Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 08, 2021

U.S. Iran Conflict In Iraq Put On Pause

During their recent strategic dialogue the U.S. and Iraq agreed to relabel U.S. combat troops in the country into train and assist forces. A common statement said:

Based on the increasing capacity of the ISF, the parties confirmed that the mission of U.S. and Coalition forces has now transitioned to one focused on training and advisory tasks, thereby allowing for the redeployment of any remaining combat forces from Iraq, with the timing to be established in upcoming technical talks. The transition of U.S. and other international forces away from combat operations to training, equipping, and assisting the ISF reflects the success of their strategic partnership and ensures support to the ISF’s continued efforts to ensure ISIS can never again threaten Iraq’s stability.

The timing of the actual relabeling is still open. Technical meetings, to be held sometime in the future, are supposed to decide on that.

This however will not satisfy the Iraqi parliament which had decided that all foreign troops have to leave Iraq. Nor will this satisfy the 'resistance axis' of Iran, Syria and the aligned Shia militia groups in Iraq and Lebanon. As long as U.S. troops are still in Iraq, they will also continue their war on Syria. Those troops must leave:

Prior to the US-Iraq strategic talks, the Coordinating Committee of the Iraqi Resistance Factions, which includes all Iran-backed militias, issued a statement demanding a clear timetable for departure of all US forces from Iraq. The committee said it supports the strategic talks only if they lead to setting a clear timetable for a US departure, and that otherwise militias will return to attacking US bases and forces in Iraq.

Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, who became Prime Minister in May 2020, had promised to fulfill the parliament demand. He is however known to be leaning to the U.S. side. He has also worked deftly to diminish the influence of militia groups which lean towards the Iranian side:

In recent years, the Iranian-backed political and armed factions and their allies have occupied high-ranking offices in various sensitive security services, giving them wide-ranging power.

The National Intelligence Service, the National Security Agency, the national security adviser, the Internal Intelligence Agency, the elite Falcons Cell, and the Supreme Technical Committee for Information and Communication Security are among the most important official security agencies that the Tehran-allied armed factions and political forces controlled until last year.

But Kadhimi has managed to prize them all from the factions’ hands under one pretext or another, security officials told MEE.

The Interior Intelligence Agency and the Falcons Cell, the most prominent domestic intelligence units in terms of technical and human capabilities, which had not previously used their resources to pursue the Iranian-backed factions, have been in the prime minister’s hands since January.

Despite these losses of influence the various forces aligned with Iran are still powerful. Iraq also depends on electricity and gas which Iran provides to it. Kadhimi must therefore take Iranian interests into account:

Al-Kadhimi has walked a tightrope as he negotiates with the Americans while coming under growing pressure from local militias loyal to Tehran.

Last week, a convoy of heavily armed Shiite militiamen drove openly through Baghdad, denouncing the U.S. presence and threatening to cut off al-Kadhimi's ear, a display that clearly sought to undermine the premier.

Angered, al-Kadhimi asked Iran's leaders to rein in Iran-backed militias in Iraq and suggested he would confront the factions, two Iraqi officials said Wednesday. In the note, al-Kadhimi threatened to "announce clearly who backs these groups," the officials said.

It was not immediately clear who the message was given to. The timing suggested al-Kadhimi, who has appeared powerless in confronting the militias, was looking to appease the Americans ahead of Wednesday's talks.

The message led to a two-day visit this week by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's Quds Force chief Ismail Qaani to Baghdad, where he met with militia and Shiite political leaders and called for calm, according to a senior Iraqi Shiite politician.

While Iran still wants the U.S. to leave the Middle East it is currently not interested in an immediate conflict. That is why Ismail Qaani told the Iran aligned militia groups to stand down. A priority for now is the return of the U.S. to the nuclear deal and the lifting of U.S. sanctions. Should that process fail it will again be open season. Kadhimi will then have to leave and the U.S. 'trainers' in Iraq will again come under direct attacks.

