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21 March 2016

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bth

Sometimes western propaganda is defined by what is not reported. One topic with almost to reporting is the rising US troop strength in northern Iraq. The headcount most be in the high 4 digits. Also are there recent maps of IS lines and Iraq government, Kurd, Turk and US lines or pockets. Rough guess is that Mosul is virtually surrounded. Iran is noticeably quiet about western doings in Iraq of late.

Another thing that is just sort of out there is that about this time last year IS started taking minority groups hostage in exchange for harvests. I wonder if we are about to see the same thing again. There were reports a couple of weeks ago of food prices in Mosul being very high.

bks

I'm gobsmacked by four things in the news:

1. Whatever Russia was doing in Syria it seems to have been effective and efficient.
2. Afghanistan has been quiet for a fortnight.
3. Obama is in Cuba, but even in Miami's Little Havana there's barely a hint of outrage.
4. The GOP establishment has declared open war on Republican voters.

LeaNder

Some around here, no matter on what political side, may be interested in an alert to Trump's AIPAC speech.

I bookmarked the first best livestream available from no doubt Trump fans/supporters via the "Right Side". Convenient offer, if you are not too exited it will be stored there for the convenient time frame:

"Monday, March 21, 2016: GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump will speak at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC. The event is scheduled to take place around 6:00 PM EDT. Watch the live stream and replay of the event below."

http://rsbn.tv/live-stream-donald-trump-speaks-at-aipac-conference-in-washington-dc-3-21-16/

cynic

Its interesting to see the Russian claim that their expedition to Syria cost only about the equivalent of $464m. They managed to kill a couple of thousand terrorists, destroy thousands of their locations and fortifications, re-equip, re-train and reinvigorate the Syrian army and air-force, provide effective protection of Syrian air space, prop up the Syrian government politically and undermine terrorist morale, besides reducing their sources of income, destroy almost three thousand of the the oil trucks whose convoys stretched over the horizon although the American air-force was apparently unable to notice them. They put a spoke in the wheel of American/Israeli/EU foreign policy to overthrow the Syrian government and hand over the country to cannibal Islamic terrorists, and gained a lot of prestige. All for less than the $500m spent supposedly buying 4 or 5 'moderate' terrorists!

Value for money.

Even if one acknowledges that the $6.4trillion spent supposedly fighting Islamic terrorism in the Middle East was probably mainly spent promoting it, it shows what a poor return the American taxpayer is getting, since the Russians could counter the policy for only one tenth of the cost.

Barish

I am not certain whether my comment on the "Esedullah Tim" got through - if it was posted at all, my old cat ambushed me just prior to sending it off - meanwhile, there is something else I found of note:

Edmaps, usually keeping in touch with developments with a couple days of time-lag, as reports come in, takes note of this development here in the rest of the Azaz-corridor:

http://www.edmaps.com/html/azaz_march_20.html

Is it beyond possible that, rather than the insurgents themselves doing the heavy lifting that Turkey would send in commandoes of their own to make these advances and tell their proxies, such as there are, to try and hold these territories?
It might just be that closing down the Azaz-route to Aleppo-city might have had a lot to do with this shifting of priorities: Aleppo-city, for the short- to medium-term, is beyond the direct reach of Turkey's insurgents, so they finally are motivated to shift gears towards ISIL, even though they would have preferred to leave them alone as additional pressure against the Syrian Arab Republic.

robt willmann

Ah, yes...time to think about making some "deals".

The Washington Post newspaper tells us that this afternoon Donald Trump is going to "host" a meeting of "nearly two dozen influential Republicans", and that: "Several members of the House and Senate are expected to participate, plus a bevy of consultants and veteran power brokers, the people said, requesting anonymity to discuss the session."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/03/19/trump-to-huddle-with-top-republicans
-ahead-of-aipac-speech/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_pp-trumphuddle-310pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

The meeting will be at the Jones & Day law firm in Washington, D.C. Trump, while hustling the unwashed masses by telling them that he is an "outsider" (ROFL), his campaign lawyer, Don McGahn, is, of course, the ultimate "insider"--

http://www.jonesday.com/dmcgahn/

Mr. McGahn is one of the organizers of this little meeting, "along with Trump's advisers" and Senator Jeff Sessions (Repub. Alabama). The Jones & Day law office is a "short walk from the Capitol".

