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Tags: IRAQ, SYRIA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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Seham al-Najjar and her family have nowhere else to run if Israel intensifies its assault on Rafah, a town in southernmost Gaza. Like 1.8 million people, Seham fled to Rafah in search of relative safety from Israel’s relentless bombardment and ground invasion in other parts of the Gaza Strip.

She arrived weeks ago with 20 members of her family from Khan Younis, a city that Israel designated as “safe” at the start of the war and then reduced to rubble in December. Seham fears that Rafah could suffer an even worse fate.

Tags: ISRAEL, PALESTINE, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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NEW DELHI (AP) — India on Thursday said it will replace its military personnel in Maldives with civilian technical staff who will operate three aircraft from India that provide humanitarian services.

The decision comes after new Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu demanded that the Indian military personnel be withdrawn by March 15.

At least 75 Indian military personnel are believed to be in Maldives and their known activities include transporting patients from remote islands and rescuing people at sea. India earlier gave Maldives a Dornier airplane and two helicopters.

Tensions between India and Maldives have grown since Muizzu came to power last year and adopted a pro-China stance.

Claire's observations:  

The Maldives are strategically located  as a "gateway" to the Indian ocean.  IF the Chinese are developing any military enhancements in these islands, that means that they will have the means to strategically control at least some of India's trade, so I can understand India's concerns

Tags: CHINA, ECONOMY, PAKISTAN/ INDIA
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Almost two weeks after the United States suspended funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa), swiftly followed by a host of other donors, Middle East Eye has learned that in a number of cases the decision to withold funding was based solely on Israel's assertions.

At least two countries that followed in the footsteps of the US - the Netherlands and Latvia - did not see evidence of Israeli allegations that employees at the agency for Palestinian refugees played a role in the Hamas-led 7 October attacks before they made their decisions, Middle East Eye has established.

An informed source told MEE this week that British Foreign Secretary David Cameron suspended funding “only on the basis of information in the public domain”. The Foreign Office declined to answer whether this was true and on what basis it had made its decision.

Reports have also emerged in Canada and Australia in the past 24 hours suggesting their foreign ministries did not see evidence - or "all of the evidence" in the case of Australia - ahead of making their decisions to suspend aid.

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, ISRAEL, PALESTINE, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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The military operations in the Red Sea cannot guarantee the safety of commercial shipping in the region, the chief executive officer of a major shipping company said on Thursday.

During a 2023 third-quarter earnings call, Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc mentioned the lack of guaranteed safety in the Red Sea, which has come under several attacks by the Yemen-based Houthis in a Thursday interview on Bloomberg T.V.

Clerc said disruptions in the Red Sea have affected about a third of the company’s container volume, which was less than the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve not seen the level of threat peak, to the contrary,” Clerc said. “The amount or the range of weapons that are being used for these attacks is expanding and there is no clear line of sight to when and how the international community will be able to mobilize itself and guarantee safe passage for us.”

Tags: ECONOMY, MIDDLE EAST, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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The U.S. and Europe — the Brits in particular — are out of control and flouting international law as they carry out military strikes in Yemen, Syria and Iraq. The West claims it is an act of self-defense, but instead of killing or arresting specific individuals responsible for attacks, are engaged in collective punishment. I think we are coming to a point where anger against the West is going to boil over and the U.S. and Europe will get a taste of their own medicine. All of this was avoidable, but the U.S. and Britain have convinced their citizens that attacks on foreign countries without the backing of the UN is entirely appropriate. It is not. These actions shred international support for the U.S. proclaimed “rules-based international order.”

The latest incident to spark outrage is a hellfire missile strike in Baghdad.

According to CENTCOM, Abu al-Saadi was the only target of the assassination in Baghdad. Acording to them, he was responsible for attacks against American bases.

According to a pro-resistance source close to the PMU, al-Saadi was assassinated alone in a car without any other companions being assassinated, contrary to the initial reports of a second person.

Tags: GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, IRAQ, MIDDLE EAST, SYRIA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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German farmers who carried out a peaceful protest against cuts to their subsidies have been branded conspiracy theorists by a German fact-checking site, and it’s not surprising — considering who funds the fact checkers.

The protests in question brought Berlin to a near standstill, with more than 10,000 farmers taking to the streets with their trucks and tractors. At the Brandenburg Gate, 500 tractors lined up in a convoy every day for a week. Road blockages were reported in multiple cities, including Munich, Hamburg, Nuremberg, Bremen and Cologne, each involving thousands of tractors and trucks.

