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18 December 2015

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b

An Iraqi member of parliament just claimed that the U.S. bombed an Iraqi army unit near Fallujah - 20+ dead and 30 wounded.

This is not the first time such an "accident" happens. The Iraqis are well aware that at least some important people in Washington have plans to split up Iraq and to create a "Sunnistan" in Iraq and Syria. They will fight to prevent that. A few more missteps and the U.S. will be told to leave Iraq and Russia will be invited in.

Rd.

Apparently the cover is blown on the US ME FP, unascertained to the elites and corp media!!

http://www.sott.net/image/s14/289553/header/0_93dee_2fa35fc9_orig.jpg

The Beaver

Colonel,

On the same topic but in Libya : Have you seen the latest?
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/17/secret-us-mission-in-libya-revealed-after-air-force-posted-pictures

[Quote]Libya’s air force said 20 US soldiers arrived at Libya’s Wattiya airbase on Monday, but left soon after local commanders asked them to go because they had no permission to be at the base. It was unclear if another branch of the Libyan military had authorized the mission.

Pentagon sources confirmed to US media that the special forces unit was part of a mission sent this week, but it was unclear if the soldiers had left the country.[eoq]

Wunduk

In the language of ISIL this coalition already exists (from yesterday's al-Bayan bulletin): "Wilāyat al-Anbār: Safawī-Crusader coalition warplanes bombed the city of Hīt, injuring 8 Muslims, including two women and three children, and causing material damage."

Maybe Iraqi officials' sensitivities towards what they see a possible centrifugal effect by NATO "helpers" with the KRG (US, Turks, Germans) have not been adequately addressed.

They are simply reiterating their positions from September, that "the assistance for Iraq in regards to military training and advanced technology with the necessary weapons to fight Da’esh terrorist entity, must be conducted in accordance with the bilateral and multilateral agreements, with full respect for national sovereignty and in line with the Iraqi Constitution, and in coordination with the Iraqi armed forces"".

They might believe that the Turkish expeditionary troop was deployed with the agreement of the United States.

turcopolier

b

One of the enduring disappointments on SST is my inability to convince you that in war "shit happens" without anyone wanting it. The chance of some plot in Washington resulting in USAF bombing an Iraqi Army unit in Fallujah is so remote as to be laughable. I suppose you think USAF shot up the MSF hospital in Kunduz deliberately. What was the reason for our doing that? pl

LeaNder

b, Why don't you give us a link to this or earlier similar "accident"s?

Bill H

My sympathy, colonel, if such a plot were to be hatched it would inevitably... Oh, never mind. You can use the phrase "fog of war" as often as you want and some people will never understand what it means.

Trey N

Another bad move in the geopolitical chess game; long-term strategic blowback in exchange for a short-term tactical gain:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/12/18/the-imf-changes-its-rules-to-isolate-china-and-russia/

I don't know if it's the "instant gratification" of current American culture, the 24-hour "spin cycle" of the US political system, the "just-kick-the-damn-can-down-the-road" mindset, or what, but no one inside the Beltway seems capable of thinking more than two days into the future. Whoever thought this pinprick to Russia is a masterstroke is gonna have a whole lotta spit on his face when this tactic comes back to bite Western creditor nations in their IMF over the next few years....

Kooshy

Today in Karbala’ Friday sermon, Ayatollah Sistani’ Friday prayer rep. warned of any attempt to separate Iraq. Also without directly mentioning the new Saudi alliance he showed a distrust of the new Saudi alliance saying the regional countries have the interests of their own in mind and not of the Iraq’ and not necessarily their interests coincides with that of Iraq’. Emphasizing that the defeat of Daesh is impossible, if it’s not done by the Iraqis themselves he asked for unity of Iraqis. He warned against international plans for dividing and separating Iraq.

Kooshy

"Wilāyat al-Anbār: Safawī-Crusader coalition"

I wrote before IMO Ayatollahs in Najaf don't want to give the Takfiris a new recruiting tool by being able to add Crusader to already demonized Iranians = Safawi.
Folks that's the way it is for now.

oofda

Colonel,
Today's Post opinion piece on the latest talk on Syria highlights the elite's disappointment with the results and their single-minded focus on getting al-Assad out. They are clearly upset with the apparent change in position- and describe al-Assad as a "blood-drenched dictator."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/what-happened-to-regime-change-on-syria-the-white-house-accommodates-russia/2015/12/17/62238450-a370-11e5-b53d-972e2751f433_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-c%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

AEL

Here is a link.
https://www.rt.com/news/326420-iraq-us-air-strike/

bks

I wish we could have these "fog of war" discussions before invading nations, not after. (Not a criticism of this blog.)

b

I know that "shit happens" in war. Lots of it. But if the same shit happens again and again something might be up.

