IRAQ | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

IRAQ

Feb 20 03:36

WORTH THE PRICE? Joe Biden and the Launch of the Iraq War (narrated by Danny Glover)

Feb 18 12:05

White House effectively admits Iran did not pose an 'imminent threat'

By Steve Benen

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sat down with NBC News' Richard Engel last week and reflected on the violence between the United States and Iran last month. Zarif argued in the interview that the Trump administration brought the region very close to the brink." He added, "We were very close to a war."

https://corpuslegalis.com/us/code/title18/murder-or-manslaughter-of-fo...

(4) “Internationally protected person” means—

(A) a Chief of State or the political equivalent, head of government, or Foreign Minister whenever such person is in a country other than his own and any member of his family accompanying him; or

Feb 17 04:49

At least four rockets hit US military coalition base in Baghdad with no casualties reported

At least four rockets hit a US-led military coalition's Baghdad headquarters early on Sunday but caused no casualties, a coalition spokesman said, in the latest attack to target US facilities in Iraq.

Washington has blamed Iran-backed paramilitary groups for increasingly regular rocketing and shelling of bases hosting US forces in Iraq and of the area around the American Embassy in Baghdad.

Feb 16 11:40

Gen. Soleimani assassinated to sabotage Iran's talks with Saudis, UAE following Israeli briefing: NYT

Washington ordered the assassination of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani to sabotage de-escalation talks between Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates following a report by Israel's Mossad spy agency, according to the New York Times.

The paper reported on Thursday that General Soleimani had been arranging talks in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates in order to de-escalate tensions with Tehran.

The Times wrote that the talks happened after Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which are central to the Trump administration's so-called regional alliance seeking to pressure Iran, began to question the efficiency of Washington's anti-Iran campaign.

Feb 14 05:07

NATO allies agree to expand mission in Iraq

U.S. allies in Europe agreed Wednesday to expand their mission in Iraq, answering a demand by Defense Secretary Mark Esper that NATO members play a larger role in the fight against the Islamic State, the alliance's top official said.

Feb 13 08:51

More Lies on Iran: The White House Just Can’t Help Itself as New Facts Emerge

The public that actually follows the news might recall a little more than one month ago the United States assassinated a senior Iranian official named Qassem Soleimani. Openly killing someone in the government of a country with which one is not at war is, to say the least, unusual, particularly when the crime is carried out in yet another country with which both the perpetrator and the victim have friendly relations.

It soon emerged that the Iranian was in fact in Baghdad to discuss with the Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi a plan that might lead to the de-escalation of the ongoing conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, a meeting that the White House apparently knew about may even have approved. If that is so, events as they unfolded suggest that the U.S. government might have encouraged Soleimani to make his trip so he could be set up and killed.

Feb 13 05:42

American mega bases in Iraq (A documentary made in 2007)

"Will the U.S. ever leave Iraq? Official policy promises an eventual departure, while warning of the dire consequences of a "premature" withdrawal. But while Washington equivocates, facts on the ground tell another story. Independent journalist Dahr Jamail, and author Chalmers Johnson, are discovering that military bases in Iraq are being consolidated from over a hundred to a handful of "megabases" with lavish amenities. Much of what is taking place is obscured by denials and quibbles over the definition of "permanent." The Bases Are Loaded covers a wide range of topics. Gary Hart, James Goldsborough, Nadia Keilani, Raed Jarrar, Bruce Finley Kam Zarrabi and Mark Rudd all add their observations about the extent and purpose of the bases in Iraq."

Feb 11 11:25

Vanessa Beeley Interview - Turkey & US Openly Protect Extremists In Idlib As Lies Begin To Crumble

Joining me today is Vanessa Beeley, an independent investigative journalist and photographer who has worked extensively in the Middle East – on the ground in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Palestine, and has covering the conflict in Yemen since 2015. In 2018, Vanessa was named one of the 238 most respected journalists in the UK by the British National Council for the Training of Journalists. In 2019, Vanessa was among the recipients of the Serena Shim Award for uncompromising integrity in journalism. Today we are discussing Syria, Idlib and the wall of propaganda surrounding all of it.

Feb 11 10:36

DID WASHINGTON USE A FALSE PRETEXT FOR ITS RECENT ESCALATION IN IRAQ?

In a key piece of actual extensive, on-the-ground reporting, the New York Times’s Alissa Rubin has raised serious questions about the official US account of who it was that attacked the K-1 base near Kirkuk, in eastern Iraq, on December 27. The United States almost immediately accused the Iran-backed Ketaib Hizbullah (KH) militia of responsibility. But Rubin quotes by name Brig. General Ahmed Adnan, the chief of intelligence for the Iraqi federal police at the same base, as saying, “All the indications are that it was Daesh” — that is, ISIS.

Feb 11 09:27

Democrats Ignore Trump’s Real Violations

Last month, President Trump authorized the assassination of a top Iranian General, Qassim Soleimani, and a top Iraqi military officer inside Iraqi territory while Soleimani was on a diplomatic mission. Trump and his Administration tried to claim that the attack was essential because of an “imminent threat” of a Soleimani attack on US troops in the region.

We found out shortly afterward that they lied about the “imminent threat.” The assassination was not “urgent” – it was planned back in June. Trump then claimed it didn’t matter whether there was an imminent threat: Soleimani was a bad guy so he deserved to be assassinated.

But the attack was an act of war on Iran without Congressional declaration or authorization for war. Is that not perhaps a “high crime” or “misdemeanor”?

Feb 11 09:23

More Than 100 Troops Have Brain Injuries From Iran Missile Strike, Pentagon Says

Mihir Zaveri

By Mihir Zaveri

Feb. 10, 2020

More than 100 American service members have traumatic brain injuries from Iranian airstrikes on Al Asad Air Base in Iraq in January, the Defense Department said, a number that was more than 50 percent higher than previously disclosed.

Of the 109 troops who have been diagnosed with brain injuries, 76 had returned to duty, officials said Monday.

Feb 11 09:19

In the Bubble: Trump’s Presidency Reveals 7 Undeniable Facts About The Swamp

By Doug “Uncola” Lynn via TheBurningPlatform.com

Barely into the New Year, 2020 vision has brought many revelations into better focus, making several ongoing observations perfectly clear. Although there are those who’ve been watching the dots of The Matrix assemble into the big picture for decades now, the election of Donald Trump has increasingly exposed what was hidden in plain sight for so long.

Feb 11 08:27

Baghdad is covered in SNOW for the first time in 12 years, as young Iraqis race outside to make the most of it

The last recorded snowfall in Baghdad was in 2008, but that was brief and mostly slushy. Before that, it had been a century since the capital saw any snowflakes.

Feb 10 17:48

109 US service members suffered brain injuries in Iran missile strike – Pentagon

Trump lied. I wonder how many service people were really killed and wounded. Probably closer to the Iranian estimate,80 dead and over 200 wounded.

The number of US troops that suffered ‘mild traumatic brain injury’ in last month’s Iranian missile strikes has been updated to 109, of which 76 have already returned to duty, the US Department of Defense said.

Feb 10 13:26

Trump’s Brink of War with Iran Spun on a Lie

Iraqi military intelligence has found that almost certainly the rocket attack on a U.S. base in December which killed an American contractor was carried out by the Islamic State terror group – not an Iranian-backed Shia militia, contrary to what Washington has been claiming.

It turns out that President Trump’s brink of war with Iran was most likely spun on a cynical lie. That misinformation also led to the U.S. assassination of top Iranian military leader, Major General Qassem Soleimani on January 3, and to the subsequent shoot-down of a civilian airliner in Iran with 176 lives lost.