For those who like the live broadcasts over the Internet and for the peasants with pitchforks, well, they are going to have to stay outside. This is going to be an "off-the-record gathering".

LG

Meet ‘Abu Tahseen’ an Iraqi veteran who has build up years of experience fighting in several wars. ‘Abu Tahseen’ joined the ‘Popular Mobilization Units’ as a volunteer to defend Iraq from ISIS. He as born in 1953. He is a sniper veteran of 5 armed conflicts. The Yom Kippur war, Iran-Iraq war, Invasion of Kuwait, Gulf War and today fights against ISIS. He is currently stationed at Makhoul Mountains in North Baiji. Since May 2015 he has killed 173 ISIS fighters.

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/yom-kippur-war-1973-daesh-iraq-2016/ | Al-Masdar News

The Beaver

@ bth

Exceeds 4,000 according to this:
http://www.military.com/daily-news/2016/02/03/number-us-troops-iraq-more-than-4000-exceeds-previous-claims.html

Kutte

Sometimes western propaganda is defined by what is not reported.

Sometimes? Almost all of the time! Whilst the Nazis and Commies told stupid and implausible lies, the western propaganda tells things which are true as such, but by way of omission they suggest something completely different. It's just a more sophisticated form of lying.

Barish

Here goes again:

Anyone else heard of the "Esedullah Tim", the "Lions of Allah Team"* before?

RT just now are broadcasting a bit about the emergence of such a "team" carrying out the Turkish crackdown in the south-east, as part of the "Polis Özel Harekat", PÖH, the "Police Special Operations" groups.

Apparently, there is some history behind this "Esedullah"-brand, if this Cumhuriyet-article from back in November is anything to go by:

http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/turkiye/418709/Esedullah_TiM_yeniden_hortladi..._Sosyal_medya_onlari_konusuyor.html

"Esedullah TİM yeniden hortladı... Sosyal medya onları konuşuyor

90'lara dönülen Güneydoğu'da sokağa çıkma yasakları ve operasyonların ardından sosyal medya yeniden ortaya çıkan Esedullah Tim'i konuşuyor."

"Esedullah TiM once more rose from the dead...Social Media is talking about them

Just as the Southeast returns to the 90s's curfews and operations, social media again is talking about the emerging Esedullah Team."

Meanwhile, another Turkish paper, Internethaber ("Internet News") got this not exactly reassuring quote from one CHP-deputee from Diyarbakır province:

http://www.internethaber.com/esedullah-timi-nedir-kim-bu-yuzu-maskeli-adamlar-1487817h.htm

"ESEDULLAH TİMLERİ BURADA!

Raporda, halkın can ve mal güvenliğini tehlikede olduğu, operasyonlardan sonra ev, okul, cami, duvarlarına yazılan "Esedullah timleri burada" şeklindeki yazıların, "personelin maksadını aşarak intikam duygusuyla hareket ettiklerine dair kuşkular uyandırdığı" belirtiliyor.

CHP Diyarbakır milletvekili adayı Naci Sapan, raporda işaret edilen duvar yazılamalarına işaret ederek, “Özellikle bu konunun aydınlatılması gerekiyor. Bu mesajın kaynağını kimse tespit edemedi. Yazılamaların yapıldığı yer benim doğup büyüdüğüm mahalle. İnsanlar o dönemde pencerelerden kafalarını bile çıkaramamışlar. Bunun kim olduğu açıklığa kavuşturulmalı” dedi."

""ESEDULLAH TEAMS ARE HERE!"
In the report [by a CHP-commission], the threat to the safety people's lives and property, writings in the form of "Esedullah teams are here" on the walls of houses, schools and mosques following operations as well as "an aroused sense of concerns about the intent for vengeance on the part of [security] personnel" are noted.

