12/7/17 09:58
halialkers: A sister of battle from Warhammer 40K in full armor striding along (Xedevcekar)
[personal profile] halialkers
Article the 1st: The USA and Russia in the G20 and climate change  )Article the second from 2004 pointing out the ideas of article the first are hardly new )The reality that the Russia doing all this should be a lethal joke at best but has basically shown old model geopolitics works just fine, thank you )

If nothing else all this shows that the Fukuyama Thesis is not only dead but that the corpse of same has decayed into ashes like a staked vampire. ISIS has started the crumbling of the Westphalian concept of the state whether or not it collapses this year or in the next three. Its survival matters less than it legitimizing the non-Westphalian state by routing 30,000 Iraqi soldiers with 800 fighters at the Battle of Mosul.

And together with that, the Russians have overthrown the notions of collective security and re-established rules that powers other than the USA can unilaterally act according to 19th Century Great Power logic again. History is not dead, it just took a break while the USA grasped an illusion of power, and now the wheel of history is in motion again as a ravenous juggernaut seeking whom it can crush as the world's climate ratchets upward with precious little as a viable means to really stop or slow it down in a way that matters. 

[identity profile]
While the main question about Iraq and Syria is how to defeat the Islamic State, a miracle is being built in North Iraq, in the territories controlled by the Kurdish militia, the so called Peshmerga ("the men facing death"). The Kurds have slowly been pushing the jihadists away with arms from the US and EU, and taking control of the abandoned and ruined Suni Arab towns and villages.

The Kurds are now offering refuge to almost 2 million Syrian refugees, many of them Christians. The region of Iraqi Kurdistan has been out of effective control from Baghdad since 1991, and only the generation over 40 years of age still speak Arab.

Read more... )
[identity profile]
How fast the tide turns, eh? Bringing tons of crabs, who are coming to bite you on the ass...

ISIS Bans Burqas: Islamic State Deems Hijab A Security Problem In Iraq

"Militant leaders banned burqas after a group of veiled women carried out attacks against several ISIS commanders, according to media reports Tuesday. Women wearing burqas will no longer be allowed to enter buildings in Mosul, an ISIS stronghold, while wearing the full-body covering. Instead, they must wear gloves and gauze to cover their eyes. ISIS' morality police will continue to require women to wear the burqa outside of Mosul's new security rule, the Jerusalem Post reported."

See? Even ISIS considers the burqa a security problem! Wow. Just. Wow.

But we already knew ISIS and France had a lot in common.

I'd like to acknowledge the women who made this possible, who are only a footnote in this story - the brave women who snuck into these security centers to blow up ISIS leaders. We don't know their names, but most likely they gave their lives to strike a blow at ISIS. Let's take a minute for them. There are Good Terrorists Freedom-Fighters, after all!

But before we've rejoiced over women's rights, nope - that's not about women's rights in the ISIS-controlled territories. Women continue to be treated like cattle there (hey, even the Decency Police that patrols Mosul consists of women). And no female is allowed to show their face from under the burqa in a public place. One can't help but wonder how do they get their vitamin D in those things...
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In 2004 Prime Minister, John Howard, has said that he takes total responsibility for Australia's decision to join the war. However as the the Chilcot Inquiry has shown the decision to invade Iraq was most certainly a breach of international criminal law and and specifically a crime against peace. Now all this is evident, Howard has the temerity to claim "I am sorry for the wounds or injuries that anybody suffered".

In what way is this "total responsibility" or apology going to be shown? In the world of political double-speak, "total responsibility" means "no responsibility", and a generic apology to everyone means a specific apology to nobody. Is John Howard, in any way, going to make restitution to the families of the hundreds of thousands who have been violently killed as a result of the invasion, and for the subsequent rise of global conflict and terrorism related to that invasion, even if on a pro-rata basis? Will he visit these families and make a personal apology? Or will he, as he continues to do, defend the decision to engage in the invasion.

No restoration is possible when the atrocity is so great. Ideally, following the Chilcot Inquiry, there should be an extension of the powers of the International Criminal Court to include Crimes of Aggression which, although defined, the ICC has no power to exercise its jurisdiction. If that was the case, the likes of George W. Bush, Tony Blair, and John Howard - along with an assembled group of motley if powerful cronies - would spend some time at The Hague answering a few difficult questions. In the meantime however, there is a clear and demonstrated need for an Australian (and US) investigation equivalent to the Chilcot Inquiry, with equally broad terms of reference and inquiry, to determine Australia's role and decision-making in this tragedy - because that would be the responsible thing to do.
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Isn't Trump supposed to be having the moral high ground in his relentless accusations that W did the worst mistake possible by going into Iraq? Well, guess what. Back in 2002, Trump said in an interview he actually supported the Iraq invasion.

