Dan, on -- on -- on how this equates to previous attacks, other than obviously it's a rocket attack and we have seen rocket attacks come from Shia-backed militia groups in the past. So in that way, it certainly -- it certainly coincides with our past experience here.

... [lots of unrelated stuff] ...

Q: OK. And yesterday we hear from the podium you expressed hope that the first strike on Abu Kamal will -- might deter any future attacks.

MR. KIRBY: Yes.

Q: And less than 24 hours later, this happened. In the airstrike, you targeted Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, two entities that are part of the PMF.

MR. KIRBY: Yes.
...

Q: How do you view the PMF now after targeting Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada?

MR. KIRBY: We've long been open and honest about the threats that these -- that arise from these rocket attacks that are being perpetrated by some Shia-backed militia. And we've not been bashful about calling it out when we've seen it. And the only thing I'd add is, just like before we're going to act appropriately to defend our personnel, our interests and those of our Iraqi partners.

Q: I'm asking about the PMF in general, since the group -- these groups are part of the PMF and they're actually the leaders of these groups are part of the leadership, like Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, the leader of --

MR. KIRBY: I understand -- wait, I understand where you're going. Again, we're focused on these -- the Shia-backed militias that continue to put at risk and to continue to threaten our people and our Iraqi partners. And I don't have any other additional conversations to read out today.

Q: If I may? When you say Shia backed militias, do you mean Shia militias or Iran backed --

MR. KIRBY: I mean Shia-backed militias.

Q: What does that mean?

MR. KIRBY: Lara?

Q: Thanks John.

Q: No, no, seriously John. I'm --

MR. KIRBY: No seriously. I mean Shia-backed militia.

Q: Like what does that mean, Shia-backed militia? You're backed by --

MR. KIRBY: I've answered your question sir.
...
Q: On the Shia-backed militias. Previously U.S. officials would say Iran backed militias, Shia is a sect, it's a large group of people. When you say Shia-backed what do you really mean? I was confused.

MR. KIRBY: I've been using that phrase pretty much since I've been up here and we know that and I've said this that that some of the Shia-back militias have – Shia-based have Iranian backing.

There is a certain point in Kirby's relabeling. The 'Iran backing' the 'Shia backed' militia get is much less than often assumed:

Iran’s relationship with Iraqi militant groups in its sphere of influence is often more one of mentorship than of direct command and control.

The Hashd al-Shaabi or PMU are paid by the Iraqi government which is based on a Shia majority. In that 'Shia backed' might make some sense but not in the sectarian way Kirby is using it.

To use "Shia backed militia" for Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada has as much analytical a value as calling Al-Qaeda Sunni backed or the Irish Republican Army Catholic backed. Neither would be technical incorrect but all these designations are way to broad to be of any use.

One wonders why the Pentagon is doing this? Does it want the 'Iran backed' out of the way to make it easier to talk with Iran? Or could there be some more nefarious reason:

I believe that Washington could very well seek to push Iraq into a new civil war in a bid to eradicate the Hashd al-Sha’abi. Many of the groups within the PMU have threatened to wage war on US forces if Washington refuses to withdraw. Unfortunately, this threat by the PMU can easily be exploited by the US, giving Washington a casus belli, as they intensify their “defensive” airstrikes while claiming to support Baghdad’s campaign to bring “stability” to Iraq.

Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada and the other Hashd al-Shaabi groups are by the way mixed groups and not exclusively Shia. The one KH member who was killed in the U.S. attack on Abu Kamal was Sunni.

Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai - 10:21 UTC · Feb 26, 2021
First military victims of @JoeBiden:
The Sunni member of the Hashd al-Shaabi, Rahi Salam Zayd al-Sharifi, from Hillah, the ancient city of Babil (Babylon), killed by the #US air attack on the Iraqi- Syrian borders last night at 02:30 am local time.

Some of the worst writing on the episode comes from the New York Times chief warmonger David Sanger. In an 'analysis' headlined For Biden, Deliberation and Caution, Maybe Overcaution, on the World Stage he writes:

The goal was to send a signal to Iran without risking escalation. The Iraqi government was brought into the decision, and the strike was limited to a small cluster of buildings in Syria that was a gathering place for jihadis and smugglers. Even then, Mr. Sullivan and Pentagon officials took one target off the list at the last moment because of images showing there might be women and children present.

Their response may have been overly cautious because another rocket attack followed, on Wednesday, when an American contractor died of a heart attack.

But some leading Democrats still opposed the strike.

To call the 'Shia backed' government paid militia "jihadis" as if they were ISIS or al-Qaeda is as wrong as one can get.

To accept the evidence free claim, invented by 'officials' a week after the airstrike, that one target was taken off the list because women and children were there is dense.

And to call a strike that hit Iraqi government forces 'overly cautious' because the seven 500 pound bombs that were dropped did not have the desired political effect is analytical stupidity. It is the whole idea that such strikes create 'deterrence' that is wrong. The missile attack after the airstrike proves that deterrence does not work. More strikes would not change that.

Posted by b on March 5, 2021 at 18:47 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Well said man, as always.

Posted by: bjd | Mar 5 2021 19:01 utc | 1

Very timely b.

I've just finished watching Adam Curtis' new 6-part documentary, which includes some very similar points being made here about the incapacity of media and political institutions to confront local complexity. The NYT and other outlets can only offer Manichean fairy-tales about good and evil. When faced with deep cultural, social and historical complexities like the Middle-East they default to massive over-simplification. We are being set up to identify Shia as bad; this is difficult because the West has been conditioned to see the Salafist and Wahhabist Sunnis as the baddies for 20 years. 'Iranian-backed' sounds too geo-political and suggests that there may be another legitimate and sovereign position being taken. 'Shia-backed' sounds like death-cult religious-looney terrorism, which is easier to sell as evil.

Posted by: Patroklos | Mar 5 2021 19:34 utc | 2

Addendum to #2

The Adam Curtis documentary is called "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" and is here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p093wp6h. Like all Adam Curtis' docos, it is highly recommended.

Posted by: Patroklos | Mar 5 2021 19:36 utc | 3

The desire to stir up conflict in Iraq sounds plausible to me given that the US wants to use a divide and weaken strategy across the region. Thanks, b!

Posted by: worldblee | Mar 5 2021 19:39 utc | 4

Vatican-backed Pentagon spokesman.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Mar 5 2021 19:56 utc | 5

Excellent analysis, I enjoyed reading it. "Catholic backed", I liked that a lot. It takes courageous individuals with integrity like yourself or Monsieur Magnier to bring us truth in reporting. Perhaps also the guy asking Kirby the questions in this exchange. Was it this one AP guy, by any chance?

What a mess Iraq is, and what a clown show its politics. Imagine, both the president and the prime minister of Iraq have dual citizenship. As leaders of the supposedly sovereign country of Iraq, they're at the same time subjects of Her Majesty, the Queen of the United Kingdom. It's absurd.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Mar 5 2021 20:01 utc | 6

Great reception by the "Shia-backed government" in Baghdad for Pope Francis!
Western MSM trying to depict him isolated from the locals coz 1)security 2) covid 3)these-people-are-not-civilized but, check here from 18'
(sorry for the source, no time to look for another one)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSkJxiu8U1I
compare the pics on cnn
https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/05/middleeast/iraq-pope-francis-visit-arrival-baghdad-intl/index.html

Posted by: Mina | Mar 5 2021 20:06 utc | 7

John Kirby meme (image direct link)

John Kirby and Jen "Circle-back" Psaki are proof that America is not a meritocracy.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 5 2021 20:11 utc | 8

thanks b... well said.... if zionist backed usa ever got round to going after sunni backed isis, they would be doing a lot to correct there ongoing mistakes... it is unlikely to happen.... 'word bullshit salad' is on the menu indefinitely from zionist backed usa...

Posted by: james | Mar 5 2021 20:20 utc | 9

@ 8 wg.. i believe that is a different guy from the state dept.. i forget his name... says kirby on it, but i don't believe that is kirby.. i used to watch those videos...

Posted by: james | Mar 5 2021 20:26 utc | 10

@8 wg... the pic you have is of mark toner - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Toner

Posted by: james | Mar 5 2021 20:29 utc | 11

Good article b.
Now the first rocket attack hit green parks and parking lots. So it was described by a PMU fellow as "not very good as an attack on the Americans"
The US "replied" with an attack on Iraqi PMU's who did not have the ability to fire back. Like the Lebanese, the US doesn't give them anything that they could use against the US or Israel.

Nobody was expected to get hurt and any "reciprocal" was action avoided.

Biden fiddled around like Nero fiddling while Rome burned. Nero at least had a musical instrument, Biden just fiddles. But the attention stayed on him as "President". But not on the Vice President, one Karmala Harris.

Why? The answer may be found in the US. The Iraqi episode provided a diversion while the real action happened elsewhere. At the same time as Iraq, the H.R.1 "for the People" act was passed in the US. This will give (still needs senate approval) permanent Democratic majority in all future elections. Nancy's fancy.

A summary of the bill notes that it "expands voter registration (e.g., automatic and same-day registration) and voting access (e.g., vote-by-mail and early voting)" and imposes limits on removing voters from voter rolls.
"If you're a state like Alabama or Texas that has a voter ID law, you might as well forget it, because this federal law would override all state voter ID laws so they're now unenforceable,"
"It requires states to restore the ability of felons to vote the moment they're out of prison, regardless of uncompleted parole, probation, or restitution requirements or what states may believe is the appropriate restoration of voting rights for convicted felons."
a $200 donation to a House candidate would garner a $1,200 match in public funds for a total contribution of $1,400."