Feb 10 11:34

US begins withdrawal of its troops from Iraq, media reports say

MOSCOW, February 10. /TASS/. /TASS/. The United States has started withdrawal of its troops from Iraq, Al Arabiya TV said on Monday citing Iraqi parliament member Ali al-Ghanimi.

According to al-Ghanimi, US troops are beginning to leave 15 military bases in Iraq.

Feb 09 09:20

Iraq, Russia discuss strengthening military ties amid US tensions

Iraq and Russia have discussed furthering military ties amid souring relations between Baghdad and Washington in the wake of US assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi anti-terror commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

In a statement released on Thursday, Iraq's Defense Ministry announced a meeting between the army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Othman al-Ghanimi, and Russian Ambassador Maksim Maksimov, along with Moscow’s newly arrived defense attaché in Baghdad.

Feb 09 08:02

Iran Attack on Two US Bases, The “Evil Empire” Strikes Back. The Casualties?

This would explain the if looks could kill face on the head of the JCS during Trump's all is well. The Iranians handed the US a massive humiliating defeat and Trump lied about it!

After their excessive and macabre display of delight and satisfaction, and even celebration, over the killing of Solemani, the White House was tight-lipped about Iran’s almost immediate retaliatory missile attack on two US bases in Iraq, with Donald Trump soon claiming only a bit of physical damage, announcing on Twitter a day after the attack, “No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties.” Trump also stated there was no significant damage to the bases.

Feb 07 17:15

FLASHBACK: The Iraq Death Toll 15 Years After the US Invasion

March 19 marks 15 years since the U.S.-U.K invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the American people have no idea of the enormity of the calamity the invasion unleashed. The US military has refused to keep a tally of Iraqi deaths. General Tommy Franks, the man in charge of the initial invasion, bluntly told reporters, “We don’t do body counts.” One survey found that most Americans thought Iraqi deaths were in the tens of thousands. But our calculations, using the best information available, show a catastrophic estimate of 2.4 million Iraqi deaths since the 2003 invasion.

Feb 07 08:44

Iraq considers deepening military ties with Russia

Associated Press
BAGHDAD: Iraq and Russia discussed prospects for deepening military coordination, Iraq's Defense Ministry said Thursday, amid a strain in Baghdad-Washington relations after a U.S. airstrike killed a top Iranian general inside Iraq.

The ministry statement followed a meeting in Baghdad between Iraqi army chief of staff Lt. Gen. Othman Al-Ghanimi and Iraq's Russian Ambassador Maksim Maksimov, as well as a newly arrived defense attache.

The meeting comes during an uncertain moment in the future of Iraq-U.S. military relations, following the Jan. 3 U .S. drone strike that killed Iran's most powerful military commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and Iraqi senior militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis near Baghdad airport. The attack continues to create friction, prompting powerful Shiite parties to call for an overhaul of the existing strategic set-up between Iraq and the U.S.-led coalition.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Between this, potentially happening, and China's deal for development of Iraq's oil fields, reached in October of last year, Iraq, China launch 'oil for reconstruction' agreementone has to wonder; who, precisely, "won" Iraq, after all the blood and money spent by this country?!?!?

Feb 06 12:43

A Demagogic and Dishonest SOTU

February 4, 2020|

10:35 pm
Daniel Larison

Trump’s State of the Union address tonight was a laundry list of false and misleading claims. It will take the fact-checkers the better part of the night to identify all of the misrepresentations and spurious claims that the president made as he rattled off one implausible statistic after another. The few references that Trump made to foreign policy issues predictably glossed over the many failures of administration policies. If you knew nothing about the last three years of Trump’s presidency, the picture he painted sounded pretty good. If you have paid any attention at all before now, you realized that the country was being snowed under with an avalanche of lies and half-truths.

The most disingenuous part may have been this section on Iran:

Feb 04 12:53

Podcast – Episode #19 – Alistair Crooke and the Civilizational Wars of the U.S. and Europe

Alistair Crooke and I sit down for a wide-ranging chat on the loss of institutional legitimacy all across the West and the Middle East. Starting with Brexit and what it means for the U.K. and spanning the globe to include Europe, its relationship to Russia and the ideological wars being waged by various factions against Iran and China, this is an episode I don’t think anyone should miss.

I know that I am better served for having been a part of it. And, if in our own small way we can prevent further wars of this type, it will

Feb 03 04:40

US Announces Three New Bases in Iraq After Iraqis Demand Full Withdrawal

The three sites chosen for the news bases, Erbin, Sulimania and Halabja are all extremely close to Iran, with Halabja just eight miles from its border.

Feb 01 05:14

The Real John Bolton

Bolton, who used student deferments and service in the Maryland National Guard to avoid serving in Vietnam, is a classic Chicken Hawk. He supported the Vietnam War and continues to support the war in Iraq. Bolton endorsed preemptive military strikes in North Korea and Iran in recent years, and lobbied for regime change in Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. When George W. Bush declared an “axis of evil” in 2002 consisting of Iran, Iraq, and North Korea, Bolton added an equally bizarre axis of Cuba, Libya, and Syria.

Jan 31 14:35

FLASHBACK: Veteran Concussion Research: Examining Combat-related Brain Injury

Former Army specialist Dan Hof, a veteran of the conflict in Iraq, sustained a concussion in 2005 while deployed and has been struggling with troubling symptoms of his injury ever since. Dan is one of the 20 participants in a study of mild traumatic brain injury in veterans led by Michael Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In cooperation with the Resurrecting Lives Foundation, Dr. Lipton is using advanced MRI techniques and cognitive tests to investigate the effect of repeated combat-related blast exposures on the brains of veterans with the goal of improving diagnostics and treatment

Jan 31 07:26

President al-Assad: The American presence in Syria will generate military resistance which will exact losses among the Americans, consequently force them to leave

He pointed out that the American presence in Syria will generate a military resistance which will exact losses among the Americans, and consequently force them to leave. “However, America cannot believe that it will live comfortably in any area it occupies. We remind them of Iraq and Afghanistan, and Syria will not be an exception.”

President al-Assad indicated that the immediate and most effective solution is to unite as Syrians and as patriots and this would cause the Americans to leave the Syrian territory.

Jan 31 06:51

Rising Numbers of US Troops in Iraq with Traumatic Brain Injuries

What Trump dismissively called “headaches and a couple of other things…not very serious…no Americans…harmed,” the Pentagon admitted otherwise in delayed after-action reports.

After initially saying nothing, then reporting 11 US military personnel evacuated from Iraq with concussion-like symptoms, the Pentagon raised the number to 34, then 50 and now 64, perhaps a larger number to be revealed ahead.

Jan 31 06:49

House Votes to Repeal 2002 AUMF, Rein in Trump on Iran War

On Thursday afternoon, the House of Representatives passed a pair of amendments aimed at curtailing President Trump’s war-making ability, particularly as it relates to attacking Iran. The amendments were added to the WW2 Merchant Mariner Gold Medal Act.

The first amendment, passed 228-175, noted that no military action against Iran could take place without prior Congressional authorization. Four Republicans joined most Democrats in voting for the measure, 21 abstained. Though this is legally speaking always the case, recent presidents have claimed the ability to start unilateral wars when Congress doesn’t explicitly preclude them.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It's bloody well time for the US Congress to show some spine, and not be enablers of these wars without end.

Jan 30 20:37

FLASHBACK: How Many Millions Have Been Killed in America’s Post-9/11 Wars?