All this is political movement on the tactical level. On the strategic level Iran's aim is still to remove the U.S. from the Middle East. That will however take much more time.

Posted by b on April 8, 2021 at 16:20 UTC | Permalink

Comments

Thanks for the posting b.

The nuclear deal would not be necessary if empire crashes and no longer can enforce sanctions or continue to impose a unipolar world. That future is here but not evenly distributed yet.

What a shit show, eh?

I personally don't see Iran backing off on attacks because military force is the only power currently recognized by empire and ongoing attacks are part of the negotiating strategy.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 8 2021 16:41 utc | 1

Hiding behind BS semantics seems to be a specialty of the O'Biden people. I had exactly the same impression when reading about these 'combat troops' being withdrawn, meaning nothing will change but their name.

The US has been 'training and assisting' troops in Iraq and Afghanistan for over a decade now, i know doctors who got their PhD in less time than some of these soldiers take to learn how to hold a gun and point it in the right direction...

Posted by: Et Tu | Apr 8 2021 17:00 utc | 2

Shell game: US/NATO will never leave Iraq just as they will never leave Syria or Afghanistan.

Feb 18 2021: NATO boosts Iraq mission with thousands of personnel

NATO is planning to scale up its mission training Iraq's security forces with thousands of new personnel as the military alliance seeks to help keep the Islamic State group at bay, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.

“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,” Stoltenberg told reporters after chairing a meeting of NATO defense ministers.


!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 8 2021 17:09 utc | 3

Shell game: US/NATO will never leave Iraq just as they will never leave Syria or Afghanistan.

Feb 18 2021: NATO boosts Iraq mission with thousands of personnel

NATO is planning to scale up its mission training Iraq's security forces with thousands of new personnel as the military alliance seeks to help keep the Islamic State group at bay, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.

“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,” Stoltenberg told reporters after chairing a meeting of NATO defense ministers.


!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 8 2021 17:09 utc | 4

The Pentagon recently released a picture of US forces training its Syrian proxies to call in airstrikes. Official creation of Kurdistan is probably imminent. To do that, it needs a cessation of attacks on the supply lines coming from Iraq, which is what this is probably about.

Posted by: Carl | Apr 8 2021 17:14 utc | 5

@Jackrabbit | Apr 8 2021 17:09 utc | 4

I have to apologize to the world for the behavior of the quisling puppet Stoltenberg. I am wondering if he is blackmailed by the USrael after the events of 22. July 2011.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 8 2021 17:19 utc | 6

I have to apologize to the world for the behavior of the quisling puppet Stoltenberg. I am wondering if he is blackmailed by the USrael after the events of 22. July 2011.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 8 2021 17:19 utc | 6

I do not wonder about that, i am certain he is bc he is a weakling and a traitor.
Just like gro harlem was rewarded for with the job at w.h.o after she sold us out with the eøs deal quislingberg was rewarded for protecting the youth killers at Utøya🤷‍♂️
I remember those kids telling us about several gunmen b4 it got memoryholed, i remember the differnt dressed guy on tv2 they claim is bering brevik at Utøya even tho his clothes is clearly showed when arrested,.-

No need to wonder "kjære landsmann", you know you are right deep down inside.
Mvh
Per
Samisk/Norsk bastard fra Sunnmøre

Posted by: Per/Norway | Apr 8 2021 17:41 utc | 7

No amount of re-labeling will change the facts on the ground, as the empire has no strategy in far away places like the land locked Afghanistan, or in Iraq, and Syria. The empire will eventually put it’s tail between it’s legs and leave the area, but not before much bluster. The empire is crawling back to the nuke deal table on it’s knees to kiss some eye-ranian bee-hind, as we speak, since their ballyhooed maximum pressure has been a total failure.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Apr 8 2021 18:15 utc | 8

@Per/Norway | Apr 8 2021 17:41 utc | 7

Thanks. I can confirm your memory.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 8 2021 18:19 utc | 9

thanks b...

what does iraq actually want in all of this?? the resume on this Mustafa Al-Kadhimi guy is interesting... he lived in the uk for a number of years.. i guess i shouldn't hold that against him... and of course he is walking a fine line.. if the usa is okay taking out the head of the revolutionary guards - soliemani - they wouldn't have any problem getting rid of this guy too.. at what point does iraq voice its position on all of this?