There is plenty more of the same. All the Election scams that Trump "alleged" happened now become law. --

So your vote, which can be collected and corrected by someone, anyone, can now be delivered up to 3 days after voting day. When they have worked out how many more votes will be needed. You are not required to provide proof of identity, even if you are dead, and somewhat incapacitated, someone can fill in your ballot, correctly of course with the name of the winner, for you. There is plenty more in the bill. They could even do it several times, why not be SURE it is counted?

What has this got to do with Iraq? Clearly Karmala HAS to remain as Vice President while the votes are made. SHE has the tie breaking vote - If she were to replace the President at this moment, then there would be a "delay" and possible complications in Nancy's "Democratic" coup, while a new vice President is found and put in place.

Biden has to be seen as still "capable", at least until the bill is passed. After which Kamel will become "la presidente" in the Hillary-Killary style.

Posted by: Stonebird | Mar 5 2021 20:38 utc | 12

Excellent piece, b. I’ve been a ‘lurker’ reading articles here on and off for a while and this one is particularly good. Very well argued with airtight facts.

I’ve gotta say, you are in your element when you tear apart the bs and propaganda the empire and its bootlicking media put out about its acts of war in the Middle East.

Just my personal opinion but I much prefer your excellent articles about geopolitics, like this one, over the Covid stuff or pieces about Trump.

Thanks for all hard work you put in keeping people informed about what’s going on in the hinterlands of empire.

Posted by: Squarebeard | Mar 5 2021 20:39 utc | 13

We have come to save you
and relieve your daily strife
We’ve come to free your people
amd impose our way of life
We are right and moral
with only good intentions
But if by chance you don’t concede
We’ll stage an intervention
Our Democratic love bombs
Will convince you we are right
We want your oil and riches
We hope you’ll see the light

Posted by: ld | Mar 5 2021 20:45 utc | 14

Posted by: Patroklos | Mar 5 2021 19:34 utc | 2

Couple of things. I agree that the new Adam Curtis series is worth watching. But I think this is not a statement that applies to 'mainstream' American citizens who get their "news" from Fox, CNN, NBC, the NYT, etc....

We are being set up to identify Shia as bad; this is difficult because the West has been conditioned to see the Salafist and Wahhabist Sunnis as the baddies for 20 years.

Actually they haven't been conditioning anyone on such simple grounds. Sure, there have been a few articles sprinkled here and there about the dangerous ideologies bein exported by Saudi Arabians, but the US media and BBC have been running cover for the Kingdom since the day of the attacks when Saudis started flying out of the USA even though the nation was closed to air traffic. Look at the case of Bin Laden, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks it was brushed under the rug or little importance was made of his a) Saudi citizenship and background and b) Wahhabist leanings. Yeah, they were occasionally *acknowledged* but no further conditioning was done to point out that Wahhabist or Salafist was a product created and shipped straight from high ranking Saudi Arabian kingdom connections.

It's only those of us like you and I who do in-depth reading and analysis of this stuff such as the (self) educated anti-war left/right, and those of us who read blogs like MoA or Magnier's reporting that have understood the distinction and that it's an over-simplification to break the entire ME down into devout Sunni/Shia camps that cannot come to any peaceful agreements without the helping hand of Uncle Scam and NATO.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Mar 5 2021 20:47 utc | 15

Stonebird | Mar 5 2021 20:38 utc | 12
....while the votes in the Senate are made.

Posted by: Stonebird | Mar 5 2021 20:49 utc | 16

Excellent post. I'll echo those who have lauded b's work on this. I'm sure he also read this, which came out the day before the FAIR piece he linked/quoted.

https://fair.org/home/fear-and-celebration-of-substack-are-both-misplaced/

It says exactly what I've been saying (and frankly I'm not taking any sort of credit since it should be obvious to anyone who is paying attention) for years, including in my comments at MoA. Republicans and conservatives are sold on wars with fear and threats. Democrats and (il)liberals are sold on the grounds of "humanitarian interventions." Now that the Empire has a more pleasant face on it again, although not as "pleasant" to the liberal world as Obama was, we should all expect to start hearing about humanitarian disasters and the need to intervene, but never about how the USSA's meddling/presence in the first place is what largely *caused* said "humanitarian" disasters. Never mind that many of the "humanitarian" disasters never actually happened at all (cough...cough...Douma....babies from incubators...bellingcrap....OPCW....NYT/Judy Miller/ WMDs). The biggest humanitarian disaster of this century is being buried by the western corporate media whether it's Trump or a Democrat in the White House....YEMEN.

I have excerpted that part of the FAIR article below, but as usual encourage anyone interested to go there for yourselves because this is only part of it and there are numerous embedded hyperlinks to back every one of their factual assertions.

Stop hitting yourself

Venezuela has been the target of more than two decades of US regime change operations, all met with virtually unanimous approval from corporate media (FAIR.org, 11/1/05, 5/16/18, 4/30/19). Chief among the cheerleaders has been the Washington Post. Its board puts out a constant flow of pro-regime change editorials (e.g., 4/14/02, 6/2/16, 6/30/17, 12/7/20), ignoring the effect US sanctions have had in devastating the country.

A typical example of this was a 2017 editorial (Washington Post, 7/27/17) that claimed that the “once-prosperous oil-producing nation has descended into political chaos and humanitarian crisis over the past several years.” The culprit, for the Post, was clear: it was the “Maduro regime”—that is, the government of President Nicolás Maduro—that “bears exclusive blame” for the “catastrophic economic conditions it has created.” The US role, it told readers, had been “consistently inadequate—too little and too late,” although it praised Trump for further sanctioning the country, insisting that he was only targeting “senior Venezuelan officials involved in drug trafficking and the suppression of democracy.”

In reality, Trump’s sanctions were aimed at the “poor and most vulnerable classes,” according to the United Nations. A study (4/25/19) by the Washington-based Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) later estimated that the new sanctions the Post had cheered about were responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 Venezuelans between August 2017 and the end of 2018 alone.

The report could have been used by liberal outlets to hammer Trump. But the organizations that reported on CEPR’s findings were few and far between, and mostly limited to small, foreign sources (FAIR.org, 6/26/19).

The humanitarian impact of US sanctions has also been hidden by media when it comes to Lebanon (FAIR.org, 8/26/20) and Iran (FAIR.org, 4/8/20), allowing the corporate press to represent those countries’ struggles as purely a result of their governments, thus further fueling calls for something to be done—that “something” far more likely to be increased intervention than an end to economic warfare. In essence, the sanctions put in place the economic conditions necessary for corporate media to demand intervention on humanitarian grounds.

Amazingly, bombs, missiles, coup attempts and sanctions don’t help foreign countries flourish. On the contrary, they are often the catalysts for political, social or humanitarian situations to worsen. These conditions, in turn, are subsequently used as more justification for increased sanctions or bombings. It is a beautiful system: when the cure causes the disease, you will never run short of demand for your medicine.

The forgotten war

Perhaps the most blatant example of ignoring the effect of US actions is Yemen, the country the United Nations has called, for some years now, the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis.” Some 24 million people (80% of the population) require assistance, as cholera and other diseases run rampant. If humanitarian intervention is necessary anywhere, it is here.

Unfortunately, the US is already intervening—to make matters much worse. For years, the US has been arming, training and supporting the Saudi-led coalition’s onslaught, largely aimed at the civilian population, signing a reported $350 billion arms deal with Riyadh, and even helping with target acquisition for Saudi bombers. The Saudis have deliberately targeted civilian infrastructure; since the war began in 2015, they have carried out an attack on medical or water facilities once every ten days, on average. The US has defended its ally at the UN, and even pressured member states into reducing their donations to the relief effort. As a result, aid to Yemen halved to just 25 cents per person per day in 2020.

Yet outlets with comparatively progressive audiences have not been informing their audiences of these facts, let alone calling for a humanitarian intervention. In fact, MSNBC went over one year without mentioning US involvement in the world’s bloodiest ongoing war. For comparison, over the same period, it ran 455 segments on Trump’s connections to porn star Stormy Daniels (FAIR.org, 7/23/18). Yemeni journalists complain that the West sees Iraq and Syria as more “newsworthy” than the conflict raging further south, making it harder to find publishers for their work. A search for “Syria” on the websites of the New York Times, CNN or Fox News will elicit 3-4 times more results than one for “Yemen” over the same time period.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Mar 5 2021 20:59 utc | 17

Argghhh....sorry, that was the wrong FAIR link.

HERE is the correct one for my post above at #17:

https://fair.org/home/humanitarian-imperialism/comment-page-1/

Posted by: _K_C_ | Mar 5 2021 21:00 utc | 18

Patroklos | Mar 5 2021 19:36 utc | 3

I hate to be negative; but, three years ago, I watched and reviewed two of Curtis's earlier documentaries, "Hypernormalization" and "The Trap". IMHO, the guy is a "limited hangout" artist. How else does one survive in the totally establishment BBC? The BBC is like the Guardian - organizations that used to be liberal/progressive, but have been crushed since the whole Snowden fracas.

Here are some excerpts from my criticism of his earlier Hypernormalization:

I watched Hypernormalization. It is very slick propaganda.

Now I see why the BBC love him. He is a master at the selective editing and twisting of history. There is just enough truth and limited hangout to buy credibility with the uninformed.