Makes his whole credibility on the issue go kaboom, doesn't it. Not that he cares at all. But there's this: first he chickened out from serving his country and avoided going to the Vietnam war; now he continues to flip-flop as it suits him, constantly changing his stories. Might be that he's got bone spurs under his tongue and down inside his arse. Here's the epitome of the classic douchebag who, upon opening his trap, his whole face goes asplode with rage. Not to mention the endless flip-flops and making shit up as he goes.

And this is what a staggeringly large chunk of the electorate envision as the leader who's going to make the country great again.
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There were some posts here recently full with links bemoaning Russia's involvement in the Syrian crisis, etc. I've yet to see the same outrage from the same people about this, though:

Turkey halts troop deployment to Iraq but will not withdraw

First, let's clear something out. It wasn't a "request". It was a demand. Iraq has demanded they leave. The Turkish response has been nothing short of ridiculous.

That being said, Turkey knows full well that pretty soon the border with Syria will be controlled by the Syrian government with the help of the Russians - which means Turkey's influence will be marginalized in Syria and their Daesh pals will be eventually defeated. So Turkey (backed by the West, or at least with the West's tacit approval) wants to help Daesh via Iraq with all the illegal activities, supporting terrorism and trotting across a sovereign country without any authorization. The Iraqi air forces are on high alert already, by the way. Shit hasn't been this close to hitting the fan in quite a while.

In the meantime, the Western governments (including NATO) remain silent on this issue. Not only that, but EU is now giving hints that it could bring Turkey back to the table for EU membership negotiations (in exchange for Erdogan's promise to keep most refugees away from Europe, similar to Gaddafi). Big mistake - especially given the sort of society he's been turning his country into. They've got to realize that nothing good will come out of Turkey, especially now. This is the same country that refused to let the US use their territory for the Iraq war. They're a major sponsor of Daesh. They have a horrible human rights record - including killing 1.5 million Armenians in the past, and jailing journalists, stomping upon freedom of speech, and essentially turning themselves into another Iran in the present. Hell, even Iraq's official authorities are now openly calling Turkey out on the fact that the bulk of the Daesh oil and arms contraband is happening through Turkey.

So, now that we've established that Putin is the Devil, where's the outrage about Erdogan?
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Tony Blair makes qualified apology for Iraq war ahead of Chilcot report "Former British PM admits ‘mistakes’ and conflict’s role in rise of Islamic State but defends armed intervention in 2003"

Too little too late, or just timely ahead of the Chilcot report, I ask? You know what? Doesn't matter. Because Blair's apology, just like UK's involvement in the Iraq War, is irrelevant. Self-serving, yes - but ultimately, irrelevant.

The problem with Blair's belated mea culpa is that it wasn't the UK who overthrew Saddam. Neither did it to any significant degree slaughter the civilian population, bomb cities, destroy infrastructure or desecrate holy places.

In fact, the UK did virtually nothing in the Iraq War after the initial capture of Basra - except maybe hand it over to pro-Iranian militias and retreat to the safety of its barracks at Basra airport as British war tradition postulates, to await relief from US forces there.

Blair's comments are an arrogant regurgitation of the lie that the UK made any difference at all in either the build-up to the war or in determining the outcome of that war. From the outset of hostilities, Blair's war aim was the avoidance of casualties on the UK side. The best (or worst; depends) that could possibly be laid at Blair's feet is that he gave moral cover to the US like the good puppy that he was, which made it clear that the so called Alliance of the Willing would proceed with the war no matter what the UK did or did not do in support. Blair should admit it: the UK's participation in the Iraq war was an irrelevance. He should then sleep sound in the knowledge that the only war crimes he was guilty of are hubris and cowardice.

And then, there`s that )
[identity profile]
There is no secret, that the US used Al-quaedac in Irag (future ISIS) against Assad's regime. Before it was called "oppostion". It is also known, that ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi was in jail after invasion of Iraq. But suddenly after several years he was released. According to relevant data, future leader told at parting " See you in New-York".
As we know, plan to destroy Syria failed. Meanwhile a small group became ISIS and bound out of control.