The protests broke out after the German government decided that it would phase out a tax break on agricultural diesel in an attempt to balance its budget for 2024 after a ruling by its constitutional court forced it to go back to the drawing board with its spending plans. Many farmers argued that cuts to subsidies would leave them bankrupt. Although the government has since backtracked slightly on this and said that they would spread the agricultural diesel subsidy cut across a period of several years, most farmers felt it was not enough.

Tags: CLIMATEGATE, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, ECONOMY, GERMANY, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, SCIENCE/ HEALTH/ CLIMATE/ NATURE
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The scandalous behavior of New York State’s legal bureaucracy in the matter of President Trump’s real estate victimless non-crime has attracted widespread derision: You Don’t Have to Love Trump to Laugh at Letitia James’s ‘Fraud’ Case,  by John Tamny, Forbes.com, November 9, 2023.  Recently, AP posted a definitive analysis: Dissolving Trump’s business empire would stand apart in history of NY fraud law, by Bernard Condon, January 29, 2024.

“Stand apart” is apparently AP-speak for “utterly unprecedented.” Condon’s article piece is a crushing demonstration of this atrocity and its alarming implications:

Trump’s case stands apart in a significant way: It’s the only big business found that was threatened with a shutdown without a showing of obvious victims and major losses.

…some legal experts worry that if the judge goes out of his way to punish the former president with that worst-case scenario, it could make it easier for courts to wipe out companies in the future.

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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Hundreds of expensive tanks of both sides are being destroyed on the battlegrounds of Ukraine by cheap UPV drones. These include the Russian T-90MS Tank (worth about $4.2million) and the German Leopard 2A6 Tank (about $6.3 million). They are being destroyed by ubiquitous Chinese UPV drones, and their local variants, that sell for about $3000. The U.S. has also supplied Ukraine with 155mm howitzer rounds known as Remote Anti-Armour Munitions (RAAM). Each shell scatters nine 2.3kg magnetically activated mines. Tanks with limited vision, especially Russian tanks, often hit these mines, damaging their tracks, and making them sitting targets. They are all then finished off by precision artillery and antitank guided missiles.

Several military experts have argued that tanks will always have a place because “lighter infantry organizations lack the combination of firepower and mobility to achieve early battlefield dominance and immediately exploit success.” They are likely correct. However, most of their previous examples they give are combined arms battles of the 20th Century. Equally, there is no doubt that against lightly armed foes like Hamas in Gaza, they can seize key objectives. However, Ukraine presents a different experience.

Tags: RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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David Irving is undoubtedly the best historian of World War II. For decades he relentlessly searched for and found diaries of the main figures, pried loose official documents, tracked down witnesses, searched the war archives of many countries, all of which is the material of his extraordinary histories.

The facts differed from the official narratives. Jews took umbrage and ruined him financially, forcing his publisher to destroy their printings of his histories, which were best-sellers praised by other historians, and by bringing corrupt law suits against which he had to defend, which exhausted his financial resources and left him penniless and homeless.

He managed to keep going with proceeds from his well-attended lectures whose locations had to be kept secret to prevent Jews from having thugs break up the gatherings. Eventually Jews were able to get some governments to ban him from the country in order to block his lectures. Invited to speak in Austria, he was falsely arrested and imprisoned. The stress of his life has resulted in a stroke that has disabled him.

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, HIDDEN HISTORY, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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HELSINKI (AP) — Finland's government said Thursday that it would extend the closure of its long border with Russia for another two months until April 14, because it sees no signs that Moscow was stopping its “hybrid operation” of funneling migrants toward the frontier with the Nordic nation.

Finland closed the 1,340-kilometer (832-mile) land border late last year after about 1,300 migrants without proper documentation or visas had arrived across the frontier since September — an unusually high number, just months after Finland joined the NATO alliance.

Most of the migrants hail from the Middle East and Africa. The vast majority of them have sought asylum in Finland, a nation of 5.6 million people.

The government said in Thursday’s statement that “instrumentalized migration” from Russia poses “a serious threat to Finland’s national security and public order.”

Based on the information provided by the border, security and other authorities to the Cabinet, “it is likely that instrumentalized migration would resume if border crossing points were opened at the eastern border,” the government said

Claire's Observations:  DANG, I wish we had someone with "male attributes" like this in OUR "elected" (read:  purchased) government!!!!