The only thing he gets right is that genuine politics in the west has been rendered absolutely powerless by massive computeriztion. That FAANG (Facebook, Apple,...) run the show, in a William Gibson-esque world. However, the picture he paints of how that happened is in service of an establishment. He has a narrative that is quite counter to my lived experience of how we got to today.

He begins by blaming the collapse of NYC and 1970s liberals in general on a failure of leftwing ideas. He focuses only on the extreme left. No mention of Nader-like inside-the-system lefties. No mention of the general collapse of credibility of all political positions in the wake of Vietnam/Watergate. No mention of the oil crisis as a cause of the financial collapse...

The whole narrative is about fake reality, fake politics; yet he doesn't mention the completely phony candidacy and presidency of Obama. He manages to evoke fear about Trump while never mentioning the shafting Bernie got, and NEVER mention bomb/revolution-happy Hillary at all. The impression left is that politics was a joke and people had given up.

Suicide bombing is made out to be a super weapon. Meanwhile, drone warfare, heavy weapons support for terrorists, and massive NSA dragnets barely get mentioned. For all the focus on the internet, not one word about the US/Israeli aggession known as Stuxnet.

He claims that "pessimism" was the dominant mood of the US in the 1990s. Hello? The 90s were an orgasm of ruling class triumphalism, economic boom, the future is unlimited, history is over. But he needs pessimism for his bullshit narrative, so pessimism it is.

He continually portrays politicians as "confused", "bewildered", "powerless", when the neocons and neoliberals were the opposite. They were accomplishing their goals across the board. But he does not want to talk about the neocon plan for MENA. No, he blames it all on Assad.

Politicians are the actors, its just that they are ineffective actors. They are there to take the blame for the violent messes that appeared on their watches. The CIA didn't stovepipe the intelligence to the gang of neocons who ran our foreign policy. The CIA didn't connive with the Saudis to start the Syrian War and illegally transfer billions of dollars of weapons secretly. It was all the fault of "confused" politiicans and a public that had checked out on politics.

Here is a quote from another person who shares my feeling of being manipulated:

For as long as he has been making films, Curtis has been interested in obfuscation and doublespeak. He examines the ways in which power brokers (and the people behind the power brokers) manipulate reality, or present a rosy façade as a way to conceal nefarious activity. Yet there’s the feeling while watching HyperNormalisation that Curtis is secretly getting high on his own supply. He uses smoke and mirrors to attack the smoke and mirrors. He offers the impression that he is reporting from the other side of the looking glass, a privileged position where the eccentric shifts of global power can be viewed with chilling clarity. Yet the way he presents his arguments suggests that he trades on the ignorance of his audience. He knows that as long as he frames himself in a position of authority, he can say anything he likes and we’ll swallow it whole.

He seldom resorts to qualification – for him (or, perhaps, for the purpose of his films), history is a finite continuum where events either happened or they didn’t. There is no dual perspective. Plus, it would be dramatically counterproductive to introduce qualification. He often talks about “the people” and “everyone” and “politicians” and “bankers”. He lumps demographics together and generalises in exactly the same way as those he criticises.

http://lwlies.com/articles/adam-curtis-hypernormalisation-tricks-and-tactics/

For the record, I have no idea what the lwlies website is. But the article hit exactly the notes I did.

All I'm saying is that you need to watch his stuff with a critical mindset. Question what has been left out. Question who is demonzied and who is not. There is a tiny bit of "limited hangout", but its not worth the spin sandwich its encased in.

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 5 2021 21:00 utc | 19

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 5 2021 20:11 utc | 8

Indeed. It's never been a meritocracy, always a skewed popularity contest. I watched this last night and it doesn't bode well for the American body politic which has become a completely fake meritocracy where popular or rich individuals can fail ever upwards based on divisive topics and the peddling of hatred of "the other."

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/boys_state

Texas teens learn about American democracy by organizing political parties and running a mock government.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Mar 5 2021 21:10 utc | 20

Jewish-backed military forces bombed Irak last week.

Posted by: Ed | Mar 5 2021 21:23 utc | 21

The 'coincidence' of the pope visiting Iraq at the very same time as the illegal occupiers USA and NATO are redefining the 'adversary' as Shia backed is grim news.

I expect there will be a rocket attack on whatever small christian enclave may still be cowering under the invaders jackboot. That will be immediately blamed on Shia backed whatever. The empire will escalate its R2P response etc, etc,.

There is no low too low for the USA + NATO forces.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 5 2021 21:25 utc | 22

Good piece. Our ‘government’ and corporate media aka ‘ministry of propaganda’ have adopted methods previously employed by Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany (1933-1945)- i.e., subject the American public to a continuous stream of lies, propaganda and outright nonsense, villainizing Iran, Syria and any other country deemed an obstacle to US global hegemony. The ruling Kleptocracy wants Iran turned into vassal where US energy firms can loot their energy resources and the Pentagon can set up a military base adjacent on the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic “choke point” through which circa 25% of the world's energy transits. In a prescient piece published several years ago, Dan Glazebrook pointed out- “The reason for this obsession with destroying Iran – shared by all factions of the Western ruling class, despite their differences over means – is obvious: Iran's very existence as an independent state threatens imperial control of the region – which in turns underpins both US military power and the global role of the dollar.” (See: Trump's delusional Iran oil gambit is decades too late by Dan Glazebrook RT July 9, 2018; Link: http://www.rt.com/op-ed/432418-iran-trump-china-tariffs). The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has concluded- ‘Iran possesses the largest and most diverse missile arsenal in the Middle East, with thousands of ballistic and cruise missiles, some capable of striking as far as Israel and southeast Europe.’ (See: Missile Defense Project, "Missiles of Iran," Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies July 16, 2020; Link: https://missilethreat.csis.org/country/iran/). No doubt, this has enraged the Kleptocracy running the US, who view the Russia-China-Iran axis as a direct threat and obstacle to American global hegemony.

Posted by: Paul | Mar 5 2021 21:29 utc | 23

Posted by: Patroklos | Mar 5 2021 19:34 utc | 2 & 3
(New Adam Curtis doco)

That name rang a bell but I had to Google it to refresh my memory :-)

If his new doco is only half as good as The Power Of Nightmares it'll still be in the top 10%.
TPoN was so good that the Psychos-in-charge cobbled together a half-baked 3-part 'rebuttal'.
Thanks.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 5 2021 21:44 utc | 24

ld @14; Nice little poem, right to the point of empire.

Posted by: vetinLA | Mar 5 2021 21:45 utc | 25

_K_C_ #17

Thank you for your accidental link to Fair.
That was a good read and led me to new pastures and informants :))

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 5 2021 21:45 utc | 26

@ _k_C_ #15

I accept your point; your average punter will just hear 'insert generic muslim stereotype here'.

Posted by: Patroklos | Mar 5 2021 21:52 utc | 27

ld@ 14; worth a re-post, thanks..

"We have come to save you
and relieve your daily strife
We’ve come to free your people
and impose our way of life
We are right and moral
with only good intentions
But if by chance you don’t concede
We’ll stage an intervention
Our Democratic love bombs
Will convince you we are right
We want your oil and riches
We hope you’ll see the light"

Posted by: vetinLA | Mar 5 2021 21:52 utc | 28

@ james | 11

Funny, when I had a look at William Gruff's meme-pic, I thought to myself "Uh, Kirby really has aged in a very strange way in his 4 years off the screen". Never realized it wasn't him, but Toner. Just looked familiar, the guy.

uncle tungsten | 21
"Shia backed whatever"

How about a little contest? The most absurd "Shia backed whatever"... Being in Friday-evening mode, after a mug of Grog, I'm thinking Shia-backed cereals. To me, those would be tiny crescents, perhaps made of puffed sorghum?

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Mar 5 2021 22:24 utc | 29

The "Shia Backed" government of Iran through Zarif its FM has issued a clarification as to Iran's genuine JCPOA policy:

"Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has issued a soft rebuke of an official who told a Western newspaper that Tehran would be prepared to resume talks on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal if the US agreed to lift its anti-Iran sanctions within a year."

Zarif issued the following tweet:

"Iranian polity is vibrant & officials express diverse opinions

"But those opinions should NOT be confused with state policy

"As Iran's FM & chief nuclear negotiator, I will shortly present our constructive concrete plan of action—through proper diplomatic channels." [My Emphasis]

Zarif's bolded words I see as a positive outcome even if he states the now familiar formula of actions before talks.

Altogether in Southwest Asia there are four (4) different "Shia Backed Governments"--Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. We might also include Azerbaijan and even Bahrain, although I doubt few Shia in the latter back their Sunni dictator. And what of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar? The questioning reporter caught the spokesman hooked on his own propaganda and had him twisting in the wind.

The collective dementia of the Outlaw US Empire continues to worsen as it slips deeper into the massive hole of its own creation.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 5 2021 22:43 utc | 30

According to reporting from Iran's Press TV,Iraqi 'resistance' group:

1. claims to speak for all Iraqi people - it may capture mood, but that is different to consenting to attacks.

2. characterises the US forces assisting with eradication of ISIS as 'occupation' forces. This hinges on the earlier Parliament decision to throw out US forces. But Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Hakim said in Feb 2019

"the government of my country hopes for the international coalition to continue its support for security forces in the area of qualitative training, equipment, and standing by Iraq in its fair war, in which in continues to enter on behalf of the whole world. The security and peace and stability of Iraq is part of the stability and peace in the world."