Is this shy guy in the circle with McCain powerful Baghdadi?

Interesting fact, that ISIS could capture Iraq army weapon, which was supplied by the US (missiles "Hellfire", machineguns and etc) in Tikrit and Mosul. Islamic state even got aid from the US by air. Sure, american authorities told, that it was by mistake.
isis munitions .jpg
Probably lucky "opposition" got this boxes from the US
The main question is - why did ISIS become so rich and powerful? The USA, who were always against terrorist group, now are sleeping. Only some air useless attacks. As opposed to "Base" or Taliban, ISIS created it's own state with sharia, mass killings.
Logically, the possible enemies of Islamic state could be at first - Israil, then the West. Nothing of the kind!!! As we remember, many islamic group wanted to destroy Israil. May be, ISIS does not know about Israil existing? (do not wish bad to Israil)
Another fact, that possibly there were several training camps in Turkey (member of NATO).

  • Unfortunately there are not a sport competition

In conclusion! we can see, there are a lot of strangenesses in ISIS history. It is fighting and killing muslims, but does not promise to destroy Israil as traditionally tried to do others. It created own state, shows mass executions and noboby cares about it. Yes, for somebody was more important to destroy Yugoslavia, Iraq, Lybia, suppose because ISIS has no danger?
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The Turkish game in the Middle East continues to be unclear. As we know, the September 11 meeting in Jeddah between the foreign ministers of the US, Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon, plus the Gulf monarchies, ended with a declared intention to "uproot" ISIL. Shortly before that, on another meeting in Ankara hosted by Turkish PM Davutoglu it was decided taht Turkey would not participate with ground troops or direct military operations against ISIL in Iraq. In the meantime, the Turks announced that they'd be giving intel and logistic support to the new US-led coalition. However, the exact parameters of this support remained unclear. Which made John Kerry and then still secretary of defense Chuck Hagel attend the Jeddah meeting in order to get some clarifications.

But after their meeting with Erdogan, the press service of the Turkish president only issued one single message, stating that the cooperation between the two countries in the fight with terrorism in the Middle East was going to continue. Nothing specific. In the meantime, the intel that the Turkish services was supposed to be providing about ISIL's movement in Iraq and Syria has not been that significant for the US at all. What the US truly wants is access to the air base at Incirlik, but that facility remains blocked for the military alliance, and can only be used for humanitarian shipments to North Iraq - and certainly not for launching air strikes on ISIL positions. In other words, we've got a similar situation to 2003 when Turkey did not allow the US to use their territory for opening a northern front in their Iraq invasion.

Read more... )
[identity profile]
This vid tells the story of Zbigniew Brzezinski's involvement in perfecting the doctrine of combating nationalism with religious fanaticism. It was none other but Brzezinski himself (along with Carter), one of Obama's mentors on foreign policy since day one, who initiated the strategy of importing Islamic fundamentalists from all around the world into Pakistan, arming them and training them, and then sending them over the Afghanistan border to fight the Soviets.

On a side note, indeed it's now known that Brzezinski and Carter had funded the Mujahideen half a year before the Soviets invaded Afghanistan (the first directive for granting secret aid to them was signed on July 3, 1979). The idea was to use the right-wing religious extremists against the leftist pro-Soviet regime in Kabul, which largely contributed to the Soviets taking the decision to intervene (December 24 the same year). Says Brzezinski himself,

Read more... )
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One of the most persistent cliches about the Middle East is that it's a swamp (or rather, a desert of moving sands) where, the more you try to get out, the more stuck you get. This notion may be buzzing inside the head of president Obama too, and giving sleepless nights to his retinue of advisors and smart-heads at the White House, now that the US has started gathering a Coalition of the Willing again, and bracing themselves for another military adventure in Iraq's sands.

We all know what has brought things to this. The many various groups from the Syrian civil war that were so erratically and arbitrarily funded in the name of deposing bad Assad in the last three years, have gradually mutated into this ISIL monster. The beheadings of Western journalists have predictably sent the wheel of war going once more, although the local people have been experiencing that sort of draconian terror on a daily basis for decades - but apparently those don't matter that much, since they're brown people who talk funny and live thousands of miles away from the safety of our comfy ketchup-stained armchairs.