March 23rd, 2018

By Nicolas J.S. Davies

How many people have been killed in America’s post-9/11 wars? I have been researching and writing about that question since soon after the U.S. launched these wars, which it has tried to justify as a response to terrorist crimes that killed 2,996 people in the U.S. on September 11th 2001.

But no crime, however horrific, can justify wars on countries and people who were not responsible for the crime committed, as former Nuremberg prosecutor Ben Ferencz patiently explained to NPR at the time......

Jan 29 11:42

Syria: Army Liberates Maarat al-Numan - U.S. Plans New Mischief

Today the Syrian Arab Army liberated the city Maarat al-Numan in south-east Idleb. Before the war on Syria the city had some 60,000 inhabitants. This followed after several week of steady progress during which two dozens villages were taken from the Jihadis who currently rule the Idleb area.

Jan 28 21:28

More U.S. service members diagnosed with brain injury from Iran missile attack

Jan. 28, 2020, 7:11 PM PST
By Mosheh Gains and Phil Helsel

A total of 50 U.S. service members suffered traumatic brain injury from this month’s Iranian missile attack on Iraqi bases hosting American troops, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

Jan 28 09:38

Lacking Evidence, Pompeo Blames Iran for Rocket Fire on Baghdad Embassy

Accuses Iran of 'wanton disregard for Iraqi sovereignty'
Jason Ditz Posted on January 27, 2020Categories NewsTags Iran, Iraq, Pompeo

Three rockets hit the US Embassy compound in Baghdad on Sunday, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in keeping with his foreign policy priorities, was quick to make this all about Iran, despite a conspicuous lack of evidence Iran was in any way involved.

Jan 28 09:35

US stops all weapon deliveries to Iraq, citing security concerns – Air Force spokesman

All US deliveries of weapons and ammunition to Iraqi security forces have been suspended, amid rising tensions over the US presence in Iraq following the drone assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad.

Jan 28 09:32

US demands Iraq protects Baghdad embassy after rocket attack

The United States called on Iraq Sunday to protect American diplomatic facilities after the US embassy in Baghdad was hit by three rockets.

"We call on the Government of Iraq to fulfill its obligations to protect our diplomatic facilities," a State Department spokesperson said in a statement.

Jan 28 08:36

Sources: Murderer of Soleimanai Killed With Spy Plane Shot Down over Afghanistan(warning/unpleasant photos)

The downed plane was the mobile CIA command for Michael D’ Andrea, head of operations against Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, America’s most advanced spy platform and mobile command center with all equipment and documents now in enemy hands

VT Damascus: (Russian intelligence sources confirm) It has been reported that (Mike de Andrea) responsible for the assassination file of the martyr Major General Qassem Soleimani was killed in the accident of the American plane that was shot down in Afghanistan. He is the most prominent figure of the CIA intelligence in the region.

Jan 28 08:34

IRGC chief: No US military commander safe if Iranian commanders threatened

The chief commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says none of American military commanders would be safe in any part of the world, if the US administration continues to threaten the Iranian commanders.

Jan 28 08:32

Taliban repel Afghan forces’ attempt to reach US spy plane crash site

The Taliban say they have repelled an attempt by Afghan government forces to reach the site of a crashed US spy plane in Ghazni province.

According to Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, clashes erupted as the government forces, backed by the US military, tried for the second time to reach the wreckage site in the militants' stronghold.

"Taliban fighters on the ground counted six bodies at the site of the U.S. airplane crash," he said, adding there was uncertainty regarding the total fatality count because the fire had consumed everything.

The American spy plane, a Bombardier E-11A, came down in the central province early Monday.

Jan 28 08:29

Michael D'Andrea

Michael D'Andrea is an officer of the Central Intelligence Agency, that in 2017 was appointed to head the Agency's Iran Mission Center.[1] He was a major figure in the search for Osama bin Laden, as well as the American drone strike targeted killing campaign.[1]

According to Russian intelligence sources, Michael D'Andrea who is reportedly behind the assassination of Qassem Soleimani was killed after a U.S. air force plane was shot down by Taliban on 27 January 2020.[2]

Early life

D'Andrea was raised in Northern Virginia.[1] He met his wife while working overseas with the Central Intelligence Agency, and converted to Islam in order to marry her.[1][3] His wife, Faridah Currimjee D'Andrea is a daughter of a wealthy Muslim family from Mauritius with Gujarati origins.[4]

Jan 27 19:38

1/24/20 Stephen Zunes: Today’s US-Iran Crisis Is Rooted in the Decision to Invade Iraq

Podcast with links to several stories.

Stephen Zunes discusses the catastrophic mistake of the U.S. plan to invade Iraq, then “divide and rule” along sectarian lines. Zunes says that although the relationship between Iran and the Iraqi Shiite government is a problem for those who worry about Iranian influence in the Middle East, the irony that everyone seems to have forgotten is that it was the Bush Administration that overthrew the Sunni government there in the first place, essentially fighting against Saddam Hussein on behalf of Iran. Moreover, the only real threat from Iran is to the American soldiers who are there on foreign soil fighting a war we started. We would be far better off if we had just stayed away, a message that Zunes says nearly every Middle East scholar in America could have told you in 2001.

Jan 27 11:52

§1116. Murder or manslaughter of foreign officials, official guests, or internationally protected persons

This is why Trump should be removed from office.

(4) “Internationally protected person” means—

(A) a Chief of State or the political equivalent, head of government, or Foreign Minister whenever such person is in a country other than his own and any member of his family accompanying him; or

(B) any other representative, officer, employee, or agent of the United States Government, a foreign government, or international organization who at the time and place concerned is entitled pursuant to international law to special protection against attack upon his person, freedom, or dignity, and any member of his family then forming part of his household.

Jan 27 11:40

Trump’s Response to Baghdad “Anti-American” Protest: Let’s Revive the ISIS “Freedom Fighters”

You people ever going to wake up? Will it take WW3 and America being destroyed to shake you people out of your Cognitive Dissonance?

Last week according to the Arabic-language al-Ma’aloumeh news website, senior Iraqi MP Karin al-Aliwi said the following:

The Trump regime is “reactivating the remnants and sleeping cells of the ISIL in 5 Iraqi provinces to escalate crisis and chaos in Iraq to decrease power of Hashd al-Shaabi and other (PMU) security forces.”

Thousands of ISIS fighters are being redeployed from Syria to Iraq as a pretext to unjustifiably justify continued US occupation — strongly opposed by the vast majority of Iraqis.

Jan 27 10:17

1/24/20 Dan Caldwell on America’s Conservative Antiwar Veterans

by Scott | Jan 26, 2020 | Interviews

Dan Caldwell of Concerned Veterans for America talks to Scott about his organization’s latest efforts to change the conversation about support for America’s wars in the Middle East. Their new ad campaign emphasizes the fact that even most veterans simply want to end the wars. Caldwell hopes to remind Americans that a truly conservative foreign policy would be much more restrained than the current neoconservative status quo.

Jan 26 16:20

Three rockets 'score direct hits on the US embassy in Baghdad' in latest round of missiles aimed at heavily fortified Green Zone

Three rockets slammed into the US embassy in Iraq's capital on Sunday in the first direct hit reported after months of close calls, as thousands kept up anti-government sit-ins across the country.

The attack marked a dangerous escalation in the spree of rocket attacks in recent months that have targeted the embassy or Iraqi military bases where American troops are deployed.

None of the attacks has been claimed but Washington has repeatedly blamed Iran-backed military factions in Iraq.