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, EUROPE, IMMIGRATION/GLOBALISM, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA
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The Defense Department said Thursday it estimates 40 militants were killed in a wave of strikes on 85 Iran-linked targets on Feb. 2, part of the first round of U.S. retaliation for the deaths of three service members at Tower 22 in Jordan on Jan. 28.

Separately, in Yemen, strikes on Feb. 3 took out more than 100 missiles and missile-launchers, “plus numerous communication capabilities, unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned surface vessels, coastal radars, air surveillance capabilities and weapons storage areas,” Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters during a briefing Thursday.

“I will repeat again that the U.S. does not want escalation and that these strikes are directly in response to the actions by the Iranian-backed Houthis” in Yemen, Ryder said. “Again, however, we will not hesitate to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world’s most vital waterways.”

Claire's Observations:  So, we're back to "body counts", like we were when the war in Vietnam started to go horribly against US interests?!? The Yemenite Houthis will not stop, and Iran is being "uber-careful", about  not  doing   something major, to "justify" an Israeli/US/UK attack against it.  Oh yeah, this is going just absolutely brilliantly for the US/UK and Israel.

And Major General Ryder, a word please; one cannot say "The US does not want escalation" while escalating strikes against the Houthis; this, sir, is called "double-speak", something at which politicians are very adept.  But let's call a spade a spade; the US/Israel and the UK are dying to get Iran to do something stupid, which is why the escalation against the Houthis.  Iranian leadership may be many things, but stupid is not one of them.

Of course, the US's impotence in getting  Netanyahu to stop the genocide in Gaza, is well and truly on display around the world.  When US Middle East foreign policy appears to be dictated by Israel,  how much does that diminution of American power and influence affect our abilities to negotiate intelligently with other countries which we would like to normalize their relationships with Israel, like Saudi Arabia?!?

  Unfortunately, sir, a great deal.

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, IRAN, ISRAEL, LEBANON, MIDDLE EAST, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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Rafah, Gaza Strip – Seham al-Najjar and her family have nowhere else to run if Israel intensifies its assault on Rafah, a town in southernmost Gaza. Like 1.8 million people, Seham fled to Rafah in search of relative safety from Israel’s relentless bombardment and ground invasion in other parts of the Gaza Strip.

She arrived weeks ago with 20 members of her family from Khan Younis, a city that Israel designated as “safe” at the start of the war and then reduced to rubble in December. Seham fears that Rafah could suffer an even worse fate.

Israeli Prime Minister “Benjamin Netanyahu wants to take this area from [Palestinians] and give it to the Zionists,” Seham, 30, told Al Jazeera. “Nowhere in Gaza is safe.”

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Rafah are bracing for an Israeli onslaught that could add to the long list of atrocities committed in Gaza, according to rights groups and United Nations agencies.

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, GULF/OTHER OIL, IRAN, ISRAEL, LEBANON, MIDDLE EAST, PALESTINE, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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Biden Makes Americans Targets in the Middle East, Then Campaigns on Their Deaths

It is time to stop pretending that any American interests are served by our deployments in the Middle East.

There may be nothing crasser than a politician seeking reelection. Nevertheless, President Joe Biden has set a new low. He chose to leave thousands of U.S. military personnel needlessly scattered about the Middle East under regular attack from multiple militant groups. After three Americans were killed, he flew to Wilmington, Delaware, and used the dead as props in his reelection campaign.

The president, with the first lady and defense secretary in tow, attended the “transfer ceremony” at Dover Air Force Base for the remains of those who died. Placing his hand over his heart, he carefully posed for the public. By all appearances, he viewed himself as another victim, distressed by the vagaries of a dangerous world that he must tame.

He told family members of those who died, along with the rest of us: “These service members embodied the very best of our nation: Unwavering in their bravery. Unflinching in their duty. Unbending in their commitment to our country—risking their own safety for the safety of their fellow Americans, and our allies and partners with whom we stand in the fight against terrorism.” He added somberly that “they risked it all.”

They did, but not by choice. It was the U.S. government that made them risk it all by deploying them to a dangerous area in a chaotic region with little to do other than act as targets for those who view Washington as an enemy. Nor were those killed risking their lives “for the safety of their fellow Americans.” That claim is similar to the standard pitch made on Memorial Day, July 4th, and Veterans Day, that those who fill Arlington National Cemetery and other hallowed grounds died “in defense of our country and its freedoms.” 

