IRAQ | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


IRAQ

Aug 19 10:54

US troops to stay in Iraq ‘as long as needed’ – spokesman

The US will keep its troops in Iraq “as long as [it] thinks they’re needed,” Colonel Sean Ryan, the spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, said. “The main reason, after Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS] is defeated militarily, is the stabilization efforts and we still need to be there for that, so that’s one of the reasons we’ll maintain a presence,” he stated. According to the operation spokesman, the number of US troops could go down, but “it just depends on when NATO comes in and they help train the [Iraqi] forces as well.” Currently, there are 5,200 US troops based in Iraq.

Aug 17 09:13

Baghdad grapples with ‘curse’ of US sanctions on Iran

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has raised the level of uncertainty over how Iraq will handle long-expected US sanctions on Iran.

In the span of less than a week, Abadi went from pledging to abide by the sanctions the day after they were imposed, to backtracking on his statement.

“I said yes, we will abide … but abide when it comes to dollar transactions,” Abadi told reporters Monday. The confusion for Iraqi citizens and political parties is even greater for the Central Bank of Iraq.

“Dealing in dollars with Iran has been banned for a very long time,” the bank’s director general of financial operations, Mahmoud Dagher, told the media. “Neither the bank nor the banking system deals with Iran in dollars when it comes to foreign trade.”

Iran is not only a neighbor to Iraq, with a land border of more than 1,000 kilometers. It dominates the Iraqi market and political scene.

Aug 15 11:36

Looted Iraqi Antiquities Can Finally Return Home After Simple Identification by British Museum

It has been announced that a collection of 5000-year-old priceless artifacts that were looted in the wake of the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 have been identified in London. Local police seized the objects from an illegal dealer in antiquities. The items were identified by experts and this means that they can be returned to the Iraqi government and people. It is hoped that this find and the return of the objects to Baghdad will mark a new phase in the battle against the organized smuggling of antiquities.

Aug 10 10:14

Iraq elections results almost unchanged after manual recount

Almost no change has been made to the results of a recent parliamentary election in Iraq after ballots were manually recounted over fraud allegations, the country's top electoral body has announced.

The commission said early Friday that less than a dozen members of the Iraqi parliament, out of 329, lost their seats after a manual recount of the ballots cast in the May parliamentary elections.

The results confirmed the victory of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's bloc.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US just lost control of Iraq.

Aug 09 14:29

Iraq to Stop Trading With Iran in US Dollars Due to Sanctions - Gov't Spokesman

Iraq will have to stop using the US dollar in its financial transactions with Iran over Washington's sanctions against Tehran, Iraqi government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi told Sputnik on Thursday.

"The sanctions will influence, first of all, money transfers and banking operations in the US dollar. The sides will not use the US dollar," al-Hadithi said, adding that the move would result in a decline in trade between the two countries and thus affect the consumers.

He stressed that the Iraqi government would try to find " a new mechanism" in order to support trade relations with Iran.

"In any case, the government will seek to solve all the problems related to this issue, it will look for corresponding mechanisms to neutralize the [sanctions'] influence on the Iraqi market and also prevent the damage caused to the Iraqi citizens' interests," al-Hadithi said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Does that mean, now, that Iraqi oil will be priced in other currencies rather than US dollars?!?

Aug 04 10:13

State Dept: New Global Terror Group Could Emerge in Iraq Due to Lack of Reforms

A new prominent global terrorist organization like the Daesh could emerge in Iraq if the country does not implement social and political reforms, State Department Senior Adviser Douglas Padgett said during a panel discussion with the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC on Friday.

"We’ve certainly beaten them [the Islamic State] back and defeated them militarily, but again the political conditions, social conditions, the cultural conditions, the lack of reconciliation, the lack of accountability — criminal accountability is an extraordinarily important issue but criminal accountability alone does not give us communities that can live with one another," Padgett said. "This is an issue that has to be dealt with as well. ISIS[Daesh] may be gone, but something like ISIS[Daesh] can come back."

Jul 31 09:44

Ahed Tamimi, Renowned 17-Year-Old Palestinian Resister, Freed From Israeli Prison After Eight Months

“This is a day of relief, which we hope will blossom into happiness once this brutal military occupation is out of our lives. … I call on members of the international community to uphold their responsibility towards our people and take concrete steps to end this perpetual injustice.”
— Bassem Tamimi on Daughter Ahed’s Release from Prison

Jul 27 07:41

Israel’s ‘Jewish nation-state’ law a prelude to annexation

When the Netanyahu government passed a Basic Law this week enshrining a superior set of rights for Israel's Jewish citizens, it ushered in a new era of open apartheid. To appreciate the significance of the new nation-state law, one must understand why the bill split Israel's nationalist camp, and why demographic factors forced it to the fore. After the final vote, ruling Likud lawmaker Avi Dichter, who sponsored the bill's first iteration, explained its true purpose. "We are enshrining this important bill into a law today to prevent even the slightest thought, let alone attempt, to transform Israel to a country of all its citizens," Dichter gloated after the law passed this week ... Of course, ever since the state was founded in 1948, Israel has discriminated against its non-Jewish Palestinian citizens in a myriad of ways.

Jul 25 10:08

US shipped biowar materials to Iraq

In 1975, the US signed on to an international treaty banning the production, use, and stockpiling of biological weapons. Ditto for chemical weapons, in 1993. Another treaty.

Here’s a quote from the Washington Post (9/4/13, “When the US looked the other way on chemical weapons”): “…The administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush authorized the sale to Iraq of numerous items…including poisonous chemicals and deadly biological viruses, such as anthrax and bubonic plague…”

Between 1985 and 1989, a US 501C3 firm, American Type Culture Collection, sent Iraq up to 70 shipments of various biowar agents, including 21 strains of anthrax.

Between 1984 and 1989, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control!) sent Iraq at least 80 different biowar agents, including botulinum toxoid, dengue virus, and West Nile antigen and antibody.

Jul 25 06:11

ISIS kidnappings soar in Iraq, despite declared victory over militants, but ‘media stays silent’

Despite the Western Coalition declaring victory over Islamic State in Iraq last year, the militants’ activity is surging. More Iraqis are kidnapped every month, as state media stays silent, a government security adviser told RT.

The Western Coalition declared Iraq “completely liberated” from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in December, but the militants’ activities didn’t cease – in fact, they are surging, with more Iraqis getting abducted and murdered by terrorists, Hisham al-Hashimi said.

The number of Iraqis kidnapped by IS doubled since May, but the state media is staying silent. Al-Hashimi explained to RT that by doing so, the government hopes to not “spread panic and hinder the rescue efforts.”

Jul 23 11:19

ARABIC MEDIA: ISRAEL OBTAINED LIST OF IRANIAN TARGETS IN IRAQ

Israel has obtained a “list of targets inside Iraqi territory,” according to the Arabic website Al-Jarida. The media outlet claims it learned from “informed sources” that Jerusalem has a list of “Iranian military sites used to transport weapons and equipment to Syria.”

Al-Jarida says it obtained exclusive photos of some of these targets, including border crossings with Iran near Mehran, east of Baghdad, and another near Basra. “Israel has monitored these sites. The sources pointed out that Iran was attempting to create a land corridor from Tehran via Baghdad to Syria.” The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps controlled some of these sites, including a base at Rutba, and other sections of roads leading to Syria.

Jul 20 10:35

Cleric Sadr backs Iraq protests, calls for delay in government formation

Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose political bloc won Iraq’s May 12 election, called on all politicians to delay efforts to form a new government until the demands of protesters seeking better services in the south are met.

“The winning political parties in the election have to suspend all political dialogues for forming coalitions and until they meet protesters’ rightful demands,” Sadr tweeted, in his first public comments on unrest which has swept the south.

Sadr won the election by promising to alleviate poverty, create jobs and provide better services to Iraqis, many of whom have grown tired of a political elite they see as corrupt.