Jan 25 09:56

EX-CIA Lawyer: The Soleimani Hit Was a Homicide Under U.S. Criminal Law

This is a high crime an an impeachable offence. Like I have said many times the opposition to Trump is a psyop.

In bragging that he ordered a successful hit on Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, President Trump has admitted to killing a senior government official of a sovereign state, Iran, while he was traveling in another sovereign state, Iraq. On its face, his conduct and intent satisfy the elements of premeditated murder under Section 1116 of Title 18 of the United States Criminal Code, "Murder or manslaughter of foreign officials, official guests, or internationally protected persons."
18 U.S. Code §?1116. Murder or manslaughter of foreign officials, official guests, or internationally protected persons

U.S. Code
Notes

prev | next
(a) Whoever kills or attempts to kill a foreign official, official guest, or internationally protected person shall be punished as provided under sections 1111, 1112, and 1113 of this title.

Jan 25 08:35

VFW demands apology after Trump claims traumatic brain injuries are not 'very serious'

The Veterans of Foreign Wars has demanded an apology from President Trump over recent comments in which he downplayed the seriousness of traumatic brain injuries suffered by American troops in an Iranian missile attack.

"The Veterans of Foreign Wars cannot stand idle on this matter," William "Doc" Schmitz, VFW National Commander, said in a statement Friday, noting TBI is a serious injury known to cause depression, memory loss, severe headaches and other symptoms in the short and long-term.

Jan 24 15:06

Iraqis march in 'millions' to call for expulsion of US troops

Iraqis have rallied in Baghdad in massive numbers to call for an end to US military presence in the country following high-profile assassinations and airstrikes targeting anti-terror forces.

Sayed Sadiq al-Hashemi, the director of the Iraqi Center for Studies, said more than 2.5 million took part in the demonstrations on Friday.

Since the early hours on Friday, huge crowds of men, women and children of all ages converged on the Jadriyah neighborhood near Baghdad University.

The protesters were seen carrying banners and chanting slogans calling for the expulsion of US forces.

"Get out, get out, occupier!" some shouted, while others chanted, "Yes to sovereignty!"

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The photo accompanying this image, was not photoshopped; that is one whole heck of a lot of very ticked off and angry Iraqis, who want their country back.

Jan 24 15:00

Iran's Fars New Agency Says Its Website Blocked Due to Recent US Sanctions Against

Iranian Fars news agency wrote on its Telegram channel on Friday that its website was blocked after the US Treasury Department introduced sanctions against the country.

According to Fars, an international provider sent it an email saying that the reason for blocking the website was the order by the OFAC and the agency's inclusion into its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list.

At the same time, the agency reported that its website with .com domain was blocked.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

My "canaries in the coal mine", in terms of knowing what is happening, would be presstv.com; Farsnews (in English); and presstv.com (in English).

IF all three are all simultaneously blocked by the US, you can guess that the excrement will hit the ventilator shaft very quickly thereafter.

Jan 24 14:12

Pentagon Now Says 34 US Soldiers Suffered Traumatic Brain Injuries In Iran Attack

n the latest major revelation contradicting the White House and Pentagon significantly downplayed casualty count regarding the Jan.8 Iranian ballistic missile attack on Ayn al-Asad airbase in Iraq, The New York Times is reporting that a total of 34 American soldiers have been diagnosed with serious head injuries ranging from concussion to traumatic brain injury.

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman confirmed the much higher number Friday, after only a day ago the official toll stood at eleven after an initial Jan.17 statement, with at least eight of those which were considered serious enough to transport to a hospital in Germany. Hoffman said up to half of the 34 have already returned to their military duties, however, and 17 are still under medical observation.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

(Sigh) will SOMEBODY please, politely explain to the President, that "headaches" are not in the bloody same league with traumatic brain injuries?!?

Jan 24 13:12

Is this what is going on behind the scene? The Yinon plan

“Greater Israel”: The Zionist Plan for the Middle East
The Infamous "Oded Yinon Plan". Introduction by Michel Chossudovsky

Introduction

The following document pertaining to the formation of “Greater Israel” constitutes the cornerstone of powerful Zionist factions within the current Netanyahu government, the Likud party, as well as within the Israeli military and intelligence establishment.

President Donald Trump has confirmed in no uncertain terms, his support of Israel’s illegal settlements (including his opposition to UN Security Council Resolution 2334, pertaining to the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank). In recent developments, the Trump administration has expressed its recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

“Greater Israel” will be part of the forthcoming March 2020 election campaign. Netanyahu has pledged to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank.

Jan 24 13:05

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

Our military has whored itself out to Israel. A Sunni Iraqi state and a Kurdish state. Break Iraq into 3 minor states which is the Israeli plan. More war.

By Suadad al-Salhy
in Baghdad
Published date: 23 January 2020 13:54 UTC | Last update: 1 day 5 hours ago

Backed into a corner and influence waning, the United States has in recent weeks been promoting a plan to create an autonomous Sunni region in western Iraq, officials from both countries told Middle East Eye.

The US efforts, the officials say, come in response to Shia Iraqi parties’ attempts to expel American troops from their country.

Iraq represents a strategic land bridge between Iran and its allies in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUxvbD3w78g
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RC1Mepk_Sw

Jan 24 11:24

Dozens of US troops suffered traumatic brain injuries after Iran missile strikes

The Pentagon said Friday that 34 U.S. troops sustained traumatic brain injuries from Iran's retaliatory missile strikes earlier this month on Iraqi bases that house U.S. forces.

According to chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman, half of the troops have returned to active duty, but the other 17 remain under medical observation, The Associated Press reports.

Initially, President Trump said that no troops had been injured during the Jan. 8 attack. When reports of the head injuries surfaced, the president downplayed the severity of the trauma, referring to them as "headaches."

– Developing

Jan 24 09:38

Iraqis march in 'millions' to call for expulsion of US troops

Iraqis have rallied in Baghdad in massive numbers to call for an end to US military presence in the country following high-profile assassinations and airstrikes targeting anti-terror forces.

Sayed Sadiq al-Hashemi, the director of the Iraqi Center for Studies, said more than 2.5 million took part in the demonstrations on Friday.

Since the early hours on Friday, huge crowds of men, women and children of all ages converged on the Jadriyah neighborhood near Baghdad University.

Jan 24 09:36

Patriot missile system deployment violates Iraq sovereignty: Lawmaker

An Iraqi legislator has condemned US plans to install Patriot missile systems in the Arab country, saying such deployment violates Iraq’s sovereignty.

The lawmaker said Iraqis will march in Baghdad on Friday to deliver the message to American forces that “Iraqi people reject their presence and it is time they left their bases.”

Jan 24 08:34

'Million-Man March' kicks off in Baghdad to demand US troop pullout (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

A massive demonstration –called for by a prominent Shia cleric– has flooded the streets of the Iraq's capital Baghdad, with thousands voicing their anger at the US military presence there.

Early on Friday morning, throngs of protesters – men and women, young and old – began amassing at al-Hurriya Square in central Baghdad, near the city's main university. The anti-America rally, dubbed the "Million-man March," was called by Moqtada al-Sadr, Iraq's top Shiite cleric.

Some were wearing white robes, symbolizing their readiness to die for a religious cause, while others were pictured holding signs that read: "To the families of American soldiers – insist on the withdrawal of [your] sons from our country or prepare their coffins!"

Jan 24 06:51

Trump Quietly Takes New Action Against Iran, Crushes Those Providing Concealed Support

The Trump administration quietly announced new crushing sanctions on Thursday against entities that have been providing concealed support to Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, “Iran’s petrochemical and petroleum sectors are primary sources of funding for the Iranian regime’s global terrorist activities and enable its persistent use of violence against its own people.”