For the record I do not think that this attack was intentional but the Iraqis will see that differently. They see that the U.S. is not seriously fighting IS and they see that their attempts to really fight it with the Shia militia gets hindered by U.S. concern for the opinion of the Gulf states. At the same time there are discussion of "Sunnistan" in some Washington circles. Didn't Biden once propose to partition Iraq? How do we know that there is no such plan?

As for the MSF hospital. It was obviously the intention of the Afghan special forces that requested/directed the attack on the hospital to get the hospital hit. They hated it for long and searched it, in quite rude ways, at least two times before the incident. How far that feeling was shared up the command ladder of the U.S. forces is unknown. The investigation into the incident is obviously designed to delay and delay again and to come to no result.

Bandolero

All

I believe there is a quite complex political struggle in the background which is not told by the western media.

From what I heard the most important reason that the liberation of Ramadi is going so slow is that many of the most capable Iraqi forces - the militia under the command of Qassem Suleimani - are currently occupied fighting against Al Qaeda and other Turkish-backed terrorists south of Aleppo.

While Ramadi is a priority for the US, Ramadi is currently not a priority for the R6+1, northwestern Syria is. Add to this that the R6+1 is very uncomfortable with Turkey's military trying to aid the Barzani clan to turn ISIS-territory once again into a Turkish zone of hegemony, and a fuller picture emerges of what might be the political game in the background. I can easily imagine that there exists a kind of R6+1 background message to the US saying if the US wants quicker liberation of Iraqi territory from ISIS, the US should put more pressure on Turkey to stop interfering in Syria and Iraq.

Farmer Don

But take a look at the comments, they are 180 degrees away from the opinion piece. All in all the readers seem to know what's going on.

Valissa

Thanks for the link! It is long, but well worth the read for anyone who wants to see how the US practices financial warfare to serve it's geopolitical power goals.

Here are some key excerpts:
The IMF thus is breaking four rules: Not lending to a country that has no visible means to pay back the loan breaks the “No More Argentinas” rule adopted after the IMF’s disastrous 2001 loan. Not lending to countries that refuse in good faith to negotiate with their official creditors goes against the IMF’s role as the major tool of the global creditors’ cartel. And the IMF is now lending to a borrower at war, indeed one that is destroying its export capacity and hence its balance-of-payments ability to pay back the loan. Finally, the IMF is lending to a country that has little likelihood of refuse carrying out the IMF’s notorious austerity “conditionalities” on its population – without putting down democratic opposition in a totalitarian manner. Instead of being treated as an outcast from the international financial system, Ukraine is being welcomed and financed.

The upshot – and new basic guideline for IMF lending – is to create a new Iron Curtain splitting the world into pro-U.S. economies going neoliberal, and all other economies, including those seeking to maintain public investment in infrastructure, progressive taxation and what used to be viewed as progressive capitalism. Russia and China may lend as much as they want to other governments, but there is no international vehicle to help secure their ability to be paid back under what until now has passed for international law.

… The consequences go far beyond just the IMF. The fabric of international law itself is being torn apart. Every action has a reaction in the Newtonian world of geopolitics. It may not be a bad thing, to be sure, for the post-1945 global order to be broken apart by U.S. tactics against Russia, if that is the catalyst driving other countries to defend their own economies in the legal and political spheres. It has been U.S. neoliberals themselves who have catalyzed the emerging independent Eurasian bloc.

…The United States may use the IMF and World Bank as levers to exclude countries not in the U.S. orbit from participating in the global trade and financial system, and it may arm-twist Europe to impose trade and financial sanctions on Russia. But this action produces an equal and opposite reaction. That is the eternal Newtonian law of geopolitics. The indicated countermeasure is simply for other countries to create their own international financial organization as an alternative to the IMF, their own “aid” lending institution to juxtapose to the U.S.-centered World Bank. All this requires an international court to handle disputes that is free from U.S. arm-twisting to turn international law into a kangaroo court following the dictates of Washington.