Thousands have protested in cities in the long neglected south, Iraq’s Shi’ite heartland.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Al Sadr is making the absolutely correct move here, and the people who supported him, are getting the sense that they are finally being listened to, and their concerns addressed. Now, Al Sadr has to figure out how to do this, and that will be no easy task.

Also, in antiwar.com, we have a companion piece, from the Unz Review, titled:

Iraqi protestors blame bad government, bad roads, bad people

Jul 14 11:00

Iran will leave Syria, Iraq only if Baghdad, Damascus want it, aide to Khamenei says

A top aide to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Friday that Iran would immediately withdraw its “military advisers” from Syria and Iraq only if their governments wanted it to.

“Iran and Russia’s presence in Syria will continue to protect the country against terrorist groups and America’s aggression ... We will immediately leave if Iraqi and Syrian governments want it, not because of Israel and America’s pressure,” said Ali Akbar Velayati in a conference in Moscow.

Jul 12 08:10

Thanks to Gaza protests, Israel has a new crop of ‘battle tested’ weapons for sale

A new report reveals how Israel is using the protests in Gaza to test and showcase its arms industry. From grenade-carrying and skunk water-carrying drones to “smart fences” and more, Israel is profiting from the carnage it is causing in Gaza.
(One has to wonder where Israel gets the money to afford all these war toys, doesn’t one?)

Jul 10 11:36

Forced deportations of Iraqi asylum seekers on hold

Iraq will no longer accept rejected asylum seekers who do not willingly want to return to Iraq, says Iraqi ambassador Matheel al-Sabti.

“The Iraqi government has opposed forced repatriations for a long time and is now preventing them in practice too.”

Last month, Yle reported that deportees returned from Finland to Iraq have been turned around and sent back to Helsinki, with local officials saying that the returnees did not have the required travel documents.

This is not a new position, al-Sabti says, adding that Iraq is finally enforcing the policy it announced eons ago, instead of allowing EU countries to act against the will of the government.

Jul 07 09:11

IRAN CUTS ELECTRICITY SUPPLIES TO IRAQ OVER UNPAID BILLS

Iran has cut electricity supplies to Iraq due to unpaid bills, the Ministry of Electricity in Baghdad said on Friday. This has exacerbated the country’s electricity crisis, Anadolu has reported.

Ministry spokesman Mosaab Al-Madras said that the supply cut affected Iraq’s Dhi Qar, Maysan and Basra provinces. Although he did not give details of the debt to Iran, the unpaid bills are estimated at around $1 billion.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder just what became of the money which was earmarked to pay these bills for Iraq.....

Jul 06 09:00

MAX BOOT, PRO-REGIME CHANGE, PRO-WAR NEOCONSERVATIVE, NOW FORMER REPUBLICAN, BASICALLY COMPARES TRUMP’S GOP TO THE NAZI PARTY

What is going on here? Seriously? The Russia thing isn’t working so now they are trying to play up the “Trump is a Nazi” and you are a horrible, deplorable person if you like him in any way? That’s the tack this week?

Jul 04 11:39

Iraq expands airbase near borders with Syria, likely to receive more U.S. troops: Officer

Iraq has started expanding an airbase in Anbar province, a senior Iraqi army office was quoted saying on Tuesday, adding that the expansion is likely to receive U.S. troops.

Speaking to the London-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper, the office said construction work as well as expansion at Ain al-Assad base have started on an area of several kilometers. “The expansion included the northern and western parts of the airbase.”

The expansion, according to the source, “takes place under strict security measures.” The officer did not clarify the real reasons behind the expansion, saying it’s likely “to receive more troops in the base, located in a desert region, which still has havens of Islamic State members.”

The source did not rule out that the expansion of the military base could be “to receive U.S. troops, especially with news on surveillance operations by the U.S. forces near Iraqi-Syrian borders.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Translation: the US war against Iraq, begun in April of 2003, will never be ended.

The US miitary is insisting it stay, so that it doesn't appear to have lost.

I am, however, wondering if, after the recount of the Iraqi election, which started yesterday, Mugtada Al Sadr's block is still deemed to be in power, just how he and his loyalists are going to take the memo about potentially more American troops being placed there!!

Jul 04 10:30

30 YEARS AGO TODAY, U.S. SHOT DOWN A PASSENGER PLANE KILLING 290 CIVILIANS AND COVERED IT UP

On July 3, 1988, the United States killed 290 innocent Iranian civilians when it shot down Iran Air Flight 655—a tragic event that is not mentioned in history textbooks in school, and that is widely ignored in the context of current relations between the U.S. and Iran.

The scheduled flight was traveling from Tehran to Dubai, and there were 66 children on board, all of whom were killed, as no passengers or crew members survived the attack. The plane was shot down by the USS Vincennes, which was operating within Iranian territorial waters. It targeted the large Airbus A300 and then insisted that crew members mistook it for an F-14 fighter jet, despite the obvious difference in size.

At the time, Iraq and Iran were engaged in a bitter war that was declared by Saddam Hussein on Sept. 22, 1980. The United States’ support for Iraq in the conflict is notable because it would later go on to overthrow Hussein in 2003.

Jun 29 09:18

Iraqi cleric Sadr scales back his militia

Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose political bloc came first in a May parliamentary election, said on Thursday he was scaling back his militia to strengthen the incoming government and its security forces.

The cleric’s list won the most seats in an election marred by low turnout and allegations of fraud.

He is currently embroiled in negotiations with the heads of other blocs over forming the next government, in which he is expected to play a leading role.

Sadr said in a handwritten order published on his website that his Saraya al-Salam (Peace Companies) militia must disband in all cities except for the capital Baghdad and the cities of Karbala and Samarra, both homes to holy Shi’ite shrines.

The cleric had earlier this month called for a nationwide disarmament campaign after an arms cache exploded in his stronghold district of Sadr City in Baghdad, killing 18 people. Political opponents said the cache had belonged to his militia.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Muqtada Al Sadr's rise to political power in Iraq, has to be the US government's worst nightmare, and one of the things which will most likely happen, on his watch, is a demand that all US troops leave the country, and quickly.

Jun 28 08:32

Why did this Iraqi army brigade swap its American Abrams tanks for Russian ones?

An Iraqi armored brigade is trading its American M1A1 Abrams tanks for the Russian T-90S main battle tank — possibly for geopolitical reasons.

The swap comes after U.S. officials complained that Abrams tanks ended up in the hands of Iranian-backed militias, and may be an avenue through which Russia is attempting to gain more influence in the region.

"I think the move was at least partly motivated by smoothing over that issue,” said James Phillips, a senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs at the Heritage Foundation.

“But also it was a pointed reminder that the [United States] does not have a monopoly on tanks, and that Iraq can get them from Russia, as well,” he added. “This diminishes U.S. leverage and increases Baghdad’s options in the future."

Jun 28 08:31

Alliance of three dominant parties moves to form Iraq government

In spite of dramatic differences, the three parties that gained most votes in Iraq’s May 12th parliamentary election have agreed to work together to form a government.

The driving force of the odd alliance is radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, an Iraqi nationalist who is both anti-US and anti-Iran. His allies are Hadi al-Amiri, head of the most powerful Iran-backed Shia militia which, with US aid, helped to defeat the Islamic State terror group in Iraq; and outgoing president Haidar al-Abadi, Washington’s choice to head the new government.

Amiri and Abadi travelled to Sadr’s home in the Shia holy city of Najaf to consecrate the unlikely alliance.

Although Sadr has been touted as the winner of the election, his party took only 54 seats, while Amiri’s won 47 and Abadi’s 42. None made a decisive showing. There were no winners, and this poll exposed the degree to which the political landscape has fractured in post-war Iraq.

Jun 24 09:42

Iraqi PM Abadi and Anti-American Shiite Cleric Sadr Announce Alliance

The Sairun Alliance, backed by the prominent Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr, won 54 parliamentary mandates during the first Iraqi parliamentary election since Daesh* defeat.

