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15 February 2015

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Swami Bhut Jolokia

History has shown time and again client governments rarely dance to the tune of their sponsors, unless they are headed by a dictator or some other despot (and many times not even then). A lesson new-colonialists have not learned. And I would include the Bush administration in this, not just Obama's.

ex-PFC Chuck

Hopefully our European client since 1945 will start wiggling out of our embrace as she realizes we're waltzing her into what could become a very dead end in the far corner of Eastern Europe.

Patrick Bahzad

A few comments regarding these disturbing, yet totally unsurprising news:

- at this time, it is by no way sure to assume these killings are the work of a Shia militia. Maybe, maybe not. Why am I saying this ? Because such a killing would fit perfectly into the ISIS battle plan of forward action before larger scale engagements in an urban area. That's how they operated before taking over Mosul, although on a much larger scale. In Baghdad, the number of IS cells is estimated at approx. 2000 men right now, and they are not standing idly by ... Part of their job is establishing "black", "white" and "red" lists that serve their command to identify targets ("black" being the assassination list for priority targets, "white" the list for potential allies in an IS run city and "red" the kill list likely to trigger retaliation attacks and further increase chaos and disorder). Thus, while these killings might indeed be the work of a Shia militia, one cannot exclude the possibility of a "red" type kill by ISIS groups wishing to further inflame hatred and sectarian divide in Baghdad and Iraq as a whole (judging by the Sunnis' reactions, sounds like that could be a "mission accomplished");

- I'm not gonna comment on the ridiculous statement about "inclusive Iraqi government", as PL already underligned the unreal nature of such a claim. I cannot but wonder however on which planet the WP correspondents live nowadays, as it's definitely not the planet earth I know. But then again, reporting about Iraq while being based in Beirut, probably East-Beirut, and possibly writing an article from the sun-bathed terrace of a café in Jounieh, does explain how such a pile of horse manure came into being;

- the paroxystic point of journalistic no return is reached however when official US policy is presented as "reaching out to [disgruntled] Sunnis", in an effort to build-up a national anti-ISIS military and political alliance. First of all, these are the same Sunnis that were left out in the cold by the previous Iraqi (Shia) government, in 2009, at a time when the US didn't do anything to prevent such a disastrous move. Second, going back further, the Shia militias are basically the same people that did the "dirty work" when it suited the US. I can remember as far back as 2004-2005 when the "Wolf Brigade" and the newly formed "Special Police Commandos" were created by the Ministry of the Interior (under the responsibility of the "Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq", a Command led by a famous US-general) and started rounding up potential Sunni insurgents and cleaning-up Baghdad, leaving about 100 bodies on the streets each night. Those tactics, nicely summed up by the aforementioned General ("Empowering Iraqis to do the job themselves"), meant among other things spending billions of US tax dollars to equip the death squads that are still operating today, and continuing to do so in a more formalized and more acceptable way during the "Surge". So it shouldn't come as a surprise that these choices - in other words, again, the "Curse of the Evil deed" - come back to haunt those who are responsible for them, whether in D.C. or in Baghdad.

That being said, the mistakes of the past shouldn't prevent us from doing the right thing now and in the future, although I have my doubts about which way we're heading for.

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