And in June 2020 the US said:

"The two countries reaffirmed the principles agreed upon by the two sides in the Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA), as well as the principles in the exchange of diplomatic notes and the letters of the Republic of Iraq to the United Nations Security Council dated 25 June 2014 (S/2014/440) and 20 September 2014 [S/2014/691] respectively. The United States reaffirmed its respect for Iraq’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and relevant decisions of the Iraqi legislative and executive authorities."

So it is clear that the US and West has been invited by the US Govt.

3. The resistance claims it has the legal right for the attacks. No it doesn't, as outlined above.

If any 'units' of the resistance are paid by the Iraqi government, and act without the direction of the Iraqi government, then their status is simply criminal, at least.

The Iraqi Govt needs to trace those responsible, gather evidence, and prosecute.

If the agreements alluded to above provide for invited forces to 'protect' themselves, then the boundaries of response need to be carefully laid out.

If the invited forces can't be adequately protected from armed rebels, government or not, then, obviously, the foreign forces should withdraw for their own safety.

But this will slow the fight against Daesh sleeper cells, which have already cost the lives of many young Iraqi security forces.

It would be better if Western forces withdraw now, wait for Iraq to get it's shit together, and come back and continue the fight without being attacked by criminal actions.

I put article screenshot on 'justPaste.it' https://justpaste.it/8oaq0

Posted by: powerandpeople | Mar 5 2021 22:59 utc | 31

powerandpeople @ 30 -- "So it is clear that the US and West has been invited by the US Govt."

Of course you must have meant, "invited by the Iraqi Government." That was before the assassination of Soleimani, but since then, the US and West have been "expelled" by the Iraqi Government. The US caused-created the terrorism and supports militia groups as proxy fighters against Syria and Iran. The US is the criminal above all, and sooner or later will be forced to leave Iraq and Syria.

Posted by: norecovery | Mar 5 2021 23:22 utc | 32

I say we start calling Daesh and groups like the SDF as Jewish backed militias

Posted by: Robinho Capuz | Mar 5 2021 23:24 utc | 33

This new designation is to divide the Iraqis on sectarian ethnic lines. It to tell the Iraqis that you insecurity is due to malign activities of militant Shia group, and give a cause to disarm them and divide Iraqis. IMO this a non starter desperate act. US will have to leave Iraq it would be worst for US and impossible to stay even if a Vivian war starts. Pope’s trip and her security being handled by PMF will elevate the Shia which US hates.

Posted by: Kooshy | Mar 5 2021 23:26 utc | 34

I can picture some idiot like of John Kirby who has no knowledge of Arabic, Shia Islam and Iraq, in a pentagon back office came with this brilliant idea and the new designation, those who know the history will know this will have zero effect on Iraq or Iran, Syria or their desire and efforts to kick America out of west Asia.

Posted by: Kooshy | Mar 5 2021 23:39 utc | 35

My own take:

https://beyondhighbrow.com/2021/03/01/about-those-iran-backed-militias/

As good a place as any to post my report on who is attacking us in Iraq. It appears that these "Iran-backed militias" are not even attacking us! They have no interest in attacking us. They're not stupid. But they are perfectly happy to let local guerrillas go off and attack us on their own.

It's just groups of local Iraqis who get together and form groups to attack us. However, they are mostly made up of individual members of all branches of the security forces who go off and moonlight on their own as guerrillas. So basically, we are being attacked by nothing other than the Iraqi security forces themselves who go off on their own and attack us. The government can't find them because they don't want to. These groups have a lot of power and a huge amount of support.

None of these groups get Iranian support. The PMF gets no money or weapons nor does it take orders from Iran. Their money and weapons come from Baghdad and they take orders from Baghdad. The guerrilla are even more out of control. The money for the guerrilla comes from the Iraqi state, the weapons apparently come from the Iraqi Army, and they don't take orders from anyone, not even Baghdad or the PMF.

Alt Left: Blockbuster Report: Who Are the Iraqi Shia Guerrilla Groups That Are Attacking US Bases in Iraq?

https://beyondhighbrow.com/2021/02/26/blockbuster-report-who-are-the-iraqi-shia-guerrilla-groups-that-are-attacking-us-bases-in-iraq/

Posted by: Robert Lindsay | Mar 5 2021 23:58 utc | 36

Thank you norecovery @31, yes, I meant to say "So it is clear that the US and West have been invited by the Iraqi Govt."

Posted by: powerandpeople | Mar 5 2021 23:59 utc | 37

The Outlaw US Empire trains and equips its Terrorist Foreign Legion so it has an illegitimate excuse to illegally remain as an occupier since its Zionist ally was unable to expand its territory as planned well prior to 911. Any attempt at justification for any Colonial presence in Southwest Asia is untenable and has been since the early days of the Zionist Movement. There's zero justification for Imperialism.

The movements of the Great Nomad Tribes ceased about 400 years ago and Imperialism became a sea-borne project of the Western Christian Monarchial Empires that's now in its dying stage as the Outlaw US & UK Empires sink into the holes they've dug for themselves. Hopefully soon, their serial violations of the UN Charter and thus their own internal laws will cease and humanity can focus on its development and solving the several crises that confront it. This latter goal sees Russia, China and the Eurasian Bloc in the vanguard with many other nations eager to join. That description is the reason for the current conflict in a nutshell. The great despair is the fact that the last two Imperialist states cannot conceive of any other type of policy aside from attaining Full Spectrum Dominance even if that turns their citizens into debt peons. It's long past time to see humanity as the great collective it is and to act together for the sake and betterment of all. The Machiavellian Age needs to die on this 75th anniversary of Churchill's Iron Curtain Speech that did an excellent job of dividing and ruling since. It's well past the time for the West to cease behaving like a petulant child and take on the responsibilities of an adult, which is to ensure all are fairly treated and cared for, which is how a caring parent ought to act.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 5 2021 23:59 utc | 38

This new designation is to divide the Iraqis on sectarian ethnic lines. It to tell the Iraqis that you insecurity is due to malign activities of militant Shia group, and give a cause to disarm them and divide Iraqis. IMO this a non starter desperate act. US will have to leave Iraq it would be worst for US and impossible to stay even if a Vivian war starts. Pope’s trip and her security being handled by PMF will elevate the Shia which US hates.

Posted by: Kooshy | Mar 5 2021 23:26 utc | 33

Yes, this is long and turgid, but offers some idea I think:

A New “Working” Agenda to Solve the Syrian Puzzle

A rump state, Anbar & E. Syria, funded by money from Syrian oil, among other things.

And yeah, it's not going to work.


Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 6 2021 0:08 utc | 39

@31 Deputy Commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and four Iraqi PMF troops (as well as the Iranian diplomatic guests) were murdered by the USA Government on January 3rd 2020.

The joint Iraqi/US Government statement referred to above was made after the date of the murders, on June 11 2020.

https://www.state.gov/joint-statement-on-the-u-s-iraq-strategic-dialogue

Posted by: powerandpeople | Mar 6 2021 0:14 utc | 40

For the complexities of fighting Daesh in Iraq, the factional divides, the power plays, the corruption, and the sharp end Iraq anti-terror operations, trawl backwards thru the tweets of

https://twitter.com/TomtheBasedCat

He has currently become inactive, but the historic material is there - at the moment.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Mar 6 2021 0:33 utc | 41

karlof1@37, thank you for expressing my take perfectly.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Mar 6 2021 0:49 utc | 42

Re: Toner vs Kirby

I suppose if I watched some more TV I'd have caught the difference. I apologize for that. I have to say now that I have put in the effort to differentiate the two that I am surprised that Toner looks like even more of a chromosomally deficient idiot than Kirby. Apparently the "I barely got a history degree at USF!" quote is pure Kirby, though.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 6 2021 0:51 utc | 43

Bemildred | Mar 6 2021 0:08 utc | 38

Yes, this is long and turgid, but offers some idea I think:

A New “Working” Agenda to Solve the Syrian Puzzle

A rump state, Anbar & E. Syria, funded by money from Syrian oil, among other things.

And yeah, it's not going to work.

That is from WINEP. WINEP is nothing but the research and policy arm of AIPAC, or AIPAC is the fundraising arm of WINEP, whichever way you want it. It's all just the Jewish Lobby in the Lobby, otherwise known as the Israeli Lobby. And the Jewish Lobby absolutely controls US foreign policy in the Middle East. Whether they do this through fear, blackmail, shekeling (bribery), or simply because the US state is made up of fanatical Judeophiles is not known. It's not like these evil Jews are twisting people's arms and forcing them to support the Jewish agenda.

The state under control is quite happy to be controlled, so it is almost less control than a very deep alliance. When have you ever heard a US government person say, even off record, "I hate these Israeli dogs. But they are forcing us to support them against our will!" Nobody's putting a gun to anyone's head. It's as if we are quite happy to have our nation colonized and controlled by these people. "Yes! Colonize us! Control us!" It's hardly an abusive relationship.

Part of the problem is that the American people are the most wildly Judeophilic in the world. Israel is backed by 57% of Americans and the Palestinians only 18%. Those figures have been about flat for years. So all the kvetching of the Jews about how they are losing control and Americans are turning against Israel is nonsense. However, a majority of Democrats no longer support Israel and support for Palestinians is much higher among this group. The Republican Party is preposterously Judeophilic. This is why accusations of antisemitism against Republicans are so risible.

There is no antisemitism in the US. There's no prejudice against Jews in the US. That's like saying there's terrible oppression against the poor Brahmins in India or the poor oligarchs in Latin America. Like those two groups, the Jews are running the show here. In a recent survey about antisemitism, many Americans expressed astonishment that there was any antisemitism in the US. Their argument was that the Jews were in power here (more accurately - they are part of the oligarchic ruling class), so how could there be discrimination against them?

