Jul 20

How Iraq Was Demolished By Washington’s Intervention, Incoherence and Arrogance (Contra Corner, July 18, 2014):

For Americans, it was like the news from nowhere. Years had passed since reporters bothered to head for the country we invaded and blew a hole through back in 2003, the country once known as Iraq that our occupation drove into a never-ending sectarian nightmare. In 2011, the last U.S. combat troops slipped out of the country, their heads “held high,” as President Obama proclaimed at the time, and Iraq ceased to be news for Americans.

So the headlines of recent weeks – Iraq Army collapses! Iraq’s second largest city falls to insurgents! Terrorist Caliphate established in Middle East! – couldn’t have seemed more shockingly out of the blue. Suddenly, reporters flooded back in, the Bush-era neocons who had planned and supported the invasion and occupation were writing op-eds as if it were yesterday, and Iraq was again the story of the moment as the post-post-mortems began to appear and commentators began asking: How in the world could this be happening? Continue reading »

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Jul 02

Russia Delivers 2nd Batch of Jets To Iraq As USA Unloads 4000 Hellfire Missiles (ZeroHedge, July 2, 2014):

The battle for favoritism among the ‘apparent’ leaders in Iraq continues. Russia just delivered the second batch of Sukhoi fighter jets (which will be flown by Iraqi pilots and “are ready to provide air support to the armed forces”), and the US unloaded 4,000 additional Hellfire missiles to support Iraq’s fight against the Islamist insurgents. While this morning the intelligentsia of mainstream media proclaimed “the situation in Iraq is calming down” predicated on the fact that oil prices were lower and stocks at record highs, we suspect the additional war material  to Iraq will do nothing but increase the determination of the “Islamic State” to increase its Caliphate.

As Bloomberg reports, the proxy war favoritism continues in Iraq… Continue reading »

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Jul 01

Iraqi Hydrocarbon Prize of U.S. Invasion in Danger? (Global Research, June 28, 2014):

Excluding “boots on the ground” and leaving combat missions to local and regional “partners,” President Barak Obama and his administration say the United States keeps “all options on the table” to respond militarily to the terrorists’ threat to “American interests” in Iraq, which are now in “danger.”

Similarly, former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, on TV screens and in print has recently urged western governments to “put aside the differences of the past and act now” and to intervene militarily in Iraq “to save the future” because “we do have interests in this.”

Both men refrained from indicating what are exactly the “American” and “western” interests in Iraq that need military intervention to defend, but the major prize of their invasion of Iraq in 2003 was the country’s hydrocarbon assets. There lies their “interests. Continue reading »

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Jun 30

–  Iraq Receives First Fighter Jets From “Our Russian Friends”  (ZeroHedge, June 30, 2014):

Having offered “complete support” for Iraq’s embattled PM Maliki, the troubled nation receives its first shipment of “America deluded us” Russian fighter jets. As RT reports, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense on Sunday confirmed receiving five Su-25 fighter jets in accordance with the deal with Moscow. Iraqi Army Lieutenant General Anwar Hamad Amen Ahmed explained, “our Russian friends have also sent their own experts to assist us in preparing the aircraft. All the logistics have been planned for as well.” The proxy war continues…

As RT reports,

The first delivery of Russian Sukhoi fighter jets arrived in Iraq on Saturday, the country’s Defense Ministry said. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is hoping the jets will make a key difference in the fight against ISIS. Continue reading »

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Jun 21

Putin chess

Russia Reignites The Proxy War: Putin Offers “Complete Support” To Iraq Prime Minister Scorned By Obama (ZeroHedge, June 20, 2014):

Two days ago, before it was formalized that the US tacitly, if not explicitly, now supports the removal of the Iraqi Prime Minister whom it itself had helped elect, we summarized the geopolitical tensions and “national interests” in Iraq, which is shaping up to be a proxy war that makes last year’s Syrian escapade pale by comparison, as follows:

The situation in Iraq, already a jumble of domestic sectarian violence, is now pitting virtually all major (and regional) international players against each other as well. There is: Continue reading »

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Jun 26

Confirmed: Iraq orders closure of BBC and 43 other media outlets (RT, June 25, 2012):

Iraq’s communications and media commission announced the impending closure of several media outlets, including the BBC and Voice of America. While officials chalk the matter up to expired license fees, press freedom groups fear a looming crackdown.

RT was one of the first to publish reports of the potential closures – and can now confirm that Iraqi officials from the media commission have forwarded the list of 44 outlets to the Interior Ministry. They will be the ones responsible for the actual closures once they begin.

Continue reading »

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Dec 08

And in Pakistan: Two More Bomb Blasts Kill at Least 43, 100 Dead in Five Days

Smoke from the bombings billowing in the Baghdad sky on Tuesday.

BAGHDAD — A series of devastating car bombings rocked Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 121 people and wounding hundreds more, according to preliminary accounts by witnesses, the police and hospital officials.

Five bombs in all, including at least three suicide attacks, struck near a college, a court complex in western Baghdad, a mosque and a market and a neighborhood near the Interior Ministry in what appeared to be a coordinated assault on the capital.

The blasts began shortly after 10 a.m. and reverberated through the city for the next 50 minutes, sending enormous plumes of black smoke into the air.

Continue reading »

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Jun 14

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN)Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is establishing a new fighting force to battle U.S.-led troops in Iraq, he said in a letter read in Iraqi mosques Friday.