When speaking at the a news conference in the Shiite holy city of Najaf where Muqtada Sadr lives, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has announced a political alliance with the prominent Shiite cleric.

On Thursday, Abadi called on the winning political blocs to hold a meeting to form a new government, which, according to the prime minister, may happen after the celebration of the end of the Muslim holy month Ramadan.

Jun 23 11:15

U.S. Double Standards in the Middle East. Washington Backs Terrorists and Extremists

of the USA.

This statement hasn’t appeared recently. In 2002, the Joint Resolution to authorize U.S. military actions against Iraq cited:

“Iraq continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability posed a threat to the national security of the United States.”

Before carrying out air strikes on Syria, 14 April, 2018, the White House used the same justifications. The American president acted within his legal authority as commander-in-chief “to protect vital national interests – stopping the spread of chemical weapons and preventing a humanitarian catastrophe.” However, if in 2002, the Iraq Resolution was passed by the U.S. Congress as public law No: 107-243, this time President Trump didn’t seek any authorization from other government institutions.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The ultimate goal here, by the US government, is quite simple, no matter how much carnage it creates to reach the following goals; control all oil, and other resources in the Middle East, and insure that these resources, are only sold in US dollars.

Jun 22 08:22

Syria proposes to establish railway with Iraq, Iran

Syria is ready to establish a railway link with Iraq and Iran, the country’s Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, Mohammad Samer Al-Khalil, said.

The proposal came during a meeting with Iran’s First Vice President, Eshaq Jahangiri, to discuss the final steps to announce the strategic trade agreement between Tehran, Damascus and Baghdad.

This comes as Iran is looking for alternative regional allies as Western companies prepare to quit Tehran ahead of the imposition of US sanctions later this year.

The Syrian minister said the draft strategic cooperation agreement between Damascus and Tehran is in the final stages, adding that he had discussed with the Iranian official ways to implement previous agreements.

Jun 21 19:27

The Entire Western World Lives In Cognitive Dissonance

Millions of people have been separated from families by death inflicted by Washington, and for almost two decades protests have been almost nonexistent. No public outcry stopped George W. Bush, Obama, and Trump from clear and indisputable illegal acts defined in international law established by the US itself as war crimes against the inhabitants of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia. We can add to this an eighth example: The military attacks by the US armed and supported neo-Nazi puppet state of Ukraine against the breakaway Russian provinces.

The massive deaths, destruction of towns, cities, infrastructure, the maiming, physical and mental, the dislocation that has sent millions of refugees fleeing Washington’s wars to overrun Europe, where governments consist of a collection of idiot stooges who supported Washington’s massive war crimes in the Middle East and North Africa, produced no outcry comparable to Trump’s immigration policy.

Jun 21 10:04

James Mattis Is a War Criminal: I Experienced His Attack on Fallujah Firsthand

While reporting from inside Fallujah during that siege, I personally witnessed women, children, elderly people and ambulances being targeted by US snipers under Mattis' command. Needless to say, all of these are war crimes.

During the November siege of Fallujah later that same year, which I also covered first-hand, more than 5,000 Iraqi civilians were killed. Most were buried in mass graves in the aftermath of the siege.

Mosques were deliberately targeted by the US military, hospitals bombed, medical workers detained, ambulances shot at, cease-fires violated, media repressed, and the use of depleted uranium was widespread. All of these are, again, war crimes.

Jun 21 10:02

Op-Ed: James 'Mad Dog' Mattis, war criminal

Once Operation Vigilant Resolve, also known as the First Battle of Fallujah, began on April 4, however, Mattis' concerns were overridden by the military mandate to get the job done as quickly and with as little loss of American life as possible.

Four days into the offensive, women, children and elderly residents were allowed to leave the besieged city, but males over the age of 14 were not. Families faced the horrific choice of splitting up or staying together to face the fury of the invading Marines.
It was some fury. According to witnesses and survivors of the assault, Marines indiscriminately killed men, women, children, the elderly and disabled alike. Civilians waving white flags of surrender were cut down by snipers, who also targeted ambulances carrying the wounded and dying to the few functioning clinics not destroyed by U.S. bombs.

Jun 21 09:58

The Massacre of Haditha - The Revenge Killing of 24 Iraqi Civilians Images of the Killings - A Photo Series

Mad Dog Mattis covered this up! Take a good look!

The photos show the aftermath of the killings 19 other Iraqi civilians, including 6 children and an elderly couple, inside one of three houses in the vicinity of the roadside bomb attack. The photos a stills from a video that was shot on November 20th by a journalism student from the Haditha area. The photos were later distributed by the Associated Press.

Jun 18 13:21

Israel behind airstrike in Syria, US official says

An airstrike close to the Iraq-Syria border Sunday was carried out by Israel, and not by the US or the coalition fighting ISIS, a US official tells CNN.

Syrian state TV blamed the strike that targeted pro-regime forces and caused multiple casualties on the US-led coalition combating the terrorist group, but a spokesman for the coalition said there were no coalition strikes in the area near Abu Kamal.

The Israel Defense Forces declined to comment on the strike, per its normal policy.

US officials have said that many pro-regime militias that are also aligned with Iran operate in the border area between Syria and Iraq.

Jun 18 10:32

'Worst Devastation I've Seen.' Angelina Jolie Visits Mosul a Year After Liberation From ISIS

“This is the worst devastation I’ve seen in all my years with UNHCR,” Jolie said in a video shared by the organization. “These people have lost everything, and the trauma and the loss that they’ve suffered is unparalleled. They’re here on their own with very little support — next to nothing. And they’re rebuilding themselves with their bare hands. They’re moving the rubble with their bare hands.”

Jun 18 09:28

Turkish Airstrikes Kill 35 Kurdish PKK in Northern Iraq

Turkish warplanes carried out a Friday night attack in the northern Iraqi region of Qandil. Officials say the airstrikes were directed at the Kurdish PKK movement, which Turkey accuses of having a large presence in this region.

The PKK is considered a banned terrorist group in Turkey. During a ceasefire i recent years, many PKK fighters relocated to northern Iraq, to wait for the results of peace talks. The talks ultimately collapsed, and Turkey resumed strikes on PKK in Turkey, and those who remained in Iraq.

Jun 17 06:25

Bin Ladens cave accouding to lying Rumsfeld

Video: Donald Rumsfeld on Meet the Press describing Bin Ladens many underground lairs.

Jun 17 06:15

Israel continues to wag the dog for Middle Eastern wars

Israel's fingerprints are all over American interventionism, reflecting Jewish power in the United States and the presence of a plethora of well-funded Israel-centric lobbies, think tanks and media outlets ... Israel is not at all shy about what it wants to happen, namely a war in Syria targeting both Damascus and Tehran, leading to a much bigger war with the Iranians. Fought by Uncle Sam, to be sure, as Jewish lives are far too precious to waste ... Syria is only part of a much larger problem. It is remarkable the extent to which Israeli concerns dominate those of the United States, which now has a foreign policy that often is not even remotely connected to actual U.S. interests.

Jun 17 06:12

The Iraq War: In the beginning was the lie

What we do know for sure is that the rationale for going to war was based on lies ... US Secretary of State Colin Powell giving his speech to the UN Security Council on February 5, 2003. Six weeks before the war began, Powell spent 76 minutes influencing international public opinion in favor of war. The core of his speech was that Saddam Hussein possessed biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction, that his regime was supporting international terrorism, and that it aimed to build nuclear weapons ... We remember Powell's speech primarily because all of these claims turned out to be false. In 2005 Powell himself described the speech as a lasting "blot" on his career.

Jun 17 06:10

he Truth about Oil and the Iraq War, 15 Years Later

The more I learned the more I realized that there was an oil agenda and I was just an unknowing participant. The oil agenda I discovered and experienced was to supply Iraq oil to Israel. The players were the neoconservatives in the Bush Administration, their favorite Iraqi - Dr Ahmed Chalabi and the Israeli government. One of the motives was because Israel was paying a huge premium for its oil imports and this premium had just started in the late1990s. The agenda called for the reopening of the old Kirkuk to Haifa pipeline and its significant expansion. When this pipeline plan became unattainable in the second half of 2003 then Chalabi took other actions to get inexpensive Iraqi oil to Israel.