Posted by: james | Apr 8 2021 18:25 utc | 10

The nation state world over, is a part of the global divide and conquer strategy put in place to serve the interest of the Oligarch.. The political system in each nation states amounts to nothing more than the customer complaint department; instead of consumer complaints it handles complaints of the governed.

Thanks B for that excellent summary.. might notice what is happening in Yemen the Yemeni are
about to take control of the dam .. it looks like.

Posted by: snake | Apr 8 2021 18:26 utc | 11

Official creation of Kurdistan is probably imminent.


Largest culture without a country.
We shall see-----

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Apr 8 2021 18:34 utc | 12

The Iraqi parliament is right. "Train and assist" is just a bullshit relabelling of yankee occupation forces. Dating back to the 19th century the modus operandi has always been yankee speak with forked tongue as documented by 20th century Hollywood westerns.

Posted by: exiled off mainstree | Apr 8 2021 19:07 utc | 13

Help please...
Who know https://www.defensepriorities.org/about

2 or 3 Interessant and calm and realistisch analysis today.

Who know who is behind?

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 8 2021 19:09 utc | 14

Posted by Carl @ 5

I agree, the 'creation' of an independent Kurdistan has long been one of the objectives of the Anglo/Zionists as outlined by the Oded Yinon Plan.

"Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel's targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi'ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north. It is possible that the present Iranian-Iraqi confrontation will deepen this polarization."

Right now the public relations specialists would be working on dressing up the dissolution of Iraq and Syria as a 'humanitarian' triumph. The Yinon Plan would, of course, go unmentioned.

Posted by: Paul | Apr 8 2021 19:25 utc | 15

@ carl and paul... i think it is a bit late for that, but i am sure some neo cons in washington-tel aviv are pushing for it...

Posted by: james | Apr 8 2021 19:41 utc | 16

If you really want a good and viable society, go for a religious one, they are always fair and negotiable.
I put an /s on because even here there are many idiots.

Posted by: Den lille abe | Apr 8 2021 20:16 utc | 17

Official creation of Kurdistan is probably imminent. Carl @5

Sorry to disagree. It ain’t happening. Creation of such land-locked state will require import/export permission, and political support from the surrounding/neighboring countries of Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran. None of which is in the cards. Part of the reason that Suleimani was targeted was because he nipped that Zio dream in the bud in Kirkuk.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Apr 8 2021 20:21 utc | 18

@Bernard F. [post 14]


One name is familiar: Charles Pena. He used to contribute (still is?) at antiwar.com. The guys at antiwar.com are basically non-interverntionists, libertarians. At times they call themselves palaeo-conservatives (to distinct themselves from the neocons).

Best from Germany

Posted by: Das Kommentariat | Apr 8 2021 21:28 utc | 19

I agree with Den lille abe @17 ...

The religiously tolerant US now finds itself in the grasp of the intolerant fascist liberals ...

What the world needs now is more of that tolerant liberalism !

Posted by: imoverit | Apr 8 2021 21:52 utc | 20

Iraq is transitioning, as Ireland did, from a country with a lot of power in the hands of terror groups to full government control of civil society.

All Middle East countries are plagued by armed religious sects, criminals, tribal affiliations, and so on.

In the Saddam era, heavy handed policing saw peace and Shia and Sunni living literally side by side, in mixed neighbourhoods.

After the US Govt. invasion, neighbourhoods segregated.

It's a long road back. Trust has to be rebuilt.