Read more... )
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Iraq is an artificially created state, whose borders were drawn in accordance with the interests of the winners of WW1. Their lust after the rich oil deposits trumped the initial agreements on the partition of the dead Ottoman empire. The secret Sykes-Picot agreement that Britain and France signed in 1916 gave Mosul to the French. But only a year later, the British managed to take Mosul, along with its oil treasures. France was compensated with extended "rights" in Syria and Lebanon. Churchill himself praised the move as "marvelous", and one that exceeded even his boldest dreams. He, of course, had the Iranian oil in mind in that case, but the subtle link between oil and power is fully valid for Iraq and the rest of the Persian gulf, as well.

The divisive factors in the new Iraq that was patched up by the British, have been there right from the onset. In the 20s the loyalty of the Kurdish tribes to the north was being "ensured" through air raids, conducted by the British air force. At some point, legendary hero Churchill even considered using poison gas. That was the first occasion when the Iraqi population was subject to attacks from the air. For decades the Kurds staged one uprising after another against the regime in Baghdad. But it took many decades and a maniacal dictator like Saddam Hussein to actually use gas against them.

Read more... )
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Pope Francis on Monday endorsed military action to stop Islamist militants from attacking religious minorities in Iraq, a rare pronouncement that goes against the Vatican's usual guidance against the use of force.

...But he's infallible, or rather, there are issues where the Pope does not tolerate dissent, so I guess making an exception from a decades-old firm pacifist stance on part of the Vatican must be warranted because this case is somehow special. What do I know, I ain't an expert in church issues (but maybe someone who is better-versed in these things would like to enlighten me, the heathen).

That said, it's kinda cute that the socialist hippie Pope believes anyone waging war these days (or at any time throughout history, to that matter), would be able to distinguish between "bombing the shit outta those fuckers" and "just stopping them a little bit" (Whatever that's supposed to mean: halting their advance south? Or beating them back to Syria where they came from in the first place, and holding them there indefinitely? Or convincing them to stop torturing and massacring infidels? I dunno). News-flash: once a war starts, there's no stopping. You don't just find a moment when you say to yourself, "Okay, now that we've stopped those guys from going any further, it's time we go home - surely, that'll teach them and they'll follow suit, too".

While the Pope is adorable in his naivety regarding warfare, and no doubt his intentions must be pure (how else, he's God's speaker on Earth after all), I'm afraid with or without him providing yet another source of justification for Iraq War v.3.0 or whichever installment we're having on our hands, that war *is* going to happen anyway - and it'll be a full-out war, with troops on the ground, air strikes and all that stinky crap. So, like it or not, Your Holiness, the bombs are gonna start falling. In fact, they already have.
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The crisis in Iraq caused by the Islamic State is now effectively drawing Iran and the US together, two sworn enemies. And this is a chance for them to work together and bring their relations into a more constructive territory. Otherwise Iraq will fall apart.

Right now, Iraq is standing in front of two crises. The political crisis around the scramble for the prime minister's chair, plus the existential crisis coming from the advance of the Islamic State (former ISIS, former ISIL). The two crises are interconnected, and both the US and Iran have their share of responsibility for having caused them. America is responsible, because the US invasion and the political chaos that followed, has undermined all political structures in Iraq. The result was a severe deterioration of security and stability. At this point, almost no one contests the fact that the war in Iraq was a dire mistake (not to mention that it was based on a lie).

Read more... )
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"Those who confront death". That's what the name Peshmerga means, the official designation of the armed forces of Iraqi Kurdistan. They'll soon have the chance to prove themselves at the battlefield once more. Earlier this month president Barzani requested from the local parliament to set a day for independence referendum. Of coruse, the central authorities in Baghdad are warning they'll use all means available to prevent that from happening.

The perfect storm that Iraq has immersed itself into, is far from over. The central government still has no adequate response to the ISIS advances which have taken over nearly 1/3 of the country's territory and announced the establishment of a Caliphate.

Naturally, the Kurds are not sitting on their hands, either. While ISIS is bracing itself for another assault on Baghdad, Peshmerga has taken the strategic city of Kirkuk and practically increased the territory of Iraqi Kurdistan by 40%. This way they outlined the desired boundaries of their future state, taking most Kurd-dominated territories. The dream for independence now looks closer than ever. But it'll need the approval of their neighbors.