The CHP Diyarbakır deputy named Naci Sapan said, warning of the signs made by the writings on the wall, "Clearing up is especially required as regards this topic. It was not determined who this message's source is. These writings were made in the neighbourhood where I was born and brought up. At this time, people can't even put out their heads out of their windows. **The identity of those [responsible] needs to be established**."


The RT report noted that Zaman, more specifically its English outlet "Today's Zaman", the paper recently taken over by Padişah's authorities, used to run a story on this "mystery team" - which has been deleted after the takeover. Al-Monitor also got an English piece on them, from back in November, which appears to be founded on the report that Internethaber mentions:

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/11/turkey-pkk-clashes-who-are-terrorizing-kurds.html

*The irony behind their name: they share the "lion"-brand with the al-Assad clan, declared enemy by today's Padişah Erdoğan. In Turkish publications, Assad's name apparently is written as "Esad" instead.

**I went for a somewhat more "free" translation of this sentence. Although that's basically what's the gist of it: the identity of who exactly is spraying these markings needs to be clearly established. The Internethaber-article from November notes towards the end that an investigation by both the Ministry of Internal Affairs, İçişleri Bakanlığı, as well as the General Command of the Gendarmerie, Jandarma Genel Komutanlığı, is supposedly underway toward that effect. By the looks of things, not much came out of that since, which may be "as intended" if these "Esedullah" are indeed supposed to be Erdoğan's strong-arms in the south-east.
RT in their TV-report quote Kurdish voices that note "long beards" and "foreign accents" among these "Lions" - bias can certainly not be ruled out there, particularly the first bit seems hard to establish as these "Lions" appear to rove around with masks - but it is something to keep in mind...

Valissa

More on the "special relationship" between the British gov't and Saudi Arabia, which David Habakkuk recently commented about regarding a prior scandal in a recent post (Hillary vs. NSA?) and once again involves BAE.

ISIS Twitter Accounts Traced to British Government http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/isis-twitter-accounts-traced-saudi-arabia-british-government/ri13463

Another kushy deal for BAE... David Cameron boasts of 'brilliant' UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/25/david-cameron-brilliant-uk-arms-exports-saudi-arabia-bae

 Ishmael Zechariah

Some news about tayyip and his brood of klepts which are not generally reported in the MSM. Merkel should be proud. A fine bunch of folks the EU is in bed with.
"Rome’s Police spokesman: Saudi embassy helped Erdoğan’s son to escape the police custody; using a forged Saudi passport and disguised as an Arab diplomat"
http://awdnews.com/top-news/rome%E2%80%99s-police-spokesman-saudi-embassy-helped-erdo%C4%9Fan%E2%80%99s-son-to-escape-the-police-custody-using-a-forged-saudi-passport-and-disguised-as-an-arab-diplomat

Best example of islamic democracy. Beware of imitations.

Ishmael Zechariah

Fred

cynic,

Even better is they reallocated their training budget to pay for the operation so the additional expense was essentially zero. I hope when the rubble stops bouncing we study the operation so we can learn something.

Fred

robt,

""off-the-record gathering""
Meaning we'll hear from the losers soon enough. More precisely we'll hear about a lot of promises, real or imagined, that Trump may, or may not, have made.

The Beaver

Oh this is interesting and a must read :
http://thebaffler.com/salvos/made-a-moron

BTW: I watched him on Charlie Rose ( via Bloomberg) last week peddling:
"Bitcoin’s blockchain will be “to banking, law, and accountancy as the Internet was to media, commerce and advertising.” (Here, Ross is quoting the director of the MIT Media Lab.)"

Yeah Right !!!
and he found NOTHING wrong with the private server of HRC in her house; his argument: even CIA and FBI networks have been hacked.
He also mentioned that any good 500 Fortune company must have a cyber security expert on their B.O.D.

He must be looking for such a position or , should HRC be the next POTUS, watch out for him to be back in DC. He sounds like another Joffe Joseph or David Frum

Medicine Man

Point #4 is quite amusing. I wonder how one fights a war with no foot soldiers?