And ending these armed factions is essential. There can be only ONE government, however constituted.

Armed 'factions' must either legitimise by joining governing agencies, or become simply armed criminals - and be arrested.

Yes, Iraq does need help to hunt down religous/criminal residues. Especially high tech discovery of their hiding places, as well as listening and decoding intel.

Obviously the USA Govt. (with others) can provide this help. Obviously the task will be given to the military. They have the resources.

How can Iraq recover any form of reparations - from de-mining to uranium contamination cleanup efforts - if it rebuffs the USA Govt?

Foreign capital is needed. It certainly won't be ONLY USA capital! But investment, while retaining Iraqi majority control, is a win win. And plays well in politics, as large numbers of Iraqis are unemployed.

And unemployed are attracted to...gangs. Whatever name you give the gang.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Apr 8 2021 22:11 utc | 21

@powerandpeople [post 21]

While the first few paragraphs of your post do make some sense, you seem to lose it midway.

"Obviously the USA Govt. (with others) can provide this help. Obviously the task will be given to the military. They have the resources."

To which I say: Probably the US is the only player who certainly has no role to play here, except for leaving asap for obvious reasons.

This one is beyond ridiculous: "How can Iraq recover any form of reparations - from de-mining to uranium contamination cleanup efforts - if it rebuffs the USA Govt?" As if the USA has ever even considered to pay reparations to any country it bombed.

Posted by: Das Kommentariat | Apr 8 2021 22:35 utc | 22

@ Das Kommentariat | Apr 8 2021 21:28 utc | 19

Vielen Dank

Looks like antiwar libertarian.
Well documented, smart analyse from normal educated american.

Give Peace a Chance ?

LEAVING IRAQ AND SYRIA AVOIDS WAR AND AIDS IRAN DIPLOMACY


Iran is a middling power contained by its neighbors and poses no direct threat to the U.S. [...]
A return to the JCPOA requires abandoning “maximum pressure,”[...]
Withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq and Syria would reduce the risks of war and aid President Biden’s efforts to pursue diplomacy with Iran and salvage the JCPOA.[...]

Troops in Iraq and Syria serve as a tripwire, perhaps by design, that can derail attempts at diplomacy at unpredictable times. Even if President Biden and his top officials are able to avoid any major confrontations that escalate to all-out war, as President Trump narrowly did, a future administration that wants to undo diplomatic gains will have a ready excuse to do so.

https://www.defensepriorities.org/explainers/leaving-iraq-and-syria-avoids-war-and-aids-lran-diplomacy
https://www.defensepriorities.org/explainers/the-case-for-withdrawing-from-the-middle-east


RECALIBRATING SANCTIONS TO PRESERVE U.S. FINANCIAL HEGEMONY

sanctions have been overused to punish and signal disapproval, rather than as a tool to serve achievable U.S. foreign policy ends.1
Washington is increasing its use of sanctions. While the Clinton administration averaged around 8 new sanctions designations per year, the Obama administration average more than 525 per year, and the Trump administration added more than 975 per year.
Sanctions rarely succeed because (1) they tend to demand states cease activities their leaders deem critical to their rule or security and (2) often other markets can open to replace those sanctions close.
Sanctions cost the U.S.: They dilute U.S. power over time, as states seek alternatives to the U.S.-dominated financial system that exposes them to punishment.

https://www.defensepriorities.org/explainers/recalibrating-sanctions-to-preserve-us-financial-hegemony

And even from the same
LET NORD STREAM 2 GO
https://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2021/03/25/maybe_washington_should_let_nord_stream_2_go_769814.html

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 8 2021 22:36 utc | 23

Carl @ 5

There does not appear to be any attacks on the Iraq/Syria supply convoys. All the attacks I have seen reported have been on US convoys internal to Iraq. Three on one day a couple of days ago with two of the three separate attacks on the same convoy (unusual double tap?). No apparent US casualties.