Read more... )
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In proof of the ever-willing American tendency to throw good money after bad, the USA is starting once more to intervene in a case where it's backing a regime it created with an army incapable of doing much more than a good hundred yard dash. The number of troops is small, and thus far it's purely 'advisors,' in a casee where the country in question rather clearly is not interested in a lingering American presence to begin with. As with the last land war in Asia where the USA tried this approach, the regime the USA fights for is perfectly willing to fight to the last GI and incapable of doing much of anything in its own right, while the USA is palling around with some rather repungnant types to try to get the enemy out. Unlike the last time, this time there's only one superpower arming both sides. Also, the number of enemy this time is rather smaller and it's the consequence of a civil war in a neighboring state spilling over into a previously quasi-stable situation instead of stepping into an ongoing intersection of a civil war and a colonial war.

But nonetheless, now that Obama has actively begun intervention, it will be very predictable that the next step taken by the Republican party to claim that all real Americans have always opposed intervention in Iraq, and that intervention is sacrificing American lives for no gain in a war that cannot be won.
[identity profile]

And so, in a masterful display of the unpredictable shift of geopolitics, the day was 'saved' when the Iranians decided to step in to bail out their proxy in charge of Iraq. Iranian soldiers, unlike the soldiers of the US-created and US-equipped Iraqi army, were more effective in fighting a relatively small number of militants who demonstrate one of the most basic and dangerous aspects of civil wars. Specifically that when they begin in one country, that seldom means that they stay within the border of that country. In a fine demonstration of the success of the anti-Iranian and supposedly anti-Islamist policies of the United States, a force predominantly supplied by one of the most fanatical regimes in the Middle East, a regime inherently dependent on the United States, is fighting a war with a proxy of the Iranians who have an army equipped by the United States.

More such successes, and Iran will be the geopolitical overlord of all of Southwest and Central Asia. What precise benefit did the overthrow of Mr. Hussein get the United States again?

[identity profile]

A new phase in the Iraq War has begun. Every single area where former insurgents were given US money and US weaponry not to shoot at US soldiers has fallen to a new type of all-regional ideology tied to Syria and Iraq. After spending years and thousands of American lives and wasting countless amounts of money to create a new order in the region sans Saddam, all that has been accomplished is to lead to a new type of Iraqi-Syrian joint bloc. Not the Baath this time, not a secular movement of hardline totalitarian nationalists, but a group of Sunni wannabe Khomeinists. Iran's pet terrorist, installed by US money, with US weapons, in a US-model army is as feckless against this drive as Saigon was in the 1970s, showing that the pattern of America creating these movements and then being incapable of making a movement able to fart and chew gum at the same time by itself is continuing. Iran, even, has offered its proxy help against this new movement:

So, after all of this, what did Mr. Bush's 'We'll be hailed as liberators in a bloodless war thanks to our good friend Curveball' gambit do? Nothing much except take a situation already unpleasant and make it a great deal worse. All those lives wasted, in terms of the coalition, and in terms of Iraqis, and for nothing in the end. A new rough beast now slouches toward Baghdad to be born, as the center can no longer, seemingly, hold.
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Why cannot every former dictatorship become a democracy? Even when its birth is being assisted by powerful democracies? The story of such a failure began exactly 10 years ago in a country that hasn't stopped bleeding ever since.

The corrupt, utterly brutal and unscrupulous dictator had to go. That was the ultimate objective before the US-led coalition that invaded Iraq a decade ago. And they succeeded in that. Saddam was captured in 2003, then hanged three years later. But since then, up to this very moment, it looks as if things haven't changed that much. In the meantime, we're again speaking of a despotic ruler, persecution of political opponents, discrimination. Only, this time the name of the despot is not Saddam Hussein. It's Nouri al-Maliki. The Iraqi prime minister.

The involvement in Iraq is more akin to a Hit'n'Run strategy, the locals be damned )
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On March 16th, 2003, Vice President of the United States Richard Cheney went on NBC's Sunday news program "Meet the Press" and famously asserted his belief that American and coalition forces set to invade Iraq would be "greeted as liberators" by the Iraqi people. On March 19th, 2003, the world woke to the news that a military campaign against the government of Saddam Hussein began with the "shock and awe" bombing broadcast on news outlets the world over:

Exactly 10 years ago today, on March 20th, 2003, American and coalition ground forces invaded Iraq. By April 9th, those forces had occupied Baghdad and the top leaders of the Baathist regime in Iraq were in hiding. On May 1st, 2003, President of the United States George W. Bush landed on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in a Lockheed S-3 Viking aircraft to declared that "major combat operations" in Iraq were over.

What has followed since that day is a matter for history and controversy )

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