Thought for the day

The leader of Iraq’s Sadrist movement, Moqtada al-Sadr, has used his country’s recent victory in the Gulf soccer cup to stage an unexpected comeback on the Iraqi political scene.

Pro-Iranian formations, including the Coordination Framework coalition, did not seem to have anticipated Sadr’s new move after his had declared withdrawal from politics.

Widely-circulated pictures on social media showed Sadr posing with members of the Iraqi national soccer team carrying their trophy after winning the Gulf Cup 25.

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Iraq’s new prime minister told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published on Sunday that he supports a continued US troop presence in Iraq, breaking the silence on the issue since he came into office in October 2022.

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I repeat it ad nauseam--high intensity policing operations, that what COIN effectively is, in Afghanistan and Iraq, at which the US still managed to fail spectacularly, are not the real wars between state actors. Many people in the US military still don't get it. It is one thing when some US general cannot wrap his brains around it, but what would you expect from lower ranks? Larry gives some insights:    

 

The Iraqi supreme court has issued an arrest warrant for former U.S. President Donald Trump for the assassination on Iraqi soil of Iran’s Quds Force commander, Qasem SoleimaniIraqiNews reports, citing a Baghdad news agency. 

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A year ago, when the first photos appeared of U.S. soldiers beating and sexually humiliating detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, President George W. Bush expressed horror and disgust. Recognizing the damage that the abuses had done to the image of the U.S. abroad, he promised, in an interview broadcast to the Arab world via the Pentagon-funded TV station Al-Hurra, that the crimes would not go unpunished.

In the coming months, he affirmed, "those mistakes will be investigated, and people will be brought to justice."

“America is the friend of all Iraqi people.” This was the sign put up at Abu Ghraib prison – one that replaced Saddam’s portrait when the US took it over as part of the war on terror.

It was Abu Ghraib prison that introduced the world to the violent infrastructure of torture in the war on terror. In 2004, when photos emerged documenting extensive torture ranging from prisoners on leashes to bodies piled atop each other in pyramid structure to prisoners standing in crucifixion like postures, there were global shockwaves at the displays of brutality. 

Confronted with the greatest opportunity for global peace in nearly a century, George H. W. Bush did not hesitate:  Upon the advice of his retainers, he immediately elected the path of war in the Persian Gulf.

This endeavor was hatched by Henry Kissinger’s economically illiterate protégés at the National Security Council and Bush’s Texas oilman secretary of state, James Baker. They falsely claimed that the will-o’-the-wisp of "oil security" was at stake, and that 500,000 American troops needed to be planted in the sands of Arabia.

Moqtada al-Sadr, the Muslim Shi'ite cleric who dominated Iraqi politics for two decades, seems isolated for now after his move to step back from formal politics emboldened his Iranian-backed rivals and raised the prospect of fresh factional flare-ups.

Iran, which already controls dozens of heavily-armed Shi'ite militias in its oil-producing neighbour, may now have an opportunity to expand its influence over Iraq's government, a worst case scenario for the United States and its allies.

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