Posted by: JohninMK | Apr 8 2021 22:55 utc | 24

Norwegian @ 6:

No need to apologise for Stoltenberg. You can assume all major US intel agencies (17 and counting) have files on all Western leaders, full of stuff to blackmail them with, and which they share with other intel agencies.

At least we can get laughs out of Stoltenberg trying to moonlight as a taxi driver with crappy driving skills, which is more than we can say for our leader Scotty-brained Moron Morrison down here.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 8 2021 23:08 utc | 25

Mr. Duncan

They are not the largest culture without a country.

Telugu are.

Kurdish culture is not distinct from Persianate Culture, the only thing distinct about them is their attire, just like so many other Persianate people.

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 8 2021 23:38 utc | 26

Mr. Powerandpeople

Iraq does not need USA from whom she can learn nothing positive.

US cannot stay in Iraq, she murdered national hero of Iraq as well as an Iranian hero of war against ISIS. She destroyed Ba'athist Iraq for Judeo-Christians. It is impossible for a religious enemy of Muslims, Shia and Sunni, to stay.

Strategic dialogue between Iraq and US will not get anywhere.

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 8 2021 23:45 utc | 27

Mr. Bernard F.

We shall see.

Until the Mad King and his minions have settled with the Shia Crescent, all bets are off.

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 8 2021 23:48 utc | 28

Why are there reports of Iran-US talks?   Is Iran willing to renege on their 25-year deal with the Chinese?   Didn't Iran firmly state that there would be no discussions about the JCPOA until ALL sanctions have been lifted and verified?   Since the US is unwilling to lift ALL sanctions then the JCPOA is dead.

Posted by: Ian2 | Apr 9 2021 0:18 utc | 29

Mr. Fyi:

1. Iraq does not 'need' USA Govt. in the sense US Govt. is indispensable.
But whatever costs the US Govt. military picks up in the work of hunting out ISIS for Iraqi military to kill is a cost Iraq does not then have to bear.

2. US Military is well trained. Iraq doubtless - at this point - uses US supplied military equipment. The better trained the Iraqi military, the more capable they are. The less likely to suffer death & injury. This is a positive.

3. Using Iran example, there are numerous religous faiths there in Iran, some in government, in spite of the murder. The USA aggression was an economic aggression, and can't fairly be characterised as a religion-motivated aggression.

4. Dialogue is dialogue. Both sides seek benefits. If the US wants to 'get anywhere', it will have to engage in respectful dialogue aimed at reaching a balanced agreement. Agreement, not diktat. US Govt. "Everything is on the table" is now useless. It is Junk, thrown in the back alley, and being pissed on by every passing stray dog.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Apr 9 2021 2:11 utc | 30

The current Iraqi government has no credibility with Iraqis on any side of Iraq's current schisms.
Not so much because they are believed to be amerikan puppets, although that is most def not a turn on, as the fact that corruption is now endemic across every level of government.
Sure all sorts of favours were done in the Saddam days but that was manageable and Iraqis felt that government services, especially health and education were available for all - no longer. It has become commonplace to have to pay off medical staff for a hospital bed or to get your child into a class at school.
The reason is simple, that is the types of humans initially given a head start in the post illegal-invasion of Iraq government were types that would do anything for a dollar eg Chalabi & others of that ilk.
Corruption breeds more corruption and the only thing Iraqis learned about government amerikan style, that is so-called democracy, is that it creates corrupt and incompetent functionaries from top to bottom.
There is absolutely no hope of a purge of all the corrupt figures until amerika is driven out. As long as amerika stays it will demand a substantial number of Iraq's politicians do as amerika says and as amerika has clearly not been beneficial to Iraq, the only Iraqi pols who will do as amerika demands are corrupt pols happy to line their pockets with amerikan dollars.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Apr 9 2021 2:47 utc | 31

Mr. powerandpeople

On your number 1, only US air assets were significant, war was waged on the ground by Shia Arabs. Adequate military equipment could be procured from Iran, Russia, Brazil, China. There is no need for expensive US equipment.