It is worse than that. I have always held that America is simply a Jewish country. Why do the Jews need Israel? They've got New York. There's your Jewish state right there. When I say we are a Jewish country, I mean a "Jewish" country - that is, we are Jewish in spirit.

American Gentiles are "Judaized" Gentiles. American Christianity is "Judaized" Christianity. Look at all the focus on the Old Testament and support for the Jew' theft of Palestine. The truth is that Christianity itself is an antisemitic religion. After the great Reform Jew Yeshua came down to Earth, the Jewish religion was changed. We were no longer bound by Jewish laws anymore. We had been liberated. And in place of an eye for an eye, was...a new concept...Mercy.

Further, the Jews no longer got Israel. The Jewish inheritance of Israel is OT. NT effectively revokes that claim. Instead, the Church is the New Israel and Israel is the land of the Christians, not the Jews. This exegesis is popular with Palestinian Christians, who refer to it as Replacement Theology. In effect, the Jews have been "replaced" by the Christians. Which is Christianity itself in essence.

That is why there will never be a serious anti-Jewish pogrom in the US. The problem is that the neo-Nazis leading the forum would have to kill their neighbors first. And before that, they would have to kill themselves because even US neo-Nazis are in effect "Jewish" in spirit.

I had a date with an Iranian Assyrian Christian woman a while back. They are pretty serious about their Christianity, but they are not US fundamentalists. They are connected to the Eastern Orthodox Church. She laughed and told me, "I am a Christian. I know a Christian country when I see one. America is not a Christian country. America is a Jewish country."

And I thought, "She's right."

Posted by: Robert Lindsay | Mar 6 2021 0:56 utc | 44

Kooshy @33: "This new designation is to divide the Iraqis on sectarian ethnic lines."

So how does that imperial tactic work? Identify Sunnis as easily provoked hotheads, kill some of them, then heap the blame on the Shiites. The idea being to get the Sunnis thinking "The empire wouldn't be killing us if it were not for those damn Shiites!"

Of course the US empire learned this from the British who've been doing similar things for centuries. I'm sure the Romans used this tactic as well. I wonder if the Iraqis will fall for it or if people are starting to catch on?

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 6 2021 1:05 utc | 45

emersonreturn @41--

Thanks for your reply! Do enjoy your weekend. Almost 52 years ago, this bit of history occurred and produced the song all too many have forgotten:

"The song was written during Lennon and Ono's "Bed-In" honeymoon in Montreal.[3] When asked by a reporter what he was trying to achieve by staying in bed, Lennon answered spontaneously "Just give peace a chance". He went on to say this several times during the Bed-In.[3] Lennon asked his press officer, Derek Taylor to find a recording engineer. On 1 June 1969, in Room 1742 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, André Perry, owner of a local recording studio in Montreal, arrived and used a simple setup of four microphones and a four-track tape recorder he brought with him."

IMO, Lennon had more Soft Power than any human in history, and that's why he was killed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 6 2021 1:10 utc | 46

@28 Scotch Bingeington.. yes! he aged rather quickly, didn't he? lol..

@ 42 william gruff.. it is a rare moment when i catch the gruff in a gaff, lol.... i appreciate and enjoy your many fine posts here at moa! they choose weird people for this gig at the state dept press briefing zone.. i used to watch the regularly, but lost interest since trumps term... actually they stopped doing them for quite a time under trumps term...maybe trump thought it was all fake, to which he was right about a lot of that..

@ 44 william gruff.. it isn't that the iraqis fall for anything as i see it... it is that the usa demands a say in who does or doesn't get elected... the usa is addicted to meddling, using money or the threat of military action to hang on to their pristine image as bullies on the world stage... they don't know how to stop that... at some point they are going to receive a severe punch to the head.. it is long overdue... meanwhile the constant meddling continues... they buy the politicians hoping to continue to maintain their foothold in iraq... we are now 18 years on with this meddling in iraq...

Posted by: james | Mar 6 2021 1:21 utc | 47

WARNING: Troll feeding in progress

@Stonebird #12

You seem to be complaining about the potential for voter fraud after the passage of HR1. Might as well complain about Santa Claus eating all the cookies and milk or the Tooth Fairy keeping the money. Voter fraud, like Saint Nick and the Tooth Fairy, are figments of the imagination. I'm all for taking Biden, Harris, Pelosi, et al., outside to be lined up and shot. However, your multiple intentional misspellings of Kamala seem like Racism 101 and belie your true intent.

Posted by: Bilbo Baggins | Mar 6 2021 1:23 utc | 48

We all know whodunnit.... regular iraqis with cheap chinese made rocket launchers who want us gone

Ain't rocket science....

Posted by: Dogon Priest | Mar 6 2021 1:54 utc | 49

Posted by: Bilbo Baggins | Mar 6 2021 1:23 utc | 47

IMO as a non-Yank, complaining about voter fraud and the electoral college is pointless. You can never enact any meaningful change the rigged system arrayed against you through votes anyway. All of this is blindingly obvious one isn't drunk on the Kool-Aid called Western liberalism.

Posted by: J W | Mar 6 2021 2:12 utc | 50

karlof1@45---my feelings exactly! & i think his assignation also stopped other performers from continuing to protest as loudly. dylan, perhaps...i've hoped he might go to palestine or write a song for assange. john's death was a tragedy. but indeed the song is still the same---let's give peace a chance. i couldn't stop smiling when putin quoted it. may you & your family also enjoy a great weekend.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Mar 6 2021 2:15 utc | 51

In 2009, the Jews spelled out their plan for using our children again in another of their wars for "Greater Israel." The Jews' Brooking Institution's 2009 "Which Path to Persia" document even states the need to utilize a rejected "deal" with Iran as a catalysis for war. Between the lines, the Jews also make it clear that a 9/11 like event, false-flag blamed on Iran, is needed to really get we Goy behind their using again our children as kill or be killed cannon fodder.

Highlights:

"...The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer-one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down....and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians 'brought it on themselves' by refusing a very good deal." --"Which Path to Persia," The Brookings Institution, p.39

"The truth is that these all would be challenging cases to make. For that reason, it would be far more preferable if the United States could cite an Iranian provocation as justification for the airstrikes before launching them. Clearly, the more outrageous, the more deadly, and the more unprovoked the Iranian action, the better off the United States would be..." --"Which Path to Persia," The Brookings Institution, p.84

Keep you children close, and your children of gun toting age hidden.

Posted by: Jay Johnson | Mar 6 2021 2:16 utc | 52

Maybe we should call the supreme court "Catholic backed"

Note that Sanger's pieces are rarely enabled for comments. It must be in his contract.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Mar 6 2021 2:18 utc | 53

Mr _K_C_

Meritocracy has the disadvantage of condemning many human being to lower incomes indefinitely. It harms social cohesion and stability.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 6 2021 2:30 utc | 54

Mr. Robert Lindsay

Very good.

So at least one other person than myself understandz and agrees with my position.

Until and unless you in the United States clip the wings of Judaic Protestant churches, you will not be able to extricate yourselves from your senseless war against Islam, the Shia, and the Persianate Civilization.

This war, over the course of decades, will destroy the United States. You cannot fight a World Religion, look no further than Aurangzib.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 6 2021 2:41 utc | 55

Mr. Bemildred

A rump state such as you descibed is not even a fantasy. It is an impossibility.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 6 2021 2:44 utc | 56

@Jay Johnson #51

When you repeatedly use the word "Jews" do you mean the murderous Israelis or are you actually trying to sound like a Nazi?

Posted by: Bilbo Baggins | Mar 6 2021 2:46 utc | 57

Mr. Kooshy

Per Mr. Robert L Lindsay charaterization of US as a (Zionist) Jewish Country, i.e. the United she cannot long remain positively engaged with Muslims any longer.

Like the old song, "J'ai Deux Amours", Americans could have made their country belong to the world, the way Iran is an Arabic, Turkic, Persian, Armenian, Assyrian country.

But they chose to destroy that for their religious fantasies over Palestine.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 6 2021 2:57 utc | 58

Bilbo Baggins | Mar 6 2021 2:46 utc | 56

I assume he means the Israel-firsters who control our state. All of the rest of the Jews, like the Jewish guy next door, don't have anything to do with anything. The problem is the Organized Jewish Community, not the individual Jewish person down the street who probably barely controls his own life, much less the US state. In particular, it is money power in politics and probably media power.

Also as I noted above, it is important to note that US Gentiles are enthusiastically going along with this Jewish project. They are just as much at fault as the Israel-firsters.

Also the murderous Israelis are backed up by most US Jews, so in reality there's not a lot of difference. But Jews are only 2% of the US. They can't do this alone. They have the enthusiastic support of over half of US Gentiles, necessary in order to fulfill their project.

Furthermore, the anti-Israel crowd has almost zero voices in US politics. Look what happened to Ilhan Omar when she truthfully said, "It's all about the Benjamins," meaning it's all about Jewish money in US politics, traditionally 60% of Democratic Party and 1/3 of Republican Party funding. The Jews screamed antisemitism, and she was forced to get down on her knees and kiss the feet of the Jews in abject servitude. This craziness along with the endless Wars for the Jews in the Middle East will continue until we get the money out of US politics.