One of the entities sanctioned by the Trump administration was Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd., a Hong-Kong based broker with branches in Iran, United Arab Emirates, China, and Germany:

The other companies that were sanctioned were “Hong Kong-based Sage Energy HK Ltd.; Shanghai-based Peakview Industry Co.; and Dubai-based Beneathco DMCC,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Why is Iran being singled out for this kind of treatment?!?

Because Israel wants to see it broken up into little mini-statelets, with no power, and its oil getting controlled by Israeli/US interests.

And can someone, please, tell me, just how President Trump is going to enforce this?!?

I would like to politely remind him, and the others who crafted these sanctions, that interdiction at sea is tantamount to an act of war.

Jan 24 06:31

A-10 Warthogs Elephant Walk In Show Of Force, Weeks After 52 Stealth Fighters Taxied Down Runway 

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) conducted its second Elephant Walk within weeks, this time with ten Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II fighters at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, located in Harrison Township, Michigan, said Defense Blog.

Elephant walks are generally conducted right before a minimum interval takeoff (MITO), a technique used by USAF to scramble all jets to take off at twelve- and fifteen-second intervals.

The objective of the exercise is to get all fighters and bombers in the air within fifteen minutes of an alert of an incoming missile attack.

Defense Blog noted that an Elephant Walk "is a fundamental training element when preparing for global strike missions."

The 127th Wing's motto is "We Stand Ready," as the latest training exercise suggests the A-10s could be preparing for combat in the Middle East.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have to wonder; was this exercise more for domestic, or international consumption?!?

Were I a betting woman, I would bet on the former, rather than the latter, because I am sure that Iran, working with Russian intelligence, has a pretty decent grip on the US's military resources.

Just please remember; in pushing for a war against Iran, the US is also pushing for a war against Russia.

Iran ‘Won’t Be Alone’ If U.S. Attacks, Russian Official Says

I truly believe that Iranian leadership can "take that promise to the bank.", should hostilities devolve into a shooting war.

People like Zamir Kabulov, the Foreign Ministry’s special envoy for Asian countries including Iran, who made this statement last summer, rarely FART, without Putin's express approval.

Jan 24 06:22

US To Deploy Anti-Missile Systems In Iraq As Trump Downplays Troop Injuries As "Headaches"

President Trump was dismissive of widespread reports of eleven US soldiers sustaining head injuries as a result of the Jan.8 Iranian ballistic missile attack on Ayn al-Asad airbase in Iraq. At least eight had been airlifted to a medical facility in Germany for possible "traumatic brain injuries", which the Pentagon and administration kept mum about in the days following.

While fielding questions at Davos on Wednesday, Trump downplayed what he likened as mere “headaches” when pressed about the issue and the administration's evolving narrative, which initially emphasized "no US casualties" as a result of the Iranian attack.

Trump explained at the news conference his view that the injuries were “not very serious,” and added that “I heard they had headaches.” This prompted some veterans groups to reportedly say Trump is “somewhat out of touch” with the seriousness of it.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would imagine that the anti-aircraft defenses would not be desired, if some sort of false flag was wanted (most probably crafted by Mossad) to demonise Iran, as the "justification" for a war against it.

But there is one interesting bit which seems to be missing from this article, and that is the timing of the arrival of these missiles.

Jan 23 15:27

US administration shifting Daesh terrorists from Syria to Iraq

By Stephen Lendman

Last December, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said “(t)he Americans…are feeding Daesh, encourag(ing) them, protect(ing) Daesh leaders and help(ing) them move from one area to another.”

At the same time, an unnamed Iraqi official accused the Pentagon of supplying Daesh terrorists in the country with weapons and military equipment.

“The American forces send aid from their bases to the Daesh terrorists in the Makhoul mountains, and their assistance still continues,” the official stressed, adding:

“Iraqi forces seized US weapons during an operation against terrorists in al-Hazar island. US military bases in Iraq are used against the host country and Syria.”

Jan 23 11:09

THE ANGRY ARAB: US Violated Unspoken Rule of Engagement with Iran

Something big and unprecedented has happened in the Middle East after the assassination of one of Iran’s top commanders, Qasim Suleimani.

The Iranian response was very measured and very specific. It was purposefully intended to avoid causing U.S. casualties; it was intended more as a message of Iranian missile capabilities and their pin point accuracy. And that message was not lost on Israel.

Jan 23 10:34

Trump’s Katyusha Conundrum

Katyushas are short-range, unguided artillery rockets typically fired in salvos from truck-mounted launch-tubes. Iraq’s insurgents deploy three types.

The smallest is 107 millimeters in diameter and 1 meter long. Its 19 kilogram weight includes an 8 kg high-explosive, shrapnel-bearing warhead. The 107mm is often fired from a 12-tube launcher, however, infantry-portable single-tube tripods are common. An experienced crew with a standardized weapon can hit a 400 X 400 meter target from 8 kilometers away. During the Vietnam War the US Army considered the 107mm to be their adversaries’ most formidable weapon.

The 122mm ‘Grad’ Katyusha is 3 meters long and weighs 75 kg. Its warhead spans a third of its length and weighs 18 kg. It has a 20-kilometer range and a 30-meter lethal radius.

220mm Katyushas hurl 100 kg warheads 30 kilometers.

Jan 23 10:23

Iran’s attack on Iraq shows how precise missiles have become

9 meters to 3 meters CEP.

SATELLITE PHOTOGRAPHS of Ain al-Asad, an air base in western Iraq currently used by American forces, showed the aftermath of an Iranian ballistic-missile strike on January 8th. They were pictures of precision. Iran had struck at the heart of the sprawling base, in an area packed with planes, helicopters and buildings. The precision, however, was paradoxical. The missiles scored six direct hits, but against evacuated aircraft hangars.

Jan 22 08:03

More US troops under medical evaluation after missile attack

It is starting to look like Trump lied about casualties. The expressions on those General's faces during Trump's speech told the real story. I wonder how many servicemen and women were killed and injured.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Additional U.S. troops have been flown out of Iraq for closer evaluation of potential concussion injuries from the Iranian missile attack of Jan. 8, U.S. defense officials said Tuesday.

The exact number of troops flown to Germany was not immediately clear, but officials said it was a small number. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because some details were still being sorted out. Last week, 11 U.S. service members were flown from Iraq to U.S. medical facilities in Germany and Kuwait for further evaluation of concussion-like symptoms.

Jan 21 09:23

Three rockets land close to US embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone, as three anti-government protesters are killed overnight

Three rockets were fired at the US embassy in Baghdad overnight as security services continued firing live ammunition at anti-government protesters in the city.

The rockets were fired from a makeshift launcher in Zafaraniya, on the outskirts of the Iraqi capital, and landed inside the fortified Green Zone - but failed to cause significant damage and did not kill anyone.

Meanwhile three anti-government protesters were killed overnight protesting in Tahrir Square after security forces opened fire with live ammunition.

Jan 21 08:56

The Murder Of Qassem Soleimani Will Deter No One

The Trump administration sees the US assassination of Qassem Soleimani as a form of deterrence not only with regards to Iran but also towards Russia, China and others. That view is wrong.

Jan 19 23:30

Does Gangster-nomics Meet its End in the Iraqi Desert?

January 19, 2020 Author: Tom Luongo

In the aftermath of the killing of Iranian IRGC General Qassem Soleimani a lot of questions hung in the air. The big one was, in my mind, “Why now?”