Jun 14 08:44

TENSIONS ESCALATE: U.S NAVAL BATTLE-GROUP ARRIVES OFF SYRIAN COAST

A US naval group, led by the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, entered the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday. Military analyst Konstantin Sivkov points to the possible goal of the aircraft carrier.

Earlier, the US Navy reported that the naval group led by the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman entered the eastern Mediterranean Sea to participate in operations against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

For the Russian analyst, the naval force may have moved to the Mediterranean Sea to prepare an attack with cruise missiles and even aviation bombs against the Syrian army.

Jun 13 12:22

Iran warns Iraq’s Kurdistan after border terror attempts

Tehran has officially protested to the Iraqi Kurdistan’s authorities following a number of unsuccessful attempts by terror groups based in the semi-autonomous region to break into neighboring Iran.

The Iranian Consulate General in the northern Iraqi region’s capital, Erbil, handed over the protest note to the Kurdistan Region Government (KRG)’s Department of Foreign Relations to denounce the recent activities of terror groups in some border areas, IRNA reported on Wednesday.

The note of protest emphasized the Iranian Armed Forces’ right to legitimate defense and confronting the epicenter of terror.

Siham Jabali Mamand from the KRG’s foreign affairs arm expressed disappointment over the recent border developments in a meeting with a delegation of Iranian diplomats led by Deputy Consul General Siamak Borhani.

She further said the region would certainly not allow such incidents to overshadow the “constructive and positive” relations between Tehran and Erbil.

Jun 13 09:29

Iraq’s Sadr and Amiri Announce Surprise Political Alliance

In a surprise move, influential Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and militia leader Hadi Amiri have announced on Tuesday that their political blocs will ally. As the top two seat-getters in the May 12 election, this would go a long way toward forming a government.

This is a surprising move as Sadr had campaigned heavily on the idea of Iraq being more independent, and less aligned with either the US or Iran. Amiri, by contrast, is the head of the Badr Brigade, and is very close with the Iranian government.

The announcement of the deal said that the blocs would be carving out a “nationalist” alliance. This is more what Sadr has long advocated. It is not clear what positions within a coalition government are being offered to Amiri’s bloc

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If this coalition is successful, it will be a game changer for both Iraqi politics... and a true nightmare for American foreign policy in the region.

Jun 12 11:28

US Airstrikes Kill 18 Civilians in NE Syria

As US and Kurdish forces carried out offensives against ISIS in the area, US warplanes carried out airstrikes against the town of Khoeberah, in the mostly Kurdish Hasakeh Province of northeast Syria, killing 18 civilians.

Details are still emerging on the incident, which the Syrian government has confirmed. The majority of the slain civilians are, by their accounts, Iraqi refugees who had fled into Syria during the fighting in western Iraq.

This is a common occurrence on both sides of the border, as ISIS controlled territory straddling the Iraq-Syria border, and offensives against each side tended to send civilians scattering to any place remotely safer than where they were at.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US military is extraordinarily accomplished at creating bloodshed, barbaric living conditions, and chaos in those countries it has allegedly "liberated", like Iraq.

And we have a companion piece, also from antiwar.com, regarding Turkish strikes in Iraq as well:

Turkey Escalates its PKK Operations; 23 Killed in Iraq

Why in heaven's name is the US government siding with, and consistently using, Kurdish militias in Syria, while it allows Kurds to be slaughtered in Iraq?!?

Jun 12 11:24

Sadr Rejects Revote, Says Iraqis Must Unite to Avoid Civil War

Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose political bloc won the May 12 election, is rejecting calls by other factions to hold a re-run of the vote, saying certain factions are trying to start a civil war with all the allegations around the elections.

Sadr warned it was “time to stand as one for building and reconstruction instead of burning ballot boxes or repeating election just for one seat or two.” Some of the re-vote advocates, like the parliament speaker, lost their seats in the election.

The election’s votes were initially counted electronically, and parliament has since called for a full recount. The fire in Baghdad, at one of the ballot warehouses, has fueled even more claims of a cover-up of the results.

Recounts, the firing of the commission, the burning of the warehouse, and the legal challenges by the commission all look to drag on post-election wrangling before a coalition negotiation can really begin in earnest.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The man is absolutely correct in his assessment here; and unfortunately for DC, the tenure of his coalition, should it be accepted by those in power in the Iraqi government ,will be an ongoing nightmare for DC.

Jun 11 11:56

Iraq's Biggest Ballot Storage Facility Mysteriously Burns Down Ahead Of Vote Recount

Just days after the Iraqi parliament demanded a nationwide recount of votes - drawing calls for the election to be re-run - a storage facility housing over half of Baghdad's ballot boxes from the May election - that saw the bloc led by nationalist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, a long-time adversary of the United States, win the largest number of seats - has been engulfed with fire.

Jun 08 14:00

Iraq receives 39 Russian T-90 tanks within bilateral agreement

The Iraqi Defense Ministry has said one of the tanks brigades in the army began rearmament process that includes providing it with Russian T-90C tanks.

In a statement, the ministry said it received 39 Russian T-90C tanks and that they were divided among two battalions in the brigade.

The personnel, according to the statement, “were trained on operating the tanks under supervision of Russian experts.”

There has been an agreement between Russia and Iraq over sending Russian ?-90? / ?? tanks to the Iraqi army in 2017.

Jun 08 09:57

Erdogan Vows to Strike Iraq if Government Can't Clear Kurdish Militants

Turkish forces will attack areas in Iraq if the government in Baghdad is unable to "clear" them of armed Kurdish groups, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview with CNN Turk Thursday.

Qandil, Sinjar, and Makhmur will be targeted by Turkish forces should Baghdad not rid them of Kurdish forces, Erdogan said.

On Thursday, polling group Gezici said that Erdogan is unlikely to attain a first-round win in Turkey's upcoming elections and that the president's AKP Party is projected to lose its majority in Parliament when Turks go to vote on June 24. In April, the Turkish leader called for snap elections in order to expand the authority of the Turkish executive branch.

Jun 08 06:48

Erdogan says Turkey will strike northern Iraq if Baghdad does not clear Kurdish militants

Turkey will strike Kurdish militant camps in the mountains of northern Iraq in Qandil, Sinjar and Makhmur if the Iraqi central government does not clear the area of militants, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.

Speaking in an interview with broadcaster CNN Turk, Erdogan said Turkey may strike Qandil “at any moment one evening.”

Turkey regularly carries out cross-border operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, where the group is based in the Qandil mountains. Ankara has also threatened to launch military operations in northern Iraq’s Sinjar region.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Iraq is still in chaos, due to both the horrific fighting it has experienced, and a recent election, which has gone (at least, from the US government perspective), shambolically bad, potentially featuring a majority voting block controlled by Muqtada Al Sadr.

I have to wonder if Erdogan believes that this is the pivotal moment when he can snip off some Northern Iraqi territory, after the Kurds are "neutralized", and claim it as Turkey's own, as it has with bits of Syria.

Jun 08 06:42

Iraq’s Election Commission Appeals Parliament’s Order for Recount

Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) was sacked by parliament on Wednesday, but a day later has filed an appeal in court to the decision, saying the changes to election law after the election violate the constitution.

Prime Minister Hayder Abadi seemed to be driving the push for a recount, expressing serious concerns about the violations. Abadi did extremely poorly in the vote, coming in a distant third in the elections.

The plurality of the election was won by the party loyal to cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, while Badr Brigade head Hadi Amiri’s pro-militia bloc finished second. Starting the talks on forming a coalition is going to be on hold, at least for now, until it’s clear where the recount leaves everyone.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This recount is happening because having to deal with the coalition lead by Moqtada al-Sadr, is the US government's worst case scenario, and worst case nightmare, if the recount still proves him ahead.