Posted by: Robert Lindsay | Mar 6 2021 3:05 utc | 59

@Robert Lindsay #58

Thanks for the effort but my question was rhetorical.

Posted by: Bilbo Baggins | Mar 6 2021 3:10 utc | 60

Mr. Robert Lindsay

You are looking for a rational course of action as a solution for the deep emtional need of Anglo-American Protestanism for Judaic connections. Protestanism has to fail, in a similar manner that Catholicism failed 800 years ago in her war against Islam.

This could take another century or even longer. Could the United States endure, in her current format, her wars of choice against Islam?

The only glimmers of hope that I am seeing in US are the positions recently taken by Friends as well as by a number of Catholic organizations in support of US return to JCPOA.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 6 2021 3:33 utc | 61

58Robert Lindsay...thank you for your posts, much appreciated, great summations.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Mar 6 2021 3:42 utc | 62

The Jews' Brooking Institution's 2009 "Which Path to Persia" document even states the need to utilize a rejected "deal" with Iran as a catalysis for war. Between the lines, the Jews also make it clear that a 9/11 like event, false-flag blamed on Iran, is needed to really get we Goys behind their using again our children as kill or be killed cannon fodder.

It's not so much a Jewish institution. However, 26% of its main scholars are Jewish, and Jews are only 2% of the population. The rest are just the US Gentile elite, who themselves might as well be Israeli dual-citizens. At the peaks of the US elite, there's not a lot of difference between the Jews and the Gentiles. They're all strongly pro-Israel the same way that the PMF is pro-Iran.

Brookings itself is synonymous with the Democratic Party and even US liberalism to some extent. Note E. J. Dionne is a scholar. However, US liberal Democrats would be rigthwingers in any European country.

That paper was probably written by the Saban Center for Mideast Policy. This was set up by Mr. Saban, an extremely wealthy Egyptian Jewish American who is a major campaign contributor to the Democratic Party. No doubt the Saban Center is run by Israel-firsters (Democratic Party variety).

The head of Brookings is a former general. This is another brilliant thing the Jews* have done over the last 40 years. They have infiltrated all of the major US stink tanks and seeded them with their people, Jews as well as Gentiles.
Further, they have infiltrated all of the defense stink tanks. And the Israel-firster stink tanks are full of US generals and defense officials. This has been part of a near-marriage of the US and Israeli militaries, which is almost one army by now. Israel funds regular trips to Israel for top US military officers, mostly generals. US and Israeli intelligence has also been effectively married. So has our arms industry, which is now a single Israeli-US arms industry. Israel gets first dibs on all of our new weapons.

We have also outsourced most of our surveillance work to private Israeli firms. Yes, most Homeland Security surveillance and security functions have been outsourced to private Israeli firms. I can't think of anything crazier and stupider than that. Ghislaine Maxwell, an Israeli spy who worked with Jeffrey Epstein, another Israeli spy since 1986, has a sister who is also apparently an Israeli spy. She runs a private spying and surveillance corporation with tentacles deep in the US security establishment. Former Israeli President Ehud Barak also runs a linked company. He's obviously a spy too.

Maxwell's father, the media billionaire Robert Maxwell, was one of the most famous Israeli spies that ever lived. He was running the brownstone honeypot traps for Israel before he was assassinated. Afterwards the brownstone honeypot traps were as shifted over to his daughter Ghislaine and her boyfriend Epstein. The whole Epstein mess is nothing but a gigantic Mossad brownstone honeypot operation. By now a large proportion of the US business and political elite may be being blackmailed by Israel. Maxwell died on his yacht in a bizarre incident. It is thought that he was murdered by Mossad for hazy reasons.

Have you noticed that there has been absolutely no mention whatsoever that the Epstein-Maxwell jailbait honeypot was simply a vast Mossad blackmailing plot? What says the US media? Crickets. And if you mention this obvious truth, people pile all over you and call you antisemite.

It was certainly brilliant of the Jews to infiltrate our government like this. I talked to a US Marine about this once. He had deep knowledge of US intelligence operations. He sighed and said, "Yes, we got penetrated by Israel in the early 80's around 1983. They penetrated the whole government and we haven't been able to get rid of them since."

*By "Jews," I mean the powerful Israel-firsters in the US and their allies in Israel itself. I mean not to disparage your average powerless Jewish schmuck.

Posted by: Robert Lindsay | Mar 6 2021 4:24 utc | 63

There is no antisemitism in the US. Posted by: Robert Lindsay | Mar 6 2021 0:56 utc | 43

This is an ignorant statement. According to OLD STANDARDS, Robert would be correct, but the world changes, and the OFFICIAL DEFINITION OF ANTI-SEMITISM changed. First of all, for hundreds of years anti-Semitism existed without any official definition. To a degree, it was not much of an issue. But now we have a list of crime thoughts that collectively form the official definition. And many Americans are committing crimes from that list, and, even worse, some are expressing those thoughts. Like that Israel should not be supported IN EVERYTHING IT DOES. And many Americans, while "supporting Israel", would agree that it should not have UNCONDITIONAL SUPPORT. This is also a sign of the changes in the world, I do not recall any instance of USA supporting any country unconditionally, and even for Israel, it was not the case 30 years ago. But now you are anti-Semitic if you do not keep with the changes.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 6 2021 5:54 utc | 64

What says the US media? Crickets.
Posted by: Robert Lindsay | Mar 6 2021 4:24 utc | 62

Another sign of Robert not keeping up with the changes in the world. Crickets used to be an example of harmless meaningless noise. But now they are a bioweapon deployed by wicked Cuban regime against our heroic diplomatic personnel that suffered more than soldiers shaken by Iranian missiles (in both cases there were brain injuries, but no reports on soldiers, so I assume that diplomats suffered more).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 6 2021 6:04 utc | 65

Not that I could ever be bothered to do it, but has anyone gone through those press briefings to pinpoint the exact date that the spokesmodel switched from using "Iran-backed" to insisting that there are "Shia-backed" militias?

Comparing that date with contemporaneous events may give a hint to what is behind this thinking because, in all honesty, I got no idea.

What does "Shia-backed" mean, exactly?

To be "backed" implies a Shia organisation is supporting them with guns, money and lawyers (thank you, Warren Zevon). So what organization would that be?

Or do they insist that these are sectarian militias?

In which case why not just call them "Shia militias"?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 6 2021 6:46 utc | 66

The USAi has reinforced its mendacious attack on Iran. Any imagined rapprochement opportunities that were discussed here, have evaporated.

Biden is one belligerent clown leading a clown cart.

Mealy mouthed words follow:

WASHINGTON, March 6. /TASS/. US President Joe Biden has decreed to extend the set of sanctions against Iran, which are in force since 1995, for another year, the White House press office announced.

"The actions and policies of the Government of Iran - including its proliferation and development of missiles and other asymmetric and conventional weapons capabilities, its network and campaign of regional aggression, its support for terrorist groups, and the malign activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its surrogates - continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States," the statement reads.

"For these reasons, the national emergency declared on March 15, 1995, must continue in effect beyond March 15, 2021," according to the statement.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 6 2021 6:47 utc | 67

Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada and the other Hashd al-Shaabi groups are by the way mixed groups and not exclusively Shia.
This is not really correct. The names of Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada are specifically Shi'a. If there are Sunni members, there are not many - a man has to make a living, and may not have a choice. The one person mentioned by Magnier came from Hillah, a largely Shi'a majority area. In fact I don't think there are any Sunni majority militias. The Baghdad government would not trust them. The Hashd al-Sha'bi militias who fought against Da'ish in Mosul were all Shi'a. This was one of the big problems - they behaved like a foreign military occupation force towards the local Sunni Arab population.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 6 2021 7:25 utc | 68

This is not really correct. The names of Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada are specifically Shi'a. If there are Sunni members, there are not many - a man has to make a living, and may not have a choice. The one person mentioned by Magnier came from Hillah, a largely Shi'a majority area. In fact I don't think there are any Sunni majority militias.

No, within the PMF (the "Iran-backed Shia militias") there are many small militias. All are part of the Iraqi military. And the PMF has separate militias that are all Sunni, others than are all Christian, others that are all Yezidi, and I believe some that are mixed. Hezbollah also has this. There is the main Hezbollah, which you must be Shia to join, and then there are allied Hezbollah militias - Christian, Sunni, and Druze. The Sunni Hezbollah militias were very active in fighting in the parts of Lebanon where ISIS invaded a few years back. They simply defend their home areas, and the area that ISIS invaded was a Sunni region.

Hezbollah is not sectarian. Neither are the Houthis. The Houthis are just the former Yemeni government and especially the Yemeni Army. 80% of the army went over to the Houthis. The army is majority Sunni, so I suppose the Houthi army are majority Sunni too. The Houthis are just a tribe. There are Houthis who call themselves Shia, those who call themselves Sunni, and there are those who say that they are both Shia and Sunni. They are all Houthis.

Incidentally, the Hadi government which the Saudis are supporting was headed by Hadi, a Houthi! But he was a pro-Saudi Houthi, whereas the Houthi insurgency around former president Saleh (also a Houthi!) was anti-Saudi and pro-Iran. So the Saudis are not even fighting the "Shia pro-Iran Houthis." They are just fighting an anti-Saudi Houthi faction and supporting a pro-Saudi faction. The Houthis are the only group that knows how to run the country. They ran Yemen for centuries and no one had any problem with them.