On your number 2, Iran trained Iraqis. US soldiers were not trained for the sort of war that ISIS was waging. And US was not fighting ISIS for many months. She started fighting ISIS when someone in DC realized that the American Monster was a strategic threat to US minions locally.

On your number 3, the economic nature of the weapons employed does not detract from the motivations of the war. That the sole vaccine manufacturer in Iran is sanctioned by US attests to the hatred in US against Iran and indeed the Shia religion. That is the Truth of Things.

On your number 4, Americans are not interested in (Hegelian) Dialogue, the talk and talk and then want to get everything they want for free.

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 9 2021 3:48 utc | 32

Powerandpeople #30

The only dialogue that the USA understands is packaged in coffins. USA army coffins.

All else is theft or cultural destruction of the other.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 9 2021 4:30 utc | 33

@Jen | Apr 8 2021 23:08 utc | 25

Thank you for the support. But I have to apologise, because Stoltenberg does not represent the society I grew up in. Things were not always rosy then either, but I remember our prime minister in the early 1970s - a former "nacht und nebel" prisoner from WWII - walking alone outside our window on his way to the PM office. He even came from the same party as Stoltenberg.

Look at us now. We are locked up because these people are preparing for war.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 9 2021 5:07 utc | 34

Bernard F. @ 23 Sanctions dilute U.S. power over time, as states seek alternatives to the U.S.-dominated financial system that exposes them to punishment.

When nation state X applies sanctions against a target(T). it forces the T to develop an end-run to avoid the impact of the sanction..it also generates real-long lasting hate from innocents affected by the sanction against T and encourages the T to develop end run games <=which sometimes develop into unstoppable aggressively-successful end run competition.

Moreover, sanctions by nation state X, are often applied without the knowledge of the governed citizens of nation state X? There are no reporting agencies that report back to the citizens of X the impact sanctions produce on the innocents affected by sanctioning T or even if T is in fact a legitimate target [T] for sanction by nation state X.

I have often wondered if each nation state X sanction applied against its target [T] can be traced to a private-party oligarch goal on the nation state X side. I suspect the use of sanctions demonstrate how oligarchs in nation state X, use the awesome powers of nation state X, to achieve a private party nation state X oligarch goal against a target [T] sanctioned by nation state X. What goes on topside is little known to those who run the ship.

Posted by: snake | Apr 9 2021 5:23 utc | 35

By the way, today is the 81st anniversary of the Quisling coup d'etat on the day of the german assault and occupation. Perhaps Stoltenberg has found a way to commemorate the event in Iraq.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 9 2021 6:29 utc | 36

@Fyi
Do you have any information on the vaccine situation in Iran? I think Iran has been developing it's own Covid-19 vaccine.

Posted by: m | Apr 9 2021 8:36 utc | 37

If Iran is going to hold off while the nuclear talks go on then the US can spin out the talks while it consolidates its position in Iraq.

Posted by: Johny Conspiranoid | Apr 9 2021 9:04 utc | 38

Mr. m:

I do not have very good details - there is a single domestic manufacturer and there are two MoU for producing vaccines locally with Russia and Cuba. The domestically produced vaccine is still a few months into the future although the monthly production is stated to be 3 million doses.

As far as I know, 1.6 million vaccine doses have been received, AstraZenca, Sputnik V, and Sinovac.

The common figure for Iranian population is 87 million souls, it could be closer to 100 million. So it will be next year when vaccination is completed.

Currently, the medical staff, the mortuary staff, and garbage collectors are the only ones receiving vaccines in "code-red" locations.