Surprisingly few actually did. Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, Sgt. Kennedy Sanders and Sgt. Breonna Moffett, Georgians all, certainly did not. Rather, they died for nothing. For that blame falls on their government, not them. Washington stationed them in Jordan supporting some 900 Americans illegally deployed in Syria. The latter’s role is to control around 30 percent of that country, while promoting separatism and stealing oil. Seriously.

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, GULF/OTHER OIL, MIDDLE EAST, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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Image removed.The Army previously held a competition to design, build and test Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft prototypes to fill an existing capability gap created by the divestiture of the OH-58 helicopter, shown. (Cpl. Koby Saunders/U.S. Marine Corps)

The U.S. Army is ending its latest effort to build a new armed scout helicopter, known as the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft, an abrupt change of direction that marks one of the department’s most significant program cancellations of the last decade.

The service had already spent at least $2 billion on the program and had requested another $5 billion for the next five years, according to budget documents.

The helicopter program arrived in 2018 with lofty expectations. Army leaders hoped it would serve as a model for new acquisition approaches for its most complex and most expensive weapon systems. Prototypes from Bell Textron and Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky were expected to fly later this year. And, perhaps most importantly, the aircraft was slated to provide a long-needed armed scout solution after decades of starts and stops.

But Thursday, the Army’s top acquisition officials described a new vision and major aviation overhaul. In addition to ending FARA, the Army plans to get rid of its entire Shadow and Raven unmanned aircraft fleets, said Doug Bush, the service’s acquisition chief.

It will also stop fielding its new replacement for UH-60 Lima-model Black Hawk utility helicopter — the Victor-model — to the Army National Guard and instead field UH-60 Mike-models, the latest variant used in the active force, Bush said.

Finally, the service will delay procurement of its next-generation helicopter engine, which was set to be used in all UH-60s, AH-64 Apache attack helicopters as well as to power FARA

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WMD
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Officials today say they no longer have 'jurisdiction' over the probe into the September 2022 pipeline sabotage

Swedish officials investigating the Sept. 2022 explosion of the Nord Stream pipelines say they are closing down their probe and handing it off to their German counterparts, offering no new insight into "who done it."

Swedish public prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist said in a statement Wednesday that "the investigation has been systematic and thorough,” but, "against the background of the situation we now have, we can state that Swedish jurisdiction does not apply.”

Ljungqvist added that “the German investigation continues and due to the secrecy that prevails in international legal cooperation, I cannot comment further on the cooperation that has taken place.”

“I will also not be able to comment anything further on the conclusions of the Swedish investigation or comment on any suspected persons in the Swedish investigation,” Ljungqvist said.

Claire's Observations:In the immortal words of the baseball great, Casey Stengel:   " Deja Vu, all over again!!"

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, EUROPE, HIDDEN HISTORY, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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KRAMATORSK, Ukraine — The Ukrainian military is facing a critical shortage of infantry, leading to exhaustion and diminished morale on the front line, military personnel in the field said this week — a perilous new dynamic for Kyiv nearly two years into the grinding, bloody war with Russia.

In interviews across the front line in recent days, nearly a dozen soldiers and commanders told The Washington Post that personnel deficits were their most critical problem now, as Russia has regained the offensive initiative on the battlefield and is stepping up its attacks.

One battalion commander in a mechanized brigade fighting in eastern Ukraine said that his unit currently has fewer than 40 infantry troops — the soldiers deployed in front-line trenches who hold off Russian assaults. A fully equipped battalion would have more than 200, the commander said.

Another commander in an infantry battalion of a different brigade said his unit is similarly depleted.

The soldiers interviewed spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly and could face retribution for their comments

Claire's Observations:  When DC was urging Ukraine to "act as a picador" against Russia, no one in the White House, or any of their alleged "think tanks", was ever able to think this scenario through to its most logical conclusion; that this would ultimately, be a war of attrition, which Russia would logically win.  Zelinsky has lost the trust and faith of his people, and billions in American aid and munitions, many of which have wound up for sale to other national entities which don't much like the US.   

Since Zelinsky is both unwilling (and incapable of) coming to some kind of reasonable terms for peace with Russia, the US's options are grim right now here; either "replace/remove" Zelinsky, and find someone the Russians feel they can trust as an "honest broker", or let this spin out with Zelinsky "in control", and look more like a jaysap's behind than it already does from the horrific withdrawal from Afghanistan, which Biden ordered. 