Jan 19 09:17

Trump Murdered Soleimani Because He Was the Better Man

This was personal. Trump didn’t have Soleimani killed to stop a war, and he certainly didn’t have him killed because he had been planning an imminent attack on four US embassies. Trump, who had been thinking of killing Soleimani for the past 7 months, had Soleimani killed because he had convinced himself that Soleimani continuing to draw air was an affront to the US.

Soleimani had the best claim of anyone in the world for the architect of victory against ISIS and had likewise dulled and thwarted the US anti-Iranian agenda for the Middle East. And he was walking around as a living reminder of that and wasn’t above publicly ridiculing Trump.

Jan 19 09:11

Donald Trump’s Reckless Gamble with Iran Distracts from His Domestic Political Problems

“Don’t let Obama play the Iran card in order to start a war in order to get elected. —Be careful Republicans! Donald Trump (1946- ), 45th American president and hotel and casino owner, (statement made in a tweet, on Mon., Oct. 22, 2012)

I have long suspected that Donald Trump would do anything to save his political skin, and I mean anything, including murder and assassination — if threatened with impeachment, — and even commit an act of war against a foreign country. — Well, as I feared, he just did that against Iran.

Such is the level of public morality in the United States these days. It is pretty low. The cynical ‘wag-the-dog’ scheme is alive and well in the United States and it is used by unscrupulous politicians when they are in political trouble. Some people fall for it all the time.

Over the years, the United States government has waged a very aggressive campaign against Iran:

Jan 19 09:08

Trump Threatens to Kill Iran’s Spiritual Leader

Trump murdered Qassem Soleimani for “saying bad things” about the USG, according to The Hill. The president, gathered Friday at Mar-a-Lago with donors and supporters, also threatened Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader.

The so-called “Supreme Leader” of Iran, who has not been so Supreme lately, had some nasty things to say about the United States and Europe. Their economy is crashing, and their people are suffering. He should be very careful with his words!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2020

In other words, if the leader of Iran criticizes the USG for wrecking Iran’s economy and forcing hardship on the people through sanctions, he might find himself targeted by a Hellfire missile.

Jan 19 08:59

New Millennium Iran/Iraq War: US at War on Both Countries

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

During the 1980s Iran/Iraq war lasting most of the decade, the US supported Iraq while wanting both countries to smash each other.

Today, Iraq is US occupied territory. Its prime minister, parliamentarians, and most Iraqis want Pentagon and allied foreign forces expelled, the Trump regime refusing to leave.

US war by other means on Iran has been ongoing for 40 years. Assassinating IRGC Quds Force commander Soleimani turned things hot. An unofficial state of war exists between both countries.

Jan 19 06:50

Trump tells GOP donors that Soleimani was 'saying bad things' before strike

Soleimani, largely considered to have been the second-most powerful man in Iran behind Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, oversaw Tehran’s international proxy network of armed forces and is believed to be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. troops in Iraq at the hands of Iran-backed groups.

The Trump administration defended the strike earlier this month, saying the general was in the process of planning an “imminent attack” on U.S. interests.

Trump did not describe such a threat in his remarks to donors, saying only that Soleimani was a "noted terrorist" who "was down on our list" and "was supposed to be in his country" before traveling to Iraq.

Since the strike, the administration has toggled between saying Soleimani posed an imminent threat and pointing to his past malign activities in the Middle East.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have no doubt that Soleimani was a stone-cold killer; but was his assassination the only answer here?!?

Why could he not have been debriefed, humanely, to find out what was next on his "to do list"?!? THAT would have been an intelligent use of power.

The issues with Iran are not over by a long shot, and I have a hard time believing that making him a martyr to his brother and sister countrymen, was the intended consequence, along with Iraq's parliament's having voted to kick the American military out.

Jan 19 06:34

Lebanese president calls on ARMY to intervene as massive protests turn violent in Beirut (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Lebanon’s capital Beirut has been plunged into chaos amid massive protests. Police struggled to contain the angry crowds with tear gas and water cannon, prompting President Michel Aoun to ask the military to intervene.
Aoun has asked the national army to restore peace and order on the streets of Beirut, as the city saw fierce clashes between protesters and security forces. Aoun called on the military to “protect the safety of peaceful protesters and of public and private property.”

Army storming the crowd with their reinforcements. Just more scare tactics. #Beirutpic.twitter.com/6u29chqyWs

— Samah Hadid ???? (@samahhadid) January 18, 2020
Crowds have taken to the streets of Beirut in a massive protest against Lebanon’s soaring debt, which stands at about $87 billion, equal to more than 150 percent of GDP. The public unrest is also fueled by an almost three-months-long power vacuum and by a crippling economic crisis.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder just how complicit Israel has been, in terms of fomenting these riots in Lebanon; it would love to see its neighbor destabilized, and Hezbollah "neutralized", as it it both a political, and military, movement in Lebanon.

But the following companion articles make me wonder just what Israel's intentions are here, at this point:

IDF begins installing tunnel-detecting sensors along Lebanese border

There is a confirmation of this story in the jerusalem post.com, as follows: IDF laying new infrastructure to detect sounds of Hezbollah digging

The article, of course, goes on to define this work as "defensive in nature"; but the timing of activities like this is rarely... accidental.

Jan 18 09:41

Russia detected 6 F-35 jets near borders of Iran after attack on US base: Lavrov

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:30 P.M.) – The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that his country’s military detected six F-35 jets near the borders of Iran after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) attack two Iraqi bases hosting U.S. forces.

Jan 18 09:32

How Trump Rebelled Against The Generals

But Trump soon discovered that the military faction did not concur with his 'America first' isolationist tendencies. The 'grown ups' and generals wanted to explain to Trump why they believe that the U.S. needs many allies and bases and why the many long wars the U.S. fights are sensible policy.

According to a new book, partly adapted in a Washington Post piece, that effort did not end well:

Jan 18 08:53

Pompeo Says Gangland-Style Hit on Soleimani Was "Restoration of Deterrence"

America’s “shadow president”, Mike Pompeo, has acknowledged that the assassination of Iran’s highest-ranking military general, Qassem Soleimani, was part of a broader strategy to restore “real deterrence” by eliminating presumed enemies of the United States. Pompeo’s comments at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute on January 13, put to rest earlier claims that the Iranian general had been killed to prevent “imminent attacks on U.S. targets.” Those claims have since been discredited by independent journalists and mainstream publications that have shown that the assassination was prepared months in advance. In truth, Soleimani was killed to roll back Iran’s influence in Iraq and to reverse the effects Washington’s catastrophic counterinsurgency operation that removed the mainly Sunni-Baathist party from power creating a vacuum that was filled by Iranian-backed militias. The Solemani assassination was just the latest transgression in a conflict that dates back 17 years.

Jan 18 06:31

uqtada Al-Sadr Joins Meeting of Iraqi Popular Forces' Leaders on Expulsion of US Forces

Influential Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in a meeting with leaders of the country's popular forces conferred on ways to end the US occupation of the country.

The Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news website reported on Monday that the meeting was hosted by Secretary General of al-Nujaba Movement Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi and attended by Head of the Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS) Abu Alaa al-Wala'i and a representative of Asa'eb al-Haq resistance group.

The information center of al-Nujaba Movement released images of the meeting which was aimed at coordination to expel the American forces from Iraq.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yes, this is "old news", with a datemark of Monday; but that being said, Muktada al Sadr is one of the most central figures in post-Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and although he has no title or position, his influence was made manifest in the last Iraqi election, where his party gained a plurality by collaborating with other political groups.