And if you don't remember, this was the guy who told the US government, upon the eve of our FIRST withdrawal from Iraq, that if the US military did not have their troops out of the country by the exact date and time stipulated in the SOFA agreement, that those troops would be "fair game" for the members of his Mahdi Army, which would attack them.

Having his party's coalition in control in Baghdad, could be a real game-changer for US/Iraqi relations.

Jun 07 12:40

Iraqi Parliament Orders Full Recount of May 12 Vote

Nearly a month after the May 12 Iraqi election, final results look like they’re still far away. The Iraqi parliament on Wednesday announced that they are ordering a full recount of all 11 million votes cast.

Recounts were already ordered for Kirkuk, because of local complaints about fraud. While there were some questions in other provinces, a lot of the complaints come from Prime Minister Hayder Abadi, and seem to stem from his party doing much worse than was expected.

That, and Abadi’s complaints about the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) has led to parliament firing the entire commission. They are temporarily replacing the commission with a panel of judges.

May 28 09:09

Credible report alleges US relocates ISIS from Syria and Iraq into Russia via Afghanistan

According to Russian and Chinese law enforcement agencies, militants fleeing by sea from Syria and Iraq follow a route from the Qasim port in the Pakistani city of Karachi to Peshawar, and are then distributed along the Nangarhar province in the east of the country.

May 25 14:26

The Haditha Massacre

They ranged from little babies to adult males and females.
I’ll never be able to get that out of my head. I can still smell the blood.
This left something in my head and heart.

–Lance Cpl. Roel Ryan Briones

May 24 09:37

The Tragic Record of American Regime Change

Now, in a truth stranger than fiction, Sadr’s political party has won the recent Iraqi elections. The former warlord and killer of Americans may now play kingmaker in Iraq. Of course, mine is only one—highly biased—side of the story. From Sadr’s perspective, we were occupiers, a foreign military force with no legitimacy in his country. Perhaps he had a point. Still, Sadr’s victory demonstrates just how far off the rails America’s project in Iraq has gone, and it epitomizes the unintended consequences of offensive war and regime change.

May 24 08:37

“7 Countries In 5 Years:” 2007 Wesley Clark Interview Reveals US Plan To Go To War With Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Lebanon, Somalia, And Sudan

After the scrapping of the Iran nuclear deal by the Trump administration, the re-imposition of sanctions against the Persian nation, and the threat to impose the “toughest sanctions in history,” the US gear-up to destabilize or perhaps even go to war with Iran is becoming more and more visible by the day. A war of words between Iran and the United States is now ensuing with actual military aggression against Iran by Israel in Syria promising to provide an even greater likelihood that the U.S. military and America’s busy intelligence community will soon be working even harder to ensure that Iran is no longer able to resist Atlanticist hegemony.

However, the plan to destroy Iran is nothing new as anyone who has been following the US war machine can easily attest to.

May 24 07:00

Israel Says Europe Can ‘Go to a Thousand, Thousand Hells’ for Criticizing Violence Against Protesters

"Let them go to a thousand thousand hells," Steinitz told a local radio station, calling the EU hypocritical, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz. "The EU is now sucking up to Iran and will help [Tehran] against U.S. sanctions."
Note: That attitude explains a multitude of actions and attitudes. Does Israel have a right to exist? (on Palestinian land)

May 23 11:03

Dozens of foreign ISIS brides sentenced to death in Iraq

Dozens of foreign ISIS brides are being sentenced to death in Iraq as the country exacts its revenge after three years of jihadi occupation.

Pleading that they themselves are victims, the women were given 10 minutes to beg for their lives before judges decide their sentence.

Many of them find little sympathy with the Iraqi judiciary and locals and are despised for their support of their militant husbands, who tore the country apart between 2014 and 2017.

French citizen Djamila Boutoutao, 29, appeared in court last month and claimed: “I thought I had married a rapper. It was only when we arrived in Turkey for a week-long ‘holiday’ that I discovered my husband was a jihadist.”

“I’m a victim. My husband beat me and locked me up in a cave with my children when I refused to follow him (to Iraq).”

She reappeared in court again last week alongside 14 other women, The Guardian reported, where she begged to keep her daughter.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These women, and most probably their children, will be murdered by the Iraqi government, demonstrating that the Muqtada coalition is just as barbaric and midieval regarding issues pertaining to women, as were their predecessors.

They were, in many cases, victims of men who played and betrayed them, not revealing their jihadi affiliations until after they had been married to these guys.

And hey, Amal Clooney; we know where you and your husband were last weekend, attending the royal wedding of the Duke and Dutchess of Sussex; where the hell are you now, in a human rights case, that is screaming your name?!?

the short answer is, NOWHERE.

May 22 19:54

Iraq's new 'Kingmaker?' Nationalist, anti-American cleric scores big parliamentary win

The prominent Shia cleric is an outspoken critic of US military presence in Iraq, even leading two revolts against American-led forces after their 2003 invasion. At the same time, al-Sadr is also opposed to Iranian influence in Iraq. His ability to appeal to Iraqis' sense of nationalism seems to be the main driving force behind his coalition's unexpected parliamentary victory.

"On the one hand, for example, we see the Nouri Maliki faction is pro-Iranian, as for al-Abadi, it's the pro-American one, and Muqtada is trying to play off the two groups. That is why many Baathists and communists supported his [bloc]," Dr Jamal Wakeem, professor of history and international relations at Lebanese University in Beirut, told RT.

May 19 12:45

Moqtada al-Sadr's alliance wins Iraq's parliamentary elections

Iraq's electoral commission has announced the Sa'iroun (Marchers) political bloc, cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's alliance with communists, as the winner of the country's parliamentary elections.

Sadr's alliance, which contested in Iraq's elections for the first time, captured 54 parliamentary seats, the commission said on Saturday.

Sadr's movement forms the backbone of the Sa'iroun alliance, but the senior Shia cleric himself, who enjoys a strong support, did not contest the elections.

The Conquest Alliance, led by former transport minister and secretary general of Badr Organisation Hadi al-Ameri, came in second with 47 seats and the Victory Alliance, headed by incumbent Prime Minister Haider al- Abadi, took the third place with 42 seats.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is going to be one of the worst outcomes the US government could have possibly imagined, coming from these elections.

Al Sadr was the guy, if you remember the US's first withdrawal from Iraq, under the SOFA agreement, who threatened that if one American soldier stayed one second past the official time they were supposed to leave, that they were "fair game" for his "Mahdi Army", a Shiite Street militia which was highly effective, particularly in poorer Iraqi neighborhoods.

A pretty corruption-proof,anti-American, no-nonsense guy who wanted to see Iraq rise above the ashes of American war and occupation, Al-Sadr is not going to be very happy about whatever current US troops are in the country, and at first, will politely ask President Trump to remove them (I believe we still have several hundred left here).

If those troops do not get withdrawn quietly (something I am reasonably certain that both Sec Def Mattis nor CIA Director Pompeo do not want to see happen), this could get explosive, and relatively quickly.

Please remember that Al Sadr is still very much in touch with the major commanders of the Mahdi Army, and it wouldn't take much effort to "get the band back together", if you know what I mean.

May 19 07:39

Essential history to understand the present: Lie-started and illegal wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, rhetoric for war on Iran

*hyperlinks/videos live at source*

The following is my first white paper on the US so-called War on Terror, prompted by the Bush-regime's lies becoming so numerous that I needed to document them because I could no longer remember all of them while teaching high school government and history classes. I began this paper in 2005, updated until 2009, and offer more recent but less extensive versions here and here.