 Chock up  yet another international disaster to the Biden/Obama gang in 2024!!!!!

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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The US has bombed Yemen at least 21 times since January 12 by Dave DeCamp February 8, 2024 at 3:25 pm ET Categories NewsTags Yemen

Update: US Central Command said it launched seven more strikes in Yemen throughout the day on February 8

The US launched two more rounds of missile strikes against targets in Yemen on Wednesday as the Houthis continue to target shipping in the Red Sea.

The US has now launched at least 21 rounds of missile strikes against Yemen since January 12. The UK has joined the US for the more extensive bombings, but for the most part, the US has launched strikes on its own.

US Central Command claimed the strikes on Wednesday targeted Houthi missiles that were being prepared to launch.

“On Feb. 7, at approximately 9:00 pm (Sanaa time), US Central Command (CENTCOM) forces conducted self-defense strikes against two Houthi mobile anti-ship cruise missiles prepared to launch against ships in the Red Sea,” the command said.

“Later that day, at 11:30 pm (Sanaa time), CENTCOM forces conducted a second strike against a Houthi mobile land attack cruise missile prepared to launch,” the command added.

A day earlier, the Houthis, officially known as Ansar Allah, announced that they targeted an American and British commercial ship in the Red Sea. However, CENTCOM said the ship that was claimed to be American, the Nasia Star, is Marshall Island-flagged and Greek-owned.

Claire's Observations: (Sigh)  I would like to gently, and politely, remind the heads of Centcom, that doing something precisely the same way, time after time, yet expecting a different outcome,  is one of the classic definitions of insanity.  Iran will NOT "take the bait here", and do something militarily foolish, because they understand that is precisely what the Israel, the US/UK want them to do, so they are doing nothing which can involve them in a wider war, at least at this moment in time. 

And PLEASE, do not get me started on the insanity of a theocracy in the 21st century. 

But I will guarantee you this;  Iranian leadership may be many things:  stupid, is not one of them. 

 And should Iran be broadly attacked by Western/Israeli forces, what, please, will Russia and China do?!?  Sit on their hands, militarily, and sing "Kumbyah"?!?  Were I a director of Centcom, this is one of the many issues which would definitely keep me awake at night.

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, IRAN, ISRAEL, LEBANON, MIDDLE EAST, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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Iraq has repeated its call for an end to the US military presence following a US drone strike in Baghdad that killed a senior member of Kataib Hezbollah, a Shia militia that’s part of Iraq’s security forces.

Iraqi military spokesman Yahya Rasool said the US “conducted a blatant assassination through an airstrike in the heart of a residential neighborhood in the capital, Baghdad, showing no regard for civilian lives or international laws.”

Rasool said that by launching the strike, “the American forces jeopardize civil peace, violate Iraqi sovereignty, and disregard the safety and lives of our citizens.”

The US-led international coalition based in Iraq is supposedly in the country to fight ISIS, but the presence is more about trying to counter Iran’s influence. Rasool said the “coalition consistently deviates from the reasons and objectives for its presence on our territory.”

Claire's Observations:  And what if the US does not comply with Iraq's request to leave the country?!?  Please remember; the Shiite Cleric, Muktada al Sadr, who announced the end of all political activities for at least a year last April, as reported at Le Monde Diplomatique (English language version) which goes on to state:  "On 14 April he announced the suspension of most of his movement’s activities ‘for at least a year’. Is this a genuine withdrawal or political maneuvering?

Each of Sadr’s announcements has shown that the absence of his movement creates a vacuum and leads to chaos, which forces the government and his rivals in the Shia camp into concessions, ultimately strengthening his influence on Iraqi politics.

It’s no coincidence that it was Sadr supporters who set fire to the Swedish embassy in Baghdad on 20 July in protest against the Quran-burning in Stockholm."

I am very certain that the guy is still on a first name basis with former leadership of the Al Mahdi Army, a popular revolt group he lead in Iraq in the early two-thousands;  what if he decides "to bring the band back together", if US forces will not leave?!?

 

And please trust me; should he decide to do this, it will mean nothing but a world hurt for US forces in in Iraq.

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, IRAN, ISRAEL, LEBANON, MIDDLE EAST, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WMD
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