… The more nakedly self-serving and geopolitical U.S. policy is – in backing radical Islamic fundamentalist outgrowths of Al Qaeda throughout the Near East, right-wing nationalist governments in Ukraine and the Baltics – the greater the catalytic pressure is growing for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, AIIB and related Eurasian institutions to break free of the post-1945 Bretton Woods system run by the U.S. State, Defense and Treasury Departments and NATO superstructure.
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The Beaver

Colonel

The latest from former Sec Def Hagel:

"In an exclusive interview, Chuck Hagel said the Obama administration micromanaged the Pentagon, stabbed him in the back on the way out — and still has no strategy for fixing Syria."

http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/12/18/hagel-the-white-house-tried-to-destroy-me/

different clue

Wunduk,

At the "moral" level, the Shia Supremacist government in Baghdad does not deserve that level of respect. As long as it is devoted to oppressing and persecuting the Sunni Arab tribes, those tribespeople will remain resigned to ISIS's presence, and ISIS will remain stronger than any force the Shia Supremacist government can field. ( Unless the Shia militias get strong enough independently to defeat ISIS all on their own.)

Casowary

Think Pat Tillman as regards "shit happens" and some people tried to argue that was some back room plot.
During WW2's final stages there were so many incidents involving US air assets operating in Soviet spheres of operation that Stalin forebade our forces to "help" in their zones. Bubbi Hartman's story has at least one incident involving US Mustangs getting into a dog fight with a Soviet fighters over, I think, Czechoslovakia.

turcopolier

bks

That means never waging war anywhere at any time. There is ALWAYS "shit happens" in war. ALWAYS. pl

Jack

Beaver

One point that struck me was Hagel too had bought into the myth of Assad using sarin. Thank goodness that Obama was persuaded by Putin.

Imagine a Hillary presidency. We'll be lucky to get through it without WWIII.


robt willmann

Somewhat off topic, but today the best discussion so far about the problems with Donald Trump's candidacy for the Republican nomination for president was presented and posted by former Texas Representative Ron Paul. Dr. Paul won around 11 or 12 elections to Congress and knows politics and what happens in the snake pit Washington DC. The Republican party ran people against him, and when that did not work, they gerrymandered his district, and he still won. Had Paul's positions prevailed, there would have been no Anti-Patriot Act, no Homeland Stasi Security Act, no fractured and largely destroyed Middle East, and so forth. Here it is, entitled (correctly), Donald Trump: Establishment Candidate--

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt2NPP1z-y8

Additional bad news came today for the Founding Fathers and Mothers and all their work and sacrifice in the 1700's. Slipped into the 2,000 page Omnibus Spending Bill that was passed today is an even more draconian version of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), that could not get the votes to pass earlier this year; sneak it into a spending bill to keep the federal government operating, and they have to vote for it. More privacy gone, without any recourse and remedy. Because the "information" is being "shared", no warrant is needed, Boyz.

turcopolier

b

You say you know that "shit happens" in war but you write in such a way as to imply that the US does these things deliberately. I ask you again, did some GI rape your grandmother? pl

Valissa

Heck of a job, Cameron...

Syria air strikes: Rebels and Damascus condemn RAF bombing raids on Isis http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-air-strikes-rebels-and-damascus-condemn-raf-bombing-raids-on-isis-a6759551.html

US Claims 180 ISIS Fighters Killed in Northern Iraq Airstrikes http://news.antiwar.com/2015/12/17/us-claims-180-isis-fighters-killed-in-northern-iraq-airstrikes/
A 17-hour ISIS offensive launched Wednesday night in Iraq’s Nineveh Province continued into Thursday, and now US and Iraqi officials are claiming that the attack has been repelled. The US claims to have killed at least 180 of the ISIS fighters in airstrikes and also claimed the Peshmerga killed “hundreds more.”

The attack began against a Kurdish base in the area, killing seven Peshmerga fighters and wounding four Turkish troops. The Peshmerga quickly scrambled forces to defend the area, though it isn’t clear if ISIS was even attempting to capture any territory.

US Gen. Mark Odom said he believes ISIS was trying to disrupt attempts to encircle Mosul rather than capture anything in the operation, calling it the first “serious” ISIS attack in northern Iraq since early July.

ISIS hasn’t issued any assessment of the offensive on their own, and there has been no update on the casualties among Kurdish forces, though it’s hard to imagine they killed “hundreds” of ISIS fighters engaged in a surprise attack on three different sites without suffering more casualties than just the seven in the initial missile strike.
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