Anyway, there is barely any difference between a Sunni and a Shia in Yemen. The Yemeni Shia practice a form of Shiism that is very close to Yemeni Sunnism. In fact, until 2012-2014, no one even talked about Sunni or Shia in Yemen. Everyone was just a Muslim. The sectarian crap was introduced by Al Qaeda and ISIS.

As usual the reality of this war in Yemen is so much more complicated than the Western media is telling us.

Posted by: Robert Lindsay | Mar 6 2021 7:49 utc | 69

The situations between Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen are very different, and can't be compared as though they are the same.

And the PMF has separate militias that are all Sunni, others than are all Christian, others that are all Yezidi, and I believe some that are mixed.
Well, I haven't studied the situation in detail recently. I can believe there are small Christian and Yezidi militias for local defence of their communities on the government payroll. Sunni militias are a very sensitive issue, and when I was there in 2017 there weren't any. Perhaps on a small scale there are now, but nothing big with heavy weaponry (i.e. katyushas), because the weapons might end up in the hands of Da'ish. I can't see anything in the news that represents a big change from what I saw personally four years ago.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 6 2021 9:11 utc | 70

I was just looking at a picture of Sistani meeting the Pope. e.g.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/mar/05/pope-francis-baghdad-iraq-tour

My, Sistani is looking old (compared with the Pope, for example). He's 91 and been at it a long time. But I do think the meeting has been a good thing. It's the kind of meeting that the Shi'a appreciate. Indeed it may have been the main point of the Pope's trip to Iraq, to create greater sympathy in government circles for the Christian position (not as though the government was opposed).

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 6 2021 9:27 utc | 71

There are 40,000 Sunni members of Hashd al Shabi or the PMF. Many of them are volunteers. There has been an effort to make the Hashd a multi confessional force. One PMF brigade is composed entirely of Mosul residents. Another is made up if the Shammar tribe" who are 50% Sunni.

Posted by: Robert Lindsay | Mar 6 2021 10:47 utc | 72

@karlof1 | Mar 6 2021 1:10 utc | 45

IMO, Lennon had more Soft Power than any human in history, and that's why he was killed.

Thank you for mentioning Lennon and his peace activism. I have thought about it many times. I listened to his music in the '70s and remember the day he was killed as if it was yesterday. I agree 100% he was killed because of his political influence, and he even predicted it himself in a TV interview. His views of the people running our societies was maybe not shared by all then, but today it must be obvious to everyone that he was right:

John Lennon - Our Society Is Run By Insane People
"Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it."

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 6 2021 11:44 utc | 73

Bilbo Baggins | Mar 6 2021 1:23 utc | 47

Karmala <=> Kamel. I still haven't worked out which one has one hump and not two and is not a Dromedary. Both have lousy characters and a tendency to spit. Happy?

*****

However, this is from Breitbart and is more complete than my post about H.R. 1,the “For the People Act,”, and includes a series of tweets from outraged Republicans.
We all know that it is "forbidden" to talk about election manipulation and the Democrats in the same breath. This is for real.

"The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed H.R. 1, otherwise known as the “For the People Act,” which Republicans warn will compromise election integrity and ultimately lead to the federalization of U.S. elections."

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/03/03/democrat-led-house-passes-h-r-1-aimed-to-federalize-u-s-elections/

Posted by: Stonebird | Mar 6 2021 11:50 utc | 74

Posted by: Robert Lindsay | Mar 6 2021 10:47 utc | 71

Yes, small local defence militias with only light arms, not like the large heavily armed Shi'a formations.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 6 2021 12:24 utc | 75

Laguerre:
Yes, I was glad to see Pope Francis meeting Sistani. Maybe this will help a tiny bit to steer the West towards a less knee-jerk reaction when it comes to Near/Middle-Eastern Shia people. Christian and Shia people can work together and live side by side and even together - as seen in Lebanon nowadays. And it's long overdue that someone in a position of authority and with some degree of influence openly states that one of the key consequences of the Anglos meddling in the region for the last decades has been deaths, destruction and exile for the bulk of the local Christian communities. I'd actually be quite glad if someone said this was the work of the Devil and managed to convince devout (and gullible) Christians it was actually the case.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Mar 6 2021 13:50 utc | 76

Thank you b for staying tuned.

Mooving from Iranian to Shia-backed can't be à slip of the tongue. Something is cooking and the POTUS don't steer any process...

" The Mummy Return"
On march 05, 2021
"I have determined [LOL...] that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12957 with respect to Iran"

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/03/05/notice-on-the-continuation-of-the-national-emergency-with-respect-to-iran/

"The actions and policies of the Government of Iran — including its proliferation and development of missiles and other asymmetric and conventional weapons capabilities, ..., continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States."

16 years later... Always "unusual"? Or now really deterrent precision missiles.... but Iranian's one.


Agincourt syndrome?
As wrote 2 years ago Bret Stephens in NYT :

"The U.S. Military: Like the French at Agincourt?
America risks a catastrophic defeat if it doesn’t radically change the way it thinks about war"
"The logic here is the same as the one that decided the Battle of Agincourt, where the humble and effective English longbow made short work of the expensive and vulnerable French cavalry. Today’s version of that cavalry consists of aircraft carriers priced at $13 billion apiece and fighter jets that go for $90 million (and cost $30,000 an hour to fly)."
" we are burning through billions of dollars by deploying state-of-the-art resources against technologically primitive enemies in the Middle East and Africa"
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/25/opinion/us-military.html


Or Ain Al-assad syndrome ?
Since 2019, something happens.

"Tehran carried out an attack on January 8, 2020, in response to the assassination of Soleimani and the Deputy Head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units, Abu Mahdi Al-Mohandis, during a US raid near Baghdad Airport."
https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/cbs-video-footage-shows-iranian-attack-on-us-forces-at-ain-al-assad-base-in-iraq/
Wow! Impressive and deterrent !


In the White House recently published Interim National Security Strategic Guidance and reported by b. In MoA post of march 4, 2021
" Regional actors like Iran and North Korea continue to pursue game-changing capabilities and technologies,"

Israel, since  a while, talk about nuclear threat but know that all is about range and accuracy
https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5020082,00.html

So, what’s common?


" Israel should also consider the fact that Iran is now capable of producing a missile carrying a nuclear warhead—single or multiple."

And Ain Al-assad made the proof. Conventional warhead delivred at the right place is pretty good too.

Keep smiling "Boris Vian - La java des bombes atomiques" sur YouTube
https://youtu.be/eryzp0Pklc8

In Agincourt, historians explain that the heavy French knights in thick armour were well protected from Brits and Wales longbow.
But infortunatelly not the horses.

Injured and panicked, roaring in all directions after disarming their rider, they caused a muddy chaos making it impossible to organize the defense. At the end of the battle, french "chevalerie", "la fine fleur de la noblesse française" was decimated by humble but effective peasants with hatchets and mallet.

Just Waiting For The Sun...
Und another Bonfire of the Vanities

Posted by: Bernard F. | Mar 6 2021 14:28 utc | 77

Mr. Laguerre

The meeting of Mr. Pope Francis with Mr. Grand Ayatollah Sistani is a significant political move by the Catholic Church in as much as it is a repudiation of the Anglo-American Protestanism's war against Shia Islam.

The Vatican has indicated to Catholics and Protestants alike that it does not seek enemies among Muslim sects and does not adjudicate among them either.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 6 2021 16:02 utc | 78

Mr. Laguerre

In regards to Mosul: the ISIS members melted back into the Sunni population of that city to fight another day. How would you propose the Shia fighters behave themselves there?

The material difference between the Shia and Sunni in Iraq is that the Shia will let the Sunnis live. The Sunnis would murder the Shia, as we witnessed in Camp Speicher and as we are witnessing everyday in Afghanistan.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 6 2021 16:07 utc | 79

Mr. Clueless Joe

Among the educated and the cultured Iranians, there is no animus against any religion, including Christianity. The Iranian tourists in Yerevan are respectful when visiting historical Armenian Churches there.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 6 2021 16:12 utc | 80

Mr. Robert Lindsay

You can never satisfy men like Mr. Laguerre since, in my view, he is an anti-Shia partisan. I wish such people would have the decency of taking the trouble of articulating their ideal political dispensation for Iraq and how to get there from here.

Is it: "Any body but the Shia."

Americans have been in Afghanistan for 20 years and have failed to establish Legitimate Authority. And not because of Shia. Under US occupation, Shia are murdered everyday in Afghanistan.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 6 2021 16:23 utc | 81

The pic won't work out as an ad for mask-wearing
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/405409/World/Region/Pope-Francis-in-Iraq-A-dose-of-hope.aspx

Posted by: Mina | Mar 6 2021 16:28 utc | 82

Fyi @80

Laguerre does not appear to me to be anti-Shia. Rather the poster is pro-empire, and it is currently important to the Atlanticist empire to promote an anti-Shia narrative, so that is what the poster invests effort in. If tomorrow the empire's tactics change and its strategists think that supporting the Shiites and vilifying the Sunnis would serve to divide the region better then Laguerre would also change tack along with them. The narrative changes depending upon the needs of the empire at the moment.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 6 2021 16:51 utc | 83

Bernard F

Yes, hatchets and mallet. When the English had clearly won the day they grabbed prizes and trophies and took prisoners for ransom. And indulged in an orgy of slaughter. They still celebrate that feast of blood. And still behave that way wherever they go.

That sort of overindulgence does have a military purpose, serves as a warning to others. It is also dark and vile.