May 18 13:00

Republicans’ Apocalyptic Fantasies Are Now Playing Out in the Middle East

ore than 20 people in Gaza were dead on Monday before anyone in Washington had had their breakfast. This was pitched to the awakening nation as a series of “deadly clashes,” even though the deadly part only applied to one side. It was a great start to a day in which the president*, who doesn’t know anything about anything, prepared to toss a lighted match into a lagoon of gasoline in the Middle East.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This genocidal behaviour on the part of the IDF toward the Palestinians, encouraged and abetted by President Trump's acquiescence to the movement of the American embassy to Tel Aviv, coupled with the end-times insanities of Jeffress and Hagee (which are very dubious, in terms of both Biblical origins and interpretations), and the rabidly wretched racisim of Israeli Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, paints a very ugly picture of 21st century Israel.

The author of this article's likening of what Trump has done here, geopolitically, as being akin to tossing a lighted match into a lagoon of gasoline in the Middle East, is a very adept analysis.

People in the Middle East do not dislike us "For our freedoms", as the war criminal President Bush famously used to love to say; they dislike us because US foreign policy in the region has been completely oursourced to Israel, and Americans have been forced to live with those negative consequences of that Israeli-outsourced foreign policy for far too many years.

That foreign policy led to war with Iraq; it may well lead to a war against Hezbullah in Lebanon; a continuing war against Syria; and a war against Iran. And trust me on this; Tel Aviv wants those wars outsourced to the US military to fight,, but only at the costs borne in American blood, and American money.

The only political leader I am seeing as the adult in the room on these issues of stopping further wars in the region, will be Russia's President Putin; but even he may not be able to stop what I am seeing as the American rush to war in the Middle East, again, to control their pipelines, and in what currencies their oil will be sold.

May 15 10:21

Iraq election results: Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on course to beat Iran-backed PM

POWERFUL nationalist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr was leading in Iraq's parliamentary election with more than half the votes counted, the electoral commission said, a surprise comeback for a Shi'ite leader who had been sidelined by Iran-backed rivals.

May 15 09:35

Cleric Sadr set to win Iraq election in surprise comeback for US adversary

Nationalist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr led in Iraq’s parliamentary election with more than half the votes counted on Monday. In the first election since Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) was defeated in the country, Shiite militia chief Hadi al-Amiri’s bloc, which is backed by Iran, was in second place. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, once seen as the front-runner, trailed in third position, Reuters reports. The preliminary results were based on a count of more than 95 percent of the votes cast in 10 of Iraq’s 18 provinces.

May 15 09:28

FLASHBACK - Blair Lies About Iraq's WMDs

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The road to war is paved with lies.

May 13 09:17

Iraq Election: Weak Government, Strong Society

Iraqis are scheduled to go the polls on May 12 to elect a new parliament which would, in turn, choose a new government. You might say: So what? What's the big deal?

The first reason why this is still a big deal is that the overwhelming majority of Iraqis still seem committed to pluralist elections as the sole means of choosing their government.

May 11 07:07

Lukoil, Basra Oil Company Sign Plan To Double Iraqi West Qurna 2 Crude Output In 2025

Russia's Lukoil and Iraq's Basra Oil Company signed a new development plan for West Qurna 2 project in Iraq, envisaging the project's crude production growing by 20% to 480,000 b/d in 2020, and hitting the plateau of 800,000 b/d in 2025, Lukoil said Friday

>>>

May 10 10:32

Oil for Israel: The Truth about the Iraq War, 15 Years Later

Using the Google search tool, I was able to find things in 2014 and 2015 in the foreign press that were real eye-openers. There were several articles in the Israeli and British press from 2003. I learned several new facts. I learned about an oil agenda and the players involved, but the most important was that I learned motives. I had many sleepless nights. I learned that a person cannot sleep when they are angry and the more I learned, the angrier I became. I had been a volunteer for all of my time in Iraq. I risked my life for seventy-five months in Iraq working for what I thought were noble reasons. The more I learned the more I realized that there was an oil agenda and I was just an unknowing participant.

May 09 07:31

Netanyahu Claims 'Iran Lied' About Its Nuclear Program, but Israel Has Been Lying for Decades

When Benjamin Netanyahu proved with file folders that Iran lied about its nuclear program, not one person thought Israel was the last country on earth that should have had the nerve to complain about this. After all, how has Israel acted on this very same issue for decades? ... Israel doesn't sign conventions, it doesn't allow inspections and it lies. It mocks and winks - 60 years of continuous nuclear lies. In fact, it has never said a single true word about its nuclear program ... Netanyahu tried to shock the world by proving that Iran lied. But if the world had been shocked by Tehran's lies, it would have had to be shocked by Jerusalem's lies as well. For when it comes to nuclear lies, there's no difference between them. In fact, Israel's lie is bigger.

May 09 07:28

Wake Up to Trump, Distraction and War with Iran

Both Trump and Netanyahu paint Iran as the most dangerous terrorist state in the world. Really? It wasn't the Iranian regime that illegally cost over one million Iraqi civilian lives and blew that country apart ... So who is the aggressor here? Unlike Israel's many invasions and military incursions, Iran, a poor country, has not invaded any country for over 250 years. Iraq's dictator invaded Iran in 1980, with U.S. backing, costing Iran an estimated 500,000 lives. No country, save the U.S. Empire, has the chutzpah that Netanyahu possesses because he knows the U.S. government and the mass media will embrace his expanding push for U.S. militarism in the Middle East.

May 08 19:13

Nikki Haley: Zionist Neocon Heartthrob

what is 12 inches long and dangles between Netanyahu's knees?

The tie off all US presidents since 2009! (and 1996-1999)

https://www.newsbud.com/2018/05/07/nikki-haley-for-president/

May 07 09:36

Iraqi air force attacks ISIL targets in Syria

The Iraqi air force has attacked ISIL positions in Syria that were reportedly used by the group's commanders.

Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi's office confirmed the attack in a statement released on Sunday morning.

One of the strikes targeted a position south of the town of Deshaisha, the statement said.

ISIL commanders, according to Abadi, used the base, situated near the city of Deir Az Zor in the country's east.

May 07 06:17

Flashback 2002 - Lawsuit: Iraq Involved In 9/11 Conspiracy

Over a thousand victims and family members of those who died in the Sept. 11 attacks sued Iraq and its leader Saddam Hussein Wednesday alleging there is evidence of a conspiracy with Osama bin Laden to attack the United States.

The lawsuit alleges that Iraqi officials were aware, before Sept. 11, of plans by bin Laden to attack New York and the Pentagon.

The suit, filed Wednesday on behalf of 1,400 victims of the Sept. 11 attacks and their families, also claims Iraq sponsored terrorists for a decade to avenge its defeat in the Gulf War.

May 05 09:36

Hoisting the false flag

BRAVE GUATEMALAN air force pilots rebelled against a leftist regime in 1954 and used their planes to bomb the regime’s bases. Army commanders also rebelled; Guatemalans could hear them directing troop movements over the radio. Finally these patriots won their revolution. The United States trumpeted their victory around the world.

This was a “false flag” operation — staged by one force but made to look as if someone else did it. Planes that bombed targets in Guatemala were painted with Guatemalan air force insignia, but the pilots were CIA contractors. Radio messages about troop movements had been pre-recorded at a CIA base in Florida. A revolution that seemed to be emerging from one country, Guatemala, was actually the project of another, the United States.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is why I am very concerned about a potential false flag to be blamed on Iran, as the justification to attack it, in light of current movements by the Israeli government and its mouthpiece, the Unhinged, Surveilled States of Amerika, which make me think that an attack against Iran may well be imminent.

May 03 11:04

Thousands of stolen artifacts forfeited by Hobby Lobby return to Iraq

Thousands of artifacts stolen from Iraq and smuggled out of the country have been returned to the Iraqi government, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

A press release from the Department of Justice stated that approximately 3,800 artifacts were returned to the residence of Iraq's ambassador at a repatriation ceremony on Wednesday. The return of the artifacts comes after arts-and-crafts chain Hobby Lobby agreed to forfeit the artifacts as well as $3 million in civil penalties over the company's role in the smuggling scheme.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Absoflippinglutely unbelievable!!!

And Hobby Lobby defines itself as a "Christian company"?!?