Valissa

Donald Trump reveals foreign policy team in meeting with The Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/03/21/donald-trump-reveals-foreign-policy-team-in-meeting-with-the-washington-post/
The Republican presidential front-runner listed for the first time five of the individuals who are part of a team, chaired by Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), counseling him on foreign affairs and helping to shape his policies.

Trump began the hour-long meeting by pulling out a list of some of his foreign policy advisers.

“Walid Phares, who you probably know. Ph.D., adviser to the House of Representatives. He’s a counter-terrorism expert," Trump said. "Carter Page, Ph.D. George Papadopoulos. He’s an oil and energy consultant. Excellent guy. The honorable Joe Schmitz, [was] inspector general at the Department of Defense. General Keith Kellogg. And I have quite a few more. But that’s a group of some of the people that we are dealing with. We have many other people in different aspects of what we do. But that’s pretty representative group.”

Trump said he plans to share more names in the coming days.
--------------------------

Bob

I was reading this over at the Guardian and two numbers stuck out for me. It has been 25 years since the beginning of the first Iraq war and it has spanned 4 presidents and is headed for it's fifth. And the US is ramping up again. Seriously isn't it time to just say no?

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/21/us-making-same-mistakes-as-iraq-invasion-military-intervention

cynic

Some lessons are already clear. The cause of the problem is political rather than military, and its serving the political interests of another country rather than those of the USA.

The Russians did exactly what they said they were doing, and they did it well.If the American forces had been allowed to actually fight the terrorists, as their leaders claimed they were doing, they could be expected to have done about as well as the Russians, and with a lot more force starting earlier, they could have solved the problem long before the Russians felt it necessary to intervene. Spending more than a year and wasting so much money to destroy two terrorist bulldozers is derisory.

Instead, they were creating, funding and supplying the people they were supposed to be fighting, and their friends were advising and assisting the terrorists. No amount of 'learning lessons' can be effective whilst the causes are ignored.

Sometimes legions with a sense of honour and patriotism might find it incumbent upon them to change the Emperor.

Tyler

Trump's foreign policy team revealed:

"Donald Trump revealed part of his foreign policy advisory team and outlined an unabashedly non-interventionist approach to world affairs during a wide-ranging meeting Monday with The Washington Post's editorial board.

The Republican presidential front-runner, for the first time, listed five of the people who are part of a team, chaired by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), counseling him on foreign affairs and helping to shape his policies. They are Keith Kellogg, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Walid Phares and Joseph E. Schmitz."

The only name on there I recognize is Sessions, who understands how "invade the world, invite the world" works and is against it. The neocon WP calling the team "non interventionist" is a good sign, but anything short of nuking Europe if Israel wanted it is "non interventionist" to them so perhaps some of the more learned members here can relate some of these names with events or opinions.

cynic

When would be the optimum time for Mrs. Clinton to be prosecuted? At what point after she is nominated would it be too late for the Democrats to replace her if she dropped dead or was forced by public opinion or legal prudence to drop out of the race? Could Trump win by default?

Trey N

Here's some food for thought regarding your trenchant observations:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-wrong-kind-of-victory-is-the-us-more-powerful-militarily/5515387

Fred

Any kayakers out there who have used a propel or drive attachment on a kayak? Curious to see the opinions on them.

Patrick D

It is worse than lying. The technical term is "bullshitting". ;-)

Suggested reading: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/7929.html

Frankfurt concludes that although bullshit can take many innocent forms, excessive indulgence in it can eventually undermine the practitioner's capacity to tell the truth in a way that lying does not. Liars at least acknowledge that it matters what is true. By virtue of this, Frankfurt writes, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.

Laguerre

"Rough guess is that Mosul is virtually surrounded." By whom? US Special Forces? Or Peshmerga? The Peshmerga are not being paid, because Erbil is bankrupt. So they're hardly likely to be very active, which the lack of news seems to demonstrate. The best possibility is that a few blocks are being put on the main roads. You can drive round those.

Prices are high in Mosul, because no-one dares to sow, with the risk that Da'ish will simply sieze the harvest.

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