Posted by: oldhippie | Mar 6 2021 16:54 utc | 84

On Iran and warmongering. When in the Yemen war Iran was added to the narrative as backing the Houthis or later even when the war was described as a proxy war with Iran the purpose was not so much to sell the war as to draw attention away from it, as if it was an unfortunate necessity which just had to be accepted.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Mar 6 2021 16:56 utc | 85

karlof1 | Mar 5 2021 23:59 utc | 37

I just posted something very similar at CN wrt the most recent Wm. Astore article. Uncannily similar, since I hadn't read yours here @37 until just now.

Of all the truisms that should be abolished, the one most in need of cancel is US exceptionalism. If anything, we've proven just how unexceptional we are; with the Soviet collapse we could have altered humanity's trajectory, but instead we decided to re-run the worst of human history. GHW Bush: "There will be no peace dividend."

Posted by: vinnieoh | Mar 6 2021 16:59 utc | 86

But they are perfectly happy to let local guerrillas go off and attack us on their own.

It's just groups of local Iraqis who get together and form groups to attack us. However, they are mostly made up of individual members of all branches of the security forces who go off and moonlight on their own as guerrillas. So basically, we are being attacked by nothing other than the Iraqi security forces themselves who go off on their own and attack us. The government can't find them because they don't want to. These groups have a lot of power and a huge amount of support.

None of these groups get Iranian support. The PMF gets no money or weapons nor does it take orders from Iran. Their money and weapons come from Baghdad and they take orders from Baghdad. The guerrilla are even more out of control. The money for the guerrilla comes from the Iraqi state, the weapons apparently come from the Iraqi Army, and they don't take orders from anyone, not even Baghdad or the PMF.

Why is anyone surprised the Iraqis are seething after the murders of Muhandis and Solemani???

Unable to confront directly, they have chosen guerrilla warfare....

It will worsen.... greatly!

INDY

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Mar 6 2021 17:37 utc | 87

Schooled in the Netherlands,as a youth we did not learn that much about the battle of Agincourt,but far more about the battle of the Golden Spurs,11 july 1302,over a century before Agincourt.An army of footmen,spoiled peasants ,craftsmen and city dwellers overcame gloriously French King Philip le Bel's aristocrat chivalry and their armies.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Golden_Spurs

After Belgium was created by the powers that be,this story maybe exaggerated,was used to furnish an identity to the new states citizens.Much as Arminius slaughtering the Romans at the Teutoburger Forest was used by the germans in nationbuilding,and Vergingetorix at Gergovia was used by dictator NapoleonIII to forge french identity ,all in the nineteenth century ,all in preparing the greater wars to come.

Posted by: willie | Mar 6 2021 17:39 utc | 88

Laguerre does not appear to me to be anti-Shia. Rather the poster is pro-empire, and it is currently important to the Atlanticist empire to promote an anti-Shia narrative, so that is what the poster invests effort in.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 6 2021 16:51 utc | 83

You lot are completely bonkers. I am not all anti-Shi'a, nor pro-empire. If anything I'm pro-Sunni in Iraq, as you would know if you'd any history of actually reading MoA. My complete history has emerged bit by bit over the years. Including my lengthy trip to Iraq in 2017, and the follow-up in 2018. I'm just not as simplistic as you lot.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 6 2021 18:24 utc | 89

Mr. Laguerre

Very good, and as I surmised.

Iraq will never go back to a Sunni-dominated polity.

Sunni Arabs demonstrated since the destruction of Iraq's Monarchy that they are not fit to rule Iraq: coup after coup, wars against Kurds, their War against Iran (itself predating the Ba'ath Party's ascent to political power), the War against Kuwait, and lastly ISIS and the War against everyone who was not a Sunni Arab.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 6 2021 19:03 utc | 90

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 6 2021 18:24 utc | 89

Just if it will help recent readers of MoA, I'll repeat the highlights of the 2017 trip. In Najaf, I was generously received by the people of the Hawza, obviously on a lesser level than the Pope, put up in the hostel of the shrine, given a tour, and entertained to dinner by an Ibn al-Marja', the meaning of which will be evident to any Shi'a (Son of a Reference). In Samarra, by contrast, I was nearly taken by Da'ish, in spite of being invited by the people there. I hadn't been able to go to Iraq since 1998, because of the US invasion.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 6 2021 19:16 utc | 91

Iraq will never go back to a Sunni-dominated polity.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 6 2021 19:03 utc | 90

Of course, everyone knows that. However the Shi'a do need to lighten up in their attitude towards the Sunnis of the north. Treating the Sunnis like a defeated occupied people, only leads to the survival of Da'ish in the villages, and endless terrorist attacks.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 6 2021 19:25 utc | 92

vinnieoh @86--

Yes, all English speakers need to reject exceptionalism. Its roots are in English and Christian history, the latter making it generally a scourge of the West. It can still be seen within the Nationalism of many cultures. But as I wrote, humans need to evolve and replace it was a global humanism that promotes all as one. before some petulant baby tyrant launches its nation's ICBMs.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 6 2021 19:44 utc | 93

norecovery | Mar 5 2021 23:22 utc | 32

powerandpeople @ 30 -- "So it is clear that the US and West has been invited by the US Govt."

Of course you must have meant, "invited by the Iraqi Government." That was before the assassination of Soleimani, but since then, the US and West have been "expelled" by the Iraqi Government. The US caused-created the terrorism and supports militia groups as proxy fighters against Syria and Iran. The US is the criminal above all, and sooner or later will be forced to leave Iraq and Syria.

He got it right first time!

Posted by: foolisholdman | Mar 6 2021 19:59 utc | 94

Mr. Laguerre

Your suggestion, however sensible, is not yet practical until the wars against Shia have ended.

For that, the United States must reach an implicit cease-fire deal with Iran across 5 countries. And that cease-fire deal has to endure the election cycles of the United States.

And that, I suspect, will not happen.

That is one thing.

The other thing is that the Jihadist/Takfiri ideas and ideals are still emotionally potent and attractive to the mostly, but not exclusively, Sunni Muslims.

Were all the mass murderers of Camp Speicher arrested, tried, and sentenced? No. Many are at large, waiting for their time to come.

What can be done?

Persian Gulf Cooperation Council can invite Iran, Iraq, and Yemen to join it.

Saudi Government can return the control of religious sites such as Imam Hassan grave to the waqfs that used to manage those sites. If none exists, A new can be established for them. A restoration of Imam Hassan shrine - razed by Saudis - by a Shia waqf will go a long way to ameliorate the religious sentiment s of Shia all over the world towards Saudi Arabia and Salaries.

Will Sunni Arabs do that. Regrettably, never.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 6 2021 20:13 utc | 95

Fyi #78

The meeting of Mr. Pope Francis with Mr. Grand Ayatollah Sistani is a significant political move by the Catholic Church in as much as it is a repudiation of the Anglo-American Protestanism's war against Shia Islam.

The Vatican has indicated to Catholics and Protestants alike that it does not seek enemies among Muslim sects and does not adjudicate among them either.

Thank you for that perspective. Time will reveal if the UKUSAi have heard the word. I appreciate your comments here.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 6 2021 20:35 utc | 96

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 6 2021 20:13 utc | 95

I think you are Iraqi Shi'a, not Iranian, but I am not certain.

If it is the case, it is important to think of Iraq as a country, not as Shi'a-land and Sunni-land. The Iraqi Sunnis are not really pro-Saudi, or pro-takfiri; they are more Iraqi. Da'ish survives in the villages because they are desperate. I hear of attacks avery few weeks.

Think of Iraq as a whole, and Iraq will be much closer to being reunited.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 6 2021 20:50 utc | 97

Laguerre #97

If it is the case, it is important to think of Iraq as a country, not as Shi'a-land and Sunni-land. The Iraqi Sunnis are not really pro-Saudi, or pro-takfiri; they are more Iraqi. Da'ish survives in the villages because they are desperate. I hear of attacks avery few weeks.

Think of Iraq as a whole, and Iraq will be much closer to being reunited.

Thinking as a western person in an eastern person's land seems incongruous to me.

Sykes-Picot bordering may have been convenient for those that seek to fragment the governing structures and steal the resources of others but it is demonstrably a war making move and a recipe for eternal strife.

Consistently repeating the same mistake is typically the behaviour of the clown or the fool in a pantomime.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 6 2021 21:22 utc | 98

Mr. Laguerre

What kept Iraq together after the Sunni Uprising, were the military interventions of Iran and the Fatwa of Mr. Sistani, calling on the sons of Iraq to defend her.

The Marja'iyah did not endorse the idea of an Islamic Republic in Iraq since they understood it to be impracticable. Iranians did not insist on any particular form of representative government in Iraq either.

In my view, Shia have done a lot to keep Iraq from disintegration. And I do not think the Shia owe anything to anyone.

Perhaps Shia could do more, but the war against the Party of Ali has to end first. Then, may be in 60 years, when all the protogonists and antagonists of the contemporary struggles have died, there could emerge again some comity among the various sects of Iraq.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 6 2021 21:28 utc | 99

Robert Lindsay | Mar 6 2021 0:56 utc | 44

Part of the problem is that the American people are the most wildly Judeophilic in the world. Israel is backed by 57% of Americans and the Palestinians only 18%.

New poll: Americans’ support for Israel falls to lowest point in a decade
Gallup survey finds Republican sympathy for Israel declined 13% over the last year, while Democratic sympathy dropped by 6%
Times of Israel. By ERIC CORTELLESSA 6 March 2019, 8:29 pm

Posted by: foolisholdman | Mar 6 2021 21:36 utc | 100

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