What Makes Hobby Lobby a Chiristian Company?!? Hint:
it is not a greed of mysoginy thing

How is it at all Christian to loot priceless artifacts from Iraq, then sell them for profit, being complicit in destroying a Muslim country's history and heritage?!? If this is not greed, then I do not understand the term at all.

And of course, no one goes to jail; the elite rarely eat their own.

May 03 09:08

The Truth about Oil and the Iraq War, 15 Years Later

April 24 marks the 15th anniversary of my initial entry into Baghdad as the senior oil advisor to retired Lieutenant General Jay Garner, our US government civilian leader in Iraq. It was the beginning of my six plus years in Iraq working on the oil sector and denying the allegation that the Iraq war had an oil agenda. I can no longer refute such an allegation.

Was there an oil agenda for the Iraq war? If you had asked me that question four years ago, I would have said no, absolutely not. And, I said no on national television in 2014.

Ambassador L. Paul (Jerry) Bremer and I went on the Rachel Maddow Show to refute Maddow’s position that the Iraq war was largely about oil. Specifically, I said that I had not witnessed any serious oil agenda during my time at the Pentagon and in Iraq. I cannot honestly say that today. So what has changed my mind?

May 01 10:26

Hans Blix: Iraq War was a terrible mistake and violation of U.N. charter

I headed the U.N. inspections in Iraq at the time of the war 10 years ago. Today, I look again at the reasons why this terrible mistake -- and violation of the U.N. charter -- took place and explore if any lessons be drawn. Here are my thoughts.

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, George W. Bush's administration felt a need to let the weight and wrath of the world's only superpower fall on more evil actors than just Afghanistan's Taliban regime.

May 01 10:25

U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix faults Bush administration for lack of "critical thinking" in Iraq

Speaking on the anniversary of the United States' invasion of Iraq, originally declared as a pre-emptive strike against a madman ready to deploy weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), the man first charged with finding those weapons said that the U.S. government has "the same mind frame as the witch hunters of the past" — looking for evidence to support a foregone conclusion.

May 01 08:12

End of ‘major combat’: US closes anti-ISIS HQ in Iraq

The US-led coalition against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) has closed down a headquarters responsible for ground operations in Baghdad, symbolically ending major combat operations in Iraq.

Apr 27 11:47

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

For Iraq, my final estimate of about 2.4 million people killed was based on accepting the estimates of the 2006 Lancet study and the 2007 Opinion Research Business (ORB) survey, which were consistent with each other, and then applying the same ratio of actual deaths to passively reported deaths (11.5:1) as between the Lancet study and Iraq Body Count (IBC) in 2006 to IBC’s count for the years since 2007.

Apr 26 18:45

Iraqi Village of Amputees

So numerous are the wounds inflicted by mines and ordnance in Jurf al-Milh that the southern Iraqi village is better known as al Bitran, which means "the amputees" in the local dialect.

Apr 25 08:47

Daesh Fighters Repositioned From Syria, Iraq to Afghanistan - Official

Mohammad Alam Ezadyar, the first deputy speaker of Afghanistan’s Upper House of Parliament told Sputnik about Kabul’s desire to hold a permanent seat in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the US military presence in the country, and shared his opinion on why terrorists are being repositioned from Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan.

Speaking about the presence of Daesh jihadists in Afghanistan, Ezadyar opined that this terrorist group is a large project of the world powers aimed at posing threats to neighboring countries.

"Currently, Daesh fighters are being repositioned from Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan in order to pose threats to Central Asia countries, the Caucasus and China. Our people and politicians believe it's a strategic plan advocated by the world's major powers. It's said not only in Afghanistan but also abroad."

Apr 24 10:27

Islamic State declares all voters as targets in Iraqi elections

Islamic State said it would attack polling stations in Iraq during parliamentary election next month and that anyone who participated in the vote would be considered an infidel.

In an audio message released late on Sunday, the militant group's spokesman accused Iraq's government of being a proxy of Iran and warned that anyone who runs or votes in the 12 May election would be targeted.

"We warn you Sunnis of Iraq of these people [Shia] taking power. Polling stations, and whomever is inside them, are a target for us, so stay away from them," said Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajer.

Apr 24 07:56

Daesh Militants Moving to Central, Southeast Asia After Defeat in Syria, Iraq

Militants of the Islamic State terrorist organization are moving to Central and Southeast Asia after having been defeated in Syria and Iraq, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday.

"After the defeat of the so-called Islamic State, militants are moving to other regions from Syria and Iraq, including to Central and Southeast Asia. New terrorist cells are being created there," Shoigu said during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting in Beijing.

"The situation is complicated by the fact that terrorists use modern means of destruction, including unmanned aerial vehicles… capable of operating over a distance of 100 kilometers [62 miles]. Their creation is impossible without the technical assistance of developed countries," he added.

Apr 24 07:43

Iran-Iraq ties impervious to 'mischievous meddling': Defense minister

Iran’s defense minister says the country’s relations with Iraq are so deep and strong that they will not be affected by “mischievous interventions” of other parties.

Brigadier General Amir Hatami made the remarks at the end of a two-day visit to the Arab country Saturday, which took place at Baghdad’s invitation. He said the bilateral ties enjoyed a certain and especial degree of strength.

The United States is unhappy with the two neighbors' close relations which have grown exponentially since the fall of former dictator Saddam Hussein.

Apr 23 11:10

14 Years Ago Today, Pat Tillman Was Killed and Gov’t Covered Up the Truth to His Death to Sell War

The platoon had divided into two groups that went in separate directions. After the first group was ambushed by Afghan fighters, the confusion on the battlefield led Elliott and Baker to open up machine gun fire on Tillman’s location and the former NFL football player, along with 19-year-old Bryan O’Neal, were killed.

“I remember thinking for just a second or two, but what felt like longer—your perception of time in the midst of a firefight can be distorted—that if he’d fired, and without any other information to indicate a friendly position, that I should also fire,” Elliott said, noting that his squad leader fired first, and then he joined in.

He said he was instructed by his superiors not to discuss the friendly fire incident outside of his unit. The military knew it had a PR problem on its hands but Elliott said he was too naive to believe they would spin it into a web of deception.

Apr 21 06:18

First they lied about Iraq, now they’re lying about Syria to wage war

Last week self appointed global sheriff the United States and deputy dawgs Britain and France showered more than 100 missiles upon Syria, telling the world they were making our planet safer by punishing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for gassing his own people with chemical weapons.
***
The decision to bomb Syria had not even been made when Trump jumped the gun and warned Assad and his Russian allies in a tweet of “nice and new and ‘smart’!” missiles heading their way.

According to US media reports, Defence Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis pleaded with Trump to wait until Assad’s alleged responsibility for the Douma “attack” could be verified and Congress given a chance to authorise the act of war, but they went ahead to validate Trump’s tweets.

Is everyone registering this? Trump may have risked a third world war so he would not risk losing his credibility for live-tweeting Fox and Friends.
>>>

(*Is how they're getting it , in China)

Apr 19 10:29

IRAQ CARRIES OUT AIR STRIKES ON DAESH SITES IN SYRIA

Iraq today carried out air strikes on Daesh positions in Syria a week after Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said his country would defend itself from militant threats across the border.

Iraqi F-16 warplanes crossed into Syria to carry out the strikes after coordination with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s government, an Iraqi military spokesman said.

“Carrying out air strikes on Daesh gangs in Syrian territories is because of the dangers posed by said gangs to Iraqi territories and is proof of the improved capabilities of our armed forces,” the Iraqi military said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Al-Abadi had said Iraq would “take all necessary measures if they threaten the security of Iraq”, referring to the jihadist militants who just three years ago overran a third of Iraq.

Apr 19 09:24

Iraq coordinated with Syrian government on anti-Daesh air strikes: military spokesman

Iraq Thursday carried out air strikes on Daesh (ISIS) positions in Syria a week after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said his country would defend itself from militant threats across the border.

Iraqi F-16 warplanes crossed into Syria to carry out the strikes after coordination with Syrian President Bashar Assad's government, an Iraqi military spokesman said.