And in case you don't remember this (and most people in the US government would like you to forget it), Al Sadr was the guy who insured that the US got out of Iraq (the first time) by the exact time stipulated by the SOFA agreement with Iraq; otherwise, he threatened that any American military personnel would be "fair game" for the Mahdi Army. Aljazeera Profile: the Madhi Army

And while the Mahdi Army ultimately disbanded, how quickly do you think this man could potentially, "get the band back together", as it were?!?

The short answer may well be, "Pretty damned quickly!!"

And a companion piece, also in whatdoesitmean.com, reports the following;
raqi SWAT team stands guard as security forces and others gather next to a U.S.- made F-16 fighter jet during the delivery ceremony at Balad air base US Resumes Military Operations With Iraq After 2-Week Pause - Reports

It has become painfully apparent, that the Iraqi government, after that vote to oust US the US military, over the assassination of Soulemani, no longer represents the will of the Iraqi people.

This could get very ugly very quickly.

Jan 18 06:02

Macron Announces Charles De Gaulle Carrier Will be Sent to Help French Military Ops in Middle East

The statement comes as President Donald Trump has repeatedly demanded that the US’ NATO allies do more in terms of their involvement into Middle Eastern affairs. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg agreed with Trump's view after tensions between the US and Iran put the region on the verge of war in January 2020.

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that the country's Charles De Gaulle aircraft carrier strike group will be deployed to the Levant between January and April 2020 in order to aid French military Operation Chammal in the Middle East. The operation was originally launched in 2014 to halt the expansion of Daesh* and to support the Iraqi military in its fight against the group.

Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, and Greece will also participate in the deployment, escorting the aircraft carrier to its destination.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oh, that is guaranteed to ratchet down tensions with Iran, don't you think?!?!?

Jan 18 05:29

NIMMO: DAVID WURMSER AND TRUMP’S ZIONIST OCCUPIED BRAIN

SOURCE: KURT NIMMO

Trump’s brain is not his own.

It’s antisemitism time. If you criticize Israel and the cadre of chickenhawk neocons steering Donald Trump’s foreign policy, you will be pilloried and exiled to the political wilderness, forever condemned as a white supremacist.

Scratch a little bit beneath the surface and you will discover at the core of this anti-free speech campaign a rabid Zionist, the same Zionist agitators responsible for advocating and organizing the murder of over a million Iraqis.

It’s no longer permissible to criticize Jewish neocons. The very word “neocon” is considered an antisemitic slur because most of these chickenhawk war criminals are Jewish. It is never mentioned in the NYT or WaPo that the second Iraq mass murder campaign was strictly a Zionist (another word that will get you labeled an anti semite) affair designed to benefit Israel at the expense of the United States.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

President Trump, a word, please; I would politely suggest, that what may be good for Israel, may well not be at all good for the United States, in terms of international statescraft.

These resource wars, both in the Middle East and Africa, have bankrupted this country to the tune of $23 trillion dollars, that we know about, and have left US standing around the world in absolute tatters.

And let me just reference one thing which, if you only read the presstitute media, you would not know. Who is the real winner of the US war in Iraq?!?

China.

And while some may be losing their lunch on this, let me explain what has happened here.

China-Iraq Relations: Poised for a “Quantum Leap”? The article goes on to state: "The territorial defeat of Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL, or Da’esh) in late 2017 has provided a breathing spell for Iraqi authorities to try to meet the country’s reconstruction needs and tackle longstanding socioeconomic problems. Toward that end, the Government of Iraq (GOI) is planning to expand the oil industry as well as to diversify away from oil in the longer term — and is keen to obtain China’s support for these efforts.

Bill Engdahl, one of my favorite geopolitical contributors to globalresearch.ca, sums this up very elegantly, in article featured on the 15th of this month; Unintended Consequences: Did Trump Just Give the Middle East to China and Russia?

The article goes on to state: "Chinese involvement with Iraqi oil development and other infrastructure projects, though large, was significantly disrupted by the ISIS occupation of some one third of Iraqi territory. In September, 2019 Washington demanded that Iraq pay for completion of key infrastructure projects destroyed by the ISIS war– a war where Washington as well as Ankara, Israel and Saudi Arabia played the key hidden role—by giving the US government 50% of Iraqi oil revenues, an outrageous demand to put it politely.

Iraq China Pivot

Iraq refused. Instead Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi went to Beijing as head of a 55-member delegation to discuss Chinese involvement in the rebuilding of Iraq. This visit did not go unnoticed in Washington. Even before that, Iraqi-China ties were significant. China was Iraq’s number one trading partner and Iraq was China’s third-leading source of oil after Saudi Arabia and Russia. In April 2019 in Baghdad, China’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Relations Lee Joon said China was ready to contribute to Iraq’s reconstruction.

For Abdul-Mahdi the Beijing trip was a major success; he called it a “quantum jump” in relations. The visit saw the signing of eight wide-ranging memoranda of understanding (MoUs), a framework credit agreement, and the announcement of plans for Iraq to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It included Chinese involvement in rebuilding Iraq’s infrastructure as well as developing Iraqi oilfields. For both countries an apparent “win-win” as the Chinese like to say.

It was only a matter of days after the Beijing talks of Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi that nationwide protests against Iraqi government corruption and economic policies broke out, led by opposition cries that Abdul-Mahdi resign. Reuters witnessed snipers carefully fanning the violent protest firing on the protesters giving the impression of government repression much as the CIA did in Maidan in Kiev in February 2014 or in Cairo in 2011.

There is now strong evidence that the China talks and the timing of the spontaneous October 2019 protests against the Abdul-Mahdi government were connected. The Trump Administration is the link."

There you have it, in a neatly tied up ribbon. And even though President Trump has sent 3,000 troops to the Middle East, allegedly, to deal with tensions regarding Iran, US sending 3,000 troops to the Middle East,Iraq's oil (which was the point of the whole exercise in Bush's ginned up war in Iraq), is now lost to the US, potentially forever.

Jan 17 15:33

Trump Steps Back From the Edge. Neocons Rage Accordingly

In Trump’s remarks the following day, the President stated: “Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world… ISIS is a natural enemy of Iran. The destruction of ISIS is good for Iran, and we should work together on this and other shared priorities.”

Although Trump’s speech characterized Iran as a “major supporter of terrorism” and Gen. Soleimani as a “top terrorist”, his assertion that a common interest exists between the USA and Iran in the combat of ISIS is a spectacular break from the neocon agenda.

Jan 17 11:55

BREAKING: Refugee Journalist Challenges Ilhan Omar’s Congressional Seat

Ilhan Omar has been a controversial figure in her first term in office.

Another Muslim woman who is also a refugee is looking to unseat Omar, saying that Omar “spends her time in congress sowing seeds of division, actively supporting our enemies.”

Dalia al-Aqidi is running as a Republican from Minnesota to bring people together.

Jan 17 09:13

With Suleimani Assassination, Trump Is Doing the Bidding of Washington’s Most Vile Cabal

While the media focus for three years of the Trump presidency has centered around “Russia collusion” and impeachment, the most dangerous collusion of all was happening right out in the open — the Trump/Saudi/Israel/UAE drive to war with Iran.

On August 3, 2016 — just three months before Donald Trump would win the Electoral College vote and ascend to power — Blackwater founder Erik Prince arranged a meeting at Trump Tower. For decades, Prince had been agitating for a war with Iran and, as early as 2010, had developed a fantastical proposal for using mercenaries to wage it.