Posted by: fyi | Apr 9 2021 13:30 utc | 39

Joe Biden and the ruling elite he represents have no solution to the immense structural economic and social problems confronting American capitalism and view the China-Russia-Iran axis as an unacceptable obstacle to US global hegemony. US hostility to this axis is being fueled by: 1) continuing/accelerating US economic decline, 2) astronomically expensive, looming strategic debacles confronting the Pentagon in Afghanistan (longest war in US history), Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, from which the Pentagon is incapable of extricating itself and 3), attainment of economic and military parity (superiority?) by Russia and China. After expending so much human and financial capital, the Pentagon is incapable of extricating itself from Iraq or other conflicts as doing so is an admission of failure and by extension military weakness. US economic decline has progressed to the point where the very survival of the American empire is contingent upon continuous debt monetization [i.e., money printing] to prop up Wall St. and insolvent banks, the Pentagon and war. It is difficult to see this ending well.

Posted by: PaulB | Apr 9 2021 16:28 utc | 40

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 9 2021 4:30 utc | 33

Statistically, the US military isn't even in the top 34 of most dangerous occupations.

If their generals think their underlings of risk-adverse welfare queens is gonna stomach a fight-to-the death scenario just because of misplaced machismo, more power to 'em.

Posted by: J W | Apr 9 2021 16:41 utc | 41

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 9 2021 3:48 utc | 32

On your number 3, the economic nature of the weapons employed does not detract from the motivations of the war. That the sole vaccine manufacturer in Iran is sanctioned by US attests to the hatred in US against Iran and indeed the Shia religion. That is the Truth of Things.

One could make a similar argument with any particularity that is specific to Iranians and say, for example, that the sanctions attest to the American hatred of flatbread, or pistachios or perhaps that crispy rice. It is the same logic. You are suggesting that the deciding elite in the US is somehow concerned with the nuances of the various currents of Islam. Does that sound like a reasonable assertion?

I would suggest that the elite is mostly concerned with the bottom line. It has an accurate picture of the various factors that affect that bottom line. Should a state actor, a nation, a region, be clearly identified as potentially having a strong negative impact, it would make sense to look for strategies to reduce that factor.

It certainly is nothing personal, but Iran must be crushed.

Posted by: robin | Apr 10 2021 15:11 utc | 42

Mr. Robin

US declared war against enemies of Israel in 2003.

US, declared Iean and Shia enemies of the United States from Saudi Arabia, which, with her Wahabbi religion, shared hatred of the Shia.

USD 8 trillions later, and no one in US political establishment has disowned, repudiated, or rejected those war declarations. There are no margins in these wars for US but they keep on going since Judeo-Christians cannot repent.

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 10 2021 17:22 utc | 43

Fyi 43

The US has supported Israel since its inception, as it is, objectively, a western colonial implant in the very heart of highly strategic region.

As for the support of Saudi Arabia, I see it as the continuation of classic divide and rule project of the British empire. A project that became of utmost importance to maintain the petro dollar rentier system. Religious considerations may have been exploited at the implementation level to deceive and rally credulous foot soldiers, but they were certainly absent from any motivation driving the project.

8 trillion dollars! Who would be crazy enough to do disown such an incredible fortune?

Posted by: robin | Apr 10 2021 18:16 utc | 44

Mr. Robin

You are in denial.

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 10 2021 18:51 utc | 45

Of course Kadhimi is relatively pro-American. He was chosen in agreement with the US embassy, with a US representative in the room at the vote to make sure things didn't go wrong. The parliament is not at all pro-US though. And it's the parliamentary vote that counts. That is why the US is talking about withdrawal, though of course whether they will really do it is another matter. Kadhimi is not that free to do what he wants.

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 11 2021 8:57 utc | 46

Speculation of the day from a fly on the wall

Pope Francisco went to talk peace on behalf of the Great Harlot, Babylon the Great, aka the Hammer of all the Earth, but ayatollah Sistani said: “out of Iraq!”. Thus, the Great Harlot must move to Erbil / Mosul and from there to Syria where other dynamics are at play.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Apr 14 2021 0:37 utc | 47

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