"Carrying out air strikes on Daesh gangs in Syrian territories is because of the dangers posed by said gangs to Iraqi territories and is proof of the improved capabilities of our armed forces," the Iraqi military said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Abadi had said Iraq would "take all necessary measures if they threaten the security of Iraq", referring to the militants who just three years ago overran a third of Iraq.

Apr 19 09:19

Army announces upcoming deployments to Europe, Iraq, Afghanistan

Two brigades and a regiment are headed abroad in the upcoming months, according to three Wednesday releases from the Army.

The 3rd Cavalry Regiment will head to Iraq this spring, and in the summer, the 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade will head to Afghanistan while the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade heads to Europe, according to the releases.

“This brigade is no stranger to Afghanistan, as this will be our fifth rotation there since 2001,” Col. Stanley Sliwinksi, commander of the Fort Campbell, Kentucky-based 101st Sustainment Brigade, said in a release.

Apr 18 12:17

Senior Terrorist Commander Killed in Iraqi Forces' Operation at Border with Syria

Spokesman for Iraqi Forces' Media Center Colonel Yahya Rasoul said Sunday that the Iraqi popular forces kicked off a large-scale cleansing operation to purge the country's border with Syria and Jordan of ISIL terrorists. The Iraqi colonel reported that the popular forces of Hashd al-Shaabi and Tribal fighters have launched a large-scale operation under a joint command to root out ISIL terrorists from a very large area covering al-Mahlabiyeh region, South of Tal Afar region, Sinjar region, Um Jaris region at the international border up to al-Ba'aj al-Qirwan al-Karah. Rasoul further said that the General Command of Salahuddin Operation started its mop-up operation in regions South of al-Hadhar, North of al-Siniyeh and Wadi al-Ma'alef and North of Baghdad to hunt the remaining pockets of ISIL terrorists.

Apr 18 08:04

New book alleges Tony Blair blocked Dr David Kelly inquest 'within minutes of body being found'

Dr David Kelly hit the headlines after he let slip to a journalist that Tony Blair's claim that Saddam Hussein's Iraq could deploy Weapons of Mass Destruction in 45 minutes was, at best, "dubious".

The claim was a major plank of the former Prime Minister's argument to join the USA in an invasion of the country.

The case has sparked a number of conspiracy theories that Dr Kelly was murdered by the intelligence services.

Now in his new book, An Inconvenient Death - How The Establishment Covered Up The David Kelly Affair, Mr Goslett investigates the actions of the Government after Dr Kelly, 59, was found dead at Harrowdown Hill, two miles from his home in Southmoor, Oxfordshire, on July 18 2003.

Apr 17 14:52

Gassing is bad, but OK for some: US complicity in past chemical attacks

Fisk said the secret of US and British complicity in Hussein's use of chemical weapons during the eight-year Iran-Iraq that began in September 1980 supposedly died with him.

"We've shut him up," said Fisk. "The moment Saddam's hooded executioner pulled the level of the trapdoor in Baghdad yesterday morning, Washington's secrets were safe… And now Saddam, who knew the full extent of that Western support – given to him while he was perpetrating some of the worst atrocities since the Second World War – is dead.

"…. Many in Washington and London must have sighed with relief that the old man had been silenced forever," Fisk added.

Apr 17 10:02

'Are you EMBARRASSED?' Shocked Tony Blair confronted with DAMAGE his premiership did to UK

TONY Blair looked utterly confused and struggled to answer an explosive question about whether the former Prime Minister if he was “embarrassed” that his time as Prime Minister has had such a negative impact on UK foreign policy.

Apr 12 08:16

U.S. Coalition jets hover over Iraqi-Syrian borders, no reasons clarified: Source

The U.S.-led Coalition has been heavily hovering over the border region between Iraq and Syria, a security source from the mobilization forces in Anbar province said on Wednesday.

“The coalition jets have been heavily hovering over the al-Tanf region on borders between Iraq and Syria, without clarifying reasons for that,” the source told Almaalomah website.

“Security leaders deployed in the western side of the province have no information about the operations made by the Coalition jets,” he added. “Security forces are getting ready for an operation that targets the dormant cells of Islamic State in the western desert of Anbar reaching to the Iraqi-Syrian borders.”

Earlier today, U.S. President Donald Trump warned Russia of imminent military action in Syria, lambasting Russia for supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Apr 11 10:41

US Military Admits: We Deliberately Bombed a Hospital in Iraq

The U.S. military said Thursday that it intentionally bombed a hospital in Mosul, Iraq as part of its efforts to "eradicate" Islamic State (ISIS) fighters.

The attack on the Al Salam hospital complex took place Wednesday at the request of Iraqi forces, with coalition aircraft using "precision-guided munitions," Air Force Col. John Dorrian, spokesperson for the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, told reporters.

He said "it's very difficult to ascertain with full and total fidelity" that there were no civilian casualties, whether in the building targeted or elsewhere within the hospital complex.

Apr 11 10:38

Baghdad hospital bombed

US aircraft hit a Red Crescent maternity hospital in Baghdad, the city's trade fair, and other civilian buildings today, killing several people and wounding at least 25, hospital sources and a Reuters witness said.
The attacks occurred at 9.30am (0630 BST) and caught motorists by surprise as they ventured out during a lull in the bombing. At least five cars were crushed and their drivers burned to death inside, Reuters correspondent Samia Nakhoul said.

Patients and at least three doctors and nurses working at the hospital were among those wounded.

The missiles obliterated wings of Baghdad's trade fair building, which lies next to a government security office that was apparently missed in the bombings.

Iraq's information minister, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, told a news conference that overnight bombings by US-led forces killed 24 civilians and injured 186 across the country. In Baghdad, he said, 10 civilians had been killed and 90 wounded.

Apr 11 09:52

ISRAEL IS SECRETLY BUYING OIL FROM IRAQI KURDISTAN. SIMILAR CHANNEL WAS USED FOR ISIS OIL

Israel has been secretly buying oil through the Turkish port of Ceyhan, which is supplied by the oil pipeline from Iraqi Kurdistan, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported on April 10.

According to Haaretz, in November Samir Madani, a Kuwaiti oil trader, noticed some oil tankers, heading to the Suez Canal from Turkey’s port of Ceyhan. It stopped somewhere in the eastern Mediterranean outside Israel’s territorial borders, turned off its identification transponder and “resurfaced” a few days later, “mysteriously” lighter than when it had left Ceyhan. Then the vessel sailed to Cyprus and returned to Turkey, loaded up on oil that had come from the northern Iraq and repeated the journey, including the act of disappearing.

“His conclusion was that the Valtamed had been shipping oil that wasn’t recorded anywhere to a country that wasn’t supposed to buy it – in other words, Israel was secretly buying Kurdish oil through Turkey,” Haaretz wrote.

Apr 11 09:07

THE LIE OF THE (LAST) CENTURY

There is nothing new in a government lying to their people to start a war. Indeed because most people prefer living in peace to bloody and horrific death in war, any government that desires to initiate a war usually lies to their people to create the illusion that support for the war is the only possible choice they can make.

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Apr 09 08:30

America Threatened OPCW Director General – “We Know Where Your Kids Are”

There is much controversy surrounding the reasons behind Bustani’s removal. Bustani had been negotiating with the Iraqi government, and was hoping to persuade them to sign up to the OPCW, thus granting OPCW inspectors full access to Iraq’s purported “chemical weapons arsenal”. If Bustani had succeeded, this would have placed a formidable obstacle in the path of the Bush administration’s war plans, by removing their ostensible motive. Bustani’s supporters insist this was the reason why the US forced him out.

In an extraordinary interview with RT today (7th April), Bustani (image on the right) tells of having his family threatened by none other than newly appointed U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton back when Bolton was Under Secretary of State for Arms Control just prior to the Iraq war that led to hundreds of thousands of casualties and the destabilisation of the region.

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