Muqtada al-Sadr says his new group will focus exclusively on battling U.S.-led forces in Iraq.

Al-Sadr’s letter said that “the resistance will be exclusively conducted by only one group. This new group will be defined soon by me.”

Al-Sadr’s militia, the Mehdi Army, has a strong and ubiquitous presence in Shiite cities, towns and neighborhoods.

Sources familiar with al-Sadr said they believe he’s trying to embrace what the U.S. calls “Special Groups” — Iran-backed Shiite militants, including rogue Mehdi Army members, who have been fighting U.S.-led troops despite a cease-fire that the cleric declared in August.

The mainstream Mehdi Army has operated under the cease-fire, which dramatically reduced violence in Iraq. During that time, however, there has been fighting between U.S. and Iraqi troops and members of the Mehdi Army, with many of the battles this spring in the southern city of Basra and Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood.

In the latest fighting overnight, American-led coalition forces killed five and arrested two Special Groups members near Hilla, south of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

In the letter, al-Sadr said, “The weapons will be held exclusively by this new group, and they should be pointed exclusively at the occupier,” adding that he will forbid the group “to target anyone else.”

The letter added, “We will not stop resisting the occupation until liberation or martyrdom.” Continue reading »

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Jun 13

The ongoing negotiations between Iraqi leaders and the Bush administration over the future role of the military occupation “have turned into an increasingly acrimonious public debate.”

The Bush administration’s demand for 58 permanent bases in Iraq – a near doubling of the current 30 bases – are causing Iraqis to warn that the status of forces agreement would be “more abominable than the occupation.” The administration is reportedly holding hostage “some $50bn of Iraq’s money in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to pressure the Iraqi government into signing an agreement.”

The reason the White House is so hell-bent on signing a long-term agreement may have less to do with Iraq and more to do with Iran. According to press reports of the ongoing negotiations, the Bush administration is seeking the “power to determine if a hostile act from another country is aggression against Iraq.” Ali al Adeeb, a leading member of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Dawa party, confirmed:

The Americans insist so far that is they who define what is an aggression on Iraq and what is democracy inside Iraq…if we come under aggression we should define it and ask for help.

The administration’s request would seemingly allow the U.S. to brand Iran as an enemy of Iraq and attack Iran in the name of defending Iraq pursuant to a legal obligation under the status of forces agreement.

Other details from press accounts confirm that the Bush administration has one eye on Iran in the course of its negotiations with Iraqis. The Washington Post explains that the administration is seeking “the prerogative for U.S. forces to conduct operations without approval from the Iraqi government.” Moreover, the U.S. wants control over Iraq’s airpsace:

The American negotiators also called for continued control over Iraqi airspace and the right to refuel planes in the air, according to [Sami al-Askari, a leading Shiite politician], positions he said added to concerns that the United States was preparing to use Iraq as a base to attack Iran.

Since the administration is unlikely to get an Iran war authorized through Congress, it’s instead trying to sneak it through the Iraqi parliament.

By Faiz on Jun 11th, 2008

Source: Think Progress

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Apr 09

A secret draft agreement is being drawn up to allow United States forces to remain in Iraq indefinitely, it has been reported.

  • Iraqi Shia leader wants to disband Mahdi army
  • Watch: Iraq Surge report presented to politicians
  • The document, which was written a month ago and is and marked “secret” and “sensitive”, is intended to replace the United Nations mandate for coalition troops, including British forces, to remain in Iraq, which expires at the end of the year.

    Gen Petraeus
    Watch: Gen Petraeus delivers the Iraq report

    The draft authorisation would allow for the US to “conduct military operations in Iraq and to detain individuals when necessary for imperative reasons of security”.

    It does not set a time limit, but describes the arrangement as temporary and points out that the US does not want “permanent bases or a permanent military presence” in the country. It also states that the US does not seek to use Iraq as a base to launch operations against other states.

    The draft agreement is unlikely to emerge unscathed from political scrutiny in Baghdad or Washington. There appears little appetite in the US for a drawn-out occupation of Iraq. In Baghdad, both Shia and Sunni political groups opposed to the American presence are likely to oppose the agreement in its draft form.

    Moqtada al-Sadr, a vocal critic of the occupation, said yesterday that he would consider disbanding his powerful Mahdi army – but only after consulting the ayatollahs, or religious leaders.


    Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, said that if the militia, which has battled American and government forces in Basra and Baghdad for the past two weeks, was not disbanded its political wing would be barred from provincial elections.

    “They no longer have a right to participate in the political process or take part in the upcoming elections unless they end the Mahdi army,” said Mr Maliki.

    Sadr said he would consult religious figures, including Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the moderate Shia leader who is revered as a “source of emulation”.

    By putting the fate of his powerful militia in the hands of the religious hierarchy, the cleric appears to be gambling that he will establish his credentials as a figure capable of unifying Iraq’s majority Shia community under his leadership.

    However, Sadr said ayatollahs in the Iranian city of Qom, home to his spiritual mentor Grand Ayatollah Kazim al-Haeri, a known hard-liner, would also have a say.

    The cleric’s supporters will tomorrow attempt to mount a “million-strong” march in Baghdad to mark the fifth anniversary of the city’s fall. It will follow a report on Iraq to the US Congress in Washington by General David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the ambassador to Baghdad.

    By Damien McElroy

    Last Updated: 2:10am BST 09/04/2008

    Source: Telegraph

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