Jan 17 09:06

Abducted Syrian bishops killed in 2016 by former US-backed rebel group: report

BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:20 P.M.) – A new investigative report released on January 15th by Agenzia Fides revealed that the two Syrian bishops kidnapped by the militants in Aleppo were killed, ending nearly seven years of speculation.

Jan 17 09:03

Killing Soleimani broke international law: former Nuremburg war crimes prosecutor

US President Donald Trump’s order to “take out” head of the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force Major General Qassem Soleimani on the territory of Iraq was immoral and constituted a violation of international law, American lawyer and former Nuremberg war crimes prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz wrote in a letter to The New York Times.

Ferencz, aged 99, was an investigator of Nazi war crimes after World War II and the Chief Prosecutor for the United States Army at the Einsatzgruppen Trial. one of the 12 military trials held by the US authorities in Nuremberg, Germany.
http://www.benferencz.org/

Jan 17 08:57

Key Architect of 2003 Iraq War Is Now a Key Architect of Trump Iran Policy

David Wurmser was a longtime advocate of war with Iraq in the Bush administration. Eventually, he got what he wanted, and it was a total disaster. Now, Wurmser again has the ear of a president — this time, Donald Trump — and his sights are set firmly on Iran.

An influential neoconservative in President George W. Bush’s White House who became a significant force behind the push for war with Iraq in 2003, Wurmser has recently been serving as an informal adviser to the Trump administration, according to new reporting from Bloomberg News. In that capacity, Wurmser helped make the case for the recent drone strike that assassinated Iranian Gen. Qassim Suleimani.

Jan 16 22:55

Reading Sun Tzu in Tehran

To completely avoid targeting soldiers at a large military base is no mean feat – it suggests an accuracy within a meter or two – not ten meters – for Iranian missiles.

Isn’t this the point? It suggests that advances in Iran’s guidance systems can land missiles with extreme precision.

The US bases around the region – in short – now represent vulnerable US infrastructure – and not strength. Ditto for those expensive carrier battle fleets. The Iranian message was clear and very pertinent to those who understand (or want to understand). To others, less strategically aware, it might seem that Iran pulled its military punch, and showed weakness. Actually, when you have just demonstrated the ability to upend the military status quo, there is no need for a hail of trumpets.

Jan 16 19:16

Poll: Many Americans Oppose Killing Iranian General Soleimani

Most glad Trump didn't escalate attacks to a full war
Jason Ditz Posted on January 15, 2020Categories NewsTags Iran, Trump

A new poll from Politico-Morning Consult shows the American public substantially less on board with escalatory violence against Iran than media coverage of the situation would generally lead one to believe.

The poll showed the decision to assassinate top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani was highly controversial. Despite weeks of vilifying Soleimani, only 44% support his killing, and 38% continue to disapprove.

Jan 16 12:36

FLASHBACK: This is the face of the ISIS sex slave market

The US Military is responsible for this.

While the Islamic State group is losing territory in its self-styled caliphate, it is tightening its grip on the estimated 3,000 women and girls held as sex slaves. In a fusion of ancient barbaric practices and modern technology, IS sells the women like chattel on smartphone apps and shares databases that contain their photographs and the names of their “owners” to prevent their escape through IS checkpoints. The fighters are assassinating smugglers who rescue the captives, just as funds to buy the women out of slavery are drying up.

Jan 16 10:50

Who Targeted Ukraine Airlines Flight 752? Iran Shot It Down But There May Be More to the Story

The claim that Major General Qassem Soleimani was a “terrorist” on a mission to carry out an “imminent” attack that would kill hundreds of Americans turned out to be a lie, so why should one believe anything else relating to recent developments in Iran and Iraq? To be sure, Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 departing from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport on the morning of January 8th with 176 passengers and crew on board was shot down by Iranian air defenses, something which the government of the Islamic Republic has admitted, but there just might be considerably more to the story involving cyberwarfare carried out by the US and possibly Israeli governments.

Jan 16 10:42

White House abruptly cancels Iran briefings amid contradictions

When you violate US and International Law and murder a diplomat and then lie through your teeth........

The Trump administration has abruptly called off four classified congressional briefings for lawmakers, who were seeking explanation about contradictory statements of the White House over assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

The State Department cancelled two briefings on the Trump administration's Iran strategy at the last moment on Wednesday, CNN reported.

Another schedule for a separate closed-door session for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was also cancelled.

FBI officials had been about to brief a group of House lawmakers on counterintelligence issues, during the briefing that was added to the calendar late last week.

The Pentagon also scrapped a Thursday classified briefing on Iran.

Jan 15 08:55

Esper Says US Has Legal Authority to Attack Iranian Soil

The United States has the legal and constitutional authority to continue attacking ‘Iranian proxies’, in Iraq or even on Iran’s home soil, in response to attacks against US troops, Defence Secretary Mark Esper has said.

“We hold Iran responsible for its proxies, and we will retain the right to exercise self-defence and take action where legally available and appropriate to hold those proxies accountable for their actions,” the Pentagon chief said, speaking to NPR.

The President does not become commander in chief until the army,navy and militia are called into actual service of the United States by a Congressional Declaration of War. This is one of the most abused and violated sections of our Constitution. Since Korea every deployment to war ordered by a US President has been in violation of the Constitution.
Section 2.

Jan 15 08:46

Trump Impeachment Trial Set to Begin Next Tuesday - US Senate Majority Leader

He should be impeached and convicted,but not on these charges.

The much-anticipated impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump is set to begin on Tuesday, January 21, according to US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

McConnell, who leads the Republican majority in the Senate, told reporters Tuesday he expected the Senate to receive articles of impeachment from the House of Representatives on Wednesday, enabling them to take preliminary steps toward beginning the trial. For example, before the trial can begin, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts must swear in senators as jurors.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on Tuesday the House would vote on advancing the two articles of impeachment to the Senate on Wednesday.

Jan 15 08:41

“Iran Must Begin Acting Like A Normal Nation,” Says Totally Normal Nation

The government which runs a globe-spanning empire led by a reality TV host keeps talking about the lack of normality in the nation of Iran.

“We want Iran to simply behave like a normal nation,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a press statement the other day. “We believe that the sanctions we imposed today further that strategic objective.”

These would be the additional sanctions which have been expanded to include virtually the entire Iranian economy, deliberately targeting Iran’s already sanction-starved populace, with the explicit goal of fomenting a civil war in that nation.

Which is of course a perfectly normal thing to do, from a perfectly normal nation.

Jan 15 08:34

Impeachment, Soleimani and the Pull of the Swamp

Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate begins next week and it’s clear that this will not be a walk in the park for the President. Anyone dismissing this because the Republicans hold the Senate simply do not understand why this impeachment exists in the first place.

It is the ultimate form of leverage over a President whose desire to end the wars in the Middle East is anathema to the entrenched powers in the D.C. Swamp.

This is what I said back in September:

Jan 14 20:37

At Least Five Rockets Land Near Iraq Base Hosting US Forces - Reports

A US-led military coalition said to be backing the Iraqi government in its fight against Daesh terrorists has been training Iraqi army forces for several months at a military base located in Taji. The attack on the Iraqi base comes amid escalating tensions in the region due to the ongoing standoff between the United States and Iran.

Jan 14 10:39

Allies warn Trump that ISIS is on the rise again. But it’s precisely because of America that Islamic State will never be defeated

Donald Trump once bragged about the total demolition of Islamic State. Today, thanks to his and previous presidents’ policies, IS is making a dangerous comeback. Now, even staunch American supporters are ringing alarm bells.

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